Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Mogul

Nothing much changed in absolute monarchy systems:

They accumulate the wealth for foreign invaders to take away

The Mogul Holago entered Baghdad in the 13th century and took away 5 centuries of accumulated gold. The same process that the USA did in Iraq, Libya and now Saudi Kingdom: Looting the gold under the pretense of instituting “democracy”.
The Abbasid monarch Al Mosta3ssem refused to pay his soldiers to defend his “Kingdom/Khalifat” and his army betrayed him and let the invader enter his capital.
Holago killed all the scientists, the merchants and the judges  and forced the monarch to lead him to the secret depots of his treasure and gold, river of gold accumulated in 5 centuries,
The monarch didn’t care much for lost wealth: He was appalled when Holago  turned his attention to the “Harem”, constituted of 700 girls and 1,000 girl-servants. “Most of them didn’t even see the moon or the sun”
Then the last monarch was stuffed in a bag and the soldiers kicked him to death.

ترامب والعرب كرروا ما حدث بين هولاكو والمستعصم
يوم دخل هولاكو بغداد، قتل العلماء والتجار والقضاة، ثم قال لجنوده :
أبقوا المستعصم حيا حتى يدلنا على أماكن كنوزه ..
وذهب المستعصم معهم ودلهم على مخابئ الذهب والفضة والنفائس وكل المقتنيات الثمينة، في داخل وخارج قصوره ومنها ما كان يستحيل ان يصل اليه المغول بدونه،

حتى أنه أرشدهم إلى نهر مطمور من الذهب المتجمد لا يعلم احد بمكانه، فقال له هولاكو ساخرًا :
لو كنت أعطيت هذا المال لجنودك لكانوا حموك مني ..
لم يبكِ المستعصم على الكنوز والأموال، ولكنه بكى حين أخذ هولاكو يستعرض الجواري الحسان، وعددهن 700 زوجة وسرية، وألف خادمة،

وأخذ الخليفة يتضرع إلى هولاكو قائلا :
مُنّ عليّ بأهل حرمي اللائي لم تطلع عليهن الشمس والقمر ..

ضحك هولاكو من قول المستعصم وأمر أن يضعوه في جوال (كيس من الخيش) ثم يضربه الجنود ركلا بالأقدام حتى الموت !
يقول المؤرخون :
أن ما جمعه بنو العباس في خمسة قرون أخذه هولاكو في ليلة واحده !!
وسيقول المؤرخون :
ما كان يكفي الأمة العربية لخمسة قرون أخذه ترامب في ليلة واحدة..

ولو أنفقت الأمة العربية كل هذه الأموال على التعليم والبحث العلمي ومساندة بعضها البعض ، لكانت أقوى الأمم ..

ما أشبه اليوم بالبارحة!!

The most potent weapon in long-term wars: Bread!

Henri Fabre wrote:

History honors the battlefields where death strikes us, but fails to talk of the wheat fields that keep us alive. History relate the names of royal bastards, but is incapable of telling the story of wheat and cereals. This is mankind foolishness…”

I am discussing the importance of bread among the “Bread eating” civilizations such as Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, the Greek, Romans, and the western empires.

Mind you that there are civilizations who relied on rice for daily subsistence, fish, oat or dried meat.

For example, the Mogul managed to conquer quickly the vastest of lands in history because they ate dried meat, stashed under their saddles.

The Germans ate oat raw, the same way that their horses did. This is an excellent cause to resist the Romans preemptive wars for centuries. The Romans considered these Germanic tribes as barbarous for this main reason.

For the bread eating civilizations, the  empire that grew more wheat in the long-term to feed the soldiers and the people back home was set to win the war.

The term “burned land” refers to the strategic method of burning the cereal crops as the invading army advanced.

It is no surprise that the period selected by invading armies is when the cereal crops were ripe for harvest: The reasoning was that the invading army will have plenty of food to harvest for the journey.

Napoleon Bonaparte campaign against Russia ended in a tragic fashion because Russia Czar Alexander I ordered burning the cereal field ahead of the advancing French armies.  For 50 days, the retreating French Grand Army was decimated due to lack of bread. The horses died for lack of oat and the soldiers relied on horse meat and their blood to survive.

It was not the cold but lack of bread that defeated Napoleon. It is reported that the French soldier felt hungry for an entire year afterward, regardless of how many times he ate per day: Hunger lingers deep in the subconscious.

Actually, many more French soldiers died from eating too quickly and too much bread as they reached safe destination.

In the US civil war, Lincoln won the war because the Northern States grew wheat in abundance and the South persisted on growing cotton, a harvest they could no longer export or eat.  The southern army was defeated for lack of bread in the last year of the war.

The north welcomed more immigrants from Europe and distributed vast land to them to grow wheat. And the women were used to plant the field, while the women in the south were helpless in these important tasks.

The largest northern center for baking bread in Alexandra was run by experts who studied the French treatise on processing flour and baking bread. “Whatever this war reserves for us, our silos are filled with wheat grains

In contrast, the daily Savannah Republic of Georgia published: “It is the ultimate in absurdity that our planters persist in growing cotton. Without bread, the soldiers will desert the battlefield and the people will die of hunger. Grow corn!”  The bushel of wheat cost $120 in 1863 in the southern States.

Cotton export represented two third of the wealth in the USA before the civil war, and only 3% of the cotton were processed for lack of industry in the south.

When Alexander of Macedonia landed on the shores of Turkey with a 30,000 strong-army, a Greek general, at the sold of Persia and governor of the province, suggested the war tactic of burning the land as Alexander advanced.  Persia King was sure of defeating the Greek army and declined this idea.

It was the Phoenicia City-State Tyre that warned Alexander of the Persian trap in Isos, and the Greek army circumvented the trap by marching at night. Tyre meant to weaken Persia hold on its economy, and it never crossed its mind that Alexander will destroy Tyre after 7 months of siege.

The armies of Napoleon were fed the best bread in Europe, thanks to Parmentier who supervised the milling and baking processes of the wheat.

Napoleon focused on the industry (the generator of wealth) and neglected agriculture: He imported wheat and cereal from Russia and Ukraine at cheaper prices than at home. In 1805, the war resumed against England and the combined forces of Prussia and Russia. The sea was blocked for import and Russia denied wheat and cereals to the French. England even purchased wheat from Egypt Muhammad Ali at premium prices in order to prevent the French from importing any wheat.

In 1813, Napoleon ordered the distribution of 2 million dish of soup daily for 5 months, until the next harvest of cereals. The soup was constituted of leftover bread, bones and vegetable of the season. The English mocked Napoleon saying “The French are reduced to eat dirt and bones

Note 1: Part of the stories were extracted from “History of bread in the last 6,000 years” by Heinrich Eduard Jacob, published in 1954.

Note 2: Ants harvest many kinds of grains, but saw only one kind of seminiferous “Herbacee Aristida” or “ant’s rice”, performing mono-culture for survival. This grain germinates during the rainy seasons and gives two harvests.

Note 3: Before new techniques for milling wheat using metallic cylinders and powered by steam engines, the bread eating civilization suffered from bad teeth, particularly the molars: milling with stones left residue of abrasive particles of stones in the flour..

Note 4: In 1830, a certain Muller (miller) conceived of cylinders powered by steam engine of Watt and Evans to mill the grain. The manufacture consisted of 5 stories of cylinders.  Engineer Jacob Sulzberger improved on the technique. Stefan Szechenyi from Hungary hired engineers from Switzerland to install a modern mill, and Hungary became the bread basket of Austria and Vienna for many decades.

In 1873, the US got interested in this mill during the Universal Exposition in Vienna. By  1879, governor Washburn hired engineers from Hungary, and the US became the world bread basket, and going on till now.

The devil is NOT in the details; (October 16, 2009)


            Details are what bring people together to communicate, dialogue, and negotiate to reach compromises.  The main wall that separate among communities is the concrete wall mixed with myths, general concepts, and abstract notions.  Strong with draft details each organization can start to sort out the differences and comprehend the big picture; it is never the way around in social behavior. I will discuss two cases, one religious and the other of political nature.

            After the crucifixion of Jesus many Christian sects were born in the Near East in the first four centuries.  Fundamentally, these sects were almost identical in applying the Jewish daily rituals or the Jewish 650 laws of “correct” conduct. What separated these sects were abstract concepts that did not harm their peaceful coexistence in separate communities of believers: they never attacked by force one another; military persecutions started when the Church acquired central power in Constantinople; whole “heretic” sects and entire communities had to flee to safety. 

            Thus, The Mighty Wall was erected after 325 AC when Byzantium Empire decided to adopt Christianity as the main religion of the Empire.  Thus, the central power concept of the Empire dictated that church should be centralized.  Instead of focusing in negotiating on the details that split the various sects an upper abstract super-structure on concepts was imposed; concepts such as the dual nature of Christ, the deity of the threes (the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit), the virginity of the mother Mary and on.  This time around, the sects were to join the Orthodox Church by force if need be: a central Empire cannot permit disunity, even on totally nonsense abstract conjectures!

            Consequently, the labeled “heretic” sects had to flee beyond the eastern shores of the Euphrates River (to the Persia Sassanide Dynasty).  The Nestourian sect reached China and translated “their” Bible into the Chinese language. Many other “heretic” sects settled in the Arabic Peninsula; the Christian-Jewish “Ebionite” sect was firmly entrenched in Mecca; the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad, Ain Warkat, was the Patriarch of this sect and Muhammad learned to read in the Aramaic Ebionite Bible; Muhammad aided his uncle in the translation of this specific Bible into the Arabic slang of Mecca.  Thus, Islam is originally a common denominator “heretic” Christian sect, one of many Christian sects in the Arabic Peninsula; the Prophet had to delete all the abstract notions to unite the sects; it was named Islam or the belief in the One and only God.

            The strong animosity of the Catholic Church of Rome against Islam was not directed at a religion such as Buddhism or Mazdean but at a new “heretic” Christian sect usurping its central power in the Near East. The Orthodox Church in Constantinople was more lenient with Islam because it understood its genesis and the causes for the need of this new “heresy”; for Constantinople Islam was the oriental counterpart of Protestantism to Rome when Islam became the dominant religion in the region. 

            It is said: “the enemy of my enemy is my ally”; this Machiavellian principle was lost to obscurantist Catholic Church. Rome was too far away and fought Islam with the ignorance of abstract concepts. For the Catholic Church in 1,000 AC, Islam was doubly “heretic” instead of just the counterpart to the central Orthodox Church of the Byzantium Empire: it failed to realize that if Islam spread so fast and so widely it is mainly because most the labeled Christian heretic sects quickly converted to Islam as representing their system of belief against the monopole of Constantinople.


            The other case is the concept of a Syrian Nation with well delimited natural borders including Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and part of Iraq to the west of the Tiger (Dujlat) River. This concept was highly widespread among the people of the region as the Ottoman Empire was dying during WWI.  It was still even more alive during the mandate of France and Britain to the region (Near East) after WWI. The people in the Syrian Nation speak one language and have the same customs and tradition.  This nation was as natural as ABC; the immigrants were first called Turks during the Ottoman Empire and then they were all called Syrians regardless of location or religion.

            The main problem is that the political parties spent two critical decades proving the evident (according to the newer definitions of the West for a Nation) instead of making the effort to developing draft detailed programs on the type of political administrative structure for this nation, the social representation, and election laws; (for example, is it a Federal structure like the USA where each mandated State is fully autonomous with local government and local parliament, or provinces tailored made to religious, ethnic, and sectarian majorities, or loosely united States with open borders, common money, central army, or centralized foreign affairs; is Syria to be a monarchy and what kind). 

            Instead of discussing detailed programs, political parties mushroomed with abstract concepts not based on facts or pragmatic long-term goals. The colonial “mandated powers” of France and England had field days of “dividing to rule”.  Every sect established its political party in every potential State claiming either total independence, or seeking a pan-Arabic Nation of Arabic speaking majorities in States, or Islamic Nation.  We watched the emergence of communist parties disclaiming the notion of affiliating to a nation, to sectarian parties claiming democracy, socialism, and progressive. The worst propaganda that was encouraged by the colonial powers is to incite citizens against the Syrian people with the objective of discrediting the word Syria and giving it a bad connotation.

              Natural borders of chain of mountains, desert, or large rivers do not necessarily protect from invasions; natural borders certainly encourage people to trade and interact inside the borders.  It is the internal rough geography and terrain that protects from outside military incursions.  Once a force crosses the border then Syria is an open land all the way to Egypt. Syria, or the Near East, was continuously occupied by foreign armies: these foreign invaders had to retreat quickly or get absorbed culturally. Whatever monuments, constructions, temples, sport arena, or scholarly works that were attributed to invading nations (Persia, Egypt, Greek, Rome, or Arab) are basically the work of the Near Eastern civilization, their scholars, their craftsmen, and their adventurous business acumen.

            The City-States in the Near East (Tyr, Sidon, Byblos, Ugharit, Mary …) competed in commerce and trade but never attacked one another militarily.  In Greece, City-States frequently waged military wars against one another.  The Near Eastern people adopted defensive strategy; even Carthage in its apogee refrained to antagonize Rome militarily.

            Egypt and Persia frequent invasions in the Near East did not last long.  The Greek were absorbed: what Europe claim as Greek civilization is nothing less than the civilization of the Greek writing Syrians who spoke Aramaic.  Rome was finally absorbed: the Roman Laws are of the legal minds from the school of Beirut and the latest Emperors were born, raised, and educated in Syria. The Byzantium Empire was fundamentally a Near Eastern Empire.  The Arabs from the Arabic Peninsula were absorbed when Damascus was selected as Capital during the Umayyad Dynasty; the Arabs were absorbed by the Persian civilization when the capital shifted to Baghdad.  The Mogul retreated quickly but established long lasting Empires in India and Afghanistan. The Ottoman conquered this land and could not be absorbed: the Syrian people were already exhausted from many years of successive invasions, religious obscurantism, and immigration by scholars to greener pastures.  France and England retreated within two decades.  Israel failed to retreat on time and is now being absorbed as Near Eastern regardless of Israel attempts to seeking European image.

            Consequently, failing to writing a draft on a possible administrative program for the Syrian Nation opened the door to abstract concept instead of working out negotiation and dialogue on pragmatic matters that concerned the people.

Cholera or Pest or Plague: Never vanished and blooming again (February 23, 2009)

Cholera is back in force and threatening to spread in many neighboring States to Zimbabwe.  Mugabe of Zimbabwe refuses to step down as President and his State is suffering great famine, miseries, and the plague.  Thousands of people have contracted cholera and over 7,000 have already succumbed.   Cholera cannot be controlled; it could not be through the ages and current progress is not at a par with that plague.  Why?  Cholera has the capacity to mutate: an element of AND code new functions for the benefit of the bacteria, modifying its genome and increasing its adaptation to treatments or new antibiotics.

Alexandre Yersin, a French physician and bacteriologist, discovered in 1894 that Cholera is a bacteria but he failed to come up with a curative serum. Yersin still believed that rodents (rats) are the main culprit for transmitting this disease.  Only in 1898 did Paul-Louis Simond confirmed that cholera is transmitted by flea that quit dead rats to other greener pastures by sucking blood elsewhere.  Rats are infected with cholera but they are not affected or transmit it because they rarely bite humans.  Once a man is afflicted with cholera then the main transmitter of the epidemics are men.

So far, medical research has not mapped out all the means of transmissions of the disease.  It is possible that home pets, cats and dogs, carrying flea might be transmitters of the epidemic.  What is known is that older generations of antibiotics such as streptomycin, chloramohenicol, and tetracycline are increasingly inefficient against the bacteria of cholera.  The antibiotic based on fluoroquinolone might be of more effectiveness.

Bubonic plague has a long history, through the ages, to devastating more than a third of populations.  Cholera lands suddenly, kills for a short period and then disappear for no known reasons.  The best remedy was to flee as quickly, as far away as is possible and not to return any time soon.  The Jews in Judea were decimated during David.  The troops of the Assyrian Monarch Sanhareeb, putting siege to Jerusalem in 701 BC, suffered the plague. Greece and Athens in 430 BC was devastated by cholera as Sparta was laying siege to Athens. Ancient Rome was plagued.  Cholera hit Byzantium during Justinian for one century and traveled around the Mediterranean basin; Pope Pelage II succumbed to cholera in 590.  In 1346, the Mogul troops, laying siege to Caffa in Crimea, were plagued and they catapulted infested bodies over the rampart of Caffa.  The Genoa defenders fled Caffa and transmitted the plague to all Europe; Spain, Marseille, Paris, England are contaminated and then Russia ten years later. France lost over a third of its population and Spain as many if not worse.

Cholera crashed London in 1665; the English monarch and his family paid a long visit to the French Monarch, The plague subsided when fire engulfed the better parts of the poorer quarters of London in 1666.  The last time, before Zimbabwe, that cholera expressed its virulence was in 1894 in south east China.

History accounts shows that cholera was carried by the Mogul troops arriving from Mongolia and Central Asia. As they sweep into relatively humid regions then plague settles in during summertime. India, Iran, Iraq, and Syria suffered plague during the Mogul successive invasions. I cannot but figure out a few hypotheses.  Cholera infects people but does not bloom in dry arid regions.  Cholera is virulent in humid regions and during the hot seasons.  Could it be because people sweat profusely? Especially because people failed to wash or take bathes in older days?  Or is it that since sweat excretes most of the salt in the body then cholera has an ideal medium of less salty body fluids to flourish and concentrate during the ripe seasons?




May 2023

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