The Great Debate, part 4 (rebuttal)

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Posted by Jeff from LTU-207-73-65-124.LTU.EDU ( on Wednesday, July 31, 2002 at 5:33PM :

In Reply to: Dr. Ross posted by Sargon from ( on Wednesday, July 31, 2002 at 4:59PM :

Parhad: Iíll end on that point.

(Mr. Parhad is seated)

Marzillier: Okay, Dr. Ross for 5 minutes

Ross: Okay. Well, yes, of course Hammurabi was an Amorite because the first dynasty of Babylon was an Amorite dynasty, but they are regarded as Babylonian because they became the first dynasty of Babylon. Now, what I was objecting to, I didnít know whether Mr. Parhad knew whether Nebuchadnessar was an Assyrian or not, because he did not make that clear. And that is one of the things that I was objecting to in my paper, that I had noticed in the nationalistic Assyrian material, that these kinds of things were not being made clear, that a clear distinction was not being made between Babylonians and Assyrians, or other ancient people, and since one of my students had said that the Sumerians were Assyrians Ė when they certainly were not Ė Assyria didnít even exist yet when the Sumerians got startedÖ that is what was bothering me.

Now, about this Euro-centric business, I donít really know where thatís coming from. If there was anything I was discussing, it would be a Biblio-centric view, which I was not endorsing, but merely describing. Now, as for the Bible as a propaganda machine, well, maybe so, but the Bible is no more and no less a propaganda machine than is any other ancient record. The bible, you can say as a work of history, is self centered and self-serving, but then all other ancient records are.

And as for the idea that deportations were good for the people that did them, well any empire has some good effects, but when people are deported they usually donít like that Ė they may end up accepting it later on Ė but I really donít want to get into details of arguments about that stuff because it doesnít matter.

Now, my point in the paper was about ethnic mythology, about leaving some details unclear, or distorting history. Now the thing about nationalism is that it makes for friends and enemies. Now, the friends and enemies of truth may be different thing, but when the issue is truth, then thatís dealt with merely by argument.

Now the modern Assyrian people historically have suffered and have enemies, have been massacred, have been driven out of their homes, and the people who have done that in the 20th century and earlier were Turks, Kurds, Iranians, Arabs, but you know what? I donít think that the Jews have inflicting any evils on the Assyrians. And the idea that the persecution of the Assyrians has been motivated by the bible Ė I find that very unbelievable.

I think that the problem that the modern Assyrians have always had, always have had, had for 1400 years has simply been militant Islam, and that will continue to be a problem for all Christians in the middle east.

But, if my problem is just being Euro-centric, then I donít understand why there is so hostility and so much conflict among Aramaic speaking Christians from the Middle East, cause the modern Assyrians are not the only Aramaic speaking Christians. There are Chaldeans, there are Aramaens, and there is no reason (one minute), there is no reason why there should be hostility between those peoples. They have a common interest, and they are natural, natural allies. And I just wondered, and the kind of page I wrote is simply asking why there is this hostility? Why is it that there are conflicts with people who really have no reason for hostility towards the modern Assyrians? Why are Christian Aramaeans angry at a lot of modern Assyrians? Why are a lot of Chaldeans angry at a lot of modern Assyrians? And itís all because of this nationalism. And that is my, was my moral critique about the evils of Nationalism.

(Dr. Ross is seated).

-- Jeff
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