I do not weep for Bamiyan

for my loss is greater:

Whereas proposals for high-rise developments in Jerusalem have prompted a worldwide outcry and the Taliban's demolition of the Bamiyan buddhas was condemned by Unicef, Mecca's busy bulldozers have barely raised a whisper of protest.

Some holy places yet remain beyond the reach of the bulldozers, however. For it to remain so, the success of the mission in Iraq is essential (the issue of how we got involved in Iraq aside). That's the sole reason that I don't support an otherwise airtight argument for calculated withdrawal. The planned cut and run that we will inevitably see before 2006 however is far worse concern.

I had some comments on Bamiyan earlier. FWIW, I count their destruction as a tragic loss to humankind's heritage. But hardly the most tragic loss.

1 comment:

james said...

"But hardly the most tragic loss."

G.K. Chesterton wrote a number of famous mystery stories in which the hero, the priest Father Brown, spoke with Chesterton's voice. From "The Doom of the Darnaways:"

"Really," protested Martin Wood, "I do think you should be the last man in the world to tinker about with those beautiful Gothic arches, which are about the best work your own religion has ever done in the world. I should have thought you'd have had some feeling for that sort of art; but I can't see why you should be so uncommonly keen on photography."

"I'm uncommonly keen on daylight," answered Father Brown, "especially in this dingy business; and photography has the virtue of depending on daylight. And if you don't know that I would grind all the Gothic arches in the world to powder to save the sanity of a single human soul, you don't know so much about my religion as you think you do."