Some of the men who played an instrumental rôle in Europe’s long struggle against Islamic imperialism were:
Otho de Lagery, Pope Urban II
Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles Martel, Mayor of the Palace and Duke of the Franks
Vladislav III Dracula Ţepeş, Prince of Wallachia
Jan III Sobieski, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania
And so it seems strange that whereas the reaction of Europeans back then was to form alliances and enter into oaths to protect Christian Europe from the Turks, and to fight wars to drive out (if not stop) the Turks, the reaction of today’s Europeans is to shrug and continue to chastise America.
But this would be to simplify things perhaps too much. What is interesting is Vladislav (often shortened to “Vlad”) III Dracula. His father was inducted into the Order of the Dragon created by Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund to protect Europe from the Islamic imperialists. In recognition of this, Vlad obtained the surname of “Dracul” (“dragon” in Romanian). His son, Vlad III, would be surnamed “Dracula” which means “(son) of the Dragon”. Vlad III was not officially a part of the Order of the Dragon, but Vlad III did much more against the Turks and for Europe than his father did. His father backed out of his oath to fight the Turks when they threatened Europe. But Vlad III Dracula did fight the Turks. So European ambivalence seems to run far back.
But then the war back then was quite clear and obvious: the Islamic empires soldiers were galloping across the fields with their horses, scimitars, and banners. There is no such activity now. Rather than obtaining influence over the West through political annexation, many Muslims are attempting to annex the West through sophistry and demographics.
But on that end, I do not entirely buy the notion that the West is inevitably doomed. Europe, maybe. They seem to have lost the will to perpetuate their own cultures, which would doom them to extinction with or without foreigners in their midst. But Americans cling to their culture and peculiar notions, regardless how much they cheer on the exotic foreigners. As long as it doesn’t change the way Americans do things the American way, they can’t be bothered. Furthermore, although more and more people are choosing to have fewer children, there are still a number of groups that continue to have many children (Hispanics, Catholics, Latter-day Saints, and Orthodox Jews come to mind).
Of course, the difference between Vlad Dracul, who paid tribute to the Ottoman sultan and gave over to the sultan two of his sons as hostages, and Vlad III Dracula, Vlad Dracul’s son, was that Vlad III Dracula know first hand what the enemy was like, having been held hostage by them. He was filled with zeal to escape the Turks, oust the Turks from his lands, and kick the Turks out of Europe. He had many successes but in the end was betrayed by his own people…who capitulated to the Turks.
Vlad III Dracula – as well as Emperor Sigismund, Pope Urban II, Charles Martel, and King Jan III Sobieski – all knew that we have to put in effort to remain free. Rather than joining alliances and riding off on horses, we can put in effort by teaching our own people about our civilization and instill in them a love and pride for it.
In recent elections, the government of Poland was ousted. The opposition, characterized as pro-business and pro-EU, said it would pull out of Iraq.
Now, if I were the Iraqi parliament, I would pass legislation condemning the Polish government and mandating that no deals may be made between Iraq and Poland as punishment for Poland for abandoning Iraq, for not seeing the project through, for cutting and running. But, of course, that was just be spiteful; and it will never happen.
I am very disappointed in Poland.
I wonder if our anti-war rhetoricians here realize that with the fewer countries contributing, the more The United States will have to contribute.
I wonder if we are the only ones with the integrity and dependability to see this through. Abandoning such a vital cause is so…European. With this sort of allies, let Europe go to the immigrants. I don’t care. We don’t need such un-dependable friends.
fa innaa naHnu-l-maghribu-l-Haqeeqee
Oh, the irony.
Michael of Innocent Bystanders wrote a thought-provoking comment-post (technically, no one there posts: they all comment): Media Bias Against Muslims? In it, he quotes “Media Coverage of Muslims Bombs” by Lorraine Ali of Newsweek.
Now, I want to get this out of the way: I was little shocked to see Michael post such a post-comment. But this post-comment provides for me an excellent example of an otherwise well-meaning, erudite, educated, and admirable person may come to see the situation in a way that might not be entirely accurate. I don’t blame Michael for how he sees things, even though I see things in quite a different way. Read the rest of this entry »
geoff, this is for you.
“Why Ethiopia Is Winning in Somalia” by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross of Pajamas Media is an excellent article on Ethiopia’s armed campaign against the Islamist forces of Somalia, why and how Ethiopia is winning, and how and why it looks like Ethiopia will, in the end, prevail against Somalia’s Islamists.
Of course, Gartenstein-Ross says that there are lessons and examples here for The United States to learn, but I doubt it. There are quite different constraints on The United States than on Ethiopia. What works for Ethiopia, then, may not (and, in fact, will not) work for The United States. But it is wise and prudent and quite pertinent to be aware of these differences. (For one thing, this awareness may prepare us to lean more on warfare by proxy as opposed to direct involvement. Although I should mention that, unfortunately, Iraq and Afghanistan were different cases wherein The United States had to get directly involved.)
It is amusing and distressing–as predictable as it is–that Europe is quite displeased by Ethiopia’s campaign, and is pressuring Ethiopia to desist. Count on the Europeans to try and frustrate efforts to wipe out militant Islamism.
I want to point out that the article mentions what will ultimately cause the Islamist threat to disappear: exterminating it all together. As unpleasant as it may sound (and we Westerners are particularly loathe to consider such things), the fact remains that if the Islamists are pushed out without being eliminated, they will try to come back. Fleeing to safer areas, which they will find, they will rearm and replenish their resources (including finances), which they will be able to easily do, and then resume their jihad to regain Somalia. And then the whole thing will repeat itself. Additionally, there is a fear that Somalia’s Islamists inside and outside Somalia, and the Islamists’ international partners, will attempt to establish guerilla (sp?) warfare and/or suicide terrorism in Somalia. So, for many reasons, eliminating this network of militant Islamists is vital to securing the Horn of Africa.
The article also raises interesting points on what challenges lie ahead for Ethiopia. But it is nice to see them make progress. This sort of policy, which we held on to during Cold War I, will serve is very well in World War III (sometimes called the “War on Terror(ism)”) and Cold War II. And I hope this will open the door to the amelioration of conditions in that part of the world.
I wish to hear what you, my honorable readers, think about this.
ETA, a Basque independence terrorist outfit, attacked with a car bomb, injuring 19 people.
In a prudent move, the IRA renounced terrorism after militant Islamist terrorists attacked the Underground. One would have expected the ETA to do the same after militant Islamists attacked Madrid.
The examples of how governments have reacted to terrorist attacks in Britain, Sri Lanka, India, and. Israel should make it clear that terrorism doesn’t work. As much as utmat exasperate government officials, such acts only erode support for terrorists’ cause and even opens the door for the government to act more harshly than if there were no attacks.
And yet these groups continue their abominable attacks.
The ETA’s attack will only hurt it and the Socialist government which had such a comparatively lenient policy towards them. The militant Islamist terrorists’ attack helped bring in the Socialist government, and now an ETA attack may bring it down.
In one way, I don’t really feel comfortable addressing this issue. It’s not safe. But it’s an important issue, so I better talk about it.
Often when I think about the “network” part of “militant Islamist terrorist networks,” I think about cell phones, bank transfers, smuggling, and, believe it or not, honey. (Honey is an ancient and major commodity in the Middle East — used mainly in tea and in food and as a food — , and NPR once said that militant Islamist terrorist networks practically controlled the entire industry, using their control not only to launder money but also to transport and hide ammunitions, materiel, money, and even people.)
Even considering the online presence of these networks, I am wont to think of fora and websites that have propagandistic books in PDF format. I am more aware of Islamists online than militant Islamist terrorists. (I tend to avoid the latter anyway.)
But we would be quite foolish — and I admit I have been foolish thusly — to ignore the very real online presence of militant Islamist terrorists, their networks, and their supporters. Whether e-mail, chat rooms, fora, links, portals, downloadable material (books, manuals, music, instructions, proapaganda), there is a large presence of militant Islamists. (This is, of course, in addition to Islamists of all types, which is an issue that deserves its own post and attention.)
What do militant Islamists use the Internet for? In a word: everything.
But I would like to focus on one phenomenon in particular, which may be known under many names: cyber-jihad, cyber-warfare, hacking, cracking, cyber-terrorism, so on and so forth. This relates to the efforts of computer-savvy Islamists — militant and otherwise — to sabotage, destroy, disrupt, or otherwise attack online entities of their enemies; we are their enemies. Read the rest of this entry »
I may have said this before, but we need to establish what really is going on in the world rather than being distracted by certain elements of what may be a broader, wider, larger movement.
Consider, for example, our obsession with terrorism (specifically, militant Islamist terrorism). The problem is that terrorism is part of a larger conflict: a war between The West and Islamism. (Not all Muslims are Islamists, although “true Muslims” inevitably are.) Along with terrorism, Islamism uses other techniques, some of which are even non-violent. Efforts by Islamist activists to have a special status given to Islam, Muslims, and Islam’s dictates by the governments of The West are one such strategy to bring to pass the triumph of Islam over The West. It is quite interesting (and perhaps one may say, even ironic) that the very states that stripped The Church (whether The Lutheran Church or The Church of England or The Catholic Church) of practically all of its authority and influence and clout in society, have accorded to Islam and its authorities and buildings virtual autonomy and independence. Although church tribunals would have no authority, Islamist courts have been empowered. Whereas asserting one’s Christianity has become something frowned upon, something untoward, something in bad taste, someone asserting one’s Muslim-hood has become something novel, unique, lauded, and applauded. Simply put: rather than making all inhabitants equal, many Western states have made some more equal than others. This granting of autonomy to and even special status to Muslims (meaning, Muslims following the dictates and laws of Islam as interpreted by traditionalists) is all part of Islamism’s goals to triumph over The West. And, indeed, look how they have succeeded! The very people who are ashamed of their Christian past (or even current identity) applaud those who embrace their Muslim-hood to the exclusion of everything else.
Fortunately, confidence in American culture and civilization has been resistant to this pernicious wave of anti-Westernism. But the Islamists keep trying: they keep trying to delegitimize The West, trying to prove that Islam is superior to The West and to its religions (Christianity and Judaism), trying to assert its mission as the “savior” of The West, and of course trying to make the case that The West is utterly lost and needs Islam to be saved. We Americans tend to scoff as such nonsense, for nonsense it is. It doesn’t take someone who is extraordinarily intelligent to see which of The West or the Muslim world has been successful, more true to its values, and a boon to humanity. (For those who may be blinded by some irrational propaganda, the better one is The West.) Indeed, unlike in other Western states, America has proved to be a formidable adversary to Islamism. Rather than infecting The West, The West has been slowly innoculating various segments of the Muslim world in The West against Islamism.
This all means that Islamists, whether militants or not, whether terrorists or not, will try ever the more harder to bring us down. In their world, there can only be one triumphant victor, and they are trying to ensure it is not us.
Orianna Fallaci has been warning us of this state of affairs. It is about time that we listened to her and act accordingly.
geoff of Uncommon Misconceptions has been doing an excellent job posting on what can be called the Second Cold War: the efforts of Russia and China to check, hinder, diminish, and threaten America’s influence (or, rather, that of capitalism and The West) just as The Soviet Union tried to do during the First Cold War. I do lament that this is something that has not been on the People’s mind lately. (Although I do know that certain agencies of the government have kept this on their mind, seeing it as a continuation of a traditional threat or issue rather than the resurgence of a new one.)
For more information, please read the following by geoff of Uncommon Misconceptions:
- “The real problem with Iran”
- “More on Iran and its relationships”
- “The Sino-Russian clubhouse, and guess who wants in?”
- His comment on “On the question of more troops – addendum”
Now, let us delve a little into international relations. Read the rest of this entry »
In The West, there are a number of religious organizations/movements/denominations that strongly promote large families. Such groups believe that the first commandment of God to humanity (Adam and Eve) was to “be fruitful, and multiply.” Indeed, such it is written in the very first chapter of the Bible (in “Torah” according to Jews, in “The Old Testament” according to Christians, in the “Pentateuch” or “Five Books of Moses” or “The Law” or “The Hebrew Bible” according to both):
“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth”.
The three groups amongst Judeo-Christian groups most associated with large families are Catholics, Latter-day Saints, and Orthodox Jews.
(Indeed, because of Orthodox Jews’ propensity to have large families, it may be only a matter of time before Orthodox Judaism would be the most populous form of Judaism, essentially coming to define Judaism at the expense of Reform and Conservative Judaism.) Read the rest of this entry »
France is in the process of passing a law making it a crime to deny the Armenian Genocide. “France seeks to calm uproar after approving Armenia genocide bill” by Marc Burleigh of Agence France-Presse. (Story by Yahoo! News archived here.)
Turkey, understandably and predictably, was quite upset.
Turkey has cast the French bill as a restriction on freedom of expression.
I am quite grateful that Turkey is so concerned about freedom of expression. But perhaps it should focus on its own problems on repressing freedom of expression rather than worrying about France. In Turkey, it is illegal to call for the Genocide’s recognition. From Wikipedia’s article on the Armenian Genocide, on the section on Turkey’s position:
Article 305 of the Turkish Penal Code states that “prosecution for anti-national plots” may be undertaken against those who call “for the recognition of the Armenian genocide”.
What surprised me was that The European Commission (executive body of The European Union) was also upset: (emphasis added):
The European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, was also unsettled by the draft law.
“Should this law indeed enter into force, it would prohibit the debate and the dialogue which is necessary for reconciliation on this issue,” said Krisztina Nagy, the commission’s spokeswoman on enlargement.
“It is very important to see that there is an opening in Turkey to conduct debate on that issue,” she said, adding that the French bill, if it became law, “could have a negative affect on that debate”.
What debate must there be had? What happened is quite clear. What use is there to this pussyfooting around by Europe?
Turkey’s blustering is to be expected, but this reaction by European entities really surprises me and, frankly, does not please me. There should be no question about this issue. Europe, of all places, must be quite clear about recognizing and condemning genocides.
Orianna Fallaci, a feisty and fearless journalist and author, passed away (due to cancer) in Florence.
Just as September 11, 2001, affected us all, it affected her, prompting her to publish two books that have been scathing criticisms of militant Islam and spineless Westerners. They are The Rage and the Pride (Wikipedia’s article on this book) and The Force of Reason (Wikipedia’s article on the book).
Michael van der Galien wrote:
Although she now has died, her books / writings will live on. She has left a gigantic legacy, one that will continue to have an impact on millions and millions of individuals.
Quite true. I hope her example will prompt others to follow her example and be fearless in saying what must be said.
May she rest in eternal peace and may she live on eternally in our minds, through her works, and by her example.
I am very impressed by the tributes being paid to her on the dexteroblogosphere. To read some, here are what I could find:
- “Islam Critic Oriana Fallaci Dies Of Cancer” by Michael van der Galien of Liberty and Justice;
- “Oriana Fallaci, dead at 77″ by AllahPundit of Hot Air;
- “Oriana Fallaci, R.I.P., and the Religion of Perpetual Outrage” by Michelle Malkin of Michelle Malkin;
- “Oriana Fallaci, R.I.P.” by Jay of Stop The ACLU;
- “Oriana Fallaci Dies” by Ace of the Ace of Spades HQ;
- “Oriana Fallaci has died” by Robert (Spencer) of Jihad Watch;
- “RIP, Oriana Fallaci” by Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs (LGF);
- “Riposa in pace, Oriana Fallaci” by Beth of MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy;
- “Oriani Fallaci, anti-dhimmitude activist, RIP” by Dr. Rusty Shackleford of The Jawa Report;
- “ORIANA FALLACI” by Tim Blair of Tim Blair.
I wanted to write a post interweaving the events of September 11, 2001, the War on Terrorism, and Operation Iraqi Freedom together. There are many reasons why The United States were justified in going to war to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s regime. But I will here discuss how the events of September 11, 2001, reflect on and are reflected in The United States’ campaign against Saddam Hussein’s regime. Read the rest of this entry »
“The Other September 11th” by Baron Bodissey of Gates of Vienna. Do read this post. (Thanks to “The Other 9/11: Back To 1683″ by Michael van der Galien of Liberty and Justice.) Read the rest of this entry »
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel to Europe: Don’t preach to us on how to avoid civilian casualties. (“Olmert tells Europe to stop preaching to Israel” by Reuters.)
I must say, he hit Europe pretty hard under the belt by bringing up their failure to act in the Balkans. That has to be one of Europe’s largest and most unexcusable failures to date, and one which will rob Europe of any credibility to comment on civilian casualties for some time. Well, other than their brief stint at genocide during the Second World War.