September 3rd, 2015

Michael Totten on why Palmyra matters

Here’s why:

They finally did it. The bastards destroyed Palmyra’s Temple of Bel.

We all knew it was coming in May when ISIS conquered the ancient Roman-era city an hour’s drive east of the Syrian city of Homs…

In March of 2001, the Taliban destroyed the ancient Buddha statues at Bamiyan. They used dynamite. They used anti-aircraft guns. It took them weeks of dedicated effort, but they finally got the job done.

They destroyed those statues for one reason only: they were not Islamic.

One of my best friends was so aghast he told me that the United States should invade Afghanistan. I said he was nuts. We’re not going to invade a country on the other side of the planet because some primitive yahoos blew up some statues. And I was right. We did not invade of Afghanistan because some primitive yahoos blew up some statutes.

But I’ll never forget what he said next.

People who commit cultural genocide will mass-murder humans. War is inevitable.

Six months later, the United States invaded Afghanistan after the most devastating attack on American soil in history.

I was right. But so was he.

The Taliban’s cultural genocide was just a prelude to what would come later.

Of course, with ISIS, the cultural destruction is not a prelude; we already know their propensity for genocide and mass murder of a magnitude that makes the Taliban look like Quakers. It’s just that we can’t figure out what to do about it, or maybe we’re too weary to try, or perhaps some potentially suicidal combination of the two.

[NOTE: Here’s an article on the life and death of Khaled al Asaad, the 81-year-old archaeologist of Palmyra who was beheaded by ISIS a few weeks ago. RIP.]

30 Responses to “Michael Totten on why Palmyra matters”

  1. charles Says:

    When the Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas I told some of my co-workers at the time that this was just like the Nazis and Kristallnacht; and that we had better pay attention.

    This destruction in Palmyra is not much different. It is another warning sign that we ignore at our own peril.

  2. Ymarsakar Says:

    When the true power of the Leftist alliance is melded with the power of Islamic Jihad, do American patriots still think the oceans will save them from suffering and sacrifice?

  3. Ymarsakar Says:

    Western civilization has no say in what happens to cultural and religious icons taken over by Islam. That’s because you were too weak to hold onto it, like the Hagia Sophia. Might makes right in this case.

  4. Oldflyer Says:

    Civilization is regressing on many fronts. The rise of ISIS, its phenomenal growth, and the scale of its atrocities are probably the most egregious examples.

    The world’s response to ISIS reveals the depth of decay.

    There was time when, despite serious issues, there was cause for hope. When N. Korea invaded the South, the U.S. responded and brought the UN along. When Sadaam invaded Kuwait, the U.S. responded, and brought a very large coalition along.

    Now, ISIS is on a cross border rampage, and conducting “cultural genocide” (a great term); and the U.S., and consequently the world, barely takes note. Cable news shows videos of poor souls about to be beheaded, or worse. But, that approaches the limits of their interest. The U.S. government launches air strikes in numbers measured in single digits; and proudly reports that Turkey lets us use bases to launch a precious few. Ho hum.

  5. T Says:

    “It’s just that we can’t figure out what to do about it, or maybe we’re too weary to try, ”

    I disagree. We know exactly what to do about it. We won’t do it. Many have written about the fact that we refuse to identify he problem. No! Our political class knows exactly what the problem is, but instead of confronting it, they believe that redefining the problem makes it go away (workplace violence, man-caused disasters, etc). One can not redefine the problem unless one first recognizes it. The political class is not blind; it is fundamentally stupid!

  6. Ymarsakar Says:

    The political class are a bunch of traitors that have sold out to Islamic Jihad. They helped train and fund ISIL, they want to use it as their proxies.

  7. sdferr Says:

    PresidentIVotePresentAndWonPenPhone has been blowing up the US Constitution — a far more beautiful monument to the human condition than the Temple of Bel — for over six years now and the likes of a moderate like Michael Totten barely flinch, and that’s to say nothing of the political left as such. So we might say: spare us the impotent grief.

  8. Ymarsakar Says:

    Totten isn’t even in the country and hasn’t been for some time now, although it is true his politics is more libertarian or moderate.

    I don’t really expect Totten to have good analysis on US domestic events, nor do I expect him to have good analysis on foreign events. He has the raw data and that is valuable in a different venue.

  9. j e Says:

    “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

  10. blert Says:

    Ymarsakar…

    Absolutely correct.

    BHO – and his buddies ( Brennan ) had a pipe dream ( more towards a bong hit ) …

    We’ll create our own jihadist army// faction and run the show from the State Department — not the dreaded Defense Department. !

    Benghazigate occurred precisely because the State Department was actively involved in gun running. A lot of the dirty dealing was kept secret from the Pentagon… the old “need to know” smoke screen.

    It’s this latter aspect that caused both BHO and HRC to thwart DoD rescue interventions. If you recall, the administration was constantly giving the rescue squad ‘the stall.’

    No small number of these ex-Libyan weapons were DIRECTLY given to the tribesmen training in northern Jordan. It’s this crew that revived AQ in Iraq from the dead… rebranding it as ISIS// ISIL// IS.

    Naturally the maladministration is embarrassed. So a ‘secret’ operation that went even further south than the Bay of Pigs fiasco is still being (implausibly) denied.

    The maladministration is still on this hobby horse, as ‘Division 30’ evidences. This time around, the vetting was much more intense — so much so that practically no Syrian qualifies.

    And since our electronic messages are being read by the enemy when Division 30 entered Syria, they were promptly destroyed — by al-Nusra — the fanatics still in high standing with Big Z.

    ( BOTH ISIS and al-Nusra are affiliated with AQ. Yet, they had a nasty divorce a few years back. Big Z was employed as a marriage counselor — but his pleadings were in vain. So now ISIS is working to its own script.)

    This is an EPIC scandal — and our media — crickets.

    The only stuff written and published about it is overseas.

    As you might imagine, this fiasco is SUPER embarrassing to the Kind of Jordan. The core of ISIS consists of tribesmen that hail from the Jordanian-Syrian-Iraq border nexus…. Which, of course, is exactly the same place that the anti-Assad jihadis were being trained. After all, ISIS has burned a Jordanian pilot — to death. Now that’s blow-back.

    It’s also a VERY good bet that the King has agents within the ranks of the ISIS army. After all, they’re recruiting like mad.

    Which makes BHO’s refusal to bomb ISIS training camps quite understandable. He’s trying to pick off the hardware while inflicting the least amount of collateral damage.

    Such a slow rolling campaign figures to cramp the style of ISIS.

    Given the nature of the desert — the sand, the grit, the dust — it’s entirely reasonable to assume that all of the complex military hardware that has fallen into the hands of ISIS will simply breakdown.

    The American experience fighting in North Africa established that every dang thing broke down seven times as quickly (miles driven) in the desert. This tempo held true in Desert Storm, too.

    If ISIS can be eroded back down to light infantry — then the local Arab armies can start to win some battles. ( but just some )

    Arabs can fight a dirty war. They can’t fight a complex war. Hamas fought dirty in Gaza. Hezbollah fought dirty in Lebanon. Tank warfare, air power, sophisticated weapons production — these are all outside the capability of Arab armies, Arab societies. Tribalism is the ultimate reason why.

  11. Ymarsakar Says:

    it’s entirely reasonable to assume that all of the complex military hardware that has fallen into the hands of ISIS will simply breakdown.

    True, but they are good while it lasts, and the money they will get for selling American high tech secrets to be reverse engineered by the Chinese will be enough to fund several more anti air and super weapons.

  12. The Other Chuck Says:

    Heaven forbid someone with libertarian leanings should report from the battle front. This man has literally put his life on the line to give us first hand accounts of Islamic terrorism and the state of countries like Lebanon being torn apart.

    What in the hell is wrong with you, and yes I’m calling out Ymarsakar, to belittle someone with courage like Michael Totten. Huh? He left a wife and family in Portland, Oregon to travel into the heart of war. It certainly wasn’t for the money since he survives on donations. Without people like him we would be as the mercy of MSM jackasses like Anderson Cooper or Christiane Amanpour.

    I get it that some on the right have a problem with libertarians, mostly because of entrenched isolationists and a few like Ron Paul who are openly anti-semitic. After 9/11 the Libertarian Party itself lost about half its membership over this issue. But when you paint with a broad brush you included a great many people who consider themselves libertarian (with a small L) and who are patriotic. Many of us have served our country in the military and would defend this country to our dying breath. Michael Totten is in that category.

  13. Ymarsakar Says:

    Tribalism is the ultimate reason why.

    That plays a part, but it’s an over simplification of a complex Islamic historical system of government which is based around Iqta or the feudal system.

    The reason they don’t allow high tech is the same reason why feudalism stops industrial revolutions. The mosques and the other organizations in power that get taxes, refuse to allow it. They instead produce a lot of males that are sexually frustrated, so jihad is a good way to spend them on it, or shoot them into Europe as population invasion seeds.

    This system is very useful for conquering more land, which is why Islam has spread as far as it has. When the dynasties and feudalism died out, their control weakened.

    Now with 4th gen warfare and the internet C4, they don’t need Iqta systems to control their invasions any more. Invasions become self perpetuating conceptual weapons.

  14. G Joubert Says:

    ISIS is also desirous of razing the pyramids and the Sphinx in Egypt for the same reasons.

  15. Ymarsakar Says:

    What in the hell is wrong with you, and yes I’m calling out Ymarsakar, to belittle someone with courage like Michael Totten.

    You should be talking to sdferr. The fact that you don’t even know who is writing the comments here when you should have booted your arse out of here by now, is why you don’t have the ability to call out anyone here.

  16. Ymarsakar Says:

    http://neoneocon.com/2015/07/21/what-does-the-hard-left-have-in-mind-for-america/

    Can’t even keep your non existent lies straight on the internet or your easily broken Oaths.

    Chuck.

    Obama/Hussein as you call him, is planning mass execution and “already has”? My God, you are so extreme and bonkers I’m surprised that you haven’t self-destructed by now.-C
    ………………………………..
    “The Other Chuck” then announced his attention to stop commenting at the blog.-N

  17. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    People who A totalitarian ideology pretending to be a religion that commit[s] cultural genocide will mass-murder humans. War is inevitable inescapable.”

    Identifying the problem as one of fanaticism, while ignoring the motivational ideology… is an exercise in denial.

  18. kaba Says:

    All of the warning signs were there when “Mein Kampf” was published. But the world looked the other way as Hitler slowly built his machine to fulfill his prophecies. We apparently learned nothing from the 60 million dead of World War II.

  19. Richard Saunders Says:

    I guess Barry forgot, or more likely doesn’t know, how the Taliban folded within a couple of weeks of bombing by B-52s and B-1s. “B-52s? Weren’t they a white band back in the day?”

  20. Banned Lizard Says:

    One of several enigmas Obama is leaving us is whether his deliberately weak response to ISIS is incompetence or treasonous treachery.

  21. DNW Says:

    Palm what?

  22. parker Says:

    Banned Lizard,

    Do you really have to ask?

  23. miklos000rosza Says:

    Nothing happened in the world before Muhammad. There were no civilizations, countries, tribes, zero, zilch, nada, rien.

  24. miklos000rosza Says:

    Islam has produced great awe-inspiring works of philosophy, art, music and — NO IT HASN’T. All it’s ever done is sometimes successfully torture and kill people. It’s good at oppressing and enslaving females. Full stop, end of story.

  25. DNW Says:

    miklos000rosza Says:
    September 4th, 2015 at 2:08 am

    Islam has produced great awe-inspiring works of philosophy, art, music and — NO IT HASN’T. All it’s ever done is sometimes successfully torture and kill people. It’s good at oppressing and enslaving females. Full stop, end of story.”

    Probably should start the countdown here to the time someone will start accusing you of ignoring the “Muslim” philosophy; that is their paraphrases of Aristotle or Plotinus, etc.

    But of course some of these men also “preserved these important Greek and Persian works for western use”. Yeah, much in the same way the intelligent son of an arsonist may discover and salvage something of real interest from the properties his father has been mindlessly destroying – until his father’s most ardent disciples put an end to his activities.

  26. Ymarsakar Says:

    The Islamic hordes burned down the Library of Alexandria. The people who salvaged what was left, might have been Muslims, yes, since it was convert by the sword, pay jiza, or die/sell daughters to harems.

  27. Blacque Jacques Shellacque Says:

    It’s just that we can’t figure out what to do about it, or maybe we’re too weary to try, or perhaps some potentially suicidal combination of the two.

    The morons running the show know what the job would entail, but don’t have the guts to carry it out.

  28. Liberty Wolf Says:

    Neo — this is beyond horrifying and makes me angry beyond words. I do believe that when the Taliban first destroyed those Buddhas, I remember hearing about it, something inside me turned and I hated them with the most acidic hatred I had felt for a group in some time. Now, of course, before then, I was alarmed, shocked and upset about what they were doing to women and others in Afghanistan but that act – was what turned me against them with anger. Anger.

    These barbaric morons must be stopped. And, they are not entirely stupid, since they are waging a successful campaign so far, at least in fits and starts. The fact that they can even get this far attests to their ability to wage horrific war and win. This is the worst of the worst.

  29. Ymarsakar Says:

    Liberty Wolf, Islam has been using similar tactics and strategies since June 8, 570 AD

  30. Ymarsakar Says:

    Now, of course, before then, I was alarmed, shocked and upset about what they were doing to women and others in Afghanistan but that act – was what turned me against them with anger. Anger.

    But have you ever asked yourself why that target was a personal goal or relation to you that you felt it hit you harder than the others? After all, Islam has been destroying Buddhist stuff ever since they invaded India so many centuries ago.

    This isn’t anything new, so why do you feel something new for it now?

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