One of the heartbreaking images illustrating the barbarity of the Taliban. In the 6th and 7th centuries (before, the existence of Islam, when this region was argely Buddhist) two gigantic statues of the Buddha were carved into a sandstone cliff in the Bamiyan valley of central Afghanistan, 81 miles northwest of Kabul. This is the taller of the two (feet), the original at left (photo taken in 1963), and the empty niche at right after it was destroyed in 2001 by the murderous thugs who ruled Afghanistan from 1996 till being ousted five years later by the invasion of the United States and its allies but who as of last September are now back in power and inflicting their barbarity on the country once again.
Who knows what other terrible crimes against humanity and human culture lie ahead now? A true tragedy, and so preventable...