collection of hauma hamiddha's scattered posts

China is a great enemy and we necessarily need to seek means to
counter it and overcome it in battle. The Chinese have always been
inveterate and ruthless expansionists who, like the Moslems,
understand only learn through the language of blows and punches.
Hence, reviewing the battle of Talas one of the most defining moments
in Asiatic history is worthwhile. We have to learn many military
lessons from the battle of Talas for a scenario like that is still
likely to be useful to unravel Chinese war machine.

In the space of 740-750 AD a numbers of events of importance
transpired in Central Asia. The Moslems from Merv and Khorasan grouped
under Abu Muslim and marched on the Umayyad Kalif and having routed
him placed the Abbasid Kalif as the head of the Moslem world. Shortly
after that Abu Muslim was commissioned to conduct Jihad in Central
Asia to exterminate the Kaffirs once and for all. It was a great low
point for the Western Turks. Their great Khan Su’lu, who was a bulwark
against the Moslems and the Chinese, in the wars of 720 and 723, was
assassinated by the Arabs. The pagan Turkic rulers of Samarqand and
Bokhara came under a heavy assault from the ghazis after the fall of
Su’lu when the Arabs with 300 giant trebuchets stormed the cities and
forcibly imposed Islam with the destruction of the pagan places of
worship. Archaeological evidence shows that these Turkic cities were
cosmopolitan with Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and the Tengri
cults of the Altaics being practiced. The Chinese in the meantime
eliminated a major rival of the Moslems, the Tibetans in a combined
operation with the Indians by smashing them in a 749 and reducing them
to vassalage. The pagan Turkic ruler of Tashkent, known as the Tudun,
was repeatedly pressured by the Chinese to pay tributes to the T’ang
emperor of China. The Uighurs in the mean time became the most
powerful Turko-Mongol group in the east and pushed the Qarluq turks
westwards. The Qarluqs remained the masters of the territory just west
of the Balkash lake. The Chinese appointed the Korean general Kao
Sien-chih to enforce the Chinese rule in central Asia and if possible
seize Baltistan, Gilgit and Wakhan from the emperors of Kashmir. Kao
marched right across the Pamirs and then took the Baroghil pass to
assault Gilgit and take its chief hostage. Thus he reduced Gilgit to
Chinese vassalage. Shri Mangala, the king of Kunduz was battling a
Tibetan invading force, when Kao promised him aid but betrayed him
once the former had beaten the Tibetans. Kao arrested him after
pretending to come to sign a treaty with his large Chinese army. Kao
to show his might as the Chinese viceroy of Central Asia, marched
suddenly on Tashkent and seized the city in 750 AD. He beheaded the
Tudun and appropriated the treasury of Tashkent, marking the pinnacle
of Chinese imperialist hegemony. The Turkic Tudun’s son shaken by the
Chinese advance, fled to his cousins, the Qarluqs, and sought their
aid against the imperial T’ang army. The Qarluq Yagbhu having built
his cavalry over the end of 750 started moving his horde towards the
Talas river from the northern bank. The Arabs under Abu Muslim
savagely crushed, the last attempt made by the populations of
Samarqand and Bokhara to rid themselves of Islam. Abu Muslim sent his
victorious commander of these wars, Ziyad ibn Salih, with a band of
40000 ghazis, to wage a Jihad on the Chinese. The Arab army marched
from the south towards Talas. Kao, itching to prove his might took
the cue and marched towards Aulie-Ata on the Talas with 100000 Chinese
troops in cavalry and infantry divisions. He totally underestimated
the strength of the Qarluq horde closing in from the north. On July
10th 751 AD the Qarluq, Arab and Chinese armies took to the field in
Aulie-Ata. The Chinese cavalry seemed to initially overwhelm the Arab
cavalry, but the Qarluqs forded the river and encircled a part of the
Chinese infantry butchering it to man. The Qarluq archers then shot
down Kao, shaking the Chinese center, which was rapidly assaulted by
the Arab heavy cavalry and destroyed. The infallible Chinese war
machine gave way under combined assault and they faced a heavy rout.
The Qarluqs fell upon their animals, baggage trains and supplies
carrying away all they could and receded back into the steppe. The
Arabs rounded up tens of thousands of Chinese and took them to
Samarqand from where Abu Muslim sent them to Baghdad and Damascus to
be sold as slaves, each worth a dirham. One Chinese survivor mentions
being kept as cattle in the Arab prison camps. Abu Muslim and Ziyad
made a huge buck out of this slave trade to pay their armies. More
importantly the Arabs forced the Chinese prisoners to teach them paper
making this allowed them the spread the ghazi manual, the Q’uran, with
even greater effectiveness. The same year the Southern division of the
Chinese Army faced a disastrous defeat at the hands of the Thais,
opening the once mighty empire for invasion by the Uighur Kha’Khans of
Mongolia.

The lesson to be learnt is that probably like the Moslem-Qarluq
combined assault, India, should draw China into Central Asia and then
combine with Japan, Russia and USA inflict a crushing blow on it and
split it up. Once communism goes away the Chinese will return to
normalcy on their own.

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This is not a post by Hauma Hamiddha but something I found interesting nonetheless, so sharing it:

In the contemporary era we can see a great deal of continuity between modern conceptions of religion and the Christian understanding of religio. Both tend to place a great deal of emphasis upon a faithful (sic) adherence to doctrine as indicative of religious allegiance, upon sacred texts as of central importance to religious communities and to questions of truth and falsity as of paramount importance to the religious adherent or ‘believer’. The Christian interest in the truth and falsity of religion is distinctive in this aspect and the emphasis it places upon the importance of the historicity of the gospel story and the falsity of pagan mythologies. This is in sharp contrast to the pagan Roman approach, which does not project a dichotomy between myth and history onto the category of religio. It would seem that this characteristically Christian approach to religion is also a source of perplexity for those who remain culturally uninfluenced by it. German writer Bichsel relates the following conversation between himself and a young Balinese Hindu.

A young Balinese became my primary teacher. One day I asked him if he believed that the history of Prince Rama – one of the holy books of the Hindus – is true.
Without hesitation, he answered it with “Yes”.
“So you believe that the Prince Rama lived somewhere and somewhen?”
“I do not know if he lived”, he said.
“Then it is a story?”
“Yes, it is a story.”
“Then someone wrote this story – I mean: a human being wrote it?”
“Certainly some human being wrote it”, he said.
“Then some human being could have also invented it”, I answered and felt triumphant, when I thought that I had convinced him.
But he said: “It is quite possible that somebody invented this story. But true it is, in any case.”
“Then it is the case that Prince Rama did not live on this earth?”
“What is it that you want to know?” he asked. “Do you want to know whether the story is true, or merely whether it occurred?”
“The Christians believe that their God Jesus Christ was also on earth”, I said, “In the New Testament, it has been described by human beings. But the Christians believe that this is the descrip¬tion of the reality. Their God was also really on Earth.”
My Balinese friend thought it over and said: “I had been already so informed. I do not understand why it is important that your God was on earth, but it does strike me that the Europeans are not pious. Is that correct?”
“Yes, it is”, I said.

The above story is interesting precisely because it representes a dialogue between two different cultures. Both speakers have different conceptions of what it mean to say that their religion is ‘true’. The German interviewer understands truth in terms of historical actuality. For a story to be true it must have actually happened. His Indonesian teacher, however, seems to conceive of truth more in terms of whether or not the story has truthful insights within it. Questions of historical authenticity in this sense are irrelevant to the question of truth. Indeed the final question of the Balinese teacher suggests that for him the truth of a story is something to do with the practical question of the ethical behavior of those who believe in it. A true story it would seem is one which promotes an authentic and ethical lifestyle. This approach seems to have much more in common with the Roman uses of religio and traditio and suggests that the Christian understanding of these terms is a peculiar feature that is perhaps only to be found in the Judaeo-Christian and Islamic traditions.

Source: Orientalism and Religion: Post-Colonial Theory, India and “The Mystic East” By Richard King, pp. 39-40.

In a departure from the usual posts, the following is an excerpt from Evangeliou’s book “Hellenic Philosophy: Origin and Character” which seeks to understand Hellenic Philosophy from a heathen perspective:

 

Perfecting the Aristotelian Political Animal

 

The raison d’etre of the Hellenic polis, as Aristotle conceived of it, was the

securing for all of its citizens the conditions not simply of life, but of “the good

life,” according to their respective merit. In this way, the optimal actualization of

human natural and educational potential would be fully accomplished.70 The

citizens, who may entertain hopes of reaching such politically desirable peaks,

would have to have extraordinary natural endowments, as well as an excellent or

good paideia (education).71

 

An ideal citizen would have to be all of the following, in a complete course of

life from childhood to maturity and to old age. First of all, he would have to be

naturally well endowed with the necessary powers of the body, the soul and,

especially, the mind. He would have to be educationally well trained, in music and

gymnastics, acquiring a good physique, good habits, and the excellences of

character and intellect. He would have to be personally well ordered, so that the

soul would rule over the body wisely, and the rational part of the soul over the

irrational part gently. The noetic part would enlighten the rational part of the soul,

by providing the appropriate principles of thinking and acting virtuously. He would

also have to be domestically well equipped with wife, children, servants, parents,

and moderate property. Finally, he would have to be politically well organized with

other friends and well disciplined, so that he can learn how to rule and be ruled

with justice by his equals in turns.

 

At the end of his life, if all went well, he would have: (a) survived the just wars

in defense of the polis; (b) seen his sons take his place in the hoplite ranks; (c) 

freed some of his domestic servants, if they could take care of themselves;72 (d)

dedicated himself (and perhaps his graciously aging wife) to the service of the

many gods and goddesses of the city-state; and (e) occupied himself with

philosophic theoria of the Supreme Nous, the magnificent cosmos, and the divine

nous within the human soul.73

 

In this connection we may recall that, according to Aristotle, the nature of the

ideal polis in the Hellenic sense of a city, which was also the center of a measurable

state, is not artificial, conventional or simply man-made, as European political

theorists have maintained following the “social contract” theory.74 It is as natural as

the union of male and female, the growth of the family tree, and the formation of a

small village which, with the passage of time, may branch out and give birth to

other small villages. When these villages of common ancestry would unite

politically for better protection, exchange of goods, self-sufficiency, and the good

life of virtue, a Hellenic polis would come “naturally,” according to Aristotle, into

being and so political life would begin.75

 

In his view, the defense, protection, and well-being of the naturally constituted

political community necessitates the division of labor among males, in an

analogous way as the survival and preservation of the human species has naturally

necessitated the different roles of male and female, and those of father and

mother.76 Domestically, the wife was to play the role of “the queen” of the house.

The man’s main duty qua citizen was the politically assigned task of “protecting the

family” as a whole and its property by the art of war, in times of war, and by the art

of politics in times of peace.

 

These activities were to be undertaken in friendly co-operation with other

citizens of equal political status as heads of families.77 Since the art of war and the

art of politics at that time were rather demanding, in terms of physical and mental

powers, the males who could not measure up to prevailing standards were assigned

the “servile role” of assisting in domestic production.78

 

The master/servant relation (as understood by Aristotle, and strange as it may

sound to post-modern ears) was for the good of both parties involved. In this

respect, it differed from the husband/wife and parent/child relations, which served

exclusively the interests of the protected parties. Enslavement by force is to be

condemned, in Aristotle’s view, and so is “equality” among unequals. Equality

among equals, that is, the citizens of a polis, and what he considered as “natural

servitude,” was approved.79

 

But it should be obvious that such thorny issues as natural slavery and political

equality and inequality demand extensive treatment, which cannot be provided

here. I shall attempt to offer only a few additional comments on some possible and

reasonable contemporary objections regarding Aristotle’s views on these sensitive

issues.80

 

Possible Post-modern Objections to Aristotle

 

First Possible Objection. Aristotle’s views on natural servitude and “slaves by

nature” are bound to be offensive to sensitive contemporary ears as they were to

some people in his time. They had declared that by nature all men are born free and

that slavery, without exception or excuse, is by convention and against nature.

Others at that time had tried to justify slavery as an outcome of war, in which case

the vanquished lost unfortunately everything including their precious freedom.81

 

To take either side of this dichotomy and to stay with it without raising

questions or asking for qualifications would have been uncharacteristic of

Aristotle’s mind. So, by following his standard method of dialectic and by applying

it to the question of slavery, he searched for a possible “mean” between the two

stated extreme positions. Aristotle was able to reject the universal, at that time,

custom of enslavement of the prisoners of war, and the custom of hunting and

selling for profit men, who were born free and capable of taking care of

themselves.82

 

However, given the natural growth of the polis out of the villages and the

families; and the necessity of the division of labor in any community working

together towards common goals, Aristotle concluded that some defective men

would have to depend on other men for their survival. For the survival of a free

community was dependent on the ability of its citizens to defend its freedom, but

the natural endowment of some were not up to the demands of martial and political

arts. These men, then, as naturally incompetent, would be better off if they were to

serve the domestic needs of the warrior-citizens who would, thus, have more

needed leisurely time to fully dedicate themselves to the service of the common

good of the city-state as a whole.83

 

Furthermore, in a serious sense, according to the Aristotelian understanding of

human nature and political life, no man is totally free, independent and selfsufficient,

unless he turns into a god or a wild beast.84 Within the family, naturally,

children are dependent on the parents, who serve their needs with dedication. The

servants may obey the orders of their master or mistress but, in turn, they may also

control other servants for more efficient production. The citizen-warrior who, as

head of his family, may play the role of ruling over his servants despotically, over

his wife gentlemanly, and over his children royally, must learn to obey too. The

officer in the battlefield, the magistrates in the assembly of the people, and

practical reason and the laws of a polis had to be obeyed by all citizens. In this

sense, master and servant become relative terms within the political community,

whose common good was to be served well by a just organization of all of its

component parts.85

 

Second Possible Objection. Aristotle’s preference for hierarchical social/political

structures, which are apparently dominated by males in the roles of fathers,

warriors, and civil-office holders, is again bound to be objectionable today when

the women’s movement and other equal rights movements are in fashion. These

movements and their respective political claims are the inevitable outcome,

Aristotle would say, of the modern tendency to make the individual, as opposed to

the family, the fundamental unit of the state and the consequent political

organization of contemporary states.86

 

On the contrary, Aristotle’s organic conception of the polis, allowed each of its

citizen to represent not just himself and his interests as an individual citizen in the

assembly of the citizens, who were equal qua citizens in democratic states and had

equal political rights. Rather he represented the common interest of the extended

family, whose legal head he was and was recognized as such. The family unit, we

may recall, ordinarily would include wife, children, elderly parents, servants, and

other relatives, whose natural incapacity had reduced them to the status of

“servitude.”87

 

Aristotle, of course, was well aware of the ambiguities and the controversies

surrounding the demand for political equality. Now, equality among equals in

certain respects is one thing, but equality among naturally and educationally

unequal men is quite a different matter. Aristotle dialectically found fault with both

of the following claims: the Democratic claim that citizens must be equal in every

respect, since they are equal in terms of political freedom as citizens; and the

Oligarchic claim that their share in political power should be unequal because their

property holdings are not equal.88 Aristotle thought, correctly it would seem, that

neither wealth nor high birth, but Hellenic arete (that is, ethical and intellectual

excellence and capability of contributing to the common good more than the other

citizens) should be the only criterion for fair distribution of political offices and

honors to meritorious, but otherwise equal, citizens.

 

The ability to serve the commonwealth well, for Aristotle, should count more

than other considerations. For even if all citizens are born equal as human beings,

the fact remains that their capacity for virtuous activity is differentiated not only

culturally, but also naturally, as is their physical capacity to run the marathon and

their intellectual competence to solve mathematical equations. In other words,

Aristotle was in favor of the rule of the best, in terms of natural endowment, as well

as educational and cultural achievement among the politically equal citizens of a

democratic polis. This is the true etymological meaning of that meaningful and

beautiful Hellenic word aristokratia.89

 

Third Possible Objection. Aristotle’s division of men into Hellenes and

Barbarians is also bound to be objectionable these days when the “barbarians,” as

the Hellenic and philosophic poet Cavafy has said, are hard to come by, or even to

be found in the horizon, much to the despair of the “decadent” European man.90

Several things should be clarified in this connection. To begin with, every

group of men, which managed to acquire historically recorded civilized life, like

the Egyptians, the Chinese, the Hebrews, the Indians, and many other nations,

thought of themselves, and still think of themselves, as somehow superior to other

outsiders. The Ancient Hellenes were no exception to this “politically incorrect,”

but general and ancient rule.

 

According to Herodotus’ report, the Hellenes probably learned this distinction,

as so many other things, from the Egyptians.91 At any rate, in Aristotle’s time,

because of the political struggle of the Hellenes against the Persians, the latter were

invariably identified as “barbarians” in comparison with the Egyptians, whom they

had enslaved, while the Hellenes encouraged them in their resistance to the Persian

Despotism. Also, to Hellenic eyes the Persian people, which had put up with

such Despotism for so long and the Asiatic peoples who did not resist the Persian

tyranny as vigorously as the Egyptians and the Hellenes, looked like human beings,

who were born to be slaves.92

 

Consequently, Aristotle thought that these people would be better off if they

were to serve the well educated citizens of an ideally organized Hellenic city-state,

where the hope for freedom was always present to slaves, especially the domestic

servants, of any nationality who had proved that they were slaves by misfortune

rather than by nature. To Aristotle, as a philosopher, the world as a whole would

probably be a better place to live, if it were to be ruled by gentle, intelligent, and

sensitive Hellenic lovers of wisdom rather than by some boorish and wild

barbarians. By reason of possession of the above noble qualities, it seemed

reasonable to Aristotle that such civilized rulers would be guided by proper paideia

to adopt sooner or later the Hellenic ethical ideal of moderation, moving away from

the double vice of excess.93

 

Fourth Possible Objection. The fact that in Aristotle’s polis, even under ideal

conditions, few persons will be able to reach the highest point of virtuous activity

and intellectual development, will also be found objectionable these days. For

contemporary politics seems to be more attuned to the feelings and the flattery of

the masses than it was at that time, the Golden Age of Hellas. How, then, are the

many to be saved? Is there any “immortality” for them? There are no simple

answers to such difficult questions. Like the wise Platonic Socrates, in all

probability Aristotle would say that immortality in some sense is open to all human

beings, as well as other living beings, by the natural process of reproduction.

In some other loftier sense immortality is a privilege of the gods, who enjoy

eternally a pure noetic life, and of very few mortals who have succeeded in making

themselves god-like. This they may have achieved at the end of a life spent in

virtuous activity and service to their political community and in search for the

unclouded truth. Their good deeds and their honors will survive their death; and, if

the gods would welcome any mortals to their blessed company, the perfected

philosophers would have a better chance than any other mortal beings.94 This

would seem fair enough.

 

But the concern with the “after life” may be beside the point. For Aristotle was

politically interested in this life, not in the next, for the simple reason that in “the

next life,” the meaning of “life” would change radically and, among other things,

there will not be any need for politics.95 Even so, for Aristotle the life of virtue,

here and now, is worth living for the sake of that which is best in us and divine, that

is, nous. As the body is more valuable than the cloak, so is the soul more valuable 

than the body; and as the thinking and ruling part of the soul is more valuable than

the irrational and obedient part, so is the noetic and theoretic life more valuable

than the political life.96

 

Hence, as far as it is possible, as many people as possible should strive for this

kind of life because it is the best for the citizens. For Aristotle, the citizen of the

Hellenic polis is potentially a divine being. He is really the noetic mind or nous. If

anything, this is the divine presence in every human being harboring a precious

human psyche.97 I do not think that there can be many people who would honestly

object to such a humanistic and noble ideal as this one, to which Aristotle’s

dialectic method has given the clearest possible Hellenic articulation. Let this then

suffice.

 

Fifth Possible Objection. Aristotle’s identification of the human telos with the

activity of ethically and noetically perfected citizens, and his attempt to

ontologically connect the supreme good for civilized human beings with the noetic

activity of the Divine, is also bound to sound “ridiculous” to the sophisticated ears

of post-modern thinkers. It would make no difference whether these “thinkers” are

Marxist atheists, Nietzschean nihilists, desperate existentialists, neo-pragmatic

relativists, or sophistical deconstructionists. Even empathetic theists of the type

that, at our time, tends to be seriously devout and fundamentally fanatical (whether

they call themselves Christian, Jewish, or Muslim peoples of the Book) will find

Aristotle’s conception of God, and his tolerant and playful polytheism,

unprofitable. To them, his theoretic approach to ethical problems would be too

intellectual, too offensive to monotheistic sensibilities, and too insufficient in

emotional power to arouse the masses to fight fanatical holy wars and “crusades.”

What can one possibly say in defense of Aristotle’s philosophic humanism against

such powerful objections coming from these two extreme camps, the atheists and

the theocrats?

 

First of all, we should perhaps keep in mind that Aristotle was an Ancient

Hellenic Philosopher, which means that he was able to philosophize freely and to

follow, like the Platonic Socrates, only the self-limiting authority of human logos

wherever it might lead. Now, it is true that, for the representatives of the above

mentioned movements and schools of thought, the characterization “ancient

Hellenic philosopher” would be, in all probability, a liability rather than an asset, as

it is for the unbiased students of the history of Hellenic philosophy. For the above

mentioned “thinkers” tend to believe that we (post-Hellenic modernists) are better

off materially and, therefore, spiritually too, than peoples of any previous epoch,

because of our “revealed religion” or our “technological progress” or, most likely,

because of both of these great blessings.

 

To continue this litany, since Aristotle lacked the “light of revelation” and the

tools of modern technology, he could not possibly have been correct (so “the

argument” would run) in his assertions on such serious matters as the nature of

God, the nature of reality, and the nature of man. Especially he was in ignorance of

“the original sin” and the ultimate salvation “by grace.” But, on the other hand, the 

“sophisticated thinkers” of our times may suspect the bitter truth that either “God is

dead” or, if he is still alive and well somewhere, he couldn’t care less about human

beings and their destiny. Alternatively, theists may insist that God exists and is

definitely only “One God,” and as despotic and arbitrary as only a Medieval

Bishop or an Oriental Monarch could be.

 

In our sophistication we “post-modernists” have also learned that “reality” and

“truth” are really man-made; that man has no nature; and that a fortiori there cannot

be an ethical telos appropriate for human beings other than the momentary

preference for this or that variety of bodily pleasure and political expediency.

Alternatively again, for those who have no stomach for such tough to digest postmodern

“truths,” there is always available the consolation of God’s revelation. For

God in his mercy has made clear the one and only “true way” of salvation by grace

through faith in a Savior or some sort of divine testament or revelation.

Historically, there has been a trinity of such for the Europeans in the last two

millennia: the Jewish Old Testament of the Holy Scriptures was in time replaced by

the Christian New Testament of the Holy Bible, to be superseded by the Islamic

(Newer) Testament of the most Holy Koran.

 

Now, if one were to wonder whether Aristotle would have been more impressed

with the mania of atheistic nihilism of the proletarian type, or with the moria (folly)

of apocalyptic theism of the religious type, the latter would seem to have a better

chance. As an ancient Hellenic philosopher, Aristotle was aware of all the atheistic,

agnostic, relativistic, and sophistic tricks and fallacies, to the refutation of which he

had devoted the last treatise of his Organon. Since, however, Aristotle (384-322

BC) lived about four centuries before the advent of Christianity, and a whole

millennium before the Hegira (622 AD), he was completely unaware of the human

vulnerability to the peculiar monotheistic monomania.

 

In the hands of a few shrewd (semi-Hellenized) Jews of the diaspora, with help

from some decadent (semi-barbarized Hellenes) of the Graeco-Roman times, this

monomania turned the pious Jewish superstition regarding a tribal god and the

myth of his “chosen people” into a fanatical force of major proportions. In time, it

proved to be capable of controlling the hearts and the minds of millions of Muslim

and Christian women and men for thousands of years in every continent, including

Europe and even Hellas, the land of Olympian gods and Hellenic philosophers.

Hence derives the great “passion” of Hellenic philosophy in the Christianized and

de-Hellenized Europe.

 

At any rate, as Hellenic philosopher, Aristotle would be neither afraid nor

ashamed to follow logos (discursive reason) and nous (intuitive intellect) in his

dialectic search for truth about the essential beings of the cosmos, which included

human and mortal beings, as well as divine and immortal ones. Having found many

faults in the theories of his predecessors, Aristotle had learned the lesson of

humility and did not claim infallibility. His open-mindedness and acuity led him to

choose, like Platonic Socrates, what he judged to be philosophically the more

satisfying of the two basic options. At that time they were the Democritian option 

with its materialistic ontology and mechanistic etiology, and the Pythagorean or

Anaxagorean option, which provided ample room for a noetic ontology (or, rather,

the Aristotelian ousiology) and teleology.

 

Although he respected the former for its consistency, Aristotle chose the latter

as the better theory to account for all the facts of reality and for the whole spectrum

of human experience leading from aisthesis (sense-perception) to noesis (intuitive

grasp, intellection), through logos (discursive reasoning) and following the via

dialectica.

 

In so doing, Aristotle was not simply following the steps of the Platonic

Socrates and Plato, his beloved teacher of philosophy, but also his own inner

personal conviction, I would suggest. This was probably based on his experience as

a mature dialectical philosopher, a man who had realized the value of both human

logos and nous as a separate, that is, non-material and immortal entity, potentially

present in the human soul (or, rather, the Aristotelian psyche). That is the core of

my thesis.

 

Conclusion

 

In the light shed by our synoptic analysis of the Aristotelian road to enlightenment,

we may now see clearly the nobility of this Hellenic conception of the human telos

and his ability to assign to human beings a privileged place in the cosmos,

mediating between gods and beasts. Above all, his readiness to acknowledge man’s

affinity and potential friendship with the philosophically conceived God (the

Divine Intellect that erotically attracts and noetically governs the cosmos) is

apparent here. Evidently, he made a heroic philosophic effort to conceptually grasp

the entire cosmos, in all its multiplicity of accidental and substantial beings,

including the complex human being and the divine ousia. In his attempt to provide

a reasoned account of all human experiences (aesthetic, logical, noetic, ethical and

political), Aristotle succeeded in developing a comprehensive system of rational

thought. This system naturally reached beyond the Western “rationality” of

discursive reason (logos), moving towards the noetically intuitive nous, and even

towards the intelligible and divine realm of Nous.

 

Because of this solid basis, there is no doubt that Aristotle’s system is one of

the most complete and influential philosophical systems, which the Hellenic minds

produced. For our synoptic discussion has shown that the reasoned account of the

Aristotelian road to enlightenment (via dialectica) is based on sense experience

(empeiria) and discursive reasoning (logos). But it, significantly, includes the

intuitive and self-validating activity of the mind, that is, the respectively (eternally

and temporally) energized intellects of God (Nous) and of man (nous). Thus, the

conventional gap separating the human and the divine realms of intelligent activity,

as well as the gulf allegedly dividing the East and the West culturally, has been

here dialectically and satisfactorily bridged.

 

In this important sense, then, Aristotle would seem to have been something

more than a mere “rationalist,” simple, cold, and dry. If this be so, I would like to

think that I have done my “peripatetic duty” of defending Aristotle against the

unfair charges of those who like to dump on him the accumulated intellectual and

other waste of the Western world in the last two millennia. Neither Aristotle, nor

any other Platonic and genuinely Hellenic philosopher, would have approved of

what the Modern European man, in his greedy desire for profit and his demonic

will to power, has made out of Hellenic philosophia, forced to serve theocracy and

technocracy, sometimes together.

 

For, in the eyes of the Ancient Hellenes, genuine philosophers (as opposed to

Sophists) were supposed to contemplate the cosmic beauty, not to deform it by

changing it. They were supposed to comprehend the cosmic order and to live in

harmony with it, not to pollute it by exploiting it. Above all, they were expected to

provide prudent suggestions for the appropriate organization of human affairs so

that the free spirit of inquiry and the flourishing of the human life of excellence

would become possible for the human being as citizen. This being was conceived

as living, sensitive, reasonable, communal, political, noetic and, (potentially, but

essentially), a god-like being.98

 

Hence the urgent need felt by the few philosophically minded persons in Europe

and the West today to return to their primordial philosophic roots, which were pre-

Christian and pre-Islamic. The Platonic Aristotle, like the Socratic Plato, and the

Hellenic philosophy in general, perhaps can guide their steps towards this noble

goal.99

Following was written in Nov. 2001:

The current events in A’stan have an uncanny resemblance to some very
less known events in Central Asia that affected India’s history in a
significant way. I just felt that I must post this as there may be
lessons to be learnt from this in today’s context. After having
smashed many Indian rulers, Shihab-ad-Din Muhammad Ghori, the Afghan
Sultan, decided to settle scores with his Northern neighbor Muhammad
Shah of Khwarizm. In 1204 AD Ghori marched on Muhmamad Shah with a
large force to seize territory north of the Amu Darya. His forces
were strengthened by the mercenaries and cannon-fodder (there were no
cannons then) he had acquired from the Ghaznavid territory of Punjab
after he had taken over that. Compare this with the struggle between
TaliPaks and the NA of today (Literally the descendents of these
respective parties). Ghori routed Shah on the banks of the Amu Darya
and marched into Khwarizm. The great Mongol ruler, the Ghur-Khan of
the Qara-Kitai, had excuses to open hostilities with the Moslem Ghori
as his troops had executed buddhist merchants (In return the Ghur-Khan
had some Mullahs nailed to their mosque doors). The Khwarizm Shah
Muhammad who was his vassal saw a great opportunity in this, and
humbly approached his suzerain, the Ghur-Khan, to make common cause
against the Afghan Sultan Ghori who was now marching straight into
Central Asia (A superpower, and the NA make an alliance!). The
Qara-Kitaian Mongol cavalry was sent forth under their able commander
Tayanku-Taraz who defeated Mhd. Ghori near Hezarasp and Shah got to
occupy the territory. Then, the Mongol cavalry trashed Ghori in a big
way in Andkhoi, west of Balkh and sent him fleeing into India with all
his entourage. Here, he was of course killed by the the Khokars in
1206. Soon aided by the Mongol suzerain of his, Muhammad Shah seized
most of A’tan starting from Herat, then Ghor and finally Ghazni. This
ironically drove the whole Ghorid clique into India to take shelter in
Delhi with their agent Qutub-ad-Din, who invited them with open hands
and used them extensively in India in war against the infidels. The
most prominent of the hordes that migrated in this event was the
Khalji horde- one of the biggest nightmares we have ever seen in our
history.

The fleeing TaliPaks of today being redirected to India is a real
dangeras the Ghorid agents in Delhi. Also note the western press until
a few days ago was waxing eloquently about the Afghani invincibility.
The true superpowers of the past ages- the Mongols on two occassions
and Timur-i-lang, have thrashed them badly. So after all history is
repeating itself- is it not ironical that even the USA has to follow
the footsteps of the Kha’Khans of yore (from Baghdad to Balkh)!

Many Westerners, and their red Indian (communist) followers have been commenting
that the perversion of the Madrassa to mass produce talibs and the use
of the so called asymmetric warfare in the form of terrorists is a
recent innovation of the otherwise “peace loving” Islamic world.
Nothing can be farther from the truth. I thought, I should bring to
the lists attention that these were integral aspects of the Mohammedan
war machine. If one were to carefully study Indian history they were
very much in place especially during the Sikh wars and the Maharashtra
campaigns of both the Mogols and the local sultans.

However, they are best illustrated in the campaigns of the expansion
of the greatest upholder of Dar ul Islam- the Osman sultans. In their
revived expansion following recovery from Timur’s invasion, the
sultans Mehmet the Conqueror, Selim the Grim and Suleiman the
Magnificent, caliphs of Islam, took defeat and destruction into heart
of Europe. While the remarkable organizational ablities and strategic
planning of these sultans cannot be ignored at the heart of their
machinery lay two fundamental instruments that have been largely
ignored in secular surveys of their rise to glory. The Osman sultans
repeatedly proclaimed that they were waging wars for no other purpose
other than the expansion of Dar-ul-Islam. The sultans literally waged
an annual jihad for this purpose. It is said that when Suleiman in his
old age failed to go on his annual jihad, his daughter chided him that
he had forgotten the duties of a Ghazi.

The two primary instruments of Osman success was the ghulam army of
the sultan called the Yenicheri and the vast army of the irregular
sipahis. The Yenicheri was recruited by the devshirme system- it
comprised entirely of young christian boys who had been captured from
Eastern Europe and forcibly converted to Islam (The women landed up
in the sultan’s Haram). Cut off from home and family, traumatized by
circumcision, they spent all their youth in madrassas, learning the
Koran, rigorous military skills and absolute devotion to the caliph.
They disallowed from marriage or property. With their pent up
frustrations directed in battle with nothing to live for but to die as
a shahid they formed the elite war machine of the Sultan that
delivered the coup de grace for the Dar ul harb from whom they had
sprung.

The other force of the Osmans was the irregular Sipahis who used to be
sent off to fan over the country side a few weeks before the main
march of the Sultan, his Begs and the elite Turkish cavalry via the
well maintained military roads. These irregulars indeed were homologs
of the very Islamic terrorists of today- terrorizing the countryside
through incessant raids and slaughter of the hapless immates. This
prevented any distraction for the march of the main elite force. Any
Armenian or Greek will tell you how effective these irregulars were as
late as the last century.

This model of action with the irregular terror specialist followed by
the elite division is essentially what Pakistan uses in both Kashmir
(Kargil) and Afghanistan. The analogy is complete when one sees the
production of the Talibs by the truck load, like the Yenicheri, to
become shahids to expand the Umma. If one looks harder, this analogy
is not a merely chance coincidence but a time tested model inherited
by the ISI quite directly from their Kilafat precursors.

Some of Amir Khusroo’s florid prose describing the deeds of his patron Alla-ad-din of vile memory from khazain-ul-futuh . To be more precise his commander Maliq Naib Barbeq (from the Hindustani translation using E&D of course as a template):

 

“The tongue of the sword of the Khalifa of the time, which is the tongue of the flame of Islam, has imparted light to the entire darkness of Hindustan by the illumination of its guidance. And on one side an iron wall of royal swords has been raised before the infidel Magog-like Mongols, so that entire Allah-deserted people drew their feet within their skirts amongst the hills of Ghazni, and even their frontline-arrows did not have strength enough to reach into Sind. On the other hand so much dust arose from the battered temple of Somnath that even the sea was not able to lay it, and on the right hand and on the left hand the army of the most exhalted Alla-ad-din Khalji has conquered from sea to sea, and several capitals of the gods of the Hindus, in which the worship of Shaitan has prevailed since the time of the Djinns, have been demolished. All these impurities of the Kaffrs have been cleansed by the exhalted Sultan’s destruction of idols and temples, beginning with his first jihad against Devagiri, so that the flames of the light of the Shariat illumine all these filthy Kaffr lands, and places for the callers of Namaz are exalted on high, and prayers are read in Masjids. Allah be praised!”

 

Points to note:

-The Mongols were as Kaffr as the Hindus

-Amir Khusroo imagines a great favor being done to India by the Islamists in cleaning the land of Shaitanism. This exactly what Mohammed Habib, whose clansmen are adored by some, was trying to state. The Islamists were curing India of its satanic practices and replacing it with the much welcome brotherhood and peace.

-The “flames of Shariat illuminating the land”: This is exactly what the Maulana in the madrassa sees as an ideal- not the Indian constitution.

 

Another excerpt on Maliq Kafar’s sack of rAmeshvaraM in TN.

 

“The canopy was covered with gems and it was the holy place of the Hindus, which the Maliq dug up completely from its foundations, and the heads of the Brahmins and Kaffrs danced from their necks and met the ground at their feet, and blood flowed in rivers. The stone idols called Linga Mahadeva, that been established at that place at for a long time were copulating sex organs of kaffrs. There were 12 of these, up to this time, which the kick of the horse of Islam had not yet broken. The Momins destroyed all the Lingas, and the Hindu king Deva Narayana was struck down. The other gods who had fixed their seats were thrown so far that they reached the fort of Lanka. So much was the terror that idols of sex organs themselves would have fled had they had any legs to stand on. Much gold and valuable jewels fell into the hands of the Musalmans, who returned to the royal canopy, after executing their holy Jihad (April, 1311 A.D.)”

 

Point to note: The trivilization of Hindu Iconography is not recent phenomenon of the missionaries but was also carried out by the Islamist. We all know what the origin of the Linga symbol is, but note how the Islamist delights in specifically vulgarizing it.

Uighurs were the most powerful of the Turkic Oghuz confedration, that included other clans such as the Khaljis. The yabghu of the Uighurs, Etmish Qutlugh Bilge, was a vassal of the Blue Turks when they were at the height of their glory under Kul Tegin and Bilge Kha’Khan. The pretender Özmish Khan seized the Blue Turk throne, three Altaic tribes, namely the Basmils from the region around modern Kucheng, the Uighurs from the region between the Kobdo and Selenga, and the Qarluqs from Eastern end of the Balkash Lake, tried to seize the empire of Mongolia. The Basmil made the first attempt by marching on Özmish Khan in AD 744; they killed him in the battle and his capital Ötuegen was captured. They sold his severed head to the Chinese Emperor Hsuan Tsung hoping to obtain patronage from China. Confident of Chinese aid the lord of the Basmil Turks declared himself Kha’khan and the supreme ruler of all Mongolia. However, the Chinese governor Shuo Fang betrayed him when the yabghus of the Uighurs and Qarluqs made common cause with each other. This huge Uighur-Qarluq horde marched on Basmils in late 744. The Basmil army was beaten thoroughly by this coalition and its Kha’Khan was beheaded. The survivors were distributed as naukers amidst the victors or sold to the Chinese, and Basmil tribe was erased off the slate of Mongolian history. The Uighurs seized Mongolia and allowed the 3 Qarluq tribes to keep the western reaches of the original Blue Turk empire. The lord of the Uighurs crowned himself as Etmish Qutlugh Bilge Köl Kha’Khan, the supreme ruler of all Altaic tribes. He founded his capital, Ordu Baligh, some distance away from Ötuegen, and close to the original capital of the first Hun Kha’Khan, Motun Tegin. The lord of Qarluqs was asked to retain the junior title, Yabghu, in deference to the dominance of the Uighurs. Soon after this Qutlugh Bilge ratified a treaty of peace and cooperation with the Chinese Emperor. Soon after this he died (747) and the empire passed to his youngest son, Kul Mayanchur Kha’Khan.

Mayanchur set up trading outposts with the Chinese where a large number of goods such as horses, yaks, camels, reindeer, fur, wool, silk jade, metals, medicines and diamonds were traded. The Uighurs used their wider network of subject tribes to become a nexus point for goods. The gains made from this trade enabled Mayanchur to embellish their capital Ordu Baligh and build a second city in their original homeland, upstream of the Selenga River. Ordu Baligh was supposed to have a duodecagonal plan with 12 iron gates allowing an entry into the walled city. Inside the city there was vast area where the elite core of the Uighur army camped in gers (tents) in the classic Turko-Mongol style. There were also numerous more permanent stalls that constituted a huge flourishing bazaar. In the center of the city there was raised mound with a huge tent topped with gold in which the kha’khan of the Uighurs held court. The descriptions from the Chinese embassy in Ordu Baligh state that the Kha’Khan wore a ceremonial saffron robe and a rimmed hat with fur ear flaps. He was surrounded by a heavily armed squadron of bodyguards, which included of some of most elite warriors in his army, and held discussions regular with his administrators and army staff. There were embassies from various Turkic tribes, Chinese, Tibetans, Indians and Arabs that called upon the Kha’Khan to negotiate trading deals. This point clearly illustrates the power the Uighurs gained by taking control of the Central Asian trading hubs. They also set up a courier service throughout Mongolia and other conquered domains. These developments allowed the Uighur reap the best of their nomadic steppe world as well as those of the settled civilizations.

In 751 the Chinese armies faced huge defeats in Talas at the hands of the Qarluqs led by yabghu Tun Bilge and the Arabs, and in the South at hands of the Thais. At this point An Lu-shan, a general whose father was an Iranian from Sogdhiana and his mother a Mongol from the tribe of the Khitans, gathered a large army of Mongols and Chinese adventurers and marched on the Tang capitals of Loyang and Changan. The Chinese emperor sent a mighty army under his Altaic general Qoshu Khan to save his throne. However, Lu-shan routed the Tang army, captured Qoshu Khan and subsequently executed him. By 755 he had captured the two Chinese capitals and crowned himself emperor. The imperialist Chinese emperor, Hsuan Tsung’s empire lay in shambles: within his lifetime had raised China to its greatest heights and now he was beaten and fled for his life to Szechwan. He died there in despair and was succeeded by his son Su-tsung. He humbly sought the aid of the Uighur Kha’Khan to relieve him from the march of An Lu-shan. Mayanchur seeing an opportunity to meddle in Chinese affairs offered to help. He came down with his Uighur cavalry and besieged Changan and forced An Lu-shan to relinquish the city. Then he attacked Loyang before Lu-shan could act and occupied. However, after having taken the city Mayanchur refused to move out and started seizing property within the city. The Chinese emperor paid him fine of gold and 20000 rolls of pure silk before he agreed to relinquish the city. He also took the Chinese princess as a wife and returned to Mongolia after receiving the promise that the Chinese would annual send him the same amount of silk and gold thenceforth. In the following year the Uighurs decided to restore the full extant of the unified Turkic empire, as under the Blue Turks, and attacked the Kirghiz to the north. The Kirghiz apparently were trying to contact the Chinese, Arabs and Tibetans for trade relationships. The Uighurs rightly saw this as a potential threat to both their military and economic dominance of central Asia. Mayanchur Kha’Khan led a great Uighur army of about 70,000 horsemen against the Kirghiz. He first raided and destroyed all the trading outposts of the Arabs and Tibetans set up in connivance with the Kirghiz. Then the Kirghiz were chased by the Uighur army towards Siberia, where a fierce encounter took place between them. The Kirghiz army of 50,000 slaughtered completely by the Uighurs, their Khan was killed and replaced by a pliant chief who assumed a junior title as a servant of the Uighurs. In 759 Mayanchur died after heavy drinking at some celebration. He was succeeded by his son Tengri Boegue, who decided to inaugurate his reign with an invasion of China. He was asked by both An Lu-shan and Su-Tsung to come to aid them. However, he decided to act as per his own agenda. On November 20th 762, the Tengri Boegue’s cavalry force of invaded China and having captured the city of Loyang, went on to massacre its population. Several people fled into two gigantic Taoist temples in the city for shelter. The Uighurs surrounded them and burnt them down and killed the fugitives by showering arrows on them. They then devastated the countryside, gathered all that they could carry, and sent off trains of booty to Mongolia. They are said to have extracted 20 cattle, 200 sheep and 300 Kgs of rice each day from the Chinese population, resulting in famine. Finally the Uighur Kha’Khan decided to leave China after forcing on the Chinese ruler an agreement where by the Chinese would trade any goods the Uighurs wanted at price set by them. Any Chinese trader passing through Central Asia also had to pay a hefty fine to Uighurs.

During his stay in China, the Kha’Khan met several Manichaeists who had fled from the from the ex-Iranian lands of Soghdiana under the onslaught of the Arab Jihad. Their syncretic religion easily accommodated his Turko-Mongol pantheon, as is, and impressed him with their cosmology and astrology. The Kha’Khan became a convert to Manichaeism and made it his state religion. He underwent a profound change like Ashoka and gave up eating meat, drinking alcohol and even banned diary products. His peaceful ways and enlightened reign brought great prosperity to Central Asia, but at home in Mongolia the ban on alcohol was not all well received. There were several complaints from the shocked pastoral peoples, unused to a life without the traditional Kumiss. The Kha’Khan’s cousin, Tun Baga Tarkhan, gained confidence of the disgruntled chiefs of the Uighur army who were disturbed by the injunction to lay down their arms. In 779 as the Kha’Khan was raptly hearing a lecture on Manichaeism in his pavilion, Alp Qutulugh led a large force of rebels who beheaded the Kha’Khan, his relatives and close followers. However, the transition was not smooth, Tun Baga faced several rebellions throughout his reign. He tried to divert the Uighur attention outwards through an invasion of Pei-ting where the Chinese general Yang Hsi-Ku was killed, and subsequently they seized Kucha. They also raided the West and grabbed the territory of the Qarluqs. Then a Uighur army led by their general El Ugesi invaded their feudatories, the White-clothed Turks (survivors of the Blue Turk tribe) and tried to annex their territory. At this point the White-clothed Turks took the help of the Tibetans and formed a firm front against the charging Uighur cavalry. The Uighurs simultaneously faced with rebellion in Mongolia and a counter-attack by the Qarluqs on their Western flank. This resulted in a massive victory for the Tibetans who advanced unstopped to take the city of Khotan. Tun Baga died in 789 leaving the Uighurs shaken on all fronts. They elected the royal Bulmish Quelug Bilge as the grand Kha’Khan and his valiant son Qut Bulmish Alp Bilge as the commander of the army. He restored order in the Uighur realm by restoring Manichaeism and adapting it to fit the tastes of the Mongolian population. He also advocated tolerance of other religious streams. The Indian ambassadors to his court obtained sanctions to construct temples in the vicinity of Khotan that had a large number of Indian vaishyas. A temple of Rudra was constructed in Dandan-uliq and temples to Indra and Buddha Vairochana in Balawaste. Wooden slabs from the former with images of Rudra and Uma survive to this date. He, however, strengthened the army and advocated the return of very aggressive military activity. He first pounded the Qarluq Turks and drove them away from his western flank.

Then in autumn of 791 sent his son to conquer the Tibetans. Seeing the massive Tibetan army of around 150,000 marching into central Asia, the Uighur prince first decided to draw them into an ambush. The Tibetans formed an alliance with the Qarluq and attacked the western Chinese city of Ling Chow. The Uighurs clamped down on them after they entered the city and slaughtered their army and took away their cattle (mainly Yaks). The Tibetans survivors were sold in the Chinese markets. The Uighur Tegin then went on to attack Pei Ting in December 791 and captured the Tibetan commander Rgyal Sum. In 792, prince Qut Bulmish led an Uighur cavalry of 50,000 to invade Tibet. The Tibetans sought the aid of the Qarluqs again, but they were beaten badly. Tens of thousands of Tibetans and Qarluqs were encircled by the Uighur archers and were nearly entirely exterminated. Then the Uighurs invaded the Tibetan-held city of Qocho and captured it easily defeating the Tibetans yet again. The Tibetans did not give up and tried to counter-attack by sending an invasive force against Kucha, but the Uighur Kha’Khan led his archers to spectacular win against them. The Tibetans tried to flee to the fort of Aqsu but here the Uighur Tegin ambushed them and the Tibetan army was massacred to man in the battle that ensued. With that the Tibetan aspirations in central Asia were smothered. Bulmish Quelug Bilge died in 795 and was succeeded till 808 by a series of his brothers. In 808 his son, the commander of the Uighur army and the hero of many battles, ascended the throne under the full dynastic name Ai Tengrida Qut Bulmish Alp Bilge Kha’Khan. He was hailed as the “celestial Kha’Khan” and led the Uighurs to their military successes. His deeds were celebrated in the stone inscriptions on the west bank of the Orkhon River in central Mongolia in Old Altaic, Middle Iranian and Chinese. He inaugurated his reign with a plundering invasion of Tibet and followed it up with the seizure of the cities of Kan Chow and Liang Chow west of the Yellow River of China. The Kha’Khan also made the Chinese Emperor build Manichaeist temples in China and threatened action in the event of their persecution. The Kha’Khan had the Iranian script formalized for the Uighur dialect and introduced the printing press in his domains. Thus, the once illiterate nomadic Altaic tribesmen made great strides in producing a range of documents on various religious and secular topics. Amidst these, a text of particular interest is an illustrated one for the worship of the Indian deities, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, Kumara and Ganapati, suggesting their incorporation into the local religion. There are also a number of illustrated texts with the Jataka tales.

In 813 the Kha’Khan led several conquering expeditions south of the Gobi Desert and across the west to TokMak near the Issyk Kul Lake. It was at this point that the news reached the Kha’Khan the Arabs were savagely persecuting the Manichaeist, and killing or converting them forcibly to Islam. At the same time he also noted that subjugated Qarluq and Tibetans were trying to make common cause. So in 820 Qut Bulmish decided to conduct a massive campaign to simultaneously destroy the Qarluqs and the Arabs. Moslems were executed in the Uighur realm in retaliation, and the horses were fattened over autumn in Mongolia in preparation for the great westward thrust. An Uighur cavalry of about 100,000 organized in 10 tuemens set out from Ordu Balig in a vast crescent-shaped formation sweeping across the steppes. The Uighurs first crossed the longitude of the Issykul through a southern route and fell upon the Qarluq army and their Tibetan auxiliaries. The Qarluqs tried to pin the Uighurs down against a tributary of the Syr Darya, but the Uighurs dallied and resorted to a diversionary tactic by sending a smaller force to draw the Qarluq Turks away. The Qarluqs and a Tibetan cavalry of about 50,000 made some crucial tactical errors and found themselves encircled by the Uighurs. Seeing the Qarluq center being stretched, Qut Bulmish pressed with a cavalry charge armed with maces, spears and sabers. Using lassoes they dragged down the Qarluqs and slaughtered them by attacking them at close quarters. The Tibetans were brought down by the Uighur archers and the survivors fled in all directions. The Uighurs then dallied to distract the Arab holy warriors in Ferghana and Ushrusana. In spring of 821, The Uighur Kha’Khan forded the Syr Darya and attacked the first Arab army led by Ahmed b. Assad. The Arabs fell prey to the usual feigned retreat trick and were annihilated by the Uighurs. The Uighurs restored the property of the Manichaeists and looted the Arab treasuries. Then the Uighur army appeared to move further west but suddenly turned north to cross the Sughda River and seized Ushrusana. Here, the Ghazis under Yahya b. Assad declared a jihad on the Uighurs but were crushed by the latter and retreated in total chaos. Having raided the Arab cities thoroughly the Uighur Kha’Khan returned to Mongolia, rich in booty. After having raised the Uighurs to the greatest glory Qut Bulmish, the celestial Kha’Khan died. He was succeeded by Kuen Ulugh Bilge Kha’Khan who consolidated his father’s gains by strengthening frontiers and signing a peace pact with the Chinese through marriage alliance and keeping up the hostilities with the Arabs.

During the reign of this successor Alp Kuelug Kha’Khan in 839 there was heavy snow and famine triggering popular discontent in the Uighur regime. The Kirghiz who had been subjugated by the Uighurs were the worst affected. The Uighurs stoked the flames with their savage handling of the Kirghiz rebellion. The Kirghiz lord declared himself a Kha’Khan. After a sacrifice and a feast he took an oath to exterminate the Uighurs as revenge for their great Kirghiz campaign of 758 in which a Kirghiz army of 50000 had been massacred. The Kirghiz started assembling a large army between the Ob and the Yennesei, when a disgruntled Uighur general defected to the Kirghiz and provided crucial information for an invasion of the Uighur heartland. In 840 the great Kirghiz army of around 80,000 horsemen invaded Ordu Baligh, and it is remarkable the great Uighur war-machine collapsed so completely against it. It was overwhelmed by the Kirghiz and is said to have “drowned in blood”. Alp Kuelug Kha’Khan fought relentlessly till the very end and after his horse was killed he was captured and beheaded. His grand golden tent was looted and ripped apart, and Ordu Baligh was razed to ground. The Kirghiz then seized all other Uighur cities in Mongolia and burnt them down completely. A Chinese observer noted: “The Uighurs were blown away all over the barbarian land”. Some fled towards the Qarluq lands they had captured, but were killed by the Qarluqs. Others fled to Tibet, where the Tibetans long seeking revenge captured them and handed back to the Kirghiz. The 13 elite clans fled to China and were arrested or driven back. All the Manichaeist temples in China were demolished and the priests executed. Other groups fled to Agni, Kucha and Qocho and some of them were overwhelmed and assimilated by the Moslems. The surviving Uighurs finally rallied back and established 3 Uighur principalities: 1) The Kanchow Uighur kingdom 2) Qara Khanid kingdom 3) the Qara Khoja Kingdom and the. The first of these was destroyed by the Tibetan tribes of Tangut and Xia-Xia during their expansion into central Asia in the 1100s. The Qara Khanids were a mixed group that included the Qarluq Turks and was converted to Islam in the 10th century. The Mongols of the Qara Kitai Empire destroyed the Qara Khanid kingdom during their great conflict with the Islamic west. The last of these the Qara Khoja were Mahayana Buddhists and continued the cultural renaissance of the Uighurs, producing several works of arts and medicine. They became vassals of Chingiz Khan and his successors and were important officials of the Mongol empire. Finally in 1397, Khizr Khawaja and Timur-I-lang declared a Jihad on them, and extirpated the Qara Khoja Uighur kingdom.

In terms of cultural achievements the Uighurs were the most advanced of the peoples of Mongolia. Their unique urban-nomadic civilization, in many ways resembled the early Indo-Iranian states, that were founded millennia earlier, and they were again poised like the Blue Turks to take Turkic civilization to new levels. But they fell to the vicissitudes of the steppes and the Kirghiz promptly returned Mongolia to its old nomadic pastoralism. However, the survivors, of this last great group of literate of Altaic peoples of the early Middle Ages, lived on and passed their script and skills in government to Mongolic tribes of the Khitan and those of Chingiz Kha’Khan, and contributed to their spectacular success.

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