Cradle of civilization.
Between the two rivers Tigris and Euphrates (in Arabic, the Dijla and Furat, respectively), the first writing gave birth to history as we know it. The rule of law was written down and the three great monotheistic religions trace their origins there.
In 1992 Michael Wood hosted a series called “Legacy” on PBS. In the film he is found at dusk perched on a mound with the sun setting behind him, as the camera booms down a plain filled with mounds as far as one could see becomes visible. All of them tells, the first cities. The film carries that archaeological past into the present of Islam, showing the cultural continuity from past to present. Included are scenes from the Gulf War and how Saddam Hussein used the Iraqi past as foundation for his dominance. It leaves the question of what’s next unanswered.

Latter in 1995 after the Americans were long gone he went back. He made “Saddam's Killing Fields” an award winning account of the destruction of the Marsh Arabs of South Iraq and their cultural history. It pieces together evidence of the systematic destruction by the Iraqi government of the Shia Marsh Arabs - whose way of life goes back 5,000 years. “Saddam's Killing Fields” claims that the Shia and the Kurds in northern Iraq were encouraged by the US to rise up against Saddam's regime at the end of the Gulf War and then left with no support. In retaliation, more than 300,000 Shia are believed to have been killed, risking the ruin of an entire culture.

At the end of this war Iraq is going to be a pretty broken country. Between the policies of Saddam and the punishing way the west dealt with the end of the 1991 war with sanctions depriving the people of anything but poverty, there will be a certain amount of anarchy that no one will be able to quell. The surrounding country’s have their knives close at hand if America gets too possesive. America now has it’s hands around a significant part of the Arab world. First “saving” Kuwait from the evil doer and Afghanistan from the evil doers. Pakistan is a wildcard with little control over the fundamentalists and the army. Their hatred for India could be a terrible spark and nukes ARE involved.

Maybe it’s time to look deep into Iraq’s ancient past. King Abdullah !! of Jordan represents the last of the Hashemite Royal Family. A line that leads back to Abraham and King Abdullah II's branch of the Hashemite Family ruled the holy city of Mecca from 1201 CE until 1925 CE. He is a young man but he has his father’s voice.

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