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The Xenophile Historian

K. U. P.

(Kimball's Unauthorized Perversion)

Satan's Chosen People?

If you are Christian or Jewish, you've heard that the Jews are God's chosen people. Well, for the past few years I have speculated that the Devil once had, and may still have, a chosen people as well. Whereas God's people--first a line of patriarchs from Abraham to Moses, then the Israelite nation as a whole--were chosen to redeem the rest of humanity from sin, the Devil's people were chosen solely for the purpose of destroying God's chosen people. Those "anti-chosen" were the Amalekites.

Who were the Amalekites? The only thing Bible scholars agree on is that they were originally an Arabian tribe. I've seen maps that show where the twelve tribes of Israel settled, in the period between 1400 and 1000 B.C., and the word "Amalekites" is written across the nearest part of the Sinai peninsula, right below the land that went to the tribe of Simeon. Before that time, however, they came from somewhere to the east, most likely from the part of Arabia around Mecca. Genesis 36:12-16 mentions a grandson of Esau named Amalek, and for most Bible scholars that's enough to call the Amalekites descendants of Esau, but the Amalekites are also casually mentioned in the so-called "battle of the kings" (Genesis 14:7), so they must have existed as a nation at least four generations earlier. Abulfeda, a thirteenth-century Arab scholar, asserted that Lud, Noah's grandson through Shem, had four sons named Pharis, Djordjan, Tasm, and Amalek, while other Moslem scholars have given Amalek a Hamitic ancestry; either of these cases is more likely than the Esau connection.

The next time the Amalekites appear is in Exodus 17. There we see them coming out of Arabia while the Israelites are coming out of Egypt, and they cruelly attacked the Israelites near Mt. Sinai. Joshua led the armed force that defended the Israelites, while Moses, Aaron and Hur prayed for God's intervention from a nearby hill. In the end they won and Amalek was defeated, but because the Israelite camp had mostly women, children and animals in it, who were still recovering after their flight from Egypt, the battle left a really bad impression on the victors; nowadays we would call it an act of terrorism. For this reason God declared unending warfare against the children of Amalek, a punishment not given to the Philistines or any other enemies of Israel. Additional insight comes from the original Hebrew version of the story, which has a line that doesn't appear in English Bibles: "A hand is lifted up upon the throne of Jah (God)." This means God saw the Amalekites not only as a threat to Israel, but as a challenge to His own authority, meaning that Satan was behind the attack.

After the battle, the Amalekites went on into Egypt, which they conquered easily because Egypt had been wasted by the plagues, and because most of the Egyptian army had recently drowned in the Red Sea. The latter probably included Pharaoh. Don't believe the scene in "The Ten Commandments" where Yul Brynner stops at the Red Sea shore, says that slaughtering the Israelites is a job only fit for butchers, and lets the army go on without him. Later on, pharaohs like Thutmose III and Ramses II would insist on always being in the front of their armies, so why would it be different here? Anyway, in Egypt the Amalekites became known as the Hyksos (foreign kings or shepherd kings), and they terrorized the Egyptians for at least a century.

Once in Egypt, the Hyksos/Amalekites took to worshipping Set, the villain in Egyptian mythology, but they also had a god of their own, a fiery serpent called Apep (Apophis in Greek). According to the mythology the Egyptians developed, the sun-god Ra had to fight and defeat Apep every night, in order to rise in the morning, and Apep's ultimate goal was to devour everything in the universe. Compared to the terrifying Apep, Set looked like a good guy; Set may have pulled some dirty tricks on Osiris and Horus, but at least he played by the rules of kingship. Another myth talked about a war between the gods, and in this one, even Set joined most of the other gods to vanquish Apep. Of course none of this endeared the Amalekites to their Egyptian subjects.

(Note: While writing this, I learned that astronomers are concerned about a recently discovered asteroid, which could hit the earth in 2036. They named the asteroid Apophis. How fitting.)

Four people and things named Apophis:

Apep vs. Ramses I
Apophis the serpent, here challenging Ramses I.

Apophis of the XV dynasty
Apophis the Hyksos pharaoh.

Peter Williams as Apophis
Apophis the TV villain (from "Stargate: SG-1").

Apophis in the solar system
Apophis the asteroid.

Eventually the Hyksos/Amalekites succumbed to attacks from those they had alienated. First the Egyptians expelled them from the Nile valley, and then Israel's King Saul crushed what remained of them. The last mention of them in the Bible comes from Esther 3:1, where Haman is described as an "Agagite," meaning that he was descended from the last Amalekite king, Agag.

For years I thought that was the end of the story, and that the Amalekites were extinct. But what if they didn't die out? God promised to make war upon Amalek "from generation to generation"; does that mean the Amalekites are still around today? Since they came from Arabia, could the Saudis be their descendants? I am beginning to think so; their vicious anti-Semitism suggests that the Saudis are descended from Amalek in a spiritual sense, if not a physical one. Even the Arabic name for Saudi Arabia hints of it: Al-Mamlakah Arabiya al-Saudia. I know "Al-Mamlakah" means "the kingdom" in Arabic, but it also sounds like "Amalek." Is that just a coincidence of language?

Now if there really is a nation ruled by Satan's chosen people, what would be its characteristics? In Chapter 12 of "The Genesis Chronicles," I looked for customs of the Babel civilization in the customs of post-Babel cultures, so permit me to engage in speculation like that here. I would expect the most Satanic of nations to be both anti-Jewish and anti-Christian, and because the Jews have survived as a distinct people for more than 2,000 years without a land of their own, I would expect a Satanic culture to be dysfunctional, containing more than one element that prevents long-term survival. As for what makes up a dysfunctional culture, in 2002 I read a column by Jonathan Rauch that listed the likely characteristics of one. They are items #1-6 in the list below, and are followed by two that I added from my own observations:

  1. Discrimination against women. A culture that keeps women barefoot and pregnant eliminates half of the available workforce. In Saudi Arabia, women are not supposed to be either seen or heard. They have to wear outfits resembling garbage bags; many jobs are forbidden to them; a woman cannot drive, leave home or even turn on the air conditioning in her home, unless her father or husband is present.
  2. An anti-intellectual attitude. For those who still attend school, after the girls have been kicked out, don't allow them to learn much that is useful. Scorn personal achievement, spread the idea that those who think for themselves are untrustworthy, un-macho, or otherwise bad for the group.
  3. Encourage people to think that only the present matters; discourage saving or planning for the future. A cult that makes death seem better than life will help a lot here.
  4. A double dose of paranoia. Isolate the people from foreigners, promote the idea that the whole world stinks except for their little corner, and get them to blame someone else for all of their problems. Make failure look like success, and vice versa; those who succeed or get a lucky break should see it as an insult to their virtue, or even a threat to it.
  5. An absence of manners, or what we might call "civilized behavior." Many of our laws and customs were created to promote cooperation, and to prevent acts of violence. When we allow competition, whether in economics, politics, sports or scientific research, it is because we think it is productive. A dysfunctional culture, on the other hand, tells individuals to choose violence as a first resort, rather than a last resort, and glorifies those who fight and die for honor. That's why the so-called "honor killings" that happen in places like the Middle East are a sure sign of barbarism.
  6. You have to lock up people to keep them in a dysfunctional culture; most will get out if they can. Therefore it is safe to say that the folks living in one are trapped, if they aren't in a position of wealth or authority.
  7. Cruelty to animals. You may have heard psychologists say that a person who mistreats animals at an early stage of life is likely to mistreat humans later on. Well, there is plenty of cruelty to animals in areas where Islam is dominant, from the Taliban using dogs for poison gas testing, to Palestinian and Iraqi terrorists using donkeys to deliver explosives. By contrast, Judeo-Christian teaching frequently reminds us to be kind to animals. In the Old Testament, we have laws which say things like "you shall not muzzle the ox that threshes," "do not hitch an ox and an ass to the same yoke" (which would give the donkey an unfair burden, in order to keep up with the ox), and "you shall not boil a kid in the milk of its mother." Likewise, in the New Testament Jesus tells us that if an animal of yours falls into a pit on the Sabbath and you help it out, it is not a violation of the Sabbath. I even know a rabbi who became a vegetarian, because he felt that the way animals are treated in today's "factory farms" goes against the spirit of the Torah. One could make the case that nowhere are pets and livestock treated better than in the Western nations, and nowhere are they treated worse than in Moslem nations (see also Kathleen Parker's column, "In Islamic countries, dogs dream of America"). In July 2007 we also learned that dogfighting is popular in urban America (see below), with the discovery that dogs were incited to fight to the death on the property of Michael Vick, a quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons.
  8. To go with the lack of interest in the future (see #3 above), throw in a lack of respect for the past, including your own. Dictators often see a threat from history, and will rewrite it to suit their purposes. In place of the truth they may offer a paradise for workers/peasants/barbarians that never really existed. Nazi Germany, for example, taught that before Christianity came along, early Germans lived in the simple society of Wagnerian operas and Nordic sagas, where courage was more important than thinking, and one usually dealt with his enemies by killing them. Likewise, in the Middle East those countries which are rich in artifacts from pre-Islamic eras (e.g., Turkey, Egypt, Iraq and Iran) have long had a problem with looting. In Israel we have seen Palestinian construction crews scrape the Temple Mount down to bedrock, in an effort to get rid of evidence of Jewish or Christian activity in Old Jerusalem, and the Taliban destroyed the Bamian Buddhas to erase the fact that Afghanistan had been a Buddhist country for 900 years (200 B.C.-700 A.D.). I guess it was expected that today's Islamists would not show respect to Jewish, Christian and Buddhist holy places, but I was surprised to find out that even Islamic holy and historical sites aren't safe from them. After all, they glorify the time of Mohammed and the first four Caliphs, so you would expect them to careful with anything left over from those days. Instead, there are the cases I mentioned in other papers about how the Wahhabis destroyed the tomb of Mohammed when they first captured Medina in 1806, and when the Palestinians gained control over the tomb of Joseph in 2000, their hatred of anything Jewish caused them to desecrate that, too. Never mind that Joseph is a hero to Moslems, with a whole chapter in the Koran devoted to him (Sura 12). More recently we have seen "insurgents" blow up mosques in Iraq.

    If I was a Moslem, I'd be most embarrassed about the recent transformation of Mecca. The Islamic Heritage Foundation claims that as many as 500 historical sites in Mecca may have been destroyed by modern construction. These sites include the house where Mohammed was born, the house of his first wife, Khadija, the first Islamic school, and maybe even the mountain where Mohammed received his first revelations. The Wahhabi view is that such places can--and have--become places of idolatry, like the icons and shrines to saints in medieval Europe. So far they have exempted the Kaaba and the Black Stone, because they are so important to pilgrims, but let's see how long that will last. After all, Osama bin Laden's family runs the biggest construction company involved here. In place of what was torn down, the Saudis have built upscale hotels, shopping malls, and skyscrapers, including a clock tower 700 feet higher than the Empire State Building. Those who live there look at the garish lights and buildings of their desert city, and call Mecca "the Las Vegas of the East", which isn't a compliment. Mecca may not have the casinos, liquor and showgirls of Las Vegas, but otherwise it is dedicated to squeezing as much money as it can from its visitors, even if most of them can't afford the new shops and hotels. Obviously the Saudi rulers believe they can serve both God and Mammon!
Modern Mecca

Germany developed a dysfunctional culture under the Nazis. Communism also embraced several of the above elements, the main difference being that it forced women to work as hard as men, instead of keeping them at home (Mao Zedong once said that "women hold up half of the heavens"). More recently a dysfunctional culture has risen up in America's inner cities, glamorized by gangsta rap. Besides the dogfighting mentioned above, here we see children brought up in households without fathers, women derided as "bitches" and "hos," educators serving as babysitters rather than as teachers, and successful students viewed as sellouts; a life of crime is seen as the quickest way to prosperity, and a sudden, violent death is often expected, so there's little point in investing for tomorrow. Finally, we see the features of a dysfunctional culture in the nations that have embraced radical Islam. We saw them in Afghanistan under the Taliban, we see them in the Palestinian Authority--and we see them in Saudi Arabia.

There are often times--in sports, the workplace and politics--when somebody is on your side and you wish he wasn't. We have a case of that with the Saudis in the War on Terror. Officially they have been allies of the West as far back as World War I, if you count the subsidy the British gave to Ibn Saud. They called on the Americans to defend them against Saddam Hussein in 1990, but always acted afterwards like it was a mistake; even the presence of Christmas trees in American military camps made them nervous. Since then they have worked against us; Saudis, and not Iraqis, now make up the largest nationality among the "insurgents" fighting in Iraq. Somebody needs to tell the president that; he also needs a reminder that fifteen of the nineteen September 11 hijackers were Saudis, because he's treating the Saudis far too nicely. Besides not supporting us in the current war, they support anyone trying to destroy Israel, and they don't want us to make any change in our energy policy that reduces our dependence on foreign oil. On top of that, the Saudi media routinely publishes crude, anti-Semitic editorials (this is a government-controlled press, don't forget), the government denies anything resembling equal rights for women and anyone who isn't a Sunni Moslem, and as much as 80% of the funding of mosques and Moslem schools in Europe and the Americas comes from the Saudis; the latter may explain why so many American Moslems have a hard time rejecting Islamic extremism. Since the 1980s, I have felt that no ally treats us as badly as Saudi Arabia.

The reason for this strange love-hate relationship between Saudi Arabia and the West is a simple one: oil. Therefore, in order to force an accounting of Saudi behavior, we'll have to wean our economy from Saudi oil; this may also be necessary to win the war against terrorism. Doing that will require a crash program, you may even want to call it a second "Manhattan Project," to achieve energy independence. When we no longer need Saudi oil, we'll be in a better position to pressure Saudi Arabia to stop funding suicide bombings in Israel, Iraq, or anywhere else. It's also time we told them they won't be allowed to finance mosques in the West, at least until they show some tolerance for Christianity; there is no place in today's world for the decree of Mohammed against other religions existing in Arabia.

Dysfunctional cultures can last for a while by isolating their citizens and demonizing the outside world, as North Korea has done, but because they practice anti-survival techniques, like using their children as cannon fodder, they eventually fail, and because they are heavily armed, they tend to take a lot of people with them when they go down. Thus, you could think of them as the social equivalent of a wounded predator, which can be more dangerous than a healthy animal of the same species. In the case of Germany, it took World War II, followed by a complete reconstruction of society, before Germany could become a respectable member of the world community again. Therefore we can expect Islamist societies to collapse; the tricky part will be to manage their self-destruction without igniting a devastating war that could engulf many nations.

There is a line in the Talmud that reads: "There is no beauty like Jerusalem, no wealth like Rome, no magic like Egypt, no depravity like Arabia." That was written in the third century A.D., a full three hundred years before Mohammed. From what we know of the pre-Islamic Arabs, their worst sins were female infanticide and the worship of rocks. The author of that quote was probably thinking of the wicked city of Ubar, in what is now Oman, but today it seems more relevant than ever.

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