This interesting article was sent by Ms. K.B. and it's an indication - at least to me - that one of my favorite "high octane speculations" might be true. But before we get to that, here's the article:
Ostensibly, the partnership is part of an effort to preserve the remains of the ancient city of Nimrud from further destruction by radical jihadists, which in turn helps to promote "dialogue" and "mutual understanding" between societies "under stress":
“Nimrud is part and parcel of Iraqi heritage and of our common patrimony,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Mark Taplin. “What ISIS has sought to destroy, we are determined to set right. It is in America’s interest to contribute to a better future for Iraq. Time and time again, we have seen how collaboration in cultural heritage protection and preservation fosters dialogue and understanding within societies under stress. And in supporting this project, we hope to inspire others—in the region and in the international community—to help redress the damage done by ISIS at Nimrud and at countless other cultural-heritage landmarks in Iraq and in Syria.”
The project also includes a participating role for the University of Pennsylvania:
The Smithsonian also convened a “Protecting the Cultural Heritage of Religious Minorities” workshop in 2016 and created the training manual “Guide to Mosul Heritage” with the University of Pennsylvania, the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield and the COCOM Cultural Heritage Action Group.
This is significant since the University of Pennsylvania's online "sign list" of cuneiograms is widely used by scholars of cuneiform tablets.
So why am I boring you with all of this stuff about a mundane project to preserve Iraq's cultural heritage, and that there is a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the State Department? Here's where one of my long-held and favorite high octane speculations or hypotheses comes in. I have thought, with a few other people, that ever since there was a US military intervention in the Middle East, beginning with the Gulf War, that there was more than an "oil" agenda going on. To be sure, the present conflict in Syria and the confrontation between the US (and behind the scenes, Israel and the [out]house of Saud) on the one hand, and Russia and Iran on the other, is about oil, oil pipelines, and, of course, the old conflict between Suni and Shia Islam. What is that "other agenda"? Antiquities. From Persia to Libya, that region of the world is awash with antiquities, tablets, texts, lore, artwork, temples, ziggurats, pyramids - you name it.
I have maintained that if one accepts that some of those ancient texts - particularly those from Mesopotamia, modern day Iraq - are about ancient "cosmic, interplanetary wars" of "the gods", and reads them from the standpoint of modern advances in science and technology, some truly astonishing things are said in those ancient texts, and that there are even indications of advanced weapons technologies. On this basis, I have always maintained a suspicion that the invasion of Iraq, at a very deep level, was not just about oil, but about the search for clues to those putative ancient texts, and possibly, the technologies they describe, in other words, antiquities.
In this regard, a collaboration between the Smithsonian and the State department would seem to corroborate - at least, in a very broad, contextual way - my basic hypothesis. Of course, there is nothing unusual about such collaboration between foreign affairs and antiquities departments of governments: many European nations, particular France and Great Britain, have long had such partnerships between their foreign ministries and their national museums and antiquities scholars. So what's the big deal?
Drilling down a bit deeper, as many readers of this website are probably aware, for many years there have been stories circulating in the alternative research community of the Smithsonian's role in locating ancient sites, and removing, and even destroying, archaeological evidence that does not fit the standard academic "narrative" of ancient human history and prehistory. In other words, it has been busily engaged in the suppression of evidence and, that means, in the acquisition of evidence to begin with, in order to suppress it. While there has never (in my opinion) been any definitive and compelling proof of this activity, there is at least enough information out there (again, in my opinion) to raise significant questions and point to significant indications of the possibility of such activity. What is that important? Recently a story appeared that an ISIS leader's apartment was found containing antiquities presumed to be destroyed. Funding terrorist activities through the black market in antiquities is, indeed, one of the funding mechanisms for such groups. And again, we've all seen videos of jihadists blowing up this or that ancient wall frieze, or carving, or statue. Some, viewing these videos, have suggested that they were counterfeit "artifacts" specially constructed to "blow up", so that the real one, for whatever reason, could be removed permanently from the public view and record. Why look for dead Nazis who, supposedly, were executed by Hitler for participation in the bomb plot? Similarly, why look for antiquities which, supposedly, were blown up?
I'm suggesting here in today's high octane speculation, that if one combines this article with those stories of archaeological "recovery and suppression" by the Smithsonian (stories, which, incidentally, come from the 19th century, see my Genes, Giants, Monsters, and Men), a very different picture emerges of the activities. Indeed, it is important to remember in this regard the USA's own deep and covert role in the creation of ISIS and other such groups to begin with, the very groups "destroying" certain antiquities.
The bottom line for me? I'm suspicious of the story.
See you on the slip side...