Iraqi Transportation Minister Embraces Zecharia Sitchin's Ideas, Claims Sumerians Visited Outer Space
OK, it’s time to give up and go home. I know that Iraq is a third world country and that the Coalition Provisional Authority left its new government woefully unprepared to face the challenges of a post-occupation economic, political, and cultural recovery. Indeed, Iraq is full of problems, from the rise of the Islamic State to the influence of Iran and the desire of groups within the country to break away. But what on Earth possessed the country’s transportation minister to endorse the ancient astronaut theory?
Kazem Finjan al-Hamami, currently serving in the Iraqi government, told reporters that the Sumerians built an airport in the country in 5000 BCE and used it to explore outer space. “The first airport that was established on planet earth was in this place,” Finjan told reporters in the southern region of Dhi Qar, home to the ancient cities of Eridu and Ur. “Sumerian spaceships used to launch from here towards the other planets.” He also credited the Sumerians with discovering the dwarf planet Pluto.
(Media sources are divided on whether to refer to him as Mr. Finjan or Mr. al-Hamami, so I went with the British press’s choice. His first name is also transliterated as Kazim.)
Reporters on the scene were stunned into silence, and some speculated that they were afraid to contradict a government official.
Finjan went on to offer his thoughts on angels, which he seemed happy to describe in terms at odds with his professed belief in Islam. Finjan claimed that all angels derive from Sumerian winged beings, a key claim of the ancient astronaut theory, which identifies such beings as the so-called Anunnaki space gods. The Anunnaki were the collective, mostly anonymous gods of heaven and the underworld.
According to media accounts, Finjan cited his claims to Samuel Kramer, the Russo-American Assyriologist who wrote a series of books about the Sumerians in the middle twentieth century. Needless to say, Kramer never provided any of those claims in his books. But—and this is perhaps the true source—Kramer’s books were the key source for Zecharia Sitchin, who did make those claims. It would be easy enough for Finjan to mistake the source Sitchin manipulated for the origin point of the claims.
Indeed, we know this must be the case because Finjan, misunderstanding his source, identified Pluto as the “twelfth planet,” the very name of Sitchin’s most famous book. He seems to have confused Pluto with the hypothesized Nibiru. Sitchin did, however, claim that the Sumerians had observed Pluto and that they believed it to be a former moon that escaped from Saturn’s orbit in historical times. He claimed that Pluto was named Gaga in Sumerian texts.
Fortunately, Iraqis are much smarter than cable television producers, so instead of pretending to give respect to alternative history they immediately and roundly mocked Finjan with a vitriol we rarely see here in the United States, except, perhaps, when Ben Carson said something so utterly ridiculous about the pyramids that even national news reporters realized it was counterfactual. Compare, for example, the relatively restrained treatment given to Hillary Clinton’s professed interest in alien abduction.
Al Jazeera journalist Amer al-Kubaisi, an Iraqi national, tweeted his disdain: “Can you believe that this imbecile is the current Iraqi transportation minister? I thank Allah for the blessing of a brain.”
10/3/2016 11:42:14 am
Iraq needs money, and ISIS has stolen all the oil. Obviously he is trying to promote tourism which the Islamic State is making very hard to do (good chance you'll die if you are a Christian). So if you promote Stitchen's theories, build a couple of ancient alien theme parks, and encourage gullible Americans to come visit and try some amateur archaeology - a gold mine!!
10/3/2016 01:43:22 pm
"...a gold mine!!"
10/3/2016 05:41:14 pm
Sadly, the average ancient astronaut believer can't afford a trip to Iraq. But I suppose something like the Conspira-Sea cruise might provide a more affordable option.
10/4/2016 06:35:05 am
The Bible experts are not interested in drugs being the origin of religion instead of Ancient Astronauts.
An Over-Educated Grunt
10/3/2016 12:03:17 pm
I'm hearing plain old grasping at straws nationalism personally. He picked a really dumb straw but unfortunately Babylon is still tarred with the Saddam brush, Persia is already called by the Iranians, and Harun al-Rashid is claimed by the Caliph next door. Personally I'd have gone with Sargon but if he wants to go with Sitchin I can at leafy understand the impulse. Once had someone tell me with a straight face that Hannibal had "Zulu warriors on elephants defeating the Romans." Dumbest NCO I ever knew. Same sort of thing. When you need something to be proud of you grasp at straws.
10/3/2016 01:06:32 pm
Iraq - source of Enlightenment of intelligence and civilization
10/3/2016 03:04:55 pm
What came first, planet Gaga or Lady Gaga? Will she be throwing a concert in Iraq? Yikes. She would have to be from Pluto to pull that off. It must be a typo. Gaga is also a baby sound.
10/3/2016 04:40:47 pm
10/3/2016 07:45:53 pm
Well put ! My thoughts exactly.
10/3/2016 09:42:00 pm
Well, if that reflects the average caliber of thinking of Iraqi government ministers, it's certainly no surprise that the government can't seem to do anything to solve that nation's problems.
S D O
10/3/2016 09:47:50 pm
10/4/2016 12:22:12 am
Does help to know where to put the emphasis.
10/4/2016 01:23:14 pm
This imbecile can't even tell the difference between an airport and a spaceport? Thank God I have a brain.
10/4/2016 02:28:52 pm
Zulu's on elephants conquering Rome is no weirder than using the name Gaga for a planet.
10/11/2016 02:16:11 pm
I've read that angels derive from Sumer (as do the Djinn.) But from the Abgal (Apkallu,) not the Anunna.
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