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The Case for Preserving Cultural History

This op-ed by IWP alumnus Michael Webber was published by Eurasia Review.

In the past few weeks amid the daily reports of the military situation in Iraq and Syria, disturbing accounts of the destruction of cultural artifacts and books have been reported in Mosul, Iraq. Since the US invasion of Iraq countless priceless artifacts have been destroyed, or have disappeared from museums. As the war rages on in Syria, similar destruction of cultural treasures has also taken place there.

Many of the oldest cities in the world including Baghdad, Aleppo, Mosul, and many more also lie in ruins resulting in devastating loss of historical architecture. Grand libraries, once a place of refuge from a stormy region, with a wealth of knowledge worth all the gold in the world, now lie in ruins, its books burned by jihadists. Adolf Hitler burned books and banned art in Germany because he realized the power of knowledge just as the jihadists do today.

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