Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘fiction

Facts, Fiction, and misinformation: Isreal vs Palestinians in Gaza

, Political director of The Huffington Post UK, Posted This July 28/2014

Debunking Israel’s 11 Main Myths About Gaza, Hamas and War Crimes

You’ve got to hand it to Israeli spinners like Mark Regev. They are masters of PR.

In fact, as the Independent‘s Patrick Cockburn revealed over the weekend, “the playbook they are using is a professional, well-researched and confidential study on how to influence the media and public opinion in America and Europe”.

In recent days I’ve been debating supporters of Israel’s latest assault on Gaza on radio and on Twitter and I’ve been astonished not just by the sheer number of fact-free claims made by those supporters, but also by their confidence, slickness and sheer message discipline.

According to the pro-Israel, pro-IDF crowd, Hamas is to blame for everything.

This, of course, is utter nonsense. To quote the late US senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”

So, in a Moynihanian spirit, here are fact-filled, evidence-based rebuttals to the 11 main myths, half-truths and self-serving ‘talking points’ that are repeatedly pushed by various Israeli spokespersons, both on the airwaves and on social media:

1) The Gaza Strip isn’t occupied by Israel?

Boston Globe:

“Israeli-imposed buffer zones.. now absorb nearly 14% of Gaza’s total land and at least 48% of total arable land. Similarly, the sea buffer zone covers 85% of the maritime area promised to Palestinians in the Oslo Accords, reducing 20 nautical miles to three.”

Human Rights Watch: “Israel also continues to control the population registry for residents of the Gaza Strip, years after it withdrew its ground forces and settlements there.”

B’Tselem, 2013: “Israel continues to maintain exclusive control of Gaza’s airspace and the territorial waters, just as it has since it occupied the Gaza Strip in 1967.”

2) Israel wants a ceasefire but Hamas doesn’t?

Al Jazeera:

“Meshaal said Hamas wants the ‘aggression to stop tomorrow, today, or even this minute. But [Israel must] lift the blockade with guarantees and not as a promise for future negotiations. We will not shut the door in the face of any humanitarian ceasefire backed by a real aid programme.”

Jerusalem Post: “One day after an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire accepted by Israel, but rejected by Hamas, fell through, the terrorist organization proposed a 10-year end to hostilities in return for its conditions being met by Israel, Channel 2 reported Wednesday…

Hamas’s conditions were the release of re-arrested Palestinian prisoners who were let go in the Schalit deal, the opening of Gaza-Israel border crossings in order to allow citizens and goods to pass through, and international supervision of the Gazan seaport in place of the current Israeli blockade.”

BBC: “Israel’s security cabinet has rejected a week-long Gaza ceasefire proposal put forward by US Secretary of State John Kerry ‘as it stands’.”

3) Israel, unlike Hamas, doesn’t deliberately target civilians?

The Guardian: “It was there that the second [Israeli] shell hit the beach, those firing apparently adjusting their fire to target the fleeing survivors. As it exploded, journalists standing by the terrace wall shouted: ‘They are only children.’”

UN high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay: “A number of incidents, along with the high number of civilian deaths, belies the [Israeli] claim that all necessary precautions are being taken to protect civilian lives.”

United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, 2009: “The tactics used by the Israeli armed forces in the Gaza offensive are consistent with previous practices, most recently during the Lebanon war in 2006.

A concept known as the Dahiya doctrine emerged then, involving the application of disproportionate force and the causing of great damage and destruction to civilian property and infrastructure, and suffering to civilian populations. The Mission concludes from a review of the facts on the ground that it.. appears to have been precisely what was put into practice.”

4) Only Hamas is guilty of war crimes, not Israel?

Human Rights Watch: “Israeli forces may also have knowingly or recklessly attacked people who were clearly civilians, such as young boys, and civilian structures, including a hospital – laws-of-war violations that are indicative of war crimes.”

Amnesty International: “Deliberately attacking a civilian home is a war crime, and the overwhelming scale of destruction of civilian homes, in some cases with entire families inside them, points to a distressing pattern of repeated violations of the laws of war.”

5) Hamas use the civilians of Gaza as ‘human shields’?

Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East editor: “I saw no evidence during my week in Gaza of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields.”

The Guardian: “In the past week, the Guardian has seen large numbers of people fleeing different neighbourhoods.. and no evidence that Hamas had compelled them to stay.”

The Independent: “Some Gazans have admitted that they were afraid of criticizing Hamas, but none have said they had been forced by the organisation to stay in places of danger and become unwilling human-shields.”

Reuters, 2013: “A United Nations human rights body accused Israeli forces on Thursday of mistreating Palestinian children, including by torturing those in custody and using others as human shields.”

6) This current Gaza conflict began with Hamas rocket fire on 30 June 2014?

Times of Israel: “Hamas operatives were behind a large volley of rockets which slammed into Israel Monday morning, the first time in years the Islamist group has directly challenged the Jewish state, according to Israeli defense officials.. The security sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, assessed that Hamas had probably launched the barrage in revenge for an Israeli airstrike several hours earlier which killed one person and injured three more..

Hamas hasn’t fired rockets into Israel since Operation Pillar of Defense ended in November 2012.”

The Nation: “During 10 days of Operation Brother’s Keeper in the West Bank [before the start of the Gaza conflict], Israel arrested approximately 800 Palestinians without charge or trial, killed 9 civilians and raided nearly 1,300 residential, commercial and public buildings.

Its military operation targeted Hamas members released during the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in 2011.”

7) Hamas has never stopped firing rockets into Israel?

Jewish Daily Forward: “Hamas hadn’t fired a single rocket since [2012 Gaza conflict], and had largely suppressed fire by smaller jihadi groups. Rocket firings, averaging 240 per month in 2007, dropped to 5 per month in 2013.”

International Crisis Group: “Fewer rockets were fired from Gaza in 2013 than in any year since 2001, and nearly all those that were fired between the November 2012 ceasefire and the current crisis were launched by groups other than Hamas.

The Israeli security establishment testified to the aggressive anti-rocket efforts made by the new police force Hamas established specifically for that purpose.. As Israel (and Egypt) rolled back the 2012 understandings – some of which were implemented spottily at best – so too did Hamas roll back its anti rocket efforts.”

8) Hamas provoked Israel by kidnapping and killing three Israeli teenagers?

Jewish Daily Forward: “The [Israeli] government had known almost from the beginning that the boys were dead. It maintained the fiction that it hoped to find them alive as a pretext to dismantle Hamas’ West Bank operations.. Nor was that the only fib. It was clear from the beginning that the kidnappers weren’t acting on orders from Hamas leadership in Gaza or Damascus. Hamas’ Hebron branch — more a crime family than a clandestine organization — had a history of acting without the leaders’ knowledge, sometimes against their interests.”

(It was later revealed that A Jewish adolescent did the kidnapping and killing of the three, and the Shin Beth knew all about this murder from the start)

BBC correspondent Jon Donnison: “Israeli police MickeyRosenfeld tells me men who killed 3 Israeli teens def lone cell, hamas affiliated but not operating under leadership.. Seems to contradict the line from Netanyahu government.”

9) Hamas rule, not Israel’s blockade, is to blame for the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip?

US State Department cable: “Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.. Israeli officials have confirmed.. on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge.”

The Guardian: “The Israeli military made precise calculations of Gaza’s daily calorie needs to avoid malnutrition during a blockade imposed on the Palestinian territory between 2007 and mid-2010, according to files the defence ministry released on Wednesday under a court order..

The Israeli advocacy group Gisha.. waged a long court battle to release the document. Its members say Israel calculated the calorie needs for Gaza’s population so as to restrict the quantity of food it allowed in.”

10) The Israeli government, unlike Hamas, wants a two-state solution?

Times of Israel: “[Netanyahu] made explicitly clear that he could never, ever, countenance a fully sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank.. Amid the current conflict, he elaborated, ‘I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.’”

11) All serious analysts agree it was Hamas, and not Israel, that started this current conflict?

Nathan Thrall, senior Mid East analyst at the International Crisis Group, writing in the New York Times:

“The current escalation in Gaza is a direct result of the choice by Israel and the West to obstruct the implementation of the April 2014 Palestinian reconciliation agreement.

Henry Siegman, former national director, American Jewish Congress, writing for Politico: “Israel’s assault on Gaza.. was not triggered by Hamas’ rockets directed at Israel but by Israel’s determination to bring down the Palestinian unity government that was formed in early June, even though that government was committed to honoring all of the conditions imposed by the international community for recognition of its legitimacy.”

The Jar of Glue, (March 17, 2009)

 

Paulo Coelho recounts that he had an important trip in the morning, that he did what he had to do yesterday, and that in the morning he checked his mails and realized that his afternoon is free. He had nothing to do: Paulo had taken care of everything.  

Coelho realized that his jar of glue is empty, but he had no gluing task to do for the afternoon.  Still, the idea that he needs to purchase a jar of glue disturbed his mind and prevented him to focus on his meditation.  It took him hours of struggle to shake off this insignificant disturbance before he managed to listen and converse with his soul.

So many times at work we are conscious that all that need to be done was finished in the morning, and that tomorrow’s tasks can wait for tomorrow.  In the meantime we are practically “redundant“, but we cannot shake off the feeling that something more should be done, since we are paid to log in 8 hours of work. 

We fret, we meddle in others tasks, our nervousness becomes contagious, and the entire workplace is disturbed and anxious.  All that was required is to acknowledge that you have finished your job and you deserve some time off to cool it down and converse with your soul.

What! Being in harmony with your soul isn’t an important job?

Since when did material tasks have presented the only solutions to stability of the mind and body?

For a true dream idea we should be satisfied with board and lodging.

An enterprising man got bankrupt.  He discovered a decrepit residence that matched his dream.  The owner of the property agreed, for board and lodging, to let the ruined man to restore the residence.  Within a year the dream house was standing in its former glory and the man’s spirit shining like a gold coin.

 

Maybe it is a congenital posture; I come to the realization that thinking and keeping a straight back are not compatible. Elegance and a straight posture are a pair of matching gloves: I should be content, occasionally, to socialize with non-thinking gatherings.

 

The best value you can boast of is the pleasure of facing choices.  It is the best training ground for making your own choices.

 

I like to pray and ask the Lord to hurl at me all kinds of temptations, all the times, for me to select among them, the temptations.

By the by, I will test them all. 

With Your grace Lord, I should grace the temptations and salvage my spirit. 

If I fail, so what!  I was challenged, I accepted with my own free will, and I tried my best

The Last Gorilla: The Confederation Branch (Short Story, Part 1) (March 14, 2005)

Note: I borrowed the title and a section on the environment theme to Christian Jacq.  The two parts of this story is a gross brush for a novel.  Keep your comments coming.

            It is the year 2050. A decade ago, the world community has lukewarmly agreed that earth is governed by a dozen superpowers from all continents that imposed their weight in size, population, technology, agricultural and energy self sufficiency.  These were the heavy weight dominating world economy, finance, military deterrence, and technologies: the USA, China, India, Russia, Brazil, the European Union, Indonesia, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Viet Nam, and Nigeria.  The UN has been re-structured and two departments were extended practical executive responsibilities: the department of “World Confederation Regulatory Body”, and the department of “Defense of the Environment”

      It was a time when nuclear bombs or mass destructive devices were banned in the world and all the documentations burned and erased from computer storage; theories about their feasibility prohibited by law. Small nuclear energy generators were the norm and special lower level lethal fuel invented.  The only equipments for waging war at a distance were under the control of an international army, equipments such as tanks, ballistic missiles, long range guns, torpedoes and airplanes.  Civil wars could still take place: perceived injustices and famine were still inevitable; but killing has to be at short range, preferably man to man.

      It was a time where people could request an International passport, issued by an international committee after due process.   Holders of these special passports had to relinquish affiliation to any political party or citizenship of any country.  They were permitted to visit any country for short duration, and if they decide to work in any specific place, they could do it for up to 4 years on condition never to return, even to take care of business or visit relatives and families.  The issue of how to establish any kind of profitable enterprises in such a short period was a taboo; it was inconsequential; it was not the committee’s affairs.  It was assumed that people had to get into the internet or die.  Face to face business and paperwork were regarded pre-historic endeavors and these were third class people and barely classified as working people.  A new name was assigned to these low lives:  Bad Breath Creatures or Bugs.

 

               It was a time oligarchies were accepted, even encouraged, as long as the dynasty had accredited genes; the concept of nobility versus common people experienced strong resurgence in the UN corridors.  People could still revolt against their leaders; this inalienable right was to stay, at least on paper, because the USA insisted.  The rebels knew that such acts would result in a lukewarm intervention from the Confederation as long as the revolt is not directed against class hierarchy.  The leaders of States were pressured to act benevolent, peace loving, and especially, staunch believers in the new world order and very cooperative with the delegation of the Confederate.

            Slowly but surely, these superpowers negotiated a future for survival of the planet, based on rational models of sustainability that excluded any factors of sentimentality in the equations.   The world population was growing quicker than estimated and it was expected to reach 9 billions; regardless of discreet euthanasia policies (thought to be efficient) and prosecuted in the under-developed States that were considered to be just mouth to feed but no return in brain power or willingness to fight for survival.  Even within those sovereign super states, those hopelessly 10% of handicapped and unproductive citizens were systematically and legally made to have their normal longevity abridged by 10 years.

It was a time when leeches and bleeding were not administered for every ailment.  Most children were vaccinated according to a protocol, whether parents agreed or not.  Infants were still allowed to die in their sleep, but their genes were known and their death could be predicted within a couple of months, also according to a well established protocol.  Breast cancer was under control and the loss of bone tissues decelerated considerably.  Thus, women could be predicted to outlive their spouses by 20 years, simply because men revolted against the prohibition of eating meat, drinking milk, and smoking; men staunchly abstained from regularly eating vegetables and fruits.  Instances of men just helping their mates to conceive and then die within months were common occurrences:  The patterns of the Queen insects killing or eating their mates after the job is done was very appealing to the public consciousness.  The ideology of men waiting till they are diagnosed with terminal illness before they copulate was widespread and even encouraged.

False Prophets (March 12, 2009)

 

            The messages of all religions are fundamentally the same.  Prophets and False Prophets have the tendency to show up occasionally for one purpose: turning the tables over the sacerdotal castes and chasing them out of the temples.  Prophets are different from False Prophets on two counts:

 

First, Prophets are lucky; they tend to sense the right moment and conditions for change. They are on a mission to destroying the highly structured and hierarchical religious institutions, the nemesis for true faith and devotion. They ruin the flourishing business of the professional guild of priesthood for short periods.  False Prophets are squarely and quickly defeated by the sacerdotal casts and thus attributed the label of “False Prophets”.  In both cases, the sacerdotal castes win in the long run and for long centuries; the very brief setbacks don’t do a dent to their business as usual.  False Prophets must necessarily lack both charisma and luck.  The wining Prophets are attributed heavy dose of charisma, whether we like it or not, whether it is true or not.

 

Second, False Prophets have no patience and their wisdoms have a lot to be desired.  They arouse people with the sword from the start and they fail to deliver the loot as quickly as expected.  False Prophets have been denied membership in the sacerdotal guild but they still want a share in the business. False prophets are bad actors and cannot play the role of the selfless leader consistently and for any advisable duration.  Most probably, they are over literate with no adequate people know-how, and thus refuse to get advised on human conditions and behavior.

 

False Prophets are definitely unlucky.  That is why “True Prophets” are countable and their coming is so far spaced out in time.  The messages of the “True Prophets” are like the Shooting Stars; their brilliance wane quickly as the vultures of extremists and confessionals grab on the remains of the martyrs.  And the vicious rotten cycle is closed.  Human kind is mostly a scared, coward, and suckered specie, with plenty of hot air to boot.  Faced with the binary choice of man and uranium, States opt to enrich uranium.

 

Note:  I exaggerated a little. The premise is valid and clear.

Cloning therapy: not a science fiction (January 29, 2009)

This is no longer the realm of science fictions: you can repair any sick organ with cloning parts and if you are rich you can extend your life to 150 years.  We don’t need male sperms to clone a complete entity, human or animal.  We don’t need a female nucleus in eggs to clone a complete entity, human or animal.  Soon, we won’t need female eggs; labs would be able to manufacture the “pouch” or envelop of the female egg.  It is going to take some time before human invest on research to circumvent female uterus for incubating fetuses during nine months.  There are human clones on earth. 

Italian gynecologist Severino Antinori announced publicly in 2003 that he has cloned three babies; he was forced to recant and moved his business to Ukraine.  There are many professional institutions cloning human, for a price, after they have been cloning favorite pets of the rich and famous.  No State or institution is about to go public on human cloning; they don’t have to, they just do it.

Let us examine the protocol for clone fertilization which is very close to cloning spare parts.  First phase, a female egg is removed; its nucleus, which contains the genetic instructions, is extracted. A male non-sexual cell (generally taken from the skin) is treated to extract its nucleus (containing the DNA) and implanted in the de-nucleated egg.  Let me remind you that the cell can belong to the same female person of the ovary and it would work equally well!  The new egg contains all the DNA information of the donor.

Phase two: A special cocktail of electric shocks and chemicals aid the cell to regress to a primordial cell that replicates.   Phase three is the process called “blastocyst” that can generate either an embryo for fertilization or the production of specialized spare parts of the various organs such as kidney, liver, heart muscle, or even hair.

Phase four cultivates the different organs by immersing the cell “souche” in a “soup” of proteins and enzymes to normally develop and then be transplanted to the sick donor in order to repair the failing organ.

Three main obstacles for assuring complete success have already been conquered. The first hurdle was taming the chaotic replication of cells; the second problem was the immunological aspect where virulent tumors developed in reproduced cells; and the third problem was the longevity of the organ due to the atrophy of the telomeres.

China, Britain, and the USA are publicly leading the research on cloning therapeutic spare part organs but they are the tip of the iceberg; many specialized institutions in Asia, Turkey, Israel, and India are working full time.

Babylon: where all start and end.

 

In order to relieve the pressure on the Northern and Easter bases within the periphery of the Empire Artax decided to open a third front westward.  Many of the navy pirates had defected to Artax for higher returns but the Persian navy was still intact.  Consequently, Artax avoided any maritime confrontation and his ships dispersed in the Indian Ocean met in Adan in Southern Yemen.  The ships navigated around the Arab Peninsula and landed in the fishing town of Akaba in southern Jordan. 

Instead of taking the long regular route to Babylon, the troops headed by Artax crossed a difficult desert to Basra.  A mutiny in the inner circle of the Imperial guards assassinated “Khosro the Magnificent”.  It was not that the Magnificent was more inept than his army commanders but the reaction of the guards was a traditional exit means to vent frustration on the leading scapegoat.  The next day, the mutineers realized that they put an end to the only symbol that held the Empire still united.  Chaos reigned in the Empire.

Artax army resumed its fast advance toward Babylon. The Persian Empire was as ripe as a rotten apple and the gates of Souze needed a light kick to disintegrate. The way to regaining the throne was open to Artax and post-war plans for reconciliation, reform, and reconstruction were being readied in Babylon.

Wild Goose Chase into the Old World: Persia 4th century BC

Preface 

Ever since I have read the life story of the so-called Alexander the Great I have been restless. I keep considering alternative circumstances of how this mad and impossible incursion into the Old Eastern World could have been stopped.

I felt that writing a historical fiction novel about this period would do me good. It should be historical because people are shying away from current news: They don’t listen to news, they don’t read newspapers, they have no ideas what is happening around them and yet, they feel superior to all politicians and far more capable.

It has to be a fiction because the so-called facts are bitter pills and not so reliable:

They are the facts of the victors and petty facts after all.

I needed to delve and know more about the ancient world.  I need to imagine that a few of its leaders and scholars could have foreseen how political systems and technologies would have developed.

How they would dare change the world according to their new visions. Whether they would have been better equipped, spiritually and morally to improve their world, people and environment, at their own snail pace

Alexander’s upbringing

Alexander was brainwashed since childhood.  He was made insidiously to believe by his mother Olympia that he was the descended of the God Hercules. His mother kept telling him that the Highest Priest of Egypt was convinced that he is the expected World King for the end of the Aries period (The Belier or two horned mammal).

Alexander was actually a bastard.

His father Phillip, King of Macedonia, strongly suspected that his wife Olympia has given birth to an illegitimate son. At the time, the kingdom of Persia extended from the borders of India to Turkey to Libya in Africa.  It included the current countries of Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Libya and the coast of North Africa.

Background on the motives of Alexander

Alexander’s goal was to conquer Egypt and receive from its High Priest the crown reserved for the expected son of God so that he can secure legitimacy.

As one of Alexander mentors explained it to him “If you want wealth you steal it by force and if you want legitimacy then you have to snatch it by the sword”.

As the story of history goes, while in Egypt, Alexander received a letter from the King of Persia. The King was proposing to Alexander to accept the coastal land of Turkey to settle their disputes.

It seems that the King of Persia was in a chatting mood and he added a threat that if his proposal is turned down then he will keep retreating before Alexander’s troops, to the confines of his vast Empire until Alexander gives up the chase. The letter warned Alexander that this task would be impossible to carry through.

The King of Persia had just handed Alexander a sweet excuse and a new purpose.

So much for making sense to a hot headed and crazy young adversary! Alexander barely visited any city twice and intended to advance further east to China.

What old “history books” told us

For thirteen years, Alexander barely backtracked in his wild push forward. His military travel took him beyond the Persian Empire to the Southern parts of Russia, Kashmir, Pakistan and parts of India.   As matter of fact, Alexander could not have advanced that far if not for the fresh recruits coming from Greece to replace the losses.

The new recruits adored him and wanted to have a share of the glory. Alexander crossed deserts in summers, the highest mountains in winters and most of his soldiers died of hunger, thirst and diseases rather than from wars.  Alexander died in Babylon at the age of 30 something and his fiefdoms were divided among his officers after many years of a long civil war.

Lesser known stories

The officers of Alexander, battle worn, sick with disease and confused as to the purpose of this incomprehensible campaign, finally expressed bluntly their unwillingness to go any further and confronted him.  Alexander had to stop his advance and convinced his officers to navigate the Indus River and then reach Egypt by sea.

To punish his officers for foiling his dream of reaching the confines of the ancient world, Alexander made his army to cross the southern desert of Persia for 60 days where thousands of soldiers died of thirst.

Kandahar: Medium-term plan 3

(fiction, continue 30)

At the city of Kandahar, in south central current Afghanistan, Artax appointed a women officer to be General in Chief of all the armed forces in southern Afghanistan. This tactic secured two major benefits;

first, the woman general would hold fast to the new system that secured and solidified women rights, and

second she would allow the force the necessary time to strengthen its grip on the region:  the enemy was assumed not to take that seriously a force headed by a woman and thus insure valuable time to taking hold on the mind of the population.

Slowly but surely, the vision and planning of Artax were materializing in flesh and bones around the perimeter of the Persian Empire.

As for the “pilgrimage journey” to China, Artax selected the famous chronicle Battoukha to discover the wonders of China and to dispatch him the diaries: if Artax could not experience in the flesh the discoveries then Artax would share the excitement by the mind.

Marco Polo and before him Ibn Battouta (at least 8 centuries later) relied heavily on the manuscript of Battoukha to plan for their famous journeys to the Rising Sun China.

On the Southern Army

The adventure of the Southern Army of Artax, led by the vizier Khorsheed, was fantastic.  This brave army made a series of successful landings in fishing villages and proceeded according to master plans.

Soldiers would enter a town, plaster the scrolls of the Constitution and Bill of Rights on the walls of shrines and local institutions, read them in front of the public; install one judge accepted by the inhabitants then horde the other judges and clerics to a remote training camp for indoctrination.

Educated and learned people in the community were encouraged to disseminate the new system.  Young boys and girls were sent to schools.  People bent on mischief and who took advantage of a confused central authority was apprehended to give evidence of who is the real authority in maintaining law and order.

Dangerous news arrived to Artax from his Southern Army which stopped his grandiose plans on their tracks: unless Artax assembles a strong naval force in the Persian Gulf, his Southern Army might not hold its terrain against the onslaught of the usurping Monarch.

This vast desert area along the coast requires constant supply of fresh water and food for his army that was dying of thirst and heat strokes. Artax had to advance along the Indus River which empties in the Indian Ocean.

He had to hire and stock enough ships to rescue the Southern Army or eventually to evacuate it honorably in an orderly fashion.

The lousy desert parts of his Kingdom were of no concerns to Artax anymore, though he had to support his army there in order to divert the forces of the usurping Monarch from the more critical parts of his secured bases in the Kingdom.

The rear bases of Artax stretched from the fertile lands of current Karachi in Pakistan to Goa in India.   Artax messengers were carrying orders and instructions to all armies and governors along secured routes.  In every region that the King authority was entrenched, municipal elections were held and the spirit of the Constitution and Bill of Rights were disseminated, gradually but surely.

Changes in societies need time, patience and genuine zeal in convictions to make any headway.

Artax primary duties to his people was to keep close contacts, involvement, and interactions with the institutions and taking close attention to the training camps programs for the reeducation of the newer generations as to the spirit of the articles in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The dissemination of information about the new cultures in remote lands was a most important ingredient in Artax educational system.  Artax motto was: ignorance and isolation from other civilizations is the drug of choice exploited by the religious extremists who abhor civil supervision of any governing body.

The Two-Horned King (fiction. Chapter. 3)

Alexander The Great completely destroyed the proud city of Tyr after seven months of siege.  He hatefully hanged 8,000 of its inhabitants and sold the rest as slaves.

This victory was obtained by a fluke of incredible circumstances, coming together, to vanquish the Queen City of commerce:  not only the State of Carthage refrained to rescue its mother city-state but Alexander witnessed the miracle he wished for. More than 300 war ships flocked in from the neighboring islands (Cyprus and Arwad) and other port cities within a week, a bounty that Alexander did not expect, and at just the time he was about to lift the siege.

Tyre was attacked from the sea where the walls of this sea city were the least fortified.

Alexander moved on to destroy the fortified city of Ashkelon in current Gaza before entering Egypt.  The city of Ashkelon prided itself as the first exporter of incense and myrrh and Alexander emptied its stores and shipped the products to his mother so that she won’t have to worry anymore about any scarcity of what was essential to honoring her Gods.

Alexander was crowned King of Kings by the High Priest of Egypt and he started the construction of his new city called Alexandra on the seashore.

The Persian king Artax was ready to face off with Alexander but he was reluctant to advance to Egypt: he recognized that the populations of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Egypt were already hostile to the Persian long rule and they have pledged allegiance to Alexander.

Thus, he settled to find an excellent gimmick to draw Alexander out of Egypt.  Artax sent a letter to Alexander agreeing to negotiate and to hand over the already conquered land by his army.

Artax expressly angered Alexander by stating that Alexander had no choice but to accept the proposal unless he is willing to pursue the Monarch throughout the world; an impossible mission!

 

Wild Goose Chase into the Old World: Persia 4th century BC

Preface

Ever since I have read the life story of the so-called Alexander the Great I have been restless. I keep considering alternative circumstances of how this mad and impossible incursion into the Old Eastern World could have been stopped. I felt that writing a historical fiction novel about this period would do me good. It should be historical because people are shying away from current news: They don’t listen to news, they don’t read newspapers, they have no ideas what is happening around them and yet, they feel superior to all politicians and far more capable.

It has to be a fiction because the so-called facts are bitter pills and not so reliable:

They are the facts of the victors and petty facts after all. I needed to delve and know more about the ancient world.  I need to imagine that a few of its leaders and scholars could have foreseen how political systems and technologies would have developed. How they would dare change the world according to their new visions; Whether they would have been better equipped, spiritually and morally to improve their world, people and environment, at their own snail pace

 

Alexander’s upbringing

 

Alexander was brainwashed since childhood.  He was made insidiously to believe by his mother Olympia that he was the descended of the God Hercules. His mother kept telling him that the Highest Priest of Egypt was convinced that he is the expected World King for the end of the Aries period (The Belier or two horned mammal).

Alexander was actually a bastard.  His father Phillip, King of Macedonia, strongly suspected that his wife Olympia has given birth to an illegitimate son. At the time, the kingdom of Persia extended from the borders of India to Turkey to Libya in Africa.  It included the current countries of Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Libya and the coast of North Africa.

 

Background on the motives of Alexander

 

Alexander’s goal was to conquer Egypt and receive from its High Priest the crown reserved for the expected son of God so that he can secure legitimacy. As one of Alexander mentors explained it to him “If you want wealth you steal it by force and if you want legitimacy then you have to snatch it by the sword”.

As the story of history goes, while in Egypt, Alexander received a letter from the King of Persia. The King was proposing to Alexander to accept the coastal land of Turkey to settle their disputes. It seems that the King of Persia was in a chatting mood and he added a threat that if his proposal is turned down then he will keep retreating before Alexander’s troops, to the confines of his vast Empire until Alexander gives up the chase. The letter warned Alexander that this task would be impossible to carry through.

The King of Persia had just handed Alexander a sweet excuse and a new purpose.

So much for making sense to a hot headed and crazy young adversary! Alexander barely visited any city twice and intended to advance further east to China. 

 

What old “history books” told us

 

For thirteen years, Alexander barely backtracked in his wild push forward. His military travel took him beyond the Persian Empire to the Southern parts of Russia, Kashmir, Pakistan and parts of India.   As matter of fact, Alexander could not have advanced that far if not for the fresh recruits coming from Greece to replace the losses. The new recruits adored him and wanted to have a share of the glory. Alexander crossed deserts in summers, the highest mountains in winters and most of his soldiers died of hunger, thirst and diseases rather than from wars.  Alexander died in Babylon at the age of 30 something and his fiefdoms were divided among his officers after many years of a long civil war.

 

Lesser known stories

 

The officers of Alexander, battle worn, sick with disease and confused as to the purpose of this incomprehensible campaign, finally expressed bluntly their unwillingness to go any further and confronted him.  Alexander had to stop his advance and convinced his officers to navigate the Indus River and then reach Egypt by sea. To punish his officers for foiling his dream of reaching the confines of the ancient world, Alexander made his army to cross the southern desert of Persia for 60 days where thousands of soldiers died of thirst.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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