Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Ancient artwork blasted in Pakistan

By Libby

I was one of the few percent of Americans who was against going into Afghanistan. I never thought you could "fight terror" with military force. I still don't. It seems obvious to me that you can't shoot an ideology dead. But I have to admit I wanted to punish the Taliban for doing this.

The world watched in horror when Taliban forces destroyed the monumental Buddha statues in Bamiyan, Afghanistan in 2001. Political and cultural leaders from around the globe condemned the attacks.

Seeing those giant Buddhas explode just infuriated me and broke my heart. And now, while all eyes are on Musharraf to see what despicable move he'll make next, another priceless antiquity crumbles to dust unnoticed, at the same hands.

In northwest Pakistan's Swat Valley, armed Islamist militants recently attacked one of the oldest and most important sculptures of Buddhist art. Dating from around the beginning of the Christian era and carved into a 40-meter-high rock, the seated image of the Buddha was second in importance in South Asia only to the Bamiyan Buddhas.

This, moreover, was the second attack in less than a month.

The first one failed out of incompetence. The second attack blew his face off. There won't be any video or worldwide horror about it, but my heart still breaks for the loss.

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