Tag Archive | Iraq

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*

Related Topics:

The New Imperial Roman Empire*

‘Unless G20 Summit is Held on a Deserted Island, there will be protests’

Tens of Thousands Swarm London in Massive Elite Uprising, Media Silence*

And One Ring to Bind Them All*

Biblical Garden of Eden Discovered in Iraq’s Marshes?*

The End of Times and ‘The Lost Book of Enki’: Sumeria

50 Ways to Starve the Beast*

Iraqi Army Declares Mosul Fully Free*

Iraqi Army Declares Mosul Fully Free*

The Iraqi Army finally recaptured the key town of Mosul, ISIL’s de facto capital in the Arab country, after 9-month of bloody battle with the Takfiri terrorists in Nineveh province.

A Federal Policeman in a ruined cinema Credit: Kaino Little

The military operation by Iraqi Army troops to liberate the Northern city of Mosul from ISIL militants intensified in recent weeks, as Baghdad forces laid full siege on the terrorists in the few districts that were under the Takfiri group’s control with the only hundreds of fighters.

The General Command of Iraq’s Joint Operation announced Saturday in a statement that the old part of Mosul city (Old Mosul district) came under the full control of the Iraqi forces.

The Old City is home of the 850 year-old Grand al-Nuri Mosque and is highly symbolic because it was there that leader of the ISIL group, Ibrahim al-Samarrai, also known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared himself the so-called caliphate of the Takfiri terrorist group, shortly after the flashpoint city fell to terrorists in June 2014 and became their de facto capital in Iraq.

Federal Police fire on Islamic State positions in west Mosul Credit: Kaino Little

But, the ISIL militants committed another historical crime by blowing up the ancient al-Nuri mosque and its historical al-Hadba minaret, as the group’s days in the war-torn city were numbered due to rapid advances of Iraqi soldiers.

The Iraqi state TV declared approximately ten days ago that the ISIL collapsed in Mosul after the army regained control of al-Nuri mosque. The Iraqi troops won back control of the wrecked historic mosque of Mosul.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced in October 2016, the start of a military operation to recapture Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq which fell to the ISIL since 2014.

Iraqi Federal Police attempting to free Mosul from ISIL militants. Credit: Kaino Little

 

Baghdad declared earlier in January that the Iraqi troops have managed to capture the Eastern part of the key ISIL stronghold.

The second largest city in Iraq fell to the ISIL group in 2014, when the Takfiri terrorists began a campaign of death and destruction in the Arab country.

The United Nations predicted that it will cost more than $1 billion to repair basic infrastructure in Mosul. In some of the worst affected areas, almost no buildings appear to have escaped damage.

An estimated 862,000 people have been displaced from Mosul ever since the battle began nine months ago. A total of 195,000 civilians have also returned to the liberated areas of Eastern and Western Mosul.

Source*

Related Topics:

U.S. DoJ Files Civil Action to Forfeit Thousands of Ancient Iraqi Artifacts Imported By Hobby Lobby*

Iraqis Travel to Mosul to Celebrate Eid in a Show of Solidarity*

U.K. to Consider Stripping Tony Blair of Immunity over Role in Iraq War*

Iraqi Top Cleric Hailed by Iraqi Prime Minister in his Role in the Fight against ISIS*

Iraq Declares ‘fall’ of ISIS as Military Retakes Landmark Mosul Mosque*

Iraqis Travel to Mosul to Celebrate Eid in a Show of Solidarity*

Iraqis Travel to Mosul to Celebrate Eid in a Show of Solidarity*

By Sali Mahdy

 

‘Mosul celebrates first Eid in three years with the Eid in Mosul campaign’ uploaded on June 28, 2017 by the AlMawsleya channel.

A group of around 300 Iraqis recently traveled from south and central Iraq to Mosul to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday with their newly liberated compatriots.

In the summer of 2014, the militant group Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh) drove out Iraqi security forces and seized control of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, in a territorial sweep of much of northern Iraq.

It was in Mosul that the militant group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared an Islamic Caliphate spanning Syria and Iraq.

Since then, life for Mosul’s residents has been one of fear, oppression, and hardship.

Daily life changed for the worse with the persecution of minorities, food and fuel shortages, and intimidation and harsh punishment.

An effort to retake the city by Iraqi security forces began in October 2016. After eight months of intense battle just a handful of neighbourhoods remain under the group’s control, prompting Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to recently declare the end of the Islamic State.

The “Eid in Mosul” campaign was organized by a group of Iraqi activists led by Hamid al-Sayed, Ali al-Touki, and Mohammed al-Raji.

Originally an idea to visit old friends who had been trapped under Islamic State rule, the plan turned into a full-blown campaign after generating enormous interest on Facebook. More than 1,700 people expressed interest in joining the trip but security conditions would only allow 300.

This Eid was the first in three years in which Maslawis (people of Mosul) were able to publicly celebrate. The day was filled with events forbidden under the Islamic State, including poetry readings, theatre, and live music. Mosul’s visitors also brought a gift of more than 1,000 books from Baghdad as part of the “I am Iraq, I Read” campaign, an initiative promoting culture and a more educated Iraq. This gift is a start to replacing thousands of books destroyed in Mosul’s libraries by the Islamic State.

The day was joyous, bringing together Iraqis to not only celebrate the holiday, but to also celebrate the liberation of Mosul. Scenes hit social media of men and women from across the country singing the national anthem and chanting

“Brothers, Sunnis and Shia, this country is not for sale,” demonstrating a feeling of unbreakable unity shared among Iraqis.

While the event was mostly organized by activists, the government stepped in to help providing transportation and security for the event.

 

Men and women of Mosul greeted the “freedom caravan” at Mosul University.

 

Crowds gather chanting “welcome to Mosul” and singing the national anthem.

 

 

Over 1,000 books donated to restock Mosul’s libraries.

Ameen Mukdad, violinist from Mosul, plays a traditional Maslawi folk song.

The evening concluded with a fireworks display celebrating Eid and Mosul’s liberation.

Source*

Related Topics:

Iraq Declares ‘fall’ of ISIS as Military Retakes Landmark Mosul Mosque*

U.K. to Consider Stripping Tony Blair of Immunity over Role in Iraq War*

Iraqi Top Cleric Hailed by Iraqi Prime Minister in his Role in the Fight against ISIS*

Federal Judge Puts Immediate Stop to Deportations of 1,444 Iraqis in U.S.*

Syrian Army, Hezbollah Reaches Border with Iraq for the First Time in Years*

The Treasure at the Heart of Iraq

Life returns to Hammar Marshes, Iraq*

Ex British Ambassador Tells How U.K., US, and George Bush Sr. Scripted Iraq and Afghanistan Wars*

Trump-Israel Struggling to Save ISIS to divide and Conquer Syria and Iraq*

U.K. to Consider Stripping Tony Blair of Immunity over Role in Iraq War*

U.K. to Consider Stripping Tony Blair of Immunity over Role in Iraq War*

Former President George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair nudge each other in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009, during a ceremony where the president presented Blair with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. (AP/Gerald Herbert)

Tony Blair may face formal charges over war crimes if judges overturn a controversial ruling that gave the former Prime Minister, immunity from prosecution over the Iraq War.

Last year a British court blocked a private criminal prosecution against Blair by General Abdul-Wahid Shannan ar-Ribat, a former chief of staff of the Iraqi army. British judges, however, ruled that the international crime of “aggression” could not be brought against Blair and granted him immunity from criminal charges.

That ruling is set to be reviewed at the Royal Courts of Justice today by one of the most senior judges in the U.K. In calling for a war crimes trial in Britain and the prosecution of Blair, Michael Mansfield QC was reported by the Guardian of saying that “the offense of waging an aggressive war has effectively been assimilated into English law”.

If the immunity verdict is overturned, Tony Blair may face formal charges of war crimes over one of the worst foreign policy disasters in British history. It would also satisfy a large number of campaigners who hold Blair and the U.S. President at the time of the Iraq invasion, George Bush, personally responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi’s and the rise of terrorism in the region.

This opinion gained further momentum following the publication of the Chilcot report which accused the U.K. of aggression following Blair’s decision to invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussain over allegations of weapons of mass destruction. Chilcot inquiry’s also concluded that the invasion of Iraq was unnecessary and undermined the United Nations.

Source*

Related Topics:

Military Families Crowd fund nearly £50k to sue Blair over Iraq*

Cameron’;s Role in Destroying Libya Compares with Blair’s in Iraq*

Tony Blair FINALLY apologises for Iraq War and admits in TV interview the conflict caused the rise of ISIS*

Ex British Ambassador Tells How U.K., US, and George Bush Sr. Scripted Iraq and Afghanistan Wars*

Iraq Will Likely Sue U.S. Govt For 2003 Invasion Following Passage of 9/11 Bill*

 

 

Iraqi Top Cleric Hailed by Iraqi Prime Minister in his Role in the Fight against ISIS*

Iraqi Top Cleric Hailed by Iraqi Prime Minister in his Role in the Fight against ISIS*

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has thanked top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani for his fatwa against ISIS terrorists, noting his 2014 religious decree has saved the country.

Ayatollah Sistani issued a fatwa in June 2014 – shortly after ISIS terror group launched its assault in Iraq – calling on all Iraqi citizens to defend their country.

The move succeeded in mobilizing volunteer forces behind army troops on the battlefield against the terrorist group.

“Citizens who are able to bear arms and fight terrorists, defending their country and their people and their holy places, should volunteer and join the security forces to achieve this holy purpose,” said a representative of Ayatollah Sistani in his sermon at Friday prayers in the holy Iraqi city of Karbala at the time.

It came after Iraqi government forces suffered heavy blows on the battle ground against ISIS.

Abadi offered his “deep thanks” on Friday to Ayatollah Sistani for “his great and continuing support to the heroic fighters.”

He also said that the top cleric’s call “saved Iraq and paved the way for victory” over ISIS terrorists.

The remarks came a day after the Iraqi government announced it had recaptured Mosul’s landmark Grand al-Nuri Mosque, from where ISIS’s leader proclaimed the group’s caliphate three years ago.

Source*

Related Topics:

Iraq Declares ‘fall’ of ISIS as Military Retakes Landmark Mosul Mosque*

Top Shia Cleric behind Iraq’s anti-Corruption Drive*

Formerly U.S. Detained ISIL Leader’s Speech Full of Flaws Say Iraqi Clerics*

Life returns to Hammar Marshes, Iraq*

Washington Preventing Iraq from Turning to Moscow*

Iraqi Security Forces Find Mass Graves of ISIS Members*

Syrian Army, Hezbollah Reaches Border with Iraq for the First Time in Years*

The Irreligiosity of IS, ISIS/ISIL*

Iraq Declares ‘fall’ of ISIS as Military Retakes Landmark Mosul Mosque*

Iraq Declares ‘fall’ of ISIS as Military Retakes Landmark Mosul Mosque*

Iraqi Army liberates mosque in Mosul where ISIS leader held his first speech

Iraqi forces have recaptured the site of Mosul’s landmark Grand al-Nuri Mosque, according to the country’s military. The victory comes three years to the date since Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) declared itself a Caliphate at the iconic building.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the capture marks “the end of the Daesh state,” Reuters reports.

Referencing IS, Iraqi military spokesman, Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, told state TV: “Their fictitious state has fallen,” according to Reuters.

The mosque and its iconic leaning minaret was destroyed by IS terrorists last week as forces from Iraq’s elite Counter Terrorism Service got within 50 meters (160ft) of the site.

The area will now need to be excavated by engineering teams as members of IS have likely planted explosives, says special forces Maj. Gen. Sami al-Aridi.

Officials had been hoping to recapture the historic 850-year-old Grand al-Nuri Mosque before the end of the holy month of Ramadhan.

Iraqi forces are making their way through the last neighborhoods under IS control in Mosul, AP reports. The military expects the eight-month battle to come to an end in a matter of days.

The site has been under IS control since 2014. On June 29 that year, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, official spokesman for IS, announced the group’s rebranding as the ‘Islamic State’ and declared areas under its control a Caliphate.

Source*

Related Topics:

Ex British Ambassador Tells How U.K., US, and George Bush Sr. Scripted Iraq and Afghanistan Wars*

Undercover Iraqi Journalist on ISIS and Why the U.S. Will Fail*

Syrian Army, Hezbollah Reaches Border with Iraq for the First Time in Years*

Life returns to Hammar Marshes, Iraq*

Trump Authorizes the Pentagon to Manage Troops on the Ground in Iraq and Syria*

Iraq Officially Declared Safer For Women than Sweden*

U.S. Tax Dollars and Companies Support Sex Traffickers in Iraq*

U.S. Keeps Stealing Iraq’s Oil*

U.S. Admits Using Radioactive Weapons in Syria that Left Thousands of Iraqi Babies Deformed*

Iraq’s Agricultural Industry was Pillaged, Its Farmers Devastated, But It’s Still Free of GMO Seeds*

U.S. Airstrikes Slaughter 230 Innocent Civilians in a Single Night in Mosul*

 

Federal Judge Puts Immediate Stop to Deportations of 1,444 Iraqis in U.S.*

Federal Judge Puts Immediate Stop to Deportations of 1,444 Iraqis in U.S.*

By Colin Kalmbacher

A federal judge in Detroit put the lid on the pending deportation of 1,444 Iraqi nationals last night.

U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith issued the order shortly after 9 p.m., expanding his own stay issued last week. The original stay only protected 114 Detroit-area Iraqis, but the new order is intended to prevent the immediate deportation of all Iraqi nationals presently subject to deportation after many were rounded up during a wide-ranging enforcement sweep earlier this month.

Attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argued that the stay was necessary because many of those deported would likely face grave harm if they were returned to Iraq due to their minority status in the war-torn country. Goldsmith agreed, writing:

The substantial allegations made here are the detainees face extreme, grave consequences: death, persecution and torture. Such harm far outweighs any interest the government may have in proceeding with the removals immediately.”

This–at least for now temporary–victory for the ACLU against U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is ruffling some feathers in the Trump administration. A spokesperson for the Department of Justice “insists” that the judge does not have jurisdiction in the matter, according to a report by CBS.

Particularly upsetting for the Trump administration is the breadth of Goldsmith’s decision. Not simply limited to pending cases, the order forecloses against the deportation of any and all Iraqis nationwide. It will remain in effect until July 10 at the earliest.

Source*

Related Topics:

Supreme Court Reinstates anti-Muslim Travel Ban*

Another Appeals Court Rules ‘Muslim Ban’ Discriminatory*

Displaced Refugees join Lebanese Mass Iftar to Mark World Refugee Day*

Iraqi Army Temporarily Bans Burqa, Niqab to Protect Civilians in Mosul*

Syrian Army, Hezbollah Reaches Border with Iraq for the First Time in Years*

Trump Authorizes the Pentagon to Manage Troops on the Ground in Iraq and Syria*