November 29, 2006

Treacherous Sands

Got any idea how many times the balance of power has shifted in the Middle East over the past 5000 years, or how many empires have risen, rules, and fallen over the region?

See 5,000 years of history in 90 seconds, courtesy of Maps of War:

Posted by Confederate Yankee at November 29, 2006 08:39 AM | TrackBack

Thanks, CY, for posting that. What a great animation!

Posted by: Anonymous for now at November 29, 2006 10:28 AM

And your point is?

The same kind of animation can be done with Europe, and then we could see how that one goes. As factual information, it's interesting, but says absolutely nothing.

Posted by: George Orwell at November 29, 2006 11:38 AM

The point is that lines on the map shift like dunes in the desert but the ancient cities remain. And all indications are that it's gonna stay that way forever. We aren't the first to tell the Shi'ites, Sunnis, and Kurds that there's a new boss in town and they'd better fall in line; I'm damn sure we won't be the last. You can call them savages if it makes you feel better, but keep in mind they're calling us Clueless Conquerors #30. And it may seem outrageous to suggest that people whose martial prowess most famously involved the javelin can still cause headaches in the age of satellite-guided munitions, but there's just something about that place that's never going to work the way we want it to.

Can't we please just get fusion to work and wash our hands of the whole area?

Posted by: scarshapedstar at November 29, 2006 05:59 PM

They left out the Axis takeover of the 30s and 40s, but otherwise it's a pretty neat display.

Posted by: Tim at November 29, 2006 10:15 PM

Great show and scarshapedstar hit it on the head.
Almost 5,000 years ago an accurate description of Ishmael, the father of the Arabs, was penned in Gen.16:12 "And he shall be a wild ass of a man: his hand shall be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the face of all his brethren". Lots of Ishmaels running around those sand dunes today.

Posted by: Nels at November 30, 2006 05:00 PM

Ah, but none of the preceding conquerors have ever glazed those dunes yet.

Posted by: Bob at December 1, 2006 10:30 AM

To poster calling himself George Orwell.

First, find a new monica, this make you appear a little bigheaded to say the least.

Second, there doesn't need to be a point. That's the history of the region presented in a very efficient way.

If a particular aspect of history doesn't support a particular point of view is that history invalid, to be ignored or rewritten? Sounds like something your namesake might have written about.

Posted by: drj at December 5, 2006 10:29 AM