For some time I've been proposing the speculation that the U.S. military intervention in Iraq and Syria, and that the US-sponsored "Arab spring" in Egypt, has had, as its deepest and most covert reason, the control of sites of antiquities, and a quest, perhaps, to discover information about lost, ancient high technology. When the looting of the Baghdad museum occurred shortly after American forces reached that city, my suspicions went into the red zone, and I believed then, and believe now, that the looting was "an inside job", and done precisely to acquire information. Iraq, in other words, made me extremely suspicious that the archeological effort was as high on American priorities as any publicly stated reasons at the time about "weapons of mass destruction." Indeed, I've entertained the possibility - and still do entertain it - that these "weapons of mass destruction" that we were hunting for(and supposedly never found) were not the type that everyone was thinking of (atomic,biological, and chemical), but of a very different, much more exotic, and very ancient sort. In my scenario, we were being told a truth, but a partial truth containing much misdirection. Then came Syria, a country with its own rich antiquities, and then the push for military action against Iran, yet another country with rich antiquities.
Central to my speculations here is an old Babylonian "epic" called the epic of Ninurta, which I included in my book The Cosmic War, in its entirety, because I wanted people actually to be able to read something that academics regarded as an "epic." Well, Homer it is not. It's about as exciting as reading the index to the Sears catalogue, because that, in effect, is what it is, an inventory of "stuff" associated with an ancient "war of the gods", and potentially the fabled Babylonian "Tablets of Destinies". Certain features of the text suggest that it is describing a technology of some sort. Granted, that's a highly speculative hypothesis, and the whole idea of invading countries for the ultimate hidden purpose of acquiring access to, or information about, such putative things seems, at first glance, outrageous. But then again, if such things did exist, then they would give anyone who acquired them an immense technological leverage, to such an extent that one might indeed risk military interventions simply in order to acquire it, and prevent others from doing so.
Thus far, however, this has been an entirely argued speculation, depending a lot of dot-connecting, and speculation along the way about each data point. In other words, it's a very "iffy" proposition. But now there's a very intriguing story out there that was spotted by F.L.M. and passed a long, and to my mind, it tends to corroborate my wild high octane speculation about military interventions having an ultimately archeological purpose:
What's very interesting in this article is the following set of statements:
In Palmyra, according to the sources, the Russian soldiers and intelligence worked for a duration with Syrian regime mercenaries and soldiers. During that period, they were partners in robbing and selling archeological artifacts according to their power and military presence; however, this partnership did not last long as Russians revealed their intentions fast. They excluded the regime and singled out power for themselves in the heart of the historical city which is considered a museum full of treasures and antiquities rare to find in the world.
Maybe the Russians singling out power for themselves explain even if late the secret behind Moscow rushing to participate in unprecedented effective force to recapture the city. Moscow plunged effective ground troops accompanied by intensive and violent air raids.
The size of losses Russians suffered on the Palmyra front can give a clear idea of the Russian rush momentum. Russians suffered the biggest loss in Palmyra since its direct and immediate intervention in the Syrian war.
Our private sources clarified the Russians fenced their camp in the heart of the historical city and banned any regime personnel or mercenaries from entering or coming close to the area under penalty and accountability.
This procedure came in tandem with arrival of 3 foreign experts who started moving between Palmyra landmarks with guards and intensive protection. They resided in the Russian camp located in camels’ racetracks and cemeteries extendıng to the theater and Bel Temple.
The sources said the experts are communicating with Russian exclusively via an interpreter. Their work is limited to mostly searching for Jewish engravings that might be a document to place Palmyra on the lıst of Jewısh cities according to what they are seeking. (Emphases added)
In other words, if this article's assertions are true, there was a definite archeological motivation behind the Russian intervention in Syria, and that intervention included placing a well-known and famous archeological site under the control of "intelligence," in this case, presumably Russian military intelligence. I cannot help but draw the parallel here to Iraq prior to America's post-9/11 invasion of that country, for it will be recalled that prior to that invasion, both France and Germany had teams of archeologists digging around Iraq for Saddam Hussein, and Germany, it is rumored, had a heavy presence of its BND intelligence agency in that country. That in and of itself is not surprising, since there had been an German intelligence network operating in that country during World War Two which helped stage the coup in Iraq, and forcing the British to spend military resources to put it down. (Indeed, I've strongly suspected that since the story of the Baghdad Museum looting was first broken by the German media that the whole looting may have been a German operation, with individuals wearing American uniforms.)
There's an additional factor here, and that's the presence of an ancient Jewish community in Palmyra, which again might imply that the Russians are looking for "something." And given Russian's "alliance" with Iran, it is perhaps pertinent to note that Russia, with its own vast oil and natural gas reserves, hardly needs Iran's. So it that "alliance" more to prevent the West/America from gaining access to Iran's antiquities sites? (And by the same token, and since we're on the subject: does Russia have archeological teams exploring Iran?)
Whatever one makes of these questions and speculations, this article does appear to corroborate my original "archeological intervention" suspicions, moving it up just a notch or two.
See you on the flip side...