Skip to main content

Wanton destruction of our history

The actions of ISIS know no bounds.    Not only the barbaric killing of civilians, but now the wanton destruction of Palmyra in Syria.  We should all mourn this loss of part of our history and heritage.

Two satellite images show the destructyion of the Temple of Bel in Palmyra. Photograph: Reuters

"Syria’s top antiquities official has said that the world is witnessing the systematic destruction of Palmyra, and that he has lost all hope of the historic city’s treasures being salvaged while Islamic State militants stalk the ruins.

Speaking after satellite images confirmed the destruction of the Temple of Bel, Maamoun Abdulkarim said the militants had also begun excavations in the city to unearth artefacts to be sold on the black market. He said they would continue to plunder the ancient Silk Road oasis town barring international action or intervention by the Syrian military. “This is the start of the total loss of Palmyra in the coming days,” he said. “The city is being raped.”

Abdulkarim said that only the gate and surrounding columns and walls remain of the ancient temple. “Even earthquakes would have been less horrible,” he said. “The temple was the most iconic and one of the most beautiful in Syria, and we have lost it.”
“We have lost all hope. We have lost all hope that the international community will resist and we lost hope of any international movement to save the city,” he said. “These are savages and will attack other structures. This is a cultural war and everyone should unite, whether they support the government or the opposition.”

The systematic purging of Palmyra would constitute one of the most devastating losses of historical treasures in recent memory. It is one of the best preserved sites from antiquity, its ancient temples and buildings dating back to the first century AD, though the city was settled earlier."


Popular posts from this blog

Whatever democracy the Palestinians had is dying

Almost a desperate cry from a well-known, respected and sober moderate Palestinian.

Mustafa Barghouthi is secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was a candidate for the Palestinian presidency in 2005.

He writes in a piece "The Slow Death of Palestinian Democracy" on FP:

"Palestinian municipal elections were supposed to be held last week. Instead, they were canceled. A statement released by the Palestinian Authority claimed the cancellation was "in order to pave the way for a successful end to the siege on Gaza and for continued efforts at unity" between Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, and the government in the West Bank.

The cancellation of this election was an unjustified, unlawful, and unacceptable act. It damages democratic rights and makes a mockery of the interests of the Palestinian people.

But this is far more than an internal Palestinian issue. The only lasting peace between Isr…

Big Brother alive and well in the USA in 2007

The so-called "war on terror" has shown itself up in a multitude of manifestations. The most dangerous thing has been governments using the "excuse" of the war to restrict certain civil liberties, allowing government agencies to pursue a variety of things that they would otherwise would not - and should not - be allowed to do and gathering, and retaining, a variety of information on its citizens.

The Washington Post reports on the latest incursions into civil liberties of all Americans:

"The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.

The personal travel records are meant to be stored for as lo…