AuthorTopic: The Real First World War  (Read 1304 times)

Offline RE

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The Real First World War
« on: August 13, 2014, 12:36:09 AM »
The Real First World War

By Bhaskar Menon
Global Research, August 11, 2014
vijayvaani.com
Region: Asia, Latin America & Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa
Theme: Culture, Society & History
inquisition

Europe’s “Great War” of 1914-1918 does not deserve to be called the “First World War.” That title should go to the first real global conflict, Europe’s genocidal invasion of other regions that began in the final decade of the 15th Century. European historians have sought to downplay the ferocity, extent and significance of that earlier conflict by treating it as a diffuse historical process, but if we who were victims accept that view it disables our understanding of everything that has happened since then.

As few Indians are likely to know much about what actually happened, let me recount some salient points.

A decade after Columbus landed on Hispaniola in 1492, its indigenous people were extinct. They had done nothing to deserve that fate; Columbus in a letter to his royal sponsors in Spain said they were “loving, uncovetous people,” with “good features and beautiful eyes,” who “neither carried weapons nor understood the use of such things.” Yet many were tortured to death in a vain attempt to get them to reveal non-existent hoards of gold and others worked to death or driven to suicide. Such gratuitous violence continued as Europeans extended their domains in the “New World.”

Many of the smaller tribes followed the Arawak of Hispaniola into extinction while the populations of larger groups fell by as much as 85 percent, victims not only of indiscriminate violence but of induced famines and new diseases to which they had no immunity. The spread of smallpox through blankets distributed free to Native Americans and the wanton slaughter of the great herds of bison on which the “Plains Indians” depended for food, clothing and shelter were the most outrageous cases of genocide. Estimates of the numbers killed range up to 100 million.

In South America, the Conquistadores engaged in a zestful mass murder that has no equivalent to this day. Bartolomeo de las Casas (1484-1566), a Spaniard who went to the New World for fortune but was driven by the atrocities he witnessed to enter the Church, left a vivid description in Brevissima Relacion de la Destruycion de la Indias (Short Report on the Destruction of the Indies):

     “One time the Indians came to meet us, and to receive us with victuals and delicate cheer, and with all entertainment, ten leagues from a great city, and being come at the place they presented us with a great quantity of fish and of bread, and other meat, together with all they could do for us to the uttermost.” The Conquistadores put them all to the sword “without any cause whatsoever,” more than “three thousand souls, which were set before us, men, women and children,” committing “great cruelties that never any man living either have or shall see the like.”

    “The Christians, with their horses and swords and lances, began to slaughter and practice strange cruelty among them. They penetrated into the country and spared neither children nor the aged, nor pregnant women, nor those in child labor, all of whom they ran through the body and lacerated, as though they were assaulting so many lambs herded in their sheepfold. They made bets as to who would slit a man in two, or cut off his head at one blow: or they opened up his bowels. They tore babes from their mothers’ breast by the feet, and dashed their heads against the rocks. Others they seized by the shoulders and threw into the rivers, laughing and joking … They spitted the bodies of other babes, together with their mothers and all who were before them, on their swords. They made a gallows just high enough for the feet to nearly touch the ground, and by thirteens, in honor and reverence of our Redeemer and the twelve Apostles, they put wood underneath and burned the Indians alive. They wrapped the bodies of others entirely in dry straw, binding them in it and setting fire to it; and so they burned them. They cut off the hands of all they wished to take alive. They generally killed the lords and nobles in the following way. They made wooden gridirons of stakes, bound them upon them, and made a slow fire beneath: thus the victims gave up the spirit by degrees, emitting cries of despair in their torture.”

Casas, writing as the Bishop of Chiapas, estimated that just in the Caribbean his compatriots had killed some 15 million Indians, leaving “destroyed and depopulated” the large islands of Cuba, San Juan [Puerto Rico], and Jamaica, and some 30 smaller islands.

In Australia and New Zealand, the killing was less zestful but it was more comprehensive, and there was no Casas to call attention to what happened. The Anglican Church and British authorities looked the other way as settlers in Australia hunted the Aborigines like animals, poisoned their food and water, raped their women and savaged their children, all in a deliberate campaign to reduce the indigenous population. The Aborigine numbered about 750,000 at the end of the 18th Century and about 30,000 a century later; both figures are estimates for they were not included in Australian censuses until 1971.

Australian policies to “protect” and “assimilate” the Aborigines continued the oppression into the second half of the 20th Century. It inflicted prison terms on adults for “crimes” ranging from “cheeky behavior” to “not working” to “calling the Hygiene Officer a big-eyed bastard.” Government officials took infants from their parents and placed them in White families or orphanages. That “adoption” policy openly aimed at eliminating the Aborigines as a cultural group, the legal definition of genocide. In the face of mounting international criticism, the government discontinued the program grudgingly in 1970; it was not until 1997 that it noted the negative impact on the victims and their families.

In New Zealand, a country larger than Britain (103,738 sq mi to 94.526 sq miles), the first British settlers in the mid-1800s found a tribal population said to be around 100,000 – almost certainly an underestimate, for the newcomers were soon engaged in a series of “Maori wars” to expropriate tribal land. By 1896 the number of Maoris was down to 42,000.

In Africa and Asia the death tolls were far larger.

The slave trade out of Africa began with the first Portuguese explorations down the African coast in the 14th century and continued into the 19th. By the time it ended, slavers had taken an estimated 25 to 35 million Africans across the Atlantic and killed an equal number during capture and conveyance.

Within Africa too, wherever Europeans settled, they displaced and often enslaved the local population. The “Orange Free State” established by Belgium’s King Leopold II in the Congo reduced the native population from an estimated 20 million to 8 million. Under the pretext of “civilizing the natives,” his regime established a reign of terror, mandating wild rubber collection quotas for each village and punishing unmet targets by lopping off the arms of workers. Supervisors were required to bring in baskets of limbs to show they were implementing policy rigorously.

In Namibia, the Germans massacred the Herero. In Kenya, the British ran the Kikuyu off the best agricultural land in the country, pushing over a million people into lasting poverty. A movement to reclaim the land in the 1950s resulted in a second displacement as the colonial regime hunted down, tortured and killed over 100,000 “Mau Mau terrorists.”

In South Africa, the British slaughtered the Zulu to get at the diamonds and gold in their land and the Boers (descendents of Dutch settlers) imposed racial segregation on the whole country in 1948, as India’s independence heralded the end of the era of European world domination. The system stayed in place until 1994.

Asia saw the highest death tolls of the colonial era, and as K.M. Panikkar noted in Asia and Western Dominance (1959), the violence began with Vasco da Gama. On his second voyage to India, he came upon an unarmed Arab vessel and, “after making the ship empty of goods” he “prohibited anyone from taking out of it any Moor” and then ordered it to be set afire.

A commentator in Portugal justified that as follows: “It is true that there does exist a common right to all to navigate the seas and in Europe we recognize the rights which others hold against us; but the right does not extend beyond Europe, and therefore the Portuguese, as Lords of the Sea, are justified in confiscating the goods of all those who navigate the seas without their permission.”

That “strange and comprehensive claim,” commented Panikkar, was “one which every European nation in its turn held firmly, almost to the end of Western supremacy in Asia. The principle that the doctrines of international law did not apply outside Europe, that what would be barbarism in London or Paris is civilized conduct in Peking, and that European nations had no moral obligations in dealing with Asian peoples, was part of the accepted creed of Europe’s relations with Asia.”

In India, the first of the “man-made famines” under British rule occurred in the decade after the 1757 fall of Nawab Siraj ud Dowlah in Bengal; it killed seven million people, a third of the population. The last famine the British created, also in Bengal, occurred in 1942-1943; it killed between 3 and 4 million. In all, the total of such deaths has been estimated at several hundred million; the Gandhian Dharampal calculated the total number of Indian deaths from all causes under British rule at 500 million.

China was never under colonial rule, but Britain fought two “Opium Wars” in the 19th century to force it to import the drug. By the first decade of the 20th Century a quarter of its population was estimated to be using the drug.

This litany of European depredations in the global South is not a mere scratching at old scars. It is, in fact, essential to understanding the “Great War” of 1914-1918. German disaffection at not having enough colonial “lebensraum” (elbow-room) was perhaps the most important factor that drove its competition with Britain that turned into war. In that sense, it was a direct karmic consequence of the Real First World War.
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Offline Karpatok

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Re: The Real First World War
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2014, 02:24:15 AM »
    And all of the people guilty of these genocides were such good white Catholics and Anglicans. But today joined up with white Protestants and ignorant Fundamentalists they would like to continue the marauding upon people of color considered still basically subhuman and worth less than a white person. The life of any person of color whether light brown or black is essentially worthless and good only for some kind of subserviance either as lowly labor or canon foddder or collateral. That is the real reason we have a police state today, to protect the white power elite from the blowback of previous genocidings that make the holocaust pale by comparison. That is why there will never be justice for people robbed of their lives by the white police class working for the power elite. So even if beheadings, crucifictions and spearings are not actually taking place here in the US, the malicious intent and hatred is still there as evidenced in the millions imprisoned and intended to be interned by the growing forces of fascism. This genocidal impulse is alive and well among the exploiters at the top of the heap extending every possible resource to remain at the top, and making use of every possible ploy and lie to ensure their own safety from harm. Halfbreed Obama is only their quisling to carry out their still fiendish designs for world ownership and enslavement of everybody else. Their genocidal impulses, fantasies and modus operandi have never died or been reformed while they hide behind pieties and fabrications to deceive and lure the populaces everywhere to their death and destruction. Karpatok

Offline RE

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Re: The Real First World War
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2014, 03:07:09 AM »
I am in contact with Bhaksar and may be able to set up a Podcast with him.

RE
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Offline MKing

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Re: The Real First World War
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2014, 07:21:55 AM »
A decade after Columbus landed on Hispaniola in 1492, its indigenous people were extinct. They had done nothing to deserve that fate; Columbus in a letter to his royal sponsors in Spain said they were “loving, uncovetous people,” with “good features and beautiful eyes,” who “neither carried weapons nor understood the use of such things.” Yet many were tortured to death in a vain attempt to get them to reveal non-existent hoards of gold and others worked to death or driven to suicide. Such gratuitous violence continued as Europeans extended their domains in the “New World.”

Another example of how folks choose to act, in this case yet another religious sponsored exercise. You would think humans would figure this out and get on with some other form of enlightenment already.

Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.
-Dalai Lama

Offline Surly1

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The Mutual Destruction of Sennacherib and Babylon
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2014, 06:51:23 PM »
The Ancient History Encyclopedia (http://www.ancient.eu/) is a wonderful site that will return hours of enjoyment...

The Mutual Destruction of Sennacherib and Babylon

by Joshua J. Mark
published on 22 August 2014
The reign of Assyrian king Sennacherib (705-681 BCE) was chiefly characterized by his difficulties with Babylon. Throughout the history of the Assyrian Empire, Babylon had caused problems and had even been destroyed by the Assyrian king Tukulti-Ninurta I in c. 1225 BCE. Even so, there were direct cultural bonds between Babylon and Ashur, capital of the Assyrian Empire, and the city was always re-built and re-populated. Babylon was more than just a physical city of bricks and streets in the minds of the Mesopotamians: it was a cultural center of immense significance. Tukulti-Ninurta I's desecration of Babylon and her gods, in fact, led directly to his assassination. Owing to its status among the people of Mesopotamia, however, the people of Babylon seemed to feel that they could repeatedly throw off the authority of whatever ruling body held the region with impunity, and one can understand how a king could become tired of such an attitude. This was precisely what happened with Sennacherib in his dealings with the great city.


The Defeat of Sennacherib


SARGON II AND SENNACHERIB
Sennacherib's problems with Babylon were largely inherited. His father, Sargon II (reigned 722-705 BCE) had defeated the tribal chieftain Merodach-Baladan and driven him from Babylon but had allowed him to live. Once Sargon II was dead, and Sennacherib took the throne, Merodach-Baladan returned to Babylon and re-claimed the throne. The Babylonians welcomed him; Sennacherib had done nothing at all to endear himself to the city. As the new king, he was supposed to have participated in the ceremony in which he took the hand of the statue of the god Marduk as a sign of respect for the god, Babylon, and the people Marduk presided over. Instead, Sennacherib had simply sent them word that he was now king of Babylon and never even bothered to visit the city. Merodach-Baladan was not in the least bit concerned about the new king. Sennacherib was considered a weakling. He had never taken part in any of his father's military campaigns and had spent his earlier life as crown prince with administrative duties, while Sargon II had achieved his glorious victories on the battlefield. When Sennacherib heard that Merodach-Baladan had taken Babylon, he did not even lead a force to re-claim it himself but, instead, sent his commander-in-chief at the head of an army. This force was swiftly defeated by the combined forces of Babylon and their allies the Elamites and Aramaeans in 703 BCE. Babylon then arranged its troops, just in case the Assyrians came back again, and settled down to its own business. According to the historian Susan Wise Bauer:

That was the last straw. Sennacherib himself came sweeping down like the wrath of Assur and broke through the allied front line, barely pausing. Merodach-Baladan ran from the battlefield and crept into the marshes of the Sealand, which he knew well, to hide himself; Sennacherib marched the rest of the way to Babylon, which prudently opened its gates as soon as it saw the Assyrian king on the horizon. Sennacherib came through the open gate, but chose to send Babylon a message: he ransacked the city, took almost a quarter of a million captives, and destroyed the fields and groves of anyone who had joined the alliance against him (384).

The people of Babylon quickly realized that the poor opinion they had held of Sennacherib was misguided. In this early campaign the new king showed himself an adept tactician, able military leader, and ruthless enemy.

SENNACHERIB BIDES HIS TIME
Although he sacked the city, he did not destroy it. Merodach-Baladan escaped following the battle and fled to safety in Elam where he would instigate further trouble for the Assyrians. After taking Babylon, Sennacherib placed a trusted official named Bel-ibni on the throne to rule for him. Bel-ibni had been raised alongside Sennacherib in the Assyrian court and was thought to be trustworthy. It turned out that, however loyal Bel-ibni may have been, he was an incompetent ruler who, over time, began to allow the southern regions to do as they pleased. Some years later, around 700 BCE, Merodach-Baladan returned from hiding and again incited rebellion in region. Sennacherib marched south again to put down the revolts. He sent Bel-ibni back to Nineveh and appointed his favorite son and chosen heir, Ashur-nadin-shumi, to rule Babylon. In 698 BCE Ashur-nadin-shumi was kidnapped by the Elamites who then claimed Babylon as their own. Sennacherib marched on the city, defeated the Babylonians, and executed the rebels, but there was no word on the fate of his son and no ransom had been demanded for his return.  This action “produced a full-blown war between Assyria, Babylon, and Elam. Fighting went on for four years” (Bauer, 388). Sennacherib mounted an enormous expedition to invade Elam that included Phoenician ships and the whole might of the Assyrian army. The Assyrians lost the war, and Ashur-nadin-shumi was presumed dead (scholars in the present day believe he was executed sometime around 694 BCE). Sennacherib returned to his capital at Nineveh and occupied himself with building projects for the next five years. He seemed to have forgotten about Babylon but, actually, was only biding his time.

Sennacherib

SENNACHERIB STRIKES
In 689 BCE the Elamite king died, and Sennacherib struck quickly at Babylon. The city fell, and he sent the pretender to the throne back to Nineveh in chains. He had spent more time during his reign dealing with Babylon and the Elamites, and had expended more men and resources on dealing with the city, than on any other campaign. His patience had run out, and so he ordered the city to be razed to the ground. His inscription reads, in part:

I swiftly marched to Babylon which I was intent upon conquering. I blew like the onrush of a hurricane and enveloped the city like a fog. I completely surrounded it and captured it by breaching and scaling the walls. I did not spare his mighty warriors, young or old, but filled the city square with their corpses...I turned over to my men to keep the property of that city, silver, gold, gems, all the moveable goods. My men took hold of the statues of the gods in the city and smashed them. They took possession of the property of the gods. The statues of Adad and Shala, gods of the city Ekallati that Marduk-nadin-ahe, king of Babylonia, had taken to Babylon at the time of Tiglath Pileser I, King of Assyria, I brought out of Babylon after four hundred and eighteen years. I returned them to the city of Ekallati. The city and houses I completely destroyed from foundations to roof and set fire to them. I tore down both inner and outer city walls, temples, temple-towers made of brick and clay - as many as there were - and threw everything into the Arahtu canal. I dug a ditch inside the city and thereby levelled off the earth on its site with water. I destroyed even the outline of its foundations. I flattened it more than any flood could have done. In order that the site of that city and its temples would never be remembered, I devastated it with water so that it became a mere meadow (Nagle, 26).

Babylon was destroyed and the statue of their god, Marduk, was carried back to Nineveh as a war trophy. Sennacherib no longer had to worry about who was ruling in Babylon or what trouble they might cause because the city no longer existed. He may have thought that now Babylon could cause him no further problems but, if so, he was mistaken. As in the reign of Tukulti-Ninurta I, the people were outraged at Sennacherib’s destruction of the great city and, further, by his sacrilege in plundering the temples and taking the statue of Marduk as a prize. Bauer writes, “Turning Babylon into a lake – covering the civilized land with water, returning the city of Marduk to the primordial chaos – was an insult to the god. Sennacherib compounded this by ordering the statue of Marduk hauled back to Assyria” (389). The Assyrians and Babylonians revered many of the same gods – even though they often had different names – and this insult to Marduk, the god who had brought order out of chaos, was intolerable.

THE DEATH OF SENNACHERIB
The Book of II Kings 19:37 states, “One day, while [Sennacherib] was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king.” Assyrian inscriptions also maintain that he was killed by his sons but differ on whether he was stabbed or crushed to death. The historian Stephen Bertman writes, “Sennacherib was stabbed to death by an assassin (possibly one of his sons) or, according to another account, was crushed to death by the monumental weight of a winged bull that he just happened to be standing beneath” (102). However he was killed, it is thought that he was assassinated because of his destruction of the city of Babylon.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2014, 06:56:58 PM by Surly1 »
"...reprehensible lying communist..."

 

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