“Written to enlighten, guaranteed to offend”
A Publication of Seth J. Frantzman
June 21st, 2008
1) The Crusades: a Reappraisal: The Crusades are hardly the precursor to European imperialism, the genocidal, racist greedy assault that they are portrayed to be. In reality most Crusades were a complete failure and the actual European colonialism that began in the 16th century learned from the Crusades by doing the exact opposite and not committing the same mistakes that the crusaders had made. Almost none of the accepted wisdom about the Crusades proves correct when one understands their context or their history.
2) Tom Kenis: Life of the new imperialism and how it can be stopped: Tom Kenis is leaving Ramallah for Belgium. He has worked at a Belgian NGO for a few years and now he is packing up to return home. Judging from his blog and his reports it has all been good fun for him. But has it been good fun for the colonized? For those people forced to endure his presence? He was merely a cog in the great wheel of the modern NGO-imperialism. But it is these cogs that every country must oppose with every ounce of their strength, for no country deserves to have these NGOs feasting on them as a vulture feasts on a corpse.
3) Feminism’s other legacy: How can we understand that some of the most popular television shows for female audiences in the West are shows portraying women either as call girls, drug dealers, engaging in polygamy or competing to be as nude as possible so as to be the next ‘top model’? This is the other legacy of feminism. It offers women two options: prostitution of Islam. This is the western legacy and it is a secular legacy of tragedy.
The Crusades: a Reappraisal
June 17th, 2008
Seth J. Frantzman
In 1972 Joshua Prawer published The Crusader's Kingdom: European Colonialism in the Middle Ages (also published as The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem: European Colonialism in the Middle Ages). This view of the Crusaders as precursors to European colonialism has come to be the norm. Theories have been lumped on top of it to explain other aspects of the Crusades. One views the role of the Crusades as essentially a plot by the Pope to secure more power through the church by wielding armies and placing himself above the lords of Europe by being able to order their knights to a Holy War in a far off land. Another views the Crusades as essentially a capitalist conspiracy by greedy knights and lords who traveled a thousand miles in order to gain 'holy' artifacts that they could then sell back in Europe. Yet another theory views the crusades as a crucible, a sort of state conspiracy, in the founding of modern Europe and her nation-states. This view states that "Europe's comparable backwardness vis-à-vis Islamic, Byzantine, Indian and Chinese civilizations" forced Europeans to embark on the Crusades so that local lords could consolidate power at home, centralize authority and be rid, perhaps, of roving bands of meddlesome knights. This last theory is usually synthesized with the first one so that historians make states such as "Crusades and European 'discoveries' in the New World are essentially imperial projects intertwined with Europe's transformation." A final view of the Crusades sees it as a way for Europe to adopt a shared "European-Christian" identity and create a "Muslim Other" through warfare (a bibliography of these views can be found here, http://www.the-orb.net/non_spec/missteps/ch2.html).
These theories all contribute, in some complicated fashion that cannot be easily rendered into English, into a model that not only claims that the "Free trade myth" of Europe's rise to power is debunked but that the "Discovery of America was not a scientific feat, but the result of Ottoman blockage of the trade routes to the east."(although the Ottoman empire's true rise to power did not occur until the late 15 and early 16th century and Columbus sailed in 1492 this doesn't seem to harm this thesis). Furthermore the synthesis notes that the "Europeans were the orients 'barbarians'. Inferior in civilizational and economic terms hence their recurrent resort to military force." This brilliant thesis concludes that there would have been 'no Charlemagne without Mohammed' and 'no Columbus without the Ottomans.' All these theories were best presented, as historical fact, in a documentary by Terry Jones that appeared on the BBC in 1995 entitled 'The Crusades' (The fact that Jones first directed Monty Python did not detract from the widespread belief that his documentary was accurate).
Scholars and popular culture have not been without their challenges to this, now mainstream, viewpoint. William Urban, who ironically shares a his name with the Pope who ordered the Crusades, a Professor of history at Monmouth college wrote an excellent essay in 1998 entitled 'Re-thinking the Crusades' (http://department.monm.edu/history/urban/articles/Rethinkingthecrusades.htm). In 2001 this was followed by Thomas Madden's article in National Review entitled 'Crusade Propaganda' in which he noted that the "Crusades are quite possibly the most misunderstood event in European history." This was followed by the publication, in 2005, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades.
The Crusades occurred in a period that saw increasing harshness and extremism on both sides of the Mediterranean. In 1009 Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, the Sixth Fatamid Caliph of Egypt, destroyed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. He forbade women to leave their houses and forbade the making of women's shoes. He forbade the display of the Christian cross and then ordered all Christian subjects of his empire to wear giant crosses a meter long around their necks. Jews were ordered to wear black hats or turbans so they could be distinguished and discriminated against (they distinguish themselves to this day in this manner in the Orthodox world although there is no connection). The Almohad Empire, which was established in North Africa in 1121 and in Spain in 1147 was renowned for its expulsion of Jews and Christians from its domains, including the family of the renowned Jewish theologian Maimonides who were given the choice of conversion to Islam or death.
In 1071 at the battle of Manzikert the Byzantine army was eradicated and Byzantium lost almost all her lands in Asia Minor to the Seljuk Turks. In 1095 Alexius I, the Byzantine emperor, sent a mission to the Pope of the Catholics in Rome requesting aid for his Orthodox Christian Kingdom, whose life was imperiled by the Turkish threat. In the same year Pope Urban II gathered together his bishops and told them among other things that "This land is too narrow…Hence it is that you murder one another, that you wage war, and that frequently you perish by mutual wounds. Let therefore hatred depart from among you, let your quarrels end, let wars cease, and let all dissensions and controversies slumber. Enter upon the road to the Holy Sepulchre; wrest that land from the wicked race, and subject it to yourselves." In 1096 a man named Peter the Hermit gathered together a rabble in Cologne and began the march to the Holy Land. At Nis in modern day Serbia some 10,000 of his army of peasants and lowly knights were butchered by locals. After being ferried across to Asia Minor by the Byzantines his 'army' which now numbered some 30,000 was completely massacred by the Turks. Meanwhile in the Rhine valley another mob of German Crusaders under the command of a Rhineland Count named Emicho forcibly converted, extorted and took money from the Jewish communities of Mainz, Worms and others before massacring a number of them. Later this same group of Crusaders met their deaths at the hands of Hungarians after they had pillaged the countryside in search of food and loot. Such was the inauspicious beginning of the Crusades.
Despite these beginnings a more organized Crusader army under well-known nobles such as Godfrey De Bouillon, Robert II of Flanders and the count of Blois set out with 35,000 knights in the late fall of 1096. In the spring and summer of 1097, with the aid of a Byzantine army, the Crusaders smashed their way through Turkish defenses and armies in Asia Minor, reaching the Armenian country of Edessa in modern day Western Turkey, in 1098. On June 2nd the city of Antioch fell to the Crusaders after an 8 month siege. The Crusaders swept down the Coast, having secured the Lebanon, captured Jaffa, Ramle and Bethlehem before laying siege to Jerusalem, which fell on July 15th, 1099. It was at this point that the Crusaders committed the other massacre for which they are remembered, killing most of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, both Muslims and Jews.
In 1101 more knights took ship and horse for the Holy Land but this Crusade proved a complete failure. The Second Crusade was launched in 1147 led by King Conrad III of Germany and King Louis VII of France accomplished nothing except a failed assault on Damascus. It was more successful in Portugal where it wrested Lisbon from the Muslims. The same Crusade attempted to convert a nation called the 'Wends' or West Slavs but was unsuccessful. In 1187 after Saladin had captured Jerusalem a Third Crusade was launched under Richard the Lionhearted of England, Phillip II of France and Fredrick I 'Barbaroosa' of Germany. Fredrick died on his way to the Holy Land while Richard became legendary for his exploits. In 1204 the Fourth Crusade 'succeeded' in sacking Byzantium and resulted in the slaughter of Eastern Christians in that city. In 1209 the Albigensian Crusade 'succeeded' in exterminating the Cathar heretics of southern France of whome some 200,000 to a million were killed. The Fifth Crusade of 1217 was launched against Egypt but failed to take Cairo (although it did take the coastal town of Damietta). The Sixth Crusade was led by Fredrick II of Germany who had been excommunicated by the Pope. Nevertheless his brilliance on the battlefield resulted in the re-capture of Jerusalem in 1229. In 1244 Jerusalem fell once again to a Muslim force from Egypt and in the same year a Crusader army allied with the Muslim Emir of Homs and thousands of hired Bedouin to strike a blow at the Egyptian Ayyubid Sultanate led by Baybars. The Christian-Muslim army was destroyed by the Egyptians at the battle of La Forbie. In alliance with the Mongols in 1260 the Crusaders hoped that these pagan Asian tribesmen might be their answer to the Muslim reconquest of the Holy Land. This came to naught when the Mongol army was destroyed by Baybars' slave army of Mamlukes at Ain Jalut.
Crusading did not stop with the loss of the Holy Land. A Crusade was launched against a recalcitrant group of Frisian Catholics known as Stedingers in 1232 which 'succeeded' in subjugating this group to the authority of a local lord. Ten years later Crusaders attempted to invade and convert Orthodox Russia only to be defeated. Two 'Shepherds Crusades' in Northern France were led by peasants against Jews, noblemen and lepers in 1251 and 1320. The rabble had to be put down by the local nobility. In 1284 the Pope declared a Crusade against Aragon, even thought Aragon was Catholic it had insulted the Pope by invading Sicily (which Aragon had invaded to help the locals against the French, a well known story called the 'Sicilian Vespers'). In 1398 a Lithuanian army proclaimed a 'Crusade against the Tatars', Mongols who had converted to Islam and were ravaging the Ukraine. The Crusade was completely defeated. The Crusade of Varna in 1443 was launched by the Hungarian king against the Ottoman empire and it was defeated with the loss of 10,000 men and the Hungarian king in 1444. In 1420 a Crusade was launched against the Hussites, a European heretical sect that was a precursor of the Reformation in Bohemia. Crusades continued into the 18th century, including the Crusade of Lepanto and Candia (in Crete), both of which were directed against the Ottomans.
The Knights Hospitaller were formed in 1113 in Jerusalem, eventually fleeing to Cyprus, Rhodes and Malta after the fall of the Latin Kingdom. These Knights of Malta were finally defeated by Napoleon, thus putting an end to the last Crusading order (although the order of Malta still exists in a variety of forms).
When one reads a history of the Crusades and examines the total number of Crusades they would be hard pressed to think that Crusading was either a successful venture, a prosperous one or one that could possibly have been a precursor to anything but failure. The depredations of the Crusaders, rather than being systematic, usually involved mobs of peasants. In contrast to their Muslim enemies the Crusader 'brutality' was neither exceptional nor particularly harsh. One must recall, for instance, that of the 140,000 Christians who resided in the Holy Land before Saladin and Baybars, most became slaves or were themselves massacred by the Muslim 'reconquista'. One doesn't need to apologize for the Crusades or excuse them, for it was the Crusaders themselves who almost all went to their deaths in futile or half-baked expeditions. If the Crusaders accomplished one thing it was to create a perpetual war making machine that put Europe's enemies off guard for hundreds of years, perhaps slowing the Muslim conquest in Spain, the Ukraine and Eastern Europe, and eventually allowing Europe the breathing space to put her house in order to face the threat. Rather than being a precursor to colonialism the Crusades marked, in fact, the beginning of the rise of the Ottomans and in Spain the Crusades were no different in their intention at reconquest than Saladin's intentions in the Holy Land: both were directed at getting something back rather than taking new land. There was simply no connection between Columbus's sailing in 1492 and the Crusades except for the fact that the reconquest of Spain and Portugal during the Crusades made the expedition possible. The methods of the Spanish conquistadors in the new World did not resemble the Crusader's ways in the Holy Land. The Spanish in the New World created a massive brood of children with local women, massacred the natives to a great extent, enslaved others and converted the rest. In contrast, the Crusaders in the Holy Land rarely, if ever, had children with Muslim women, used a minimum of slaves and killed few of the local Muslim peasants. If the Conquistadors learned something from the Crusaders they learned how not to run a new dominion, all the successful things the Conquistadors did were the direct opposite of Crusader actions. In the Holy Land the Crusaders built forts wherever they could and feared the open country. In contrast the Spanish in the New World very quickly became masters of the country and felt no need to shelter behind forts, such was the power they projected.
One interesting myth of the Crusades is the supposed hatred of local Christians for the Crusaders. This myth encapsulates not only the Copts but also Christians in Crete and in the Holy Land. Every modern historian repeats the myth that the local Syriac and Eastern Christians 'welcomed' Saladin. This story is one that was circulated by Muslim sultans among their Christian subjects with the idea of propagandizing the local Christians to support their efforts against the Crusaders. The Muslims feared rebellion by the local Christians and given the treatment of the Christians in Egypt by Hakim one can understand why. So Muslim rulers created a narrative for their local Christians that claimed the local Christians opposed the Crusaders. There is no contemporary evidence from the 12-13th century of local Christians supporting the Muslims against the Crusaders (except as when they were enslaved and forced to do so). Today's eastern Christians claim they opposed the Crusades because they do not want to be connected with the 'Crusaders' who are always accused of conspiring against Islam. Thus the local Christians of Egypt or the West Bank or Iraq created a narrative of nationalism which claims they fought the Crusaders alongside their Arab 'brothers', but this is modern narrative was created and grafted onto history. Given the fact that most of the local Christians were enslaved, their churches burned and mosques built atop them by the Muslims who fought the Crusaders there is simply no possible way the Christians could have supported the Muslims. In some instances, such as in Crete, the local Greek Christians opposed the conquest of their island by Catholic Christians, such as the Venetians, and they 'welcomed' the Ottomans not because they supported them but because they saw them as a lesser of two evils. Cretan resistance to Ottoman rule was famous throughout Europe and such resistance never stopped from the very first landing to the final expulsion. Such resistance is not evidence of 'welcoming' but of a desire for independence, from Venetian or Ottoman rule, from Catholic or Muslim rule. There is no doubt the massacre of Greeks by the Crusaders in Constantinople in 1204 left a lasting impression but it was hardly one that meant the Greeks preferred Muslim rule, a rule that made them slaves more often than it made them free and saw their women taken into the harems of the local sultans. They preferred independence and hated the Catholics for what they saw as a stab in the back.
What is most fascinating about the Crusades is the degree to which they were sent against fellow Christians and the fact that in a few instances Muslims allied themselves with the Crusaders. These facts also run contrary to any of the post 1970 'theories' about the Crusades.
The greatest new myth about the Crusades is the decision by European, Muslim and Western historians to draw parallels with the modern state of Israel. Meron Benvenisti was one of the first westerners, and an Israeli Jew as well, to draw this parallel. In his book about the Crusades he speaks about the 'Conquerors and the conquered' and the 'indigenous' people. For Benvenisti the Crusaders are 'like' the Israelis because they were a conquering minority and they built citadels in similar places as modern day Israeli settlements such as at Tekoa or Maale Adumim (he does not mention that these places had Jewish residents long before the Crusaders arrived). He describes the fort of Belvoir as the 'best preserved Crusader fort in Palestine' despite the fact that administratively it is actually in Israel (by contrast Benvenisti does not use the old name for Turkey or Jordan). Ironically Benvenisti in his book Crusaders in the Holy Land, published in 1976, describes the Jews as part of the 'indigenous' population. Today's Jews however are seen by him as an invading foreign force. Benvenisti presented a paper on the subject entitled 'Crusaders and Zionists' at the Van Leer institute in 1989 in Jerusalem and wrote 'Longings for the Crusaders' in Haaretz in 1999. In 2006 David Ohana summed up he arguments in 'Are Israelis the new Crusaders?' in the Palestine-Israel Journal Vol. 13, No. 5 in 2006. The 'evidence' that Zionism is the new Crusader ideology is clear from the fact that among 82 studies of the Crusaders published in 1982, a total of 14 were written by Israelis (it couldn't be because Israelis live closest to the source material?). Benvenisiti claims that the Israelis 'long for the Crusaders' and that Israeli archeologists emphasize the Crusader heritage of the land as a way of obscuring the 1400 years of Arab rule (the fact that the Crusaders built more forts and walls in 160 years of rule than the Muslims did in 1400 years couldn't have any impact on this fact?).
The final story of the Crusades should be separated into two parts. The Conquest of the Holy Land was very much a Christian attempt as reconquest in the face of Muslim assaults on Christian Holy Places. Its success was no different than the Muslim success at the conquest of Spain in the 8th century, both were unexpected achievements and both resulted in a lasting presence and migration to the new country. The defeat of both stemmed from similar facts: a local population that was no assimilated and feuding of the feudal lords sent to rule the new country. The Jihad in Spain and the Crusade in the Holy Land were remarkably similar, even in their sometimes harsh treatment of Jews. The fact that the Europeans can be viewed as 'barbarians' assaulting 'civilized' Islam should best be seen in the same light in Spain where the invasion of Islam also represented an invasion of 'barbarians'. The irony here of course is that the European Crusaders are both seen as 'barbarians' and as precursors of European colonialism and thus modern Europe. In contrast the Muslim invasion of Spain is seen in historiography as bringing a 'golden age' and not serving as a precursor to Muslim imperialism elsewhere (such as in India). The Crusaders may have dreamed of loot but few of them ever attained it, given the fact that 90% of them died on the way or in battle. The Crusades outside the Holy Land should be seen in a different light than the establishment of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. These Crusades were almost entirely failures except for the fact that they did help unify Europe (for instance France and Spain) and spread European-Christian civilization to the pagan peoples of Scandanavia, the Baltic and the East. What is most fascinating about the Crusades is that they stopped and that Holy War stopped being a method of war among Christian states. In contrast Islam has never stopped its Crusading ethos which to this day haunts all the people forced to live next to Muslims, from Dinkas in Southern Sudan to Hindus in Kashmir, Buddhists in Southern Thailand, Serbs in Kosovo, Russians in Chechnya, Jews in Israel and Bahais in Iran. The frequent decision by solitary Muslims to join the Jihad, either abroad by journeying from Saudi to Bosnia for instance, or at home in Egypt by stabbing a local Copt for no reason, is startlingly common. To accept this Islamic Crusading mentality as the 'spontaneous' actions of mobs, such as the assault on Europeans and priests after the Pope's comments or the publication of the Mohammed cartoons, is to accept the actions of Peter the Hermit and the Shepherd's Crusaders which were 'spontaneous' assaults on Jews caused by the spread of the message of the Crusading Jihad to local people who had no means to embark on the Jihad. Since the Westerner is apt to condemn the entire enterprise of Crusading based on the savage 'outbursts' of some Christian peasants might well make them think twice about why similar 'outbursts' by Muslims are always seen as mere 'spontaneous outburts' rather than indicative of the entire Muslim religion. A more nuanced and equal approach would be more welcome, one that condemns the Crusading nature of Islam and gives a less convoluted theory burdened history of the Crusades which can condemn the knights for their immoral actions but accept their other actions.
Tom Kenis: Life of the new imperialism and how it can be stopped
June 18th, 2008
“They were young men recruited in London, mainly from the public schools and older universities, and sent out to rule over vast areas of bush, forest, plain and desert…as best they could. After a short apprenticeship as a cadet they were sent as assistants to a district commissioner who, perhaps himself not much above thirty, might have a region as large as half of England under his care. In Africa they went to a station known as the Boma, where there might also be a policeman, possible a Public Works Engineer or a Veterinary Officer if it was large enough, but very often just the D.C. They would spend, in those days more than half their time on safari, camping by African villages, and learning how the people lived and thought and acted, their languages, their needs. The villagers did not resent their presence in those bygone days. Quire the contrary. As a rule they accepted these white men cheerfully…as a kind of natural phenomenon from another world, and possessors of immensely potent forms of magic.”
Such is the description of the life of the young imperialist found in the delightful book Twilight on the Zambezi: Late Colonialism in Central Africa by Eudenia W. Herbert. This was a shoestring empire populated by young men of ambition and idealism. This was soft colonialism. Gone were the days of hacking off limbs to find gold. When Woodrow Wilson sent the American doughboys, including my illustrious ancestors, overseas to fight the Germans he did so under the banner of democracy and self-determination. He promised that the U.S would not enter a European conflict merely to preserve empire. But preserve empire the war did. In 1940 FDR send the Greatest Generation overseas once again to fight in another European war. He spoke bluntly to Churchill, assuring the obese bulldog that America intended to fight to save the world from Nazi and Japanese barbarism, but not to preserve the British empire. This time the Americans got it right. The British empire collapsed in 1948 and by 1960 almost all its colonies were going their own way. The young white men came home. To their surprise the life would no longer be easy. There would be jobs awaiting them. The Europeans who had the bad luck to be born into this postwar world had a hardscrabble existence, rebuilding the continent they themselves had wrecked. They enjoyed at all times the help of the United States in this endeavor through the Marshall plan and through NATO. They became middle class and they instituted the welfare state.
But the European generation born between 1975 and 1990 is a very different generation. It had no memories of the war. It had memories of plenty. It became European. It enjoyed a lifestyle that was entirely supported by the government. From the ‘cradle to the grave’. Its college was free and it was encouraged to study forever. Because certan sections of society need to work they spent most of their time traveling, backpacking, boozing, whoring, and hanging out in coffee houses. When they reached the age of 27 they decided that they should find some sort of employment. For this generation of Europeans, from the ‘right’ background and from a certain class, there emerged the European NGO and the European UN and the European Red Cross. These ‘non-profit’ organizations offered a way for Europeans to receive ‘employment’ and continue their lifestyle. These organizations were, for the most part, entirely funded by either government funds or American donors. The European entered work for an NGO and soon he was posted overseas. After a short apprenticeship they were posted to some region and given the responsibility for some nebulous task that included the prevue to watch over regions the size of England, the size of their home country. They walked with a swagger. They did not have to obey the local laws of the countries they were posted to. They received an SUV for their work. They were housed in special compounds or in rooms in the wealthiest parts of town. Once on location they frequented the same bars and the same brothels.
Tom Kenis is one of them. At the age of 27 he was posted to Ramallah in the West Bank to work for an NGO. Kenis was born in the Belgian town of Neerglabbeek. His family were patricians from Antwerp and his great-grandfather owned an inn. His grandfather fought in the resistance against the Nazis. He was a ‘liberal democrat’ voter in Belgium. After studying at Univerty in ‘International relations and Middle Eastern Studies’ he was cut out for ‘work’ in an NGO. He was happy to be posted to Ramallah for he could oppose the ‘occupation’. As he noted “dislike for occupation runs in the family.” His dreams were not clear to him. ‘Published author?’ While in Ramallah he did no actual work and spent most of his time drinking at the local bars and going enjoying the outdoors. One might say he spent most of his time on safari, learning about the locals. In January of 2007 he was profiled and interviewed by the BBC as part of their ‘Palestinian voices’ section. He was not religious in any way. His time was spent on “an empty hill dotted with stubborn shrubbery between the last Palestinian houses and an Israeli army base is our playground.” His greatest concern was “Be sure to bring enough ice to keep your Taybehs [beer] cold.” He readily admits “My life in Palestine was not the life of Palestinians.” He was proud of his fellow Europeans, noting “we stopped the Bosnians from butchering each other, am I wrong? And yes, they'd still be at it if no one had stepped in and went "What, are you nuts?" His philosophy was summed up as “Use your noodle for more than hunting and gathering. We need a new paradigm here… Fighting's old. God is dead. This is the Age of Aquarius.” When his posting to Palestine came to an end in June of 2008 he noted “I loved it here. I spent a full tenth of my young life here.”
Kenis doesn’t realize it but he is representative of a generation of Europeans. Eudenia Herbert was wrong. There was no twilight of empire. The empire of the Europeans has continued. It has reinvented itself. Some Europeans, it turns out, are simply not cut out for work. Some Europeans simply cannot do work. Their lifestyle is that of the world and their life is that of travel and fun and endless partying and critiquing others. Imagine this life. Imagine the life where one’s destiny is to work for an NGO and go to some other country and ‘fix the problems’ of that country whether the other country wants to be flooded with Europeans or not. The world has no choice in the matter. The world cannot choose to not have these NGO-Europeans. The world tried very hard to get rid of them. In Africa the natives turned on the native commissioners. But it was to no avail. The commissioners have returned. Today’s commissioner drives his SUV and sips his latte.
How can the world be rid of this imperialism? Can the world ever not suffer this arrogance, this incredible sight of the European enjoying himself upon the miseries of others, making fun of the real everyday life of hardship that faces most of the world? Can the world ever be rid of it? Can the world ever be rid of arrogance and the bourgouise behavior of people who never hold jobs in their lives? I’ve known dozens of them. They are all the same. Their life consists of the Red Cross and the UN. Their life consists of wealth and sipping tea and critiquing things and making fun of things. It is a life that, had it been earned through work or if it were carried out in the home country of these people, would be completely acceptable. No one can argue with a person’s right to enjoy their lives in their own country. No one can argue with a man driving an SUV in his own country. But one can struggle against the man who leaves his country and works for a nebulous ‘international organization’ and is posted to another country to tell that country how to live.
Americans struggled against this for a long time. When Africans had never seen the white man the American was fighting the imperialist at Bunker Hill. When the imperialist was thrown out of Haiti it was the American who was first to recognize the second free nation in the western hemisphere. When the European imperialist was weakened by an endless insurgency in Cuba it was the American who liberated the island. In 1903 when the Kishinev pogroms broke out against Jews in Russia cartoons shows Teddy Roosevelt condemning the pompous feudal Tsar. In 1956 when Britain and France bombed Egypt John Foster Dulles said "it is a great tragedy that when the world stands shocked at Soviet Brutality in Hungary the world should also be confronted by similar actions on the part of the British and French." Unlike Africa the European has not returned to the United States. His NGOs do not colonize our cities and his Red Cross and UN does not park where it pleases throughout our land. But the rest of the world is forced to shoulder the burden. The rest of the world is forced into slavery through the endless drive of the NGO-European and his smug expressions, his ‘this is good fun’ mentality while playing at genocide and war. To see the face of the NGO-employed- European is to see the face of luxury and the face of impotence. The peoples of the world must wake up and realize they do not deserve this face dominating them. From Africa to Israel to Thailand to Serbia the people must realize that the NGO-European has no rights to the world. The NGO employee is no different than any person. The NGO belongs in Europe. That is its home. If it wants to critique something he should critique its home and its injustice. If it wants to help the poor it should do it at home. That is the natural order of things. Kenis belongs in Europe. His smug face, his expression, his attitude, all of it belong in Europe. No one deserves to be shackled with it.
But we are shackled. The essence of the modern imperialism is the statement by Mr. Kenis that ‘fighting occupation runs in the family.’ He believes that he has a right to fight what he considers injustice anywhere in the world. Unlike his ancestors, who fought occupation in their own country, he believes he has a right to police the world. But when his self-appointed role as policeman goes wrong he can go back home to Europe while the natives must live with his mistakes and abuses. In his blog about Ramallah Kenis boasts “I’m going back to Belgium.” When Dutch peacekeepers working for the UN failed to intervene in Srebrenica they were able to leave without risk of prosecution. They had, of course, promised that they were creating a ‘safe haven’ in Bosnia, but when things didn’t go their way they went back home to Europe. In 2008 Bosnians tried to sue the UN and the Dutch government for not living up to its responsibility to protect them. The UN refused to take part in the case, claiming immunity. Bert-Jan Houtzagers, a Dutch attorney for the government said the UN must be allowed to operate without facing the threat of prosecution. In the Congo, Haiti, Southern Sudan and Cote De’Ivoire UN workers have raped hundreds, if not thousands of women and children. Of 250 boys and girls interviewed by an investigator, who were supposed to be under the care of the UN, more than half said they knew of cases where they or friends had been raped. Some victims were as young as six and included girls and boys. In 2003 Nepalese UN troops went on a rape rampage in the Congo, gang raping dozens of children in just one instance. But the UN is immune. When the UN or a European, comes to a village he may rape and murder at will and he is immune. He may commit as many Abu Ghraibs without any chance of being held responsible.
When there is immunity there is colonialism. When there is colonialism there must be resistance. When the courts cannot provide recompense and justice than man must resist. He has a solemn duty before god to resist. Americans learned this lesson in 1775. Patrick Henry intoned this lesson in his famous statement ‘give me liberty or give me death’ and the statement is echoed in the motto of New Hampshire; ‘live free or die.’ Americans understood all too well the impunity of the imperialist after British troops were forcibly lodged in the houses of American citizens. America rose to rebellion to remove the stain of imperialism from her breast. But imperialism does not die an easy death. Arrogance does not go away easily. Bullies do not go away until they are beaten. Europe slinked away from Africa and its colonies between 1945 and 1975. In few cases was it thrown out of them. Because of this it has returned with a vengeance. It has reinvented its imperialism through its UN and its Red Cross and Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and all the millions of NGOs that infest the world, like raptors praying on the carcasses of once proud and independent states. It feasts on Serbia and Israel and East Timor and Haiti. Haiti which was the second nation to gain independence in the Americas is today a slave of the UN. Serbia, a nation that resisted the Ottomans and the Nazis has been crushed under the heel of NATO, the UN and the EU. Israel, a nation of Jews who survived the European Holocaust and the Crusades and the Inquisition is feasted upon by legions of NGO vultures and the UN vehicles that line the streets of the Holy City. East Timor, which resisted the Indonesian Muslim juggernaught for 40 years is but a cesspool for the UN and its allies. How can such proud nations be brought down so easily? They are not brought down by power and battle. It is the soft colonialism that brings them down. It is the hidden colonialism of the NGO that brings them down. It is the slow, percolating, colonialism of European tourists who arrive to enjoy themselves but stay as ‘aid workers’ that brings them low. How can such proud nations give up so easily? Can they not remove the shackles? Eritrea has removed them. Eritrea has struggled against the internationalism that threatened to colonize it after it gained independence from Ethiopia. General Nkunda in the Congo has fought the UN, and been labeled a war criminal for doing so. But few today struggle against this thing. Few nations can bring themselves to restrict the visas of NGO workers and make NGOs illegal and deport the UN. Russia has begun to remove the NGO infestation, and has been called a ‘dictatorship’ for doing so. Russia simply forced NGO funding to come from within Russia, thus drying up the source of all the European sponsored NGOs. Myanmar has kept the NGOs out and the west is threatening to invade her because of it. But nations must not surrender to the abuse hurled at them by the West. They must not surrender their independence. All the nations of the world must remove the UN and its peacekeepers who rape with immunity. They must make NGOs illegal unless the NGOs are funded and staffed by local people. The world has agreed that the crimes at Abu Ghraib should be punished in a court of law. Yet the same world does not believe UN workers should be punished for gang raping 6 year olds. It is time. There is no other way to solve the problem. The funding must be cut off the way one cuts of the funding of terrorists. NGOs support terrorism through their excusal of it and should thus be considered under similar laws. Cutting the funding and requiring that all NGO employees be local hires is the first step to independence from them. No more men named Paul or Steven will be allowed to work for ‘save the children’ in India. From now on their names will be Viveck and Santosh. No more men named Tom will work for ‘Belgian NGOs’ in Ramallah. Instead funding for the NGO will come from the local community and it will employ men named Issa or Mohamed. That is the proper way. That is the independent way. The world deserves nothing more, for the world has not sent its legions to Europe to work in NGOs and non-Europeans do not receive immunity in Europe if they rape and murder Europeans. The world must be freed from the clutches of imperialism once and for all. Tom Kenis, it is time for you to get a job.
Feminism’s other legacy
Seth J. Frantzman
June 21st, 2008
In England the Anglican church marries gay priests and supports Shariah law. In the U.S the two popular shows staring women are Big Love and Secret Diary of a Call Girl. This is the world of the West. It is a world of contradictions and hypocrisy. In the films Hudsucker Proxy and Leatherheads which take place in the ‘conservative’ 1930s and 1950s the main female characters are both over-achieving newswomen. In fact in those times women could find role-models of success, such as the California female Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas. Today’s female role model, judging from what women watch, is either a drug dealer, as portrayed in Weeds, women whose only interest is sex and men as portrayed in Sex in the City, becoming a model as portrayed in America’s Next Top Model, the wonders of polygamy as portrayed in Big Love or being a prostitute as portrayed in Secret Diary of a Call Girl. This is the western way. It is the way of the whore or the burka. There are, in short, only two paths for the western women in life in the West and that is to cover herself from head to toe and become the dog-like wife of a domineering man or to prance around naked for the pleasure of men. In between there are no role models, there is simply nothing.
In an editorial in the Times called ‘Pure Tyranny’ Judith Warner compared a ‘Father-daughter purity’ ball in Colorado Springs to the recent scandal in France where a judge annulled a marriage because the wife turned out not to be virgin. Warner claimed that “Our condemnation of cultural practices and beliefs in our own country that violate girls’ and young women’s dignity and most intimate personal boundaries should be no less total [than the French condemnation.]” Of course like all good leftists today she missed the point. The condemnation in France was based on the fact that the state annulled the marriage, not based on the fact that Muslims demand virginity of their wives. France objected to the State upholding Muslim religious law. In the U.S, of course, the state does not uphold religious law, so although Warner described France as ‘highly secular’, she perhaps missed the fact that the U.S is the truly secular country in terms of its legal system. Liberalism tells us that in fact the case of the Muslim women receiving an annulment is actually about breaking a ‘contract’. Listen to the liberal defend Islam as every liberal is apt to do: “As an American woman living in France, I can’t help but feel a little bit frustrated by the tone of this editorial and, to be blunt, it’s one-sided presentation of the story of the Muslim woman…The fact is that, in the case of the Muslim woman, it was not virginity that was at the heart of the issue. It was honesty and breach of contract. She opted to lie about something that both she and her husband agreed–rightly or wrongly–was vitally important to their marriage….I personally think that chastity until marriage is a personal choice. It wasn’t mine and, to be perfectly honest, I hope it’s not my daughter’s.” In fact most replies by women to Ms. Warner’s article defended Islam while praising the condemnation of the Purity Ball: Patricia noted that “Strictly speaking, the French court annulled the marriage because she misrepresented the facts (and said she was a virgin) not because she wasn’t a virgin.” Mary Louise-Reynolds “I was nauseated by the ‘purity balls.’ Indeed there is something very incestuous about the whole idea….As far as having a hymen restored, that is not surprising, given the Muslim requirement of virginity in marriage .” (however Evangelical Christianity’s decision to have virginity at marriage is, of course, partiarchichal and incestuous and ‘nauseating’).
Feminism however tells us something else: “What women wear, how they look, how much they eat, how old they are, whether they have sex often or not, with who and if she becomes pregnant and what she does with the pregnancy is constantly in the public domain. Until women are respected to determine these things for herself, by both genders, there will not be equality” remarks one Feminist.
Alexis De Tocqueville in 1831 described a very different America: “Long before the young American woman has reached marriageable age, the process of freeing her from her mother’s care has started stage by stage. Before she has completely left childhood behind she already thinks for herself, speaks freely, and acts on her own. All the doings of the world are ever plain for her to see; far from trying to keep this from her sight, she is continually shown more an more of it and taught to look theron with firm and quiet gaze. So the vices and dangers of society are soon plain to her, and seeing them clearly, she judges them without illusion and faces them without fear, for she is full of confidence in her own powers, and it seems that this feeling is shared by all around her… Thus you can hardly expect an American girl to show that virgin innocence amid burgeoning desires and those naive and artless graces which in Europe generally go with the stage between childhood and youth. Seldom does an American girl, whatever her age, suffer from shyness or childish ignorance. She, like the European girl, wants to please, but she knows exactly what it costs. She may avoid evil, but at least she knows what it is; her morals are pure rather than her mind chaste…In France, where there is still such a strange mixture of thoughts and tastes, relics of all the ages, we often give girls a timid, withdrawn, almost cloistered education, as was done under the aristocracy, and then leave them unguided and unaided amid all the disorder inseparable from democratic society.”
(Democracy in America, Volume II Chapter 9) Alexis De Tocqueville, 1831.
America has reversed itself. American women have reversed themselves. Far from offering ‘progress’, feminism has offered only whoredom and slavery to women in America, offering them either the romance and ‘sexiness’ of the Harem, Polygamy, the veil and Belly dancing, or the cesspool of becoming an ‘exotic’ call girl. The two are the same coin. One is Islam, the other is liberalism but both promise women the same thing: slavery. Women in Islam may have their hymen’s reconstructed so men think they are virgins, but the western women has her breast implants. Both societies envision the role of women as being simply to cater to the man’s desire. In Islam he desires virginity and he gets it. He desires multiple wives and he receives it. He desires that women should be murdered for transgressing ‘family honor’ and he receives it. He desires an easy divorce and he receives it. In the West the man desires the whore, the stripper and the porn and he receives it. He desires the 14 year old prostitute described in Tracy Quan’s book (Diary of a Manhatten Call Girl. Tracy herself wanted to be a prostitute from age 10 after reading Xaviera Hollander’s ‘empowering’ book The Happy Hooker) which is now being made into an HBO special by the creator of Sex in the City, and the man receives. The man desires larger breasts and he receives. The man desires the thong and women wear them. The West is Islam. It is the creation of a male-centered society of female slaves whose only desire in life is men and who have no roles for themselves outside of pleasing men, chasing men, talking about men or showing themselves off, for men. The Muslim women has no role in life but to cover herself, her offensive hair and her offensive body, lest the man see it, so that she can preserve herself and her family ‘honor’ for men. Such is the West. Such is Islam. Such is the world. The great tragedy of liberalism is that it has transformed women into commodities, the exact thing it claimed to want to liberate them from.
The bane of the woman’s existence in the West, as in Islam, is women. It is women who claim prostitution is ‘empowering’ just as it is women in Islam who claim that the veil ‘empowers’ them. One cannot blame men for the creation of female servitude. One must blame women. All the television shows about modeling and sex and prostitution are created by women. Playboy is run by a female CEO and it is widely regarded as a ‘feminist’ publication and feminists and leftists frequently use the Playboy Mansion to raise money, with women proudly wearing the bunny emblem. Should it be a surprise? The Anglican church encourages Shariah and gay marriage. Feminism encourages pornography. This is the height of society, the height of the western secular society where opposites are the same thing and where things that seem that they should contradict one another instead make perfect bedfellows. Hugh Hefner and his polygamous household (dare we say it is polygamous even though he is not officially ‘married’ to his girlfriends, but marriage is so cheapened in the West why should we not describe what he has done as marriage?) support Feminism and democratic candidates. Archbishop Rowan Williams extols the Quran. Good. Conservatives should be proud to be ridiculed at a Playboy mansion party and be insulted by the Anglican archbishop. It means that the conservative is doing something right, he is holding his hand against Islam at one time and against secular extremism at the other, and he soon realizes that while he once felt he had to fight each with a different hand that he is in fact fighting the two at the same time and this leaves his other hand free. He can use this other hand to create and to move forward. He no longer has to sit up at night and ask himself ‘how do I fight Islamist conservative extremism and also fight atheistic self-hating extreme liberalism?’ He no longer has to feel there is some sort of culture war tearing him apart where he can’t figure out if he wants to defend his secular democratic society against Islamism or join with Islam to fight secular extremism. He realizes that the two have circled around and found eachother and opposing them is now much easier.