Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Khorasan

Endless War is Official U.S. Doctrine: And for creating jobs in military industrial complexes

The US administration is boasting that unemployment is at its lowest level since 2010 and the economy is improving drastically.

What the US is not divulging is that whatever is improving is its manufacture and export of weapons to this miserable world where almost every State is witnessing a civil war or expecting one anytime soon.

Long before Americans were introduced to the new 9/11 era super-villains called ISIS and Khorasan Islamic faction, senior Obama officials were openly and explicitly stating that America’s “war on terror,” already 12 years old, would last at least another decade.

At first, they injected these decrees only anonymously.

In late 2012, The Washington Post – disclosing the administration’s secret creation of a “disposition matrix” to decide who should be killed, imprisoned without charges, or otherwise “disposed” of – reported these remarkable facts:

Among senior Obama administration officials, there is a broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade. Given the way al-Qaida continues to metastasize, some officials said no clear end is in sight. . . . That timeline suggests that the United States has reached only the midpoint of what was once known as the global war on terrorism.

In May, 2013, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on whether it should revise the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF).

A committee member asked a senior Pentagon official, Assistant Secretary Michael Sheehan, how long the war on terror would last.

His reply: “At least 10 to 20 years.” At least. 

A Pentagon spokesperson confirmed afterward “that Sheehan meant the conflict is likely to last 10 to 20 more years from today — atop the 12 years that the conflict has already lasted.”

As Spencer Ackerman put it: “Welcome to America’s Thirty Years War,” (Referring to the long war in 18th century Europe among its nations)

A war which – by the Obama administration’s own reasoning – has “no geographic limit.”

Listening to all this, Maine’s independent Sen. Angus King said:

“This is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing that I’ve been to since I’ve been here. You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution today.”

Former Bush DOJ lawyer Jack Goldsmith – himself an ardent advocate of broad presidential powers – was at the hearing and noted that nobody even knows against whom this endless war is being waged:

Amazingly, there is a very large question even in the Armed Services Committee about who the United States is at war against and where, and how those determinations are made.”

All of that received remarkably little attention given its obvious significance. But any doubts about whether Endless Warliterally – is official American doctrine should be permanently erased by this week’s comments from two leading Democrats, both former top national security officials in the Obama administration, one of whom is likely to be the next American president.

Leon Panetta, the long-time Democratic Party operative who served as Obama’s Defense Secretary and CIA Director, said this week of Obama’s new bombing campaign:

“I think we’re looking at kind of a 30-year war.” Only in America are new 30-year wars spoken of so casually, the way other countries speak of weather changes.

He added that the war “will have to extend beyond Islamic State to include emerging threats in Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere.”

And elsewhere: not just a new decades-long war with no temporal limits, but no geographic ones either.

He criticized Obama – who has bombed 7 predominantly Muslim countries plus the Muslim minority in the Phillipines (almost double the number of countries Bush bombed) – for being insufficiently militaristic, despite the fact that Obama officials themselves have already instructed the public to think of The New War “in terms of years.”

Then we have Hillary Clinton (whom Panetta gushed would make a “great” president).

At an event in Ottawa yesterday, Hillary proclaimed that the fight against these “militants” will “be a long-term struggle” that should entail an “information war” as “well as an air war.”

The new war, she said, is “essential” and the U.S. shies away from fighting it “at our peril.”

Like Panetta (and most establishment Republicans), Clinton made clear in her book that virtually all of her disagreements with Obama’s foreign policy were the by-product of her view of Obama as insufficiently hawkish, militaristic and confrontational.

At this point, it is literally inconceivable to imagine the U.S. not at war.

It would be shocking if that happened in our lifetime. U.S. officials are now all but openly saying this. “Endless War” is not dramatic rhetorical license but a precise description of America’s foreign policy.

It’s not hard to see why.

A state of endless war justifies ever-increasing state power and secrecy and a further erosion of rights.

It also entails a massive transfer of public wealth to the “homeland security” and weapons industry (which the US media deceptively calls the “defense sector”).

Just yesterday, Bloomberg reported:

Led by Lockheed Martin Group (LTM), the biggest U.S. defense companies are trading at record prices as shareholders reap rewards from escalating military conflicts around the world.”

Particularly exciting is that “investors see rising sales for makers of missiles, drones and other weapons as the U.S. hits Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq”; moreover, “the U.S. also is the biggest foreign military supplier to Israel, which waged a 50-day offensive against the Hamas Islamic movement in the Gaza Strip.”

ISIS is using U.S.-made ammunition and weapons, which means U.S. weapons companies get to supply all sides of The New Endless War; can you blame investors for being so giddy?

I vividly recall how, in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s killing, Obama partisans triumphantly declared that this would finally usher in the winding down of the War on Terror.

On one superficial level, that view was understandable: it made sense if one assumes that the U.S. has been waging this war for its stated reasons and that it hopes to vanquish The Enemy and end the war.

But that is not, and never was, the purpose of the War on Terror.

It was designed from the start to be endless.

Both Bush and Obama officials have explicitly said that the war will last at least a generation. The nature of the “war,” and the theories that have accompanied it, is that it has no discernible enemy and no identifiable limits.

More significantly, this “war” fuels itself, provides its own inexhaustible purpose, as it is precisely the policies justified in the name of Stopping Terrorism that actually ensure its spread (note how Panetta said the new U.S. war would have to include Libya, presumably to fight against those empowered by the last U.S. war there just 3 years ago).

This war – in all its ever-changing permutations – thus enables an endless supply of power and profit to flow to those political and economic factions that control the government regardless of election outcomes.

And that’s all independent of the vicarious sense of joy, purpose and fulfillment which the sociopathic Washington class derives from waging risk-free wars, as Adam Smith so perfectly described in Wealth of Nations 235 years ago:

In great empires the people who live in the capital, and in the provinces remote from the scene of action, feel, many of them, scarce any inconveniency from the war; but enjoy, at their ease, the amusement of reading in the newspapers the exploits of their own fleets and armies.

To them this amusement compensates the small difference between the taxes which they pay on account of the war, and those which they had been accustomed to pay in time of peace.

They are commonly dissatisfied with the return of peace, which puts an end to their amusement, and to a thousand visionary hopes of conquest and national glory from a longer continuance of the war. 

The last thing the Washington political class and the economic elites who control it want is for this war to end.

Anyone who doubts that should just look at the express statements from these leading Democrats, who wasted no time at all seizing on the latest Bad Guys to justify literally decades more of this profiteering and war-making.

Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

10 Ancient Cities Where People Still Live

MICHAEL VAN DUISEN APRIL 8, 2014

Even though much that links us to their founding years is gone, cities that reach back to the earliest human civilizations retain an undeniable allure. These 10 examples include some of the oldest cities in history, and people still call each one of them home.

10Ife (Nigeria)
Founded circa 350 B.C.

01

Photo credit: Tropenmuseum

The Yoruba people consider Ife the mythical birthplace of mankind. Two of their deities are said to have created the first humans out of clay, with one of them becoming the first king of the Yoruba.

By the 11th century, the city had become the capital of a kingdom, with its residents producing the region’s famed terra-cotta heads during the following two centuries.

Nearly destroyed as a result of a late 18th-century war, as well as by decades of trauma related to the slave trade, Ife is now home to one of Nigeria’s major universities, as well as the Historical Society of Nigeria. In addition, the spiritual leader of the Yoruba people, known as the Ooni, lives in a palace in the center of the city. Ife now has over 600,000 residents.

9Balkh (Afghanistan)
Founded circa 500 B.C.

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Known as Bactra (Bactria) in its pre-Afghan days, the city of Balkh was the capital of the Greek territory of Bactria after its capture by Alexander the Great.

After several invaders conquered the city, it eventually became the capital of Khorasan, a political entity created by the Sasanian Empire of Iran. It was under their rule that Balkh became famous as a center of learning, earning itself the title “mother of cities.” In addition, the Zoroastrian religion is said to have been founded there.

Most of the city was destroyed during an invasion by Genghis Khan in the 13th century. It lay in ruins until the early 15th century, and the city is more of a village today, with a population of only a few thousand. But a handful of the original buildings have survived, including a number of ancient Buddhist reliquary mounds and the outer walls of the city.

Khorasan was the origin of the warriors who played big roles in deposing Caliphs in Baghdad.

8Luoyang (China)
Founded circa 1050 B.C.

03

Photo credit: Gary Lee Todd

One of the 8 Great Ancient Capitals of China, Luoyang was founded in the middle of the 11th century, at the start of the Zhou Dynasty.

In fact, 9 different dynasties, stretching over centuries, have used Luoyang as their capital. Unfortunately, the city underwent a great economic depression that lasted from a revolution in the eighth century up until the middle of the 1900s. Assistance from the USSR and industrialization brought Luoyang back from the dead.

One of the greatest architectural and spiritual treasures in the city is the White Horse Temple, the “cradle of Buddhism in China.” Built during the first century A.D., it was the first of up to 1,300 different temples, as Luoyang became the spiritual center for Buddhism in China.

In addition, the city is home to the Longmen Grottoes, a series of Buddhist caves that is a UNESCO heritage site and one of the masterpieces of Chinese Buddhist art.

7Patras (Greece)
Founded circa 1100 B.C.

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Photo credit: Conudrum/Wikimedia

While evidence says people lived in the area as far back as the third millennium B.C., Patras as an actual city didn’t begin until about 1,000 years later.

Three small settlements existed in the area and remained there for hundreds of years, until the Achaeans, and the eponymous Patreus, combined them into one large city and named it Patras.

Relatively insignificant for much of its early existence, the city later became a major part of the founding of the second Achaean League, a confederation of various Greek city-states.

Thanks to its location by the sea, Patras played a huge role in Greek trade, even up to modern times. Unfortunately, very few buildings have survived from its early history, with the oldest surviving example being the Patras Roman Odeum, a small theater built by the Romans sometime in the early second century.

There is also a prehistoric acropolis, known as the Wall of Dymaeans, dating back to the 14th century B.C. It is said to have been built by Heracles himself.

6Kutaisi (Georgia)
Founded circa 1400 B.C.

05

Photo credit: Andrzej Wójtowicz

Among the oldest and largest cities in the nation of Georgia, Kutaisi was the capital of multiple ancient kingdoms, most notably Colchis from the sixth to first century B.C. That kingdom is perhaps best known for being the final destination of Jason and his Argonauts during their quest for the Golden Fleece.

Afterward, the city and the area around it suffered numerous invasions, including by the Mongolians and the Ottomans.

In the 12th century, during the reign of David IV, Kutaisi became the capital of the United Kingdom of Georgia and underwent a period of construction unrivaled in its history.

This time saw the construction of the Gelati Monastery, one of the most famous buildings in the city and a great example of medieval Georgian architecture. Remarkably well preserved, it is one of Georgia’s UNESCO heritage sites.

5Tyre (Lebanon)
Founded circa 2750 B.C.

06

Photo credit: Heretiq/Wikimedia

An ancient Phoenician port city, with a large number of mythical occurrences to its name, Tyre has seen its fair share of historical action as well.

Extremely prosperous thanks to its ideal location, the city was besieged by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, who unsuccessfully tried to conquer it over the course of 13 years. However, Tyre did fall to the army assembled by Alexander the Great, which resulted in most of the buildings being razed to the ground.

It was here (or perhaps nearby Sidon) that people were first able to create dye with a purple pigment, leading the Greeks to call them Phoinikes, which means “purple people” and is where we get the name “Phoenician.”

One of the most important Phoenician cities, Tyre used to be an island, but Alexander the Great demolished buildings to create a causeway linking it to the mainland. Now known as Sour in the country of Lebanon, the city is home to many significant ancient Roman sites, including the second-century hippodrome, one of the largest existing in the world.

4Sidon (Saida, Lebanon)
Founded circa 3000 B.C.

07

Photo credit: Heretiq/Wikimedia

Derived from the Greek word for “fishery,” Sidon was an ancient Phoenician port city and is famous for its fishing and trade industries, as well as its glass manufacturing—the Greek author Homer had a lot of praise for the people of Sidon when it came to that specific fact.

Like its sister city Tyre, Sidon was captured by Alexander the Great, yet it was spared complete destruction because it surrendered without a fight.

Commanded by multiple kingdoms, Sidon flourished under Ottoman rule, though it has been ravaged and rebuilt multiple times. One of the oldest pieces of architecture in the city is the Temple of Eshmun, dedicated to the Phoenician god of healing and dating back to the seventh century B.C.

3Argos (Greece)
Founded circa 5000 B.C.

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Perhaps the oldest city in Europe, Argos was originally a Greek city-state.

Thanks to its bountiful natural resources in the fertile lowlands known as the Plain of Argos, the city rose to prominence during the Mycenaean period at the end of the second millennium B.C.

In fact, until Sparta’s rise, Argos was the dominant city-state of the region.

Unlike many of its Greek partners, Argos flourished under Roman and Byzantine rule, as evidenced by the monumental civic works undertaken during these eras. The city and surrounding area played a huge role in Greek mythology, with the heroes Perseus, Diomedes, and Agamemnon believed to have been born there.

The present city of Argos is built over much of the ancient city, with very little architecture remaining from its early years.

The ruins of the Heraion of Argos, a temple dedicated to the Greek goddess Hera, form probably the oldest existing structure in the area, dating back to the seventh century B.C.

2Byblos (Jbeil, Lebanon)
Founded circa 6000 B.C.

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Photo credit: BlingBling10/Wikimedia

The oldest existing Phoenician city, Byblos was home to much scientific and technological advancement during its existence.

Historians credited it as the place where the Phoenician alphabet was conceived, and the city’s name derives from the Greek word for “paper,” a major export.

Byblos was burned to the ground near the end of the third millennium B.C. by invading Amorites, yet traces of that period still exist.

Originally, Byblos was an Egyptian protectorate, supplying crucial timber and other goods in exchange for protection. By the 11th century B.C., it was independent and became Phoenician territory. It remained relatively important for much of its existence, first losing its importance as capital of Phoenicia to Tyre and then fading to obscurity just after the Crusades.

The present-day city of Jbail, Lebanon is partially built on the ruins of much of Byblos, with the remaining ruins being designated a UNESCO heritage site.

1Jericho (Tell es-Sultan, Palestine)
Founded circa 9000 B.C.

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Perhaps the oldest (and currently the lowest by altitude) city in the history of humanity, Jericho is located in the West Bank, just past the northern half of the Dead Sea.

Thanks to a spring that supplies the area with extremely fertile soil, Jericho made a great place for early hunter-gatherers to settle down and begin domesticating animals.

After about 2,000 years of loosely being considered a city, Jericho’s first walls were erected, forming the earliest known example of urban fortifications.

Known as Tell es-Sultan in its early days, Jericho flourished for many years before being completely destroyed by nomadic tribes toward the end of the second millennium B.C.

Fire destroyed it again a few hundred years later. The modern city of Jericho comprises part of this ancient area, as well as space that used to be out of Tell es-Sultan’s city limits. Jericho was also said to be home to many spiritual events from Judaism and Christianity.

Note 1: From a link on FB Pamela Hakim via Ama Sadaka

Note 2: Most of the city-states on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea are still inhabited since antiquity.  Ashkelon, Akka, Yafa, Haifa, Beirut, Tripoli, Tartous….

Probably, Damascus is the oldest city that has been inhabited since mankind civilization. Most of the trade caravans ended in Damascus, to span in smaller caravans. Aleppo is also another of the oldest of cities, and Jarash in Jordan and Jerusalem.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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