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The new Cultural Imperialism: Palmyra’s Roman-era Ruins to be Reconstructed in Western Capitals

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It has recently been announced that replicas of the Roman-era ruins at Palmyra, which have so far survived the ISIS assault, are to be built and displayed at London’s Trafalgar Square and New York. The replica is of a 2000 year-old arch which stood inside one of the temples that the terrorist blew-up last year, and will be reconstructed using the world’s largest 3D printer. The Independent reports:

The monument was attacked by Islamist fighters and was largely reduced to rubble. One of the 15 metre high arches, which stood at the temple’s entrance, survived.

The construction of the temple entrance has been proposed by the Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA), who will use the world’s largest 3D printer for the project.

“The aim of our proposed installation is to draw attention to the global crisis surrounding the looting and despoliation of cultural heritage objects and architecture and the importance of celebrating the beauty and significance of these objects to the everyday lives of modern people.” Dr Alexy Karenowska, Director of Technology at the Institute for Digital Archaeology, told The Independent.

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The temple was dedicated to the Mesoptamian god Bel in AD32 and was the centre of religious life in the area. It was converted into a Christian church during the Byzantine era and then later into a mosque.

The full-size replicas will be the centrepiece for world heritage week in April and is reportedly being built as a symbol of defiance against Isis’s attempts to erase several aspects of Middle Eastern history.

The arch in Trafalgar Square will be made of a lightweight composite and stone powder.

The printer will work from a 3D image generated from dozens of two dimensional photographs and tourist pictures taken before the temple was blown up with barrels of high-explosive. Khaled al-Asaad, 82, the archaeologist who managed the site for 40 years, was beheaded by Isis in Palmyra’s amphitheatre.

However rather than a symbolic act of defiance in the face of international terrorism, this move by Washington and its London sidekick is akin to a slap in the face of the Syrian nation that these two countries have done so much to destroy. Lest we forget, ISIS were able to drive their large convoy of black and white Toyota trucks from the Iraqi desert to the ancient city untouched by the so-called US-led 60 nation ‘anti-ISIS coalition’ that is supposedly doing its best to ‘degrade and destroy’ the Islamic State.

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Instead the Obama administration and its despotic puppets prefer to leave this monster of their own creation untouched if there’s a chance it will come into contact with the Syrian Arab Army; or ‘Assad loyalists’ as the Western media likes to call them. The truth of the matter is that the countries whom have waged war on Syria for the last five years – namely America, the UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Jordan and Israel – bear direct responsibility for the heartbreaking loss of the country’s cultural heritage and the beheading of Khaled al-Asaad; whom the media largely declined to remind readers was an employee of the state that they loathe so much.

Christiane Gruber – associate professor and director of graduate studies at the University of Michigan – explaining the meaning behind the term ‘Daesh’, says:

Over the past year, cartoonists across the Middle East have critiqued ISIS with equal amounts of ferocity and fearlessness. From Jordan to Iran, they frequently lambast ISIS—referring to it through its acronym Daesh, which is related to the pejorative Arabic term meaning “to tread under foot”—as destructive of Islam and the world’s cultural heritage, as the growling lapdog of various superpowers, as the ultimate devil and grim reaper of Iraq and as an Oscar-winning sensation obsessed with bloody forms of self-promotion.

By giving itself the authority to reconstruct Syria’s heritage in Western capitals, the American and Brits seemingly view themselves as the defenders and saviours of Middle Eastern civilisation, whose barbarians clearly need rescuing from themselves. Gruber’s description above can just as aptly describe Cameron and Obama as it does the foot-soldiers of the Islamic State.

The Syrians on the other hand, with their huge sacrifices unacknowledged, will continue the fight against the same forces who claim to be saving them.

Let’s just hope the reconstruction doesn’t convince ISIS to blow-up the remaining arch.

Replica of Syrian arch of Palmyra that survived Isis attack to be erected in Trafalgar Square and New York

Ignored and Unreported, Muslim Cartoonists and Poking Fun at ISIS

*Cartoons from Iran’s Daesh cartoon competition, entries and names of artists can be viewed here: http://resistart.ir/%DA%AF%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%A2%D8%AB%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%A8%D9%82%D9%87-%D8%A8%DB%8C%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%84%D9%84%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%B4-%D8%A8%D8%AE%D8%B4-%DA%86%D9%87%D8%B1%D9%87/

1 million Algerian Dinars to wage ‘Yankee Jihad’ in Syria

In this clip Dr Sheikh Imran Hossein explains why it is ‘haram’ for Muslims to go to Syria for ‘Jihad’. He tells his audience of a family who wrote to him of their son who was offered a million Algerian Dinars (just under half a million dollars) to go fight in Syria, and in response says that they cannot stop him from going there, but that if he does they must disown him, as the Syrian war is not a real jihad but simply a fight between hired mercenaries and the Syrian state. Hossein further says that anyone who goes to Syria to kill innocents will burn in the ‘fires of Jahannam’. He notes that the countries financing the ‘Syrian jihad’ are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Libya, whom he says are all under Zionist control (though more accurately American influence).

President Assad visits Our Lady of Damascus Church near Syria’s Front-Line

President Assad and his wife Asma visited the Our Lady of Damascus Church last night – a mile away from the rebel-held Jubar district – where they watched a choir rehearsal and took photos with the public.

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In related news, the results are in from my 24 hour Twitter poll:

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No comment.

ISIS and the Media

Where do all these matching outfits come from?

Where do all these matching outfits come from?

The corporate media are constantly referring to ISIS’s ‘slick and far-reaching propaganda capabilities’ and so on, but if it wasn’t for their own dissemination of ISIS-produced propaganda then the group would just be another actor in the Middle East. It is likely due to the mass amount of media coverage they have received in the West that has encouraged other Takfiri groups to align themselves with ISIS, and for Western citizens (like the couple in San Bernadino) to carry out attacks that ISIS supposedly then claim responsibility for. After various terror attacks in the West we are informed by the media that ISIS has claimed responsibility, but this is the same media that has told lie after lie about Syria and acts on behalf of those who would prefer that ISIS rules in Damascus rather than the current state that is an opponent of US imperialism.

I was just re-reading the interview that the German journalist Jürgen Todenhöfer gave to RT about the time he spent with ISIS, and the safety precautions it was necessary for him to take:

Jürgen Todenhöfer: I know Syria very well. I love Syria, I’ve been there dozen times, and I like Iraq, I’ve spent a lot of time before the war and during the war, and after the war; and, for example, in Syria, I spoke to all the groups: Al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra, the FSA, I spoke several times to president Bashar al-Assad, and, suddenly IS became very strong and I wanted to get the information – who are these terrorists? What is making them so strong? Why so many German jihadists go to the so-called Islamic State? So, together with my son, we wrote on Facebook letters to about 80 German jihadists. We got 15 answers, and out of these 15, in the end we had a guy from another, not that known terrorist group, and a guy from IS, and then this IS guy told us he was not allowed to speak with me anymore – I would be called by somebody else who is named by the leadership, and I had somebody from propaganda department, from media department, and so I had the connections – every normal journalist could have done the same.

Sophie Shevardnadze (interviewer): Okay, but, this is really playing with fire – who was that person who actually gave you the safe passage? Because journalists, you know, they get beheaded by ISIS all the time – we see it on YouTube, almost like weekly, so…
JD: I know. Even a friend of mine.
SS: Yes. So why were you sure that they wouldn’t change their mind and just take you hostage? I mean, the safe passage papers were just papers…how could you be sure that they weren’t fake, or they would protect you?
JD: I discussed via Skype with this guy from the media department, sometimes it took 2 hours, 3 hours, about the possibilities, about the guarantees and everything. To be sure, because my son, for example, always said “It’s a trick, they will behead you, they need German hostage!”, I had the impression that they gave the invitation as the Islamic State, as a state, and they wanted to show that if they give a guarantee by the state, they will stick to this guarantee. They have published it, I asked them to publish this guarantee on Twitter, I’ve been waiting some days to see if the real leadership would deny this invitation, they did not deny anything, and so I took the risk. For me, these 6 months when I was thinking “will I com back alive? Will I survive?” were harder than the 10 days in the Islamic State, because there I was sure…

SS: Are you saying that if journalists have actually followed your example and negotiated an official invitation from Islamic State, they would have spared their lives?
JD: Not everybody. Specialists – yes, because we are known as specialists for the Arab world, for the Muslim world, we have written books about it, we have our books translated into Arabic – and they have the feeling that we don’t go to such a country for show, but we try to find out the truth, and that we want to tell the truth. What I think they wanted to show to me…I always had to think – “what do they want?” – they wanted to show that they are really a state.

I remember Todenhöfer being touted as the first journalist to interview the Islamic State; quite a big deal was made about his trip. But then what about the five part documentary that Vice News filmed? Did their journalists, film crew etc have to seek the same assurances? It is almost as if the narrative regarding the group – that they are so scary it is almost impossible to get an interview with them – has been created by the mainstream media in order to drum up support for more military intervention in Syria. The Vice News reporter spent ten days embedded with the group in 2014, and this seems to have been met with little fanfare. An article in the Huffington Post, How Vice News Got Unprecedented Access To The Islamic State, merely says that the journalist Medyan Dairieh used his contacts within Syria to gain access.

There is abundant evidence of ISIS’s awful crimes against the people of Syria and Iraq, but the ‘state’ didn’t appear out of nowhere and are not capable of sustaining themselves. Frequently the media tells us that they make all their millions from selling oil, but never delve into how and who they are selling the oil to (although recently there has been an attempt to pin it all on Bashar al Assad).

Today an article in the Washington Times has said that the US does not target ISIS’s media centres in air strikes due to the civilian casualties it might cause. This is quite obviously nonsense, because the US and allies has bombed buildings belonging to local media in everywhere it has waged war, such as Serbia, Iraq and Libya. In the past the US/NATO has claimed that such buildings were legitimate targets due to the propaganda they produced.

The ISIS entity is almost entirely a creation of the imperialist media. They choose what to show us and what to hide.

 

US refuses to bomb Islamic State’s ‘media centers’ over possible civilian casualties

Largest “moderate” group in Syria calls for “an Islamic state” in country, Sharia law imposed in Northern Aleppo

OffGuardian

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Ahrar Al-Sham militants in Syria.

Al Masdar News reports:

The largest Islamist rebel faction operating in Syria – Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham – has issued a statement [pictured below left] following their participation in the Riyadh peace conference

This statement expressed Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham’s satisfaction with the meeting and its participants; it also thanked the Saudi’s for hosting the conference.

Perhaps the most important part of the statement delivered by the Islamist group was the list of demands that expressed their overall objective in Syria.

According to their statement, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham has issued a list of demands:

1. All Iranian and Russian military personnel must leave Syria.

2.The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) should be disbanded, along with their paramilitary units – they reference the Shabiha.

3. All of Syria shall be united – no partition.

4. Syria will become an Islamic state.

5. No negotiations with the Syrian Government.

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YPG Arrest White Helmets Director

I don’t know any of the details yet, but the Syrian Kurdish YPG has arrested the director of the White Helmets/Syria Civil Defence and closed their offices in Afrin.

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The men of Kafranbel are very upset.

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I wonder what Philip Hammond thinks of this – the head of a British-backed ‘humanitarian’ group bring arrested by another group the UK apparently supports?

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There have been other reports recently regarding fighting between the YPG and Western-backed factions in Aleppo; It is difficult to see how Syria can ever return to a sense of normality with so many different groups fighting among one another.

I suppose for the chief instigators – US, UK, France and Israel – a permanent state of warfare is not an undesirable outcome.