The 4 Freedoms Library

It takes a nation to protect the nation

Missing monuments: Before & After pics of Palmyra show what ISIS has destroyed

What remains of the historic Temple of Bel, dating back to 32AD. © Joseph Eid
Joseph Eid, a photographer for AFP news agency, traveled to the Syrian city of Palmyra, recently recaptured from Islamic State, carrying with him photos that he took two years ago. When he tried to recreate the images, the results displayed how much damage the Islamists have wrought.

A picture of the Arc du Triomphe (Triumph's Arch) contrasted with what remains of the historic monument after it was destroyed by Islamic State (IS) group jihadists in October 2015 in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. © Joseph Eid

The Arc du Triomphe was completed in the 3rd century, to celebrate the Roman victory over Parthia, a kingdom in modern-day Iran, which staunchly opposed the Roman onslaught for nearly three centuries.

Another view showing the full extent of the damage at Arc du Triomphe (Triumph's Arch), which was destroyed by Isis in October 2015. © Joseph Eid

The arch was destroyed by Islamic State in October last year, though plans have been announced to rebuild it with its original stones, using 3D models of the monument.

A picture showing the Temple of Bel before it was destroyed by Isis in September 2015 in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. The structure dated back to 32AD. © Joseph Eid

Opened at the turn of the last millennium, the Temple of Bel was dedicated to the Mesopotamian deity, and was considered one of the most intact monuments at the entire UNESCO World Heritage site of Palmyra.

Security officials stand around the ruins of the Temple of Bel. © Joseph Eid

As Palmyra changed hands, it served as a Byzantine church, and later a mosque, before being preserved as a historical monument, prior to being blown up by Islamic State, which took control of the city in May last year.

The Temple of Baal Shamin seen through two Corinthian columns at Palmyra, Syria. © Joseph Eid

Built in a Greco-Roman style, the Temple of Baalshamin served a sky deity, which existed alongside Bel. It was also well preserved, and it is thought that Islamic State sought to destroy the best-known landmarks of the city one by one, capturing international headlines with each blast.

A picture taken in the Palymra museum showing defaced sculptures. © Joseph Eid

While the destruction of the temples may have been largely symbolic, the empty mounts for historical sculptures are testament to Islamic State's looting.

Tags: (Syria, 2015), Destruction, Islamic, Palmyra, The, of

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Report: Islamic State blows up prisoners alongside antiquities

, USA TODAY5:29 p.m. EDT October 27, 2015

The Islamic State executed three detainees in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra by strapping them to pillars and then blowing them up along with the antiquities, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rightsreported.

"This execution is the first of its kind by the Islamic State, the organization (that) in recent months has invented new ways of execution," the observatory said in a statement late Monday. The London-based group said it obtained its information from local sources.

The report came just days after the observatory released footage Saturday that appeared to show Islamic State militants executing a teenage Syrian soldier by running him over with a tank. Before being executed, the soldier is shown "confessing" to having used a tank himself to run over bodies of Islamic State soldiers, the observatory said.

The Islamic State has consistently used the Internet and social media to publicize its brutality. Last year, the terror group released a series of videos showing the beheadings of Western aide workers. In January, it released a video showing a young boy executing prisoners the Islamic State called "spies."

The Islamic State also has been unabashed in its destruction of antiquities at Palmyra, claiming the archaeological sites and statues promote idolatry.

The first-known settlement at Palmyra dates to the second millennium B.C. The Islamic State took the city from Syrian military forces in May during an offensive that resulted in domination of a wide swath of the country. Islamic State militants beheaded the city's antiquities expert and have been destroying archaeological artifacts ever since, sometimes releasing photos as proof.

In August, the Islamic State announced the destruction of the Baalshamin temple, which had an altar dating to 115 AD, and released photos of the effort. Irina Bokova, the director-general of UNESCO, described the temple's destruction as war crime and "immense loss for the Syrian people."

Earlier this month, the militants reportedly blew up Palmyra's iconic Arch of Triumph, resulting in Maamun Abdulkarim, Syria's head of antiquities, pleading with the international community to "find a way to save Palmyra."

Palmyra mass grave: Tortured women & children among dozens of ISIS victims unearthed by Syrian Army

© Omar Sanadiki
The Syrian Army is unearthing a mass grave consisting of at least 40 corpses, many of them women and children. They were butchered by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in the recently liberated ancient city of Palmyra.

The grave was discovered by engineers and “popular defense forces” in the Masakin al-Jahizia neighborhood of the city, which lies only 500 meters from the ancient ruins, SANA reports

So far the army has recovered 25 corpses. Among those killed by IS were three children and five females. As the excavation proceeded, 15 more corpses were unearthed – all of them women and children.

Initial examination of the bodies revealed that some of the victims had been beheaded while other had been brutally tortured before their deaths.

The army continues to excavate the mass grave, fearing that more bodies may be found.

Engineering units continue their search for landmines and explosives as thousands were hidden by the jihadists before they were driven out of the city with the help of the Russian forces working with the Syrian Army.

Russian combat engineers arrived in Palmyra on Thursday with special robotic units to offer their expertise in detecting and dismantling mines in an area comprising over 180 hectares (445 acres), to save the UNESCO world heritage site, and help locals to return safely.

“At least 3,000 explosive devices were installed in the city,” the sapper explained to RT. He said IS created an almost invisible interconnected network, partially hidden under hard paved roads, which could blow up the entire city.

READ MORE:Palmyra booby-trap: ISIS had 3,000 bombs rigged, ready to...

A strategically important location, Palmyra was seized by IS jihadists in May 2015. That month, IS reportedly slaughtered 400 people, mostly women and children. At the time, Reuters reported that a video posted by IS’ supporters showed the militants entering governmental buildings in search of Syrian soldiers. They were also seen pulling down pictures of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his father, Hafez Assad.

It's as if Islam was a living entity, an evil creature that has to be destroyed.

Demining Palmyra: Russian experts defuse over 100 mines in ancient Syrian city

Look what those 'nasty', 'uncaring' Russians, our enemies apparently, have been up to now:

Russian sappers defuse 3,000 bombs in Palmyra in 12 days - Defense Ministry

Russian military removes all mines & bombs in historic Palmyra
ISIS bomb cache in Palmyra: Russian sappers unearth depot with 12,000 explosive devices


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Mission Overview

Most Western societies are based on Secular Democracy, which itself is based on the concept that the open marketplace of ideas leads to the optimum government. Whilst that model has been very successful, it has defects. The 4 Freedoms address 4 of the principal vulnerabilities, and gives corrections to them. 

At the moment, one of the main actors exploiting these defects, is Islam, so this site pays particular attention to that threat.

Islam, operating at the micro and macro levels, is unstoppable by individuals, hence: "It takes a nation to protect the nation". There is not enough time to fight all its attacks, nor to read them nor even to record them. So the members of 4F try to curate a representative subset of these events.

We need to capture this information before it is removed.  The site already contains sufficient information to cover most issues, but our members add further updates when possible.

We hope that free nations will wake up to stop the threat, and force the separation of (Islamic) Church and State. This will also allow moderate Muslims to escape from their totalitarian political system.

The 4 Freedoms

These 4 freedoms are designed to close 4 vulnerabilities in Secular Democracy, by making them SP or Self-Protecting (see Hobbes's first law of nature). But Democracy also requires - in addition to the standard divisions of Executive, Legislature & Judiciary - a fourth body, Protector of the Open Society (POS), to monitor all its vulnerabilities (see also Popper). 
1. SP Freedom of Speech
Any speech is allowed - except that advocating the end of these freedoms
2. SP Freedom of Election
Any party is allowed - except one advocating the end of these freedoms
3. SP Freedom from Voter Importation
Immigration is allowed - except where that changes the political demography (this is electoral fraud)
4. SP Freedom from Debt
The Central Bank is allowed to create debt - except where that debt burden can pass across a generation (25 years).

An additional Freedom from Religion is deducible if the law is applied equally to everyone:

  • Religious and cultural activities are exempt from legal oversight except where they intrude into the public sphere (Res Publica)"

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