Just a little ancient history, well Medieval really.
by Ziks511 - 5/20/13 7:20 PM
Timur the Lame, Tamberlane the Great, and various other titles apply to a leader of Mongolian ancestry who adopted Islam in order to conquer vast areas of Central Asia. The Mongols had already swept through the Middle East and across the Russian Steppes and into Hungary and Poland a century earlier leaving millions dead in their wake, as they had done in China (viz the Chin Dynasty). In the case of Timur the Lame, it is believed that his wars left 17 Million dead in a world far less populous than it was in 1940. The estimate in the article suggests he was responsible for wiping out 5% of the entire population of the Earth at the time. He did this in the name of his supremacy and to create an Empire, not in the name of a religion which to him was only a tool.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was named after him, BTW
The reason I bring this up, is because those of us who grew up in the United States know very little of anything that happened before 1750 with the exception of the Pilgrim Fathers and William Penn and perhaps the Salem Witch Trials. We know nothing about the Revolutionary movements which shook England from before Timur the Lame was born, or the deposition and execution of their King, and the 20 year quasi-dictatorship which was England under Oliver Cromwell, or the extensive writings about the questions of religion and government in England and elsewhere which profoundly affected the Founders of the United States. Thomas Hobbes, Jean Jacques Rousseau, John Locke and David Hume and a myriad other writers whom the Founding Fathers knew and understood profoundly and which shaped their work to create the United States of America.
English History starts around 6000 BCE with the people whom the Beaker People dispossessed around 2500 BCE French History Starts with various cultures ranging from 40,000 BCE forward. The same can be said for areas like the Middle East, India, China, Indonesia, the Ukraine (known as Scythia). Even Australian History goes back to pre Christian times, and it was the second last area to be colonized by humans. New Zealand came last.
Proto-Hominids occupied China and Indonesia long before Homo Sapiens raised its head.
Why do American think that the US dates at most back to 1620, when people have been here since at least 15000 BCE, and even Quebec City was founded in 1603 and continuously occupied since leaving aside the Native population of the whole of Canada for 16 millennia before that. Winter was hard, but there was no hint of the French colony dying out.
The reason I point this out is that we are all obsessively actively ignorant of vast swaths of History while trying to parse the minds of a small group of men in the 3rd and 4th quarters of the 18th Century assuming that by doing so we will achieve some sort of divine enlightenment for the next 10 or 100 or 1000 years. "There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Hortatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Written shortly before the Pilgrims left England.
I don't think that slavish obedience to an ideal created by self-centred and power motivated men in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries will offer any real insight into anything but their own limitations. The current debate about the intent of the Founding Fathers isn't about the intent of the Founding Fathers, it is about the intent of those conducting the debate, and trying to roll back history to a point unreachable by any means. It's a power grab by those framing the question for their own benefit, and to the detriment of the vast majority of the American people. If it were about the best outcome for the people as a whole, they'd embrace a National System of Health Care immediately. It's about who gets to stay on top, and how hard the climb can be made for others to limit competition for those already in positions of advantage. Otherwise, there would also be a Moon Rocket programme of Education for the young in America to enable the United States as a whole to succeed and compete better in the world which would advance the interests of everyone in the US, rather than to build stronger defenses around the haves to repel the have nots.<div>
Let's try to stop being so provincial, so navel-gazing, that when massive movements like the Islamist resurgence appears, we miss it completely until they fly planes into the World Trade Centre. It's been happening since the end of the Second World War. Perhaps if we hadn't been so obsessed with ourselves we might have noticed and managed things better. And perhaps we wouldn't have allowed Oil Companies to dictate our Foreign Policy in a large segment of the world.