Death of Civilization; Reclamation: Book Two in the Death of Civilization Series

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Share: Share on Facebook. Add to Cart. Civilization is the end, the very last and unsurpassable human social development. The escape route is hidden, of course, or it would have been found before now. Questions and Topics for Discussion 1.

A Civilization As Great As Ours | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Have you encountered any businesses that operate in a tribal way? He lives in Houston, Texas. Focus and success came late. He was 56 when he won the half-million-dollar Turner Tomorrow Fellowship for his novel Ishmael, a book which itself has had an extraordinary career. Originally thought to have little future, it slowly gained popularity among readers after its publication in , finding its way into four editions, dozens of printings, twenty languages, and hundreds of classrooms all over North America, from mid-school to graduate school, where it continues to be used in courses as varied as history, geography, biology, economics, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, religion, and literature.

Quinn was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, studied at St. Learn More About Beyond Civilization print. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. Read it Forward Read it first. Pass it on! Stay in Touch Sign up. We are experiencing technical difficulties. By the s, drawing from a growing body of Greek, Persian, and Sanskrit works translated into Arabic, Islamic medicine quickly became the most sophisticated in the world. Christians, Jews, Hindus, and scholars from many other traditions, looked to Arabic as a language of science.

Doctors of different faiths worked together, debating and studying with Arabic as the common tongue. The Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad enjoyed a long period of intellectual experimentation that lasted throughout the 10th and 11th centuries. Among its many glittering figures was Al-Razi, known in Latin as Rhazes, a Persian pharmacologist and physician who ran the hospital in Baghdad.

But the brightest star in the Baghdad firmament was undoubtedly the extraordinary Ibn Sina, known in the West as Avicenna. Already a doctor at age 18, his great volume Al-Qanun fi al-Tibb—Canon of Medicine —became one of the most famous medical works of all time, and an extraordinary exercise in the bringing together of different disciplines and cultures. The reconciling of practical science, thought, and religion ensured Canon was studied by European medics until the 18th century.

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At the westernmost limits of the Islamic world, Muslim Spain was also undergoing a period of scholarly development. For instance, De materia medica—On Medical Material —the classic treatise of Dioscorides, written at the time of the emperor Nero in the first century A. This practical study of the medicinal qualities of plants and herbs, including a study of cannabis and peppermint, was now accessible to more scholars than ever before. It also drew upon the work of previous scholars, such as seventh-century Byzantine medic Paul of Aegina.

Translated into Latin in the 12th century, Method was a foundational medical text in Europe well into the Renaissance. Both men reflect the strong ties between philosophy and medicine during the Islamic golden age. Moses Maimonides became the personal doctor of Saladin, the Muslim champion against the Crusaders. While writing about medicine predominated in Islamic culture, the practice of medicine made great progress as well.

New treatments were developed for specific ailments, including a revolutionary treatment to treat cataracts. The 10th-century physician Al-Mawsili developed a hollow syringe to remove cataracts via suction; the technique has improved with time, but the basic premise of the procedure remains sound to this day. Ibn Isa, a 10th-century scholar from Iraq, wrote perhaps what was the most complete book of eye diseases, the Notebook of the Oculist, detailing conditions.

The book was translated into Latin in followed by several more languages, allowing it to serve as an authoritative work for centuries. The greatest advances in surgery of the era were detailed by Al-Zahrawi who invented a wide range of instruments: forceps, pincers, scalpels, catheters, cauteries, lancets, and specula, all carefully illustrated in his writings.

His recommendations on pain-reduction techniques, such as the use of very cold sponges, were followed by Western medics for centuries. One of his greatest innovations was the use of catgut for stitching up patients after an operation, a practice that is still in use today. One of the most lasting contributions of Islam was the hospital. Funded by donations called waqf, public hospitals treated the sick, provided a place to convalesce and recover, housed the mentally ill, and provided shelter to the aged and infirm.

He sent fatwas — religious decrees — by fax and declared war on Americans in an e-mail beamed by satellite around the world. Qaeda members kept bomb-making manuals on CDs and communicated through encrypted memos on laptops, leading one American official to declare that Bin Laden possessed better communications technology than the United States. He railed against globalization, even as his agents in Europe and North America took advantage of a globalized world to carry out their attacks, insinuating themselves into the very Western culture he despised.

But he was media savvy and acutely image-conscious. Before a CNN crew that interviewed him in was allowed to leave, his media advisers insisted on editing out unflattering shots. He summoned reporters to a cave in Afghanistan when he needed to get his message out, but like the most controlling of C. His reedy voice seemed to belie the warrior image he cultivated, a man whose constant companion was a Kalashnikov rifle that he boasted he had taken from a Russian soldier he had killed.

While he built his reputation on his combat experience against Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the s, even some of his supporters questioned whether he had actually fought. Islam draws boundaries on where and why holy war can be waged; Bin Laden declared the entire world as fair territory.

Yet it was the United States, Bin Laden insisted, that was guilty of a double standard. When Palestinian children throw stones against the Israeli occupation, the U. Whereas when Israel bombed the United Nations building in Lebanon while it was full of children and women, the U. At the same time that they condemn any Muslim who calls for his rights, they receive the top official of the Irish Republican Army at the White House as a political leader.

Wherever we look, we find the U. The Turning Point. For Bin Laden, as for the United States, the turning point came in , with the defeat of the Soviets in Afghanistan. To the United States, which had supported the Afghan resistance with billions of dollars in arms and ammunition, the Soviet retreat was the beginning of the end of the cold war and the birth of a new world order; to Bin Laden, who had supported the resistance with money, construction equipment and housing, it was an affirmation of Muslim power and an opportunity to recreate Islamic political power and topple infidel governments through jihad, or holy war.

In its place he built his own legend, modeling himself after the Prophet Muhammad, who in the seventh century led the Muslim people to rout the infidels, or nonbelievers, from North Africa and the Middle East. Just as Muhammad saw the Koran revealed to him amid intense persecution, Bin Laden regarded his expulsions from Saudi Arabia and then Sudan in the s as signs that he was a chosen one. Al Qaeda became the infrastructure for his dream. Under it, he created a web of businesses — some legitimate, some less so — to obtain and move the weapons, chemicals and money he needed.

Through the s, Al Qaeda evolved into a far-flung and loosely connected network of symbiotic relationships: Bin Laden gave affiliated terrorist groups money, training and expertise; they gave him operational cover and furthered his cause. Long before Sept. When the United States put out a list of the most wanted terrorists in , neither Bin Laden nor Al Qaeda was on it. Bin Laden, however, demanded to be noticed. The C.

Tenet, the director of central intelligence from July to July The intelligence was never good enough to pull the trigger.

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By the summer of , the C. But no one knew where or when it would come. The Early Life. Osama bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Laden was born in , the seventh son and 17th child, among 50 or more, of his father, people close to the family say. He first built palaces for the royal family and was then chosen to renovate holy sites, including those at Medina and Mecca.

By the s, King Faisal decreed that all construction projects be awarded to the Bin Laden group. Muhammad bin Laden died in a plane crash in , when Osama was But some people close to the family paint a portrait of Bin Laden as a misfit.


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The elder Bin Laden had met her on a vacation, and Osama was their only child. Within the Saudi elite, it was rare to have both parents born outside the kingdom. In a profile of Osama bin Laden in The New Yorker , Mary Anne Weaver quoted a family friend who suggested that he had felt alienated in a culture so obsessed with lineage. His paternal roots are in Yemen, and within the family his mother was a double outsider as well — she was neither Saudi nor Yemeni but Syrian.

Death of Civilization, no. 2

According to one of his brothers, Osama was the only Bin Laden child who never traveled abroad to study. That lack of exposure to Western culture would prove a crucial distinction; the other siblings went on to lead lives that would not be unfamiliar to most Americans.

They took over the family business, estimated to be worth billions, distributing Snapple drinks, Volkswagens and Disney products across the Middle East. On Sept. Bin Laden had been educated — and, indeed, steeped, as many Saudi children are — in Wahhabism, a puritanical, ardently anti-Western strain of Islam. But by most accounts he was devout and quiet, marrying a relative, the first of his four wives, at age Soon afterward, he began earning a degree at King Abdulaziz University in Jidda. It was there that he shaped his militancy.

He became involved with the Muslim Brotherhood, a group of Islamic radicals who believed that much of the Muslim world, including the leaders of Saudi Arabia, lived as infidels, in violation of the true meaning of the Koran. Azzam became a mentor to the young Bin Laden. Jihad was the responsibility of all Muslims, he taught, until the lands once held by Islam were reclaimed. The Middle East was becoming unsettled in , when Bin Laden was at the university. Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty. And as the year ended, Soviet troops occupied Afghanistan.


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Bin Laden arrived in Pakistan-Afghanistan border within two weeks of the occupation. He said later that he had been asked to go by Saudi officials, who were eager to support the resistance movement.