Islamic State and the utopia problem: Destroying the past to command the future

Islamic State and the utopia problem: Destroying the past to command the future
Credit: AP

The Islamic State Caliphate has begun the destruction of the glorious archaeological site of Palmyra in central Syria, where the Roman Empire met the East and a fusion culture formed. The fanatics already had leveled numerous ancient monuments, irreplaceable wonders of humanity’s common heritage. And those rampages came atop the systematic destruction of 2,000 years of Christian civilization in the Middle East, accompanied by massacres of members of every local faith, including Islam.

And what outrages the American Left? The horrific destruction? The breathtaking slaughter? No. Our Left has gone to the barricades over the prospect of a Southern working stiff putting a Confederate Battle Flag decal on his pickup truck.

I’ve always hoped that at least some of the Left’s stirring rhetoric about human dignity and culture was sincere, but my hope has become considerably less audacious. How can the Left look away from the comprehensive destruction and atrocities perpetrated by the Islamic State? Do brown lives matter only when deaths can be blamed on American drones? Where are the “Hands up! Don’t Decapitate!” demonstrations?

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