Tag Archive | indigenous

E.U. Imposes New Sanctions on Syrian Scientists and Officials*

E.U. Imposes New Sanctions on Syrian Scientists and Officials*

The E.U. is the biggest aid donor to the anti-government forces in Syria.

 

The foreign ministers of the European Union agreed Monday to impose sanctions on 16 people linked to the Syrian government who, according to them, are involved in the development and use of chemical weapons against the civilian population in that country.

The E.U. Foreign Affairs Council said in a statement that eight of the people sanctioned are senior military officers, while the other eight are scientists connected to what it alleged is the proliferation of chemical weapons.

On March 4, the E.U. imposed restrictive measures on senior Syrian officials for the use of chemical weapons in the country. The sanctions issued by the organization now extend to 255 people who are prevented from traveling to E.U. territory and whose assets have been frozen, along with 67 companies linked to Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

The E.U. is the biggest aid donor to the anti-government forces in Syria and has said it will not help rebuild Syria until a peace process involving a transition away from Assad’s government is underway.

The April 4 attack in Khan Sheikhoun, in which 58 people were killed by what experts consider to be exposure to sarin, led to the U.S. launch of 59 tomahawk missiles on the al-Shariat air base in Homs on April 6, blaming the Syrian government for the chemical attack — claims which Syria’s leader denies.

According to Assad, his government has asked for independent investigations into the chemical weapons allegations, which he says have been stalled by the U.S. government and its allies.

In an interview with teleSUR, Assad alleged that U.S. officials are lying about their claims regarding Syria having chemical weapons, saying that armed opposition groups and their sponsors are to blame and also recalled Secretary of State Colin Powell’s infamous testimony at the United Nations in 2003 where he said that Iraq was in possession of weapons of mass destruction, only to be revealed as a lie years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

The E.U. also maintains an oil embargo on Syria, freezing the assets of the Syrian Central Bank in the E.U. and imposing restrictions on the export of equipment and technology that can be used for what it calls internal repression or control of the internet or telephone communications.

Washington issued sanctions in April, placing restrictions on hundreds of employees and scientists at a Syrian government agency which it claimed developed chemical weapons.

Source*

Related Topics:

Hundreds of U.S. Military Vehicles Enter Syria from Iraq*

Cuban Officials Visit Syrian Military Hospital, Offer Support*

Inside Syria: Father Maes Discusses the True Situation*

U.S. Planes Caught Sneaking ISIS Terrorists Out Of Syria again*

CIA officer – ‘we have no business being in Syria’*

U.N. Confirmed Syrian Rebels, Not Assad, Were Using Sarin*

Syrians Report U.S. Use of Chemical Weapons on Town of 200K*

Samples Confirm ‘Moderate’ Terrorists Used Chemicals in Southwest Aleppo*

The U.S. Gov’t Killed More Civilians This Month than All ‘Terrorist’ Attacks in Europe over the Last 12 Years*

Father Daniel in Syria: “There Never Was a Popular Uprising in Syria”*

Rothschild’s Israel Pushes Russia and U.S. Towards Nuclear Confrontation Over Syria*

No Outsiders to be Allowed to Investigate Burma’s Rohingya Genocide*

No Outsiders to be Allowed to Investigate Burma’s Rohingya Genocide*

Burma has refused entry to any members of the U.N. coming into their country to investigate the ongoing killing, abuse, and oppression that the Rohingya Muslims are facing, as an official has stated.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s government has stated that they will refuse to cooperate with a U.N. mission. Speaking to The Telegraph, permanent secretary at the ministry of foreign affairs Kyaw Zeya said:

“If they are going to send someone with regards to the fact-finding mission, then there’s no reason for us to let them come.” He also added that visas would not be issued to anyone coming into the country to work on the mission.

Based in the Rakhine State, there have been many claims and allegations that the Rohingya Muslims are victims of violence and genocide, however these have all been denied by the Burmese government who labelled the accusations as propaganda and fake news.

A report published by the U.N. in February found that babies and children were reportedly being slaughtered with knives during “area clearance operations”

Additionally, the report concluded that counter military operations carried out by security forces left Rohingya people subject to mass gang rape, ruthless beatings, and disappearances.

People in Burma view the Rohingya people as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and the Burmese leader, Ms. Suu Kyi, has been criticised many a time for not standing up and facing the Rohingyas, the population of whom exceeds one million.

After security operations carried out by the Burmese army last year, approximately 75,000 Rohingyas have fled the state of Rakhine and gone to Bangladesh. Allegations of abuse in the North of the country were looked into by the E.U., who called for a mission in March and appointed Indira Jaising, an advocate from the supreme court of India, in May, to lead said mission.

However, Burma insists that a domestic investigation led by the first vice president of Myanmar, Myint Swe, is sufficient and there is no need for any outsiders to get involved.

Last month, speaking in Brussels, Ms. Suu Kyi had a disagreement with the E.U. over the need and necessity to send an international fact-finding mission to Burma. She made clear her belief that this mission would not address the needs of the ground and that the country needs time more than anything else to recuperate from the distrust between these two communities.

She also believes that rather than making Rakhine a safe place for the Rohingyas, the U.N. resolution of having a mission like this would further increase the hostility between the two communities.

Source*

Related Topics:

Thai Kingpin Jailed for Rohingya Trafficking*

U.S, U.K., Israel, China, Saudia behind Myanmar’s Rohingya Genocide*

Indonesia Welcomes Rohingya Refugees*

Buddhist Massacre of Rohingya Muslims Continue*

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Silent on the Persecution of the Rohingya Muslims*

Modern Day Colonnialism: The Uyghurs versus China*

Secrets of Ancient Japan Informs Modern Japanese Technology

Secrets of Ancient Japan Informs Modern Japanese Technology

Related Topics:

The Japanese Dance of the Pleiades

These Sculptures Tell the Story of the First Japanese Americans Sent to Camps*

Japan Officially asked the U.S. to Stop Military-related Rapes*

Russia Bans Japanese Seafood*

Can Japan Withstand More Natural Disasters?

The Japanese Pyramid: Crafted By Nature or Man?

Aleppo Rising: Swimsuits, Concerts and its First ISIS -Free Summer*

Aleppo Rising: Swimsuits, Concerts and its First ISIS -Free Summer*

By Tyler Durden

When taxi and bus drivers take journalists into Syria via the Beirut-Damascus Highway these days, there’s a common greeting that has become a kind of local tradition as the drivers pull into their Damascus area destinations. They confidently tell their passengers: “welcome to the real Syria.” Local Syrians living in government areas are all too aware of how the outside world perceives the government and the cities under its control. After years of often deceptive imagery and footage produced by opposition fighters coordinating with an eager Western press bent on vilifying Assad as “worse than Hitler”, many average Syrian citizens increasingly take to social media to post images and scenes of Syria that present a different vision: they see their war-torn land as fundamentally secular, religiously plural, socially tolerant, and slowly returning to normalcy under stabilizing government institutions.

As the most intense phase of fighting in Aleppo was unfolding in 2016, veteran journalist Stephen Kinzer took to the editorial pages of the Boston Globe to remind Americans that the media has created a fantasy land concerning Syria. Kinzer painted a picture quite opposite the common perception:

Coverage of the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press… For three years, violent militants have run Aleppo. Their rule began with a wave of repression. They posted notices warning residents:

“Don’t send your children to school. If you do, we will get the backpack and you will get the coffin.”

Then they destroyed factories, hoping that unemployed workers would have no recourse other than to become fighters. They trucked looted machinery to Turkey and sold it…

The United States has the power to decree the death of nations. It can do so with popular support because many Americans — and many journalists — are content with the official story.

Now, during the first summer of relative calm Aleppo residents have seen in over four years of grinding conflict, the city commonly referred as “the jewel of Syria” is once again rising from the ashes. Foreign journalists are also accessing places like East Aleppo and the heart of the walled ‘old city’ for the first time. Some few honest correspondents, unable to deny the local population’s spirit of hopefulness and zeal with which they undertake rebuilding projects, acknowledge that stability and normalcy have returned only after the last jihadists were expelled by the Syrian government and its allies.

Aleppo orchestra concert, Summer 2017/via Sarah Abdallah

A Western press and political class which generally mourned the liberation of the city from al-Qaeda groups like Nusra (AQ in Syria), calling government actions a ‘massacre’ and ‘genocide’, now finds a reality that can’t be ignored or denied: Aleppines are returning to ravaged parts of the city to rebuild, they are enjoying nightlife, going to music concerts, staying out late at cafes; families are swimming at local pools, women are strolling around in t-shirts and jeans free of the oppressive Wahhabi fighters that once ruled parts of the city.

Kinzer’s Boston Globe piece further concluded that the entire web of assumptions on Syria woven by the media and fed to the public over the years were “appallingly distant from reality” and warned that these lies are “likely to prolong the war and condemn more Syrians to suffering and death.” As new photos continue to emerge of the real Aleppo and the real Syria it is essential to revisit the most destructive among the lies that have helped serve to prolong this tragic and brutal war.

Aleppines didn’t want to live under Wahhabi Islamist rule

Andalusia Swimming Pool in Aleppo, Summer 2017/via Syria Daily

 

According to multiple eyewitness reports and studies, the story of how war entered Aleppo’s environs was not primarily one of mass public protests and government crackdown, but of an aggressive jihadist insurgency that erupted suddenly and fueled from outside the city. According to then Indian ambassador to Syria, V.P. Haran (Amb. to Syria from 2009 to 2012), Aleppo on the whole was unwillingly dragged into the war after remaining silent and stable while other cities raged. In an interview which detailed his own on-the-ground experience of the opening years of war in Syria, the ambassador said:

Soon parts of Latakia, Homs and Hama were chaotic but Aleppo remained calm and this troubled the opposition greatly. The opposition couldn’t get the people in Aleppo to rise up against the regime so they sent bus loads of people to Aleppo. These people would burn something on the streets and leave. Journalists would then broadcast this saying Aleppo had risen.

Why did it take until July 2012 – well over a year since conflict in Syria began – for Aleppo to see any fighting? Why did residents not “rise up” against the government?

The answer is simple. The majority of Syrians, whether Sunni, Shia, Alawi, Christian, Kurd, or Ismaili, are sane individuals – they’ve seen what life is like under the “alternative” rebel rule marked by sharia courts, smoke and alcohol bans, public floggings, street executions, desecration of churches, and religious and ethnic cleansing of minorities. They recognize that there is a real Syrian national identity, and it goes beyond mere loyalty to the current ruling clique that happens to be in power, but in Syria as a pluralistic Levantine society that rejects Saudi style theocracy.

Rebuilding Aleppo, Summer 2017. Latin Parish of St. Francis/via Sarah Abdallah

 

The kind of religious and cultural pluralism represented in the liberal democracies of the West are present in Syria, ironically, through a kind of government-mandated “go along, get along” policy backed by an authoritarian police state. One can even find Syrian Jews living in the historic Jewish quarter of Damascus’ walled old city to this day.

Syrian urban centers have for decades been marked by a quasi-secular culture and public life of pluralist co-existence. Aleppo itself was always a thriving merchant center where a typical street scene would involve women without head-coverings walking side by side with women wearing veils (hijab), cinemas and liquor stores, late night hookah smoke filled cafés, and large churches and mosques neighbouring each other with various communities living in peaceful co-existence. By many accounts, the once vibrant secular and pluralist Aleppo is now coming back to life (and largely never left government-held West Aleppo).

“Moderates” did not “liberate” Aleppo, but gave cover to an ISIS and al-Qaeda invasion

One of the most under reported and least understood events surrounding the history of how all of Aleppo province and the Northern Syria region became a hotbed of foreign jihadists is the fall of the strategically located Menagh airbase near Aleppo. As a Reuters timeline of events indicates:

In early 2012 rebels take control of the rural areas northwest of Aleppo city, besieging the Menagh military air base and the largely Shiite towns of Nubl and Zahra.

After a lengthy siege of Menagh, the base finally fell to jihadist factions under the command of the US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) in August of 2013. This event was key to rebel fighters gaining enough territory to cut off the Aleppo-Damascus Highway, which allowed them to encircle all of Aleppo for much of that year. But a little known yet hugely important detail of the Menagh episode is that rebels only got the upper hand after being joined by ISIS suicide bombers commanded by Omar the Chechen (ISIS’ now deceased most senior military commander). The fall of this government base is what opened a permanent jihadi corridor in the North, allowing terrorists to flood the area. The commander for the operation was US Ambassador Robert Ford’s personal friend, Col. Abdel Jabbar al-Okaidi, who was head of the US and UK funded Revolutionary Military Council of Aleppo (FSA). Okaidi worked in tandem with ISIS military commander Omar the Chechen and his crew for the operation – all while being supported by the United States and Great Britain.

Concerning U.S.-backed Okaidi’s close relationship to the ISIS faction in the summer of 2013, there is actually video evidence and eyewitness testimony (U.S. Ambassador Ford himself later admitted the relationship to McClatchy News). Amazingly, the video, titled “US Key Man in Syria Worked Closely with ISIL and Jabhat al Nusra” never had very widespread public distribution, even though it has been authenticated by the top Syria expert in the U.S., Joshua Landis, of the University of Oklahoma, and author of the hugely influential Syria Comment. Using his Twitter account, Dr. Landis commented: “in 2013 WINEP advocated sending all U.S. military aid thru him [Col. Okaidi]. Underscores U.S. problem with moderates.”

The video, documenting (now former) U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford’s visit to FSA Col. Okaidi in Northern Syria, also shows the same Col. Okaidi celebrating with and praising a well-known ISIS commander, Emir Abu Jandal, after conducting the joint Menagh operation. In an interview, this U.S. “key man” at that time, through which U.S. assistance flowed, also praised ISIS and al-Qaeda as the FSA’s “brothers.” Abu Jandal was part of Omar the Chechen’s ISIS crew assisting the FSA. Further video evidence also confirms Omar the Chechen’s role at Menagh. The videos also show Okaidi proudly declaring that al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda in Syria) makes up ten percent of the FSA. The FSA was always more of a branding campaign to sell the rebels as “moderates” to a gullible Western media than a reality on the ground; it was a loose coalition of various groups espousing militant jihad with the end goal of establishing an Islamist polity in Syria.

Foreign fighters flooded Aleppo Province. The U.S. State Department’s own numbers: read the full report at STATE.GOV

In the end, terror groups like ISIS enjoyed a meteoric rise in Syria due to U.S. government and media support for these so-called “moderate rebels” – all entities which collectively sought regime change at all costs – even the high cost of mass civilian death and suffering that inevitably results from unleashing an insurgency in urban areas.

The Syrian Army and government were never “Shia” or sectarian-based

The Arab Spring narrative was the ideological lens through which experts initially pit the oppressive supposedly “Alawite/Shia regime” against a popular uprising of Syria’s majority Sunnis. As Sunnis make up about 70% of Syria’s population, it was simply a matter of numbers, and of time. But this view proved overly simplistic, and according to one little known West Point study, utterly false. It was commonly assumed that the Syrian Army was a hollowed out Alawite institution with its Sunni conscripts apprehensively waiting for the right moment to defect to the rebel side. This was the fundamental supposition behind years of repetitious predictions of the Assad regime’s impending collapse, and predicated upon a view of the Syrian military as a fundamentally weak and sectarian institution. But West Point’s 2015 study entitled Syria’s Sunnis and the Regime’s Resilience concluded the following:

Sunnis and, more specifically, Sunni Arabs, continue to make up the majority of the regular army’s rank-and- file membership.

The study’s unpopular findings confirmed that the Syrian Army, which has been the glue holding the state together throughout this war, remains primarily a Sunni enterprise while its guiding ideology is firmly nationalistic and not sectarian.

The highest ranking Syrian officer to fall victim to rebel attack was General Dawoud Rajiha, Defense Minister and former chief of staff of the army, in a major 2012 bombing of a Damascus national security office. General Rajiha was an Orthodox Christian. Numerous Christians and officers of other religious backgrounds have served top positions in the Syrian Army going back decades – a reflection of Syria’s generally nationalist and religiously tolerant atmosphere.

Mainstream press did not report from Aleppo, but was hundreds of miles away.

Outside the Citadel of Aleppo: life returning to normal, Summer 2017/via Syria Daily

 

The heavily populated urban areas of Syria continue to be held by the government. But most reporting has tended to dehumanize any voice coming out of government held areas, which includes the majority of Syrians. The war has resulted in over 6.5 million internally displaced people – the vast majority of which have sought refuge in government territory.

The fact remains that there are some popular figures in the establishment media and analyst community who speak and write frequently about Syria, and yet have never spent a significant amount of time in the country. Throughout much of the war they’ve primarily reported from Western capitals – thousands of miles away – or, if they are in a Middle East bureau, without ever leaving the safety of places like Beirut or Istanbul. Fewer still have the necessary Arabic language skills to keep pace with local and regional events. Some have never been to Syria at all. They become willing conduits of rebel propaganda beamed through WhatsApp messages and Skype interviews, which was especially the case when it came to the battle for Aleppo. That much of the world actually considers these people as authorities on what’s happening in Syria is a joke – it’s beyond absurd.

Outdoor concert venue and Aleppo springs back to life, Summer 2017/via Maram Kasem

 

We are hopeful that the jihadist menace will be fully expelled and that the international proxy war which has taken so many lives and reduced much of a beautiful nation to rubble will finally come to an end. Aleppines and other Syrians are rebuilding – they are optimistically preparing for the future. Welcome to the real Aleppo.

Final national exams just before summer 2017/via Syria Daily

 

Source*

Related Topics:

Ancient Aleppo Citadel Hosts Carnival for Schoolchildren*

Father of Famous Aleppo Boy Just Exposed How the US and White Helmets Lied to the World*

Syrian Army Encircles ISIS Last Stronghold in Aleppo*

Public Buses in Aleppo take to the Streets after 5 Years of U.S.’s ISIS war on Syria*

British Generals Arrive in Syria to Recruit Aleppo Terrorists*

Cuban Officials Visit Syrian Military Hospital, Offer Support*

U.S. Vast Military Buildup in Raqqa City*

Bangladesh Delivers Energy Free Air Conditioning*

Bangladesh Delivers Energy Free Air Conditioning*

In a lot of places around the world people don’t have access to some of the luxuries we take for granted: electricity, internet, running water, or even regular supplies of food and clean water. Add to that the unbearable heat of summer temperatures in places like India and half the population is out of commission for most the afternoon. But their situation is not without hope!

More than 28,000 people live in a tiny area called Daulatdia in Bangladesh. They are cramped in small huts with no running water and temperatures outside and inside can rise above 113º F.

Something had to be done, so they’ve come up with the first electricity-free air conditioning.

It’s made of one piece of sturdy cardboard and a series of recycled plastic bottles. The bottoms and necks of the bottles are cut away and then stuck into a series of holes cut into the board.

Once all of the bottles are in place, the board is placed in front of a door or window. The cooling effects are immediate.

Hot air enters the bottles from the outside and then sends cooler air out of the thinner neck. The principle is similar to the effect when you exhale into your hand with an open mouth or with pursed lips. Feel the difference for yourself!

This simple solution can cool an indoor space by more than 10º F. What a relief for the people who experience extreme temperatures day in, day out.

Countless villages have already started using the simplest air conditioning in the world.

Here’s a video that shows exactly how the system works:

Not only does this system bring a breath of fresh air into overheated huts, it’s a great way to encourage collecting old plastic bottles from the streets and recycling them.

Source*

Related Topics:

Teens with No Engineering Experience Invent Solar Tent for Homeless, Win Grant from MIT*

Engineering Student Turns Plastic into Diesel*

Where Did All Your Creativity Go to?*

Fast Tech, Slow Citizens*

Man Harvests Water for 10,000 People in Driest Part of India*

African Princess Bringing Solar Power to Millions*

India Permits Free Energy Technology Despite Threats from U.K., U.S., Saudi Arabia*

Alternative Currencies Building Prosperity from London to Kenya*

We are Naturally Masters of Many Trades*

U.S. Vast Military Buildup in Raqqa City*

U.S. Vast Military Buildup in Raqqa City*

By Ian Greenhalgh

Local sources in Northeastern Syrian reported that a large number of U.S. military vehicles and troops have been observed in the different neighbourhoods of the Eastern part of Raqqa.

The sources said that a number of the U.S. military vehicles have been seen in al-Mashlab neighborhood that has been recently captured by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

In the meantime, the U.S. military helicopters have increased flights over Raqqa in recent days.

Meantime, footage released recently revealed that the U.S. is operating an airbase in the Eastern parts of Aleppo near the provincial border with Raqqa.

According to AMN, the footage showed a large U.S. plane taking off and plenty of Humvees protecting the site.

Also, an American flag is hoisted above the airfield which is located in the territory controlled by the SDF.

Meanwhile, Colonel Ryan Dillon, the US-led Coalition Spokesman, confirmed dozens of U.S. military advisors were deployed inside Raqqa city with U.S. marines providing artillery support against the ISIL from the surrounding areas.

He said the troops, many of them special operations forces, are working in an “advise, assist and accompany” role to support Kurdish fighters in battle against ISIL.

“They are much more exposed to enemy contact than those in Iraq,” Dillon added.

He stressed that the number of U.S. forces in Raqqa was “not hundreds” and that they had been working closely with SDF fighters since the operations to encircle Raqqa began.

The Pentagon is secretive about exactly how big its footprint is in Syria, but has previously declared that some 500 U.S. special forces are there to train and assist the SDF.

Kurds heavily assisted by U.S. soldiers and bombers – have captured some 35% of Raqqa city despite facing fierce resistance from the ISIL militants.

A Kurdish commander announced early July that the U.S. Army established seven military bases in regions controlled by the Kurds in Eastern Syria.

Siban Hamou was quoted as saying by al-Sharq al-Awsat that the U.S. army established six military airports and a base on the Eastern bank of the Euphrates River, adding that a modern large airport in Kobani (Ein al-Arab) was the most important one of them.

“The U.S. has set up two airports in Hasaka, one airport in Qamishli, two airports in al-Malekiyeh (Dirik), and one more airport in Tal Abyadh at border with Turkey in addition to a military squad center in the town of Manbij in Northeastern Aleppo,” Hamou said.

Hamou went on to say that 1,300 forces of the U.S.-led coalition were deployed in the airports and centre.

Meantime, other reports declared that the U.S.-led forces have several times transferred the ISIL leaders from Iraq and Syria to other regions by heliborne operations.

Source*

Related Topics:

New U.S-backed Rebel Group being formed to further U.S. interests in Syria*

Inside Syria: Father Maes Discusses the True Situation*

U.S. Planes Caught Sneaking ISIS Terrorists Out Of Syria again*

U.S. Amassing Spy Planes Off Syria, Aircraft Carrier to Arrive in Israel*

CIA officer – ‘we have no business being in Syria’*

Syrian Refugees Return Home in the Hundreds of Thousands, U.N. says*

U.S.-led Coalition Killed Nearly 500 Civilians in Syria during Ramadhan*

Rothschild’s Israel Pushes Russia and U.S. Towards Nuclear Confrontation Over Syria*

Mesopotamia Thrived With NO Ruling Elite*

Mesopotamia Thrived With NO Ruling Elite*

By Gregory Sams

There is a remarkable discovery that has not yet emerged from our renewed interest in ancient civilization. Yet few remark upon this glaring omission from the relics and records we dig up and discover. I first recognized its absence at a visit to the British Museum, and made a point of going back a few years later for another check. Their Mesopotamian rooms begin at 6500 BC, and as you wander through the exhibits and look at the artifacts and depictions of their culture there are none depicting warriors or warfare, chariots or combat, clubs or swords – for nearly four thousand years. As for kings and rulers, there was a single image thought to be a king because it looks like he’s wearing a crown. And what is this king doing? He is feeding flowers to sheep.

Thriving Ancient Cities with No Ruling Elite?

Around 2700 BC the first inter-city state dispute turned into what could be termed a war. Little is known, other than that the Sumerians made off with the weapons of the losing Elamites. Things went downhill from there and within a few centuries a psychopath named Sargon of Akkad murdered the existing king, seized power, and conquered 21 thriving and successful cities in Mesopotamia, cities that had operated without top down control by a ruling elite, but by bottom up organization – something at which people naturally excel. He obliterated the city of Kazalla when it resisted, encouraging total compliance from the rest, and called the process “unification,” titling himself Sargon the Great. He started an unfortunate trend.

Bronze head of Sargon of Akkad was the first Mesopotamian ruler to control both southern and northern Babylonia, thus becoming the king of Sumer and Akkad and inaugurating the Akkadian Empire. (Wikimedia Commons)

 

The Root of War

Some assume that humans had been slaughtering each other since the beginning of time rather than cooperating with each other, and that the first war in 2700 BC was simply the first one recorded, since writing had only recently appeared. But the evidence discovered to date does not support the assumption, and writing was widely believed to have arrived with taxation. Taxation is what pays for standing armies and warfare, with our earliest written history telling us how many chickens farmer Fredi brought to market.

So, what does this mean? Why is this non-discovery so important? How did humans manage to live in cities and trade with each other, enjoying life much as we do today, without rulers? After all, aren’t death and taxes supposed to be immutable facts of life? Death may be, but taxes are no more than a recent invention in most of the world.

Palaces and Monuments Built with the Blood of Slaves

Since writing began, almost all the recorded history of the world tells us of top-down control by rulers demanding a proportion of everybody’s productivity in order to support their elevated work-free lifestyle. We marvel at the great palaces and monuments that survived the collapse of empires and rulers throughout the world, rarely bewailing the fact that so many millions of ordinary human lives like yours and mine were sacrificed to create them, or destroyed at the time of their overthrow.

Palaces and monuments were built on the back of slaves and lower-class civilians (public domain)

 

Tiwanaku Flourished Without a Ruling Hierarchy

We think, based on our limited history (as written by the conquerors) that war, conflict, and top-down control are the natural order for humanity. It is important to recognize that it has not always been so. The great Tiwanaku Empire of South America flourished for six centuries with no need for, or evidence of, a ruling hierarchy with weapons, soldiers, and armies of conquest. Though they had no written language we know they flourished in what is now Bolivia, Peru, and Chile between 300 AD and 1000 AD, with some suggesting that their culture may have extended many thousands of years deeper into the past. Their power came not from swords or clubs but from a highly desirable civilization with a religion based upon Sun worship. Agricultural and social skills were key to Tiwanaku power, as well as their knowledge of how to brew alcohol from maize, and make psychedelic drugs from local plants. These were generously administered at the great festivals that were integral to Tiwanaku life. People did not need force to encourage them into such a union.

The Tiwanaku enjoyed trade and commerce, religion, art, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, irrigation, fashion and a highly integrated and cooperative social structure. In short, they maintained an equitable sustainable civilization for longer than did the Roman Empire, and organized it from the bottom up without the need of kings and military structures.  We are community animals by nature, blessed with high intelligence. Living together should not be a difficult task but a joy. When Tiwanaku civilization eventually collapsed it came about not by conquest but by climate change, after decades of prolonged drought.

The ancient site of Tiwanaku in Bolivia (public domain)

 

Cooperation and Peace Were a Way of Life

Without writing, there is scant evidence of how early civilization functioned, or proof it was ruled by coercive force. Without the evidence of conquest and weaponry, so apparent in subsequent ages, it seems probable that cooperation and peace were more commonplace than conflict and slaughter. Perhaps excavations at Gopekli Tepe and other ancient sites will shed more light on the subject.  Though we know that Egypt enjoyed civilization before it was unified around 3000 BC, we know little about life in that period – nobody thought it necessary to keep records.

The Peasant Communes

If we fast forward to more recent, and recorded, history we discover that hundreds of medieval cities managed to kick out the lords or dukes or kings who taxed them, taking management into their own hands. A classic example was 14th century Florence, a city of 90,000 that was run from the bottom by so-called “peasant communes” in which the bakers, architects, jewelers, bankers, doctors and builders were not titled nobles. They all belonged to trade guilds ensuring quality and safety for their customers, and did all the things we think require top-down rulers to initiate (apart from waging war). In 1340, there were eight thousand children of both sexes in primary schools, with four universities servicing six hundred in higher education. There were thirty small hospitals with over one thousand beds in total. It worked, and perhaps it is no coincidence that Florence was the engine of the Renaissance. We are clever enough to get along together without a shepherd and sheepdogs directing.

In Ditmarschen, a free republic of farmers enjoyed significant autonomy for over four centuries until 1559, when it was finally invaded (it is now part of northern Germany). They had successfully repulsed an army of 12,000 sixty years earlier with a hastily-formed peasant’s army just 1000 strong. My maternal ancestors originated in that area.

No Coercive Rule

Might I suggest, in closing, that one of the greatest discoveries we could seek from the study of ancient civilization is the ongoing non-discovery of evidence for coercive rule by a select group possessing weapons and men trained to use them. We have been on this planet, as “modern humans,” for at least 100,000 years and, depending upon location, rule by force has existed for anything from a few hundred to less than five thousand years. It is not a “natural” way to govern humanity and, despite all the hard evidence left by those who followed in Sargon’s chariot ruts, it is important to recognize that we are looking at a very small segment of ancient human history, which dominates because of its enduring giant construction projects. I close now with an extract from my current book, and readers may take comfort in the closing sentence.

Claims are often made for the civilizing effect of having rulers and empires, citing the patronage of the arts and the ability of an iron hand to keep things stable enough for culture to develop. Yet the world is full of magnificent ruins from civilizations past—the temples, statues, and fortresses remaining as monuments to the pomp and paranoia of rulers past. Had the Iron Age known dynamite, it is unlikely that even these would be left behind.

 

Source*

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