Monday, June 18, 2007

Perspective: War's sacred toll

Last Week, explosions once again tore through the great Askariya mosque in Samarra, one of the Shiite faith's most revered shrines. Its massive golden dome had been destroyed by bombs last year, and now its proud golden minarets are gone.

Dozens of mosques, Sunni as well as Shiite, have been targeted in the sectarian violence. These deliberate provocations initiate cycles of attack and revenge, aiming at a broader collapse of moral order that will finally drive the American occupiers out of Iraq, fully discrediting those who embraced them.

A conflict in which victory is thus defined by chaos, strategy by the mere inflicting of social anguish, naturally organizes itself around assaults on the sacred. Such taboo-shattering violence can seem endemic to the intra-Islam civil war that has been unleashed by the American invasion, but it contains a larger warning.

Something about war itself.

Read the rest at the International Herald Tribune