In March of 2001, the Taliban used anti-aircraft guns, anti-tank missiles, artillery cannons, and dynamite to obliterate enormous ancient Buddha statues carved into the cliffsides at Bamiyan. The statues were monuments to heresy, the Taliban said, and therefore must be destroyed.
I’ll never forget how a friend of mine in Oregon reacted. “We have to invade,” he said.
I thought he was nuts. Invade a country in the ass-end of nowhere over cultural vandalism?
“If they’ll destroy harmless statues,” he said, “they’ll destroy anything and anyone. So they’re a threat to everything and everyone. Just wait. You’ll see.”