Targeting Cultural Sites – Why Unholy Warriors from Isis to Trump prefer final destruction
One of the most beautiful cultural sites I ever visited was located in a desert area in the midst of Afghanistan: Bamiyan.
The Buddha Statues and the immense sky above with its seemingly millions of stars in the clear desert night are unforgettable.
Some years later these jewels of human craftsmanship, art and devotion went down in a huge explosion. The Holy Warriors of the revolutionary Regime were proud of their barbaric acts to take down the remnants of the heinous “non-believers” in order to celebrate the triumph of their own radical and blind-sighted interpretations of religious scriptures and teachings. They made sure their hatred and contempt was burnt into the history of mankind. Leaving a site of destruction, where once the original Statues of Bamiyan had been carved into the rock.
The destruction of the enemies most revered art works is an old and very effective strategy to win wars – who in their essence can only be completely successful when the culture, the ways of working and thinking of the enemy is destroyed.
How deep each of these losses are, how they changed the course of history and stopped science and rationality ! Like the Destruction of the Library of Alexandria whose loss still is mourned! Or the destruction of Egyptian Art due to vandals who destroyed the “heathen” artifacts and symbols. Annihilation cannot be mended. It destroys the culture and the people. The spirit of what had been is lost. And it stays lost.
Not everything can be re-constructed. It was attempted after World War II when many important cultural sites had been bombed. Tourists appreciate to walk in reconstructed part of old town areas with re-constructed historical sites.
The destruction of Dresden has not been considered a war crime. It is considered a “rightful” retaliation after the destruction of Coventry and London by German bombers. As is the killing of Hundred thousands of Japanese civilians by testing Atomic bombs. The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been regarded as a rightful punishment for the Imperial Japanese Army`s bombardment of Pearl Harbor.
The spiral of violence, of revenge, retaliation, attack, via new technologies and weapons, is – in spite of its abhorrent damages on humans and environments- still accepted as military strategy.
Political analysis is secondary. Like seen in the outcomes of Nine Eleven: The still not fully clarified attacks of the Twin Towers and Building 7 by seemingly controlled implosions was the starting point of a massive retaliation strategy. Unsubstantiated because it was not Saddam Hussein and his secular regime who wanted to destroy the western world. This did not stop the Bush-Government to initiate the destruction of Irak and its culture and provoked a turmoil in the neighboring states including North Africa, which initiated the present flooding of Europe with migrants and refugees.
President Trump promised not to repeat the fatal policies of his predecessors who fought wars of destruction from Vietnam to Irak and North Africa. Even skeptical people hoped that Trump might stick at least to his promise not to continue never ending wars. Or establish killing commandos via drones like President Obama, who in spite of the assassinations surprisingly received the Nobel Prize for Peace. But Donald Trump not only assassinated Qasem Soleimani, a venerated military leader of Iran, but plans to destroy the cultural sites of his enemy state.
History is written by the victors. But who are the true victors? Endless Destruction follows the psychological laws of Paranoia, Hatred and Mass Killings (Holocaust, indeed). It is not a rational strategy.
As Artists, Writers, Intellectuals we should demand that Political Barbarism and Wars are Stopped!