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Thu, 06 Aug 2020
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Secret History


Erdogan pins upheaval in US on 'fascism and racism', overlooking Turkish slave trade

slavery whites ottoman empire

Slavery is and always has been about 'equal opportunities'
After President Donald Trump, the world's busiest leader must be President Recep Erdogan of Turkey. But despite his crammed schedule (threatening Europe, denouncing France, Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates; attacking Kurds in Turkey, Syria and Iraq, waging war in Libya and Syria, drawing plans for the invasion of Armenia and Greece, sending ships to the Eastern Mediterranean to steal undersea hydrocarbon from waters which do not belong to Turkey, sending troops to more than half-a-dozen Middle Eastern and African countries, bribing Lebanese fundamentalists to threaten the Armenians of that country with genocide, jailing Turkish journalists, shutting electronic communication, converting the Byzantine Hagia Sophia cathedral to a mosque...), Turkey's dictator found time recently to tweet that the U.S. social-political upheaval is a result of "racism and fascism."

Meanwhile, his slavish media extrapolated that the root of the U.S. crisis is slavery. Putting aside Turkish racism against the Alevis, Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, Jews, Kurds, and Syrian Arab refugees, let's look at Turkey's slavery record.
"More whites were brought as slaves to North Africa than blacks brought as slaves to U.S or to the 13 colonies from which it was formed. White slaves were still bought and sold in the Ottoman Empire, decades after blacks were freed in the U.S."

¬ Thomas Sowell, black American economist and social theorist.
Who were the North African slave masters who plagued Western Europe from the 16th century to the early 19th century? They were the Barbary Coast pirates of Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya. Their sovereign was the Ottoman sultan whose navy protected them when the pirates were challenged by Western navies. Ottoman Turkey was also their main customer for slaves. For four centuries, the pirates raided Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, England and Ireland kidnapping natives and selling them in the slave markets of North Africa. They even raided Iceland where the attacks were called Tyrkjaranio (Turkish raid).

The U.S. Navy was not immune to Barbary pirate attacks. The U.S. paid tribute to them to stave off attacks on its ships. According to historians, the Barbary Coast pirates enslaved 1,250,000 Europeans. The slave-hunting expeditions were year-round affairs to replenish slaves who had died or had converted to Islam.

Blue Planet

Rare instance of incest uncovered at prehistoric Newgrange monument in Ireland

© Ken Williams/ShadowsandStone.com
Figure 1 | Newgrange passage tomb, Ireland. Cassidy et al.1 report that the analysis of DNA from a man buried in this 5,000-year-old monument reveals evidence of incest.
A study of the DNA of Ireland's Stone Age inhabitants has produced spectacular results, with far-reaching consequences for our understanding of prehistoric population movement and the structure of that ancient society. Writing in Nature, Cassidy et al.1 report their striking discoveries from this project.

The authors looked at the period, around 4000 bc, when farming appeared as a new, Neolithic way of life, supplanting the older and more mobile Mesolithic lifestyle based on fishing, hunting and foraging for wild foods. Cassidy et al. examined the social structures of these farming communities over the following 1,500 years, focusing on the people buried in passage tombs — a type of monument featuring a chamber, covered by a mound, that is entered along a passage. The most famous Irish passage tomb is the enormous monument at Newgrange (Fig. 1), which is part of a World Heritage site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. This huge circular mound is one of three major tombs built in the Brú na Bóinne cemetery complex in County Meath, north of Dublin, in eastern Ireland.

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Bad Guys

The myth of white privilege

child labor UK
© Getty
British capitalism was built on the ruthless exploitation of wage slaves, not black slaves.

One of the main arguments of the Black Lives Matter movement is that the legacy of slavery continues to inform 'white privilege' and structural racism today. It is an argument that is both historically illiterate and wilfully disingenuous.

The truth is that there is no relationship between slavery and white privilege. Slavery benefitted the emerging capitalist class of the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries and no one else. Contrary to the BLM narrative, the history of slavery - and its relationship to the emergence of modern capitalist society - provides powerful grounds for overcoming racism, not perpetuating it.

Snakes in Suits

Imperialism, diamonds and power: The plan of Cecil Rhodes' secret society for global dominance

Cecil Rhodes
The question of whether a statue of Cecil Rhodes should be taken down has been raging in Britain in recent weeks, fuelled by the George Floyd protests that have swept the world. Personally, I am not a fan of people pulling down statues of historical figures, not because I necessarily like these figures, but because destroying a statue doesn't change history, and people should not forget history. Living in a world where anything that outrages a minority of people is destroyed, or memory-holed as Orwell would put it, is a world where people soon forget the lessons of history. Furthermore, where do you draw the line? What historical figures pass the outrage test, and who fails? Who decides who passes or fails - an angry mob? The whole business of destroying historical statues and removing TV shows that were made decades ago quickly becomes an inconsistent mess. In my opinion, what is more important is to learn the lessons of history, and take this knowledge to inform our actions in the future.

In saying all this, I am by no means making a case for why Rhodes was great. The exact opposite is true, yet there are two sides of Rhodes, both of them imperialist, but both of them not widely understood. One side of Rhodes is relatively well known: he was an imperialist who was heavily involved in Southern Africa, including serving as the Prime Minister of the Cape Colony between 1890-96; he believed that English people were the master race; he was a diamond magnate who founded the company De Beers, where labourers were racially segregated during his time; various Rhodesian Africans colonies were named after him; he set-up a Rhodes Scholarship program at Oxford University that the likes of Bill Clinton went through; and Hitler reportedly admired him.
Cecil Rhodes statue


French cave reveals secrets of life and death from the ancient past

© University of Wollongong
Grotte de Cussac cave in Dordogne, France, is the site of stunning cave art, containing more than 800 figurative engravings of animals and humans that are between 25,000 and 30,000 years old.

It also contains the remains of at least six humans, dated to the same period. With one possible exception, it is the only known example of human remains interred so deep within a cave that also contains artworks.

For the past 10 years, a research team has been studying these human remains in situ to discover what they reveal about the lives, customs and beliefs of the people of that time.

Their research is published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

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Cow Skull

Reindeer were domesticated much earlier than previously thought

© Robert Losey
Working closely with the Nenets people indigenous to the Iamal Peninsula in northern Siberia, U of A archeologists determined that 2,000-year-old artifacts recovered from the Arctic tundra are likely pieces of harnesses used to train reindeer to pull sleds.
A University of Alberta anthropologist has found what might be the earliest evidence for domestication of reindeer in the Eurasian Arctic.

While examining the remains of ancient dogs at a site called Ust'-Polui near Salekhard in northern Siberia, Robert Losey and his team unearthed a number of artifacts that appeared to relate to reindeer harnesses, which radiocarbon dating has determined to be about 2,000 years old.

In May and June of 2019, Losey's team spent a month living with contemporary Indigenous Nenets reindeer herders on the Iamal tundra above the Arctic Circle. The Nenets scrutinized replicas of the artifacts and identified them as headgear parts for training young reindeer in pulling sleds.

"We weren't sure about any of these artifacts — what this stuff was, or how it works," he said. "It's just a bunch of straps, and antler pieces and swivels — a confusing mess."

Comment: See also: Prehistoric Siberians may have traveled 1,500 kilometers by dogsled


2,600 year old Amazon warrior grave revealed to be 13 year old girl

amazon warrior
© Vladimir Semyonov, M.O. Mashezerskaya
‘It was so stunning when we just opened the lid and I saw the face there, with that wart, looking so impressive.’
Warrior's grave found in 1988 was identified as male - yet now the 2,600-year-old teenager 'with wart on face' is revealed to be female.

The 'stunning' discovery appears further confirmation of ancient Greek claims about female fighters known as Amazons among the Scythians of central Asia.

In 1988 Dr Marina Kilunovskaya and Dr Vladimir Semyonov came across the partially mummified young warrior's grave Saryg-Bulun in Siberia's modern-day Tuva republic during an emergency excavation.

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Roof Koreans

roof Koreans
© unknown
The riots of the spring of 2020 are far from without precedent in the United States. Indeed, they seem to happen once a generation at least. The 1992 Los Angeles Riots are such an example of these "generational riots." And while most people know about the riots, less known - though quite well known at the time - were the phenomenon of the so-called "Roof Koreans."

The Roof Koreans were spontaneous self-defense forces organized by the Korean community of Los Angeles, primarily centered in Koreatown, in response to violent and frequently racist attacks on their communities and businesses by primarily black looters and rioters during the Los Angeles Riots of 1992. Despite their best efforts, over 2,200 Korean-owned businesses were looted or burned to the ground during the riots. It is chilling to imagine how many would have suffered the same fate had the Koreans not been armed.

Standing on the rooftops of Koreatown shops they and their families owned, clad not in body armor or tactical gear, but instead dressed like someone's nerdy dad, often smoking cigarettes, but always on alert, the Roof Koreans provide a stirring example of how free Americans of all races can defend their own communities without relying upon outside help.


Priceless Maya murals found during house renovation in Guatemala

maya mural
In Guatemala, during the renovation of one of the old private residential buildings under several layers of plaster, unique coloured frescoes of the Ishil people, who still represent one of the largest groups of the Mayan civilization, were discovered.

The study is published in the journal Antiquity. Polish archaeologists have examined several buildings in the ancient city of Chahul in Western Guatemala. As a result, an unprecedented set of wall paintings that date back to the colonial period was discovered. According to scientists, the frescoes were made from 1524 to 1821 ad.

The first of them was accidentally discovered in 2003 by a local resident who started to repair his house. However, until 2008, due to the unstable political situation in the country, scientists could not get access to these findings. For the same reasons, researchers were not allowed in Chakhul for more than 40 years.

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Blue Planet

Mixture and migration brought agriculture to sub-Saharan Africa

© Steven Goldstein
Pottery associated with the early farmers at Kakapel Rockshelter, Kenya.
A new interdisciplinary study published in the journal Science Advances reports on 20 newly sequenced ancient genomes from sub-Saharan Africa, including the first genomes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Botswana, and Uganda. The study documents the coexistence, movements, interactions and admixture of diverse human groups during the spread of food production in sub-Saharan Africa.

In order to reveal the population interactions that gave rise to Africa's enormous linguistic, cultural, and economic diversity, an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Africa, Europe, and North America sampled key regions in which current models predict a legacy of significant population interactions. The collaborative study between researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH), the National Museums of Kenya and other partners was led by archaeogeneticist Ke Wang and archeologist Steven Goldstein of MPI-SHH. It sheds light on patterns of population change as food production spread throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

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