Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 30, 2016

On The Inevitability Of Human Progress

To those who believe in the inevitability of human progress ...


Elijah J. Magnier @EjmAlrai

A Sumerian fighter in the 4th millennium BC smashing the head of his enemy & a Sumerian fighter 2016 with #ISIS

Posted by b on May 30, 2016 at 13:52 UTC | Permalink



I think that's a very good point to make. Hedges makes it consistently as well. When I was a child I believed in the inexorable progression of 'civilization', and I was not alone. It was 'in the air'. I think it's gone now.

Posted by: jfl | May 30 2016 14:14 utc | 1

The killing machines have certainly become more efficient.

Posted by: dh | May 30 2016 14:30 utc | 2

The inevitability of human progress is certain; but its direction is not...

Posted by: V. Arnold | May 30 2016 14:33 utc | 3

Excellent! Thanks for the pictures. Says it all. So much for 'civilization.' Is it any wonder that I don't find so-called 'progressives' any different from neo-cons, cons, neo-libs, libs and the rest? The light bulb is not progress, along with everything from sliced bread to large homes and fancy gadgets (even this computer), if it does nothing to enhance the relationship between one human and another. We'd be better off living the life of a speechless predator without an opposable thumb.
Alas, we don't get to choose.

Posted by: rg the lg | May 30 2016 14:40 utc | 4

This is a particularly bitter moment of history . It looks like a reversal of progress to me. A madness takes hold of humanity when people are driven to despair. Hedges has described this well. Rituals of violent purification, purification and supposed sanctification through violence. But the world is not made whole by this insanity.

In Ancient Greek thought, there is the idea of history moving in cycles. So there is no linear movement toward progress.

Posted by: Copeland | May 30 2016 14:40 utc | 5

Thanks for the reminder b, pragmatism is always good medicine.

Posted by: ben | May 30 2016 14:41 utc | 6

Memorial Day here in the U$A sooooo

The Empire Files: 100 Years of US Troops as Lab Rats

Human progress?

Posted by: ben | May 30 2016 14:49 utc | 7

Ahhh... Bronze Age wars. Those were the days. Nothing like a spear and good sickle-sword to smite your enemies.

Laguerre - any insight on the chap in the carving? (the upright one, not the foot-rest)

Posted by: PavewayIV | May 30 2016 14:54 utc | 8

but it wasn't all blood and gore...

no sir ree bob

Posted by: john | May 30 2016 15:43 utc | 9

Tranny bathroom rights are the important thing right now. That's your march of progress.

Posted by: fnn | May 30 2016 15:46 utc | 10

A progressive told me flatly that he wasn't particularly concerned about Libya. Safe to say, by implication that he hasn't a whit of concern over the innocents that were slaughtered there; and the raping and plundering and the wanton destruction of that country. Surely we wouldn't be off the mark to lump in Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Honduras, and any other non-US territory in his list of no concern.

This is what passes generally as a progressive POV. Just a few degrees to the left of Atilla The Hun.

Posted by: fast freddy | May 30 2016 15:54 utc | 11

Yes. Homo Sapiens are a violent bunch. A spear? An automatic rifle? The difference in 2016 is the possibility of a nuclear first strike. The PTB act as if we can sing 'Over There!' and fight the good fight. In 2016 things are different. There are Russian Boomers stationed off of Washington DC that reportedly we, the US Military are unable to detect. This belligerent war talk spewed by Neo________________ (fill in the blank)does not take into consideration the nuclear aspect of war in the year 2016. Russia obviously wants no part of 'Cold War II' and its attendant Hollyweird inspired saber rattling.

2017 is an important date in Russian History. I have no doubt that due to the multi layered MIC corruption at every level our forces are not prepared to defend against a nuclear first strike and with our classified military secrets given to Israel and passed to Russia I have to believe that we are f*#ked as far as mounting a sustained nuclear strike.

Just my opinion.

Posted by: ALberto | May 30 2016 15:58 utc | 12

i actually believe that this was also
the occupation of Joshua
(the one who fought the battle of Jericho)
from a certain book (The Legends of the Jews By Louis Ginzberg,[1909])

however i have no intention of going through that book again.

Posted by: chris m | May 30 2016 16:10 utc | 14

> We'd be better off living the life of a
> speechless predator without an opposable thumb.

Please, no. Even if you're correct in saying the only progress has been technological, I'll take what I can get.

Posted by: dumbass | May 30 2016 16:15 utc | 15

12;It is quite obvious Zion is behind US saber rattling vs Russia.
Why would they give them secrets which would hurt Zion?
Yes,I'm sure some tech innovations stolen from US are passed on to others by Zion,but not the real game changing ones.(if we have or had any lately)

Posted by: dahoit | May 30 2016 16:30 utc | 16

Well, an apt post for USA Memorial Day.

WNYC's Studio 360 rebroadcast a program about the Viet Nam War Memorial designed by Maya Lin and, among other things, tried to evaluate how it affects the younger generations who view it now. I was doing other things, not paying strict attention as I'd heard the program previously, but I'm sure I heard one analyst say that today's young people see the memorial as glorifying war and soldiers' valiant deaths. A result of the Great War on Terror?

From the blurb of the program:

How do you build a monument to a war that was more tragic than triumphant? Maya Lin was practically a kid when she got the commission to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall. “The veterans were asking me, ‘What do you think people are going to do when they first come here?’” she remembers. “And I wanted to say, ‘They’re going to cry.’" Her minimalistic granite wall was derided by one vet as a “black gash of shame.” But inscribed with the name of every fallen soldier, it became a sacred place for veterans and their families, and it influenced later designs like the National September 11 Memorial. ...

Posted by: jawbone | May 30 2016 17:11 utc | 17

chris m @14

Thanks for the laugh. Happy Holiday.

Posted by: ALberto | May 30 2016 17:17 utc | 18

I have read, I think in several sources, that in neolithic times there was no violence between humans. I haven't researched this is any way, but I gather the archaeological record shows no evidence of warfare. Could be mistaken.

In William Irwin Thompson's wonderful book, The Time Falling Bodies Take To Light, he describes the transition from a matriarchal society to a patriarchal one. He puts it about 10,000 years ago. He describes the great irony of the invention of agriculture - the greatest scientific development of the women who held and developed the knowledge and science of the time. With the rise of agriculture, the bounty of the earth could now be stored, and coveted, stolen and fought over.

There are other descriptions of the migrations and the coming of violence into the world - sometimes I've heard this to be 4-6,000 years ago.

The Buddhist teaching is that all sentient beings are capable of all evils and all goodness. The cosmology holds that beings experience a bewildered succession of lifetimes, driven by karma, and since time without beginning have been in hell realms, been animals, humans, ascended great heights and fallen to great depths. Sometimes, the truth of the nature of reality is glimpsed, and a being can begin to try to understand the nature of mind, and put one's life into a path towards realization.

The same enlightenment that the Buddha "attained" is a quality that exists in all beings. This was the first thing he perceived as an enlightened man, and this message to us is the gladdest of all the Buddhist messages. Enlightenment is the end of the crazy whirl through time without end, and the furtherance of compassionate kinship with all beings throughout the universe. Those we see in robes and on the meditation cushion are those who have glimpsed a fragment of this truth and are trying to get off the wheel of bewildered existence, in order to help all beings. The path to enlightenment is meditation, and our true nature, obscured by our habitual reactions, is compassion.

I mention these things to suggest that there are other ways to describe our existence on this planet than to think that we are moving forward or backwards, or are doomed or are blessed. We are all things and have the opportunity as individuals each to make the choice to be good and to improve. What happens in the mass, as society, in the future, is not here yet and cannot readily be known.

Posted by: Grieved | May 30 2016 17:36 utc | 19

How Russia is preparing for WWIII ...

Posted by: ALberto | May 30 2016 17:40 utc | 20

As Iraqi Kurdistan’s Peshmerga launches a new offensive just east of the major ISIS city of Mosul, witnesses on the ground reported US troops loading into armored vehicles and heading eastward, toward the front lines. The Pentagon refused to confirm where the troops were headed.

The Pentagon would only describe it as an “advise and assist operation to help Kurdish Peshmerga forces.” It is noteworthy that the troops warned reporters present not to take pictures, after similar pictures emerged of US troops embedded with Syrian Kurdish forces, sparking a row with Turkey.

source -

Posted by: ALberto | May 30 2016 18:13 utc | 21

Unlikely Sumerians in the 4th millenium ...

Sumerian Warfare

There was virtually no evidence of warmaking in the early years of Sumer. Between 3100 B.C. and 2300 B.C. warfare started to play a bigger role in city-state relations as priest-kings were replaced by warlords with armies armed with lance and shields. Military tactics were developed, weapons started utilizing metals and the first "battles" begun taking place.

There is evidence that the king of Uruk went on military campaigns to bring back cedar wood from the mountains as early as early as 2700 B.C. and by 2284 B.C. Sumerian kings were fighting wars with neighboring cities and peoples like the Semites.

Posted by: Oui | May 30 2016 18:33 utc | 22

Assyrian Empire 25th century BC–612 BC

Beheadings and psychological warfare by Assyrian soldiers

Mordechai Cogan quotes an Assyrian poem, probably dated to the reign of Tiglath-Pileser I (1114-1076), in which the poet praises the actions of the victorious king. On one section of the poem, in which the poet relates the victory of the Assyrian king against his enemy, reads as follow:

    He slits the wombs of pregnant women he blinds the infants He cuts the throats of their strong ones.

In commenting on the words of the poet describing the acts of the victorious king, Cogan wrote: “Out of the entire catalogue of the horrors of war, he singled out the attack upon the defenseless women and children; and this in order to impress upon all that the cruelest of punishments awaits those who sin against Assyria’s god” (1983:756).

This terrifying practice, the disembowment of pregnant women, was a form of psychological warfare. It was Assyria’s way to show Assyria’s enemies the consequences of revolting against the empire. In case of rebellion by vassals, the Assyrians would bring reprisal by enforcing their rule with violence and brutality.

See also reliefs in palace of King Ashurbanipal, c. 660-650 B.C. with scenes depicting the aftermath of the Battle of Til-Tuba in Elam.

Relief in above article ....

Alabaster bas-relief depicting the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III stands over a captured enemy. The cuneiform inscription describes an Assyrian campaign in Iran 744 BCE. (British Museum)

Posted by: Oui | May 30 2016 18:35 utc | 23

Both ancient Sumeria and the same region today are embroilled state systems (or aspiring states). It is the preceeding long-running paleolithic stateless period that had low levels of violence (and what there was was generally between individuals and families). The hierarchically structures agriculture-based neolithic systems saw a big increase in institutionalised violence. But it was with state systems that organised warfare took hold and flourished, and it still does today.
The propensity to violence is the product of human social organisation, not of intrinsic human tendencies..

Posted by: John Earls | May 30 2016 18:38 utc | 24

Better example is the current genocide in Yemen, led by "the most shining light on the hill".

When western economies collapse very soon, and the effect of global warming takes serious hold, will see exactly the idea of human "progress" .

Posted by: tom | May 30 2016 19:01 utc | 25

An interesting read:

Barry Cunliffe - "Europe Between the Oceans: 9000 BC - AD 1000", ISBN 978-0-300-17086-3 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London)

Covers the developing European history and antecedents imported from both fertile crescent and egyptian experiences over the ten thousand year period. David Graeber's book - "Debt: The First 5,000 Years", ISBN 978-1-61219-419-6 both correlates and corroborates much of Cunliffe's pre-written historical thesis.

Yes, human progress is inevitable; it just is neither consistent nor comprehensive and certainly not uniform, but good ideas do seem to persist and get copied. Just come up with excellent ideas that travel well.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | May 30 2016 19:33 utc | 26

To John Earls: "The propensity to violence is the product of human social organization, not of intrinsic human tendencies.."

Thank you for that. Well said! I often hear the phrase "well it's just human nature" used to justify thuggery. It is Not human nature - it is the manipulation of humans through social hierarchies. It is gratifying to think that there is at least one other person who thinks this way.


Posted by: norma lacy | May 30 2016 19:36 utc | 27

Chris Hedges - "The Myth of Human Progress and the Collapse of Complex Societies"

Posted by: okie farmer | May 30 2016 19:46 utc | 28

It turns out to be a relief of Tiglath-Pileser III (747-727 BC) at Nimrud. Assyrian, not Sumerian. The relief is in the British Museum, not blown up by ISIS.

Pretty typical of ancient kings.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 30 2016 19:50 utc | 29

Journalists question to John McCain."Russia, China and Iran have warned the US of catastrophic consequences if the US attacks Syria, what are your thoughts on that?
McCain "My thoughts are it doesn't concern me in the slightest".
Why is that?
McCain "Because they will not act, just as they didn't react when the Israelis four times took out targets inside Syria, Syria said they would react, and the didn't. The US is the most powerful nation in the world and we are not going to be intimidated by Russia and China, we are not, so I guarantee you that they will not act if we launch these strikes against Syria, they will not act".
My question is what if thy did?

Posted by: harrylaw | May 30 2016 19:57 utc | 30

Formerly T-Bear@26 - You keep enticing us with these interesting-sounding books, T-Bear. I think I have about six on my list from your posts so far. Do you have all these yourself or just live at the library? I always wish I had the luxury of time to sit and read for a few hours - I hate reading an entire book a few pages here and there.

My employer is whining about cutting back this summer, so I may just get my wish. The lighting in my future home under the 3rd Av. bridge is pretty good and I think I still have my library card. The wife and kids should go pretty quickly on Craig's list - they're cute, rather useful at times and come with their own clothes and furniture.

Posted by: PavewayIV | May 30 2016 20:00 utc | 31

@24 John Earls .. ditto normas comment @26 - thanks for your comments which i also think nails it on the head..
" "The propensity to violence is the product of human social organization, not of intrinsic human tendencies.."

Posted by: james | May 30 2016 20:27 utc | 32

copeland #5 noted: In Ancient Greek thought, there is the idea of history moving in cycles. So there is no linear movement toward progress.

Well Marx used the spiral model -- history repeats in cycles but on a higher planes. To be sure there is no linear movement but hopefully in the zig zag of motion there is some progress to higher planes. However, given the horrific violence that the US and ISIS has visited on the world in recent decades, maybe the original Greek model is right after all.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 30 2016 20:31 utc | 33

Here's PCR

Russia may have upper hand in Mil tech, b/c US Mil tech is mostly a crony capitalist scheme for private profit.

Posted by: fast freddy | May 30 2016 20:32 utc | 34

@ PavewayIV | May 30, 2016 4:00:30 PM | 31

Start collecting for those odd idle moments. Yes, these are a few of the books I've accumulated over time, that have germane bits illuminating either the human condition or its history and development, a scope nearly limitless and about as close to infinity as one can reasonably get. Currently reading an Everyman's Library - "George Orwell: Essays" and finishing (a two year reading project) this year the last three volumes of The Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes published in memorial for The Royal Economic Society - both have resonances that pertain to much being discussed these threads, this site. Whoever observed history may not repeat but it rhymes wasn't far off the mark. The late father would have been interested about the Craig's List - he had intended to write "Raising Children for Fun and Profit" but never got about putting pen to paper.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | May 30 2016 20:59 utc | 35

@ PavewayIV | May 30, 2016 4:00:30 PM | 31

Register and paradise awaits you :-)

Posted by: DavidKNZ | May 30 2016 20:59 utc | 36

Well, this is an oversimplification from Magnier.

There has been progress. We have developed a civilization that recognizes human rights, crimes against humanity, etc.

The problem is that Western political leaders are playing double games. Screwing the people by serving oligarchs who profit from aiding and abetting fundamentalist regimes that sponsor extremists. In this way, the values and interests of the Western public is traded to enrich Western oligarchs.

People were lulled to sleep with easy credit and propaganda. But they are waking up.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 30 2016 21:05 utc | 37

Being retired (or retarded) with a younger, still working wife, I have both the time and the resources to indulge in reading. My mornings are usually spent reading a long list of informational sites, starting with Counterpunch and ending with Unz. MoA falls somewhere in the middle. The afternoons are spent fiddling around with my model railroad layout. The evenings are spent reading books. I used to give books to the local library but found most in the annual 'used book sale fund raiser' and then not purchased. Even the local small university found them extraneous to their collections. Why?

They did not fit smoothly into what Pepe Escobar refers to as 'Exceptionalistan," led by the Malignant Overlords (from SeaGypsyphilosopher).
I refer to this bias as the 'standard view' --- the crap taught in schools and universities because Memorial Day is the ultimate expression of our nationalist, racist view that America Is both Good and Great.

Then MoA comes along and tries to make us think. What do we do? Fall back on the Myth called American History.

I pity those who do not have time to read. Worse, I find (even joking) references to placing family members on Craigslist sickly sad.

And the 'Thunderbirds" at our nearby AFB were adjudged by the local newspaper to be a success, complete with pictures of kids awed by the essence of death - one a young man sitting atop a Hummer peering through a gun site.

Ah, America ... land of the deluded and dumb.

Posted by: rg the lg | May 30 2016 21:24 utc | 38

@Laguerre - #29

That's what I said .... see my 2 comments above.

Posted by: Oui | May 30 2016 21:26 utc | 39

No Muslim family should engage in birth control: Erdogan

“And I say it clearly that we will increase our posterity and reproduce generations.

“Population planning or birth control; no Muslim family can engage in such a mentality.

“We will follow the road that my God and dear Prophet [Muhammad] say[ed],” Erdogan said.

The takfiri Turk deals genocidal death to his enemies and issues a fatwa against birth control.

Sounds like a pope, advocating the replay of the Armenian geoncide, on the Kurds this time. That's progress?

Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars

When we only memorialize US soldiers while ignoring the victims of our aggression, we in effect are memorializing war. I cannot do that. War is insane, and our country continues to perpetuate its insanity on others, having been constantly at war since at least 1991. We fail our duties as citizens if we remain silent rather than calling our US wars for what they are – criminal and deceitful aggressions violating international and US law to assure control of geostrategic resources, deemed necessary to further our insatiable American Way Of Life (AWOL).

Memorial Day for me requires remembering all of the deaths and devastation of our wars, and it should remind all of us of the need to end the madness. If we want to end war, we must begin to directly address our out-of-control capitalist political economy that knows no limits to profits for a few at the expense of the many, including our soldiers.

S. Brian Willson. The railroad track man, not the beach boy, reminding us that the US dealt death, devastation, and destuction of the Middle East is like a replay of the US dealt death, devastation, and destruction of Southeast Asia.

France, the UK, Italy and Germany have caught the sickly sweet scent of empire and, once again, have the bit in their collective teeth.

Human 'civilization' gets more complex, primarily because we "increase our posterity and reproduce generations" - while decreasing "theirs" - in the words of the holy man above ...

But increased complexity is in no sense progress, unless you count the unfolding of time itself and the lumping and clumping, the refolding, of matter itself as progress.

Observing our mistakes and getting ourselves under control, paying the price for going through all these things many more times than twice, would be progress. No light at the end of that tunnel yet visible from here. Time unfolds, the 'scientists' - perhaps as taken with the idea of progress as I was as a child - proclaim it a one-way journey, no collapse and do over, as I thought it was the Hindus conceived, with their pet names for big numbers. The ability to cut it all short in terms of earthly human consciousness looms ... behind us, I guess. No one seems too concerned.

Posted by: jfl | May 30 2016 22:24 utc | 40

Memorial Day is war celebration day.

Posted by: fairleft | May 30 2016 22:30 utc | 41

@29. Laguerre 'The relief is in the British Museum, not blown up by ISIS. Pretty typical of ancient kings.'

And 'modern'. Looted by the Anglo-Saxons, who copied the Assyrians ...

[ 28 Understanding Iraq ]

Assyria occupied only about 5,000 square miles, or 12,950 square kilometers (about the size of Connecticut); its climate was harsh, and local resources were meager. Like Alexander the Great’s Macedonia, it had a small native population; probably it was no more than one hundred thousand. Also like Alexander’s Macedonia, Assyria became an engine of war. Its rulers proclaimed that war was the natural condition; it was just; it was god-ordained; Assyria was its earthly embodiment. Lesser peoples must submit.

[ Ancient Iraq 29 ]

The Assyrian term for submission was “walking on all fours” (eli erbi ritti pasalu), that is, to become like a domesticated animal. Those aliens who refused their proper place in the Assyrian world order must be eliminated, their towns razed, and even their gods carried off.

The Anglo-Saxons - those ancient kings who occupied an area of only about 50,000 square miles, larger than Connecticut but a good bit smaller than New England - carried off the gods of the Assyrians, the Indians, the Greeks themselves ... to their own museums. The march of progress, aeh?

Posted by: jfl | May 30 2016 22:47 utc | 42

"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever." - George Orwell

Posted by: Sordo | May 30 2016 23:12 utc | 43

b, odd you should ask this question today. Yesterday I was writing a peroration against some of the notions planted to disable us as resistors. I do this sometimes to protect myself from contamination. Wish I'd seen your post earlier. I would've edited down my comment. But I'm going out now so will post it as is. Apologies for the length. Inevitable? No, of course not, but we do have free will, if only we can find enough people to break through "group think".

A crushed self-identity, an inferiority complex, unearned guilt, a surrender requiring no threat of force. What are the elements of character & culture which allow one to fight back? Indeed, to shrug aside the tiny, bestial flea, which sitting upon the neck of mankind seeks to be the ruler?

The thinktanks & NGOs have done to us in culture what the oligarchs plan to accomplish politically. They plan subjugation. To do it they must first convince you that you and your culture are morally worthless; indeed that you have a guilt to atone for-- and hence, should welcome the punishment and austerity which the oligarchs are doling out.

A free man must stand proud & guiltless. He must know that he is worthy of freedom, capable of self-govt. He must confidently assert his ability to understand and to judge the events of the day. He must not be disarmed by the worship of tolerance. To be endlessly tolerant of all is to have no identity. Tolerance is a virtue but one secondary to those attainments of character and accomplishment which are the worthy objects of pride and admiration.

Unlimited, excessive tolerance and unearned guilt. They've been slipped into the culture by Rockefeller's innumerable think tanks and oligarchic control of Hollywood. By subsidizing always the bestial in man-- the mere ability to pull the trigger or to grab the other's resouces, oligarchic control of the military, of the culture and our very self-image has disarmed us.

Reclaim your identity. You would not knowingly hurt or cheat another. You feel compunction if you accidentally tread upon someone's toes. You've been willing to struggle to understand what is happening, but perhaps only within limits. You must challenge those limits.

For those who still retain any element of pride an alternate "anti-pride" has been sneaked in: "You should be proud of your ability to claim that your own culture, your own race, even your own species is worthless. Only nature is moral. Man is immoral because he "impacts" nature, because he transforms nature to better serve the furtherance of his own life."

We are all against the pollution of the Amazon, of Falluja and of war generally. But this "anti-pride" to destroy the authenic pride of human identity goes far beyond anti-pollution and conservation. It is a quite inspired creation of the oligarchs who would rule. What better way to defeat you than within your own mind? At the cost of a few dishonest historians who overstate the immoralities of our ancestors and throw upon a whole people the guilt that is rightfully ascribed to the ancestors of today's oligarchs. But no, this does not please you: you must bring down all of mankind. You see how you have swallowed the poison pills of the think tanks? It has become a part of your identity, of your pride-- your ability to denigrate the whole of humanity. Thus making it ripe for takeover by the very worst of humanity-- pure bestial dominance by psychopaths.

You imagine it heroic to stand aside from humanity and judge it lacking in justice which only you can appreciate. But it is a coward's way out: to throw blame upon others for an illusion of self-aggrandizement. We are engaged in a great moral struggle to determine whether Man's means of survival shall be creativity and cooperation or deception and bestial dominance. In this struggle no armament is more necessary than clear-thinking, none more powerful than a justly asserted honor. You attack both, through fuzzy-headed assertions that all mankind is guilty of the crimes of a few, and your admiration for amoral nature as the model for morality.

Humanity is much more than the small-mindedness of self-agrandizement or bestial dominance. Our civilization has progressed greatly since hunting & gathering. We have created from scientific understanding applied to the materials of nature the production which would have allowed us, since the 50s, to lift all countries to the posperity of working only 20 hours a week. Instead, an atavistic subculture, secretly gathering power to itself, has become dominant and today openly wages wars of chaos against the nations of men. It is a thread within history that there are always those who obsess upon the goal to "Conquer the Known World."

In all of this, if you and I, not being the Men of Action, have a part to play it is in the telling of the full and exact truth. Our responsibility is to find the truth and to tell as many as we can. We live within a conspiracy and the conspirators are attacking all nations and peoples. It is not enough to unmask the lies behind their military operations and proxies. Perhaps it is even more important to make conscious and explicit the many parts of our self-identity that they have degraded through their control of Hollywood & the media, as well as the think tanks. It is difficult to reject and correct that which remains unstated.

Another task which falls to us is to project an alternative. to remind ourselves and everyone what the world could've been, should have been, looked like it was becoming, before the ascension to power of the psychopaths. That world is still possible and can become our future. To state concretely the elements of the future that we all want is the first step to attaining it. The organization will follow.

Why the apathy? Can you not find your anger? Has the Pavlovian trick worked on you, then?

Posted by: Penelope | May 31 2016 0:00 utc | 44

Grieved @ 19:

You may like to read Steven Corry's article "The Return of the Brutal Savage and the Science for War", reposted at on an apparent recent trend among some scientists of emphasising violence and savagery among hunter-gatherer societies:

What may drive this trend (if it does exist) might be complex: it may be driven by a colonialist agenda to denigrate these societies, and it may be driven by a belief or ideology out to demonstrate that humans are essentially violent and only understand power when it comes down on them by force. Any societies that might suggest or prove that human societies can be other than power-dominated ones or that human nature is more flexible than can be allowed, must be erased out of existence and memory.

Also thanks for mentioning the Buddhist outlook as one way of demonstrating that human history and the idea of "progress" do not necessarily follow linear paths between sets of narrowly defined polarities. That worldview of history and "progress" is one of many ways of viewing those aspects of the world we call "reality".

Posted by: Jen | May 31 2016 0:41 utc | 45

The root cause of this topic is impunity.
When leaders are held accountable for their crimes, the killing and the bullshit will stop.
Repudiating impunity should be priorities #1, #2 and #3.
Until that issue is resolved then everything else is a waste of time.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 31 2016 1:17 utc | 46

@19 grieved.. i went back and read what you wrote after @44 jen pointed it out.. i must have skipped over it.. i really like and resonate with what you stated at 19.. thanks for that..

Posted by: james | May 31 2016 1:20 utc | 47

So I look at the two pictures and I think, what is the connection? So many centuries apart yet exhibiting the same penchant for head stomping. Then it hits me! Gluten! These guys are both Tigris Euphrates genetic types prone to gluten abuse that causes dreams of grandeur coupled with fits of insane violence. Gluten and Global Warming. That's the ticket.

Posted by: ALberto | May 31 2016 1:24 utc | 48

Magnier retweets:

In 2014 Damascus gave EU security services numbers of blank Syrian passports stolen by ISIS, some of which were later used by Paris killers.

Apparently originated with

(All the more interesting since my understanding is that Iraqi intelligence warned France just before the attacks.)

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 31 2016 1:47 utc | 49

What of Human Progress? There is none.

Previous commenters up-thread highlighted advances in technology for the enhancement of humanity. Really, as in developing new means of warfare?

What we have mastered is never ending wars, weather manipulation- the race to own the weather by 2025, chaos, illusions and lying wrapped up in spin.
Oh, weather manipulation/weapon does not exist? See the UN Weather Weapons Treaty 1976

On forked tongues:
Why is Eric Holder after leaving office, doing a “forked-tongue speak”? Should Snowden be pleased?

Former US Attorney General Eric Holder issued tacit endorsement Monday for Edward Snowden’s surveillance leaks.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The prominent whistleblower played an inportant role in generating a public debate after leaking classified intelligence on US surveillance, according to Holder.

"We can certainly argue about the way in which Snowden did what he did, but I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made," Holder told the CNN broadcaster’s "The Axe Files" podcast. [.]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Got it?

Snowden performed an important role/public service but he must stand trial !!

Posted by: likklemore | May 31 2016 2:11 utc | 50

@44 jen

What may drive this trend (if it does exist) might be complex: it may be driven by a colonialist agenda to denigrate these societies, and it may be driven by a belief or ideology out to demonstrate that humans are essentially violent and only understand power when it comes down on them by force. Any societies that might suggest or prove that human societies can be other than power-dominated ones or that human nature is more flexible than can be allowed, must be erased out of existence and memory.

The battle for 'human nature'. Many manifestations. Stephen Jay Gould wrote The mismeasure of man debunking the IQ line which has supplanted racism and he's still drawing pot shots, especially now that he's dead and can no longer defend himself.

Posted by: jfl | May 31 2016 2:39 utc | 51

I think humans biggest problem is hubris. We keep trying to think ourselves at the top of something/everything, when to the Cosmos, we are but a grain of sand.

I just finished reading The Polyvagal Theory (Porges) in preparation for neurofeedback for my TBI. The Vagus nerve is the source of our evolving interaction with our world and each other. Think of Fight/Flight/Freeze and if we don't go to any of those we can relate to each other. According to this book our first attempt is to relate but if the cues we are picking up trigger our mammilian fight/flight then boom, we are there and if that short circuits we shunt to our reptilian freeze mode. Two more data points and I will move on. The Vagus nerve complex is controlled by the most evolved of the two control centers called the nucleus ambiguus. The interesting thing about the nucleus ambiguus is that it doesn't form entirely until 3 moths after we leave the womb to incorporate external stimulus to our innate "animal face" to the world.

Have the advances that humanity has made, outside of war, been the result of our form of social organization? Does the competition forced on us by the capitalism myth produce social results that are worth us maintaining? Maybe for the global plutocratic families this is true but not for the rest of us. The boot will stay on the neck until finance becomes a public utility and the unearned spoils at the top are returned to the global commons.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 31 2016 3:51 utc | 52

Jen @ 44 - Thank you for Steven Corry's article. I read it. Apparently then, the violence began about 10,000 years ago, and prior to this the record shows warfare of any kind to be such a vastly rare occurrence as to form a complete anomaly in the pattern of life.

Corry spotlights the psy-op working to attempt to persuade us that violence is the foundation of human nature. He rightly calls it out and shows it up as completely discredited by decades of scientific rebuttal.

jfl @ 50 - thank you for putting into words that there is a propaganda battle for "human nature". I had never thought of this. I find the concept stunning. (I didn't know that Gould had died. I downloaded the book you cite, and hope to read it.)

Corry didn't ask the question in his article, why did the violence begin? What changed? He may well have dealt with this elsewhere, his article was short and deliberately focused on revealing the psy-op. Everything I have ever read ties the start of the violence with the change from matriarchal to patriarchal social organization.

John Earls @ 24 - this meets up squarely with your insight that violence comes from social organization, rather than some kind of innate human drive. Several commenters have picked up on this point. And given Corry's psy-op and jfl's battle for human nature, it seems we have battle royal underway for our souls.

Posted by: Grieved | May 31 2016 5:24 utc | 53

In classical understanding, the female principle is held to be wisdom, while the male principle is understood as energy. Personally, I have no trouble looking at the past 10,000 years, right up to the one we currently inhabit, and see energy rampant and unrestrained without the guidance of wisdom. It was not always this way. And the ancient way can arise again.

And why do I keep thinking of Russia, with its superb strength of force, balanced so sanely with its love of peace?

Posted by: Grieved | May 31 2016 5:30 utc | 54

rg the lg @ 4 You said, :Alas, we don't get to choose." In fact, you do get to choose. You get to choose for yourself how you will act. Choosing for yourself is the only legitimate choice you have.

Tyrants and despots choose for others. That is in the nature of things. The only thing you can do is to live your life in such a way that others are attracted to it and choose to live as you do. We lead by our example.

On the other hand, when others don't choose the way you do, it's pretty okay to kill them all or so it seems. When Marlene Dietrich, playing a Soviet diplomat in western Europe was asked about her opinion on the thousands killed by Stalin, she said, "We will now have fewer, but better, Russians."

It's a really hard choice, isn't it?

Posted by: Macon Richardson | May 31 2016 5:53 utc | 55

Further to ALberto's posting of The Saker on Russia & WWIII (20), this from the indomitable John Helmer:
The Red Line Crossed, In the Cross-Hairs, At Trigger Point -- Waiting For An October Surprise

Posted by: John Gilberts | May 31 2016 10:51 utc | 56

@52 grieved

The 'social sciences' have been wide open to this kind of distortion forever. You have your opinion, you find your facts to illustrate it. To 'prove' it, scientifically. The new atheists - predominantly, it seems at present, just those who want to characterize Muslims as 'irrational' - take this tack. Their 'science' is their dogma and they run their own inquisitions.

As b points out, 'progress' is illusion. What's real is changing forms, infatuation with the 'new', and utter ignorance of and disinterest in the past. Of even the recent past. People just like us have been walking the earth for the past thirty or forty thousand years, if not longer. When we were orders of magnitude fewer we just went over the hill if disputes arose or if the area just got too crowded. After women invented agriculture locality became important and the men had more 'free time' to stay home and defend it. They utilized their hunting skills to do so, their herding skills turned to the organization of successful clans ...

Our strong point - organization - is our weak point. It creates, reinforces, the division between inside and outside. Look at us now. We create organizations just so that we can join them ... the Elks, the Masons, the Knights of Pithius ... we create sports teams, just so we can root for them. We all love to be on the inside, and we can't have an inside without an outside.

This is the kind of stuff that should be a central topic of discussion in all of our schools. Consciousness should be raised of our human 'membership jones', of how we manipulate ourselves and are manipulated by others on the basis of this jones.

I think there's a genetic component to it. It's unreasoning strength is the tell. Our only hope is to dredge it up into consciousness, to inspect and manipulate it rather than allow it to manipulate us to our doom. We can hang in as insiders, members of our 'special' groups of 'chosen' peoples, and perish in our beloved, self-selected subsets, or we can realize that we're all the same - vive la différence! - recognize and protect ourselves and each other from the tyranny of the dark side of our most salient, distinguishing and empowering inheritance, and live!

Potentially our most powerful inheritance is more subtle, our ability to reflect on what we 'are' at any given moment, on what we've become. And to nudge that, consciously and constantly, whenever there's a choice to be made, toward what we'd rather be. A sort of civil aesthetic in place of the visceral thrill of belonging to the 'powerful', 'independent' group. So says I, at any rate.

Posted by: jfl | May 31 2016 13:10 utc | 57

@ fairleft | 40, hmmm. Well, Jehovah was the god of war.

Speaking of books, a book that explained much to me about human affairs was Desmond Morris' The Naked Ape.

We are after all "chimps" not "bonobos". imo

Posted by: shadyl | May 31 2016 14:35 utc | 58

Oui at 22, 23 is correct. (Adding to his post ..) Old image:

Hanunu of Gaza, shown on his knees in front of Tiglath-pileser III, formally submits to the king of Assyria. Stone relief from the wall decoration of Tiglath-pileser's palace at Kalhu. British Museum, WA 118933; photo by Karen Radner.

Sumeria is a kind of emblem, example, for many events, shaping, organisation and advances, of history. The invention or growing use of writing, commerce, accounting, agriculture, ‘basic law’ from the top down, debt jubilees, and institutionalising money.

Plus being the first to produce and sell beer as an accredited beverage .. Cheers!

T-bear at 26 and John Earls at 24 take up the theme.

(Always hated the Assyirians, just me heh.)

Posted by: Noirette | May 31 2016 15:57 utc | 59

evolution of western 'civilisation'

Posted by: denk | May 31 2016 16:45 utc | 60

@Noirette - #58

Thx for the expansion of info ... from yr link:

Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria and king of Babylon

During the reign of Tiglath-pileser III, the Assyrian army was transformed into a professional army, with specialised soldiers largely replacing the conscripts who provided military service during the summer months, when the agricultural calendar permitted the absence of farm workers. Soldiers from the defeated kingdoms of Arpad, Unqu, Hamat, Damascus and Israel swelled the ranks of the Assyrian army, supplemented by mercenaries from Anatolia, the Zagros Mountains and Babylonia.

The stone tablet with the funerary inscription of Tiglath-pileser's queen Yaba, as found in Tomb 2 in Kalhu's Northwest Palace. The text invokes the gods of the netherworld in order to protect Yaba's last resting place, singling out future queens or other royal consorts and concubines as potential usurpers of her tomb and its grave goods.

From the beginning of his reign, the Assyrian king had been active in Babylonia: he came to be the archrival of Mukin-zeri, chief of the tribe of Bit-Amukani, who attempted to unite the politically fragmented region under his leadership and assumed the kingship of Babylon in 731 BC. Tiglath-pileser saw this as a provocation and a challenge to Assyria's primacy in the region. He repeatedly led the Assyrian army against Mukin-zeri and ultimately defeated him, taking the crown of Babylon for himself in 729 BC. For the remainder of his reign, Tiglath-pileser ruled both as the king of Assyria and the king of Babylon.

Posted by: Oui | May 31 2016 16:51 utc | 61

If it wasn't for that guy with his foot on that other guys dead face, we wouldn't be here on our PCs working jobs that make paper for things like new SUVs and expensive wines. Instead, we very might well be dead, with a boot on our collective face. We've gone soft in every way, because when our ancestors killed for empire and power, we ended up inheriting decadence and puerility. Still, we buy expensive shit and count ourselves lucky. I need to leave this planet. But before I do, I want to snort coke from an expensive hookers tits and drive a Ferrari.

Posted by: dan | May 31 2016 17:20 utc | 63

The most trenchant and comprehensive book on this subject, IMHO, is "Weapons Systems and Political Stability: A History," by Carroll Quigley, University Press of America, 1983. It's also on Kindle. Some of the strongest analyses are in Chapter 1, "Human Condition and Security," and Chapter 2, "The Prehistoric Period, to 4000 BC." Prehistoric evolutionary evidence across two or so million years offers little if any evidence for the idea that humans are natural killers. The evidence from the studies on predation bear this out. Until the Heroic Hunter cultures of about 700,000 BCE there is a paucity of support to the idea of humans as killer primates and none that it is DNA-determined behavior. If anything genetic shifts in biological evolution points to indeterministic changes and diminutions of instincts.

"In recent years a small number of influential writers have been trying to persuade us that man is by nature a violent and murderous creature. Their arguments have not been based on any careful observations of human behavior. Indeed, on the whole, the careful observers of human behavior on a comparative basis, the anthropologists. . .generally reject them."

Of Ardrey and Lorenz, Quigley notes: "Those writers who seek to portray human natures as essentially that of a bloodthirsty killer base their arguments generally on two kinds of inferences, both of which are more typical of late-Victorian methods of writing and argument that of the more scientific methods of our day. These two are: (1) by inference from the behavior of animals other than men; and (2) by inferences about the life and natures of our earliest ancestors."

"The idea that man originated as a solitary, violent killer goes back to classical antiquity and has appeared and reappeared. . .through the last two thousand years of the Western tradition. Its origins in the West can be traced back to Zoroaster and the Pythagorean rationalists (including Plato), who assumed that man. . .was basically evil. . .This view was contrasted with the opposing idea, derived from Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Hebrew outlooks, that the world, the flesh, and nature were good."

"[T]he two outlooks are still with us and are still debated, except that today there is very little discussion of the general assumptions of the two but simply vigorous, inconclusive, and uncompromising arguments on the special issues such as on American foreign and domestic policies or human origins."

Posted by: Glorious Bach | May 31 2016 18:40 utc | 64

I would just like to say that I'm really glad that commenters like Grieved, James, JFL, Glorious Bach and others I've forgotten (or can't be arsed to look back over in case I get distracted yet again) have chimed into this forum with information and discussion that confirm the role of extreme violence and brutality as tools used by elites or others to oppress people physically and psychologically throughout our history, and that one way of using this violence to keep people in despair and hopelessness is to suggest (through selective use of anthropological or sociological research, or selective teaching of history) that such violence has always been part of human nature and therefore it is "normal", "biologically determined" or "major part of our genetic inheritance".

By violence, I mean the violence of wiping out entire communities or societies through warfare or methods of genocide, including deliberate destruction of infrastructure, the creation of poverty (with all its attendant children: malnutrition, disease, lower life expectancies, the waste of human potential) and the use of war as a first resort over diplomacy.

The idea of the solitary violent killer survives in Hollywood movies and TV series, and these are the main ways in which new generations of people are becoming brainwashed and kept in darkness.

Posted by: Jen | May 31 2016 23:17 utc | 65

where waterboarding ph,

Posted by: denk | Jun 1 2016 2:02 utc | 66

Man, I hated to laugh when I saw that but the point was well made. It reminded me of a recent column by Paul Craig Roberts about Israel justifying what they're currently doing to the Palestinians by pointing to what the US did to the Native Americans in the 19th century.

Posted by: Curtis | Jun 1 2016 3:12 utc | 67


*This happened 100 years before the War in Iraq. The country was The Philippines. The war was the Philippine-American War, immediately following the Spanish-American War. The President was McKinley. The Senator was Knute Nelson of Minnesota. The General was Arthur MacArthur. Over 4,300 American soldiers were killed. Some estimates put civilian deaths at over 250,000. The American abuses were called the "Balangiga Massacre." The first newspaper was the Salt Lake City Tribune. The second newspaper was the Baltimore American. The university president was David Starr Jordan of Stanford. [26b,26c]

History seems to have an eerie way of repeating itself. We seem determined not to pay attention.*

Posted by: denk | Jun 1 2016 3:14 utc | 68

One suspects that writers (such as mentioned above) who cast Man as basically peaceful in nature, are "forgetting" the behaviour of Groups. Conventional Wisdom holds that Groups quickly degenerate into mindless, easily manipulated, entities with a collective morality of 0, and an IQ somewhat South of 50.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 1 2016 3:35 utc | 69


See excellent post by John Earls #24.

Posted by: Oui | Jun 1 2016 6:02 utc | 70

Earlier I have expressed great doubts about Elijah J. Magnier, his tweet about "A Sumerian fighter" and 4th millenium BC is historically false beyond pale!! That's not a coincidence for someone who professes knowledge of the Middle East.

What really exposes Magnier is this tweet:

    "This is one of the top rare papers I
    have seen on #Iran role in #Syria & #Iraq
    by @RZimmt. Worth reading it."
Iranian Participation in the Liberation of Fallujah by Dr. Raz Zimmt

Dr. Raz Zimmt is an "expert" from this Israeli propaganda organization ...

The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) conducts research and analysis on Middle Eastern affairs with an emphasis on the Palestinian issue and developments in terrorism-sponsoring countries (especially Iran and Syria).

The ITIC´s elite staff of experts on terrorism researches and monitors terrorist organizations, their structure, weapons, financing and activities around the world. In addition, the Center studies anti-Israeli incitement and the campaign to delegitimize Israel.

Paper is poorly written and utter bs propaganda! Who is Elijah J. Magnier?

Posted by: Oui | Jun 1 2016 6:05 utc | 71

@OUI - "Who is Elijah J. Magnier"

British professional journo, writing for the Kuwaiti AlRai paper. Working in the Middle East for some 30 years. Knows Arabic. Extensive war reporting from Bosnia, Kosovo, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria. Good relations with Hizbullah, the Syrian government and other relevant sources. Fairly neutral in his views.

I also read that Zimmt paper and find it quite good. It essentially debunks the sectarian propaganda the NYT is spewing about the Fallujah siege.

Posted by: b | Jun 1 2016 15:00 utc | 72

See excellent post by John Earls #24.
Posted by: Oui | Jun 1, 2016 2:02:35 AM | 70

I saw that but it sounded like "mitigation".
Someone wrote a book (with religious undertones) called Why Bad Things Happen to Good People. Someone else may, one day, write a book examining the notion that "..violence is the product of human social organisation, not of intrinsic human tendencies.."
He/She could call it Why Good People Do Bad Things When Too Many Of Them Join a Pre-emptive Group.
It's faulty logic. It's a bit like saying that cattle will hunt and eat dogs/ foxes/ hyenas, or turn cannibal if there's no grass. It also overlooks the Leadership Factor and the Groupthink gene Factor in Humans (Leadership being an intrinsic by-product of Groupthink/ socialisation).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 1 2016 15:50 utc | 73

Imo Humans are endowed/cursed with too much, and too many varieties of, imagination. Being intrinsically competitive probably doesn't help either.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 1 2016 16:07 utc | 74


I appreciate your writings for 100%, however I smell a rat.

"British professional journo, writing for the Kuwaiti AlRai paper."

This combination with close ties to the Kuwait ruling party is by definition anti-Russian.

Elijah J. Magnier wrote an article in November 2015 claiming Russian ground forces were fighting alongside Syrian between Latakia and Idlib.

    "Elijah J. Magnier, chief international correspondent for Kuwait's al-Rai newspaper, reported this morning, citing a 'high ranking source' in the Syrian government that Russian ground forces have taken part in an assault in the Latakia province."

I'm quoting The Interpreter where his article was republished.

This blog is run by Russian dissidents living in the U.S.

Posted by: Oui | Jun 1 2016 18:36 utc | 75

Furthermore ...

Russian officers overseeing Latakia front | NOW |

In late November, a Kuwaiti daily with close access to Moscow's military intervention in Syria claimed that Russian ground forces had already engaged in fighting north of Latakia.

"For the first time Russian infantry forces, supported by tanks and planes, have taken part in an assault on Syrian takfiri opposition forces between Latakia countryside and Idlib countryside," Al-Rai reported.

"A strategic elevation was taken without any injuries in the ranks of the attacking forces," a "Syrian leadership source" told the newspaper's chief international correspondent, Elijah J. Magnier.

The report added that the Russian army was using Syria as a "training ground" to test its combat forces and military equipment "which have not [been used] in a real battle for many years."

"This shows that the Russian army is [bringing] its forces to a level of high competence through clashes with the enemy as a first step to involving combat units in the near future."

Al-Rai's Magnier has written a number of articles on Russia's bombardment campaign in Syria, claiming access to sources in both the Baghdad and Damascus operation rooms for the "4+1" military coalition of Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah.

Moscow has insisted that it will not conduct ground operations in Syria, however recent reports indicate the Russia has been deploying troops to prepare for combat operations.

On November 8, a group of Russian investigative journalists released a report showing pictures posted to social media by current and former Russian military personnel in the Hama and Aleppo provinces.

"Although we still don't have indisputable evidence of Russian servicemen taking a direct part in the fighting on the ground in Syria, we believe the situation observed contradicts the claims of Russian officials that Russian troops are not taking part and are not planning to take part in ground operations," the said in its report.

A Khodorkovsky publication:

The Conflict Intelligence Team versus the Kremlin

I interpret Magnier's "close access to Moscow's military intervention in Syria" being this group of Russian investigative journalists.

Posted by: Oui | Jun 1 2016 18:40 utc | 76

Who is Elijah J. Magnier

I think this is an example of what b is referring to: Iran-Led Push to Retake Falluja From ISIS Worries U.S.

I have to wonder to what extent Zimmt is going beyond crying "foul" to fear-mongering (similar to, but different than NYTimes):

NYTimes: Iran's push for Shiite-militia participation in the battle for Fallujah could flame sectarian tensions!

Zimmt: Iran is preparing to claim an undeserved propaganda victory that could flame sectarian tensions!

<> <> <> <> <> <>

I think that the mistaken provenance of the image used is less important than the thrust of the argument.

On its face, the 'no progress' argument is essentially pro-tribalism/sectarism. As in: progress is not possible - people don't change.

Reactionary elements (fundamentalists, oligarchs) seek to push-back, halt, or turn-back that humanity's progress. And, just as elite circle-jerks create a hidden class system, fundamentalists of one sect reinforce fundamentalists of other sects.

(Hence my comment @37).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 1 2016 19:51 utc | 77

@Oui 75 Elijah J. Magnier wrote an article in November 2015 claiming Russian ground forces were fighting alongside Syrian between Latakia and Idlib.

He was right with that. There were Russian special forces and marines on the ground. The artillery in the Latakia offensive was also Russian manned. (Russian marines are also NOW active in Syria.)

It does not matter who copies his stuff. What matters are the quality of his sources. Those are mostly good. He once a while gets abused by sources who plant stuff with him that does not turn out to be true. But he always gives the appropriate caveats to such claim.

Posted by: b | Jun 2 2016 8:02 utc | 78


Thanks for deeper understanding. Magnier is a quality writer but he had raised some doubts about his sources. Looking for de boundaries, we can't be right all the time.

Posted by: Oui | Jun 2 2016 9:07 utc | 79

Clearly the U.S. military has been fooled, most likely by the variety of Hashd militias who do the bulk of the fighting on the peripheries of Fallujah city. The motif of a scorched earth policy and framing it as the work of Iraqi forces recurs in forgeries of Islamic State documents.

Specimen B: Withdrawal from Salah ad-Din Province

This document emerged earlier this year around the time of the offensive to retake Tikrit and is widely circulated in Iraqi social media. It has also been tweeted as authentic by some journalists including Elijah Magnier. Content-wise, the document is identical to Specimen A, but the document avoids obvious mistakes in language. Unlike Specimen A, terminology is used in keeping with Islamic State language, thus Shi'a are referred to as "Rafidites" and allied Sunni forces as "apostates."

[Source: Guide to Islamic State Document Hoaxes]

Al-Qa’ida in Islamic Maghreb and Arabian Peninsula Statement on the U.S.-led coalition against IS   by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Posted by: Oui | Jun 2 2016 9:11 utc | 80

The terror of the Islamic State is a continuation of the Sunni insurgency started under US invasion and occupation of Iraq. It's strategy is based on AQI of which al-Zarqawi was an exponent.

Flawed Reasoning and Misleading Projection On ISIL Origin
The Iraqi Insurgency and the Risk of Civil War: Who Are the Players? (2006)   By Anthony H. Cordesman - CSIS

Posted by: Oui | Jun 2 2016 9:12 utc | 81

Unlikely the ISIS guy being an Assyrian Descendant

The Assyrians are a fairly homogeneous group of people, believed to originate from the land of old Assyria in northern Iraq [..] they are Christians and are bona fide descendants of their ancient namesakes."[21]

A 2008 study on the genetics of "old ethnic groups in Mesopotamia," including 340 subjects from seven ethnic communities ("Assyrian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Armenian, Turkmen, the Arab peoples in Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait") found that Assyrians were homogeneous with respect to all other ethnic groups sampled in the study, regardless of religious affiliation.[23]

23 Banoei et al., Human Biology. February 2008, v. 80, no, I, pp. 73-81., "Variation of DAT1 VNTR alleles and genotypes among old ethnic groups in Mesopotamia to the Oxus region" PubMed "The relationship probability was lowest between Assyrians and other communities. Endogamy was found to be high for this population through determination of the heterogeneity coefficient (+0,6867), Our study supports earlier findings indicating the relatively closed nature of the Assyrian community as a whole, which as a result of their religious and cultural traditions, have had little intermixture with other populations."

Posted by: wilpattuHouse | Jun 2 2016 9:31 utc | 82

After seeing the most recent open and open election posts above, any probability of human progress must be a work of fiction worthy of the genre Science. Tribalism reigns supreme given the sovereignty of private opinion, unhindered by reality, praying at the twin alters of belief and myth on a prayer rug of finely woven ignorance. At least in the Dark Ages to come, what slithers from beneath the political rocks will be safe from any revelation of enlightenment. What shall we, when accounts must be given, say to our ancestors to explain our stewardship of our inheritance from them and how it was wasted.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 4 2016 20:12 utc | 83

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