The Barbarians have breached the gates

There are no words.

20 responses to “The Barbarians have breached the gates

  1. I predict that no-one will ever be brought to justice for this War Crime. The perpetrators will be grinning alll the way to their prayer mats at the though that they have the power to murder, destroy, and loot as the mood takes them, and no-one will ever call them to account for this in person. If one is not a “bleeding heart Liberal” – what punishment could ever be adequate retribution for such destruction?

  2. I have plenty of words, none of which are appropriate for polite company.
    Watching these videos is like watching some form of mass mental illness run amok. The actions of these lunatics make no sense at all. I have shown some of these videos to my art history students this year and they have been unable to comprehend the real motivation behind this kind of pointless destruction. They have learned, however, that iconoclasm is the result of amoral, irrational zealots no matter when it occurs.

    • As a degreed Art Historian, surely one remembers that Alexander the Great totally destroyed the Persian capital of Persepolis in his romp through the far east. It was also the mesopotamians that totally destroyed Solomon’s Temple. The Spanish trashed the cities of the Aztecs and the Incas and look what the Allies did to Dresden.

      While I detest any of this destruction, I think we need to use a little perspective here and realize that it is the availability of video that is causing our outrage in this instance more than anything else. We are a destructive species, the mesolithic village of Lepenski Vir was imperilled by a dam, much like the sites of the three rivers gorges in China. Wasn’t the grave of Richard 111 found under a parking lot?

      These are the acts of provocation by ISIS, they are acting like a spoiled teenager attempting to build support for their cause and outrage the rest of the world. The sooner the US realizes they need to put an end to them the better.

      • Alma, I would have the same reaction to Alexander’s destruction of Persepolis as I have with ISIS’s destruction of the ruins of Nimrud. Just as I have the same reaction to the German destruction of Coventry in WW2, the allied bombing of Monte Cassino, the destruction of Dresden, the WWI destruction of Notre Dame de Reims, and the Rape of Nanking. The destruction in France during the Wars of Religion and the French Revolution, the sack of Rome. The fact that these atrocities have been commonplace in human history does not lessen the pain. This is not a political reaction for me, but the realization that we will never learn.

      • so very true, but I feel that many of our less-than-well-educated young do not understand that and are led to feel that this is an incident out of the ordinary. I am sure that many of today’s college students were never educated as to the dresden bombings much less the Three Gorges Dam project.

      • Yes, my courses are full of sections of things that exist only in description and textbook images now. In my eleven years of teaching, however, I have had more and more occasions to make sorry additions to my lectures illustrating recent destruction of artifacts and locations. The conquests of Alexander mean nothing to a classroom of 20-year olds in the midwest and images of destruction of WWII (for example) are just as far removed from their sphere of experience. I use these examples to bring the point home that this kind of destruction is NOT a thing of the past and that iconoclasm is alive and well (and ever more shall be so). I hope that clarifies my point.

      • There is an historical link between cultures purging that which is foreign and the long-term preservation of that culture. Think of the Jews and their strict adherence to laws that bind them together and expunge that which is different. The same dynamic was at work with Alexander, he was purging the world of Persian influence, in a way and I feel that is the key dynamic of the ISIS crowd, hence the creation of Shari’s zones within metropolitan areas, self-purged of “foreign” influence. I see this only getting worse and it will not end with historical relics. I am afraid these latest acts are only done for gaining media presence. The actual “cleansing” will come later. After all, the beautiful icons of Hagia Sophia are still covered in whitewash.

      • Alma, you are so right about the fact that iconoclasm has always been and will always be with us. As far as the icons of the Hagia Sophia, we have learned from our work in France that the whitewash often protects the layers beneath; we can only hope. Thanks for your thoughtful contributions.

  3. I too have plenty of words unacceptable in polite company.
    The fools are destroying not only an ancient city but their own (and our) history. The precursors of Mohammadism came from Nimrud and the other ancient cities and cultures of the Middle East. If they think that destroying the past will make it go away they are wrong, they are only removing the visible evidence. Every time they worship, that past is with them as it infomed the thoughts and creation of their religion.
    Beware, they will destroy everything they can that they think is against their religion regardless of the truth. Their religion is against everything.

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