Macedonia: Truth, Knowledge, History Of This Country In Turmoil

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA WORLD FACT BOOK)

 

Macedonia

Introduction Macedonia gained its independence peacefully from Yugoslavia in 1991, but Greece’s objection to the new state’s use of what it considered a Hellenic name and symbols delayed international recognition, which occurred under the provisional designation of “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.” In 1995, Greece lifted a 20-month trade embargo and the two countries agreed to normalize relations. The United States began referring to Macedonia by its constitutional name, Republic of Macedonia, in 2004 and negotiations continue between Greece and Macedonia to resolve the name issue. Some ethnic Albanians, angered by perceived political and economic inequities, launched an insurgency in 2001 that eventually won the support of the majority of Macedonia’s Albanian population and led to the internationally-brokered Framework Agreement, which ended the fighting by establishing a set of new laws enhancing the rights of minorities. Fully implementating the Framework Agreement and stimulating economic growth and development continue to be challenges for Macedonia, although progress has been made on both fronts over the past several years.
History The lands governed by the Republic of Macedonia were previously the southernmost part of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. Its current borders were fixed shortly after World War II when the Anti-Fascist Assembly for the National Liberation of Macedonia declared the People’s Republic of Macedonia as a separate nation within Yugoslavia.

Over the centuries the territory which today forms the Republic of Macedonia was ruled by a number of different states and former empires.

Pre-History

The first recorded state on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia was the Thraco-Illyrian kingdom of Paionia, which covered the Axius River valley and the surrounding areas[8]. Philip II of Macedon took over the southernmost regions of Paeonia in 336 BC and founded the city of Heraclea Lyncestis, near what is now Bitola[9]. Philip’s son Alexander the Great conquered the remainder of Paeonia, which then became part of his empire. Subsequently the territory was conquered by Rome and became part of two Roman provinces. The greater part was within Macedonia Salutaris, but the northern border regions, inhabited by the Dardani, became a part of Moesia Superior.[10] By 400 AD the Paeonians had lost their identity, and Paeonia was merely a geographic term.

The Medieval period

In the late 6th century AD, as Byzantine control over the area disintegrated, the region was increasingly settled by various Slavic tribes from the north, such as Draguvites, Bersites, Sagudates, Smoleanoi and Strymonoi. During this decay in Byzantine power, some of the pre-Slavic inhabitants retreated to fortified Greek cities along the Aegean Sea, others took refuge in mountains, whilst many others were assimilated by the Slavs. These people were a large mix of indigenous Balkaners (Greeks, Illyrians and Thracians as well as “Roman” settlers and foederati that had settled the area over the preceding centuries; sharing a sense of Graeco-Roman identity (by was of language and customs). The Slavs of Byzantine Macedonia organised themselves in autonomous rural societies called by the Greeks “Σκλαβινίαι” (Sklaviniai). The Byzantine emperors would aim to Hellenise and incorporate the Sklaviniai into the socio-economic rule of Byzantium. While Byzantine achieved this with the Slavs of the Thracian theme, the emperors had to resort to military expeditions to pacify the Sklaviniai of Macedonia, often repeatedly. These expeditions reached their peak with Justinian II, and Byzantine accounts report that as many as 200,000 from Macedonia to central Anatolia, forcing them to pay tribute and serve in the imperial army. Whilst many of the Slavs in Macedonia had to acknowledge Byzantine authority, the majority remained ethnically independent, and continued to form the demographic majority in the region as a whole. Rather than forming a unified Slavic state, they continued to live as separate tribes. Circa 850 AD, the First Bulgarian Empire expanded into the region of Macedonia. John Fine suggests that Bulgaria’s expansion into Macedonia was smooth, since Byzantine authority in the area was nominal, and most of the Slavic tribes of Macedonia willingly joined (the predominantly Slavic) Bulgarian confederacy

The Slavic peoples of Macedonia accepted Christianity as their own religion around the 9th century, during the reign of prince Boris I of Bulgaria. The creators of the Glagolitic alphabet, the Byzantine Greek monks Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, under the guidance of the Patriarchate at Constantinople, were promoters of Christianity and initiated Slavic literacy among the Slavic people. They were based in Thessaloniki, where Slavic was spoken universally as a second language after Greek, and used the Macedonian dialect spoken in the hinterland of Thessaloniki as the basis for what would become the universal Old Slavonic. Their work was accepted in early medieval Bulgaria and continued by St. Clement of Ohrid, creator of Cyrillic alphabet and St. Naum of Ohrid as founders of the Ohrid Literary School.

In 1014, Emperor Basil II finally defeated the armies of Tsar Samuil and by 1018 the Byzantines restored control over Macedonia (and all of the Balkans) for the first time since the 600s. However, by the late 12th century, inevitable Byzantine decline saw the region become contested by various political entities, including a brief Norman occupation in the 1080s. In the early 13th century, a revived Bulgarian Empire gained control of the region. Plagued by political difficulties the empire did not last and the wider geographical Macedonia region fell once again under Byzantine control. In the 14th century, it became part of the Serbian Empire, who saw themselves as liberators of their Slavic kin from Byzantine despotism. Skopje became the capital of Tsar Stefan Dusan’s empire.

However, with Dusan’s death, a weak successor and power struggles between nobles divided the Balkans once again. This coincided with the entry of the Ottoman Turks into Europe. With no major Balkan power left to defend Christianity, the entire Balkans fell to Turkish rule – which would remain so for five centuries.

The National Awakening

Ottoman rule over the region was considered harsh. One of the earliest uprisings against Ottoman rule came in 1689 with Karposh’s Rebellion. Several movements whose goals were the establishment of autonomous Macedonia, encompassing the entire region of Macedonia, began to arise in the late 1800s; the earliest of these was the Bulgarian Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Committees, later transformed to SMORO. In 1905 it was renamed as IMORO and after World War I the organization separated into the IMRO and the ITRO. The early organization did not proclaim any ethnic identities; it was officially open to “…uniting all the disgruntled elements in Macedonia and the Adrianople region, regardless of their nationality…”.[12] The majority of its members were however Slavic/Bulgarian-speakers.[12] In 1903, IMRO organised the Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising against the Ottomans, which after some initial successes, including the forming of the Krushevo Republic, was crushed with much loss of life. The uprising and the forming of the Krushevo Republic are considered the cornerstone and precursors to the eventual establishment of the Republic of Macedonia.

Serbian occupation

Following the two Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913 and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, most of its European held territories were divided between Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia. The territory of the present-day Republic of Macedonia was then named Južna Srbija, “Southern Serbia”. After the First World War, Serbia became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. In 1929, the Kingdom was officially renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and divided into provinces called banovinas. So-called “Southern Serbia” (Vardar Macedonia), including all of what is now the Republic of Macedonia, became known as the Vardar Banovina of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

In 1941, Yugoslavia was occupied by the Axis Powers and the Vardar Banovina was divided between Bulgaria and Italian-occupied Albania. Local recruits and volunteers formed the Bulgarian 5th Army, based in Skopje, which was responsible for the round-up and deportation of over 7,000 Jews in Skopje and Bitola. Harsh rule by the occupying forces encouraged some to support the Communist Partisan resistance movement of Josip Broz Tito.

Macedonia in Yugoslavia

After the end of the Second World War, when Tito became Yugoslavia’s president, the People’s Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was established. The People’s Republic of Macedonia became one of the six republics of the Yugoslav federation. Following the federation’s renaming as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1963, the People’s Republic of Macedonia was likewise renamed, becoming the Socialist Republic of Macedonia. It dropped the “Socialist” from its name in 1991 when it peacefully seceded from Yugoslavia.

Declaration of independence

The country officially celebrates September 8, 1991 as Independence day (Ден на независноста, Den na nezavisnosta), with regard to the referendum endorsing independence from Yugoslavia, albeit legalising participation in future union of the former states of Yugoslavia. The anniversary of the start of the Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising (St. Elijah’s Day) on August 2 is also widely celebrated on an official level.

Robert Badinter as a head of Arbitration Commission of the Peace Conference on the former Yugoslavia recommended EU recognition in January 1992

The Republic of Macedonia remained at peace through the Yugoslav wars of the early 1990s. A few very minor changes to its border with Yugoslavia were agreed upon to resolve problems with the demarcation line between the two countries. However, it was seriously destabilised by the Kosovo War in 1999, when an estimated 360,000 ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo took refuge in the country. Although they departed shortly after the war, soon after, Albanian radicals on both sides of the border took up arms in pursuit of autonomy or independence for the Albanian-populated areas of the Republic.

Macedonian civil conflict

The civil war was fought between government and ethnic Albanian rebels, mostly in the north and west of the country, between March and June 2001. This war ended with the intervention of a NATO ceasefire monitoring force. In the Ohrid Agreement, the government agreed to devolve greater political power and cultural recognition to the Albanian minority. The Albanian side agreed to surrender separatist demands and to fully recognise all Macedonian institutions. In addition, according to this accord, the NLA were to disarm and hand over their weapons to a NATO force. In 2005, the country was officially recognised as a European Union candidate state, under the reference “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.

Geography Location: Southeastern Europe, north of Greece
Geographic coordinates: 41 50 N, 22 00 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 25,333 sq km
land: 24,856 sq km
water: 477 sq km
Area – comparative: slightly larger than Vermont
Land boundaries: total: 766 km
border countries: Albania 151 km, Bulgaria 148 km, Greece 246 km, Kosovo 159 km, Serbia 62 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: warm, dry summers and autumns; relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall
Terrain: mountainous territory covered with deep basins and valleys; three large lakes, each divided by a frontier line; country bisected by the Vardar River
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Vardar River 50 m
highest point: Golem Korab (Maja e Korabit) 2,764 m
Natural resources: low-grade iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, manganese, nickel, tungsten, gold, silver, asbestos, gypsum, timber, arable land
Land use: arable land: 22.01%
permanent crops: 1.79%
other: 76.2% (2005)
Irrigated land: 550 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 6.4 cu km (2001)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 2.27
per capita: 1,118 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards: high seismic risks
Environment – current issues: air pollution from metallurgical plants
Environment – international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography – note: landlocked; major transportation corridor from Western and Central Europe to Aegean Sea and Southern Europe to Western Europe
Politics The Republic of Macedonia is a parliamentary democracy with an executive government composed of a coalition of parties from the unicameral legislature (Собрание, Sobranie) and an independent judicial branch with a constitutional court. The Assembly is made up of 120 seats and the members are elected every four years. The role of the President of the Republic is mostly ceremonial, with the real power resting in the hands of the President of the Government. The President is the commander-in-chief of the state armed forces and a president of the state Security Council. The President of the Republic is elected every five years and he or she can be elected twice at most. The current President is Branko Crvenkovski.

With the passage of a new law and elections held in 2005, local government functions are divided between 78 municipalities (општини, opštini; singular: општина, opština). The capital, Skopje, is governed as a group of ten municipalities collectively referred to as the “City of Skopje”. Municipalities in the Republic of Macedonia are units of local self-government. Neighbouring municipalities may establish co-operative arrangements. The country’s main political divergence is between the largely ethnically-based political parties representing the country’s ethnic Macedonian majority and Albanian minority. The issue of the power balance between the two communities led to a brief war in 2001, following which a power-sharing agreement was reached. In August 2004, the Republic’s parliament passed legislation redrawing local boundaries and giving greater local autonomy to ethnic Albanians in areas where they predominate.

After a troublesome pre-election campaign, the country saw a relatively calm and democratic change of government in the elections held on 5 July 2006. The elections were marked by a decisive victory of the centre-right party VMRO-DPMNE led by Nikola Gruevski. Gruevski’s decision to include the Democratic Party of Albanians in the new government, instead of the Democratic Union for Integration – Party for Democratic Prosperity coalition which won the majority of the Albanian votes, triggered protests throughout the parts of the country with a respective number of Albanian population. However, recently a dialogue was established between the Democratic Union for Integration and the ruling VMRO-DMPNE party as an effort to talk about the disputes between the two parties and to support European and NATO aspirations of the country.

People Population: 2,061,315 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 19.5% (male 207,954/female 193,428)
15-64 years: 69.3% (male 719,708/female 708,033)
65 years and over: 11.3% (male 101,036/female 131,156) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 34.8 years
male: 33.8 years
female: 35.8 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.262% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 12 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 8.81 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.57 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 9.27 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 9.45 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.08 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 74.45 years
male: 71.95 years
female: 77.13 years

Prophet?—Profit?—Both Prophet And Profit?

 

Good afternoon folks, this afternoon’s letter to you is mostly my thoughts on the issue of “Holy Men, or Women.” I write this wanting to get your thoughts and opinions. So, if you would, after you have read this please drop me a note in the comment section with what your thoughts and opinions are on this subject matter.

 

Before a person can decide if they themselves or someone else can be a Prophet we need to know what the definition of the word is. So, I checked into the Google Dictionary and then into the Merriam-Webster Dictionary for reference points. I am going to put their thoughts down for you so that we can have good talking points to help base our conversation on.

Via Google: the world ‘Prophet’ is “a person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the Will of God.”

Via Google the word ‘Profit’ as a Noun: a financial gain, especially the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent, excess.

Via Google: as a Verb: obtain a financial advantage or benefit, especially from an investment.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes the word ‘profit’ as “the excess of the selling price of goods over the cost.” Also: “The ratio of profit for a given year to the amount of capital invested or to the ‘value of the sale.’

I on purpose left the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and their definition of the word “Prophet” for last because it gives more definitions in their answer. When I get finished giving you these definitions I will give you my personal thoughts on this matter. If you would, then please give me your thoughts on them.

Prophet:

1.) One who utters divinely inspired revelations.

2.) A writer of one of the Prophetic Books of the Bible’

3.) One regarded by a group of followers as the final authoritative revealer of God’s will:  Jesus Christ, Muhammad

4.) One gifted with more than ordinary Spiritual and moral insight especially: an inspired poet.

5.) One who foretells future events.

6.) An effective or leading spokesman for a cause , doctrine, or group.

7.) Christian Science: A Spiritual Seer.

Human terms: An Economist who is regarded by many as a reliable (Prophet) of future developments in the global economy. Example: Warren Buffet.

 

So now, a Prophet, Profit, or both a Prophet and Profit.

 

Okay, so in your thoughts, what is a Prophet? To me, a Prophet is definitely a ‘Holy Man, or Woman’, a Teacher, a Seer, one who has a much deeper understanding of the teachings of God than the average person. One who gives their life to God and His teachings. One who does these things then speaks the insight and knowledge they have been given to any who may ask of that knowledge and in some cases give this knowledge to those who did not ask and who do not want to hear such knowledge.

 

Profit: what does profit have to do with being a ‘Holy person?’ Does money have anything to do with being a Holy Person, a Preacher, a Priest, a Minister or a Church? Should we as children of God or as Ministers/Teachers of His Word base our lives on income? Should a true ‘Teacher/Prophet’ of God’s Word own 8 homes, $5,000 suits, $10,000 watches and a fleet of fancy cars? Should a Preacher be making a million dollars a year from the Church he ‘serves?’ Even with a Church Congregation that has 10,000 members and an offering plate each Saturday or Sunday of $100,000 what is wrong with the Preacher having a salary of $12,000 per year to go with a free Parsonage, utilities and a gas allowance for their vehicle or even a Church supplied vehicle? Why is that not enough? Should not the Church offerings be spread out to the Church members in need first then to the local community and or to missionaries? How about local food banks and homeless shelters? Why does so much have to go to the ‘top end?’ How much is a Church Congregation paying the Elders and the Deacons? Should the Elders and Deacons be getting paid at all? Are the local Churches sending all of their ‘profits’ to a regional ‘Dioceses’ where Bishops and Cardinals decide where funds should be spent? Has the Church you attend become nothing more than a business? The only excuse that I can think of for Churches having to pay their Preachers such a large salary is because of the cost of their college education at these ‘Christian’ schools. Personally I attended Carson Newman Baptist College in Jefferson City Tennessee and I realized that a person attempting to get their PhD. in something like Theology with a minor in Preaching could have a College loan debt of $100,000.00 plus by the time they graduated. Folks, it takes a long time to pay off a debt like that, the payments are high so it requires a high salary to be able to pay it. Here is my thought on this issue. Colleges like Carson Newman has thousands of students who are not studying for the Ministry so I believe that for the students who are trying to become Ministers couldn’t these ‘Religious’ schools cut these students a break like say let them attend at %50 the cost of the other courses? Or, being that they are ‘Religious’ schools couldn’t they only charge these students the cost of materials like books and write off the rest of the ‘fees? No Ministers first priority should have to be how big of a salary they can get so that they can pay off their college debt at a Religion based College!

 

Profit, a verb, a financial benefit, especially from an investment. Yes, a College tuition is an investment both in financial terms and in physical effort terms, yet is personal profit what should be driving a person who is trying to become a Minister of God? Should not Colleges who say that they are Religion Based be ‘not for profit’ schools/businesses? Our goal as followers of God should not, can not be, to see how much wealth we can amass. When non believers see Preachers who are at the Pulpit who are dripping in the trappings of wealth who are begging the Congregation and/or those watching or listening on TV or Radio to donate of their hard-earned income to the Church and to God, what do you think this makes them think? How many people have to think that a good chunk, or all of their offerings are going into the pockets of the Preacher? Folks, for profit Preachers and for profit Christian Colleges are a spike in the Cross of Christ.

 

Can you be a Christian or a Preacher and be blessed by God with great wealth, yes you can. But, what do we do with that wealth once we are blesses with it? Do we hoard it? Do we invest it in the stock market? During the time of Christ here on Earth the Jewish Religious Leaders of the Day taught, and rightfully so, that everyone should give the top %10 of their earnings to God, yet Jesus spoke to us that we must do better than these ‘Leaders’ in our actions. If you or I for example became well published writers, whether we are Preachers or not, and our income each year was one million dollars, have we developed a million dollar lifestyle? Do I need a bring home income of $900,000 per year? If I had such an income should I not be gracious to the Church I attend and to the community in which I live? Could I possible survive if I donated $900,000 each year to charities and lived off of the remaining $100,000 per year? My current income is about $30,000 per year, we own a 13-year-old car with about 180,000 miles on it yet it is still working well enough to do the things that we need it to do. The huge thing for us is, it is paid off, we have no payment on it. We own a house that was built-in 1961 and it is the best house we have ever owned, (actually it is the only house that either my wife or I have ever owned). To be honest we own %10 of it and the bank owns the other %90 but we feel very blessed to be allowed to have this home to live in. The house is the only thing that we have payments on except for some credit cards so we are surviving financially as long as nothing major tears up. But the thing is, we feel very blessed and thankful to God for his kindness of what we do have as we know that there are billions of people on this planet who have it much worse than we do. We only have a couple of hundred dollars in the bank but, when is enough, enough? We have food, we have a roof over our heads, we have electricity, we have a car that works, what have I got to complain about? We as Christians must learn to accept and to cherish to good things that we have been given and to quit coveting more. For that which we covet, that which we worship, this becomes ‘our God.’

 

When Your Church Leader Decides To Contradict What The Bible Says: Now What?

 

A couple of days ago the Pope decided to change the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church regarding the use of the death penalty, if you are a Catholic, what do you think of the Popes new directive? The Pope has said that the Roman Catholic Church will no longer condone the use of the death penalty for any reason even though the Bible plainly says otherwise. I am not a Catholic, I am a fundamentalist Christian, I believe that the Bible is the Holy Spirit Inspired Word Of God and mankind should not be tampering with its teachings. Now I have a question for you, if your Churches Pastor, Minister, Reverend, Elder or whomever speaks to you from the Pulpit and they say they have a new teaching that the Congregation is going to follow even though the Bible teaches otherwise, are you okay with that theology?

 

The death penalty to me is something that should only be done to a person if they are guilty of first degree murder and for no other reason. I do also believe in prison sentences of life in prison with no chance of parole for certain other horrible crimes like attempted murder or raping a child. Because of witnesses who lie on the Stand, crooked Police Officers and crooked District Attorneys I believe that the evidence against a person would have to be massive and beyond doubt. These days I would say being caught in the act of murdering a person along with video evidence and DNA evidence would need to be necessary to convict a person to death. I remember back about 20 years or so ago in the state of Illinois that the Governor of the State commuted every person who was on Death Row to Life In Prison without Parole because DNA had proven that several people who were scheduled to be executed were actually innocent. Many of these people were on Death Row because of crooked cops and or crooked DA’s.

 

I personally am not a fan of putting anyone to death but then again I hate the idea of people being put into cages for years at a time. Reality is different from my wish list though, I worked for a little while at a State Pen in central Illinois back in the late 1970’s for the purpose of gaining that life experience. My older brother had been in several Pens including the one I was a Guard at, twice. One of the things that I realized was that some of the men behind those bars were exactly where they needed to be. Reality is that there are some people in Prison whom if you let them out would go right back to their old ways that got them put in there in the first place and that does include robbing, raping and murdering. But you know what, what I think or what I want or believe means nothing when it correlates to a disagreement with what the Bible says. The Pope, you or I have no right to change “Church Doctrine.” The only Doctrine that any Church is allowed to have is very simple, that Doctrine must be the teachings of the Bible. When a Church decides to have a Doctrine that is contrary to the teachings of the Scriptures it is the Church and the Leaders of that Church whose blood will be required at their Judgement before Christ and His Angels.

 

I am going to leave you with 7 short Scripture readings on this subject matter of murder and what the Scriptures have to say about it and the people who commit murder. I do thank you for your time, I do appreciate you taking of your time to stop in for the visit.

Genesis 9: 6

Exodus 21: 14

Numbers 35: 24 and 30

Numbers 35: 31-34

Deuteronomy 19: 6

Galatians 5: 19-21

1 John 3: 15

Spain: The Truth Knowledge And The History Of The Great Nation Of Spain

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA FACT BOOK)

 

Spain

Introduction Spain’s powerful world empire of the 16th and 17th centuries ultimately yielded command of the seas to England. Subsequent failure to embrace the mercantile and industrial revolutions caused the country to fall behind Britain, France, and Germany in economic and political power. Spain remained neutral in World Wars I and II but suffered through a devastating civil war (1936-39). A peaceful transition to democracy following the death of dictator Francisco FRANCO in 1975, and rapid economic modernization (Spain joined the EU in 1986) have given Spain one of the most dynamic economies in Europe and made it a global champion of freedom. Continuing challenges include Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorism, illegal immigration, and slowing economic growth.
History After a long and hard conquest, the Iberian Peninsula became a region of the Roman Empire known as Hispania. During the early Middle Ages it came under Germanic rule. Later it was conquered by Muslim invaders. Through a very long and fitful process, the Christian kingdoms in the north gradually rolled back Muslim rule, finally extinguishing its last remnant in Granada in 1492, the same year Columbus reached the Americas. A global empire began. Spain became the strongest kingdom in Europe and the leading world power during the 16th century and first half of the 17th century; but continued wars and other problems eventually led to a diminished status. The French invasion of Spain in the early 19th century led to chaos; triggering independence movements that tore apart most of the empire and left the country politically unstable. In the 20th century it suffered a devastating civil war and came under the rule of an authoritarian government, leading to years of stagnation, but finishing in an impressive economic surge. Democracy was restored in 1978 in the form of a parliamentry constitutional monarchy. In 1986, Spain joined the European Union; experiencing a cultural renaissance and steady economic growth.

Prehistory and pre-Roman peoples

Archeological research at Atapuerca indicates the Iberian Peninsula was peopled 1.2 million years ago. Modern humans in the form of Cro-Magnons began arriving in the Iberian Peninsula through the Pyrenees some 35,000 years ago. The best known artifacts of these prehistoric human settlements are the famous paintings in the Altamira cave of Cantabria in northern Spain, which were created about 15,000 BCE.

The two main historical peoples of the peninsula were the Iberians and the Celts, the former inhabiting the Mediterranean side from the northeast to the southwest, the latter inhabiting the Atlantic side, in the north and northwest part of the peninsula. In the inner part of the peninsula, where both groups were in contact, a mixed, distinctive culture—known as Celtiberian—was present. In addition, Basques occupied the western area of the Pyrenees mountains. Other ethnic groups existed along the southern coastal areas of present day Andalusia. Among these southern groups there grew the earliest urban culture in the Iberian Peninsula, that of the semi-mythical southern city of Tartessos (perhaps pre-1100 BC) near the location of present-day Cádiz. The flourishing trade in gold and silver between the people of Tartessos and Phoenicians and Greeks is documented in the history of Strabo and in the biblical book of king Solomon. Between about 500 BC and 300 BC, the seafaring Phoenicians and Greeks founded trading colonies all along the Spanish Mediterranean coast. Carthaginians briefly took control of much of the Mediterranean coast in the course of the Punic Wars, until they were eventually defeated and replaced by the Romans.

Roman Empire and Germanic invasions

During the Second Punic War, an expanding Roman Empire captured Carthaginian trading colonies along the Mediterranean coast from roughly 210 BC to 205 BC, leading to eventual Roman control of nearly the entire Iberian Peninsula; this lasted over 500 years, bound together by law, language, and the Roman road.

The base Celt and Iberian population remained in various stages of Romanisation, and local leaders were admitted into the Roman aristocratic class.[note 8][5] Hispania served as a granary for the Roman market, and its harbors exported gold, wool, olive oil, and wine. Agricultural production increased with the introduction of irrigation projects, some of which remain in use. Emperors Trajan, Theodosius I, and the philosopher Seneca were born in Hispania.Christianity was introduced into Hispania in the 1st century CE and it became popular in the cities in the 2nd century CE. Most of Spain’s present languages and religion, and the basis of its laws, originate from this period. Rome’s loss of jurisdiction in Hispania began in 409, when the Germanic Suevi and Vandals, together with the Sarmatian Alans crossed the Rhine and ravaged Gaul until the Visigoths drove them into Iberia that same year. The Suevi established a kingdom in what is today modern Galicia and northern Portugal. The Alans’ allies, the Hasdingi Vandals, established a kingdom in Gallaecia, too, occupying largely the same region but extending further south to the Duero river. The Silingi Vandals occupied the region that still bears a form of their name – Vandalusia, modern Andalusia, in Spain.

Muslim Iberia

In the 8th century, several areas of the Iberian Peninsula were conquered (711-718) by mainly Muslims (see Moors) from North Africa. These conquests were part of the expansion of the Umayyad Islamic Empire.[note 10] Only a number of areas in the north of the Iberian Peninsula managed to resist the initial invasion, occupying areas roughly corresponding to modern Asturias, Navarre and northern Aragon.

Under Islam, Christians and Jews were recognised as “peoples of the book”, and were free to practice their religion, but faced a number of mandatory discriminations and penalties as dhimmis. Conversion to Islam proceeded at a steadily increasing pace. Following the mass conversions in the 10th and 11th centuries it is believed that Muslims came to outnumber Christians in the remaining Muslim controlled areas.

The Muslim community in the Iberian peninsula was itself diverse and beset by social tensions. The Berber people of North Africa, who had provided the bulk of the invading armies, clashed with the Arab leadership from the Middle East. Over time, large Moorish populations became established, especially in the Guadalquivir River valley, the coastal plain of Valencia, and (towards the end of this period) in the mountainous region of Granada.

Córdoba, the capital of the caliphate, was the largest, richest and most sophisticated city of medieval western Europe. Mediterranean trade and cultural exchange flourished. Muslims imported a rich intellectual tradition from the Middle East and North Africa. Muslim and Jewish scholars played a great part in reviving and expanding classical Greek learning in Western Europe. The Romanized cultures of the Iberian peninsula interacted with Muslim and Jewish cultures in complex ways, thus giving the region a distinctive culture. Outside the cities, where the vast majority lived, the land ownership system from Roman times remained largely intact as Muslim leaders rarely dispossessed landowners, and the introduction of new crops and techniques led to a remarkable expansion of agriculture.

However, by the 11th century, Muslim holdings had fractured into rival Taifa kingdoms, allowing the small Christian states the opportunity to greatly enlarge their territories and consolidate their positions. The arrival of the North African Muslim ruling sects of the Almoravids and the Almohads restored unity upon Muslim holdings, with a stricter, less tolerant application of Islam, but ultimately, after some successes in invading the north, proved unable to resist the increasing military strength of the Christian states.

Fall of Muslim rule and unification

Given the honored title by the Pope, Catholic MonarchsFerdinand and Isabella, were probably one of the most powerful and accomplished couples in history; they reinforced the Reconquista, founded the Spanish Inquisition, and sponsered Christopher Columbus during the discovery of the New World.

The Reconquista (“Reconquest”) is the centuries-long period of expansion of Spain’s Christian kingdoms; Reconquista is viewed as beginning with the battle of Covadonga in 722 and being concurrent with the period of Muslim rule on the Iberian peninsula. The Christian army’s victory over the Muslim forces led to the creation of the Christian Kingdom of Asturias along the northern coastal mountains. Muslim armies had also moved north of the Pyrenees, but they were defeated at the Battle of Poitiers in France. Subsequently, they retreated to more secure positions south of the Pyrenees with a frontier marked by the Ebro and Duero rivers in Spain. As early as 739 Muslim forces were driven from Galicia, which was to host one of medieval Europe’s holiest sites, Santiago de Compostela. A little later Frankish forces established Christian counties south of the Pyrenees; these areas were to grow into kingdoms, in the north-east and the western part of the Pyrenees. These territories included Navarre, Aragon and Catalonia.

The breakup of Al-Andalus into the competing Taifa kingdoms helped the expanding Christian kingdoms. The capture of the central city of Toledo in 1085 largely completed the reconquest of the northern half of Spain. After a Muslim resurgence in the 12th century, the great Moorish strongholds in the south fell to Christian Spain in the 13th century—Córdoba in 1236 and Seville in 1248—leaving only the Muslim enclave of Granada as a tributary state in the south. Marinid invasions from north Africa in the 13th and 14th centuries failed to re-establish Muslim rule. Also in the 13th century, the kingdom of Aragon, formed by Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia expanded its reach across the Mediterranean to Sicily. Around this time the universities of Palencia (1212/1263) and Salamanca (1218/1254) were established; among the earliest in Europe. The Black Death of 1348 and 1349 devastated Spain.

In 1469, the crowns of the Christian kingdoms of Castile and Aragon were united by the marriage of Isabella and Ferdinand. In 1478 began the final stage of the conquest of Canary Islands and in 1492, these united kingdoms captured Granada, ending the last remnant of a 781-year presence of Islamic rule in Iberia. The Treaty of Granada guaranteed religious tolerance toward Muslims. The year 1492 also marked the arrival in the New World of Christopher Columbus, during a voyage funded by Isabella. That same year, Spain’s Jews were ordered to convert to Catholicism or face expulsion from Spanish territories during the Spanish Inquisition. Not long after, Muslims were also expelled under the same conditions.

As Renaissance New Monarchs, Isabella and Ferdinand centralized royal power at the expense of local nobility, and the word España – whose root is the ancient name Hispania – began to be used commonly to designate the whole of the two kingdoms. With their wide-ranging political, legal, religious and military reforms, Spain emerged as the first world power.

Spanish Empire

The unification of the kingdoms of Aragon, Castile, León, and Navarre laid the basis for modern Spain and the Spanish Empire. Spain was Europe’s leading power throughout the 16th century and most of the 17th century, a position reinforced by trade and wealth from colonial possessions. Spain reached its apogee during the reigns of the first two Spanish Habsburgs – Charles I (1516–1556) and Philip II (1556–1598). This period also saw the Italian Wars, the Protestant Reformation, the Dutch revolt, the Morisco revolt, clashes with the Ottomans, the Anglo-Spanish war and wars with France.

Philip II of Spain

The Spanish Empire expanded to include most parts of South and Central America, Mexico, southern and western portions of today’s United States, the Philippines, Guam and the Mariana Islands in Eastern Asia, parts of northern Italy, southern Italy, Sicily, cities in Northern Africa, as well as parts of France, modern Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. It was the first empire about which it was said that the sun never set. This was an age of discovery, with daring explorations by sea and by land, the opening-up of new trade routes across oceans, conquests and the beginnings of European colonialism. Along with the arrival of precious metals, spices, luxuries, and new agricultural plants, Spanish and other explorers brought back knowledge from the New World, playing a leading part in transforming Europeans understanding of the globe. The cultural efflorescence witnessed is now referred to as the Spanish Golden Age.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Spain was confronted by unrelenting challenges from all sides. Barbary pirates under the aegis of the rapidly growing Ottoman empire, disrupted life in many coastal areas through their slave raids and renewed the threat of an Islamic invasion.[note 15] This at a time when Spain was often at war with France in Italy and elsewhere. Later the Protestant Reformation schism from the Catholic Church dragged the kingdom ever more deeply into the mire of religiously charged wars. The result was a country forced into ever expanding military efforts across Europe and in the Mediterranean. The rise of humanism, the Protestant Reformation and new geographical discoveries raised issues addressed by an intellectual movement known as the School of Salamanca.

By the middle decades of a war and plague ridden 17th century Europe, the effects of the strain began to show. The Spanish Habsburgs had enmeshed the country in the continent wide religious-political conflicts. These conflicts drained it of resources and undermined the European economy generally. Spain managed to hold on to most of the scattered Habsburg empire, and help the imperial forces of the Holy Roman Empire reverse a large part of the advances made by Protestant forces, but it was finally forced to recognise the separation of Portugal (with whom it had been united in a personal union of the crowns from 1580 to 1640) and the Netherlands, and eventually suffered some serious military reverses to France in the latter stages of the immensely destructive, Europe-wide Thirty Years War.

In the latter half of the 17th century, Spain went into a gradual relative decline, during which it surrendered a number of small territories to France. However Spain maintained and enlarged its vast overseas empire, which remained intact until the beginning of the 19th century.

The decline culminated in a controversy over succession to the throne which consumed the first years of the 18th century. The War of Spanish Succession, a wide ranging international conflict combined with a civil war, cost Spain its European possessions and its position as one of the leading powers on the Continent.

During this war, a new dynasty—the French Bourbons—was installed. Long united only by the Crown, a true Spanish state was established when the first Bourbon king Philip V of Spain united Castile and Aragon into a single state, abolishing many of the regional privileges (fueros).

The 18th century saw a gradual recovery and an increase in prosperity through much of the empire. The new Bourbon monarchy drew on the French system of modernising the administration and the economy. Enlightenment ideas began to gain ground among some of the kingdom’s elite and monarchy. Towards the end of the century trade finally began growing strongly. Military assistance for the rebellious British colonies in the American War of Independence improved Spain’s international standing.

Napoleonic rule and its consequences

In 1793, Spain went to war against the new French Republic, which had overthrown and executed its Bourbon king, Louis XVI. The war polarised the country in an apparent reaction against the gallicised elites. Defeated in the field, Spain made peace with France in 1795 and effectively became a client state of that country; the following year, it declared war against Britain and Portugal. A disastrous economic situation, along with other factors, led to the abdication of the Spanish king in favour of Napoleon’s brother, Joseph Bonaparte.

This foreign puppet monarch was widely regarded with scorn. On 2 May 1808, the people of Madrid began a nationalist uprising against the French army, one of many across the country, marking the beginning of what is known to the Spanish as the War of Independence, and to the English as the Peninsular War. Napoleon was forced to intervene personally, defeating several badly coordinated Spanish armies and forcing a British Army to retreat to Corunna. However, further military action by Spanish guerrillas and Wellington’s Anglo-Portuguese army, combined with Napoleon’s disastrous invasion of Russia, led to the ousting of the French from Spain in 1814, and the return of King Ferdinand VII.

The French invasion proved disastrous for Spain’s economy, and left a deeply divided country that was prone to political instability for more than a century. The power struggles of the early 19th century led to the loss of all of Spain’s colonies in Latin America, with the exception of Cuba and Puerto Rico.

Spanish-American War

Amid the instability and economic crisis that afflicted Spain in the 19th century there arose nationalist movements in the Philippines and Cuba. Wars of independence ensued in those colonies and eventually the United States became involved. Despite the commitment and ability shown by some military units, they were so mismanaged by the highest levels of command that the Spanish-American war of 1898 was soon over. “El Desastre” (The Disaster), as the war became known in Spain, helped give impetus to the Generation of 98 who were already conducting much critical analysis concerning the country. It also weakened the stability that had been established during Alfonso XII’s reign.

20th century

The 20th century brought little peace; Spain played a minor part in the scramble for Africa, with the colonisation of Western Sahara, Spanish Morocco and Equatorial Guinea. The heavy losses suffered during the Rif war in Morocco helped to undermine the monarchy. A period of authoritarian rule under General Miguel Primo de Rivera (1923-1931) ended with the establishment of the Second Spanish Republic. The Republic offered political autonomy to the Basque Country, Catalonia and Galicia and gave voting rights to women.

The bitterly fought Spanish Civil War (1936-39) ensued. Three years later the Nationalist forces, led by General Francisco Franco, emerged victorious with the support of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. The Republican side was supported by the Soviet Union and Mexico and international brigades , most famously the american ‘Abraham Lincon Brigade’, but it was not supported officially by the Western powers due to the British-led policy of Non-Intervention. The Spanish Civil War has been called the first battle of the Second World War; under Franco, Spain was neutral in the Second World War though sympathetic to the Axis.

The only legal party under Franco’s regime was the Falange española tradicionalista y de las JONS, formed in 1937; the party emphasised anti-Communism, Catholicism and nationalism. Nonetheless, since Franco’s anti-democratic ideology was opposed to the idea of political parties, the new party was renamed officially a National Movement (Movimiento Nacional) in 1949.

After World War II, Spain was politically and economically isolated, and was kept out of the United Nations until 1955, when due to the Cold War it became strategically important for the U.S. to create a military presence on the Iberian peninsula, next to the Mediterranean Sea and the Strait of Gibraltar, in order to protect southern Europe. In the 1960s, Spain registered an unprecedented economic growth in what was called the Spanish miracle, which rapidly resumed the long interrupted transition towards a modern industrial economy with a thriving tourism sector and a high degree of human development.

Upon the death of General Franco in November 1975, Prince Juan Carlos assumed the position of king and head of state. With the approval of the new Spanish Constitution of 1978 and the arrival of democracy, the State devolved autonomy to the regions and created an internal organization based on autonomous communities. In the Basque Country, moderate Basque nationalism coexisted with a radical nationalism supportive of the separatist group ETA.

On 23 February 1981, rebel elements among the security forces seized the Cortes and tried to impose a military-backed government. However, the great majority of the military forces remained loyal to King Juan Carlos, who used his personal authority and addressed the usurpers via national TV as commander in chief to put down the bloodless coup attempt.

On 30 May 1982, NATO gained a new member when, following a referendum, the newly democratic Spain joined the alliance. Also in 1982, the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) came to power, representing the return of a left-wing government after 43 years. In 1986, Spain joined the European Community – what has now become the European Union. The PSOE was replaced in government by the Partido Popular (PP) after the latter won the 1996 General Elections; at that point the PSOE had served almost 14 consecutive years in office.

The Government of Spain has been involved in a long-running campaign against the separatist and terrorist organization ETA (“Basque Homeland and Freedom”), founded in 1959 in opposition to Franco and dedicated to promoting Basque independence through violent means. They consider themselves a guerrilla organization while they are listed as a terrorist organization by both the European Union and the United States on their respective watchlists. The current nationalist-led Basque Autonomous government does not endorse ETA’s nationalist violence, which has caused over 800 deaths in the past 40 years.

21st century

On 1 January 2002, Spain terminated its peseta currency and replaced it with the euro, which it shares with 14 other countries in the Eurozone. Spain has also seen strong economic growth, well above the EU average, but concerns are growing that the extraordinary property boom and high foreign trade deficits of recent years may bring this to an end.

A series of bombs exploded in commuter trains in Madrid, Spain on 11 March 2004. After a five month trial in 2007 it was concluded the bombings were perpetrated by a local Islamist militant group inspired by al-Qaeda. The bombings killed 191 people and wounded more than 1800, and the intention of the perpetrators may have been to influence the outcome of the Spanish general election, held three days later. Though initial suspicions focused on the Basque group ETA, evidence soon emerged indicating possible Islamist involvement. Because of the proximity of the election, the issue of responsibility quickly became a political controversy, with the main competing parties PP and PSOE exchanging accusations over the handling of the aftermath. At the 14 March elections, PSOE, led by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, obtained a relative majority, enough to form a new cabinet with Rodríguez Zapatero as the new Presidente del Gobierno or prime minister of Spain, thus succeeding the former PP administration.

Geography Location: Southwestern Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, and Pyrenees Mountains, southwest of France
Geographic coordinates: 40 00 N, 4 00 W
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 504,782 sq km
land: 499,542 sq km
water: 5,240 sq km
note: there are two autonomous cities – Ceuta and Melilla – and 17 autonomous communities including Balearic Islands and Canary Islands, and three small Spanish possessions off the coast of Morocco – Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera
Area – comparative: slightly more than twice the size of Oregon
Land boundaries: total: 1,917.8 km
border countries: Andorra 63.7 km, France 623 km, Gibraltar 1.2 km, Portugal 1,214 km, Morocco (Ceuta) 6.3 km, Morocco (Melilla) 9.6 km
Coastline: 4,964 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm (applies only to the Atlantic Ocean)
Climate: temperate; clear, hot summers in interior, more moderate and cloudy along coast; cloudy, cold winters in interior, partly cloudy and cool along coast
Terrain: large, flat to dissected plateau surrounded by rugged hills; Pyrenees in north
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pico de Teide (Tenerife) on Canary Islands 3,718 m
Natural resources: coal, lignite, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, uranium, tungsten, mercury, pyrites, magnesite, fluorspar, gypsum, sepiolite, kaolin, potash, hydropower, arable land
Land use: arable land: 27.18%
permanent crops: 9.85%
other: 62.97% (2005)
Irrigated land: 37,800 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 111.1 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 37.22 cu km/yr (13%/19%/68%)
per capita: 864 cu m/yr (2002)
Natural hazards: periodic droughts
Environment – current issues: pollution of the Mediterranean Sea from raw sewage and effluents from the offshore production of oil and gas; water quality and quantity nationwide; air pollution; deforestation; desertification
Environment – international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
Geography – note: strategic location along approaches to Strait of Gibraltar
Politics Constitution

The Spanish Constitution of 1978 is the culmination of the Spanish transition to democracy.

The constitutional history of Spain dates back to the constitution of 1812. After the death of Francisco Franco in 1975, a general election in 1977 convened the Constituent Cortes (the Spanish Parliament, in its capacity as a constitutional assembly) for the purpose of drafting and approving the constitution of 1978.

As a result, Spain is now composed of 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities with varying degrees of autonomy thanks to its Constitution, which nevertheless explicitly states the indivisible unity of the Spanish nation as well as that Spain has today no official religion but all are free to practice and believe as they wish.

Government

Spain is a constitutional monarchy, with a hereditary monarch and a bicameral parliament, the Cortes Generales. The executive branch consists of a Council of Ministers presided over by the President of Government (comparable to a prime minister), proposed by the monarch and elected by the National Assembly following legislative elections.

The legislative branch is made up of the Congress of Deputies (Congreso de los Diputados) with 350 members, elected by popular vote on block lists by proportional representation to serve four-year terms, and a Senate (Senado) with 259 seats of which 208 are directly elected by popular vote and the other 51 appointed by the regional legislatures to also serve four-year terms.

The Spanish nation is organizationally composed in the form of called Estado de las Autonomías (“State of Autonomies”); it is one of the most decentralized countries in Europe, along with Switzerland, Germany and Belgium;[30] for example, all Autonomous Communities have their own elected parliaments, governments, public administrations, budgets, and resources; therefore, health and education systems among others are managed regionally, besides, the Basque Country and Navarre also manage their own public finances based on foral provisions. In Catalonia and the Basque Country, a full fledged autonomous police corps replaces some of the State police functions (see Mossos d’Esquadra and Ertzaintza).

People Population: 40,491,052 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 14.4% (male 3,011,815/female 2,832,788)
15-64 years: 67.6% (male 13,741,493/female 13,641,914)
65 years and over: 17.9% (male 3,031,597/female 4,231,444) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 40.7 years
male: 39.3 years
female: 42.1 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.096% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 9.87 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 9.9 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.99 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 4.26 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.65 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.85 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 79.92 years
male: 76.6 years
female: 83.45 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.3 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 0.7% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 140,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: fewer than 1,000 (2003 est.)
Nationality: noun: Spaniard(s)
adjective: Spanish
Ethnic groups: composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types
Religions: Roman Catholic 94%, other 6%
Languages: Castilian Spanish (official) 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%, are official regionally
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.9%
male: 98.7%
female: 97.2% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 17 years (2006)
Education expenditures: 4.2% of GDP (2005)

Sudan: Facts And History Of Sudan: Everything About Sudan Is Very, Very Sad

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA FACT BOOK)

(THE VERY DEFINITION OF THE WORD ‘SUDAN’ SHOULD PROBABLE BE ‘WAR, HATE AND DEATH’) 

Sudan

Introduction Military regimes favoring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics since independence from the UK in 1956. Sudan was embroiled in two prolonged civil wars during most of the remainder of the 20th century. These conflicts were rooted in northern economic, political, and social domination of largely non-Muslim, non-Arab southern Sudanese. The first civil war ended in 1972 but broke out again in 1983. The second war and famine-related effects resulted in more than four million people displaced and, according to rebel estimates, more than two million deaths over a period of two decades. Peace talks gained momentum in 2002-04 with the signing of several accords. The final North/South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in January 2005, granted the southern rebels autonomy for six years. After which, a referendum for independence is scheduled to be held. A separate conflict, which broke out in the western region of Darfur in 2003, has displaced nearly two million people and caused an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 deaths. The UN took command of the Darfur peacekeeping operation from the African Union on 31 December 2007. As of early 2008, peacekeeping troops were struggling to stabilize the situation, which has become increasingly regional in scope, and has brought instability to eastern Chad, and Sudanese incursions into the Central African Republic. Sudan also has faced large refugee influxes from neighboring countries, primarily Ethiopia and Chad. Armed conflict, poor transport infrastructure, and lack of government support have chronically obstructed the provision of humanitarian assistance to affected populations.
History Early history of Sudan

Archaeological evidence has confirmed that the area in the North of Sudan was inhabited at least 60,000 years ago[citation needed]. A settled culture appeared in the area around 8,000 BC, living in fortified villages, where they subsisted on hunting and fishing, as well as grain gathering and cattle herding while also being shepherds.

The area was known to the Egyptians as Kush and had strong cultural and religious ties to Egypt. In the 8th century BC, however, Kush came under the rule of an aggressive line of monarchs, ruling from the capital city, Napata, who gradually extended their influence into Egypt. About 750 BC, a Kushite king called Kashta conquered Upper Egypt and became ruler of Thebes until approximately 740 BC. His successor, Piankhy, subdued the delta, reunited Egypt under the Twenty-fifth Dynasty, and founded a line of kings who ruled Kush and Thebes for about a hundred years. The dynasty’s intervention in the area of modern Syria caused a confrontation between Egypt and Assyria. When the Assyrians in retaliation invaded Egypt, Taharqa (688-663 BC), the last Kushite pharaoh, withdrew and returned the dynasty to Napata, where it continued to rule Kush and extended its dominions to the south and east.

In 590 BC, an Egyptian army sacked Napata, compelling the Kushite court to move to Meroe near the 6th cataract. The Meroitic kingdom subsequently developed independently of Egypt, and during the height of its power in the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC, Meroe extended over a region from the 3rd cataract in the north to Sawba, near present-day Khartoum (the modern day capital of Sudan).

The pharaonic tradition persisted among Meroe’s rulers, who raised stelae to record the achievements of their reigns and erected pyramids to contain their tombs. These objects and the ruins at palaces, temples and baths at Meroe attest to a centralized political system that employed artisans’ skills and commanded the labour of a large work force. A well-managed irrigation system allowed the area to support a higher population density than was possible during later periods. By the 1st century BC, the use of hieroglyphs gave way to a Meroitic script that adapted the Egyptian writing system to an indigenous, Nubian-related language spoken later by the region’s people.

In the 6th century AD, the people known as the Nobatae occupied the Nile’s west bank in northern Kush. Eventually they intermarried and established themselves among the Meroitic people as a military aristocracy. Until nearly the 5th century, Rome subsidized the Nobatae and used Meroe as a buffer between Egypt and the Blemmyes. About CE 350, an Axumite army from Abyssinia captured and destroyed Meroe city, ending the kingdom’s independent existence.

Christian kingdoms

By the 6th century, three states had emerged as the political and cultural heirs of the Meroitic Kingdom. Nobatia in the North, also known as Ballanah, had its capital at Faras, in what is now Egypt; the central kingdom, Muqurra (Makuria), was centred at Dunqulah, about 150 kilometers south of modern Dunqulah; and Alawa (Alodia), in the heartland of old Meroe, which had its capital at Sawba (now a suburb of modern-day Khartoum). In all three kingdoms, warrior aristocracies ruled Meroitic populations from royal courts where functionaries bore Greek titles in emulation of the Byzantine court.

A missionary sent by Byzantine empress Theodora arrived in Nobatia and started preaching Christianity about 540 AD. The Nubian kings became Monophysite Christians. However, Makuria was of the Melkite Christian faith, unlike Nobatia and Alodia.

The spread of Islam

After many attempts at military conquest failed, the Arab commander in Egypt concluded the first in a series of regularly renewed treaties known as Albaqut (pactum) with the Nubians that governed relations between the two peoples for more than 678 years.

Islam progressed in the area over a long period of time through intermarriage and contacts with Arab merchants and settlers. In 1093, a Muslim prince of Nubian royal blood ascended the throne of Dunqulah as king.

The two most important Arabic-speaking groups to emerge in Nubia were the Jaali and the Juhayna. Both showed physical continuity with the indigenous pre-Islamic population. Today’s northern Sudanese culture combines Nubian and Arabic elements.

Kingdom of Sinnar

During the 1500s, a people called the Funj, under a leader named Amara Dunqus, appeared in southern Nubia and supplanted the remnants of the old Christian kingdom of Alwa, establishing As-Saltana az-Zarqa (the Blue Sultanate) at Sinnar. The Blue Sultanate eventually became the keystone of the Funj Empire. By the mid-16th century, Sinnar controlled Al Jazirah and commanded the allegiance of vassal states and tribal districts north to the 3rd cataract and south to the rain forests. The government was substantially weakened by a series of succession arguments and coups within the royal family. In 1820 Muhammad Ali of Egypt sent 4,000 troops to invade Sudan. The pasha’s forces accepted Sinnar’s surrender from the last Funj sultan, Badi VII.

Union with Egypt 1821-1885

In 1820, the Egyptian ruler Muhammad Ali Pasha invaded and conquered northern Sudan. Though technically the Wāli of Egypt under the Ottoman Sultan, Muhammad Ali styled himself as Khedive of a virtually independent Egypt. Seeking to add Sudan to his domains, he sent his son Ibrahim Pasha to conquer the country, and subsequently incorporate it into Egypt. This policy was expanded and intensified by Ibrahim’s son, Ismail I, under whose reign most of the remainder of modern-day Sudan was conquered. The Egyptian authorities made significant improvements to the Sudanese infrastructure (mainly in the north), especially with regard to irrigation and cotton production.

Mahdist Revolt

In 1879, the Great Powers forced the removal of Ismail and established his son Tewfik I in his place. Tewfik’s corruption and mismanagement resulted in the Orabi Revolt, which threatened the Khedive’s survival. Tewfik appealed for help to the British, who subsequently occupied Egypt in 1882. The Sudan was left in the hands of the Khedivial government, and the mismanagement and corruption of its officials became notorious

Eventually, a revolt broke out in Sudan, led by the Sudanese religious leader Muhammad Ahmad ibn as Sayyid Abd Allah, the self-proclaimed Mahdi (Guided One), who sought to purify Islam and end foreign domination in Sudan. His revolt culminated in the fall of Khartoum and the death of the British governor General Gordon (Gordon of Khartoum) in 1885. The Egyptian and British forces withdrew from Sudan leaving the Mahdi to form a short-lived theocratic state.

Mahdist Rule: The Mahdiya

The Mahdiyah (Mahdist regime) did not impose traditional Islamic laws. The new ruler’s aim was more political than anything else. This was evident in the animosity he showed towards existing muslims and locals who did not show loyalty to his system and rule. He authorised the burning of lists of pedigrees and books of law and theology.

The Mahdi maintained that his movement was not a religious order that could be accepted or rejected at will, but that it was a universal regime, which challenged man to join or to be destroyed.

Originally, the Mahdiyah was a jihad state, run like a military camp. Sharia courts enforced Islamic law and the Mahdi’s precepts, which had the force of law. Six months after the fall of Khartoum, the Mahdi died of typhus, and after a power struggle amongst his deputies, Abdallahi ibn Muhammad, with the help primarily of the Baqqara Arabs of western Sudan, overcame the opposition of the others and emerged as unchallenged leader of the Mahdiyah. After consolidating his power, Abdallahi ibn Muhammad assumed the title of Khalifa (successor) of the Mahdi, instituted an administration, and appointed Ansar (who were usually Baqqara) as emirs over each of the several provinces.

Regional relations remained tense throughout much of the Mahdiyah period, largely because of the Khalifa’s brutal methods to extend his rule throughout the country. In 1887, a 60,000-man Ansar army invaded Ethiopia, penetrating as far as Gondar. In March 1889, king Yohannes IV of Ethiopia, marched on Metemma; however, after Yohannes fell in battle, the Ethiopian forces withdrew. Abd ar Rahman an Nujumi, the Khalifa’s general, attempted to Egypt in 1889, but British-led Egyptian troops defeated the Ansar at Tushkah. The failure of the Egyptian invasion broke the spell of the Ansar’s invincibility. The Belgians prevented the Mahdi’s men from conquering Equatoria, and in 1893, the Italians repulsed an Ansar attack at Akordat (in Eritrea) and forced the Ansar to withdraw from Ethiopia.

Anglo-Egyptian Sudan 1899-1956

In the 1890s, the British sought to re-establish their control over Sudan, once more officially in the name of the Egyptian Khedive, but in actuality treating the country as British imperial territory. By the early 1890s, British, French, and Belgian claims had converged at the Nile headwaters. Britain feared that the other imperial powers would take advantage of Sudan’s instability to acquire territory previously annexed to Egypt. Apart from these political considerations, Britain wanted to establish control over the Nile to safeguard a planned irrigation dam at Aswan.

“The War in the Soudan.” A U.S. poster depicting British and Mahdist armies in battle, produced to advertise a Barnum & Bailey circus show titled “The Mahdi, or, For the Victoria Cross”, 1897.

Lord Kitchener led military campaigns from 1896 to 1898. Kitchener’s campaigns culminated in the Battle of Omdurman. Following defeat of the Mahdists at Omdurman, an agreement was reached in 1899 establishing Anglo-Egyptian rule, under which Sudan was run by a governor-general appointed by Egypt with British consent. In reality, much to the revulsion of Egyptian and Sudanese nationalists, Sudan was effectively administered as a British colony. The British were keen to reverse the process, started under Muhammad Ali Pasha, of uniting the Nile Valley under Egyptian leadership, and sought to frustrate all efforts aimed at further uniting the two countries.

During World War II, Sudan was directly involved militarily in the East African Campaign. Formed in 1925, the Sudan Defence Force (SDF) played an active part in responding to the early incursions into the Sudan from Italian East Africa during 1940. In 1942, the SDF also played a part in the invasion of the Italian colony by British and Commonwealth forces.

From 1924 until independence in 1956, the British had a policy of running Sudan as two essentially separate territories, the north (Muslim) and south (Christian). The last British Governor-General was Sir Robert Howe.

Independence January 1, 1956

The continued British occupation of Sudan fueled an increasingly strident nationalist backlash in Egypt, with Egyptian nationalist leaders determined to force Britain to recognize a single independent union of Egypt and Sudan. With the formal end of Ottoman rule in 1914, Husayn Kamil was declared Sultan of Egypt and Sudan, as was his brother Fuad I who succeeded him. The insistence of a single Egyptian-Sudanese state persisted when the Sultanate was re-titled the Kingdom of Egypt and Sudan, but the British continued to frustrate these efforts.

The first real independence attempt was made in 1924 by a group of Sudanese military officers known as the White Flag League. The group was led by first lieutenant Ali Abdullatif and first lieutenant Abdul Fadil Almaz. The latter led an insurrection of the military training academy, which ended in their defeat and the death of Almaz after the British army blew up the military hospital where he was garrisoned. This defeat was (allegedly) partially the result of the Egyptian garrison in Khartoum North not supporting the insurrection with artillery as was previously promised.

Even when the British ended their occupation of Egypt in 1936 (with the exception of the Suez Canal Zone), Sudan remained under British occupation. The Egyptian Revolution of 1952 finally heralded the beginning of the march towards Sudanese independence. Having abolished the monarchy in 1953, Egypt’s new leaders, Muhammad Naguib, whose mother was Sudanese, and Gamal Abdel-Nasser, believed the only way to end British domination in Sudan was for Egypt to officially abandon its sovereignty over Sudan. Since Britain’s own claim to sovereignty in Sudan theoretically depended upon Egyptian sovereignty, the revolutionaries calculated that this tactic would leave Britain with no option but to withdraw. Their calculation proved to be correct, and in 1954 the governments of Egypt and Britain signed a treaty guaranteeing Sudanese independence on January 1, 1956.

Afterwards, the newly elected Sudanese government led by the first prime minister Ismail Al-Azhari, went ahead with the process of Sudanisation of the state’s government, with the help and supervision of an international committee. Independence was duly granted and on January 1, 1956, in a special ceremony held at the People’s Palace where the Egyptian and British flags were lowered and the new Sudanese flag, composed of green, blue and white stripes, was raised in their place

First Sudanese Civil War 1955 – 1972

In 1955, the year before independence, a civil war began between northern and southern Sudan. The southerners, anticipating independence, feared the new nation would be dominated by the north.

Historically, the north of Sudan had closer ties with Egypt and was predominantly Arab and Muslim while the south was predominantly a mixture of Christianity and Animism. These divisions had been further emphasized by the British policy of ruling the north and south under separate administrations. From 1924, it was illegal for people living above the 10th parallel to go further south and for people below the 8th parallel to go further north. The law was ostensibly enacted to prevent the spread of malaria and other tropical diseases that had ravaged British troops, as well as to facilitate spreading Christianity among the predominantly Animist population while stopping the Arabic and Islamic influence from advancing south. The result was increased isolation between the already distinct north and south and arguably laid the seeds of conflict in the years to come.

The resulting conflict, known as the First Sudanese Civil War, lasted from 1955 to 1972. The 1955 war began when Southern army officers mutinied and then formed the Anya-Nya guerilla movement. A few years later the first Sudanese military regime took power under Major-General Abboud. Military regimes continued into 1969 when General Ja’afar al Nimiery led a successful coup. In 1972, a cessation of the north-south conflict was agreed upon under the terms of the Addis Ababa Agreement, following talks which were sponsored by the World Council of Churches. This led to a ten-year hiatus in the national conflict.

Second Sudanese Civil War from 1983 – 2005

In 1983, the civil war was reignited following President Gaafar Nimeiry’s decision to circumvent the Addis Ababa Agreement. President Gaafar Nimeiry attempted to create a federated Sudan including states in southern Sudan, which violated the Addis Ababa Agreement that had granted the south considerable autonomy. He appointed a committee to undertake “a substantial review of the Addis Ababa Agreement, especially in the areas of security arrangements, border trade, language, culture and religion”. Mansour Khalid a former foreign minister wrote, “Nimeiri had never been genuinely committed to the principles of the Addis Ababa Agreement”. In September 1983, the civil war was reignited when President Gaafar Nimeiry’s culminated the 1977 revisions by imposing new Islamic laws on all of Sudan, including the non-Muslim south. When asked about revisions he stated “The Addis Ababa agreement is myself and Joseph Lagu and we want it that way… I am 300 percent the constitution. I do not know of any plebiscite because I am mandated by the people as the President”. Southern troops rebelled against the northern political offensive, and launched attacks in June of 1983. In 1995, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter negotiated the longest ceasefire in the history of the war to allow humanitarian aid to enter Southern Sudan which had been inaccessible due to violence. This ceasefire, which lasted almost six months, has since been called the “Guinea Worm Ceasefire.”

Southern Sudan

The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), based in southern Sudan, was formed in May 1983. Finally, in June 1983, the Sudanese government under President Gaafar Nimeiry abrogated the Addis Ababa Peace Agreement (A.A.A.). The situation was exacerbated after President Gaafar Nimeiry went on to implement Sharia Law in September of the same year.

The war continued even after Nimeiry was ousted and a democratic government was elected with Al Sadig Al Mahdi’s Umma Party having the majority in the parliament. The leader of the SPLA John Garang refused to recognize the government and to negotiate with it as representative of Sudan but agreed to negotiate with government officials as representative of their political parties.

In 1989, a bloodless coup brought control of Khartoum into the hands of Omar al-Bashir and the National Islamic Front headed by Dr. Hassan al-Turabi. The new government was of Islamic orientation and later it formed the Popular Defence Forces (al Difaa al Shaabi) and began to use religious propaganda to recruit people, as the regular army was demoralised and under pressure from the SPLA rebels. This worsened the situation in the tribal south, as the fighting became more intense, causing casualties among the Christian and animist minority.

The SPLA started as a Marxist movement, with support from the Soviet Union and the Ethiopian Marxist President Mengistu Haile Meriem. In time, however, it sought support in the West by using the northern Sudanese government’s religious propaganda to portray the war as a campaign by the Arab Islamic government to impose Islam and the Arabic language on the Christian south. In 1991 the SPLA was split when Riek Machar withdrew and formed his own faction.

The war went on for more than 20 years, including the use of Russian-made combat helicopters and military cargo planes which were used as bombers to devastating effect on villages and tribal rebels alike. “Sudan’s independent history has been dominated by chronic, exceptionally cruel warfare that has starkly divided the country on racial, religious, and regional grounds; displaced an estimated four million people (of a total estimated population of thirty-two million); and killed an estimated two million people.” It damaged Sudan’s economy and led to food shortages, resulting in starvation and malnutrition. The lack of investment during this time, particularly in the south, meant a generation lost access to basic health services, education, and jobs.

Peace talks between the southern rebels and the government made substantial progress in 2003 and early 2004. The peace was consolidated with the official signing by both sides of the Nairobi Comprehensive Peace Agreement 9 January 2005, granting southern Sudan autonomy for six years, to be followed by a referendum about independence. It created a co-vice president position and allowed the north and south to split oil deposits equally, but also left both the north’s and south’s armies in place. John Garang, the south’s peace agreement appointed co-vice president died in a helicopter crash on August 1, 2005, three weeks after being sworn in. This resulted in riots, but the peace was eventually able to continue.

The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) was established under UN Security Council Resolution 1590 of March 24, 2005. Its mandate is to support implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and to perform functions relating to humanitarian assistance, and protection and promotion of human rights.

In October 2007 the former southern rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) withdrew from government in protest over slow implementation of a landmark 2005 peace deal which ended the civil war. Observers say the biggest obstacle to reconciliation is the unresolved status of the

Darfur conflict and war crimes charges

Map of Northeast Africa highlighting the Darfur region of Sudan.

Just as the long north-south civil war was reaching a resolution, some clashes occurred in the western region of Darfur in the early 1970s between the pastoral tribes and the agricultural famine. The rebels accused the central government of neglecting the Darfur region economically, although there is uncertainty regarding the objectives of the rebels and whether it merely seeks an improved position for Darfur within Sudan or outright secession. Both the government and the rebels have been accused of atrocities in this war, although most of the blame has fallen on Arab militias known as the Janjawid, which are armed men appointed by the Al Saddiq Al Mahdi administration to stop the long-standing chaotic disputes between Darfur tribes. According to declarations by the United States Government, these militias have been engaging in genocide; the fighting has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, many of them seeking refuge in neighbouring Chad. The government claimed victory over the rebels after capturing a town on the border with Chad in early 1994. However, the fighting resumed in 2003.

On September 9, 2004, the United States Secretary of State Colin Powell termed the Darfur conflict a genocide, claiming it as the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century. There have been reports that the Janjawid has been launching raids, bombings, and attacks on villages, killing civilians based on ethnicity, raping women, stealing land, goods, and herds of livestock. So far, over 2.5 million civilians have been displaced and the death toll is variously estimated from 200,000 to 400,000 killed. These figures have remained stagnant since initial UN reports of the conflict hinted at genocide in 2003/2004.

On May 5, 2006, the Sudanese government and Darfur’s largest rebel group, the SLM (Sudanese Liberation Movement), signed the Darfur Peace Agreement, which aimed at ending the three-year long conflict. The agreement specified the disarmament of the Janjawid and the disbandment of the rebel forces, and aimed at establishing a temporal government in which the rebels could take part. The agreement, which was brokered by the African Union, however, was not signed by all of the rebel groups. Only one rebel group, the SLA, led by Minni Arko Minnawi, signed the DPA.

Since the agreement was signed, however, there have been reports of widespread violence throughout the region. A new rebel group has emerged called the National Redemption Front, which is made up of the four main rebel groups that refused to sign the May peace agreement. Recently, both the Sudanese government and government-sponsored Muslim militias have launched large offensives against the rebel groups, resulting in more deaths and more displacements. Clashes among the rebel groups have also contributed to the violence. Recent fighting along the Chad border has left hundreds of soldiers and rebel forces dead and nearly a quarter of a million refugees cut from aid. In addition, villages have been bombed and more civilians have been killed. UNICEF recently reported that around 80 infants die each day in Darfur as a result of malnutrition.

The people in Darfur are predominantly Black Africans of Muslim beliefs. While the Janjawid militia is made up of Black Arabs, the majority of Arab groups in Darfur remain uninvolved in the conflict. Darfurians—Arab and non-Arab alike—profoundly distrust a government in Khartoum that has brought them nothing but trouble.

The International Criminal Court has indicted State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Ahmed Haroun and alleged Muslim Janjawid militia leader Ali Mohammed Ali, aka Ali Kosheib, in relation to the atrocities in the region. Ahmed Haroun belongs to the Bargou tribe, one of the non-Arab tribes of Darfur, and is alleged to have incited attacks on specific non-Arab ethnic groups. Ali Kosheib is an ex-soldier and a leader of the popular defense forces, and is alleged to be one of the key leaders responsible for attacks on villages in west Darfur.

The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor on Darfur, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, announced on July 14, 2008, ten criminal charges against President Bashir, accusing him of sponsoring war crimes and crimes against humanity. The ICC’s prosecutors have claimed that al-Bashir “masterminded and implemented a plan to destroy in substantial part” three tribal groups in Darfur because of their ethnicity. The ICC’s prosecutor for Darfur, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, is expected within months to ask a panel of ICC judges to issue an arrest warrant for Bashir.

The Arab League, AU, and even France support Sudan’s efforts to suspend the ICC investigation. They are willing to consider Article 16 of the Rome Statute, which states ICC investigations, can be suspended for one year if the investigation endangers the peace process.

Chad-Sudan conflict

The Chad-Sudan conflict officially started on December 23, 2005, when the government of Chad declared a state of war with Sudan and called for the citizens of Chad to mobilize themselves against the “common enemy”,[28] which the Chadian government sees as the Rally for Democracy and Liberty (RDL) militants, Chadian rebels backed by the Sudanese government, and Sudanese militiamen. The militants attacked villages and towns in eastern Chad, stealing cattle, murdering citizens, and burning houses. Over 200,000 refugees from the Darfur region of northwestern Sudan currently claim asylum in eastern Chad. Chadian president Idriss Déby accuses Sudanese President Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir of trying to “destabilize our country, to drive our people into misery, to create disorder and export the war from Darfur to Chad.”

The incident prompting the declaration of war was an attack on the Chadian town of Adré near the Sudanese border that led to the deaths of either one hundred rebels (as most news sources reported) or three hundred rebels. The Sudanese government was blamed for the attack, which was the second in the region in three days, but Sudanese foreign ministry spokesman Jamal Mohammed Ibrahim denied any Sudanese involvement, “We are not for any escalation with Chad. We technically deny involvement in Chadian internal affairs.” The Battle of Adré led to the declaration of war by Chad and the alleged deployment of the Chadian air force into Sudanese airspace, which the Chadian government denies.

The leaders of Sudan and Chad signed an agreement in Saudi Arabia on May 3, 2007 to stop fighting from the Darfur conflict along their countries’ 1,000-kilometre (600 mi) border.

Eastern Front

The Eastern Front is a coalition of rebel groups operating in eastern Sudan along the border with Eritrea, particularly the states of Red Sea and Kassala. The Eastern Front’s Chairman is Musa Mohamed Ahmed. While the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) was the primary member of the Eastern Front, the SPLA was obliged to leave by the January 2005 agreement that ended the Second Sudanese Civil War. Their place was taken in February 2004 after the merger of the larger Beja Congress with the smaller Rashaida Free Lions, two tribal based groups of the Beja and Rashaida people, respectively. The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), a rebel group from Darfur in the west, then joined.

Both the Free Lions and the Beja Congress stated that government inequity in the distribution of oil profits was the cause of their rebellion. They demanded to have a greater say in the composition of the national government, which has been seen as a destabilizing influence on the agreement ending the conflict in Southern Sudan.

The Eastern Front had threatened to block the flow of crude oil, which travels from the oil fields of the south-central regions to outside markets through Port Sudan. A government plan to build a second oil refinery near Port Sudan was also threatened. The government was reported to have three times as many soldiers in the east to suppress the rebellion and protect vital infrastructure as in the more widely reported Darfur region.

The Eritrean government in mid-2006 dramatically changed their position on the conflict. From being the main supporter of the Eastern Front they decided that bringing the Sudanese government around the negotiating table for a possible agreement with the rebels would be in their best interests. They were successful in their attempts and on the 19 June 2006, the two sides signed an agreement on declaration of principles. This was the start of four months of Eritrean-mediated negotiations for a comprehensive peace agreement between the Sudanese government and the Eastern Front, which culminated in signing of a peace agreement on 14 October 2006, in Asmara. The agreement covers security issues, power sharing at a federal and regional level, and wealth sharing in regards to the three Eastern states Kassala, Red Sea and Al Qadarif.

Humanitarian needs and 2007 floods

Southern Sudan is acknowledged to have some of the worst health indicators in the world. In 2004, there were only three surgeons serving southern Sudan, with three proper hospitals, and in some areas there was just one doctor for every 500,000 people. The humanitarian branch of the United Nations, consisting of several UN agencies coordinated by OCHA, works to bring life-saving relief to those in need. It is estimated by OCHA, that over 3.5 million people in Darfur (including 2.2 million IDPs) are heavily reliant on humanitarian aid for their survival. By contrast, in 2007 OCHA, under the leadership of Eliane Duthoit, started to gradually phase out in Southern Sudan, where humanitarian needs are gradually diminishing, and are slowly but markedly leaving the place to recovery and development activities.

In July 2007, many parts of the country were devastated by flooding, prompting an immediate humanitarian response by the United Nations and partners, under the leadership of acting United Nations Resident Coordinators David Gressly and Oluseyi Bajulaiye. Over 400,000 people were directly affected, with over 3.5 million at risk of epidemics. The United Nations have allocated US$ 13.5 million for the response from its pooled funds, but will launch an appeal to the international community to cover the gap.The humanitarian crisis is in danger of worsening. Following attacks in Darfur, the U.N. World Food Program announced it could stop food aid to some parts of Darfur.

Geography Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Egypt and Eritrea
Geographic coordinates: 15 00 N, 30 00 E
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 2,505,810 sq km
land: 2.376 million sq km
water: 129,810 sq km
Area – comparative: slightly more than one-quarter the size of the US
Land boundaries: total: 7,687 km
border countries: Central African Republic 1,165 km, Chad 1,360 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 628 km, Egypt 1,273 km, Eritrea 605 km, Ethiopia 1,606 km, Kenya 232 km, Libya 383 km, Uganda 435 km
Coastline: 853 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 18 nm
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate: tropical in south; arid desert in north; rainy season varies by region (April to November)
Terrain: generally flat, featureless plain; mountains in far south, northeast and west; desert dominates the north
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Red Sea 0 m
highest point: Kinyeti 3,187 m
Natural resources: petroleum; small reserves of iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold, hydropower
Land use: arable land: 6.78%
permanent crops: 0.17%
other: 93.05% (2005)
Irrigated land: 18,630 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 154 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 37.32 cu km/yr (3%/1%/97%)
per capita: 1,030 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards: dust storms and periodic persistent droughts
Environment – current issues: inadequate supplies of potable water; wildlife populations threatened by excessive hunting; soil erosion; desertification; periodic drought
Environment – international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography – note: largest country in Africa; dominated by the Nile and its tributaries
Politics Sudan has an authoritarian government in which all effective political power is in the hands of President Omar al-Bashir. Bashir and his party have controlled the government since he led the military coup on 30 June 1989.

From 1983 to 1997, the country was divided into five regions in the north and three in the south, each headed by a military governor. After the military coup on April 6, 1985, regional assemblies were suspended. The RCC was abolished in 1993, and the ruling National Islamic Front changed its name to the National Congress Party. The new party included some non Muslim members; mainly Southern Sudanese Politicians, some of whom were appointed as ministers or state governors. After 1997, the structure of regional administration was replaced by the creation of twenty-six states. The executives, cabinets, and senior-level state officials are appointed by the president, and their limited budgets are determined by and dispensed from Khartoum. The states, as a result, remain economically dependent upon the central government. Khartoum state, comprising the capital and outlying districts, is administered by a governor.

In December 1999, a power struggle climaxed between President al-Bashir and then-speaker of parliament Hassan al-Turabi, who was the NIF founder and an Islamic ideologue. Al-Turabi was stripped of his posts in the ruling party and the government, parliament was disbanded, the constitution was suspended, and a state of national emergency was declared by presidential decree. Parliament resumed in February 2001 after the December 2000 presidential and parliamentary elections, but the national emergency laws remained in effect. Al-Turabi was arrested in February 2001, and charged with being a threat to national security and the constitutional order for signing a memorandum of understanding with the SPLA. Since then his outspoken style has had him in prison or under house-arrest, his most recent stint beginning in March 2004 and ending in June 2005. During that time he was under house-arrest for his role in a failed coup attempt in September 2003, an allegation he has denied. According to some reports, the president had no choice but to release him, given that a coalition of National Democratic Union (NDA) members headquartered in both Cairo and Eritrea, composed of the political parties known as the SPLM/A, Umma Party, Mirghani Party, and Turabi’s own National People’s Congress, were calling for his release at a time when an interim government was preparing to take over in accordance with the Naivasha agreement and the Machokos Accord.In the proposed 2009 elections, Vice President Slava Kiir declared he is likely to challenge Bashir for the Presidential seat.

(EVEN TO THIS DAY 19 MAY 2018 WAR STILL RAGES, THERE REALLY IS NO STABLE GOVERNMENT NOR INFRASTRUCTURE AND THE PEOPLE ARE DYING BY THE THOUSANDS EVERY WEEK FROM THE VIOLENCE OF WAR, STARVATION, NO CLEAN WATER, AND DISEASES. AS I SAID IN THE TITLE ‘VERY SAD’.) 

Racist Folks In America

Racist Folks In America

 

Before I get into this post where I am giving you my opinions and beliefs about this subject matter I though it would be a good thing to see exactly what the dictionary had to say about the issue first so I copy pasted that definition next.

racism definition

The belief that some races are inherently superior (physically, intellectually, or culturally) to others and therefore have a right to dominate them. In the United States, racism, particularly by whites against blacks, has created profound racial tension and conflict in virtually all aspects of American society. Until the breakthroughs achieved by the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, white domination over blacks was institutionalized and supported in all branches and levels of government, by denying blacks their civil rights and opportunities to participate in political, economic, and social communities.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
I am a white man who was born in the southeastern United States in 1956. The town I was born in had a population during the night-time of about 7,000 people where about 6,500 were white folks and black folks made up almost all of the other 500 people as back then I do not remember any other nationalities being present. (The town population during the day time was about 20,000 as the smaller communities came to town to work in the factories). We moved away from Virginia on my ninth birthday in 1965 to the Black Hills of South Dakota where we lived for 15 months before we moved to norther Illinois about 80 miles west of Chicago. I have spent almost all of my adult life either in Texas or in a few different south-eastern states. I give you this information for clarity purposes so that you don’t have to guess. Most all of my adult life I drove a truck as a long haul driver running the lower 48 states and Canada. I did this from 1981-2013 until my old military injuries made it impossible to continue working and I had to retire in June of 2013. I logged over five million miles behind the windshield of a truck, during this time I picked up and delivered to several thousand different businesses and had the opportunity to speak with thousands of different people all over the U.S. and Canada and to listen to the different things and opinions of a wide groups of people. I am going to tell you the opinions I have garnered throughout my life time on the race issue.
First, as a young child the town I was born in is in a bit of a valley, on the north hill of the town was where almost all black folks lived and I still remember that community being called “nigger hill”. While we lived there I was young and oblivious to the plight of black folks because I pretty much never saw any and race was an issue that was not a topic in our household. I was never a person that cared at all what color any person was, I didn’t know then that race was an issue in our country. There is no doubt in my mind that by the Scriptures of the New Testament and by the teachings of Jesus Christ that this hatred of racism is a huge sin trap that has and will get millions if not billions of people condemned at their judgement before Christ and His angels. When Jesus rose from the dead in 29 A.D. all people’s became eligible to be brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. Remember, “all tongues, all nations”, not just white, or brown, or black folks, all who come to Christ makes us all one family under God. Remember Jesus said “if we hate our brother without a cause then we are condemning our own souls”. Without a cause, simply meaning that if we hate a person or persons because of something that is not the persons fault then we are the sinners who do that. People, what color we have on our skin when we come out of the womb is something we have no say so in. If I hate you simply because you are not white or you hate me solely because I am white, we will be living in the same flames of Hell forever.
What I have learned from American history books and from those who are older than I am about how all minorities were treated, as a Christian just makes me sick at my stomach. In 1968 when Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in Memphis Tennessee I was not quite twelve years old and it was the first time I had ever heard of him. From this point on is where I started learning about race issues here in America. These are my opinions on what I have learned during these past 50 years. One, Dr. King was a very good person who was for non-violent equality for “all people” but many of the people who want to hold him up as a great “black leader” pay no attention to the things he fought and died for as a human being and as a Christian. I totally believe that Dr. King would be absolutely shocked and disgusted at how horrible and evil so many are today that claim to be black leaders, especially those who dare call themselves Christians.
Before the Civil Rights movement started in earnest during the mid to late 1960’s I personally could not blame all non-white folks if they hated every white person on the planet. These older folks (today I am mainly only talking about black folks) that lived through the times of blatant institutional racism in every corner of this country, they are entitled to hate if anyone is actually entitled to such a thing, not so much the black folks who have only lived here during the past 45 years or so. Almost every where I traveled throughout the country I witnessed racism. But, by far the most racist hate filled people have been young (under 50) black folks. I have found that race and what color people are tend to be a constant verbal subject. The less educated people are the more racist it seems, they tend to be ones who think it is cool to act big and bad and gangster and then wonder why other races shun them. When I have been around different nationalities of people they are not talking about colors of people simply because most people simply do not care what your skin color is, they only care about if a person is a good person, a good worker, or a good neighbor. When I have been working around groups of younger black males in particular race seems to be the issue of discussion about 80% or so of the time.
I tend to watch the ABC Evening News now that I am home all the time but I think I am going to switch over full-time to watching of the BBC News because of the blatant racism of the programs and their commentators in general at ABC. An example of this is when there were several black churches in the St. Louis Missouri area that were burnt down via arson. It was a story until law enforcement arrested the person who they say did it, then it became a non-story because it was a black man who did it. We all know very well that if it had been a white person who did it the media would have been jumping all over the news wires with that story. For those of us who are old enough, do you remember back in about 1981-2 there were a lot of young black folks being murdered around Atlanta Georgia and it was a huge deal as it should have been, up until they caught the person and he was a black man, story over. Just as you never hear of the times when a black police officer shoots and or beats up non-blacks, especially whites. Here in America the black population is supposed to be about 14% compared to about 50% white yet year after year the stats show that per ratio black on white violence is at a five to one rate yet the media stays quiet on telling the truth on any of these issues.
You hear a lot from racist black folks like some of the swindlers that call themselves preachers who have little in common with Christianity. The un-humorist part of this is how the younger black folks are turning away from Christianity calling it a white people’s religion, this is very stupid and very racist. Also just look around at the first names young black people are calling their children by, anything but a Biblical name. For years now I have seen and heard black women who refuse to shave the hair from their arm pits or on their legs saying they weren’t because they don’t want to “be like them white bitches”. True there are still racist in every color of skin including white folks but the American black culture is its own worse enemy at the current time. You still hear the stupidity of many uneducated black folks talking about how “we used to be slaves” so they feel that the Nation owes them a good living because of it. Not one of these people who were born in this country has ever been a slave, nor does anyone even know a person who used to be a slave. If the history books had not printed it most would not know that history, and that history is without a doubt sickening. Plus none of the white folks alive today have ever at any time owned any slaves. Besides back in the early and mid 1800’s most white folks were nothing but sharecroppers and peasants. They never owned any slaves either, there were very few slave owners, you had to be rich and you to own land. So today, no one ‘owes’ anyone a free-living, we all have to go out and earn it.
Don’t believe me, then think of these issues. Black History Month, NAACP, Black Churches, Black Miss America Pageant, Black Colleges and the Negro College Fund, TV programs called ‘Blackish’, BET (Black Entertainment Television) and such lists go on and on. Now what if there was such a thing as White History Month, National Association Of White People, White Churches or a White only Miss America Pageant, White Colleges or the White Peoples College Fund, ‘Whiteish’ TV programs and WET (White Entertainment Television)? Black folks as well as all non-white people would have every right to be boiling mad about such blatant racism yet American Black society thinks it is okay for themselves to be racist. These people are dead wrong so I just hope that before each one of those folks die that they see the sins they themselves are guilty of. For all people’s of the Earth, if we are racist in our hearts, we are Hell bound! All racism is evil, all racism is a product of Satan, don’t get me wrong, I have known and witnessed a whole lot of racism toward Blacks, Hispanics, Indians and Asians by white people and every thing about it is sickening and evil. Yet I as a white person have experienced pure hatred simply because I am a white person by people from all of the races I just mentioned but by far the most hatred I have experienced has come from younger black folks. Yet I know from experience that when we met they were just taking it for granted that because I was white, I was a racist. I have had quite a few black friends throughout the years and all it took was for them to realize that I really didn’t give a damn that they were black. We as a Nation, we as a world, we have got to stop this stupidly, this evil, or we are going to implode.

Humanity, Christianity and Islam

Humanity, Christianity and Islam

 

This letter to you today is my attempt to get folks to deeply consider the humanity crisis going on throughout Europe, but for now I am referring to the European countries that border the Mediterranean mostly. There is also the request by the Pope for all Catholic Parishes to take in one of these war refugee families. Not just Catholic people and not just towns that have Catholic Churches in them, but all people of every country had better look long and hard before excepting Islamic ideologies into their communities. We must all decide if we want any people, even nice nonviolent people coming into our local community that will absolutely bring their religious beliefs and life styles with them. This is not a race issue at all, it is a life or death issue to every citizen in every country, every town.

 

Here in America there is a bitter battle in the press, politics and on main street America about our porous borders especially along our border with our southern sister Mexico. The same open borders plague our northern border with our frozen sister Canada but the issue is more complicated, it is also an economic, security, jobs, taxes, language barriers, race, crime and drugs issues. It is poorer people in general who are trying to get into America from the south while there is no such rush from Canada because they have and infrastructure which creates jobs while most of the countries to our south do not. The issues southern Europeans are facing is many, including all of the ones I just mentioned that America is having.

 

The biggest issue on the board right now for the whole world to address is how to get these wars stopped as soon as possible so that people can quit fleeing their war-torn homelands. Hopefully then they can start a migration of these believers in Islam back to their home countries so that they can live under Islamic law in their own countries there if they want it so badly, not in Paris Texas, London Kentucky or Moscow Ohio. Most polls taken in Islamic countries show that 90-92% of the people polled said they did want Sharia to be the law in not only their own country but in all countries. In Islam since the religion began in about 630 A.D. there have been two main sides in Islam and for almost 1,400 years now the two have been trying to kill all of the other clan, as well as everyone else on earth. The Shiite and the Sunni both want the same hatred to be forced on everyone on earth or they are supposed to kill you if you refuse to not just convert to Islam, but to be strictly adherent to its teachings (Sharia Law).

 

Okay Christians now we have a dilemma on our hands. I do mean the term Christian to all the people on the planet who believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. The teachings of Jesus tell us to be kind even to those who hate us. The world has a problem with this Islamic migration and this is something that the world must stop quickly. We as Christians are supposed to help these people out if we can, help with such things as food, shelter and water. We are not obligated to allow the teachings of those who only wish us all dead to be spread like the poison Islam is among our neighborhoods. All this accomplishes by letting in a custom that is not only completely different from any other that you have most likely ever come across. Only an idiot would allow this ideology to move in next door to them, worse yet the spare bedroom. Islam is not a harmless peace-loving religion no matter what the goof ball George W. Bush gives lip service to.

 

Reality is that terrorism is not going to stop because hate is not going to ever stop, nor is ignorance. Just as Jesus said that He hates the sin but He loves the sinner, I do not want any violence toward anyone. Islam is not the only danger to the whole civilized world but it is the largest issue facing the world today. I wish no harm to anyone who believes that Allah is God, I only hope that they live long enough to see the error of their teachings and convert to the love of Jesus instead of the hate of Allah.

 

Back about 7 years of so ago when the ‘Arab Spring’ started there was a lot of hope in the Arab world that they would be able to shake off the Dictators that had been ruling them and setting up more ‘free’ societies. Yet when the people overthrew their Tyrants they didn’t get the freedoms that they had hoped for. Even though the majority of their populations are believers of Islam many hoped that they could have democracies where they themselves could vote in their Leaders, they should have known better. What they got was feud’s between differing fundamentalists Islamic Sects and Tribal warfare, not freedom. Today you have many countries within the ‘Islamic World’ that are totally ‘lawless’ like Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia and huge parts of Egypt. This does not take in the reality that is a living Hell for the people who are trying to survive in places like Syria, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon (because of Hezbollah) the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (because of Hamas), Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the Middle-East almost all of the more ‘stable’ living conditions are in countries with Royal Families ruling them. I can not blame anyone who lives in an Islamic country for trying to escape to a ‘Western’ civilization yet the reality is if they migrate to the West, they want to then set up Islamic communities. If these people want to do that, then they need to stay in their home countries and deal with their own ‘religion’ caused disasters there instead of bringing it with them to another country. One of the things that all of Europe needs to do is now that the war in Syria is about over these countries need to deport all of these immigrants back to their homeland as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. The first that should be deported should be the males ages 17 -65 who can go back to their homeland and start rebuilding their homes and infrastructures so that they can then welcome home their wives and children.

 

Maybe Russia, China, Europe and the U.S. should work together to eliminate such worldwide threats together and completely. O, but then that would create the (holy war/jihad) that crazy people like the “Supreme Ruler” of the Islamic State of Iran crave. Here is another thought for you though right now, the Islamic hoards are crushing the economies and neighborhoods of Europe. How they (Europe) handles this crisis will depend on if the Europe that we have known for six-hundred of so odd year’s stands as we know it or crumbles into a constant war zone. Another reality is that this Islamic hate filled doctrines already has 18 million foot soldiers living in the U.S. so we, the U.S. are by no means exempt from their Jihad. This hatred is sad and sickening but never the less, it is reality folks, for everyone on earth.

The Matches Are Lit, The World Is Burning

The Matches Are Lit, The World Is Burning

 

What is it that we westerners do not get about what the rest of the world is experiencing around us? Do we really think that our children will live in a world that is safer than the world we grew up in? If you would, please lend me your ear for a few moments. Hopefully the things you read will help to broaden your understanding as to why I chose the title that I have for this conversation with you.

 

Do you remember the so-called “Arab Spring” of a few years ago? O what a beautiful thing this could have been for this region of the world plus the vibrations it could have caused around the world, this shaking off of dictators. But the people of the region have learned it seems that a military strong man is the only way to keep other religion based dictators from taking their place. Back during the first Gulf War than American President George H.W. Bush knew the importance of keeping the dictator in Iraq in power. It seems that his son George W when he took power of the Office had not learned at his dads feet, or, was it ego that made him make up a story so he could attack Iraq and remove Saddam? There are many American people who I have come across who believe that “we the people” are paying fat pensions to at least three international war criminals (President, V.P., Secretary of Defense). Criminal or not because of their actions the whole world is crawling with the Asps they helped unleash on all of humanity.

 

In this real world that hopefully the politicians will soon join us in, it does not matter if you are a republican, democrat, independent (like me), or none of the above. Hopefully soon partisan party politics can be shelved and they and the national media outlets can become more concerned about current imminent physical threats to our people. This threat is to all of our non-strict Muslim cultures, to their property, their religions, and their very lives. There are tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of fellow brothers and sisters who because of being misguided who simply want you to get off of the face of the earth, “their earth”. A life where only loyal followers of Allah will be allowed to live a non-slave life, if you are allowed to live at all, doesn’t that sound exciting? America our location on the globe no longer gives us an immunity from other continents griefs. When it comes to ideologies land or water give us very little protection any longer.

 

By mans laws here in the States any person can choose to be of any faith they wish, or of no faith system at all. Mans laws write in a few laws governing people’s physical safety though that should be a no brainer, besides what actual religion would condone attacking or killing other people? Then these laws of civil society for all must be enforced if a humane society itself is going to be able to exist, or it will be erased.

 

Within the religion of Islam are two main sects, the Sunni, and the Shiite. These two sects have existed on this planet for almost 1,400 years now, and it seems that they have hated each other right from their earliest roots 1,400 years ago. For the few year’s a large Sunni militia called ISIS by western media has murdered and plundered their way into power covering hundreds of miles of land belonging to two adjoining Shiite nations, Syria and Iraq. ISIS is like several other high-profile Sunni groups like Boko Haram, and al-Qaeda in that they want to bring strict Islamic law to the middle-east, then the world. Their difference by what we hear in the West is that ISIS is the most violent and most strict toward adherence to Islamic fundamentalist theology, Sunni theology.

 

By what I have heard and read from the media throughout the years is that within Islam the Sunni are about 80% and the Shiite the other 20% of the Islamic faith. So when you take into account the hatred between these two groups is it any wonder why the Mullahs in Iran want the ability to nuke other nations?They can say it is a defensive weapon though knowing very well that it is a preemptive strike weapon also. Then it comes down to a trust factor, or a stupidity factor, how much you are willing to trust their “Supreme Ruler”  and others just like him with the lives of everyone on earth?

 

For those of you who don’t already know it the word Islam by definition means submission, as in absolute submission to the will of Allah. I have another question for everyone, what kind of religion is it that tells its followers to kill everyone who will not obey? Why would anyone ever listen to a “prophet” who orders either worldwide conversion, or worldwide extermination? Here in the States we have as a nation been blessed, lucky, and just plain good at shutting down larger terror cells who wished to kill us and our families. But folks there are supposed to be at least 18 million Islamic believers inside our borders with us. If only 1% of this population is a true believer of Islamic teachings that equals 180,000 soldiers implanted waiting on their orders to kill as many infidels (non-believers) as they possibly can. America, when they strike, not if, what are you going to do? Are you going to fall apart and burn into ashes? Only time will tell, or, a person could simply read the play book on-line if you are not allowed a paper copy, it’s called the Bible! For those who don’t understand it, the end times are spelled out very well in its last book, the book of Revelation. The human race has a simple choice of living and possibly dying for the winner or, living for a short time but in slavery to the biggest loser in the history of all eternity.

 

The matches are lit, for now several large Islamic hate groups are fighting each other all over the Middle-East in an attempt to kill each other. If all of those efforts to kill each other were being directed at western targets as they soon will be, what then? If the two main Islamic factions were to quit fighting among themselves they would then join forces in their hatred for everything and everyone that is not Islamic. Every nation, every people on earth, you, your culture, your religion, your country, you are currently being measured for bagging. America (and every other nation on earth), folks, life is about to change more rapidly toward the negative than any sane person could ever want. The question is simple, are we going to fold as a culture, and as a Nation, when more horrible things start happening on our soil? By these horrible things I do mean markets and grocery stores being blown up, bridges blowing up, churches being shot up and our school children being massacred live on CNN? This is the reality that the whole world is facing, we as a people must all decide how we are going to react to this reality when it comes busting into our own homes, because folks, it is coming, soon!

 

 

Response To An Atheist Followers Response To A Christian Post Article

 

A couple of days ago I reblogged a post from ‘The Christian Post’ with the title of ‘Teenagers today are the least Christian generation ever’. One of my followers, a man named Jim whom you can find here on WordPress at ( Thecommonathiest.wordpress.com ) left me a comment that many Christians may find a bit offensive, I don’t. I believe that all of my Christian readers, no matter how devout, or not, should really think about what Jim had to say. I asked Jim if he cared if I used his comments in an article this evening, this article, he gave me his blessings to do so. I am going to copy paste our conversation so that I make no errors in it.

(Jim’s comment about the Christian Post article)

Hoping this trend grows. Don’t forget the core! They are waiting and praying for God to come back and slaughter all the rest of us. That little tidbit says a lot about how they really feel. It’s a religion that is divisive and racist to its core, and piety sets dividing lines for them to fight every step of social equality or scientific advance.

 

In reply to jim-.

Hi Jim, thank you for the comment. I do see why you and millions of other people feel this way about Christianity. I would like to ask your permission to write an article where I incorporate the title about the ‘Teenagers in America’ then copy paste your response to their article. If you wish I will put a link to your blog site or if you wish, I won’t. I will not blast you at all in the article, if anything I am going to be hard on Christians. I think that I can write a pretty good article and in no way will I try to be hard on you or your line of thought, may I write this article Jim? Please let me know, I appreciate you Sir.—ted

 

In reply to oldpoet56.

Permission granted. Lol. Yes no problem. I think it’s important to see all the views. Believe no one and find your own conclusions without pressure of all wise pastoral leader to influence and rationalize sense into the senseless. Thanks. I appreciate your openness.

 

In reply to jim-.

Thank you Jim, I always try my best to always be honest with everyone. I know that I am wrong sometimes as I have no illusions of being a ‘know it all’ but I refuse to lie to people. Thank you for your permission, I will try my best to get the article written and posted before I go to bed this evening, I appreciate you Sir.—ted

 

Now that the conversation is posted for you to read I would like to break down the concerns and thoughts that Jim spoke of about Christians. To start off I am going to copy paste most of an article that I wrote this past November 16th of 2017 about the common threads between Science and Divine Creation. This is something that is laid out in Scripture that simply isn’t being taught in the Churches. There are things that theologians are getting wrong because they have always been led down a ‘one sighted’ path so most have never thought to look differently at what the Bible is actually telling us. Next is almost all of the article I spoke of just a moment ago.

 

I am a person that believes that we are all children of the Divine power of God. Yet I know very well from a little over 50 years of studying Scripture that all of the Christian Churches (that I know of), as well as our Jewish friends, have many things wrong right from the beginning of the first Book of the Bible. I totally believe that the Scriptures and Science actually agree on many, many things, in fact, they agree on the vast majority of issues. There is no reason for people who believe that God created all things to be so uptight about things like the big bang theory. I also believe that human beings have evolved greatly from the first Gentiles who have probably been here on this planet for at least a million years. Did we evolve from at least as far back as the Neanderthals, yes, without a doubt? Did we evolve from monkeys or gorillas, no! Did our ancestors crawl up out of the Oceans, no! Is there really such a thing as ‘the missing link’, no! Science has never been able to find the so-called ‘missing link’ because it as never existed, there is a gap between monkeys and mankind, we were never one and the same. If people who believe in a Divine Creator would quit blindly following ‘Church Doctrine’ their eyes might be opened to the truth of what Scripture is really telling all of us.

 

I have written articles here on this blog before about these issues of creation by God and creation by accident. To me, it is ridiculous for Christians to insist that the Earth is about 5,500 to 5,600 years old. To believe that one must not believe the Apostle Peter, the Prophets, or God Himself when we are told that the human day is not God’s day. We are told that a human lifetime, the example of 80 of our years are literally equivalent a blink of an eye compared in God’s time. So, why do we Christians and Jewish believers insist on degrading God down to our level? My Jewish friends please correct me on this next sentence if you believe that I am wrong on what I am about to say.  To me, what I have garnered about the Jewish calendar is that it begins with the time they believe that Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden Of Eden. (You can find this information in the following Los Angles Times Article:

Jewish Calendar Starts With Adam Symbolism

September 23, 1989 |ALLEN S. MALLER | Special to Religious News Service)
I believe that this year would be about year #5578 on the Jewish calendar, I believe that the Jewish New Year begins right after the 10 day Holiday of Yom Kipper. Many Christians consider the birth of Jesus (Yeshiva) to be the beginning of the ‘Christian Calendar’ yet if we really dig into History we will find that the lifespan of Jesus was from 4 B.C. to 29 A.D. The Arabic Calendar begins in the Christian Calendar when Mohammad fled from Medina to Mecca in about year 630 A.D. I do ask my readers who are of the Islamic Faith to drop me a comment if this date is a little bit off and let me know the true date please.
I do say that it seems a bit odd to me though that so many people believe what is being taught from the Pulpits without questioning what they are being taught. Why do people have a Bible in their home or bother taking one to Church if they are never going to study the Scriptures on their own? Even in the times of Jesus and His Apostles when He/they would go into the Synagogue’s to teach, the people there would search the Scriptures daily to see if what they were being taught was correct or not. Why is it that Christians today do not open their Bibles to see if what they are being taught is correct, or not?
Now, I would like to get back to the time of Adam and Eve for a moment. Many people who are looking into the window’s of Christianity dismiss Christianity as idiotic because of the belief that the world began 5-6,000 years ago, and honestly, I can’t blame them. Please, get your hands on a Bible and actually look at the first two chapters of the first Book of the Old Testament, the Book of Genesis. Now please read where it is speaking of the six days of Creation. On the sixth day, God created Men and women and told them to go out into the world and multiply. Then Scripture speaks of how on the seventh day God rested. Then, in the next chapter we are told the story of the creation of Adam, then Eve. This is after the sixth and the seventh day, not during the sixth day at all.
Now, if you think I am crazy, or not, please keep reading. After Adam and Eve were cast out of God’s Garden you will see the story of Adam and Eve’s first two children, the story of Cain and Able. After Cain killed Able God cast him out of this area just outside of the Garden. Now, please think about a few things that we are being told here. When God told Cain that he was being cast out he said that “all those who find me will kill me.” Excuse me, all WHO? Aren’t there only three people on the whole Earth at this time? Aren’t Adam, Eve, and Cain the only people? So all of Who? What did God say and do to Cain at that moment? God put a mark upon the forehead of Cain and said He put it there so that “all of those who find you will not kill you.” Again folks, all of WHO? Then we are told that Cain traveled to the East into the land of Nod and there he took a wife! Wait a moment, where the heck did she come from?
There are many issues that Christianity and the other Faiths in the world have wrong and that is because the base of what they are teaching is corrupted. If your teachings are built on a sandbar there is no way it can stand in the storm of reality. Folks the truth is so plain, it is given to us, but we refuse to see it. God created humankind many thousands, hundreds of thousands or possibly even a million years or so before God created Adam and Eve. Yet, not until God created Adam did He “breathe into him the breath of life and he became a living Soul.” This is not said during the creation of mankind in day six. God created us Gentiles first but He did not create this Royal Bloodline until He created Adam and Eve. Folks, even Jesus Himself referred to us Gentiles as “dogs” because until after His Resurrection was complete we were not counted into the salvation that up until that time was reserved only for the Hebrew Bloodline. I could go on much further in this conversation as there are great errors in the Church’s teachings that are running millions of people far away from Christianity causing their Souls to be given over to Satan for damnation. Folks, we will all answer for our laziness of not caring enough to learn what the Truth is so that we could actually save a lot of these people who are going to be cast into Hell. If we are egotistical enough to believe that their blood will not be upon our own hands, we are not only lazy, we are delusional.
Okay folks, that is the end of that article from last November, I hope that it opened some pathways deep within your mind.
From the early 4th century up until the mid 15th century with the advent of the actions of Martin Luther the Catholic Church was two things to Christianity, an incubator and a destroyer. During the times that humans tend to consider as the ‘dark ages’ the Catholic Church very much helped keep the name of Christ alive yet through their piety they became the ‘Great Whore’ of the Book of Revelation. They stole the Scriptures away from all but the Priests as they felt that the common man was unworthy to be allowed to read the ‘Word of God’. Then of course there is the ignorance of speaking in Latin during Church services to ‘the faithful’. Folks, Scripture is very plain about not speaking in tongues unless you have an interpreter standing beside you letting the people know what it is you are saying. Friends up until the year 1611 when King James of England had his assembled Bible scholars publish the Bible in English for the masses to be able to have and read, you would get hanged or burned at the stake by the Catholic Church for having a Bible. There are many sick hate filled things that the Catholic is guilty of during the past two thousand years and these things mentioned as well as the stigma they have glued to Christianity as a ‘hate filled’ religion is certainly one of them.
Friends, I am going to shut down for the night as it is almost midnight here. Lord willing I will take up on Jim’s comments tomorrow, for now, Shalom.

 

 

The Common Threads Between Science And Divine Creation Explained, Some

(I GOT THE IDEA FOR THIS POST FROM A COMMENT I MADE TO A FELLOW WRITER ‘LOGAN’ AT ‘CURIOUS HUMANS’)

 

I am a person that believes that we are all children of the Devine power of God. Yet I know very well from a little over 50 years of studying Scripture that all of the Christian Churches (that I know of), as well as our Jewish friends, have many things wrong right from the beginning of the first Book of the Bible. I totally believe that the Scriptures and Science actually agree on many, many things, in fact, they agree on the vast majority of issues. There is no reason for people who believe that God created all things to be so uptight about things like the big bang theory. I also believe that human beings have evolved greatly from the first Gentiles who have probably been here on this planet for at least a million years. Did we evolve from at least as far back as the Neanderthals, yes, without a doubt? Did we evolve from monkeys or gorillas, no! Did our ancestors crawl up out of the Oceans, no! Is there really such a thing as ‘the missing link’, no! Science has never been able to find the so-called ‘missing link’ because it as never existed, there is a gap between monkeys and mankind, we were never one and the same. If people who believe in a Divine Creator would quit blindly following ‘Church Doctrine’ their eyes might be opened to the truth of what Scripture is really telling all of us.

 

I have written articles here on this blog before about these issues of creation by God and creation by accident. To me, it is ridiculous for Christians to insist that the Earth is about 5,500 to 5,600 years old. To believe that one must not believe the Apostle Peter, the Prophets, or God Himself when we are told that the human day is not God’s day. We are told that a human lifetime, the example of 80 of our years are literally equivalent a blink of an eye compared in God’s time. So, why do we Christians and Jewish believers insist on degrading God down to our level? My Jewish friends please correct me on this next sentence if you believe that I am wrong on what I am about to say.  To me, what I have garnered about the Jewish calendar is that it begins with the time they believe that Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden Of Eden. (You can find this information in the following Los Angles Times Article:

Jewish Calendar Starts With Adam Symbolism

September 23, 1989 |ALLEN S. MALLER | Special to Religious News Service)
I believe that this year would be about year #5578 on the Jewish calendar, I believe that the Jewish New Year begins right after the 10 day Holiday of Yom Kipper. Many Christians consider the birth of Jesus (Yahushua) to be the beginning of the ‘Christian Calendar’ yet if we really dig into History we will find that the lifespan of Jesus was from 4 B.C. to 29 A.D. The Arabic Calendar begins in the Christian Calendar when Mohammad fled from Medina to Mecca in about year 630 A.D. I do ask my readers who are of the Islamic Faith to drop me a comment if this date is a little bit off and let me know the true date please.
I do say that it seems a bit odd to me though that so many people believe what is being taught from the Pulpits without questioning what they are being taught. Why do people have a Bible in their home or bother taking one to Church if they are never going to study the Scriptures on their own? Even in the times of Jesus and His Apostles when He/they would go into the Synagogue’s to teach, the people there would search the Scriptures daily to see if what they were being taught was correct or not. Why is it that Christians today do not open their Bibles to see if what they are being taught is correct, or not?
Now, I would like to get back to the time of Adam and Eve for a moment. Many people who are looking into the window’s of Christianity dismiss Christianity as idiotic because of the belief that the world began 5-6,000 years ago, and honestly, I can’t blame them. Please, get your hands on a Bible and actually look at the first two chapters of the first Book of the Old Testament, the Book of Genesis. Now please read where it is speaking of the six days of Creation. On the sixth day, God created Men and women and told them to go out into the world and multiply. Then Scripture speaks of how on the seventh day God rested. Then, in the next chapter we are told the story of the creation of Adam, then Eve. This is after the sixth and the seventh day, not during the sixth day at all.
Now, if you think I am crazy, or not, please keep reading. After Adam and Eve were cast out of God’s Garden you will see the story of Adam and Eve’s first two children, the story of Cain and Able. After Cain killed Able God cast him out of this area just outside the Garden area. Now, please think about a few things that we are being told here. When God told Cain that he was being cast out he said that “all those who find me will kill me.” Excuse me, all WHO? Aren’t there only three people on the whole Earth at this time? Aren’t Adam, Eve, and Cain the only people? So all of Who? What did God say and do to Cain at that moment? God put a mark upon the forehead of Cain and said He put it there so that “all of those who find you will not kill you.” Again folks, all of WHO? Then we are told that Cain traveled to the East into the land of Nod and there he took a wife! Wait a moment, where the heck did she come from?
There are many issues that Christianity and the other Faiths in the world have wrong and that is because the base of what they are teaching is corrupted. If your teachings are built on a sandbar there is no way it can stand in the storm of reality. Folks the truth is so plain, it is given to us, but we refuse to see it. God created humankind many thousands, hundreds of thousands or possibly even a million years or so before God created Adam and Eve. Yet, not until God created Adam did He “breathe into him the breath of life and he became a living Soul.” This is not said during the creation of mankind in day six. God created us Gentiles first but He did not create this Royal Bloodline until He created Adam and Eve. Folks, even Jesus Himself referred to us Gentiles as “dogs” because until after His Resurrection was complete we were not counted into the salvation that up until that time was reserved only for the Hebrew Bloodline. I could go on much further in this conversation as there are great errors in the Church’s teachings that are running millions of people far away from Christianity causing their Souls to be given over to Satan for damnation. Folks, we will all answer for our laziness of not caring enough to learn what the Truth is so that we could actually save a lot of these people who are going to be cast into Hell. If we are egotistical enough to believe that their blood will not be upon our own hands, we are not only lazy, we are delusional. This article just topped 1,300 words so I am going to close this conversation with you now if there is enough interest in the comment section I will continue my thoughts with you soon in another post. Thank you all for the kindness of your time, Shalom.