Beer mugs are flying, insults are raining and tables are crashing! What happens? Well, we are at Guido's pub, the pub where we love three things: drinking, fighting and debating! Today, we argue about the ancient city of Palmyra that is, at the time of writing, under threat from Isis terrorists. It made us reflect on our powerlessness in the face of such destruction of a Historical Heritage of Mankind. Some think that nothing can be done, others that we must not remain inactive. So, in an atmosphere heated by alcohol, the discussion went south ... Here is a summary of the battle.
That's what I would say if I thought we can fight...
Stand up, you cowards! How can one remain unmoved by such attacks against all mankind!  By being active, we have at least the honor to not be an ostrich with the head in the sand and the arse exposed to the kicking.
The director of UNESCO Irina Bokova has a right to make her voice heard and to call on governments to protect Palmyra! It is by raising their voices and by using their influence that the actors of the cultural world can make things happen. And we citizens, we must mingle our voices to theirs instead of closing our mouth.
It is by yelling that Abbe Grégoire was able to fight against vandals during the French Revolution. With his voice, he secured the monuments in the long run, by putting a name on the vandalism, and influencing the laws of protection of monuments. Today it allows the French to enjoy their historical heritage. So let's yell too!
That's what I would say if I thought that we can't do anything about it ...
It's just fluff! You only talk about limiting losses, but everything that has been destroyed ... is destroyed. Everything that has been pillaged is pillaged. The soils of archaeological excavations in Iraq abandoned to chaos by the Americans and their damned 2003 war, the Buddhas of Bamiyan that were blown up by the Taliban, the mausoleums of Timbuktu, and the ancient masterpieces of Mosul Museum, it's all destroyed, and it is not words that will bring them back.
Your laws, like the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, have they saved the Reims Cathedral, the Belfry of Arras and the thousands of works of art destroyed in the North of France during the First World War? And the UNESCO Conventions, what have they done to counter the Mao's Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution, which erased a part of China's memory? Ok, in Britain, in peacetime, it works pretty good, but right in the carnage...
What use are your paper face shields against fire and steel? What good are your pathetic mewings facing the deafening roar of bombs? And your gesticulations like a sea lion facing the armed columns of obscurantism? The fight is so uneven, to destroy is so much easier than to create.
Daech is the modern brood of what have been the Nazis, the Red Guards, the Taliban and all those other fanatical freaks. This kind of crap has always existed, and there will be others of them. It's sad but facing the rifles and bombs, only rifles and bombs are effective.
That's what I think…
That on the form, it is the other guy who was right, saying that words are not enough, that facing heavily armed totalitarian fanatics, we cannot avoid destruction, and that only the military can stop them.
But that in substance, it is the other guy who is right to call for mobilization.
Because, in truth, this war is not just made with weapons. When Isis terrorists destroy ancient monuments, they do not aim only at the stone, but all it stands for: a memory, a thought, a civilization, a culture, and a spirituality that is not what they want but rather to impose their own way of life on others. With all of that we have to fight.
They destroy? Let's build!
A vandalized museum? Let's open ten more!
Let's use all modern means to preserve all possible testimonies, by pictures, recordings, archives, exhibitions, virtual, holograms, and reproductions. Let's broadcast more, everywhere. Let's rebuild, identical, or even larger. Let's stop being in the reaction and the defensive and have a conquering cultural practice. And then the Isis assholes will have lost their dirty game.
So yes, we can fight! Just want it.
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