The connection between the Islamist insurgents in Mali torching medieval manuscripts and the Taliban in Afghanistan demolishing the Buddhas of Bamiyan couldn’t be more obvious. Now that Afghanistan has become America’s longest running war, it is worth reflecting on what leads “civilized” nations to decide it is worth the lives of citizens and treasure to fight wars. The Buddhas of Bamiyan were undoubtedly helpful in convincing your average peace loving citizen that the Taliban were different and that all out war was an appropriate reaction. Eleven years later, lonley bloggers try to raise consciousness about drones bombing “high value targets” at wedding parties, and about the cost to society of injured soldiers, but they are not heeded. Let the Buddhas of Bamiyan remind us that people with a certain type of education, who are normally peace loving, can become incensed at the loss of cultural relics and documents, and that this is also the best time for war hawks to manipulate them and get them on board for a bloody affair.