Did I say something back in May about IS NOT destroying Palmyra? What a tragedy to destroy such stunning ruins in the name of religion and intolerance.
There are other incredible locations near by that don’t get much publicity – such as the ancient Parthian city that was stormed by the Romans, where you can still see the holes they dug beneath the walls to tunnel in, and the museum in Lattakia which holds some astonishing Mesopotamian carvings, and the very first written alphabet on a finger sized piece of clay. No doubt these will be destroyed too.
But we shouldn’t be surprised at Syria descending into civil war. Since the days of the ancient Assyrian empire, it has been a land – and a people – who thrived on warfare.
The danger IS poses is misunderstood in the West. It has a lot more support among the average person than most of us realise. Not only do they approve of its religious fundamentalism, but they see it as simply recreating the Mesopotamian state that existed in Iraq and Syria for thousands of years before the West intervened.
IS is cruel, barbaric, and intolerant. But that doesn’t mean it is unpopular locally. The danger is that no amount of bombs can turn back the tide of history.