Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I Have Not Looked At The Videos

I have not looked, but I have obsessed about the events.  I am a mother. James Foley and Steven Sotloff were the same age as my children. Could I bear it?  Could I watch.   Could I ever resume my own life?  Are these ISIS fighters the cruelest men who have walked the earth.  Beheading the enemy, killing babies and raping women is not new. Does the video recording make the act more cruel, or is reality-barbarism simply more accessible? From 1206 until his death on August 18, 1227 Genghis Khan ruled over what became the largest contiguous empire in history.  What is now China, Korea, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and substantial portions of Eastern Europe were conquered during his reign, and the reigns of his sons.  The Mongol Empire was forged through ruthless, wholesale slaughter - no doubt using the same barbaric acts we are now witnessing.  For Genghis Kahn, the driving force was economic power.  He introduced uniform script and writing to advance trade along the "Silk Road".  He promoted those who performed well.  He encouraged religious tolerance.  Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his ISIS force are driven by ideology.  Where barbarism is concerned, is this a distinction without a difference?

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