By Mohamed Yalpani, Professor of Chemistry, in retirement
Regarding: UN Treasure Honors Persian Despot, By Matthias Schulz, Spiegel online, 07/15/2008
Payvand.com - Ignoring the million or so Iraqis who had to forfeit their dear lives for /freedom/ and /democracy/, in the wake of the arrival of the victorious allied armies into Baghdad, the contents of the Iraqi National Museum was wondrously cleared of the remnants of articles, reminding mankind that it was the Euphrates-Tigris valley which was once one of the main cradles of mankind's present civilization. Perhaps one day soon, it will be the turn of the remaining ancient contents of the Egyptian, etc. museums to follow suit. How can anyone then prove that it all didn't start in ancient Greece & Rome and then found a direct continuation in modern Europe? One can already wonder about the fate of all the vast collection of equally robbed relicts (cf the picture of a whole Babylonian Palace wall, now in the Berlin Pergamon Museum) symbolizing the toils and good thoughts of all the other ancient peoples, now decorating the famous museums, in London, Paris, Petrograd, ., or New York? Perhaps it is not as difficult as one might imagine:
A piece of clay with some imprints was once found by a British, German, French., (?) explorer in the soils of Mesopotamia. Naturally, it is now quite safe in London. Its latest story can show us the way:
There always will be a Matthias Schulz who sheer out of nowhere, pops up as an expert, to negate the importance of a find, a relict showing thoughts proving that besides the Greeks and the good Romans, other peoples might also have had a little finger in the making of mankind's current culture and civilization.
The famous der Spiegel, and later, the perhaps more renowned The Daily Telegraph have revealed that Cyrus had been a liar when he had ordered a scriber to impress the cuneiforms onto that famous roll of clay, which now, thanks to another great liar, the late Shah of Iran, the once upon a time obedient ally of the West, is "wrongly" decorating the Hall of the United Nations.
Cyrus II. The author of the inscription had been famed to be the first head of state to have recognized and declared the universal rights of humans! Yet according to Spiegel and the Telegraph, contrary to what the Bible and what the Creek historians had written, he had been a tyrant, simply a common butcher. I will not even try to argue this interpretation away! I must admit that I once learned much about my own history from European teachers who cited European discoverers who knew Greek and were authorized to tell us if the famous Herodotus, or Xenophon had lied or not. For, according to these and apparently others, Cyrus had been a kind and far sighted novel type of ruler, who had established the more than two centuries lasting Pax Persica over that vast ensuing empire.
Ok, I start to believe that the Holy book lied when it revealed that Cyrus generously freed the many thousands of Jews from their Babylonian masters and allowed them to return to Palestina. So had all the heretic Greek scholars lied, who had agreed with the contents of the - at the time unknown to them - Bible.
Thus according to all these now "false" Greek legends, the whole of the vast palace complex of Persepolis was erected by paid laborers and not by slaves! All the while, the democratic historians like the rest of the 30000 true citizens in Athens, living the cradle of ancient democracy, progressively enjoyed the fruits of the labor of 300000 slaves. But perhaps we now have a wrong notion of slavery, churning the economy of Athens and later of the metropolis of Rome and much later the serfdom or "Leibeigenschaft" in Europe. Not much here about the millions of red and black forced laborers who built the New World. I will briefly return to them later in this text.
First, I like to learn how I should regard with Mr. Schulzes Western eyes that famously great Alexander, who thereafter "Hellenized" the whole of Greece and all "his" lands stretching to India. Didn't this great man export the main Hellenic virtue, democracy and "Pax" or peace to all these lands and by subjugating the peoples there, to centuries of war and strife? It is famed by Greek chronicles, that Alexander, in order to spread the very Greek virtues, one night ordered all his soldiers to marry at once Persian virgins! Of course, those chroniclers and their modern European interpreters never wrote if those thousands who "proudly" and democratically consented to have those civilized Greeks as their lawful husbands!
Unfortunately too, modern European historians are awfully quiet about the virtues of all those military outposts- the so called "polis"- established to maintain their firm grip over their new Iranic slaves. The same chroniclers never detailed and their modern interpreters, failed to clear to us in history lessons in schools about what is better: to pay high taxes as a free man, or lead a "worriless" life as a slave? (This question, because in his Spiegel article, the scholar Matthias Schulz had worried about the high taxes Cyrus had imposed on his subjected peoples).
But I set out to write this note not to defend our Caesar, I have my own grudges against him and many of those who subsequently ruled over my ancestors and formed my present state of affairs. Rather, I write this to lament about all the Caesars of our times (leading the Pax Americana) and the new twist in the traditional Western demagogy. When I write about a new demagogy, it does not mean that it is a new invention, rather it is simply a new dress put on the old. Perhaps Alexander's Hellenism was more magnanimous then, compared say, to what the Crusaders brought upon the Christian residents of the holy lands; forgetting about the Moslems or the Jews. The following is just one of those grueling eyewitness accounts:
"Many Muslims sought shelter in the
All in all, they boast that during those years, these men on holy mission, killed 500000 unworthy soles.
Ok, this was during the Dark Ages of Europe, see below what they did when they started their renaissance, their reawakening: Then fully awake they began to go further a field, against all the infidels of the World; there were many of them. Again, here just one account; the arrival of the Portuguese in Asia! It was an omen for what was to always come; on those holy missions, to baptize the wild, or the "terrorists". This is what Vasco da Gama or one of his scribes proudly wrote for his Christian sovereign, back home, about his second arrival in Asia:
"We took a Mecca ship on board of which were 380 men and women and children, and we took from it fully 12000 ducats, and goods worth at least another 10000. And we burned the ship and all the people on board with gunpowder.."
And further down we read that upon arrival in Calicut on Oct. 30. 1502,
"He seized a number of traders and Fishermen. he hanged them at once, then cut up their bodies and tossed hands and feet and heads into a boat, which he sent ashore with the message.. Suggesting the Samuri use these pieces of his people to makehimself a curry..." (Daniel J. Boorstin, The Discoverers, Intage Books1985, page 177).
There are many of such. Europeans took care to note down everything for posterity. Thus for all Mathias Schulzes of the future, and for the honorable editors of the likes of Spiegelonline International, or of The Daily Telegraph. Surely, they know many more of such niceties of the missionary zeal of their country men, then and now, than I do.
Therefore, I will skip all of these and jump to the most glorious document, the one which does not convey a lie, as the Cyrus clay role does. It deems to still be quite relevant. That of the great American Revolution; the glorious declaration of Human Rights! Written down as the preamble to the American Constitution by the certainly honorable Founding Fathers:
"We hold these Truths to be self evident... That all men are equal..etc."
At least most of my generation, had to learn it by heart. The teachers never went much beyond these lines though. They never told us, pupils of those times, that most, if not all of the founding fathers were slave holders; while they continued to believe and write such lines and even later, to the end of their lives. The most famous of them inherited them when he was only 9, but already
"..at the age of 22, he had a work force of about 36 slaves. . By 1799, when George Washington died, there were 316 slaves living on the /[his]/ estate". (Mount Vernon)
And the one next in line was Thomas Jefferson. We read about him in The Britannica:
/the focus on racial equality has prompted a more negative reappraisal of his dependence upon slavery and his conviction that American society remain a white man's domain."./
"The huge gap between his lyrical expression of liberal ideals and the more attenuated reality of his own life has transformed Jefferson into America's most problematic and paradoxical hero" (Britannica)
Finally, I only like to add that as we now know, it was not just Mr. Jefferson who has remained a /problematic /and/ paradoxical/ hero of that Nation. The whole history of that nation has to this day been beset by such /lyrical expressions/ about /Freedom, Democracy and human rights/, while they went on, exterminating first their red Natives alongside the buffalos and then turning to their neighbours, in Mexico. Then came the official and preposterous claim of the /Americas// for the "Americans/", naturally reinforced by their famous cannon boats. As we now know, this claim has been extended to cover the rest of the World; for the time being seemingly co-sharing it with the G7 group.
If Herr Schulz, other than the famous founding Fathers of the united states of America, truly believes in what he wrote, disgusted with our Cyrus and his writing is not just another Neocon ploy, as I tried to insinuate at the beginning of this note, I wonder on which planet does he really think he lives, when he criticizes long ago dead Cyrus, or even the Late Shah. Surely he knows about the, in our memories much more alive, /Operation Ajax/ which brought the petty dictator, the obedient "friend" of the West, back to us, these days exactly 54 years ago!
Vereehrter Herr Redakteur: Sollte der Herr Matthias Schulz nicht lieber erst vor seinem eigenem Haustuere kehren? Ich erinnere mich allzugut, dass ausser bei den Phillosophen, fuer die normalen Deutschen und in der deutschen Geschichte, Begriffe wie, Demokratie und Menschenrechte, Wohl oder Uebel auch nur seit der juengsten Zeit eine Bedeutung gefunden haben.
Leider, leiden wir in unsere Gegend drum noch seit etwas mehr als ein halbes Jahrhundert, an die Direktfolgen der groben Verletzung -viele, viel mehr als 6 Millionen-Menschenleben welche von deutschen auf europaeischem Boden, veruebt wurde.
Behind Spiegel's Article
In a recent article, titled "UN Treasure Honors Persian Despot," Spiegel Magazine criticizes the United Nations for recognizing an ancient artifact believed by many to be the world's first declaration of human rights. The "Persian Despot" of course is Cyrus The Great, the author of the doctrine inscribed on the outer surface of a clay cylinder housed at the British Museum in London where it's simply known as the Cyrus Cylinder. -Cyrus Kar
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