In 2001 when the Taliban blew up the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan, the world was aghast. During the Iraq War when the Baghdad Museum was looted there was condemnation and outrage.
It's possible the world has got used to these wanton displays of barbarism. But I think there is something else.
The atrocities of ISIS have been so horrific and so many, and their brand of Islam so ignorant and barbaric, that we can only feel a sort of numbed sadness, but no surprise, at these latest crimes (which, obviously, are NOTHING compared to their crimes against humans).
Also, we now know how ISIS operate. With their English-language magazine, beheadings on Twitter, and horrific rhetoric, we know they need shock, outrage and publicity. They want us to be outraged, to feed their campaign of fear.
So I am detecting, in the comparatively muted media response to the destruction of Nimrud, a refusal to play into that. And this is definitely MY feeling in response as well.
You destroyed the idolatrous statutes in the Mosul Museum? You bulldozed Nimrud? And you're going to bulldoze Nineveh too? Well SO WHAT.
You've beheaded aid workers and journalists. You've mutilated children, raped and sold girls into slavery, terrorized and tortured your populations. You've just burned a man to death in a cage, you barbaric thugs. You want to destroy your region's heritage, and knock down structures which pre-date Mohammad by centuries and have nothing whatsoever to do with Islam? You want to bulldoze ancient statues and treasures which already exist in a million photos and textbooks and videos worldwide, and so won't ever be erased?
Well go for it, you thick, ignorant psychopaths. Knock it all down, and just watch how much the world is not going to give one single shit.
|"Iraq; Nimrud - Assyria, Lamassu's Guarding Palace Entrance" by M.chohan - Own work. |
Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons