After 9/11, Bush tried to reassure the Muslims that we were not going a crusading against them. He even went to the UN and announced the USA would support a Palestinian state. This promise turned to thorns nearly immediately when a brutal nearly one sided war broke out ending with the Jews in the Holy Land building a huge wall around segmented Palestinian ghettos. This matter isn't settled at all, it continues as the festering sore of the Islamic world and breeds profound hatred of all things European and American.
A new movie just came out about the Crusades which tries to show both sides sympathetically. Unfortunately, unlike the wildly popular semi-porn S&M spectacular, "The Passion of Christ", it isn't a big hit. We have yet to see the movie but hope to see it since my husband and I met when we were in full armor fighting in the fashion of Crusaders in the Middle Ages. It is a fond topic for us when we were in the Society For Creative Anachronism.
The pretense that America wasn't fighting Muslims or trying to destroy them and replace them has been dropped. When a top general who is now in charge of assassinations and spook stuff declared in a church that he was crusading for Jesus this speech caused consernation in many places. We fully expected him to be forced into retirement but he was not only advanced in postion but given a very grave position which made the news the last few days, all of it pretty negative.
Yesterday, Bush and the Pentagon, to further terrorize the Muslims who were rioting over our flushing the Koran down the toilet, issued a story that the USA used a Predator missile in Pakistan to kill a "top" al Qaeda member which in English means we blew up another village of peasants in the mountains there. This "wonderful victory" sent the dictator of Pakistan to the press with this:
Pakistan has denied US media reports that a senior al-Qaeda leader has been killed on Pakistani soil by an unmanned US Predator drone.
Several US television networks said the al-Qaeda member, Haitham al-Yemeni, was killed near the Afghan border by a missile fired from the aircraft.
Back to the BBC story about the crusades:
History matters. And cinema's portrayal of history matters too. Kingdom of Heaven may be a medieval epic set in 1187, just before a Crusader army was wiped out at the battle of Hattin. But it has already been criticised for being a very 21st century, politically correct, view of the Crusaders' world.
Professor Jonathan Riley Smith of Cambridge University is probably Britain's leading historian of the Crusades. This film has made him angry, for the Crusades are, at the moment, a rather hot subject.
"In the Islamic world," he told me, "crusading is believed by many Muslims to be still in train.
Courtesy of Antiwar.com via Tiny Revolution comes this interesting web site:
Force Ministries This is a violent Jesus web site that looks like it was designed by al Qaeda inspired Jihadists. Only it comes from the Belly of the American Military Beast. The pictures at this web site feature men in khaki shooting at the viewer. It is drenched in the words of violence and blood and war. Basically, it is exhorting people to kill Muslims for Jesus. A holy war, an ungodly mess.
Couple this with the ongoing riots concerning the flushing of the Koran down the toilet at our top secret prison in Cuba and one can see that this war against bin Laden and Saddam has spiralled down the toilet and is now becoming a very toxic mess indeed. It certainly alarms the editor of this blog to see this happening. Couple this with the news about born again Christians harrassing others at the Air Force Academy and that the Lutheran minister there was forced out of his job for complaining about it and the few Jewish students there had to file a civil rights lawsuit alleging religious discrimination and one can see this stew isn't healthy nor will it end peacably.
The death toll from the Crusades was horrific. Each surge across the Holy Land was drenched in blood. Jersusalem was put to the sword more than once. From the bloody demise of the Children's Crusade to the looting of Constantinople, it was one long, ugly, hideous convulsion.
And we are reproducing it with reckless disregard!