Part 35: When an American Hulagu invades Mesopotamia
By B. J. Sabri
Journal Contributing Writer
Aug 12, 2005, 16:15
�What we want is, for the countries of the Third World to
experience the God of the First World��African-American televangelist, Bishop
Eddie Long, New Birth TV Show, July
George Bush is a crafty politician: he hides his strident
demagogy behind the armor of the presidency. For example, when journalists ask
him if the United States would withdraw its forces from Iraq, seeing the
intense resistance to his occupation and the devastation of Iraq, he and the
mouthpieces of his regime always reply in the same manner, �Not before we
complete our mission.� What mission might that be?
Missions can be religious, educational, humanitarian,
exploratory, etc., but none of these fit Bush�s pattern in Iraq. Instead, his
�mission� has all the tested principles of colonialist conquest as evidenced by
the protracted occupation, destruction of Iraqi cities, mass murder, and the
building of military bases.
By now, it is evident that Bush�s mission has three
objectives: (1) the political, physical, and economic destruction of Iraq as a
state opposing Israel�s expansionism, (2) turning it into an oil colony and a
large hub for U.S. military forces to implement further conquest, and (3) the
naturalization of the illegal racist state of Israel inside Arab lands.
Implicit in all these platforms, of course, is the subjugation of the Arabs as
people, control over their oil, liquidation of the Middle East as a cultural
historical entity, and liquidation of the Palestinian Question permanently.
But by its own definition, conquest is neither a pacifist
mission nor a humanitarian enterprise. Rather, it is a violent, foreign-imposed
revolution of the pre-existent order of a conquered land. Such revolution will
only serve the interests of conquerors, and comes at a calamitous price for the
conquered. Chaos, death, destruction, disease, and plunder are only the most
notorious results of conquest.
Interestingly, Bush as a conqueror of Iraq is a replica of
Hulagu the Mongol (grandson of Genghis Khan) who destroyed the Arab Abbasid
Empire in Iraq and its capital, Baghdad, in 1258. There is a difference though:
in contrast to Bush, the Mongolian intruder did not espouse any elaborate
ideological �mission.� He did not seek to export Mongolian �democracy� to
Mesopotamia (Iraq), and he did not invade it to �free� the Iraqis from their
Still, Bush and Hulagu differ in one prominent aspect:
Hulagu was an awesome warrior and a fighter who invaded while riding and
leading his hordes; Bush is a civilian who thinks that he is a warrior because
the constitution designates him the commander-in-chief. Nevertheless, Bush and
Hulagu have something in common: both men have a Christian mother. How is this
important? We shall discuss this in a moment.
In the meanwhile, are there similarities between the
Mongolian onslaught on 13th-century Mesopotamia and the American invasion of
the same in the 21st Century? And is it important that we go back to the
Mongolian invasion of the Middle East to find some answers to the U.S. invasion
While the answer to the first question is affirmative and
requires some qualifications that I shall explain below, the answer to the
second question is yes. This is because investigating the ideology of conquest
in historical frame and defining its purposes would not only shatter pretenses
and �liberation� mythologies of present conquerors, but also powerfully debunks
their claim for having superior morality or civilization. Besides, if history
does not matter, why do we keep debating Moses, Jesus, and Mohammad; the French
Revolution, American Civil War, and the status of Taiwan; and the mess around
us, if not were for history and its makers?
Historically, while the Mongols' onslaught on Iraq had
permanently destroyed the country and its political system, the current
onslaught by the axis U.S.-UK achieved the same results. Yet, despite Iraq�s
political, economic, and territorial destruction at the hands of the United
States, Bush failed to repeat Hulagu�s exploit�his onslaught upholds neither an
American success nor Iraqi failure as manifested by (1) the fierce Iraqi resistance
against the American occupation, and (2) the failure of Bush to defeat it.
Why did I allude earlier to the religion of Bush's and
Hulagu�s mothers, and, is that an important factor? Let me first remind you of
two historical facts:
Genghis Khan (Temujin), Hulagu�s grandfather, subjugated parts of China
and most of Central Asia, he then aimed at conquering Iraq, headquarters
of the Arab Islamic Caliphate. But religion was not among the factors
motivating conquest. In fact, Temujin tolerated Christianity, Islam,
Taoism, Buddhism, and continued to practice Shamanism all his life. So why
did he want his sons and grandsons to destroy the Abbasid Caliphate? The
key answer is seizure of wealth, that is, appropriation of wealth owned by
others is that one objective that drives pillage and conquest.
Hulagu conquered Persia (Iran), conquering the Abbasid Empire, i.e. Iraq,
had become inevitable. Remember, once the ideology of conquest sets in,
the drive to implement it becomes irresistible regardless of whatever
conditions. Were there other ulterior motives for Hulagu�s decision to end
the Islamic Arab Caliphate in Iraq? It is possible. Since Hulagu�s strong
willed mother (Sorghaghtan
Beki) was Christian, it is permissible to speculate that she was the
inspiration (maybe out of hate or rivalry) behind the invasion of Abbasid
territory. Was Christianity a cause in that invasion? The answer is a
resolute no. Religions do not make wars; those who adhere to them do for
reasons alien to religious beliefs. Although Hulagu was apparently a
theist who believed in God and his will (as you will read bellow in his
warning to the caliph), and his mother was a Christian, he did not
practice Christianity. In fact, after the Mamluks defeated him in
Syria, in 1260, he withdrew to Azerbaijan where he converted to Islam in
that same year. And that was only two years after he burned Islamic
Baghdad to the ground and killed hundreds of thousands of its citizens.
Curiously, and in epochal terms, the timing of the Mongol
invasions of central Asia, the Middle East, and of Eastern Europe, appear to
have coincided with the assault of European Crusaders on the Middle East and
Palestine. In fact, while the Mongol invasions lasted from 1206 -1368, the
Christian Crusades lasted from 1096 - 1290. Most interestingly, while Hulagu
was burning Iraq, the Seventh Christian Crusade on Arab land was in progress.
In practice, the axis�Christian crusaders and Mongol
conquerors�squeezed, crushed, and suffocated to death the Arab Middle East. Was
that a coincidence? No doubt, despite the fact that many Mongol khans sent
emissaries to Europe requesting cooperation. It is possible, therefore, to
speculate that Hulagu, prior to his conversion, was tilting, via his mother�s
religion, toward European Christians in their hostility against Muslims and
circumstances, the Mongol invasion of Iraq and Syria, (2) European crusaders�
invasion of Bilad al-Sham [today Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and all of historical
Palestine], and (3) the American invasion of Iraq, share three denominators:
murder and barbarity towards the original inhabitants of the invaded
of their infrastructure and cities.
of their wealth.
Because the Crusades are not the
subject of this article, the following is a brief comparison between Hulagu�s
invasion of Iraq and Bush�s invasion in 2003, that I organized in two categories:
Warning and war, and aftermath.
Hulagu the Mongol Warns the Caliph
As he was marching toward Baghdad,
Hulagu sent the following message to the last Iraqi Abbasid Caliph, al‑Mustaa�sim
When I lead my army against Baghdad in anger,
whether you hide in heaven or in earth
I will bring you down from the spinning spheres.
I will toss you in the air like a lion.
I will leave no one alive in your realm.
I will burn your city, your land, your self.
If you wish to spare yourself and your venerable family, give heed to my advice
with the ear of intelligence. If you do not, you will see what God has
American Presidents Warn Iraq
To conquer Iraq in stages, three American presidents: the
traditional imperialist George H. W. Bush, the Zionist Bill Clinton, and the
ultra‑zealot Zionist George W. Bush, have murdered about 2.5�3 million Iraqis
since 1991. The following are extracts from warnings issued respectively by the
George H. W. Bush�s letter to the
then Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in January 1991:
I am writing you now, directly, because
what is at stake demands that no opportunity be lost to avoid what would be a
certain calamity for the people of Iraq . . . More immediately, the
Iraqi military establishment will escape destruction. But unless you withdraw from Kuwait completely and without
condition, you will lose more than Kuwait . . . What is at issue here is
not the future of Kuwait�it will be free, its government will be restored�but
rather the future of Iraq . . . [Italics added]
Bill Clinton�s address
to the nation, as why he ordered strikes on Iraq in December 1998:
Earlier today, I ordered America's
armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined
by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and
biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors. . . . At the same time, we are
delivering a powerful message to Saddam. If you act recklessly, you will pay
a heavy price. [Italics added]
George W. Bush�s ultimatum
to the then Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in March 2003:
Our forces will give Iraqi military units clear
instructions on actions they can take to avoid being attacked and destroyed. I
urge every member of the Iraqi military and intelligence services, if war
comes, do not fight for a dying regime that is not worth your own life. . . . And
all Iraqi military and civilian personnel should listen carefully to this
warning. In any conflict, your fate will depend on your action. . . . Yet, the
only way to reduce the harm and duration of war is to apply the full force and
might of our military, and we are prepared to do so. . . . If our enemies dare
to strike us, they and all who have aided them, will face fearful consequences.
. . . [Italics added]
The Aftermath of Mongols' Invasion
describes Hulagu�s destruction of Iraq in the following words:
The caliph was not sure how to react to Hulagu's invasion, but weakly
defended the city. Hulagu ordered various sections of Baghdad's population
spared, such as learned men and Christians, but killed at least 250,000 people (contemporary sources say
800,000). Hulagu killed the caliph by wrapping him in a rug and having him
either "beaten to a pulp" or trampled by horses. Thus was the
caliphate destroyed, and Iraq ravaged�it has never again been such a major
center of culture and influence. . . . [Italic added]
Note 1: The fact
that Hulagu spared Christians proves my contention that he sympathized with
them but disliked Muslims enough to destroy them.
Wikpedia�s writers, intentionally, skipped two important facts. First,
once the Mongols destroyed it, Iraq fell under the occupation of the Ottoman
Turks who kept it as a colonial province and food basket, which means a
colonized land can never develop or prosper. Wikipedia then demeans Iraqi Arabs
by categorically stating that ravaged Iraq had never risen again to
prominence. This is a deliberate attempt at portraying the Iraqis as incapable
of social resurrection. But that fact is that from its independence in 1921
until the Gulf War in 1991, Iraq reached a very high level of civil and
industrial progress, especially under the rule of Saddam Hussein, who despite
his despotism, re-invented Iraq again to make it a major center of culture and
influence inside the Third World.
Note 3: It is not
correct to say that the U.S. wars destroyed all of Iraq. In fact, while it
destroyed the Arab regions of Iraq, it spared the Kurdish areas. This is
because the Kurds, acting from a narrow angle of their history, have become the
spear of America and Israel�s fascism to dismantle the Arab states and conquer
them, as well as the potential tools to destabilize Iran, Syria, and Turkey.
The Aftermath of
U.S. Wars on Iraq
George H. Bush
and Iraq (Desert Storm):
- The U.S. killed 300,000�600,000
Iraqis [The highest figure was reported by the London�based, but American
owned, International Center for Strategic Studies, immediately at the end
of the Gulf War; successive U.S. publications, however, tried to reduce
- Destroyed most of Iraq's economic,
military, and civilian infrastructures, including roads, airports, water
purification stations, national electric power grids, basic but not all
oil infrastructures, hospitals, schools, and of the 67 bridges that Iraq
had, only seven remained intact.
- Imposed land and sea blockade, and
enacted total prohibition (sanctions) on imports and exports to impede
- Placed the Iraqi airspace under U.S.
control and non-fly zones; and stopped all air and land travel from and to
- Seized Iraqi money and obliged Iraq
to pay $54 billions (this is the last figure issued by the United Nations
in 2005) as a punishment for the invasion of Kuwait.
- In the postwar years, leukemia, skin,
thyroid, testicular, and ovarian cancers increased by over 10,000 percent
in relation to prewar levels because of the American use of active
uranium. In the meantime, the U.S. did not allow Iraq to import medical
equipment and supplies including chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer
patients under the pretext that the Iraqi regime could convert them to
�weapons of mass destruction.�
Bill Clinton and
- Murdered over 1.5 million Iraqis by
maintaining economic sanctions and blockades.
- Expanded on the non-fly zones.
- Kept destroying Iraq�s military and
civilian infrastructures under the pretext that Iraq violated the
American-imposed non-fly zones.
- He launched Operation Desert Fox
under the pretext that Iraq did not allow UN weapon inspectors into
palaces and military installations.
George W. Bush
As far as it
concerns inflicting death and destruction, George H. W. Bush and his son,
George W. Bush, share a startling affinity with both Genghis Khan and his
grandson, Hulagu. Yet, while Hulagu spared the �learned� in Baghdad, Bush�s
forces have assassinated 307 university professors since the invasion.
describes Genghis Khan�s conquest as follows:
Genghis Khan's conquests were characterized by wholesale destruction on
unprecedented scale and radically changed the demographic situation in Asia . .
. China suffered a drastic decline in population. Before the Mongol invasion,
China had about 100 million inhabitants; after the complete conquest in 1279,
the census in 1300 showed it to have roughly 60 million people . . . Genghis
Khan's used brutal measures against those who would resist him in order to
inflict fear. Genghis Khan's campaigns in Central Asia and in the Middle East
caused massive destruction and the loss of human life. For example, the cities
of Rey and Tus, the two largest and most populous cities in Iran at the time
and centers of literature, culture, trade and commerce, were completely
destroyed by the order of Genghis Khan. Nishapur, Merv and Samarqand suffered
similar destructions. [Source]
atrocities committed by the American State in conquering North America are a
carbon copy of the atrocities committed by the Mongols in conquering Northern
China, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Consequent to this and other facts
that we studied in this series, it does not require hard mental labor to reach a
preliminary conclusion. The U.S.'s history of atrocity, conquests,
interventions, and wars is a combination of three confluent but distinct
categories: (1) Barbarity that exceeds that of the Mongols', (2) atrocity that
exceeds that of the Nazis', and the third category should have its own
This cannot be
but the intrinsic quality of the American political system, its apparatuses,
culture, and ideology, as it developed historically. It included and still
includes racism, slavery and neo-slavery, a superiority complex, international
chauvinism, violence as a means of foreign policy, duality (doing something,
but pretending something else�occupation as liberation), deception (e.g., the
Gulf of Tonkin and Iraq), super-ostentatious nationalism, endemic aggressive
militarism, and rhetorical righteousness.
The question now
is what did the American Hulagu do when he invaded and occupied Mesopotamia,
and finally, how does his occupation relate to Indian issues?
Next: Part 36:
George Bush occupies Iraq
J. Sabri is an Iraqi-American antiwar activist. Email: email@example.com.
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