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The truth about the Crusades -Christians Lost.

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posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 05:11 AM
Interesting topic. Otts outlined very well the situation in a few words, very good. Like you all remarked, finding the truth behind the crusading movement is very, very hard. There are a few scores of books dealing the topic (the best is reckoned to be Runciman's "History of the Crusades", but Oman's "History of the art of war in the Middle Ages" also has a very detailed and well made section on this topic), I suggest reading at least a couple of them. Also "Crusade" is a very broad and misleading term: beside the campaigning in the Holy Land, it also applied to a number of other occasions, like the crushing of the Catharos heresy in Provence, the Teutonic Knights' campaigns in Prussia, Charlemagne's wars against the "heathen" Saxons or Louis IX's misled attempts to get a footing in North Africa and so on. I don't have the Oxford Dictionary at hand, but I am pretty much sure it lists at very least three different meaning for the word. If you look at the "classic" Crusades, it's not hard to see why the Christians got kicked out of the Holy Land. Want of numbers was their ruin, as well as being often led by incompetent and arrogant leaders. Their armies were usually outnumbered 5 or 6 to 1, sometimes even 10 to 1. While they often succeded against demoralized Egyptian armies or scores of greedy Turkish mercenaries led by a number of suzerains, jealous of each other, the moment a leader of genius arose between the Muslims, their fate was spelled. Mussa was the first to understand that, in order to expel the Christians out of Palestine, the various kingdoms had to be united under a strong hand. Saladin was the one which came closer to this: in one great campaing he crushed the Latin Kingdom's army at Hattin (sometimes called Tiberias) (1187), took Jerusalem and a score of other strongholds by storm, and was only stopped from conquering the coast cities by the intervention of a large Venetian and Genoese fleet, carrying an enormous crusading host under the Kings of France and England. Richard the Lionhearted's great victory over Saladin at Arsouf (1191) and Venice's and Genoa's strenous efforts saved the coast cities for the next century, but the Christian hold on the Holy Land had ended on the battlefield of Hattin.

posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 08:24 AM
" The crusades were in every way a defensive war. They were the West's belated response to the Muslim conquest of fully two-thirds of the Christian world. While the Arabs were busy in the seventh through the tenth centuries winning an opulent and sophisticated empire, Europe was defending itself against outside invaders and then digging out from the mess they left behind. "

The First crusade was in a sense 'defensive' since the 'Roman Emperor' in Byzantium requested papal assistance in fighting against muslims in the region. However this joke about it being entirely a defensive action against previous muslims conquests is silly. It was a war to reclaim the Holy Land, not liberate spain and the mediterranean islands and north africa from islamic control. The Christians had 'lost' the first war. Even in the way that this article puts it, they were starting another war to regain a small peice of territory that they actually never had much claim to in the first place. And it was Byzantium that held that territory originally, not the pope or any temporal continental warlord. The Crusaders were conquerors, on a holy war to take and hold the levant.

"Despite modern laments about medieval colonialism, the crusade's real purpose was to turn back Muslim conquests and restore formerly Christian lands to Christian control"
Except that when they got to byzantium they raided and looted it and used their military pressence as an excuse to exerrt authority over it, and then out of nowhere started talking about retaking the holy land.

"The crusades were no more offensive than was the American invasion of Normandy"
Uhmmm, the invasion of normandy was an offensive move. They French had lost control. The allies decided to invade europe. They didn't run europe before hand or anything like that. They didn't merely execute a 'strategic withdrawl' and then a counter attack. They abandoned it en mass. They lost the territory, and then continued a war to get it back. And in the Crusades, it would be like invading Normandy,and then never leaving it, but claiming you were liberating all of europe.

"Their jihads grew in strength and effectiveness until, in 1291, the last remnants of the crusaders in Palestine and Syria were wiped out forever"
By the author's reasoning, these jihads were purely defensive wars also.

" At that point crusades were no longer waged to rescue Jerusalem, but Europe itself. "
The Crusades weren't being fought at this time, and those actions to stem ottoman expansion into austria were defensive, unlike the Crusades. Similarly, Martels battle at Poitiers was a defensive action, fending off an invader on home territory, not invading a foreign powers cities and countryside.

" new civilization, built on the old to be sure, was forming around ideas like individualism and capitalism. Europeans expanded on a global scale, leaving behind the Mediterranean world, seeking to understand and explore the entire planet."
Uhmm, this is not why the Ottoman Turks were defeated. Apparently after loosing at Vienna they largely lost interest, and were also quite tied up with the Russians an another front.

"[the crusades] were a desperate and largely unsuccessful attempt to defend against a powerful enemy."
For the byzantines perhaps the first one was, but for the mainland europeans and then the rest of the crusades it simply wasn't true. The Defensive aspect of the Crusades stopped at defending the core Byzantine Empire. After that, it was a land grab and a subsequent struggle to hold on to it.

posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 01:33 PM
I guess there are many views on this, I personally think that it was two great cultures fighting for the "midlands" between them. The western nations were not able to tak eit back until the end of WWI and then after WWII they gave them their independence for the most part. NO wars, just let them go.....But the borders that were decided by the west is a main reasons for the problems now, just look at Iraq and Kuwait.

posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 03:05 PM
Crusades and defensive?
Well they might have been in the parts of southeastern Europe, but they were definitely not so in northern and eastern Europe. It was purely an aggressive expansion under the slogan of converting the pagans. The people in those parts at the time the crusades reached them (1200s for the Baltic region) were farmers whose best defenses were moats and wooden walls. I can really see the threat they posed

The region of present Germany was running out of land to give to the 'good' servants of the kings and needed more and Eastern Europe was an easy snatch ... though they made some miscalculations since the farmers managed to put up a resistance until 1343 when the last fires were put up ... and this on a patch of land smaller than New York

In my eyes the crusades have been nothing more than a treasure hunt with the pretext of spreading religion ... come to think of it that is also what seems to be Bush's agenda ...

posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 03:24 PM

Originally posted by Amethyst
What happened was this: The Vatican was ticked off that the Jews had Jerusalem--they wanted it. So they enlisted Muslims to take Jerusalem from the Jews and hand it over to the Vatican.

The Muslims took Jerusalem and basically flipped the Vatican the finger, calling them and the Jews infidels. That's what started the whole thing.

That's not the way I understand it. Alot of people like to quote Pope Urban but they always seem to cherrypick his speech. I was doing a google search of the Crusades just to see what various sites had to say about it, and I found this. Pope Urban's speech:
    "Frenchmen! You who come from across the Alps; You who have been singled out by God and who are loved by Him -- as is shown by your many accomplishments; you who are set apart from all other peoples by the location of your country, by your Catholic faith, and by the honor of the Holy Church; we address these words, this sermon to you!....Distressing news has come to us from the region in Jerusalem and from the city of Constantinople; news that the people of the Persian kingdom, an alien people, a race completely foreign to God...has invade Christian territory and has invaded this territory with pillage, fire and the sword.

    The Persians have taken some of these Christians as captives to their own country; they have destroyed others with cruel tortures. They have completely destroyed some of God's churches and have converted others to the uses of their own cult. They ruin the altars with filth and defilement. They circumcise Christians and smear the blood from the circumcision over the altars or throw it in the baptismal fonts. They are pleased to kill others by cutting open their bellies, extracting the ends of their intestines, and tying it to a stake....
This of course was at least slightly rhetorical. Attrocities did occur, though Urban was also a skilled propagandist. But there is no doubt that it was Constantinople's call for help that roused the Pope to respond. Not to mention the Muslim conquest of Spain.

But if you want to talk about propaganda, the fact that over 900 years later the Crusades are an albatross hanging over Christianity's neck, as if Christianity alone is responsible for them or was the only "side" that committed unspeakable attrocities, is one of the biggest lies of all time.

[edit on 24-11-2004 by Ibn Iblis]

posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 04:48 PM

Originally posted by edsinger
Thomas, she just knows deep down that I am right but does not want to loose face on the board. I mean she has the liberal reputation to uphold to.

I'd say that was a counter-bait. For a couple of guys claiming marg follows ed everywhere, you are not doing too much to prevent it. I think ed wants some marg attention.

posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 08:04 PM
Hey she makes me laugh, she has a warped sense of things, kinda uptopian at times, but she means well......

posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 10:02 PM
First the Jews are kicked out of Ur, then the Greek and Persian Empires go to war, then comes the Roman empire, then it's the Moor invasion, then the Crusades, then its colonization, then comes 9/11, and now comes the Muslim invasion by immigration. What is next for a war that has been on going for the last several thousand years?

posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 10:05 PM
Well both religions are comming to a climax at some point. I guess we will see which one was right all along then....

posted on Nov, 25 2004 @ 02:08 AM

Originally posted by edsinger
Well both religions are comming to a climax at some point. I guess we will see which one was right all along then....

Well, they've both been saying that for about 2,000 years now, so lets not worry about that.

First the Jews are kicked out of Ur,

I think it was Uruk no? Anyway, abraham was a native to that city, and the 'jews' didn't exist. They weren't kicked out. Abraham left with only his family. So if anything it shows the interrelatedness of the two groups.

then the Greek and Persian Empires go to war,

The persians are an entirely different people from teh sumerians and the greeks have nothing to do with the christians or jews in this 'christian v muslim' dichotomy

then comes the Roman empire,

Whats that got to do with this?

then it's the Moor invasion,

The muslims also expanded into north africa and conquered the visigothic kingdoms that were there. Conquering the visigothic kingdom in spain was really just par for the course.

then the Crusades, then its colonization, then comes 9/11, and now comes the Muslim invasion by immigration. What is next for a war that has been on going for the last several thousand years?

There simply hasn't been an ongoing war between 'europeans' and 'muslims' for thousands of years. Trying to reach back to times before the existence of islam and even christianity doesn't really make any sense, those other struggles had their own partiuclar reasons. The arabs fought the byzantines becase the byzantines were fighting the arabs and vice versa. Ultimately the Turks swept in from their non muslim central asian homeland and settled that anyway. The Greco-Persian struggles were largely over ionia and the athenian interference with persian rule there. Also, after alexander conquered Persia, he 'medeized', he adapted to their ways and adopted many of their customs, and intergrated himself into persian culture, while at the same time spreading hellenistic culture throughout the east. Even in teh early muslim period there were christian communities in Iraq, Syria, Iran, india, etc. There isn't anything especially long term (in terms of projecting into the past) about the current struggle between the liberal democratic west and a backwards fundamentalist theocratic east. People in general struggle with one another. If you are looking for a constant, thats it.

posted on Nov, 25 2004 @ 02:29 AM
The Crusades degenerated into little more than a money-making opportunity for the Genoese and Venetian traders, who would ship and sell weapons and supplies to both sides, despite being Catholics and being told by the Church in Rome not to.

Hmmm, a money-making exercise...Halliburton, anyone?

Eventually the Christians were able to attack only each other.

Someone remind me of what happened to Antioch?

The kings and nobles in the Holy Land couldn't be bothered to keep faith with each other, let alone stick to deals and treaties made with the Muslims.

Only the Knights Templar remained "on mission" and they were tricked out of Krak des Chevaliers.

Given the trousers theory of time...Huh? Where are we going with this?

Oh, yeah. The Crusaders lost (sounds like a sports headline!). Big time. Wouldn't want them for my inspiration.

posted on Nov, 25 2004 @ 10:58 AM

Originally posted by edsinger
Well both religions are comming to a climax at some point. I guess we will see which one was right all along then....

I'm sorry to say there is no such thing as 'Christendom' anymore. This is a clash of civilizations, not religions.

posted on Nov, 25 2004 @ 11:26 AM

Originally posted by HowlrunnerIV

Oh, yeah. The Crusaders lost (sounds like a sports headline!). Big time. Wouldn't want them for my inspiration.

The point was to rebuke Bin Ladin's statement, there are no more crusades or crusaders.

posted on Nov, 26 2004 @ 03:59 AM

Originally posted by edsinger

Originally posted by HowlrunnerIV

Oh, yeah. The Crusaders lost (sounds like a sports headline!). Big time. Wouldn't want them for my inspiration.

The point was to rebuke Bin Ladin's statement, there are no more crusades or crusaders.

Not true, there are many crusades. There are even Crusades.

George W has, by his very actions, shown that he is on a Crusade.

He has attacked a country that was innocent of all charges just because it looked like the guilty party.

He has espoused his views on gay marriage and abortion.

He has begun his own jihad under the catchy title of "War on Terror".

He has shown his hypocracy by leading a party that espouses small government, while creating the single largest beuracracy in US history. He espouses surplus economics and has created the largest deficit in US history.

Like Pope Gregory the (allegedly) Great, he is using a crusade to cover the shortcomings of his own leadership.

Anyway, back to your point. Perhaps the popular meaning of the word crusade should be changed to mean "a costly exercise that will eventually end in defeat."

posted on Nov, 26 2004 @ 12:39 PM
Innocent of all charges...ridiculous.

Don't you read?

posted on Nov, 26 2004 @ 12:43 PM
I think what he meant was innocent of all charges that were invoked as a reason to go to war - in other words, the still-unfindable "weapons of mass destruction". Which the Butler report in the UK, among others, shows that they didn't exist.

posted on Nov, 26 2004 @ 12:48 PM
look at the population of muslims in europe and in switzerland.

Muslims Expansionism is on the rise again, another war must be fought to put them back where they belong. They don't like it too much that we are in israel...but we pushed them back off of our land. And look at what they are doing to Europe.

C'mon people... the reason we are still here today is because in the past when times got tough we pushed back the muslim expanse...its the only way.

I declare the 3rd Crusade! Lets push them out of America! out of Europe! and into the desserts of Arabia.

posted on Nov, 26 2004 @ 12:58 PM

as mentioned by Otts
...they didn't exist.

I like to think that they couldn't be found or located, Otts.
Despite this, I find it ironic that everyone is blaming and asserting that the CIA and other US intelligence services information on those WMD's was hyped, a lie, etc., and yet, and here's the irony, most of the world's intelligences services also stipulated categorically that Saddam/Iraq had those same WMD's prior to the war. The United Nation's today, still has an active list of Saddams'/Iraq's unaccounted for WMD's. Despite those reports to the contrary, why does the UN still show such?Interesting, huh? Again, the absence of 'nothing' doesn't constitute that Saddam/Iraq did not have WMD's.

Besides, I think the war against Iraq was more than just oil and WMD's. Maybe this may give another "reason"?


[edit on 26-11-2004 by Seekerof]

posted on Nov, 26 2004 @ 01:00 PM

Originally posted by Kakugo
Want of numbers was their ruin, as well as being often led by incompetent and arrogant leaders.

Right on both counts. It took a LOT of arm-twisting to get Richard the Lionheart and French King Philip Augustus to mend their differences long enough to try to rescue the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The period from 1190 to 1220 is interesting in that France and England were struggling to dominate the western part of the continent (France eventually reconquered a lot of territory over England on the mainland) while the Germanic Emperor waited for the spoils. That the biggest battle of that period (Bouvines, 1214) was fought not for the Holy Land but for the domination of Europe shows how little the monarchs of that time cared about the Crusades.

The same thing happened when Saint-John of Acra fell in 1291 - the king of France, Philip the Fair, was deep in a dispute with the Pope (which would end up with the French imprisoning the Pope and transferring the papacy to Avignon), while English king Edward I was more interested in fighting the Scots than saving the Holy Land. The Germanic Empire was recovering from a difficult 20 year interregnum, and even the Templars had abandoned any idea of reconquering Jerusalem - they were too busy being Europe's bankers.

After that, going on a Crusade became something princes dreamed of doing at the end of their "career" - a kind of retirement plan. Charles de Valois, regent of France from 1322 to 1325 under his nephew king Charles IV, dreamed of going on a Crusade before he died (he was in his fifties). Edward III of England promised he'd go on a Crusade after he'd finished conquering France.

That's how the crusades petered out... the princes of Europe had other preoccupations, and when they did wish to go on a crusade, it was more of a half-hearted dream than anything else.

posted on Nov, 26 2004 @ 01:24 PM

Originally posted by Seekerof
Besides, I think the war against Iraq was more than just oil and WMD's. Maybe this may give another "reason"?


What a great post!

So the US struck, with consequences unfolding nightly on our TV screens. Friedman believes the US-jihadist war hangs in the balance. However, the measured actions of the US during the past three years, including its strong military presence in the Middle East, have caused significant moderation of the position on global jihad of Saudi Arabia and other Muslim regimes.
The strategy of the jihadists has stalled: "Not a single regime has fallen to
al-Qa'ida ... There is no rising in the Islamic street. [There has been] complete failure of al-Qa'ida to generate the political response they were seeking ... At this point the US is winning ... The war goes on."

I wanted to buy this book but at $30 I will wait.....but it raises the right questions and provides the answers...

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