What IS is doing in Iraq is wrong, and no more than blatant vandalism, what makes it worse is they video themselves, and send it out via Youtube.
Before I get deluged by hate mail from Islamic posts, do me the courtesy of reading this post, please.
Bristol City Museum & Art Galleries
This may at first appear to have little connection to the Iraq atrocities, but wait. I worked for over fourteen years in the Museum system, and I have a lot of respect for ancient artifacts, regardless of their religion. I am a spiritualist, but I was a Christian, and have stood for hours looking at the Assyrian reliefs on display at the museum.
I never had the pleasure of visiting the Middle East - it was on my bucket list - but as a lover of art, history and culture in general; I respect what the area has contributed to the enlightenment of the world http://www.france24.com/en/20150301-iraq-museum-reopens-artefacts-is/. If I'd had the chance I would have liked to visit Iraq, I may not have enjoyed the food, but the cultural value I might have gained is beyond estimation. I am pleased to know the museum is re-opening, but saddened that there is so much still missing from their collections.
In my opinion, the losses incurred from these acts of wanton vandalism - they can call it what they like - can be compared to the loss of the Alexandria Library, Pompeii, and Atlantis. The difference being they were natural disasters which man had no control over, what IS is doing is total lunacy. Generations of workmen hammered, chiseled, and sweated in unbearable conditions to produce masterpieces of cultural value; only for 21st Century hooligans to turn their work into loose rubble.
I never understand why people with money pay such a lot to have items they know are stolen. They can't be shown. I suppose it is a way of getting rid of a lot of money quickly, and who knows how they got the money?
I detest any damage to ancient artifacts, it is an act of a criminal to destroy culture. It makes no difference if you're Ghengis Khan, Adolf Hitler, Romans, Celts, the US Army in the Gulf War, or the British Army in Berlin. You have NO right to destroy culture, these things represent the heritage of a people. They should be treated with respect.
However, throughout history, the first thing a conquering army does is to control the population, and the first step is to destroy the foundation of its culture.
It wasn't until the Americans tried a policy of Heart and Minds in the Vietnam War, that a new perspective emerged. Try to convince the population the enemy is wrong, by showing their faults. Not by destroying the culture. It doesn't work all the time, and it does take a lot of time, but compassion and understanding have a higher success rate than any bullying will achieve.
It shows the low mentality of these people, when they think by trashing priceless artifacts, museums, and showing it on Youtube, that they can win their argument. All this will do is turn any right thinking person against you; the only people you'll impress are those who follow you anyway, so you haven't gained a thing.
Anybody who knows the slightest thing about me, will tell you the best place to look for me on holiday is the museum. I love to walk through halls of history, and culture, and wonder at the skills that went into making the artifacts. Many of the skills are now lost through modern technology.