Monday, September 21, 2009

UNESCO holds 35th General Conference October 6-23, 2009

Other business concerns protecting heritage sites and selecting new ones. Babylon in Iraq has been red-flagged after damage from the United States military.

UNESCO says the US military in Iraq inflicted considerable damage to Babylon. More than 4000 years old and some 60 miles south of Baghdad, it is considered one of the world's most important archaeological sites. A UNESCO report released on Jul 9 said damage to the Mesopotamian city was carried out by "digging, cutting, scraping and levelling", when the US military base was there from Apr 2003 to Dec 2004. The agency vows to make Babylon a World Heritage site in order to prevent similar vandalism in future wars.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

This, I think, is the catalyst

UNESCO Report on Babylon:
US occupation caused “major damage” to historic site in Iraq


The UNESCO report makes a number of recommendations, including an investigation of the long-term implications of the damage to the site. It also calls for making the archaeological area of Babylon a World Heritage Site, the most prestigious and best-funded status that the organization can grant to a historic site.

While necessary, these suggestions take no account of the criminal nature of the destruction of the site that took place under the auspices of the American occupation.

In spite of repeated warnings by archaeologists before and during the war, the American-led occupation forces acted with deliberate disregard for the cultural heritage not only of the Iraq people, but indeed, of the entire planet.

The Bush administration and the American political establishment, including the Democratic Party, which facilitated the invasion of Iraq, are responsible for the lootings and burnings of libraries, archives and museums all over Iraq after April 2003—and the continued looting of archaeological sites to feed the illegal market in antiquities.

The UNESCO report, by the very nature of the organization issuing it, cannot draw the logical conclusion that flows from its findings: that the damage to Babylon is part of a larger war crime, for which those responsible should be criminally investigated and tried.

UNESCO Report on Babylon


UNESCO, the United Nations cultural organization, has issued a report outlining the extensive damage caused by US occupation forces in Iraq to the archeological site of ancient Babylon, about 100 Km (60 miles) south of Baghdad.

The report was based on examinations of the site by prominent specialists, including John Curtis, John Russell and Elizabeth Stone.

It charges American and Polish forces with carrying out “a grave encroachment on this internationally known archaeological site.”

The report continues, “During their presence in Babylon, the MNF-I [Multi-National Forces] and contractors employed by them, mainly KBR, directly caused major damage to the city by digging, cutting, scraping, and leveling. Key structures that were damaged include the Ishtar Gate and the Processional Way.”

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Biblical Argument for the Rebuilding of Babylon - Charles Dyer

It is this author's belief that the Old Testament and New Testament prophecies of Babylon, when interpreted literally, have never been fulfilled. There has never been a time historically when Baylon has been totally desolate and devoid of human habitation. Babylon's fall is said to coincide with God's restoration of His people and their entering into an everlasting covenant with Him.

Perhaps Babylon can serve as a lesson and an encouragement to dispensationalists. Prophecies that appeared incapable of having a literal fulfillment (whether it be the reestablishment of Israel or the rebuilding of Babylon) make more sense as the time for their fulfillment draws closer.

Friday, July 31, 2009

U.S. troops accused of damaging Babylon's ancient wonder


The U.S. military did major damage to the site of one of the wonders of the ancient world while converting it into a base, the United Nations said in a new report.

The site of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon was converted into Camp Alpha shortly after the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.

The troops and their contractors caused "major damage" by digging, cutting, scraping and leveling while they were revamping the site to meet military standards, the U.N. cultural agency, UNESCO, said in a report.

"Key structures that were damaged include the Ishtar Gate and the Processional Way," the report added.

The Ishtar Gate, an entrance to the northern part of the city, is decorated with animals that portray the symbol of the god of the city of Babylon.

The United States has agreed to pay $800,000 to help rehabilitate the Babylon site, an Iraqi official said.

"We were very disappointed when multinational forces took over these ancient sites as bases although they knew how important these sites are to Iraqis and to the entire world," said Abdulzahra al-Talaqani, spokesman for the ministry of tourism.

Plans are under way to clean up the area in August with the help of hundreds of volunteers, according to al-Talaqani.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Iraqis sad about ancient Babylon relics ravaged by war


The visit of the delegation was aimed at studying the possibility for the WTO to contribute to bringing the ancient city back to its normal position as one of the world's main historical sites.

The delegation and some Iraqi media workers who were allowed to join the trip entered the ruins from the ancient Ishtar Gate and walked through the Procession Avenue which is close to the palace of the Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar II (605-562 BC).

Earlier in the month, experts of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said that the U.S. troops and contractors inflicted considerable damage on the historic Iraqi site of Babylon, driving heavy machinery over sacred paths, bulldozing hilltops and digging trenches through one of the world' most important archaeological sites.

"We have also authenticated the damages in the ruins site which were made by the foreign troops and sent them to the UNESCO," said Mariam al-Omran, head of Antiquities Department in Babel Province.

A U.S. embassy statement said that the U.S. authorities contributed 700,000 dollars to save the ancient ruins of Babylon.

The sum was considered too little for help. "The contribution will not remove the negative impacts on the ruins by making the historical site a military base," Qadouri said commenting on the U.S. embassy statement.

Al-Omran said that the ruins need to be rehabilitated as quickly as possible, considering the U.S. embassy statement of helping to protect the ruins was "helpful but not enough."

"There is a need for the excavation teams to come back soon," she added.

Larry Morgan, an official in the WTO delegation said that his organization is endeavored to help the ancient ruins of Babylon to become once again a site that attracts international tourists as one the world's most important heritages.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

IRAQ: US $1 billion to rebuild higher education‏


Iraq has launched a five-year, $1 billion higher education plan to boost the nation's science and technology workforce while promoting knowledge-based sustainable development. The plan was announced on Saturday by Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki who is in the US to sign an implementation agreement and establish an American Universities Iraq Consortium.

The agreement to manage the plan was signed by al-Maliki, on behalf of the Iraqi government's committee for education development, and Stephen Moseley, President of the Washington-based Academy for Educational Development.

The plan will be implemented in two phases: the first with a scholarship initiative to send up to 10,000 Iraqi students abroad each year over the next five years. The students will undertake two-year technical degrees as well as bachelor, masters and doctoral degrees at universities in Australia, Canada, Britain and the US.

Under a $54 million pilot programme, 500 students will go to the US for the 2009-2010 academic year. The degrees include engineering, health, science and technology as well as education.

The second phase of the plan involves an overhaul of the entire Iraq education system from K-12 to higher education. The focus will be on rebuilding university infrastructure, including new laboratories and establishing internet connections.

Sattar Sadkhan Almaliky, head of scientific affairs and public relations at Babylon University in Iraq and director of the Iraqi Academic Committee, said building infrastructure had to be given top priority as most universities in the war-torn nation were not fully operational.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Mystery of Babylon

Let's take a look at Babylon . . . it's origin, its rise to world empire status, its strong influence on every culture . . . to this present day, and its eventual and ultimate destruction.

It might surprise you to find out that not only has Babylon never really left us, but also that the Bible dedicates six entire chapters to it's final judgment and destruction in such specific detail as to tell us that this destruction is, at least in part, yet future.

The literal place called Babylon is located in modern day Iraq. In Biblical times this area was also referred to as the Land of Shinar.

The vicinity of this ancient city is often referred to as the "cradle of civilization" and with good reason. It is where we get: The Garden of Eden . . . The 1st people (Adam & Eve) . . . Satan’s 1st appearance . . . Nineveh . . . the Abraham & Lot story . . . and one of it’s most notorious claims to fame - the Tower of Babel.

Babylon is mentioned approximately 300 times in Scripture. The only city that is mentioned more is Jerusalem.

Some have said that the Bible can be viewed as a tale of two cities: Jerusalem and Babylon. The city of God, and the city of Satan. You will find this is even more true than the quaint expression implies.

So let's take a close look at this complex and extremely controversial, highly contested topic of both history and prophecy and see if see if we can unravel the Mystery of Babylon.

More . . .

Babylon In Bible Prophecy - Dr. Thomas Ice

Babylon was the most important city in the world for about 2,000 years in the past and the Bible tells us that she will be revived and brought onto the end-time stage to play a leading role (Rev. 14:8; 16:19; 17-18). End-times prophecy demands that Babylon be rebuilt and become an important city in world affairs during the tribulation. Isaiah 13:19 says, "And Babylon, the beauty of kingdoms, the glory of the Chaldeans' pride, will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah." The context of Isaiah 13 is "the day of the Lord," the most common Old Testament term for our more widely know term of the tribulation. Further, Babylon has indeed been conquered in the past, but never has she been destroyed cataclysmically (i.e.,"as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah"). In fact there are said to be about 250,000 people living in Babylon today. Revelation 18:16, 19 echoes such a sudden destruction from the hand of God, "'Woe, woe, the great city, . . .for in one hour she has been laid waste!'" Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum declares,"the prophecies regarding the city of Babylon have never been fulfilled in the past, as any encyclopedia article on Babylon will make quite clear. In order for these prophecies to be fulfilled, it will require the rebuilding of the city of Babylon in the same general area. Ancient Babylon is in present day Iraq."[4] Thus, Babylon has a great future role in history, but will be utterly destroyed in a moment of future history.

Babylon Satellite Observation

Babel grants 3 investment projects


Babel’s investment commission granted three investment permits to Iraqi businessmen for a total of $35.2 million, the commission’s director general said on Monday.

“One of the permits is for a new compound to produce construction materials, the second for a compound to produce Oxygen and Nitrogen gases, and the third for a factory to produce mineral water,” Engineer Alaa Harba told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

“The commission is currently studying other potential investment permits,” he said.

Babel investment commission unveils 4 projects in London conference


The director general of the Babel investment commission said on Monday that the commission presented four investment projects during the recent London conference.

“The first project is an industrial city in Abu Sameeh region in south of Babel,” Alaa Harba said at a press conference on Monday (May 18) in Babel, noting that talks underway on this project with German investors.

“The second project is al-Mehnawiya island in northern Hilla, a touristic project to be built on an area of 2,210,000 meters and would be a touristic resort,” he added.

“The Third project is an oil refinery with a total capacity of 140000 barrels per day,” he also said.

“The fourth project is the establishment of a petrochemical plant of dozens of laboratories as well as other investment opportunities in Babel,” the official noted.

Babylon Province Information

Iraqi National Investment Commission

Friday, July 24, 2009

Iraqi premier: Political split between Kurds and Arabs must be resolved constitutionally


Iraq's prime minister says the divisions between the Kurds in Iraq's north and the rest of the country are one of the most dangerous challenges facing his country.

Iraq's Kurdish region is locked in an increasingly bitter dispute with the central government over oil-rich land.

The Medes are the modern day Kurds:

Isaiah 13:17-22

Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.

Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eyes shall not spare children.

And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

Jeremiah 51:11-12

Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the LORD hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance of his temple.

Set up the standard upon the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes: for the LORD hath both devised and done that which he spoke against the inhabitants of Babylon.

The Return Of The Medes - Jack Kelley

Isaiah said that Babylon would never be inhabited again after being judged, and Jeremiah repeated the pledge seven more times. Yet Babylon has been inhabited and is today. There must be a future role for the Great City, and it must be a major one to merit six chapters of the Bible.

Isaiah 13-14, Jeremiah 50-51 and Revelation 17-18 all speak of it. Isaiah 14 tells us why. It's because the real King of Babylon is Satan himself.

Isaiah 13-14 is a 2 chapter oracle about the destruction of Babylon, some of which we've highlighted above. But Isaiah 14:4 says, “You will take up this taunt against the King of Babylon” and from there on things get personal. In verse 11 he says, “How you have fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning” and then lists the five boasts that Lucifer made in his rebellion against God. It's one of only two glimpses the Bible offers into this mysterious event that many scholars believe preceded Adam's creation. The other is in Ezekiel 28:12-19 where Lucifer is called the King of Tyre. Both end in his utter defeat.

There are more good reasons to believe that the Babylon spoken of in these prophecies is an End Times city in Iraq, not the USA, and that it will be destroyed by the Medes, or rather their modern counterparts the Kurds. The Medes are mentioned in Isaiah 13:17 & Jeremiah 51:11, 28 as being involved in a destruction of Babylon that's never happened in history and will result in the eternal desolation of Satan's headquarters on Earth.