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.]