When Genghis Khan rode across Eurasia, he announced - 'All cities must be razed'. The Mongols preferred the open land. They hated cities. So did the ancient Vedic people - Indra's other name was Purandara, the destroyer of cities.
This week the battles over Aleppo (Syria) and Sirte (Libya) are substantially over. But in taking these cities, they have also been razed. So too was Kobane (Syria) and so will be Mosul (Iraq).
My column this week at Alternet is on Libya, where not only has Sirte been taken from ISIS, but ISIS has slipped the net and spread across the vast Libyan landscape. Peace is not on the horizon of this devastated country. You can read my report here.
At Frontline, meanwhile, we have a very strong section on the death of Fidel Castro. There are reports by Aijaz Ahmad, John Cherian, Prakash Karat as well as interviews with Sitaram Yechury and Vivan Sundaram.
My report looks backward at the way in which the Cuban Revolution steered a course to avoid the fate of Guatemala's Arbenz, Congo's Lumumba and the Dominican Republic's Bosch. It takes us back to the early years to show what had to be avoided for six decades. You can read my report here.
The picture above is from the University of Havana, from where students marched to Revolution Square. One of the great legacies of Fidel is that he has asked that no monument be built in his name, and that no streets or buildings be named after him. His funeral - in Santiago - was quiet, with no foreign press allowed. But the mood in Havana was sober - there is little chance that Fidel will be forgotten. His memorial, it seems, will be much larger than a piece of granite.