A bunch of cunts, mostly in the Australian sense. Except that one guy.

The Tenth Crusade

I watched a history documentary about the Crusades, and it made me wonder if those people who participated couldn't be categorized as European terrorists who went after the Muslims?

Not an original thought, for sure, but then, I Googled...as usual, I'm late to the party:

http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn0907.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenth_Crusade
Permalink sharkfish 
January 15th, 2006
Before the Crusaders killed any Muslims, they went after European Jews, the Orthodox Byzantine Empire, and a Christian Nation in Turkey/Syria.
Permalink Erik Springelkamp 
January 15th, 2006
Well, there are many parallels to terrorism, but the main feature of the crusades, in my opinion, was that they were the start of the proud western tradition to go and do war on some far away country for some bullshit reason as a means to solve domestic political problems.
Permalink Eric Debois 
January 15th, 2006
The original purpose of the Crusade was to prevent war inside Europe by uniting the most aggressive knights into an expedition abroad.
Permalink Erik Springelkamp 
January 15th, 2006
I see more parallels with the age of colonization and empire-building.

The 'war on terror' just accidentally focusses on gaining strongholds in strategic areas, as literally argued by Cheney's think tank long before 9/11.

9/11 was their god-given excuse.

I am sure Dick had a little celebration on the night of 9/11.
Permalink Erik Springelkamp 
January 15th, 2006
Foreign adventure. Booty! It's a fine old Viking tradition.
Permalink trollop 
January 15th, 2006
"I watched a history documentary about the Crusades, and it made me wonder if those people who participated couldn't be categorized as European terrorists who went after the Muslims?"

So why would the europeans attacking the muslims be terrorism, but not the muslims taking all those lands in the first place? The history of the battles to take and retake that area are filled with atrocities and death.
Permalink Phil 
January 15th, 2006
Phil, tell us from whom the Muslims took those lands originally?
Permalink Erik Springelkamp 
January 15th, 2006
The Jews, then the Romans, then the Byzantines... then Arabs who were then defeated by Turks... The land has constantly been turned around over the years.
Permalink Phil 
January 15th, 2006
The Crusades weren't terrorism in the strictest sense. Consider the definition of terrorism - "Attacking civilian targets with the intent of affecting policy"

I think the best way to think of the Crusades is by simply making the term a noun - a crusade being an aggressive and/or violent attempt to convert the religion of occupied territory.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 15th, 2006
> The 'war on terror'

Is an oxymoron.

> Consider the definition of terrorism - "Attacking civilian targets with the intent of affecting policy"

In a manner that isn't sanctioned by the government in question. War is legalized terrorism.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 15th, 2006
"War is legalized terrorism."

Didn't we just have the discussion? hehe.  In most wars, civilian targets don't make the most sense. It's a waste of ammo, and galvanizes public support against the enemy. Yes, they have been targeted (Dresden and London in WW2), but usually as acts of desparation.
Permalink Phil 
January 15th, 2006
> Didn't we just have the discussion?

Unless we're talking about sex, I think this is all we talk about.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 15th, 2006
>The Crusades weren't terrorism in the strictest sense. Consider the definition of terrorism - "Attacking civilian targets with the intent of affecting policy"
That's *your* definition of terrorism. Beat up strawmen much?
Permalink Peter 
January 15th, 2006
Me and Mr. Webster

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=terrorism

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 15th, 2006
Frankly the word has been so politicised as to lose all meaning - it's now sloganese shorthand for *Them*.
Permalink trollop 
January 15th, 2006
The point of war is to make your opponents change their mind. The US has vigorously made the effort to pretend that only state sanctioned murder is OK, while non-state murder is somehow *evil*. Therefore bombing the 17 civilians isn't terrorism, nor attacking wedding parties with apache helicopters is "terrorism." However, blowing up busses is terrorism. Using multimillion dollar cruise missiles is OK, but the poor man's cruise missile: a car loaded with explosives is somehow illegitimate.

Since christians were not permitted to owe money to other christians, only Jews were permitted to be money-lenders in the middle ages. When Crusades were called, the folks travelling in them would invariably slaughter all the Jews in town before leaving, as both to cancel their debts and a pre-game show for murdering infidels.

>In most wars, civilian targets don't make the most sense. It's a waste of ammo, and galvanizes public support against the enemy.
Such as Fallujah. Any civilian unable to escape was killed and the corpse was called "an insurgent." Not deliberately targeting civilians is a purely western philosophy. Thinking that anyone else in the world "believes" it is foolish.
Permalink Peter 
January 15th, 2006
"Therefore bombing the 17 civilians isn't terrorism,"

If Pakistan retaliated against the US by putting a car bomb into the White House, but the President wasn't there, then the civilians killed would be casualties of war.

"nor attacking wedding parties with apache helicopters is "terrorism.""

Again, the intent was a legitimate military target. That intel was fucked up, or targeting was screwed makes it collateral damage.

In London the perpetrators *intentionally* targeted civilians. That's BS. Why didn't they target police or Army units? Why not government?

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 15th, 2006
Peter, like Philo said, we didn't attack civilians for the purpose of attacking civilians. They were an unfortunate "collateral damage" and I suppose it's possible we were not even aware they were there (hey you've seen how bad our intel is). Terrorists intentionally attack civilians to kill civilians. If the US really wanted to terrorize and kill civilians, we would have a very "stable" Iraq. That is how Saddam kept everyone in check. If we were really the heartless civilian killing bastards you make us out to be, we could line up the families of suspected insurgents and kill them execution style in the streets. We could carpet bomb. We could poison water supplies.

It is not just a western philosophy to not waste ammo attacking civilian targets, it just makes sense. Who are you saying thinks different? Lets say Iraq had the same weapons capabilities we do...you think during an attack on their country they would rather attack times square then our command and control targets? It just doesn't make the most logical sense in a war.

This is the difference:

Terrorist: A loosely knit group of individuals (under 50,000 people lets say) whos intent is to make a statement or influence policy by causing "shocking attacks" against targets both military and civilian. They own no specific territory. And the primary aim of their attacks is simply to terrorize.

Rebels: A well formed group of military and civilian units who control some patch of land, and who's primary goal is to control the land they live on or aquire more land from a larger power. (Why Columbian rebels and US revolutionarys were not terrorists)

War/Military: A military group that is state sponsored that can target military and civilian targets with the goal of defending, aquiring or assisting in the defense or aquisition of more land/resources.

Those definitions work for anyone?
Permalink Phil 
January 16th, 2006
terror = fear, right?

terrorism is about using fear as a weapon (which is basically a means of coercion).

greatest terror weapon in history: the atomic bomb (after it was used).

-very common tactic used by gangsters in extortion.

in an even more general sense: religions which threaten an eternity in hell for committing a sin.

irony: bush's use of terror tactics to "fight terror".

so, even by the most broadest of definitions, i don't see how the crusades could even remotely be defined as an act of terrorism... one might see it as spiritual and even physical territorialism... but terrorism???
Permalink Kenny 
January 16th, 2006
There appears to be considerable confusion.

The 'Moslems' did not kick out Jews, Byzantines or anyone else by and large they assimilated the existing population allowed them to practise their religons and allowed pilgrims to go unhindered.

The First Crusade was more about the failing state of the Eastern Roman Empire than it was about attacking Turks. Comnenus effectively hired a Frankish Army from Pope Urban who himself was threatened by the anti-pope Guibert schisms in Germany and France. Urban was the most harried pope ever spending most of his reign locked out of Rome with the two sides using excommunications as a means of war.

The First Crusade was a good excuse to unite Europe and it succeeded in liberating Jerusalem (which was a bit of a surprise to the Seljuk Turks as they didn't think it needed it, nor did most of the population of the city) and in uniting Islam such that Jerusalem was retaken.

As for citizens not being targets for war, or not being 'efficient' targets as it unites their defence. Attacks on civil populations became part of German military theory before the First World War, more importantly attacks on strategic transport systems became part of everyone's military theory. Durm und Strang, Fire and Storm, was pursued by everyone from the Zeppelin raids onwards.

For every example of the Blitz, Desden, Coventry where the populace were seemingly put on their metal you can find others where they were simply flattened in their homes. In Chechnaya, in the Balkans, in Mongolia.

Civilians have always been legitimate targets, not in past times of chivalry at the time of battle but as spoils of war.

The bombings last June were not targetting those civilians who were affected directly but targetting all those using the Tube and the City which relies upon it. As well as the terror it was meant to spread it was meant to harm the economic life and standing of London.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 16th, 2006
In answer to the OP - yeah, it's a more or less accurate description.
Permalink a cynic writes... 
January 16th, 2006
"The 'Moslems' did not kick out Jews, Byzantines or anyone else by and large they assimilated the existing population allowed them to practise their religons and allowed pilgrims to go unhindered."

After they killed all the defenders of these territories, including civilians....
Permalink Phil 
January 16th, 2006
Oy veh, just keep pressing the ignorant button, one day you'll get the treat.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 16th, 2006
Simon, perhaps you can explain how islam spread through the middle east and africa? I forgot, the Caliphates and later Seljuk Turks came in bearing roses and fresh fruit and the middle east was given to them in a bloodless wash of love and hugs. I forgot, only europeans can commit attrocities and terrosism. My bad.
Permalink Phil 
January 16th, 2006
Phil: You're just like my nephews sometimes. The minute you catch one of them red-handed, he's pointing at his brother saying, "Yeah, but *he* did...." This isn't about what "the other guy did". This is about soi-dissant Christians can do under the banner of the Prince of Peace. As my husband so aptly puts it, "If you want to wear the halo, it had better fit." Owning up to the considerable blood that the West (including the U.S.) has on its hands is not America-hating or West-bashing. It's looking the truth in the eyeball and (more importantly) insisting that we (and our so-called leaders) live up to the values we espouse. Bang on all day about how bad the other guys are. I could care less. The bottom line is: Is this the country we were taught to believe it was in high school Civics? Or was that a pretty lie?

Thanks for hearing me out.
Permalink cubiclegrrl 
January 16th, 2006
cubiclegrrl...fair enough, it just annoys me there is this moral relativism or something that always makes the europeans fighting the native americans wrong, or the europeans fighting the muslims wrong, but the fact that the Aztecs and Turks were just as brutal to get the land the europeans took in the first place seems to be ignored.
Permalink Phil 
January 17th, 2006
Phil: First off, thanks for taking that so well. I've read more than enough history to understand where you're coming from too. I'm just stubbornly naive enough to insist that anybody who gets themselves elected on the "values" ticket should actually live up to it. ;-)
Permalink cubiclegrrl 
January 17th, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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