The Crusades and Mark Twain

I love medieval warfare.  Even when playing the tabletop warfare game, Warhammer, I choose the mighty Bretonnians as my first army of choice.  These are loosely based on crusading knights and King author mythos.  When I played Dungeon and Dragons in High School, I was never so happy, until I was able to work up an rumors Knight that fought better from horseback than he did from foot.  This afternoon we were watching a NatGeo special on Jerusalem, and it was so patronizing to islam it was almost comical.

The program completely ignored the muslim conquests of north Africa and the Iberian peninsula, and starts with how Christian crusader came to Jerusalem to take the city away from the muslims, who had held it for nearly 800 years.  There really was no talk of how the museums took the city from the Jews!  I spent my time talking back to the television, trying to correct the outright lies.  There was much talk about how beautiful the art of islam is, how one feels closer to god when in the temple mount, but then only muslims are allowed there and only islam can be practiced there.

I think Mark Twain got it mostly correct in his novel The Innocence Abroad, when he wrote about seeing the then leader of France, Napoleon III, in a parade with the lord of the Ottoman Empire, Abdul Aziz.  Twain was disgusted by what he saw and wrote about it in guttural clarity:

Napoleon III, the representative of the highest modern civilization, progress, and refinement; Abdul-Aziz, the representative of a people by nature and training filthy, brutish, ignorant, unprogressive, superstitious – and a government whose Three Graces are Tyranny, Rapacity, Blood. Here in brilliant Paris … the First Century greets the Nineteenth!

I think Twain would be disappointed to see that over 100 years after his death, the world is still greeting the first century in muslim countries all over the world.  Alas, I think he had it right again in dealing with muslims (whom he calls Moors in this passage:

Spain is the only nation the Moors fear.  the reason is, that Spain sends her heaviest ships of war and her loudest guns to astonish these Moslems; while America, and other nations, send only little contemptible tub of a gun-boat occasionally.  The Moors, like other savages, learn by what they see; not what the hear or read.

Having witnessed the Russian innovation of Afghanistan in the late 80’s via American television, I know that rolling in the big tanks and the heavy Hind gunships in was working all too well; that is until we supplied the rebels with weapons that could defeat those Soviet weapon platforms.  It was politically expedient during the cold war to not let the Russians have that expanded threshold – that I understand; however it is high time that we bury that hatch, and work together with the Russians to mutually destroy the muslims.  It is the only solution to the worldwide terrorist problem we now face.

Having weapons and technology from the 21st century in the hands of those who want everyone to live in the 1st century is truly a scary place to live.  I only hope America wakes up to this fact sooner rather than later, starting in 2016 by not electing another weak-kneed democrat to the office of President.

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