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Mon, 16 Jul 2018
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Iraq to repatriate 450 stolen Sumerian tablets

sumerian tablet
450 Stolen Sumerian tablets are being repatriated to Iraq with a ceremony in Washington D.C. on May 2. Many of the cuneiform texts come from a mysterious city called Irisagrig - a land from which looted artifacts are becoming increasingly common in the antiquities market.

The majority of the Sumerian tablets are inscribed with legal and administrative documents showing contracts or inventories, however a few are incantations. Thus, the artifacts provide a certain mix of public and private details. Live Science reports most of the tablets were created between 2100 BC and 1600 BC.

Magnify

Remembering The Russia's V-Day Story (or the History of World War II not often heard in the West)

Russian V-Day Story
© Unknown
Every May 9th the Russian Federation celebrates its most important national holiday, Victory Day, den' pobedy. During the early hours of that day in 1945 Marshal Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov, commander of the 1st Belorussian Front, which had stormed Berlin, received the German unconditional surrender. The Great Patriotic War had gone on for 1418 days of unimaginable violence, brutality and destruction. From Stalingrad and the northern Caucasus and from the northwestern outskirts of Moscow to the western frontiers of the Soviet Union to Sevastopol in the south and Leningrad and the borders with Finland, in the north, the country had been laid waste. An estimated 17 million civilians, men, women and children, had perished, although no one will ever know the exact figure. Villages and towns were destroyed; families were wiped out without anyone to remember them or mourn their deaths.

Chess

The dangerous game of brinkmanship: The way in which wars have gotten started

John Foster Dulles quote
A popular game amongst young ne'er-do-wells in the US in the 1950s was "chicken," in which two drivers drove their cars at rapid speed toward each other. Whichever one veered away first was deemed the "chicken."

Of course, any sane, mature individual would regard both drivers as not only potentially suicidal, but also extraordinarily stupid. (As can be imagined, the game sometimes ended disastrously.)

At that same time, Adlai Stevenson, who was twice the democratic candidate for president, created the term "brinkmanship," a term that was defined by John Foster Dulles as quoted in the above image.

Brinkmanship is essentially "chicken," except that it's played by men in suits and is potentially far more disastrous.

There's a general assumption that people in suits and people "in charge" are somehow more rational and/or more intelligent than teenagers who enter into a motorized spitting contest, but this is not the case. The people in suits merely put a better spin on their idiocy and risk the lives of tens of millions in doing so.

People

'This is the first time we have celebrated the New Year like this': Stories of New Year celebrations during Siege of Leningrad

Celebrating the New Year at the Leningrad Children's Hospital
© Sergei / Sputnik
The Siege of Leningrad. Celebrating the New Year at the Leningrad Children's Hospital
Ahead of the Victory Day - a very personal day for many in Russia and beyond - RT shares recollections of people who lived, struggled and had little joys in their childhood tragically taken away during the Siege of Leningrad.

The horrific Siege of Leningrad was one of the most lethal in world history, and lasted for 872 days, from September 1941 to January 1944. The city's civilian population of almost three million refused to surrender or flee in panic, even though they were completely surrounded by advancing German forces.

Here, we tell you four stories of the time, the stories of people who had to endure enormous suffering as they were trapped in Leningrad - the country's second-largest city in which starvation and hunger were as deadly as German bombs and shells.

"It was June, we were at our dacha, and then my father appeared with a changed look on his face, and said: 'It's war,'"Valery Voskoboinikov, the 79-year-old siege survivor, told RT. He said he initially liked the word 'war', but his father gave him a little slap to stop the son joking around, then packed immediately and left.


Comment: See also: The Siege of Leningrad: Last entry in the WWII diary of dying 12-year old Russian girl


Book 2

Mapping My Return - Salman Abu Sitta on the fate of the Palestinians after the 1948 Nakba

palestinian refugees
© AP Photo/S.Madver, UNRWA Photo Archives
Palestinian refugees walk through the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in Lebanon in 1952
It's the time of year when Israelis and Palestinians mark the anniversary that matters most to each of them: May 15 is the date of the founding of the Jewish state in 1948. It is also the day that commemorates the Nakba, the flight, expulsion and dispossession of the Palestinians. Nothing underlines more starkly the depth of the unresolved conflict between these two peoples: the independence of the one meant disaster or catastrophe for the other.


Comment: In addition to flight, expulsion and dispossession, the Guardian should have added mass murder. The Jewish immigrants not only kicked the Palestinians off their land, they slaughtered entire villages. But that might bring the analogy to the Nazi slaughter of Jews too close to home.


In the heat of the recent controversy in Britain over Zionism and anti-semitism, relatively little attention was paid to the Palestinian side of this ever controversial story. Europe's Jews were the victims of racism, persecution and extermination on a massive and unprecedented scale during the Nazi era. Palestinians, in their turn, in a different way, were victims too.

Salman Abu Sitta's autobiography is a vivid and angry reminder of that. It tells the story of just one of some 750,000 Palestinians who became refugees in the war that followed the UN decision to partition the country in 1947. When he was growing up near Beersheba in the final decade of the British mandate, Jews were first a distant then a closer and menacing presence, well-organised foreign immigrants with guns and detailed maps. Their motives and experiences were remote and unfamiliar.

Abu Sitta takes on board much of the "new history" largely written by Israelis who punctured the older myths of the war, emphasising the military superiority of Zionist forces and the weaknesses and rivalries on the Arab side. He also provides fascinating glimpses of the Palestinian fedayeen - "infiltrators" and "terrorists" to the Israelis - who crossed the border after 1948 not only to "defeat the invader" but to visit abandoned homes and fields on which new settlements were being built.

Pistol

Bush Sr. relationship to Reagan shooting still unsolved as Hinckley walks

bush family and reagan
© Reagan Library
President Reagan with the Bush family. Left to right: Neil Bush, Marvin Bush, Reagan, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Jeb Bush.
A story I had to leave out of my book

Why did George H.W. Bush and his cabinet determine that John W. Hinckley Jr. - the man who in 1981 tried to kill the newly inaugurated President Ronald Reagan - was a lone nut, and no conspiracy, foreign or domestic, was involved? How did they arrive at this conclusion just five hours after the shooting, without any thorough examination?

And why won't the Federal Bureau of Investigation release its documents on the shooter?

Hinckley, who was released from a federal psychiatric facility on August 5 after 35 years, remains a mystery, and that's the way the government prefers it. Among the documents the Bureau withholds are those that reveal organizations linked to him - and the names of his associates.

One noteworthy individual will not even acknowledge knowing of Hinckley beforehand, someone associated with the shooter's family, and an even longer history of dissociation - George H.W. Bush.

Cult

The time when bankers plotted to overthrow US president FDR

Plots against Presidents
It was a dangerous time in America: The economy was staggering, unemployment was rampant and a banking crisis threatened the entire monetary system.

The newly elected president pursued an ambitious legislative program aimed at easing some of the troubles. But he faced vitriolic opposition from both sides of the political spectrum.

"This is despotism, this is tyranny, this is the annihilation of liberty," one senator wrote to a colleague. "The ordinary American is thus reduced to the status of a robot. The president has not merely signed the death warrant of capitalism, but has ordained the mutilation of the Constitution, unless the friends of liberty, regardless of party, band themselves together to regain their lost freedom."

Those words could be ripped from today's headlines. In fact, author Sally Denton tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, they come from a letter written in 1933 by Republican Sen. Henry D. Hatfield of West Virginia, bemoaning the policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Denton is the author of a new book, The Plots Against the President: FDR, a Nation in Crisis, and the Rise of the American Right.

Comment: It took one brave man to help change the trajectory of the US over 90 years ago: Smedley Darlington Butler. Today, given how far the banking interests have entrenched themselves, we'd probably need a thousand who had Butler's kind of influence and integrity.


Gold Coins

How the Bush family made its fortune doing business with the Nazis

Bushes

The Bushes: A family dynasty that is founded on and perpetuated by doing business with Nazis or those with a Nazi worldview.

"A famous American family" made its fortune from the Nazis, according to John Loftus'
documented historical analysis.

The Bush family links to Nazi Germany's war economy were first brought to light at the Nuremberg trials in the testimony of Nazi Germany's steel magnate Fritz Thyssen. Thyssen was a partner of George W. Bush's grandfather Prescott Bush:
From 1945 until 1949 in Nuremberg, one of the lengthiest and, it now appears, most futile interrogations of a Nazi war crimes suspect began in the American Zone of Occupied Germany.

Multibillionaire steel magnate Fritz Thyssen-the man whose steel combine was the cold heart of the Nazi war machine-talked and talked and talked to a joint US-UK interrogation team.

... What the Allied investigators never understood was that they were not asking Thyssen the right question. Thyssen did not need any foreign bank accounts because his family secretly owned an entire chain of banks.

He did not have to transfer his Nazi assets at the end of World War II, all he had to do was transfer the ownership documents - stocks, bonds, deeds and trusts - from his bank in Berlin through his bank in Holland to his American friends in New York City: Prescott Bush and Herbert Walker [father in law of Prescott Bush]. Thyssen's partners in crime were the father and [grandfather] of a future President of the United States [George Herbert Walker Bush]. (John Loftus, How the Bush family made its fortune from the Nazis: The Dutch Connection, Global Research, February 2002, edit by GR)

Comment: What is it about families like the Bushes, the Rothschilds, etc., that runs so deep in them that, generation after generation, they maintain the will and the means to feed upon the energy and suffering of countless people in order to satisfy their psychopathic will to power?


Sherlock

China's perception of the West: A historic background

china turn of the 19th century
This illustrated history was originally tweeted yesterday, May 4th 2018. It is slightly edited and republished here with the author's permission.

How the West's betrayal of China in Versailles after World War I led to the long Chinese Revolution that shaped today's Chinese perception of the West
Tiananmen student protest

Tiananmen student protest
99 years ago, on May 4th 1919, the original Tiananmen student protest broke out. The students protested the Allied Powers' betrayal at Versailles: The German Shangdong colony was given to Japan instead of returning it to China. This despite China's sending of 140,000 men to work on the Western front.

Red Flag

Vienna Jewish Museum highlights prominent Jewish role in Soviet communism

marx comrade jewish communism
The Vienna Jewish Museum is currently holding a special exhibition highlighting the Jewish role in the creation of the Soviet Union and Communism, titled "Comrade Jew: We Only Wanted Paradise on Earth" (Genosse. Jude. Wir wollten nur das Paradies auf Erden) using a Soviet era cartoon of Karl Marx in a Moses pose holding tablets inscribed with "Das Kapital" and the "Communist Manifesto."

According to the Museum's official website, the exhibition marks the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, and runs until May 1, 2018.

According to the write up which accompanies the official leaflet, the exhibition focusses on the fact that the Communists "attracted many Jews seeking a radical break after centuries of anti-Semitism in the Czarist empire," and that the "utopian idea of an egalitarian society prompted them to support the new state."

In Austria, the museum adds in its write up, "antisemitism in the bourgeois parties in particular made the workers' movement into a political option for Jews, and there were close links between Russian and Austrian Marxists.

"The exhibition focuses on the failed dream of a better world. We look at the idea of an egalitarian society from an Austrian Jewish perspective and trace diplomatic, political, social, and cultural connections," the exhibition introduction states.

Comment: See also: Solzhenitsyn breaks last taboo of the Russian revolution: New book exposes the role of Jews in Soviet-era repression and genocide