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The Crusades. (Disturbing Essay Episode #5)

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posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 07:40 PM
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Dear ATSers,

This essay meets my "disturbing" criteria by presenting information I was only sketchily aware of. It also presents new information and creates a different impression of history then some of us might have.

There are no grand ideas or controversies here, although there might be some in the thread, but I think the information is valuable.

Please don't bother with saying the writer is biased, but make sure to point out where the author is factually wrong. And pointing out atrocities performed by a soldier or small group of soldiers misses the point. We are looking at a grand sweep of history here. What entire regions of the world, governments, and leaders of massive armies did.

Try to feel what the world was feeling at the time. We're discussing a millenia and more of world history in thie Disturbing Essay Episode #5.


One of the idiocies passed off for decades among Western historians is bemoaning the Crusades as evil. But the most superficial reading of Western history should put that canard to rest.

Shortly before he died in June 632 AD, Mohammed ordered Muslims to prepare to wage war against the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.

Upon his death, Mohammed's successor, Abu Bakr, planned to fulfill those instructions. Plans were also made to conquer Zoroastrian Sassanid Persia.

Persia and Byzantine Rome had just come out of a savagely vicious war which ended in 628 AD. Emperor Heraclius had finally imposed the total defeat over Persia that had eluded the earlier Roman Republic and the Caesars -- but Byzantine Rome, though victorious, was severely mauled. Persia was reduced to a state of anarchy; and forced to pay indemnities to Constantinople.


www.americanthinker.com...

The Crusades look much more noble to me now. They seem to me to be much more a campaign for survival than a religious war.

With respect,
Charles1952
edit on Sun Aug 11 2013 by DontTreadOnMe because: IMPORTANT: Using Content From Other Websites on ATS




posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 07:44 PM
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History is never as simple as we are taught in schools.

The more ignorant we are of the facts, the better.



posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 07:48 PM
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reply to post by benrl
 

Dear benrl,

Of course you are right and I agree with you. But I thought the Crusades and the growth of the Muslim Empire, being the great thing in the world for hundreds of years, would have received a little better analysis by the schools, politicians and the press. The spread of ignorance is depressing.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 08:01 PM
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Originally posted by charles1952
reply to post by benrl
 

Dear benrl,

Of course you are right and I agree with you. But I thought the Crusades and the growth of the Muslim Empire, being the great thing in the world for hundreds of years, would have received a little better analysis by the schools, politicians and the press. The spread of ignorance is depressing.

With respect,
Charles1952


Things that directly form this country, in the US. Are barely taught. So imagine how much time is given to the crusades?



posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 08:50 PM
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Originally posted by charles1952
reply to post by benrl
 

Dear benrl,

Of course you are right and I agree with you. But I thought the Crusades and the growth of the Muslim Empire, being the great thing in the world for hundreds of years, would have received a little better analysis by the schools, politicians and the press. The spread of ignorance is depressing.

With respect,
Charles1952


Charles1952,

It's shocking to me how much derision is heaped on the Crusaders,
by modern Academia.

My theory is that the deflection and disinformation was a necessary first step
in their efforts to erase the Church that Jesus started.

I have been waiting for two generations for this to come out.

I don't know if anyone is old enough to remember,
but the History Channel was launched and Premiered on the Discovery Channel.
They introduced their new channel, dedicated entirely to history, with a documentary.

Introduced by Roger Mudd, it was called The Crusades.
Roger Mudd had all the credibility in the world at that time,
having been an Anchor on the evening news for years.

Terry Jones, of Monty Python narrates.


In the opening sentence,
he portrays the Crusaders as cannibals.


The effect of this documentary on people I knew,
was profound. One of the most effective pieces of
soul manipulation, and media generated blood guilt
I have ever seen.

People stopped playing Knights in Shining Armor
in our D&D games,
no longer did they want to defend the right of a person to keep their nuts,
and not be made into a Eunuch as is the tradition of highest honor in the East.
They all wanted to be Ninjas.

One guy I know,
after watching the entire series,
literally converted to Islam.

As the saying used to go "Chivalry is dead."

Maybe now,
finally,
at this late hour,
honor, righteousness, and standing in the light
will come back into fashion.


Mike
edit on 11-8-2013 by mikegrouchy because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 08:57 PM
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In this clip of the comedy The Adventures of Baron Munchausen,
the sultan sings about torture.

In the part that follows,
act II,
he sings about a man who can no longer have children,
lamenting for his missing "hefts",
backed up by several overweight Eunuchs (a side effect of castration)
who sing in high pitched voices. (never having gone through puberty)



In the records of Islamic scholars from the crusader period
they all have terrible things to say about the Franks,
and the universally considered them mere barbarians,
but,
one thing a few of them grudgingly admitted.

The peasants were both happier and more productive
under Frankish rule.


Mike
edit on 11-8-2013 by mikegrouchy because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 09:02 PM
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reply to post by mikegrouchy
 

Dear mikegrouchy,

And I'm limited to one star for that? Outrageous. It is a brilliant post. Passionate, human, noble, and informative.

We have been lied to about who we are as a nation and a civilization. We have had values and dreams stolen from us when we weren't looking. We can't move forward if we don't know where we've been and where we are.

I don't know how we could reestablish the true spirit of the Crusaders, defending their countries and their civilizations, but I'll sign up right away. Thank you again, that was inspiring.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 09:02 PM
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Here is Roger Mudd,
(one of the most respected voices in America at the time)
introducing the new History Channel.

Still looking for the intro to the documentary.


Mike
edit on 11-8-2013 by mikegrouchy because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 09:12 PM
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Originally posted by charles1952

We have been lied to about who we are as a nation and a civilization. We have had values and dreams stolen from us when we weren't looking. We can't move forward if we don't know where we've been and where we are.




The most famous people in the Western world for 900 years
were the two brothers who first set foot on the walls of Jerusalem.

They were only eclipsed by Neil Armstrong when he walked on the moon.

And look at how quickly that new fame has been
degraded, questioned, or psychoanalyzed as overcompensating-for-something.


Mike



posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 09:52 PM
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Dear tothetenthpower,

You are absolutely right, and I'm grateful for the correction. There are rules on cutting and pasting from articles and I violated it. Please ATSers, let this be a reminder to you all.

I had forgotten the rule and got carried way. Actually, I think I deserve a stiffer penalty, thanks for going easy.

With respect,
Charles1952

May I encourage all ATSers to look at the article. It is heavily factual and comprehensive. And, I must say, a little surprising. For example, I didn't know that Columbus sailed West to find a trade route to Asia because the Muslim armies were raiding all the direct trade routes between Europe and the East.

We have so much to learn.



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 01:05 PM
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Like any war, the Crusades were fought for the control of resources (specifically trade routes). Using religion is simply to provide justification, new soldiers, and support at home. No different than the weapons of mass destruction window dressing we used to protect the sanctity of the US dollar in Iraq.

Every war comes down to economic gain as the reason for war, no matter how you try and dress it up...or how primitive the participants. Any other reason is a lie told to garner support for it.



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 01:49 PM
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Originally posted by Gazrok
Like any war, the Crusades were fought for the control of resources (specifically trade routes). Using religion is simply to provide justification, new soldiers, and support at home. No different than the weapons of mass destruction window dressing we used to protect the sanctity of the US dollar in Iraq.

Every war comes down to economic gain as the reason for war, no matter how you try and dress it up...or how primitive the participants. Any other reason is a lie told to garner support for it.


I've heard that line of reasoning before.
And it is recognized and endorsed by Academia.

So my difference of opinion may be easily discarded
as unlettered, and unendorsed,
as the reader chooses.



But if the crusades, just-like-any-war (lol), was about resources,
why did they continue for 13 crusades,
when it was perfectly clear by the end of the 2nd crusade that
there were no resources to be had.

The economic gain argument is based on plunder.
Academics say that the leaders of the crusade were "on the make"
and "had no inheritance" at home so they had to seek elsewhere for their fortune.

This doesn't explain the Children's Crusade.
This doesn't explain Peter the Hermit, and his 200,000 peasants
who beat the official crusaders on the race to Syria.
This doesn't explain why Crusading was almost impossible to stop.

And when it was finally figured out how to get people to stop
it was done by the wealthiest City State in all of Europe,

Venice.

During one of the later crusades the Official Crusaders stopped there on
the way to Jerusalem.
After a few weeks of planning,
they were presented with a massive bill for their stay on the island,
and told no boat would take them off until they paid up in full.

They had to cut a deal,
and to pay their debt they agreed to capture the capitol of Byzantium instead.
Venice's chief rival in the sea trade business at the time.

It was only when economics were brought into the situation
that crusading was sort-of controlled,
and eventually stopped.

No.

The crusaders,
unlike common thieves, brigands, and pirates of the past,
valued books and returned with tons of them.

They went with livestock,
and the intent to settle.

They went for their Religion,
a mixture of old Frankish "avenge-your-brothers-killer" and "Jesus died for all mankind."

They were something the world had never seen before.
The settler/pilgrim/warrior.


Plunder, resources, and economic gain
are the revisionist history
easily swallowed by the post-modern man
looking back on those events through the lens of modern economics.

For most peasants
it was practically illegal to possess gold.
All they valued was land.

Europe was, and still is, far more fertile than the deserts of Syria.


Mike
edit on 12-8-2013 by mikegrouchy because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 01:58 PM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 

Dear Gazrok,

Thank you very much for checking in with us, much appreciated.

What I got from the article was that the Crusades didn't even begin until after four centuries of military expansion by Mohammed's followers. Sicily, Syria, Spain, all of North Africa, Europe up to France, Malta, parts of Turkey, all had been conquered by Muslims before the Crusades began.

Pope Urban II called for the Crusades to send military assistance to the Byzantine Empire, which was crumbling under the Muslim attack.


Every war comes down to economic gain as the reason for war, no matter how you try and dress it up...or how primitive the participants. Any other reason is a lie told to garner support for it.
This confuses me. This aggression began with the Muslim armies. Are you saying that the spread of Islam was for economic gain? Perhaps you're right.

Or are you saying that the Christian response to the attacks was for economic gain? If that is the case, I would ask for more support for that position. It certainly appears that the response to the aggression was defensive in nature.

Oh, and I appreciate the bump. This seems to be to be a poorly understood part of the world's history according to the "disturbing' essay, and I'd like more people to know about it.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 02:07 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 

Yes, to summarise;

The early Muslims invaded and took over the following areas which had been Christian;
Modern Israel.
Modern Lebanon.
Modern Syria.
Turkey.
Egypt.
Libya.
Tunisia
Algeria
Morocco.
They also invaded and controlled Spain, and attempted an invasion of France.
Under the Turks, they also controlled the Balkan area and the Danube valley, which means;
Greece
Bulgaria
Roumania
Albania
The whole area now known as "former Yugoslavia".
Hungary.
And twice they attempted to seize Vienna and break into western Europe that way.

In contrast the Christians
won back Spain (the Reconquista)
won back the Danube valley and rebelled against the Turks in the Balkans
apart from that, in the mediaeval crusades, they made shortlived and ultimately unsuccessful attempts to win back the area around Jerusalem. Mere pinpricks on Muslim territory.

Without going so far as to claim them as noble, we have to ask ourselves;
If these shortlived and unsuccessful attempts to win back territory are so inherently evil, what can be said about the campaigns which conquered the territories for Islam in the first place?
Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.




edit on 12-8-2013 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 02:19 PM
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The Muslims expanded for economic gain, the Europeans had to stop that advancement and secure the trade routes for economic gain. I'm pretty sure most of academia still toes the religious reasoning as the motivator for the Crusades, but again, it always comes down to money.


But if the crusades, just-like-any-war (lol), was about resources,
why did they continue for 13 crusades,
when it was perfectly clear by the end of the 2nd crusade that
there were no resources to be had.


Remember I said "control of resources" is the motivator, not necessarily the resources themselves. In this case, it was about control of the trade routes to Asia. Of course, you also have to consider another reason for prolonging the Crusades. Think back...what did the Templars come up with? That's right....BANKING. None of them wanted to stop THAT gravy train...
Only when the Church recognized the financial threat the Templars posed, did they stop it.



Without going so far as to claim them as noble,


Neither side was "noble" or "evil" (well, it's all a matter of perspective, isn't it?.....I mean, to a Muslim, they are righteous and the evil infidels were coming!) Each side was simply looking to further their own economic situation...same as any war. Even Nazi Germany only gets the "evil" moniker due to the Holocaust (and rightfully so, genocide is pretty nasty business), but the German people saw him much differently. Had Germany won, we'd all be decrying the evil Allies (and doing so in German no doubt)....


Are you saying that the spread of Islam was for economic gain?


Absolutely.


Or are you saying that the Christian response to the attacks was for economic gain? If that is the case, I would ask for more support for that position. It certainly appears that the response to the aggression was defensive in nature.


And why defend anything? Because it is an asset that belongs to you. Defending an asset is certainly for economic gain. You aren't going to just take the loss and create carte blanche for others to do likewise.....

War isn't about "good guys" vs. "bad guys"...that's simply a function of which side YOU are on. BOTH sides commit atrocities and kill innocents, etc., etc. One side may do MORE of it than another, but neither party is innocent. Both are scrapping for the economic upper hand after the whole affair is said and done.
edit on 12-8-2013 by Gazrok because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 03:00 PM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 

Dear Gazrok,

Thanks for explaining it more clearly to me, but I wonder if you haven't proved too much.


And why defend anything? Because it is an asset that belongs to you. Defending an asset is certainly for economic gain. You aren't going to just take the loss and create carte blanche for others to do likewise.....
As you explain it, land, people, free travel, are all "assets." So, why repel invaders? According to your analysis, it's for economic gain.

If Zimmerman had had any money in his wallet when he shot Martin, would we also consider that to be an individual "War" to obtain or protect economic assets? I suppose we could, but that would be missing the point.

The Zimmerman case can be scaled up to the national level. Forget for a moment all of the hidden conspiracies. When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, did we fight for ecoomic reasons? I suppose that could be argued, but for the majority of Americans the feeling was that we shouldn't get punched in the nose without fighting back.


War isn't about "good guys" vs. "bad guys"...that's simply a function of which side YOU are on. BOTH sides commit atrocities and kill innocents, etc., etc. One side may do MORE of it than another, but neither party is innocent.
I'm willing to say neither party is completely innocent, but I think it's a failing of moral responsibilty to say that both sides are equally guilty. Making moral distinctions is an essential human responsibility which we shouldn't try to shrug off.

Besides, look at any of threads here talking about Christians and Muslims. We both know that it won't be very long before someone brings up both the Inquisition and the Cruades, rarely anything else. So, it seems accepted here, and apparently throughout our culture, that the Crusades were a terrible stain on Christianity, a nearly unprovoked war of aggression on a few relatively peaceful religious folk.

I believe that, if the facts show that to be false, that image should be corrected.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 03:14 PM
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You're comparing a person to a government.

A PERSON fights for many reasons, love, hate, revenge, boredom, etc. (and yes, money). A person can be irrational.

A GOVERNMENT on the other hand, only wars for money. Sure, there could be additional objectives and reasons, but before the troops get their marching orders, it's always mainly about the Benjamins... No other reason can ever justify the expenditure of warfare. When diplomacy fails to reach the desired economic objective, the expenditure of war is weighed against the potential return of victory, how long that victory will take to achieve, and the chances of success. Wars end when one side decides it is no longer in their economic interest to continue.


I'm willing to say neither party is completely innocent, but I think it's a failing of moral responsibilty to say that both sides are equally guilty. Making moral distinctions is an essential human responsibility which we shouldn't try to shrug off.


Both sides not being innocent are not the same as saying both are EQUALLY guilty. In the Crusades though, can you state that the soldiers didn't swoop in and kill every Muslim (man, woman and child) in some places? No, because they did. The Muslims did the same in Christian areas. Whether one side did more than the other, it doesn't really mean the other can claim to be "good".



that the Crusades were a terrible stain on Christianity, a nearly unprovoked war of aggression on a few relatively peaceful religious folk


Anyone who thinks that really hasn't bothered to delve into it. Both sides had been going back and forth with territory grabs and battles since well before the official start of the Crusades. It certainly wasn't unprovoked.

I will agree that the average Joe on the street probably believes the war of aggression stance though...which is really curious when you think about it. It means the anti-church folks did a better ad campaign than the Church.

Even the Inquisition was about economic gains...what did they do with the suspects? Seize their assets of course....
Want someone's stuff? Accuse them of cavorting with Satan! At least until folks caught on....



edit on 12-8-2013 by Gazrok because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 06:07 PM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 

Dear Gazrok,

Sorry, I was called away. I think we're on the verge of greement nd understanding. Just a couple of small points I need to understand.

You're comparing a person to a government.
Only to the extent that both can be threatened and fear for their survival. But, as I'm sure you know, at the time we're discussing, the government was an individual, whether Pope or King or Muslim chief. As late as the 1700's, Louis XIV was issuing his famous proclamation: "L'etat, c'est moi."

A PERSON fights for many reasons, love, hate, revenge, boredom, etc. (and yes, money). A person can be irrational.
Agreed. And if that person can send armies marching with a wave of his hand, might that also lead to irrartional wars? Perhaps the Children's Crusade is an example. I certainly don't understand why, economically, we are maintaining the embargo against Cuba. While it is not, granted, a war, I think we can call it a military action which is gaining absolutely nothing for us. Did we get into South Korea for economic gain?

I agree that economics is a consideration in war. I only wonder if it is the foremost and compelling reason for all wars. If that is the case, though, then agressors would be just as well classified as robbers and thieves, while the defenders are fighting off those thieves to keep their assets. It might be theoretically accurate, but I don't think I'll hit the threads shouting that Islam stole its land, wealth, and culture from the Christians through violence, and Gazrok agrees with me!


You're also right about soldiers on both sides doing terrible things. Not only in that series of wars, but in probably every war. I was looking a little more at the decisions to send armies from each side into war, and less into atrocities. As an aside, I wonder what was considered an atrocity in 800?

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 09:18 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


Atrocities weren't televised to the populace in 800....
So, all kinds of atrocities were free to be committed out of view of watchful eyes...


But, as I'm sure you know, at the time we're discussing, the government was an individual, whether Pope or King or Muslim chief


Even so, such leaders are still at the mercy of other powerful people in their government. All too often we've seen what happens to leaders who try and go against the grain of their influential people. Go ask Saddam or Ghadaffi, or oh...wait a minute...they may not be answering....
Even a powerful leader will not declare war without the backing of other powerful people in the government, especially if such a war is NOT undertaken for economic gain.

Follow the money, and the motive for war is clear. You are of course free to disagree, but governments aren't going to spend millions or billions for motives of love, revenge, etc. like a person will.



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 07:30 AM
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Originally posted by Gazrok
The Muslims expanded for economic gain,
....
, [color=gold] it always comes down to money.



Originally posted by Gazrok
Remember [color=gold] I said "control of resources" is the motivator, not necessarily the resources themselves.
...
Only when the Church recognized the financial threat the Templars posed, did they stop it.




Originally posted by Gazrok
Neither side was "noble" or "evil" (well, it's all a matter of perspective, isn't it?.....I mean, to a Muslim, they are righteous and the evil infidels were coming!) Each side was simply looking to further their own economic situation...same as any war. Even Nazi Germany only gets the "evil" moniker due to the Holocaust (and rightfully so, genocide is pretty nasty business), but the German people saw him much differently. [color=gold] Had Germany won, we'd all be decrying the evil Allies (and doing so in German no doubt)....



Originally posted by Gazrok

Are you saying that the spread of Islam was for economic gain?


Absolutely.



Weather one realizes it or not,
carrying water for one of the greatest modern revisionisms
makes one neither enlightened, nor educated, nor wise.

As uncomfortable as it may be to say it the Nazi regime went to great lengths
to try and get both the Americans and British on-their-side, before we started attacking them.



I apologize in advance if the following diagnosis is too personal.
But I think, Gazrok, the arguments put forth are either conflating,
or confusing Ethnocentrism with Moral Relativism. The are not the same.


Ethnocentrism is judging another culture solely by the values and standards of one's own culture.

wikipedia / ethnocentrism


So, yes,
Modern America prefers, openly, to vilify publicly and celebrate hero's quietly.
But the Nazis were into open Hero worship, and private vilification.

And that's all I'm going to say about that.

In fact, shame is due.
For forcing me to defend against the arguments being made,
by defending Nazi's. I didn't bring them into this discussion.
I invoke Goodwins Law, and would admonish all participants
to stay on topic, the comparison and contrast of the Crusades with Jihad.



Moral relativism may be any of several philosophical positions concerned with the differences in moral judgments across different people and cultures.

wikipedia.com / Moral Relativism


The Paladins of old, stood for the idea there is no such a thing as Moral Relativism,
that there is an absolute Righteousness.
Something the modern mind has a hard way of even admitting to the conversation.

By mixing Ethnocentricity with Moral Relativism,
yes,
it is easy to paint all motivations as economic motivations.

Despite any historical evidence to the contrary.




The best of them won't come for money.

- Lawrence of Arabia


The Crusaders were not motivated by resources or money,
and neither was Christ.


Mike
edit on 18-8-2013 by mikegrouchy because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-8-2013 by mikegrouchy because: (no reason given)




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