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The West Rightly Condemns Isis Vandalism of Ancient Sites – But Not When the Saudis Do It


The West Rightly Condemns Isis Vandalism of Ancient Sites – But Not When the Saudis Do It

Robert Fisk

Explosives pulverize historic sites in the Middle East, bulldozers erase ancient tombs and shrines, historic forts are torn down and Ottoman facades destroyed. The home of the favourite wife of the most revered man in an entire religion is even turned into a block of toilets. How can the world prevent this wicked desecration and extinction of a heritage that belongs to all mankind?


In the US, Confederate history is being obliterated in the name of political correctness. This short-term "feel-good" catharsis disconnects the population from its past--the good, the bad, the ugly. "Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it," as Santayana declared. Let's mourn the loss of all history and its traces while simultaneously embracing progress. That would be progress.


"The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists."

J. Edgar Hoover


Criticism of the destruction of ancient sites in the name of Islam is "Islamophobic", don't you know that yet? Whether it is the destruction of Palmyra, sites of the founding of Islam, the ancient Budhha's in Afghanistan by the Taliban,wholesale destruction of old Hindu temples in Pakistan, or ancient burial grounds in Bosnia....get with the program!


Only a northern "progressive" could say that. Here in the south, you would be called a nazi for trying to preserve that history. I think the height was reached when they wanted to sandblast the figures off of our Stone Mountain. Sad, Asinine, stupid.


I knew a man who lived and worked in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s; he told me of a barbarous nation which had a 'chop-chop' square in every town.

Aside from the stories of public human execution and mutilation, the stories of corruption and how the religious rules worked in their daily lives left me horrified.

It's a fundamentalist's paradise though; if you're a guy.



What 'ancient' artifacts have been destroyed?

Confederate history isn't being obliterated, it's being exposed for what it is: glorification of slavers, slave owners and slavery.


Statues are being removed. Mind you, I have no attachment to them, but do recognize that if only the LAST victory is celebrated, Santayana's warning will be realized. Totalitarian states are famous for sanitizing their pasts. I prefer to acknowledge, understand, and discuss the past in order to better prepare a better path.


I totally concur. The quote often attributed to Voltaire--"I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.--is a favorite of mine. Truly progressive (or truly liberal) values embrace this ethic. Political correctness hijacks the message for dubious purposes. It can be difficult to still one's mind to attain peace and reason, but the reward is beautiful.