This golden wash basin was on display in the Saint Louis Art Museum when last we visited there. It was once the possession of the late 13th century and early 14th century Mamluk ruler, Malik Al-Nasir. Al-Nasir was three times sultan of the Mamluk Empire. He was twice deposed, but kept coming back for more. By all accounts he was both a popular and successful ruler, except for the occasional overthrowing. As leader of the Mamluk Empire the lands that he ruled include modern Egypt, Libya, Israel, Jordan, Syria and Iraq. It was a turbulent time and he was beset by foes both internal and external. He faced rebellions, Crusaders and the Mongols. All of this ancient history makes me wonder what lasting good America expects to do with yet another war in the Middle East. Maybe seven hundred years from now historians will look upon our Middle East involvement as yet another golden age for that region, but who knows.