Epic of Ishtar and Izdubar: The King’s Answer And Ishtar’s Rage (Part 26) Assyrian

Amazed the sovereign sat upon his throne;
And while she wooed, his heart was turned to stone;
In scorn replied: “Rise Ishtar, Heaven’s high queen,
Though all thy wealth, possessions I had seen
Now piled before me, all in gems and gold,
Of all the wealth of Heaven there heaped of old,
I nakedness and famine would prefer
To all the wealth divine thou canst confer.

What carest thou for earthly royalty?
The cup of poison shall thy lovers see.
Thou sawest me within a haunt away
From men. I lingered on that direful day,
And took thee for a beauteous “zi-re-mu”[1]
Or “zi-ar-i-a” or a “zi-lit-tu”[2]
And thou didst cause to enter love divine.

As “zi-cur-un-i,” spirit of the wine,
Thou didst deceive me with thine arts refined,
And love escaped upon the passing wind.
Then to my palace come, and me there seek;
Didst place thy mouth upon my lips, and wake
Within my breast a dream of love and fire,
Till I awoke and checked thy wild desire;
Thou camest with the form of spirits fair,
Didst hover o’er me in my chamber there.

Thy godly fragrance from the skies above,
A sign did carry of the Queen of Love:
I woke, and thou didst vanish, then didst stand
As mine own servant in my palace grand.

Then as a skulking foe, a mystic spell
Didst weave, and scorch me with the fires of hell
While I was wrapped in sleep. Again I woke,
I saw around me “dal-khi”, sulphurous smoke,
Which thou didst send around my royal bed;
And I believed that I was with the dead,
With “dal-khi” gloating over me in hell.
My “su-khu-li” then sought thy presence fell.

Forever may thy wooing cease! for love
Hath fled, may godly praises never move
Upon the lips of holy gods, or men,–
Of thee, the god of Love ne’er speak again!
I loved thee once; with love my heart inflamed
Once sought thee, but my troubles I have blamed
Upon thee, for the dreams which thou didst send.
Go! rest thy heart; and to thy pleasures wend!

“For Tammuz of thy youth thy heart once wailed,
For years his weary form thy love assailed;
Allala next, the eagle, lovest, tore
His wings. No longer could he joyful soar
And float above the forest to the sky.

Thou leavest him with fluttering wings to die.
A lusty lion thou didst love, his might
Destroyed, and plucked his claws in fierce delight,
By sevens plucked, nor heard his piteous cry.

A glorious war-steed next thy love didst try,
Who yielded to thee, till his strength was gone:
For seven “kaspu”[3] thou didst ride upon
Him without ceasing, gave no food nor drink,
Till he beneath thee to the earth did sink,
And to his mistress, Sil-i-li, the steed
Returned with broken spirit, drooping head.

Thou lovest Tabulu, the shepherd king,
And from his love continuous didst wring
“Sem-uk-ki”[4], till he to appease thy love,
The mighty gods of heaven then sought to move
To pity with his daily offerings.
Beneath thy wand upon the ground he springs,
Transformed to a hyena; then was driven
From his own city–by his dogs was riven.

Next Is-ul-lan-u lov’st, uncouth, and rude,
Thy father’s laborer, who subject stood
To thee, and daily scoured thy vessels bright:
His eyes from him were torn, before thy sight.
And chained before thee, there thy lover stood,
With deadly poison placed within his food.

Thou sayst: ‘O Isullanu, stretch thy hand!
The food partake, that doth before thee stand!’
Then with thy hand didst offer him the food.
He said: ‘What askest thou? It is not good!
I will not eat the poison thus prepared.’
Thy godly wand him from thy presence cleared,
Transformed him to a pillar far away.

And for my love Queen Ishtar comes this day?
As thou hast done with others, would thy love
Return to me, thine actions all doth prove.”

The queen in fury from his presence turned,
In speechless rage the palace halls she spurned;
And proudly from the earth swept to the skies;
Her godly train in terror quickly flies.

[Footnote 1: “Zi-re-mu,” spirit of mercy or grace.]–[Footnote 2: “Zi-lit-tu,” spirit of the mist.]–[Footnote 3: “Seven kaspu,” fourteen hours; each kaspu was two hours.]–[Footnote 4: “Sem-uk-ki,” translated by Sayce “stibium,” antimony; by Talbot, “luetarish semukki,” “thou who didst make evil with thy drugs.”–
“Trans. Soc. Bib. Arch.”, vol. v. p. 110. Sayce’s edition Smith’s “C.A.G.,” p. 229.]

SOURCE: Babylonian and Assyrian Literature; Alcove II, Tablet V (1901): Translated by Leonidas Le Cenci Hamilton, M.A.

Epic of Ishtar and Izdubar: Ishtar Complains To Anu, King Of Heaven, (Part 27)

Epic of Ishtar and Izdubar: Coronation Of Izdubar As King Of The Four Races (Part 25); Assyrian


World War Two: Philippines (Prewar; Part 1-4C); Defense Plans WPO-3 “Orange”

Plans for the defense of the Philippine Islands had been in existence for many years when General MacArthur returned to active duty. The latest revision of these plans, completed in April 1941 and called War Plan ORANGE-3 (WPO-3 ), was based on the joint Army-Navy ORANGE plan of 1938, one of the many “color” plans developed during the prewar years. Each color plan dealt with a different situation, ORANGE covering an emergency in which only the United States and Japan would be involved. In this sense, the plan was strategically unrealistic and completely outdated by 1941. Tactically, however, the plan was an excellent one and its provisions for defense were applicable under any local situation. (Unless otherwise noted, this section is based on the Philippine Department Plan ORANGE, 1940 Revision. (Short title: HPD WPO-3), AG 326. The author has also had the benefit of conversations with the Philippine Department Commander, General Grunert, with Generals Sutherland and Marshall, and with various division commanders and staff officers who participated in the planning and execution of the plan.)


In War Plan ORANGE it was assumed that the Japanese attack would come without a declaration of war and with less than forty-eight hours’ warning so that it would not be possible to provide reinforcements from the United States for some time. The defense would therefore have to be conducted entirely by the military and naval forces already in the Philippines, supported by such forces as were available locally. The last category included any organized elements of the Philippine Army which might be inducted into the service of the United States under the Tydings-McDuffie Act.

An analysis of Japanese capabilities, as of 1 July 1940, led the Philippine Department planners to believe that the enemy would send an expedition of about 100,000 men to capture Manila and its harbor defenses in order to occupy the Philippines, sever the American line of communications, and deny the United States a naval base in the Far East. It was expected that this operation would be undertaken with the greatest secrecy and that it would precede or coincide with a declaration of war. The garrison therefore could expect little or no warning. The attack would probably come during the dry season, shortly after the rice crop was harvested, in December or January.

The enemy was assumed to have extensive knowledge of the terrain and of American strength and dispositions, and would probably be assisted by the 30,000 Japanese in the Islands. Army planners in the Philippines expected the Japanese to make their major attack against the island of Luzon and to employ strong ground forces with heavy air and naval support. They would probably land in many places simultaneously in order to spread thin the defending forces and assure the success of at least one of the landings. Secondary landings or feints were also expected. It was considered possible that the Japanese might attempt in a surprise move to seize the harbor defenses with a small force at the opening of hostilities.

Enemy air operations would consist of long-range reconnaissance and bombardment, probably coming without warning and coordinated with the landings. The Japanese would probably also attempt to establish air bases on Luzon very early in the campaign in order to destroy American air power and bomb military installations.

Under WPO-3 the mission of the Philippine garrison was to hold the entrance to Manila Bay and deny its use to Japanese naval forces. There was no intention that American troops should fight anywhere but in central Luzon. U.S. Army forces, constituting the Initial Protective Force, had the main task of preventing enemy landings. Failing in this, they were to defeat those forces which succeeded in landing.

If, despite these attempts, the enemy proved successful, the Initial Protective Force was to engage in delaying action but not at the expense of the primary mission, the defense of Manila Bay. Every attempt was to be made to hold back the Japanese advance while withdrawing to the Bataan peninsula. Bataan was recognized as the key to the control of Manila Bay, and it was to be defended to the “last extremity.”

To reinforce the Initial Protective Force, Philippine Army units were to be mobilized immediately upon the outbreak of war and would be ready to participate in the defense of Bataan. If used as anticipated in WPO-3, which was prepared before July 1941, the Philippine Army would be under the command of the Philippine Department commander and would be utilized to defend Manila Bay. The plan did not contemplate using Philippine Army units for the defense of the entire archipelago.

WPO-3 divided Luzon, the principal theater of operations, into six sectors with a mobile reserve. Detailed plans for the defense of each sector were made by the sector commanders. The commander of the Philippine Division, the only U.S. Army division in the Philippines, in addition to conducting operations in the sector or sectors assigned to him, was to organize the defenses of Bataan and to command operations there if necessary.

Air support was to be provided by the 4th Composite Group, the predecessor of the Far East Air Force. This group was to obtain information of enemy location, strength, and . disposition by continuous reconnaissance, attack the Japanese whenever conditions were favorable, and support ground operations. In order to keep this air force in operation as long as possible, its planes were to be employed “conservatively” and every effort was to be made to supplement the strength of the group by taking over the Philippine Army Air Corps and commercial planes.

The navy was to set up defensive coastal areas at the entrances to Manila and Subic Bays. At the first sign of an attack a defensive area was to be set up around Manila to control all shipping and a patrol system established for Manila and Subic Bays. The Army, through the Department quartermaster, would control all shore facilities at the port of Manila.

The supply plan in WPO-3 was a complicated one. Provision had to be made to supply the six sectors during the initial phase of operations and to withdraw supplies into Bataan where a base would be established to support a prolonged defense. Supply officers estimated that they would probably require enough supplies for 31,000 men (the Bataan Defense Force )-later raised to 40,000 men-to last 180 days. The defense reserve already on hand, except for ammunition, was considered by the planners sufficient to supply such a force for the period required in a defensive situation.

The bulk of the supplies was stored in the Manila area which lacked adequate protection from attacking aircraft. In the event it became necessary to move the supplies to Corregidor and Bataan, the enemy would have to be delayed long enough to carry out this operation.

Prior to the start of operations on Bataan, supplies were to be moved rapidly to the peninsula. At the same time the Corregidor reserves, set first at a 6-month supply for 7,000 men and then for 10,000 men, were to be brought up to the authorized allotment. Philippine Department depots and installations in the Manila area were to be maintained just as long as the tactical situation permitted. Depots at Fort Stotsenburg, Fort William McKinley, Tarlac, San Fernando, Manila, and elsewhere would supply the various sectors. A Bataan Service Area was to be established, initially to assist in organizing the final defense positions and ultimately to supply the entire force after it had withdrawn to Bataan for the last stand. All stocks in the Department, except those of the Harbor Defenses of Manila and Subic Bays, would eventually be transferred to Bataan.

Plans for local procurement included the exploitation of the Manila area with its commercial warehouses, factories, and transportation facilities. Procurement districts, coinciding roughly with the sector boundaries, would be established later. Troops would take the field with two days of Class I supplies (rations), one emergency ration, and two days of fire. Class I and III supplies (gasoline and lubricants) would be issued automatically thereafter at rail or navigation heads; Class II, IV, and V supplies (clothing, construction and other heavy equipment, and ammunition) would be requisitioned from depots as needed. The issue of supplies to Philippine Army units would depend upon the speed with which they were mobilized ‘and their location.

The transportation of troops and equipment, the planners realized, would be a difficult problem. There was a large number of passenger buses on Luzon, centrally organized and operated. The 4,000 trucks on the island were of varying type, size, and condition and were mainly individually owned. Passenger buses were to be requisitioned immediately by the Army for use as personnel carriers. Since it would take longer to requisition trucks, cargo requirements were to be kept to an absolute minimum. In the initial move by the mobile forces toward the threatened beaches, little difficulty was expected with motor transportation. Later, as supply requirements rose and as troops moved back toward Bataan (if the enemy could not be repelled at the beaches), motor pools were to be formed. When Philippine Army units were mobilized the drain on the motor transport services was expected to increase greatly since these units had no organic motor transportation.

Nothing was said in WPO-3 about what was to happen after the defenses on Bataan crumbled. Presumably by that time, estimated at six months, the U.S. Pacific Fleet would have fought its way across the Pacific, won a victory over the Combined Fleet, and made secure the line of communications. The men and supplies collected on the west coast during that time would then begin to reach the Philippines in a steady stream. The Philippine garrison, thus reinforced, could then counterattack and drive the enemy into the sea.

Actually, no one in a position of authority at that time (April 1941 ) believed that anything like this would happen. Informed naval opinion estimated that it would require at least two years for the Pacific Fleet to fight its way across the Pacific. There was no plan to concentrate men and supplies on the west coast and no schedule for their movement to the Philippines. Army planners in early 1941 believed that at the end of six months, if not sooner, supplies would be exhausted and the garrison would go down in defeat. WPO-3 did not say this; instead it said nothing at all. And everyone hoped that when the time came something could be done, some plan improvised to relieve or rescue the men stranded 7,000 miles across the Pacific.

SOURCE: The Fall Of The Philippines by Louis Morton (United States Army Center of Military History)


World News Headlines: 12-22-2018


Gatwick drone disturbance: UK police make first arrests; Gatwick airport has been plagued by drones in the past two days grounding hundreds of flights. Police have arrested two people they suspect are tied to the incident. UK police arrested two people in relation to repeated drone disturbances at Gatwick airport, authorities said on Saturday. The incident grounded hundreds of flights causing travel chaos. More than 120,000 passengers were affected. The arrests were made late on Friday, according to Sussex police.

US ambassador to Germany demands Spiegel fake news investigation; Richard Grenell has demanded an investigation after a journalist for a respected news weekly in Germany was caught falsifying reports from the US. The magazine has rejected claims of anti-Americanism. US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell on Friday demanded an independent investigation into a German journalist who was caught making up key details in a series of reports for Der Spiegel news magazine. He said the revelations “are troubling to the US Embassy, particularly because several of these fake stories focused on US policies and certain segments of the American people.” He said he wrote to the editors of the respected news weekly calling for an “independent and transparent investigation.”

EU, US, Canada demand China release arrested Canadians; China is holding a former diplomat and a businessman after Canada arrested a prominent Chinese executive. The European Union, the US and Canada are demanding the release of the pair. The EU, the US and Canada on Friday jointly demanded the release of two Canadians who were arrested in China last week. Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat and a think thank adviser, and businessman Michael Spavor are being held after Canadian police arrested Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, in relation to sanctions on Iran. The United States is seeking her extradition. EU High Representative Federica Mogherini’s spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said China’s justification for the Canadians’ arrest “raises concerns about legitimate research and business practices in China.”

Anti-Orban protesters ridicule Hungary’s ‘slave law’; “We can finally work eight days a week,” read the invitation sent out by the satirical Two-Tailed Dog Party ahead of a Budapest march. Viktor Orban dismissed the protests over the new labor law as “hysterical shouting.” Thousands marched in Budapest on Friday against the new labor law and the government’s move to set up a separate system of courts it would control. The satirical Two-Tailed Dog Party (MKKP) said the rally was in support of “government policies, Christmas and snowfall.” Protesters also mocked other recent moves by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government, such as the ban on homelessness and the ouster of the Central European University backed by the US-Hungarian billionaire George Soros. The Hungarian regime often accuses Soros of devious anti-government plots. “I want to give birth to a stadium,” read one of the signs carried by protesters on Friday, referencing Orban’s focus on raising the birth rate and building overpriced sports facilities.

Germany’s last black hard coal mine Prosper-Haniel closes; Ceremonies have been held to mark the end of 155 years of coal mining at Prosper-Haniel in the industrial Ruhr Valley. RWE’s Hambach Garzweiler brown coal, lignite open mine continues to expand. On Friday the mine was formally closed in the presence of miners and dignitaries from across the country and beyond. President Frank-Walter Steinmeier received the last piece of local coal from one of the miners who had brought it to the surface.

UN Security Council approves Yemen ceasefire monitors for Hodeidah; In an unexpected move the UN Security Council unanimously approved the sending of UN monitors to observe the Yemen ceasefire and combatants’ departure from the port city. But the US insisted on changes to the text. The UN envoy for Yemen had urged the rapid deployment of monitors as “an essential part of the confidence” for the implementation of the ceasefire agreement signed by Yemen’s government and Houthi rebels in Stockholm earlier in the month. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is to “establish and deploy, for an initial period of 30 days from the adoption of this resolution, an advance team to begin monitoring and to support and facilitate the immediate implementation of the Stockholm agreement.” He is then expected to submit proposals on longer-term UN monitoring. The ceasefire deal for the port city was hailed as the first sign of a breakthrough in the four-year conflict. Friday’s UN resolution was the first on Yemen in more than three years.

Morocco backpacker murder video ‘authentic’ says Norway; The bodies of the Danish and Norwegian backpackers who were murdered in Morocco have been flown home. Moroccan authorities said a total of 13 suspects have been arrested in connection with the women’s deaths. Police in Norway said on Friday that footage circulating on social media showing a woman in underpants screaming as a man decapitates her with what appears to be a kitchen knife was likely authentic.

Risk of violence in DR Congo as opposition rejects election delay; Opposition parties in the DRC have condemned the decision by the electoral commission to postpone the December 23 vote. The postponement threatens to throw the mineral-rich country into further political turmoil. “We do not want this [electoral] commission anymore,” Felix Tshisekedi, one of the main opposition candidates, declared, following the decision to postpone the elections. “We are ready for elections this Sunday,” Tshisekedi said, as he threatened to call on his supporters to protest. Tshisekedi has since softened his stance and told reporters on Friday that he will accept only a one-week delay. “Not a day more.”
Initially scheduled for December 23, Congo’s general election was pushed back after a fire in the capital Kinshasa destroyed 8,000 of the newly purchased 10,368 electronic voting machines.

FRANCE (France24)

Arrests fuel anxieties among China Canadian expats; The arrest of a third Canadian in China has heightened anxiety even in an expatriate community accustomed to some level of fear and uncertainty. Beijing on Thursday confirmed it arrested Canadian Sarah McIver for “working illegally” in the country, following the detention of two other Canadians on national security grounds. While Canadian authorities said the latest detention appears to be a routine visa case, it has nonetheless exacerbated concerns among Canadian expatriates in China — fearful that they too might be detained over a legal technicality. “I think most Canadians that are here are living in fear at some level, a fear of losing what they have here, a fear of getting arrested, fear of retribution,” said Shanghai-based Ricky Ng-Adam, founder of CoderBunker, a community of software developers. “It’s a constant fear,” he said, adding that some of his compatriots self-censor their social media postings and try to keep a low profile. Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and China-based business consultant Michael Spavor were detained on December 10 and accused of engaging in activities that “endanger China’s national security”. Kovrig is a senior advisor at the International Crisis Group think tank, while Spavor facilitates trips to North Korea, including visits by former NBA star Dennis Rodman. Though no link has officially been made between the three detentions, suspicions are mounting that China is holding at least two of the Canadian nationals in retaliation of Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou, a top executive at Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

Kurds urge France to play bigger role in Syria amid US troop withdrawal; Ilham Ahmed, the Kurdish co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council, said that Kurdish fighters may have to withdraw from the front lines in the fight against the Islamic State group. Ahmed warned that a Turkish attack could bring the battle against the IS group in Syria to a halt. She said France as a NATO member has a moral obligation to prevent Turkey from attacking Kurds.

Dozens of protesters and police hurt as Spain cabinet meets in Catalonia; The weekly cabinet meeting usually takes place in Madrid but Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist government decided to hold it in the Catalan capital as part of efforts to reduce tensions. The timing of the cabinet meeting — a year to the day after Madrid held snap elections in Catalonia after blocking the region’s bid for independence — offended some Catalans. Far from reducing tensions it appeared to have the opposite effect, with some 40,000 people marching peacefully along the Paseo de Gracia main road, but with a firm message; “Let’s topple the regime”. “This is a provocation. They have come here to provoke us,” said one demonstrator, textile worker Carles Serra, 45.

French National Assembly approves Macron’s tax concessions to ‘Yellow Vest’ protesters; The tax cuts for low-income workers were put forward by Macron in a televised address earlier this month to help cool weeks of protests that brought major disruption to the country. The measures provide a “quick, strong and concrete response” to the crisis, said the labour minister Muriel Penicaud in a debate which lasted into the early hours of Friday morning. The measures include the removal of a planned tax increase for a majority of pensioners and tax-free overtime pay for all workers.


Japan investigates S.Korea radar incident; Japan is investigating the intention of the South Korean military following a radar incident over the Sea of Japan. The crew of a South Korean naval vessel locked its fire-control radar on a Japanese patrol aircraft on Thursday. The incident involved a South Korean destroyer and Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force P-1 patrol plane off the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture. The Japanese government lodged a protest with South Korean authorities, saying it was an extremely dangerous act that could have resulted in an unexpected contingency. Officials in Tokyo also called for measures to prevent a recurrence. Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said on Friday that he will hear explanations from South Korea and will seek ways to prevent the incident from affecting bilateral relations. Tokyo will again ask South Korea to prevent a recurrence at a meeting of senior foreign ministry officials in Seoul on Monday. A ministry official said the incident is unthinkable considering that Japan is a friendly nation to South Korea. The South Korean defense ministry said in a statement that the radar was used during ordinary operational activity. It says its vessel did not lock on radar to track the Japanese patrol aircraft. South Korean sources explained that the radar was used to rescue a North Korean boat in distress.

Kelly in custody until at least Tuesday; Former Nissan Motor representative director Greg Kelly is expected to remain in custody until at least Tuesday. Kelly was arrested along with Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn last month on suspicion of conspiring to underreport Ghosn’s pay. The two have since been indicted but deny any wrongdoing. Kelly’s defense team on Friday filed for his release on bail at the Tokyo District Court, a day after prosecutors’ request to extend his detention was rejected. The court asked the prosecutors for their views on the release request, as stipulated by law. But people familiar with the matter say the prosecutors had not submitted their views as of 3:30 PM on Friday. This means the court cannot make a decision on the request by the end of the day. It is unlikely that Kelly’s defense team will be able to pay his bail during the three-day holiday that starts Saturday, which means the earliest he can be released is Tuesday.

Japan Foreign Ministry condemns APT10 cyberattacks; Japan’s Foreign Ministry says a group of hackers based in China accused by the United States and Britain of cyber-espionage has also staged attacks in Japan. The ministry’s press secretary said in a statement on Friday that Japan has identified continuous attacks by the group known as APT10 against various domestic targets, including private companies and academic institutions. The statement expresses “resolute condemnation” of such attacks. It adds that Japan strongly supports the commitment of Britain, the United States and other countries to uphold the rules-based international order in cyberspace. The US Justice Department said on Thursday that it has indicted two Chinese members of APT10 for allegedly mounting cyber-attacks on firms and government institutions around the world since 2006. Britain also announced that the group has carried out attacks targeting intellectual property and sensitive commercial data in Europe, Asia and the US. The Japanese statement urges China to act responsibly, noting that G20 members, including China, have affirmed their commitment to the prohibition of intellectual property theft.

Kono-Lavrov meeting being arranged for Jan. 14; Japan and Russia are making final adjustments for their foreign ministers to meet next month to discuss a peace treaty. Taro Kono and Sergey Lavrov may meet in Moscow on January 14th. The focal point of their talks is a territorial dispute over four Russian-controlled islands claimed by Japan. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Vladimir Putin agreed earlier this month that Kono and Lavrov would negotiate a peace treaty before Abe visits Russia. This follows an agreement between Abe and Putin last month that the countries should accelerate negotiations on a peace treaty based on a 1956 joint declaration. The declaration says Moscow will hand over to Japan two of the four Russian-held islands after a peace treaty is signed. The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan’s territory. It says they were illegally occupied after World War Two. Abe is scheduled to visit Russia before the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in late January. The prime minister hopes to make progress in talks with Putin to prepare the draft text of the peace treaty.