Hugh Eakin has written an article entitled "The Devastation of Iraq's Past" for the New York Review of Books. It can be found here: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/21671
Eakin writes well and carefully, attributes not always found in the news business of today. That said, one should keep in mind that an article is only as good as its sources. Here, by necessity, Eakin relies on several experts who have arguably exaggerated the situation "on the ground" in the past.
Verification has been a problem due to instability in the country since the invasion in 2003, but this is beginning to change. This probably helps explain why when information finally comes to light-- as it has recently-- that there has been no recent looting at several important sites in the South doubts set in as to whether there has been any looting at all.
Eakin tries to set the record strait and does an admirable job attempting to do so. Still, one can't help feel that past exaggeration continues to haunt his entire enterprise. For example, on page 2 Eakin quotes Elizabeth Stone as estimating that hundreds of thousands of artifacts have been looted from sites in Southern Iraq. Yet, in the corresponding footnote, Eakin acknowledges the conjectural nature of any such estimates. Moreover, as he must, Eakin suggests that the amount of such material that has surfaced in the West remains limited and further that the amount recovered in an international dragnet no where near approaches Stone's estimates.
The nature and extent of the looting of archaeological sites within Iraq will probably remain in dispute for years. Under the circumstances, what I found most helpful was Eakin's acknowledgement that the best defense to looting is to engage the local populace. To me at least, encouraging the local populace to respect their own heritage sounds more promising and fair than the wholly punitive measures that have been emphasized to date.