26 November, 2008

OBAMA TEAM announcement

President-elect Barack Obama is expected to name former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker as the head of a new economic recovery board Wednesday, several media outlets are reporting. Volcker, who served as Fed Chairman through 1979 - 1987, received praise for the unpopular decision to ratchet up the Federal Funds rate to combat inflation.

Under Volcker, inflation peaked at 13.5 percent in 1981. Volcker hiked up the federal funds rate, sending the economy into a recession with unemployment rates at their highest since the Great Depression.


President-elect Barack Obama is expected to name former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker as the head of a new economic recovery board Wednesday, several media outlets are reporting. Volcker, who served as Fed Chairman through 1979 - 1987, received praise for the unpopular decision to ratchet up the Federal Funds rate to combat inflation.

Under Volcker, inflation peaked at 13.5 percent in 1981. Volcker hiked up the federal funds rate, sending the economy into a recession with unemployment rates at their highest since the Great Depression.

Bookmark and Share
posted by u2r2h at Wednesday, November 26, 2008 1 comments links to this post

20 November, 2008

Thanksgiving 27 NOV 2008

Hello USA citizens. Your country is a shithouse, much like other countries.

THANKSGIVING is celebrating a holocaust. No?

Read this:

It is a deep thing that people still celebrate the survival of the early colonists at Plymouth . by giving thanks to the Christian God who supposedly protected and championed the European invasion. The real meaning of all that, then and now, needs to be continually excavated. The myths and lies that surround the past are constantly draped over the horrors and tortures of our present.

I originally wrote this article a decade ago, and it has showed up in different places and publications usually around the holiday. Pass it on.

Every schoolchild in the U.S. has been taught that the Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony invited the local Indians to a major harvest feast after surviving their first bitter year in New England. But the real history of Thanksgiving is a story of the murder of indigenous people and the theft of their land by European colonialists.and of the ruthless ways of capitalism.

* * * * *

In mid-winter 1620 the English ship Mayflower landed on the North American coast, delivering 102 exiles. The original Native people of this stretch of shoreline had already been killed off. In 1614 a British expedition had landed there. When they left they took 24 Indians as slaves and left smallpox behind. Three years of plague wiped out between 90 and 96 percent of the inhabitants of the coast, destroying most villages completely.

The Europeans landed and built their colony called .the Plymouth Plantation. near the deserted ruins of the Indian village of Pawtuxet. They ate from abandoned cornfields grown wild. Only one Pawtuxet named Squanto had survived.he had spent the last years as a slave to the English and Spanish in Europe. Squanto spoke the colonists. language and taught them how to plant corn and how to catch fish until the first harvest. Squanto also helped the colonists negotiate a peace treaty with the nearby Wampanoag tribe, led by the chief Massasoit.

These were very lucky breaks for the colonists. The first Virginia settlement had been wiped out before they could establish themselves. Thanks to the good will of the Wampanoag, the settlers not only survived their first year but had an alliance with the Wampanoags that would give them almost two decades of peace.

John Winthrop, a founder of the Massahusetts Bay colony considered this wave of illness and death to be a divine miracle. He wrote to a friend in England, .But for the natives in these parts, God hath so pursued them, as for 300 miles space the greatest part of them are swept away by smallpox which still continues among them. So as God hath thereby cleared our title to this place, those who remain in these parts, being in all not 50, have put themselves under our protection..

The deadly impact of European diseases and the good will of the Wampanoag allowed the settlers to survive their first year.

In celebration of their good fortune, the colony.s governor, William Bradford, declared a three-day feast of thanksgiving after that first harvest of 1621.

How the Puritans Stole the Land

Early North America as Native peoples and Europe settlers collide

But the peace that produced the Thanksgiving Feast of 1621 meant that the Puritans would have 15 years to establish a firm foothold on the coast. Until 1629 there were no more than 300 settlers in New England, scattered in small and isolated settlements. But their survival inspired a wave of Puritan invasion that soon established growing Massachusetts towns north of Plymouth: Boston and Salem. For 10 years, boatloads of new settlers came.

And as the number of Europeans increased, they proved not nearly so generous as the Wampanoags.

On arrival, the Puritans and other religious sects discussed .who legally owns all this land.. They had to decide this, not just because of Anglo-Saxon traditions, but because their particular way of farming was based on individual.not communal or tribal.ownership. This debate over land ownership reveals that bourgeois .rule of law. does not mean .protect the rights of the masses of people..

Some settlers argued that the land belonged to the Indians. These forces were excommunicated and expelled. Massachusetts Governor Winthrop declared the Indians had not .subdued. the land, and therefore all uncultivated lands should, according to English Common Law, be considered .public domain.. This meant they belonged to the king. In short, the colonists decided they did not need to consult the Indians when they seized new lands, they only had to consult the representative of the crown (meaning the local governor).

The colonists embraced a line from Psalms 2:8. .Ask of me, and I shall give thee, the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.. Since then, European settler states have similarly declared god their real estate agent: from the Boers seizing South Africa to the Zionists seizing Palestine.

The European immigrants took land and enslaved Indians to help them farm it. By 1637 there were about 2,000 British settlers. They pushed out from the coast and decided to remove the inhabitants.

The Shining City on the Hill

Where did the Plymouth and Massachusetts colonies of Puritan and .separatist. pilgrims come from and what were they really all about?

Governor Winthrop, a founder of the Massachusetts colony, said, .We shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us.. The Mayflower Puritans had been driven out of England as subversives. The Puritans saw this religious colony as a model of a social and political order that they believed all of Europe should adopt.

The Puritan movement was part of a sweeping revolt within English society against the ruling feudal order of wealthy lords. Only a few decades after the establishment of Plymouth, the Puritan Revolution came to power in England. They killed the king, won a civil war, set up a short-lived republic, and brutally conquered the neighboring people of Ireland to create a larger national market.

The famous Puritan intolerance was part of a determined attempt to challenge the decadence and wastefulness of the rich aristocratic landlords of England. The Puritans wanted to use the power of state punishment to uproot old and still dominant ways of thinking and behaving.

The new ideas of the Puritans served the needs of merchant capitalist accumulation. The extreme discipline, thrift and modesty the Puritans demanded of each other corresponded to a new and emerging form of ownership and production. Their so-called .Protestant Ethic. was an early form of the capitalist ethic. From the beginning, the Puritan colonies intended to grow through capitalist trade.trading fish and fur with England while they traded pots, knives, axes, alcohol and other English goods with the Indians.

The New England were ruled by a government in which only the male heads of families had a voice. Women, Indians, slaves, servants, youth were neither heard nor represented. In the Puritan schoolbooks, the old law .honor thy father and thy mother. was interpreted to mean honoring .All our Superiors, whether in Family, School, Church, and Commonwealth.. And, the real truth was that the colonies were fundamentally controlled by the most powerful merchants.

The Puritan fathers believed they were the Chosen People of an infinite god and that this justified anything they did. They were Calvinists who believed that the vast majority of humanity was predestined to damnation. This meant that while they were firm in fighting for their own capitalist right to accumulate and prosper, they were quick to oppress the masses of people in Ireland, Scotland and North America, once they seized the power to set up their new bourgeois order. Those who rejected the narrow religious rules of the colonies were often simply expelled .out into the wilderness..

The Massachusetts colony (north of Plymouth) was founded when Puritan stockholders had gotten control of an English trading company. The king had given this company the right to govern its own internal affairs, and in 1629 the stockholders simply voted to transfer the company to North American shores.making this colony literally a self-governing company of stockholders!

In U.S. schools, students are taught that the Mayflower compact of Plymouth contained the seeds of .modern democracy. and .rule of law.. But by looking at the actual history of the Puritans, we can see that this so-called .modern democracy. was (and still is) a capitalist democracy based on all kinds of oppression and serving the class interests of the ruling capitalists.

In short, the Puritan movement developed as an early revolutionary challenge to the old feudal order in England. They were the soul of primitive capitalist accumulation. And transferred to the shores of North America, they immediately revealed how heartless and oppressive that capitalist soul is.

The Birth of .The American Way of War.

European colonists attack the Pequot village

In the Connecticut Valley, the powerful Pequot tribe had not entered an alliance with the British (as had the Narragansett, the Wampanoag, and the Massachusetts peoples). At first they were far from the centers of colonization. Then, in 1633, the British stole the land where the city of Hartford now sits.land which the Pequot had recently conquered from another tribe. That same year two British slave raiders were killed. The colonists demanded that the Indians who killed the slavers be turned over. The Pequot refused.

The Puritan preachers said, from Romans 13:2, .Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.. The colonial governments gathered an armed force of 240 under the command of John Mason. They were joined by a thousand Narragansett warriors. The historian Francis Jennings writes: .Mason proposed to avoid attacking Pequot warriors which would have overtaxed his unseasoned, unreliable troops. Battle, as such, was not his purpose. Battle is only one of the ways to destroy an enemy.s will to fight. Massacre can accomplish the same end with less risk, and Mason had determined that massacre would be his objective..

The colonist army surrounded a fortified Pequot village on the Mystic River. At sunrise, as the inhabitants slept, the Puritan soldiers set the village on fire.

William Bradford, Governor of Plymouth, wrote: .Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword; some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so that they were quickly dispatched and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire.horrible was the stink and scent thereof, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them..

Mason himself wrote: .It may be demanded.Should not Christians have more mercy and compassion? But.sometimes the Scripture declareth women and children must perish with their parents.. We had sufficient light from the word of God for our proceedings..

Three hundred and fifty years later the Puritan phrase .a shining city on the hill. became a favorite quote of conservative speechwriters.

Discovering the Profits of Slavery

This so-called .Pequot war. was a one-sided murder and slaving expedition. Over 180 captives were taken. After consulting the bible again, in Leviticus 24:44, the colonial authorities found justification to kill most of the Pequot men and enslave the captured women and their children. Only 500 Pequot remained alive and free. In 1975 the official number of Pequot living in Connecticut was 21.

Some of the war captives were given to the Narragansett and Massachusetts allies of the British. Even before the arrival of Europeans, Native peoples of North America had widely practiced taking war captives from other tribes as hostages and slaves.

The remaining captives were sold to British plantation colonies in the West Indies to be worked to death in a new form of slavery that served the emerging capitalist world market. And with that, the merchants of Boston made a historic discovery: the profits they made from the sale of human beings virtually paid for the cost of seizing them.

One account says that enslaving Indians quickly became a .mania with speculators.. These early merchant capitalists of Massachusetts started to make genocide pay for itself. The slave trade, first in captured Indians and soon in kidnapped Africans, quickly became a backbone of New England merchant capitalism.

Thanksgiving in the Manhattan Colony

In 1641 the Dutch governor Kieft of Manhattan offered the first .scalp bounty..his government paid money for the scalp of each Indian brought to them. A couple years later, Kieft ordered the massacre of the Wappingers, a friendly tribe. Eighty were killed and their severed heads were kicked like soccer balls down the streets of Manhattan. One captive was castrated, skinned alive and forced to eat his own flesh while the Dutch governor watched and laughed. Then Kieft hired the notorious Underhill who had commanded in the Pequot war to carry out a similar massacre near Stamford, Connecticut. The village was set fire, and 500 Indian residents were put to the sword.

A day of thanksgiving was proclaimed in the churches of Manhattan. As we will see, the European colonists declared Thanksgiving Days to celebrate mass murder more often than they did for harvest and friendship.
The Conquest of New England

By the 1670s there were about 30,000 to 40,000 white inhabitants in the United New England Colonies.6,000 to 8,000 able to bear arms. With the Pequot destroyed, the Massachusetts and Plymouth colonists turned on the Wampanoag, the tribe that had saved them in 1620 and probably joined them for the original Thanksgiving Day.

In 1675 a Christian Wampanoag was killed while spying for the Puritans. The Plymouth authorities arrested and executed three Wampanoag without consulting the tribal chief, King Philip.

As Mao Tsetung says: .Where there is oppression there is resistance.. The Wampanoag went to war.

The Indians applied some military lessons they had learned: they waged a guerrilla war which overran isolated European settlements and were often able to inflict casualties on the Puritan soldiers. The colonists again attacked and massacred the main Indian populations.

When this war ended, 600 European men, one-eleventh of the adult men of the New England Colonies, had been killed in battle. Hundreds of homes and 13 settlements had been wiped out. But the colonists won.

In their victory, the settlers launched an all-out genocide against the remaining Native people. The Massachusetts government offered 20 shillings bounty for every Indian scalp, and 40 shillings for every prisoner who could be sold into slavery. Soldiers were allowed to enslave any Indian woman or child under 14 they could capture. The .Praying Indians. who had converted to Christianity and fought on the side of the European troops were accused of shooting into the treetops during battles with .hostiles.. They were enslaved or killed. Other .peaceful. Indians of Dartmouth and Dover were invited to negotiate or seek refuge at trading posts.and were sold onto slave ships.

It is not known how many Indians were sold into slavery, but in this campaign, 500 enslaved Indians were shipped from Plymouth alone. Of the 12,000 Indians in the surrounding tribes, probably about half died from battle, massacre and starvation.

After King Philip.s War, there were almost no Indians left free in the northern British colonies. A colonist wrote from Manhattan.s New York colony: .There is now but few Indians upon the island and those few no ways hurtful. It is to be admired how strangely they have decreased by the hand of God, since the English first settled in these parts..

In Massachusetts, the colonists declared a .day of public thanksgiving. in 1676, saying, .there now scarce remains a name or family of them [the Indians] but are either slain, captivated or fled..

Fifty-five years after the original Thanksgiving Day, the Puritans had destroyed the generous Wampanoag and all other neighboring tribes. The Wampanoag chief King Philip was beheaded. His head was stuck on a pole in Plymouth, where the skull still hung on display 24 years later.

The descendants of these Native peoples are found wherever the Puritan merchant capitalists found markets for slaves: the West Indies, the Azures, Algiers, Spain and England. The grandson of Massasoit, the Pilgrim.s original protector, was sold into slavery in Bermuda.

Runaways and Rebels

But even the destruction of Indian tribal life and the enslavement of survivors brought no peace. Indians continued to resist in every available way. Their oppressors lived in terror of a revolt. And they searched for ways to end the resistance. The historian MacLeod writes: .The first `reservations. were designed for the `wild. Irish of Ulster in 1609. And the first Indian reservation agent in America, Gookin of Massachusetts, like many other American immigrants had seen service in Ireland under Cromwell..

The enslaved Indians refused to work and ran away. The Massachusetts government tried to control runaways by marking enslaved Indians: brands were burnt into their skin, and symbols were tattooed into their foreheads and cheeks.

A Massachusetts law of 1695 gave colonists permission to kill Indians at will, declaring it was .lawful for any person, whether English or Indian, that shall find any Indians traveling or skulking in any of the towns or roads (within specified limits), to command them under their guard and examination, or to kill them as they may or can..

The northern colonists enacted more and more laws for controlling the people. A law in Albany forbade any African or Indian slave from driving a cart within the city. Curfews were set up; Africans and Indians were forbidden to have evening get-togethers. On Block Island, Indians were given 10 lashes for being out after nine o.clock. In 1692 Massachusetts made it a serious crime for any white person to marry an African, an Indian or a mulatto. In 1706 they tried to stop the importation of Indian slaves from other colonies, fearing a slave revolt.
Celebrate?

Looking at this history raises a question: Why should anyone celebrate the survival of the earliest Puritans with a Thanksgiving Day? Certainly the Native peoples of those times had no reason to celebrate.

The ruling powers of the United States organized people to celebrate Thanksgiving Day because it is in their interest. That.s why they created it. The first national celebration of Thanksgiving was called for by George Washington. And the celebration was made a regular legal holiday later by Abraham Lincoln during the civil war (right as he sent troops to suppress the Sioux of Minnesota).

Washington and Lincoln were two presidents deeply involved in trying to forge a unified bourgeois nation-state out of the European settlers in the United States. And the Thanksgiving story was a useful myth in their efforts at U.S. nation-building. It celebrates the .bounty of the American way of life,. while covering up the brutal nature of this society.

Bookmark and Share
posted by u2r2h at Thursday, November 20, 2008 1 comments links to this post

16 November, 2008

UA175 - WTC - Hologramme Ghostplane

http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/ii211/CollinAlexander/Over-Under-Puffball.gif


Unexpected Wing-Tip Explosions for "UA175"--


Screen captures from the Michael Hezarkhani "Ghostplane" video. Yellow arrow indicates the "wingtip" and where it struck the tower.

Capture A:


Capture B:


Capture C:


Capture D:


Capture E:


Capture F:


Capture G:



Why is the fragile wingtip, which contains no fuel, producing an explosion at all?

The round smoke puff that appears in capture F just to the left of the arrowhead is particularly odd.

If this was deflected debris, we should see it occurring in Capture C. Instead we see a large puff of explosion where the wingtip goes in-- a puff that merges with the larger center explosion.

There's ALSO an explosion that occurs much lower down from the wing--away from EVERYTHING!

MORE INFO:
http://u2r2h-documents.blogspot.com/2008/01/luc-courchesne-911-ua-175-hologram.html

http://u2r2h-documents.blogspot.com/2007/10/911-hologram-theory.html

http://u2r2h-documents.blogspot.com/2007/10/u2r2h-holo-tvf-missile-flyby-projector.html

http://u2r2h-documents.blogspot.com/2008/01/michael-hezarkhani-carment-taylor-wtc.html

http://u2r2h-documents.blogspot.com/2008/01/michael-hezarkhani-video-battery-park.html

http://u2r2h-documents.blogspot.com/2008/01/notorious-carmen-taylor-photographs-of.html

http://thewebfairy.com/killtown/images/flight175/2nd_crash_analysis.jpg

WATCH THE VIDEO!


http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Hezarkhani+&search_type=&aq=f


ANONYMOUS WIRELESS USER was very quick to censor!!
03:17, 15 November 2008 166.197.205.84 (Talk) (23,576 bytes) (Undid revision 251896480 by MBK004 (talk) remove poorly sourced) (undo)
WOW.. MK004 REINSTATED my "will be deleted anyway" edit:
03:12, 15 November 2008 MBK004 (Talk | contribs) m (24,718 bytes) (Reverted edits by 166.197.97.198 (talk) to last version by U2r2h) (undo)

My wikipedia edit was removed BY AN ANONYMOUS WIRELESS USER!
03:11, 15 November 2008 166.197.97.198 (Talk) (23,576 bytes) (Undid revision 251882949 by U2r2h (talk)) (undo)
01:29, 15 November 2008 U2r2h (Talk | contribs) (24,718 bytes) (?Crash: Michael Hezarkhani (please google -- u2r2h Michael Hezarkhani -- for more on the unspeakable) (undo)


The clearest footage was taken by Michael Hezarkhani and broadcast on CNN, showing an aluminium hollow airplane that impossibly melts into the steel facade of the tower, amazingly without the tail fuselage breaking-off or deforming{{cite web|url=http://wtc.nist.gov/NISTNCSTAR1-2.pdf|title=NIST report (58mB pdf) table 6-1: "Video file V4, footage taken at ground level near the Castle Clinton National Monument" ... Appendix E (end of the report) = still images from the video with the Michael Hezarkhani name on it (quick preview: http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/8219/nisthezpicdw9.jpg)}}. In the footage the tower closes up behind the penetrated wing and explosions are seen where there is no impact from the plane. Unlike the wingtips the vertical stabilizer inexplicably leaves no imprint in the tower. The lighting and proportions of the plane are unreal. In the absense of any hint of evidence of manipulation of Hezarkhani's footage and in the light of eye-witness reports of some sort of aircraft it must be assumed that dynamic holography [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holography#Dynamic_holography *] was employed.
Bookmark and Share
posted by u2r2h at Sunday, November 16, 2008 0 comments links to this post

15 November, 2008

INDIA GLADIO - state terror has means and motive

http://www.visualeditors.com/tksajeev/wp-content/uploads/2006/09/dna.jpg

Swami. asked Lt-Col Purohit to get explosives

15 Nov 2008, 0202 hrs IST, Prafulla Marpakwar & Mateen Hafeez, TNN

NASHIK/MUMBAI: Self-proclaimed seer Dayanand Pandey alias Sudhakar Dwivedi had directed Lt-Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit to arrange for explosives.

Pandey had also arranged a meeting between Purohit and wanted accused Ramji in August this year, a month before the Malegaon blast, public prosecutor Ajay Misar told a Nashik court on Friday.

Pandey, who styled himself as a shankaracharya, Swami Amritanand Dev Teerth Maharaj, was arrested from Kanpur on Thursday for his alleged role in the September 29 Malegaon blast that killed six and injured 101. He was produced before chief judicial magistrate H K Gantra who remanded him in police custody till November 26.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/42065000/jpg/_42065498_motorbike416300.jpg

The court also granted permission to subject Pandey to narco analysis, brain-mapping and polygraph tests after he said he was ready to undergo any test.

..During their investigations, the police have found that Pandey had directed Purohit to arrange for explosives,.. Misar told the court. The police alleged that Purohit was involved in the conspiracy of the Malegaon blast.

Purohit is the first serving officer to be arrested in this case. So far the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) has arrested 10 persons including retired Major Ramesh Upadhyaya and sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur.

http://www.hindu.com/2006/09/09/images/2006090916980102.jpg

Pandey is believed to have told ATS sleuths that he had joined the Air Force wing of the NDA in 1989 but dropped out in 1990. The police claimed to have recovered a boarding pass of Kingfisher Airlines, a cheque book, a pass book, an ATM card, a debit card, a passport and a pen drive from Pandey. Cops are scrutinising the pen drive.s contents and bank account details.

The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) said it has figured out how Lt Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit had procured RDX used in the Malegaon blast. The ATS also revealed that some of the accused had drafted a plot to kill a prominent Delhi-based Hindu activist and identified a Madhya Pradesh-based Hindu leader, who was allegedly involved in the October 2007 Ajmer blast.

''After the arrest of Purohit and Dayanand Pandey, we have adequate evidence to establish not only their involvement but also the vital role played by Pragya Singh Thakur in the Malegaon blast,'' a senior IPS official told TOI on Friday.

He said Purohit had admitted that he procured RDX from Pune-based Muslim activists and then handed it over to pro-Hindu activists.

http://www.outlookindia.com/images/malegaon_blast_site_2_060909.jpg

''It appears that Purohit used his own network for procuring RDX. We have identified all the persons involved in providing RDX to Purohit. It was also found that the youth have contacts in Kashmir. We will book them in a day or two,'' the IPS official said. It was revealed that some of the accused had drafted a plot to eliminate a Delhi-based Hindu leader. ''We were stunned to know about the plot. We have already shared the information with the authorities in Delhi,'' he said.

The ATS also has information that a Hindu leader from MP was allegedly involved in the October 2007 Ajmer blast. ''The accused told the ATS about the Ajmer blast. They have disclosed the name of the activist, he was murdered six months ago,'' the official said.

On the role of Pandey, the official said he came under the scanner nearly 20 days ago following information disclosed by Pragya and other accused.

''After it was confirmed that he too played a key role in the Malegaon blast, we detained him in Kanpur,'' he said. The IPS officer made it clear that while no elected representative has been involved in the blast, it was a fact that prominent religious leaders were directly or indirectly associated with the blast. ''We have identified two prominent pro-Hindu leaders. We are monitoring their activities and they will be detained at the appropriate time,'' he said.

***


http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/09xaaq48cK6zj/340x.jpg

Misguided people? Maybe Pakistan had NOTHING to do with it?
This is often the aim of FALSE FLAG attacks.

(AP Photo) Saffron Backlash: VHP leader Ashok Singhal (centre), along with supporters, protests against ill-treatment of Hindu leaders, in Allahabad on Friday.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Swami_asked_Lt-Col_Purohit_to_get_explosives/articleshow/3715111.cms
***
The Nashik forensic laboratory today confirmed the presence of RDX in the bombs that went off in the Hamidiya mosque and Mushawarat chowk in Malegaon
***
Ali, along with Junaid and two more persons, had transported 15 kg of RDX to Malegaon, which was stored in Shabbir's godown.
***
Army accused smuggled RDX from Kashmir for Malegaon blast. 08 November, 2008.
***
Ex-Armymen held in Malegaon blast probe
***

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l100/kissinger65/malegaon.jpg


Bookmark and Share
posted by u2r2h at Saturday, November 15, 2008 0 comments links to this post

13 November, 2008

the US assassinates Iraq's leaders

IRAQ'S CIVIL RESISTANCE
The Secular Left Opposition Stands Up
by Bill Weinberg

July 4, 2007 saw the Fred Hampton-style execution of the leader of a
popular citizen's self-defense force in Baghdad. According to the Iraq
Freedom Congress, the group Abdelhussein Saddam was associated with, a
unit of US Special Forces troops and Iraqi National Guards raided his
home in Baghdad's Alattiba neighborhood at 3:00 AM, throwing grenades in
before them -- and opening fire without warning at him and his young
daughter. The attackers took Saddam, leaving the girl bleeding on the
floor. Two days later, his body was found in the morgue at Yarmouk Hospital.

Abdelhussein had been the leader of the Safety Force, a civil patrol
organized by the IFC civil resistance coalition to protect their
communities. Like many IFC leaders, he had been an opponent of the
Saddam Hussein regime, and was imprisoned for two years in the '90s.
Head of the Safety Force since late last year, his death went unnoted by
the world media.

But on Aug. 3, some 100 activists from the Japanese anti-war group Zenko
-- an acronym for National Assembly for Peace and Democracy -- gathered
near the US embassy in Tokyo to protest the slaying. One banner read:
"Do US-Iraqi security forces promote civil rights or Big Brother
thuggery? Abdelhussein found out!"

Among those speaking were two IFC leaders who had flown in for the 37th
annual Zenko conference. IFC president Samir Adil addressed the rally:
"Because he said 'no Sunni, no Shi'ite, yes to human identity,' because
he wanted to build a civil society in Iraq without occupation, without
sectarian militias -- for that they killed Abdelhussein. They think they
can defeat the IFC, the only voice in Iraq that says yes to a free
society, yes to a nonviolent society; no to occupation, no to sectarian
gangsters. But contrary to that, after the assassination, many people
joined the IFC, we received messages of solidarity from around the
world. As long as have the support of people like you, we will never
give up."

The IFC was formed in 2005, bringing together trade unions, women's
organizations, neighborhood assemblies and student groups around two
demands: an end to the occupation, and a secular state for Iraq. Zenko's
most significant achievement over the past year has been the raising of
$400,000 which allowed the IFC to establish a satellite station, Sana TV.


Nadia Mahmood, an exile from Basra who is the chief presenter at Sana
TV's London studio, told the protesters: "We established the IFC to
oppose occupation or rule by Sunni or Shi'ite militias. That is why the
US, which says it came to Iraq to bring democracy, assassinates our
leaders and raids our offices. And that is why we must demand an end to
the occupation."

Sana TV: Voice of Progressive Iraq

The protest was given extra urgency by news that another IFC figure,
Prof. Mohammed Jasam, had been killed the previous day in an ambush on
the road from Baghdad to Siwera. The killers were this time presumably
members of an as yet unidentified sectarian militia. Jasam had been a
reporter and commentator on labor issues for Sana TV, which began
broadcasting in this spring in Arabic, Kurdish and English, with studios
in Baghdad and London.

Mahmood says Sana TV regularly produces programming on labor struggles,
women's concerns, and the impact of the occupation on Iraqi society. Its
Baghdad studio continues to face material challenges -- such as
unreliable electricity, necessitating on-site generators. Mahmood says
Sana TV hopes to build "mobile studios" for Iraq, citing the threat of
attack from either occupation forces or sectarian militias.

The US supports its own TV networks in Iraq, while Iran and the Gulf
states have satellite stations operating in the country that promote
Shi'ite and Sunni political Islam, respectively. Yet it is Sana TV which
has been singled out for attack.

The Baghdad office which serves as Sana TV's studio and the IFC
headquarters was raided by US troops on June 7. The premises were
damaged when the soldiers forced down the door, and five of the office's
guards were arrested and their weapons confiscated. Documents were also
seized. September 2006 saw a more violent raid, in which a mixed force
of US and Iraqi troops ransacked the office, destroying furniture and
equipment and confiscating records and documents, according to the IFC.

Mahmood and Adil say the IFC is becoming more of a threat because of its
growing successes -- uniting with organized labor to oppose the pending
privatization of Iraq's oil, bringing together secular anti-occupation
forces in a common front, and liberating space in Baghdad and other
cities from rule by sectarian militias.

Autonomous Zones of Co-Existence

While Adil says the Safety Force does bear arms -- "every home has a
rifle in Iraq, it is just a question of how they are used" -- he
emphasizes that they are not insurgents, and the IFC is pursuing a civil
struggle. "In principle, we believe in the right of armed resistance,"
says Adil. "But we believe a civil resistance is needed in Iraq now.
Armed resistance has only brought terrorism to Iraq, turned the country
into an international battlefield."

He also cites the human cost -- and the potential to build solidarity
with the American citizenry. "In four years of occupation, there are
3,500 US troops dead and perhaps a quarter of a million Iraqis. There is
no difference between the pain of Cindy Sheehan and mothers in Iraq."
And finally a tactical consideration: "It is not so easy to attack the
civil resistance."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/08/uk_iraqi_exiles/img/3.jpg
Adil is a veteran of political struggle against the Saddam Hussein
dictatorship and a follower of the Worker-Communist Party of Iraq,
founded after Operation Desert Storm to oppose both the regime and US
designs on the Persian Gulf region. Born in Baghdad in 1964, he was
imprisoned for six months in 1992 for labor activities in the
construction trade. He was tortured in prison -- he never removes his
cap, but a long scar can be seen extending down his scalp to his temple.
Supporters in Canada launched an international campaign which finally
won his release. Realizing he was no longer safe in Saddam's Iraq, he
fled first to the Kurdish zone, then Turkey, and finally Canada. He
returned to Iraq in December 2005 to help revive an independent
political opposition.

Adil is clear that this opposition faces two enemies: the occupation and
what he calls "political Islam" -- a Sunni wing linked to al-Qaeda and
supported by Saudi Arabia, and Shi'ite militias with varying degrees of
support from Iran. These have turned Baghdad into a patchwork of
ethnically cleansed, hostile camps. The IFC includes secular Muslims
(and non-believers) of both Sunni and Shi'ite background in its
leadership, as well as Kurds and people of mixed heritage. Adil claims
the IFC now has a presence in 20 cities, including Baghdad, Basra,
Mosul, Kirkuk and Tikrit. "We have thousands of followers," he says,
"and we are growing every day." The IFC's first national convention,
held Oct. 21 in Kirkuk, was attended by elected delegates from all of
Iraq's major cities.

The IFC's self-governing zone of some 5,000 in Baghdad, established in
the district of Husseinia last September, is an island of co-existence
in a city torn by sectarian cleansing, says Adil. Thanks to the Safety
Force, the district has become a no-go zone for the sectarian militias.
"There has been no sectarian killing in Husseinia since September 2006,"
Adil boasts. Despite the slaying of Abdelhussein Saddam, the Safety
Force is continuing to grow, he says, with new training sessions underway.

The IFC is now establishing a second self-governing zone in Baghdad's
al-Awaithia, also a mixed Sunni-Shi'ite district that militias on either
side are trying to cleanse. The IFC's first autonomous zone was
established in late 2005 in a community they dubbed al-Tzaman
(Solidarity) in the northern city of Kirkuk. Al-Tzaman has a mixed
population of 5,000 Sunni Arabs, Christians, Turcomans and Kurds.

Adil is clear on where he places the blame for the crisis of violent
sectarianism in Iraq. "The occupation and the US-imposed constitution
have divided Iraq, Sunni against Shiite. The IFC is the only force to
oppose this division of society." He calls the IFC's success in carving
out zones of co-existence a testament to "the power of the people."

In addition to securing the IFC's self-governing zones, the Safety Force
is active throughout Baghdad. In April, a sniper started shooting at
children attempting to flee a school in Alatba'a suburb when fighting
between US troops and insurgents was closing in on the district; the
Safety Force arrived, calmed the students and teachers, promised to
defend them, and established a perimeter around the school until the
danger passed. When residents in Babalmuadham district sought to prevent
the Shi'ite Mahdi militia from establishing a camp there, they called on
the Safety Force, which secured the area and confronted the militiamen,
who retreated. The Safety Force has worked to protect residents from
looters who take advantage of the chaos when fighting breaks out.

http://www.solsup.com.au/greenman/flagsiraq.jpg

A related effort, IFC Doctors, has started to provide free health
services from the IFC headquarters in Baghdad, as well as forming
traveling teams to provide treatment off-site for people who cannot
reach the office.

The Safety Force is increasingly made up of trade unionists, a growing
pillar of support for the IFC. In November 2006, the General Federation
of Trade Unions-Iraq (GFTU-I) merged with the Federation of Workers
Councils and Unions in Iraq (FWCUI), already an IFC member organization.
Workers from both groups have volunteered for the SF. And more unions
are joining with the IFC's new campaign against Iraq's pending
US-written oil law, which would grant unprecedentedly free access to
foreign multinationals.

Struggle for the Oil

In a Sept. 8 press conference in Basra, representatives of the IFC's
Anti-Oil Law Front joined with leaders of Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions
(IFOU) to warn the Iraqi parliament against passing the draft oil law.
IFOU president Hassan Jumaa, also a member of the IFC's central council,
announced that the union will shut down the pipeline leading from Iraq's
southern oilfields if the law is approved, and is prepared to halt
operations entirely if the Anti-Oil Law Front calls for a strike. Five
days earlier, the Front staged a protest in Baghdad's Liberation Square.
US forces surrounded the rally, blocking access to the square, and took
pictures of the protesters who carried banners reading "The oil law is
the law of occupation."

http://www.ifcongress.com/images/logo.JPG

An IFOU march against the oil law in Basra on July 16 brought out
thousands, with simultaneous protests in Amara and Nassiryya. Local
governate officials made statements in support of their demands. The
26,000-strong IFOU calls for immediate and complete withdrawal of all
occupation forces from Iraq, and has already demonstrated its muscle. On
June 4, it went on strike for four days to protest the oil law and
demand the release of delayed benefits due workers, paralyzing the
Basra-Baghdad pipeline.

Four IFOU leaders, including Hassan Jumaa, were ordered arrested for
"sabotaging the Iraqi economy." Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who had
averted a strike in May by promising dialogue in a meeting with IFOU
leaders, now warned he would meet threats to oil production "with an
iron fist." The arrest orders, never formally dropped, hadn't been
carried out when the strike ended. But a heavy presence of Iraqi army
troops remained in Basra, surrounding and blocking marches by the oil
workers. The government recently threatened to carry out the arrest
orders if the unions go ahead with a new strike to protest the oil law.

"The oil law does not represent the aspirations of the Iraqi people,"
Hassan Jumaa said at a May press conference. "It will let the foreign
oil companies into the oil sector and enact privatization under
so-called production-sharing agreements. The federation calls on all
unions in the world to support our demands and to put pressure on
governments and the oil companies not to enter the Iraqi oil fields."

The IFOU, which is demanding the resignation of the general manager of
the Southern Oil Company for corruption, also went on strike over these
demands in September 2006. It has carried out its own reconstruction
work on rigs, ports, pipelines and refineries since the invasion with
minimal, mostly local resources.

Iraq's labor leaders are, of course, targeted for repression and death.

On Sept. 18 -- just two days after the notorious Blackwater massacre in
Baghdad -- IFOU announced that an engineer and leading union member,
Talib Naji Abboud, was killed in an "unprovoked attack" by US forces on
Basra's Rumaila oilfields. Sabah Jawad of the IFOU's support committee
in the UK says the troops opened fire on his car without warning while
he was on his way to work -- admitting that it could have just been a
case of "trigger-happy" soldiers rather than a targeted assassination.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51jtZrqHLSL._SL500_AA240_.jpg

In al-Aadhamiya, outside Baghdad, municipal workers started a strike
August 30 to protest the raid of their offices by US troops. The
soldiers broke doors and windows and smashed the employees' desks, under
the pretext of a general search for arms in the municipality.

In February, US-led forces twice raided the Baghdad offices of the
General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW), destroying office equipment
and arresting a member of the union's security staff. Also that month,
the Iraq Syndicate of Journalists was raided, and computers and
membership records were confiscated.

In January, militia gunmen abducted eight Oil Ministry engineers on
their way to a FWCUI press conference on fuel price increases. Four were
released, but one engineer, Abdukareem Mahdi, was later found dead, with
signs of torture. The other three remain missing and are presumed dead.
Days later, FWCUI organizer Mohammed Hameed was among a group of 15
civilians who were randomly gunned down in a marketplace in southern
Baghdad.

In July 2006, Kurdish security forces in Suleimanyia opened fire on
striking workers at a cement factory, leaving three dead and more
wounded. A month later, sectarian militias in Mahmoodya, near Baghdad,
assassinated the local secretary of the health workers union and IFC
member Tariq Mahdi. Ali Hassan Abd (better known as Abu Fahad), a leader
at the Southern Oil Company's refinery, was gunned down while walking
home with his young children in February 2005. That same month, Ahmed
Adris Abbas, a leader in Baghdad's transport union, was assassinated by
a hit squad in the city's Martyrs' Square.

Yet despite danger and intimidation, the effort against the oil law is
building. A second rally at Baghdad's Liberation Square called by the
Anti-Oil Law Front Sept. 22 brought out hundreds -- a significant
achievement in an atmosphere of terror.

For a Secular State

An incident which helped spark the IFC's founding came in March 2005,
when a Christian female student was physically attacked by Moqtada
al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia at a campus picnic at Basra University, and
a male student who came to her defense was shot and killed. Thousands of
students marched in protest, a solidarity march was held by students in
Suleimanyia, and the Mahdi militia was driven from the campus. These
struggles led to the establishment of the National Federation of Student
Councils, another IFC member organization.

http://www.ifcongress.com/images/CC/DSCN2275.JPG

Another of the IFC's founding organizations, the Organization of Women's
Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), led a campaign against Iraq's new constitution.
Article 41 of the new constitution overturned the more secular 1959
Personal Status Law, enshrined as Article 118 of the old constitution,
which barred gender discrimination. The new measure instead refers
family disputes to sharia courts -- Shi'ite or Sunni depending on the
affiliation of the litigants. In 2004, a campaign by OWFI and allied
groups -- including street protests -- succeeded in keeping the sharia
measure out of the draft constitution, by a narrow vote of the
then-Governing Council. However, a basically identical measure is in the
permanent constitution approved by referendum the following year. OWFI
believes the sharia courts will mean denial of divorce, inheritance and
child custody rights to women.

OWFI leader Yanar Mohammed says the new constitution is encouraging an
atmosphere in which acid attacks are on the rise even in once-secular
Baghdad against "immodest" women who refuse to take the abaya (Iraq's
version of the veil). The Mahdi Army as well as its rival Sunni militias
publicly flog and even hang women accused of "adultery" (which can
include having been raped). Last year, OWFI sent teams to Baghdad's
morgue under cover of searching for missing relatives to reveal the
horrific nature of Iraq's reality. They found that hundreds of unclaimed
women's corpses turning up monthly at the morgue -- many beheaded,
disfigured or bearing signs of extreme torture.

OWFI runs a shelter in Baghdad for women fleeing "honor killings," which
have surged under the occupation. Mohammed, of course, has received
numerous death threats.

The draft constitution for the Kurdish region also includes a measure
recognizing sharia law as a foundation for legislation. OWFI's
spokesperson for the Kurdish region, Houzan Mahmoud, has also received
e-mailed death threats -- even as she pursues her education at the
University of London.

Samir Adil says sectarian militias and US troops alike tear down IFC
posters reading "No Sunni, no Shi'ite, occupation is the enemy."

Appeal for Solidarity

In addition to Zenko, IFC solidarity groups have been established in the
UK, France and South Korea. In America, US Labor Against the War has
brought Iraqi union leaders on speaking tours. IFOU general-secretary
Faleh Abood Umara was in Ohio on tour with USLAW when the arrest order
was issued against him in the summer. The American Friends Service
Committee also brought Samir Adil on a tour of the Northeast in 2006.

But there is still little awareness in the US about Iraq's civil
resistance. The dichotomized vision of occupation-vs-Islamist insurgents
infects the mainstream as well as the anti-war forces. In its efforts to
groom proxies, as with the Sunni "Guardians" in Anbar, the US is
exacerbating the civil war -- co-opting one gang of tribal reactionaries
to fight against another. Meanwhile, when a progressive and secular
self-defense force emerges -- in opposition to the occupation, rather
than collaboration, giving it real legitimacy -- the US executes its
leader. And the anti-war movement remains largely oblivious.

When asked about secular civil resistance movements in Iraq, Middle East
scholar Juan Cole, publisher of the popular Informed Comment blog, says:
"I don't know of any significant such groups; they don't show up in the
Arabic language newspapers I read, and nobody votes secular when they
vote . . . I think they are by now mostly in exile. The religious groups
are better organized, get outside money, and have paramilitaries."

Gilbert Achcar, author of The Clash of Barbarisms: September 11 and the
Making of the New World Disorder, largely concurs. "What is tragic is
that in the whole area actually, left-wing, progressive, emancipatory
forces are quite marginal. As a product of historical defeat -- or even
bankruptcy, because of very wrong policies in some cases -- the
overwhelming forces in the mass movement have been of a very different
nature, mainly Islamic fundamentalist forces. Iraq is a country where
you have had historically a very powerful communist party with a
tradition of building workers' movements and all that, and one would
have hoped that this would at least lead to the survival of a
progressive current -- but the problem is that the communist party
joined the governing council set up by Bremer and ruined its credibility
as an anti-imperialist force by doing so."

Achcar also takes a dim view of the Worker-Communist Party of Iraq. The
WCPI was founded in 1991 in response to Desert Storm, the demise of the
Soviet Union and emergence of the US as the single superpower, viewing
these developments as mandating a return to militant workers'
self-organization in the Persian Gulf region. Samir Adil and other IFC
leaders are followers of the Worker-Communist Party, which views the
Iraqi regime as illegitimate and collaborationist. But in Achcar's view,
the Worker-Communist Party's anti-clericalism is too dogmatic. "They
have a discourse which is very violently opposed to all Islam -- not
only Islamic fundamentalism," he says. "They have formulas that would be
provocative for ordinary Muslim believers, I would say. They denounce
Islamic fundamentalist forces, but they don't take the necessary
precaution of clearly making a distinction between these currents and
the religion of Islam."

The IFC, however, insist that they also have secular and progressive
Muslims in their leadership. Recently, the IFC has held meetings with
traditional tribal leaders in Basra province, issuing joint statements
of unity against the occupation and Oil Law. In any case, the decision
to launch the IFC has prompted a split in the WCPI, with the hard-liners
who reject coalition politics leaving to form a "Left-Worker Communist
Party of Iraq."

Achcar does acknowledge worthwhile work by WCPI followers. "They
organized activities on the women issue, and a trade union movement," he
says. "I mean, when you look at the landscape in Iraq, they are much
more progressive than most of what you've got."

And Achcar urges support for the oil workers, with whom the IFC are now
allied. "What I think would be worth support in Iraq is the oil and gas
workers union in Basra," he says. "This is a genuine union, a genuinely
autonomous union, not the off-shoot of any party. And they are in a very
sensitive position because the oil industry is the main resource of
Iraq, and that's the main target of the occupation, of course. Therefore
I think they deserve strong support in their fight, which is presently
concentrated on opposing the privatization plans or designs concerning
the oil industry . . ."

Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies articulates the
dilemma: "There has been a huge problem since the beginning of the US
invasion and occupation of Iraq, that the only resistance we hear about
is the military resistance. Certainly Iraqis have the right under
international law to fight against an illegal military occupation,
including through use of military force -- but that has never been the
only kind of resistance. Key sectoral organizations -- oil workers,
women, human rights defenders and many others -- have all continued
their work to oppose the occupation, at great risk to their own safety.
Many of them operate in local areas, and almost all function outside the
US-controlled 'green zone,' so few western journalists, and almost no
mainstream US journalists, have access to their work."

She too sees hope in the struggle of the oil workers. "The oil workers
union has provided one of the extraordinary models of local/national
mobilization in defense of workers rights as well as defense of Iraqi
sovereignty and unity (through the unions' opposition to the US-drafted
oil law which would privatize a huge part of Iraq's oil industry). The
international solidarity mobilized by the oil workers unions,
particularly among trade unionists in Europe and the US, has provided an
important model of how that kind of cross-border collaboration can take
shape. The work of US Labor Against the War, in mobilizing labor
opposition to the Iraq occupation and simultaneously building support
for the Iraqi oil workers, also provides a model for international
solidarity from the other side."

That the work of the IFC goes largely unnoticed outside Iraq is
particularly ironic in light of Bush's recent statement that there can
be no "instant democracy in Iraq" because "Saddam Hussein killed all the
Mandelas." As the death of Abdelhussein Saddam indicates, Bush is
continuing the work of Saddam Hussein in eliminating progressive Iraqis
who support co-existence. However, despite the best of his efforts, they
are not all dead yet.

"The occupation and puppet government in Iraq created this conflict,"
says Nadia Mahmood. "They supported the militias and opened the door to
terrorist networks to come and function in Iraq. Before the war, George
Bush said he had to invade Iraq because of al-Qaeda -- but what happened
was al-Qaeda came after the occupation. They control many cities in Iraq
and are imposing the most reactionary practices on the civil population.
Before, Iran had no role in Iraq, but now we see the Iranian government
empowering militias in many cities in Iraq, especially in Basra. The US
is not supporting political freedom in Iraq. They just seek to loot our
resources, and its time to go."

But she emphasizes that if the US exit is to lead to peace and a secular
order, the civil resistance will also need support from friends abroad.
"The victory against US forces in Iraq will not be a local victory -- it
will be an international victory."
Bookmark and Share
posted by u2r2h at Thursday, November 13, 2008 0 comments links to this post

12 November, 2008

BBC - Who are the English Bastards?

The Arrival of the Celts:
As the Bronze Age in Ireland drew to a close, there appeared in Ireland a new cultural influence. Developing in the Alps of central Europe, the Celts spread their culture across modern-day Germany and France and into the Balkans as far as Turkey. They arrived in Britain and Ireland around 500BC and within a few hundred years, Ireland's Bronze Age culture had all but disappeared, and Celtic culture was in place across the entire island.

Celtic Europe around 400BCThe map on the left [3] shows how Europe looked around 400BC. Celtic influences (for it was a culture, not an empire) had spread across much of central Europe and spread into Iberia and the British Isles. The Celts called Britain and Ireland the "Pretanic Islands" which evolved into the modern word "Britain". The word "Celt" comes from the Greeks, who called the tribes to their north the "Keltoi", but there is no evidence that the Celts ever referred to themselves by that name. To the south a small upstart republic, with its capital at Rome, was minding its own business. However it was these Romans who, a few centuries later, would supercede Celtic culture across most of Europe when they built their huge Roman Empire, which stretched from Palestine to England.

The Celts had one major advantage - they had discovered Iron. Iron had been introduced to the Celtic peoples in Europe around 1000 to 700BC, thus giving them the technological edge to spread as they did. Iron was a far superior metal to bronze, being stronger and more durable. On the other hand, it required much hotter fires to extract it from its ore and so it took a fair degree of skill to use iron. None of this is to be taken to mean that bronze fell out of use. Rather, iron simply became an alternative metal and many bronze objects have been found that were made in the Iron Age.


Whether or not the arrival of the Celts in Ireland was an actual invasion, or a more gradual assimilation, is an open question [1]. On the one hand, the Celts - who were by no means pacifists - must have arrived in sufficiently large numbers to obliterate the existing culture in Ireland within a few hundred years. On the other hand, other better documented invasions of Ireland - such as the Viking invasions of the 7th and 8th centuries AD - failed to have the effect of changing the culture on an islandwide scale. Current academic opinion favours the theory that the Celts arrived in Ireland over the course of several centuries, beginning in the late Bronze Age with Celts of the early iron-using Hallstatt group of people, to be followed after 300BC by Celts of the La Tène cultural group which formed within the Hallstatt group.

Some have postulated that, as the Romans invaded and took control of the continental Celtic territories of Gaul [France] and Iberia [Spain and Portugal], some of the displaced Celts travelled to unconquered Celtic lands such as Britain and Ireland. The medieval "Book of Invasions" talks about Milesians and Fír Bolg arriving in Ireland. These have been identified with displaced Celts from Spain and Belgium, respectively, although this is conjecture [1].


Early Accounts:

The earliest pseudo-historical information that we have about Iron Age Celtic Ireland is from Carthaginian, Roman and Greek writers, who probably got their information from sailors who had been to the British Isles. There are writings from the 4th century AD by the Roman Avienus which are thought to be based on accounts from an early Greek voyage in the 6th century BC. These describe Celts in France and in the North Sea, where the British Isles are. He calls Ireland Insula Sacra (Holy Island) and its inhabitants gens hiernorum, thought to be a Latinisation of the Greek word for Ireland, Ierne. This, in all likelihood, is a modification of the word Ériu, which may be an original Celtic word for Ireland and a root of the later Irish word Eire and eventually the English word Ireland. The Greek Pytheas refers to the British Isles as the Pretanic Islands, which is derived from Priteni - definitely a Celtic word. In 52BC, the Romans were referring to Ireland as Hibernia, possibly extracted again from the Greek word Ierne.

Click to view Ptolemy's map of Ireland [56kB]By far the most interesting historical account of these early times is that of the Greek Ptolemy. His map of Ireland, published in Geographia, was compiled in the second century AD, but based on an account from around 100AD. No surviving originals exist, but we do have a copy dating from 1490AD. To see the map [1], click on the thumbnail on the left [56kB].

Historians have been able to use this fascinating map to identify some of the Celtic tribes living in Ireland at the time. Many of the names cannot be identified with known tribes (particularly those in the west), and the names have been badly corrupted by being passed word-of-mouth. However, others are readily identifiable. Also on the map are the names of rivers and islands which can be identified with existing features. All this information has allowed historians to create a picture of the probable Celtic tribes living in Ireland at the time (100AD). Our map is given below. Note that Ireland was by no means isolated. Some of the tribes straddled both sides of the Irish Sea, while others had relations in Gaul (France).

Ireland in 100AD [10kB]


Roman Influences and Irish Colonies:

In the last centuries BC, the rest of Celtic Europe fell to the expanding Roman Empire. The Celts of southern Britain were conquered in 43AD. Stopping short of the Picts of modern-day Scotland, the Roman emperor Hadrian built his famous wall between the Celts of the north and Roman Britain. Did the Roman armies invade Ireland? The answer is no, but we know they did consider it. During a foray into southern Scotland, the Roman General Agricola looked across the North Channel towards the Irish coast. The writer Tacitus reports that Agricola "saw that Ireland... conveniently situated for the ports of Gaul might prove a valuable acquisition" and that "I have often heard Agricola declare that a single legion, with a moderate band of auxilaries, would be enough to finish the conquest of Ireland" [2]. However an invasion never took place - not because the Irish would be too hard to defeat, but simply because the Romans decided it wouldn't be worth the effort.However, Ireland did come under heavy Roman influence, even if not under its rule. In the first and second centuries AD, there is evidence that there was sporadic trading between the Irish and the Romans of Britain. Tacitus, writing in the first century AD, says of Ireland "the interior parts are little known, but through commerical intercourse and the merchants there is better knowledge of the harbours and approaches" [5]. Evidence of a Roman trading post has been found near Dublin. However, it was not until the fourth and fifth centuries AD that there is evidence of prolonged Roman influences in Ireland. Roman coins and other implements have been found in Ireland. There is evidence that the language spoken by the Eóganacht of Munster, who arrived at the end of the Iron Age, had been heavily influenced by Latin. Finally, it is certain that Ogham, the first written scripts in the Irish language, was based on the Latin alphabet


Towards the end of the pre-Christian period, as the Roman Empire and its colony in Britain declined, the Irish took advantage and began raiding western Britain. Irish Colonies in Britain, 5th century [9kB]Picts from Scotland and Saxons from Germany raided other parts of the colony. As their raids got ever more successful, the Irish began to colonise western Britain. The Érainn of Munster settled in Cornwall, the Laigin of Leinster settled in south Wales while the Déisi of south-east Ireland settled in north Wales. Cormac of Cashel (writing much later, in 908AD) records that "The power of the Irish over the Britons was great, and they had divided Britain between them into estates... and the Irish lived as much east of the sea as they did in Ireland" [2]. These colonies were all defeated by the Britons within the next century or so, although Irish kings seemed to be still ruling in south Wales as late as the tenth century. The map on the left shows these colonies.

But by far the most successful colony was that of the Dál Riata in western Scotland. Their colony thrived and, in fact, it seems that most or all Dál Riatans ultimately left northern Ireland for the new colony. Probably founding the colony around 400-500AD, Dál Riata was well established by 563AD and in the ninth century it took control of Pictland, to the east, and founding the united kingdom of Scotland.


Celtic Constructions: Royal Sites
During the Iron Age, there was a general consolidation of territories and kingdoms. Most of these territories had a defended hilltop fort as their centre of power. However, a number of very large-scale works were undertaken. Referred to as the 'royal sites', these consisted of earthworks of various kinds, burial mounds and enclosures. Most of these were constructed around the 2nd century BC.

CONTINUED BELOW (see ROYAL SITES)

http://www.wesleyjohnston.com/users/ireland/past/pre_norman_history/iron_age.html

THE LATEST POMMIE PROGRAMME

A landmark series dealing with the greatest unresolved mystery in our history - how the modern nations of England, Wales and Scotland were born out of the chaos of the Dark Ages.


There are audio clips with programme information below.

The Dark Origins of Britain is a landmark series dealing with the greatest unresolved mystery in our history - how the modern nations of England, Wales and Scotland were born out of the chaos of the Dark Ages. In 400 AD, when Roman power collapsed in Britain, we were a province inhabited by Celtic peoples speaking a mixture of early Welsh and Latin. But only two hundred years later, the foundations of a new, Anglo-Saxon, English-speaking nation were being laid.

It was perhaps the biggest cultural transformation we've ever experienced. It set us on the road we were to follow to the present day. But even now, no-one knows how it happened, or why. The fifth and sixth centuries are truly the darkest period in our history - almost without written records or archaeological evidence.


An Anglo-Saxon brooch and a helmet from Sutton Hoo excavation.

In recent years historians and archaeologists have begun telling the story of the Dark Ages as it's never been told before. They've overturned our most basic assumptions about the period. For centuries we've taken it for granted that England was an Anglo-Saxon nation, and that England - and by extension, Wales - was created by a large-scale Anglo-Saxon invasion. But most experts now believe that that invasion never happened.

According to this new orthodoxy, there was no process of ethnic cleansing, as the contemporary chroniclers claimed and generations of children have been taught. Instead, the existing population of lowland Britain simply adopted Anglo-Saxon fashions, and learnt to speak English in a deliberate process of upward mobility. The Dark Origins of Britain investigates that extraordinary claim - with its profound implications for who we really are - with the help of Britain's leading specialists in the field.


Malmesbury Abbey iin Wilsthire. A monastry was established on the site in around 676 AD.

Programme 1 (16th January) of the series goes to the heart of the debate over the origins of England and Wales. It uncovers amazing evidence drawn from the latest forensic techniques - such as analysis of tooth enamel - which has proved that the "Anglo-Saxon cemeteries" dotted across England actually contain very few Anglo-Saxons. But it also looks at new genetic research which appears to show the opposite; suggesting that hordes of marauding Anglo-Saxons did indeed come here after all. Finally, this programme considers whether contemporary notions of political correctness have influenced attempts to construct a non-violent version of our national origins.

Listen to: introduction

Listen to: was there an Anglo-Saxon conquest?

Listen to: conclusion

Programme 2 (23rd January) investigates the Dark Origins of Scotland - and the mystery of the Picts, a people who dominated the north of Britain for a thousand years - and then apparently vanished. The Picts left no written documents but to this day they tantalise us with the hundreds of unique sculpted stones they scattered across the landscape, carved in a language of symbols that we're still struggling to interpret. Who were the Picts? Where did they go? And what legacy did they leave Scotland?

Listen to: introduction

Listen to: significance of the Picts

Listen to: conclusion

Programme 3 (30th January) brings the story up to date. It looks at how the English, Welsh and Scots have returned again and again to plunder the Dark Ages to explain - and re-interpret - their origins. Why did the Norman kings of England promote the cult of King Arthur? Why is Queen Victoria portrayed in the National Portrait Gallery as an Anglo-Saxon maiden? And what are the origins of the modern-day fascination with all things Celtic? This programme examines the role of myth in the formation of our national identities.

Listen to: introduction

Listen to: English identity

Listen to: significance of Anglo-Saxon history

Listen to: conclusion

The Dark Origins of Britain is presented by BBC correspondent Tim Whewell who has a long-standing interest in the history of the period, and produced by Tanya Datta.

The series is an important contribution to the current debate over British identity, and will help to answer the question, Who are we?

IF YOU HAVE ORBIT DOWNLOADER enter these links for audio download (sadly not mp3, but you can convert with SUPER or VLC)
rtsp://rmv8.bbc.net.uk/radio4/history/dark_origins1.ra
rtsp://rmv8.bbc.net.uk/radio4/history/dark_origins2.ra
rtsp://rmv8.bbc.net.uk/radio4/history/dark_origins3.ra
9.8mB each



(3) King's Stables The King's Stables near Navan Fort in Co. Armagh - 62k

According to tradition, this area was used to keep the horses of early Ulster kings. Recent archaeological investigations suggest that it may have been a Bronze Age ritual pool.


The Bronze Age in Ireland is normally considered to start in 2500 BC or 2000 BC, and to end in 600 BC or 300 BC. In the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age, a distinctive type of pot without handles, called a beaker, starts to appear in many parts of Europe. The spread of "Beaker culture" in Europe seems to have been a cultural change, rather than the result of large scale migrations. Some late Neolithic wedge tombs contain beakers, but it seems likely that these were Bronze Age burials in older Neolithic tombs. A more typical early Bronze Age burial would consist of a pit or stone cist, containing the cremated remains of a single individual, together with a large pottery vessel and perhaps a few bronze objects.

The earliest metal tools in Ireland were copper and were concentrated in Munster. They were cast using open stone moulds, such as the sandstone mould found near Ballynahinch, Co. Down. The addition of small quantity of tin to the copper made the much harder bronze alloy. This enabled more complicated objects such as spearheads, woodworking tools, razors, swords and fasteners for clothes to be made during the later Bronze Age. Gold ornaments such as bracelets and lunula have also been found, suggesting a more stratified social structure, and the beginnings of an aristocracy. Metal objects like this would have been rare and precious, and were traded over considerable distances.

A Bronze Age site on the shore of Cullyhanna Lough in Co. Armagh has been interpreted as a temporary hunting camp. When excavated, it was found to consist of an outer wooden enclosure and a timber hut. The oak at the site has been dated using tree-ring dating to 1526 BC, just at the end of the Early Bonze Age. Another interesting site was found at Lough Eskragh in Co. Tyrone. This appears to have been a crannog or artificial island. Crannogs were also constructed in Neolithic and even in medieval times, but this one was dated to about the 10th century BC, in the Late Bronze Age. Nearby were the remains of two dugout canoes, made of oak, which had been preserved in the mud.

Several Bronze Age structures have been found in the area around Navan Fort in Co. Armagh. About half a mile from Navan Fort is an artificial pool called the King's Stables. This is a pool about 25 metres across and about 4 metres deep. A small test excavation in the pool found animal bones, moulds for swords and part of the skull of a young man. The findings suggest that this was a ritual pool used to deposit offerings to gods. The most exotic find at the Navan Fort itself was the skull of a Barbary Ape, which may well have been an extremely costly present transported from North Africa to Ulster. Navan Fort was obviously a place of considerable importance in the Late Bronze Age, and emerges as the Royal centre of Emain Macha during the Iron Age.

Did the Bronze Age inhabitants of Ulster speak a Celtic language? The traditional view was that Celtic languages originated in the Hallstatt region of Europe during the Iron Age, radiated out to other regions. By about 700 BC, swords of the Hallstatt type start to appear in Ireland, but these were made of bronze, not of iron, so it seems likely that these were bronze copies made by local smiths. There is little archaeological evidence to support the idea of an influx of a significant number of people speaking a Celtic language, so the origins of the language remain something of an unsolved mystery for archaeologists and linguists.

ROYAL SITES

EEmain Macha [18kB]main Macha - Now called Navan Fort, in county Armagh, today consists of a circular enclosure with a mound in the centre. In the late Iron Age it was the royal seat of the Ulaid during their rise to power in Ulster, making it certainly the most important such site in Ulster. The most famous king of the Ulaid was Connor and the legendary warrior Cú Chulainn. However, the events that took place at the construction of Navan Fort are remarkable. Around 100BC, a huge circular building was constructed: 43 metres (143 feet) in diameter. It was made from a series of circles of progressively taller wooden poles, and the entire cone-shaped building was thatched. This was a huge building in Iron Age standards. However, even more remarkable was the fact that the building seems to have been partially burned and partially demolished shortly after its completion, and covered over with a mound of limestone and earth. This all suggests that the building was part of some large-scale ritual and was not used for any domestic purpose. To compound the mystery, the remains of a

http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/77/6277-004-4BCC166D.jpg

Barbary Ape was also found on the site - an animal native to north Africa which was probably an exotic gift. Navan today boasts an extensive visitors' centre. (The reconstruction above is by D Wilkinson of the Environment Service, DOENI.)

Dún Ailinne - Dún Ailinne, in county Kildare, appears to have been the royal site of south Lenister. It underwent several transformations, but at its height it seems to have included a circular enclosure 29 metres (96 feet) in diameter with several tiers of benches around it. Around the time of Christ, a circle of timbers was built, then burned and buried in a mound. Like Emain Macha, Dún Ailinne seems to have served a ritual purpose.

Tara - The Hill of Tara in county Meath is home to a large number of monuments. There is a Neolithic passage tomb called the Mound of the Hostages as well as some post-Iron Age ringforts. Around the main part of the site is a large earthen enclosure. Tara was an important site throughout the Celtic period where it was a royal centre and, ultimately, the seat of the High King of Ireland.

Turoe Stone [5kB]Celtic Constructions: Decorated Stones
A large number of carved stones were created in the last centuries BC. Probably serving a ritual purpose, they were stones up to 2 metres (7 feet) in height and feature complex swirling patterns of a style common with central European Celtic cultures. We can only speculate on what kind of ritualistic purpose it may have served. Some have argued that these are the most durable of a variety of materials used for these objects, such as wood. The most famouse example is the Turoe Stone, in county Galway, which is pictured on the left (Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland).

Celtic Constructions: Hilltop and Promontory Forts
Most kingdoms, or Tuath, in Ireland had a hilltop fort which was used either as a permanent residence for the king or as a temporary refuge in times of conflict. They are typically built on the top of a hill and surrounded by a stone wall. Often these sites coincide with previous Bronze Age burials, and frequently they showed a lack of respect for these previous monuments, sometimes re-using their stones. Unlike the royal sites, which were made from earthen banks, they had very well constructed stone walls made from close-fitting cut stones. Some of the most well defended hillforts were built with one edge at the top of a cliff. So-called promontory forts were built both on inland mountains and coastal cliffs.


Everyday Life in Celtic Ireland:

Although very like the Celtic cultures of the rest of Europe, that of Ireland had been influenced in part be the preceding Bronze Age culture. So Ireland's culture was not totally like that of mainland Europe. However, in many regards it was very similar. Much of what we know about specifically Irish culture has come down through the years in the form of Heroic Tales, such as the Ulster Cycle which tells of the exploits of Cú Chullain, the Hound of Ulster. Once thought to be historicaly unreliable, these Heroic Tales describe a way of life that fits well with what we now know about the Celts of mainland Europe. Thus it seems that, while the events described may have been embelished over the years, the underlying themes and props in the stories may be accurate descriptions of life in Iron Age Ireland.

It was, in many ways, a culture based around war. Ireland was divided into dozens - possibly hundreds - of petty kingdoms. Within the kingdoms, it was the blacksmiths, druids and poets who were held in high esteem: the blacksmiths for making the weapons of war, the druids for making prophesies and soothsaying, and the poets for putting the exploits of warriors to verse, to be sung around the cooking fires. The aristocracy in this culture was made up of the warriors, who sought fame and recognition by doing battle with their enemies. The young warrior would be initiated by mounting his chariot (a two wheeled wooden cart pulled by two horses), before proceeding to battle and cutting off the heads of his enemies to bring them home as trophies [1]. At the celebratory banquet afterwards, the warriors would compete for the "hero's portion" of the food being served. The weapons brandished by these warriors consisted of round wooden, bronze or iron shields, with iron spears or swords. The spear seems to have been more common than the sword.

Political Structure
By the later Celtic period, Ireland was ruled by a series of perhaps 100 to 200 kings, each ruling a small kingdom or tuath. The kings came in three recognised grades, depending on how powerful they were. A rí túaithe was the ruler of a single kingdom. A 'great king', or ruiri, was a king who had gained the allegiance of, or become overlord of, a number of local kings. A 'king of overkings', or rí ruirech, was a king of a province. Ireland had between 4 and 10 provinces at any one time, because they were always in a state of flux as their kings' power waxed and waned. Today's 4 provinces (Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connaught) represent only the final state of these borders. Each province had a royal site, a place where important events took place. In 100AD there were royal sites at Emain Macha, near Armagh; Tara, county Meath and Dún Ailinne, county Kildare as well as other locations.

For most of the civilian population, however, life was spent in small farming units consisting of a wooden or wattle-and-daub house within a circular enclosure. Most would have had access to common land on higher ground on which to graze animals. Dairying was common, but almost everyone grew grain crops such as corn, oats, barley, wheat and rye. The land was ploughed using wooden ploughs pulled by oxen. Almost all farming was subsistence-based, and there was very little trade in food.

The only interruption to the daily ritual of grazing animals and growing crops would have been cattle-raids from neighbouring warriors, who may have pillaged and burned on their way to battle, although in general warfare seems to have been a highly formalised affair in which the peasants were usually not involved. By 400AD there were probably between half a million and 1 million people living in Ireland. This number would have fluctuated due to the recurrent plague and famine which affected all prehistoric cultures in Europe.

Brehon Law
The law that the Celts of Ireland used has been called Brehon law. Forms of Brehon Law were used in Ireland for hundreds of years. A full treatment of Brehon Law is beyond the scope of this article, but the idea was that a person's identity was defined by the kingdom in which they lived. A peasant had no legal status outside the tuath, with the exception of men of art and learning. Those who were tied to their tuath were unfree and worked for the king. All land was owned by families, not by individuals. Wealth was measured in cattle, and each individual had a status measured in terms of wealth. Almost any crime committed against an individual could be recompensed by paying a fine equal to the status of the individual. For example, a 50 cows for an important person, 3 cows for a peasant. There was no death penalty; but, an individual could be ostracised from the tuath in certain circumstances.

Coolmagort Ogham Stone [13kB]Language
The language spoken by the Celts in Ireland was Celtic, a variant of the Celtic languages which were used across Europe. In the British Isles, there were at least two dialects in use: Brittonic (P-Celtic) which was spoken in southern Britain and France, and Goidelic (Q-Celtic) which was spoken in Ireland and northern Britain. Brittonic is the root of modern Welsh, Cornish and Breton. Goidelic is the root of modern Irish and Scots-Gaelic. Brittonic and Goidelic must have been heavily influenced by the Bronze Age languages of Ireland.

The first written Irish appeared in the fifth century, around the same time as the initial Christianisation of Ireland. Called Ogham script, it consists of a series of grooves on the corner of a stone. Each combination of grooves represents a different letter of the Latin alphabet, and a number of Ogham stones have been found in Ireland and in Wales. Those in Ireland are mostly along the south coast. Usually they give the name of a person or ancestor and were probably commemorative. The picture on the left shows the Ogham stone at Coolmagort, county Kerry.



(4) Navan Fort Part of the outer bank and ditch of Navan Fort in Co. Armagh - 75k

The ditch does not seem to have been intended for defence, since it is inside the bank. The outer enclosure is considerably older than the structures within the fort, which date from the early Iron Age.

Navan Fort was probably Emain Macha, the capital of the Ulaid, mentioned in early Irish literature.


Celtic languages and culture are thought to have their roots in the later part of the Hallstatt culture (about 800 to 475BC) during the Iron Age in the upper Rhine and Danube valleys. From about 500BC, goods decorated in the La Tène style start to appear to the north of the Hallstatt region. The style appears to have been influenced by the earlier Hallstatt style, and also by classical Etruscan and Greek designs. Known to the Greeks as Keltoi, and to the Romans as Galli, the tribes and states speaking Celtic languages were to be found in many parts of Europe, from the British Isles in the north, Spain to the west, and Galatia in the east.

The only historical reference to a Celtic invasion of Britain is that of the Belgae, who conquered parts of the south east of England in 75 BC. In 43 AD, the Roman legions arrived and eventually conquered most of England and Wales. In 60 or 61 AD, Boudica (or Boudicea) led her famous revolt of the Iceni against the Romans, but was defeated. However, the Romans never conquered the Caledonii in Scotland, and they do not seem to have attempted to invade Ireland. In subsequent centuries, the surviving Celtic societies also came under pressure from the Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans. Ulster was one of the very few regions where Celtic traditions survived.

Before the time of St. Patrick (5th century AD), historians are forced to rely mainly on legends. Attempts have been made to identify several different waves of Celtic invaders from these legends, but such reconstructions must be treated with considerable caution. The origins of early tribes like the Cruithni remain a matter of speculation. Ptolemy drew a map of Ireland in the second century, which may have been based on the epic voyage of Pytheas in about 325-323 BC. This map contains some identifiable names in Ireland such as the Volunti (Ulaidh) in the north east and the Ivernni in the south west (perhaps the Érainn).

By the fourth century, the Scotti (raiders) from Ireland were attacking the declining Roman Empire in Britain, and carrying off Romano-British slaves. In the following century, one of these slaves was Patrick, who spent six years in Ireland before escaping. He may have studied in Gaul, but then had a vision which prompted him to return to Ireland as a missionary. He was probably not the first Christian missionary to come to Ireland, but he is certainly the best remembered. The manuscripts written by Irish monks both in Ireland and elsewhere over the following centuries preserved not only important Christian documents (such as St Patrick's confession and the Book of Kells) but also legends from oral tradition. Pagan sites and gods were also incorporated into Christian tradition - for example, a druidic incantation was probably the origin of the hymn now called St Patrick's Breastplate.

Naill of the nine hostages died on a raid in France in 405 AD. The northern Uí Néill dynasties were based in the area now known as Donegal, and claimed to be descendants of two sons of Naill (Eógain and Conall). Cenél Eóghain gradually moved eastwards into Tír Eógain (land of Owen, now Tyrone) eventually restricting the older over-kingdom of the Ulaidh to the area east of the river Bann. By about 1050 AD, the centre of power of Cenél Eóghain had moved from Aileach to Tullyhog, and Cenél Connail were able to conquer Inis Eógain (island of Owen, now Inishowen). These two kingdoms were to dominate much of Ulster until the battle of Kinsale in 1601.



> Some other interesting things showed up though.  Did you know they
> found the skeleton of a Barbary "ape" (actually a kind of macaque)
> like those found on Gibraltar during the excavation of Emain Macha,
> the Iron Age royal site just west of Armagh? This was undoubtedly a
> present from a visitor from abroad, but it does offer some support
> for the Spanish connection mentioned in a number of the medieval
> tales.

I agree with the notion that it was a present from a visitor from
abroad, but I do strongly doubt that this offers support for the
Spanish connection mentioned in the medieval tales. There is a number
of reasons for this.
First: The Spanish connection in the epics is invariably connected
with the early Milesians. They, however, are set in the mythical past
already some hundred years ago when Emain Macha is the setting of the
Ulster Cycle tales (which is, in the annals of the four masters, set
to about 100 BC).
Second: The finding of the Barbary ape has brought a Radiocarbon
dating (already calibrated) between 390 and 20 BC. However, as the
find is closely associated with the end of phase 3 / beginning of
phase 4 at Site B in Emain, we can take the dendrochonological dating
of the timbers of phase 4 (felling date), 95/94 BC as the date when
the barbary apes remenants were buried in Emain, with a deviation of
only a few years. This would set the barbary ape to the times of the
Ulster cycle, in which there is no Spanish connection mentioned in
the tales

http://www.theprimata.com/macaca_sylvanus1.jpg

Third: The barbary ape is even now restricted in Europe to the Rock
of Gibraltar. In the times of the find, however, it was probably not
even there, but restricted to the northwest African mountainous
areas. Not only that Gibraltar is not Spain, and that we have not the
slightest indication of Celts ever being in that area, Celtic areas
being concentrated to the North, Northwest and Center of Spain. As
such the barbary ape would much more point towards a northwest African
connection, which is never mentioned in the epics.

The conclusion from the above would be, that the remains of the
barbary ape came to Emain Macha, which was definitly a very important
royal and probably also ritual center at that time, as a gift or
trading object (curiosity) from a trader at least having some contact
to Northafrica. As such, a seafaring trader along the tin-searoute
from Britain through the straights of Gibraltar to the Mediterrenean
centers would be the most likely candidate, as such limiting the
possibilities of his provenance most likely to Roman or Phoenician.


(5) Viking ship Oseburg Viking ship at the Viking Ship Museum, Oslo, Norway - 33k

One of the first Viking raids on the British Isles took place in 793, when Lindisfarne was sacked. In 795, attacks were also made on Iona and on island monasteries in Ireland. However, Vikings were not simply pirates. Over the next century, they were to control most of the North Sea and Irish Sea, establishing colonies in Shetland and the Orkneys, in the western Isles of Scotland, Jorvik (York), and in Dublin. Danish armies put severe pressure on Anglo-Saxon kings such as Alfred the Great. In fact, Anglo-Saxon England was partitioned in 886, with the Danelaw in the east and north, and the Anglo-Saxons controlling the remainder.

The Annals of Ulster record the effect of Viking raids on Bangor, Armagh and the churches on Lough Erne. In 839, the Vikings reached Lough Neagh, and used this as a base to plunder churches in the north of Ireland. Armagh was attacked again in 852, this time by the Dublin Norse. A number of battles were fought between the Danes, the Norse and the Ulster kings. In 866, the Uí Néill king, Áed Finnliath, defeated the Vikings, and it was not until 921 that the Northmen returned to plunder Armagh and the Foyle.

In the south of Ireland, the Vikings founded the first towns, such as Dublin, Waterford, Cork and Limerick. These towns became important trading centres, and the Ostmen (as they called themselves) began to play a part in the complex alliances and conflicts between the various Irish kingdoms. No towns were established in the north, probably because the northern kings were powerful enough to resist the Vikings. However, there seems to have been a settlement at Ulfrek's fjord (Larne) and perhaps in some other areas with Viking names, such as Strangford. The word Ulster itself is derived from the Viking Uladztír, based on the Irish words Ulaidh and Tír.

For many years, the high-king of the northern or southern Uí Néill also claimed to be the high-king of Ireland, a title which had more symbolic than practical significance. However, during the Viking era, their claim was disputed by Brian Bóruma (Boru), a king from a comparatively obscure kingdom in Munster. Brian was able to make the high-kingship a reality, and eventually forced all the other kings (including the Ostmen of Dublin) to give hostages to him. In 1005, Brain arrived in Armagh and proclaimed himself Imperatoris Scotorum (Emperor of the Irish).
"Ego scripsi, id est Calvus perennis, in conspectu Briani imperatoris Scotorum ..."
Book of Armagh

In 1012, the Leinstermen and the Dublin Ostmen rebelled against Brian, and were defeated two years later at the battle of Clontarf. However, Brian himself was killed at Clontarf, and for about 50 years afterwards, none of the provincial kings were strong enough to claim the high-kingship, without opposition. It was probably Brian's great grandson who commissioned a history called the "The war of the Irish with the foreigners" - a rather successful piece of propaganda claiming that Brian had saved the Irish from Viking oppression.



Bookmark and Share
posted by u2r2h at Wednesday, November 12, 2008 0 comments links to this post

Locations of visitors to this page Politics Blogs - Blog Top Sites