Skip to comments.Who is Ghengis Khan?
Posted on 09/02/2004 1:08:33 PM PDT by OESY
Despite some recent FReeper posts, one question that has not been satisfactorily answered is, What did Kerry mean when he testified before Congress that our troops in Vietnam "razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Ghengis Khan"? Who is Ghengis Khan?
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Genghis Kahn, or Ghengis Khan (interpreted as either "precious warrior" or "spirit of light") as he is more widely known, was born about the year 1162. On a hunting trip when young, he was ambushed by an enemy tribe and taken prisoner. While prisoner he killed his guard and escaped. The enemy searched, but excellent survival skills kept him alive until he could meet up with his own tribe. This act of courage spread his name to all parts of the Mongolian plains. By age 17, he had thousands of supporters under his command. By 1204, he had defeated all rival Mongol clans. He was given the honorary name of "Khan of Khans" (King of Kings).
"The greatest happiness is
to vanquish your enemies,
to chase them before you,
to rob them of their wealth,
to see those dear to them
bathed in tears, to clasp to
your bosom their wives
In 1207 he began a crusade to conquer the lands of China, taking Beijing in 1215. With northern China under his control he now turned his attention westward. After a Mongolian caravan was slaughtered by the Persian Shah, Ghengis led an attack force of 90,000 men from the north and sent a general with 30,000 men to attack from the east. Though he was outnumbered by the Shah's army more than 400,000 men, Ghengis's army was victorious, allowing a full scale invasion and occupation of the several empires. From this campaign the Mongols acquired the knowledge of burning arrows, the "fire that flies". With subsequent victories, other new methods of warfare were acquired that made his armies stronger and more deadly.
In 1223, 20,000 Mongol warriors devastated a Russian army of 80,000, beginning the period of the Tatar Yoke. The Mongols quickly fought their way across Russia and into Europe, destroying entire cities in Russia, Hungary and Poland in their wake. In 1227, Ghengis Khan, a master horse rider, fell from his horse during a hunt and died shortly after.
With Heaven's aid I have conquered for you a huge empire.
But my life was too short to achieve the conquest of the world.
That is left for you.
--Ghengis Khan, to his sons who proceeded to conquer southern China
Upon his death the main expansionist phase of Mongol conquest ended as the armies returned home to elect a new Khan. While normally thought of as a despot Ghengis Khan was also generous and loyal, highly charismatic, and expected loyalty from everyone.
Mongols did not invent tactics, such as the feigned retreat which they used to great effectiveness, but Ghengis's great contribution was a highly organized military command system which cut across lineages and ensured loyalty to the leader. Initially, nobility was an advantage, but he promoted based on ability and loyalty. Commanders were indeed "Mongol", but the soldiers were drawn from allies and conquered areas. Engineers from conquered pacified populations were put into action as siege experts, and even the cavalry was a mixture of Mongol and other nomadic groups.
The outstanding success of the Mongol conquests has been attributed to a network of spies which provided extensive information on an enemy before battle. Also, psychological warfare was a major factor as cities in Central Asia met with total destruction. However, if a city capitulated, Ghengis was usually content to let them be, once their defenses had been pulled down. Only those who resisted faced the sword. This not only wiped out resistance, but more importantly, word quickly spread of the wrath of Ghengis Khan, breaking the will to resist.
All who surrender will be spared;
whoever does not surrender
but opposes with struggle and dissension,
shall be annihilated.
Ghengis Khan followed the Mongol religion, which centered on the worship of a sky god, the "Eternal Blue Heaven" as did his sons and successors, but he allowed freedom of religion in the lands they conquered. Nevertheless, 30 million Chinese were slaughtered, a couple of million Russians and other Europeans, as well as another couple of million Muslims at a time when the Arabs were rising to the peak of their power.
Thus, Ghengis Khan's legacy is one of hordes who attacked on horseback, defeated huge armies, razed many cities, while leaving smoking ruins and eventuallly 35-50 million dead. The Mongols won nearly every battle they fought, and toppled the mighty Persian empire and other middle eastern empires. They nearly obliterated Islam, and pushed as far west as Africa.
Is this the Ghengis Khan John Kerry intended to associate with our troops in Vietnam? We can be certain that America's enemies used Kerry's words to brand our troops as murderous hordes that killed and burned villages wantonly. It was also the rationale our enemy use to justify killing our troops or torturing the POWs they held.
In my opinion, this constitutes further evidence that John Kerry is unfit to be president, the commander in chief of our armed forces, and moral leader of the Western world. How could the troops under his command who must fight the War on Terror ever have confidence or loyalty to a such commander as John Kerry who has been so reckless with the truth and so irresponsible in Judgment? How could we, the American people?
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Guns Before Butter.
That's "Jengis Khan"
Wasn't he Madelline Kahn's father?
Excellent post. Thanks.
I am looking at some CHINGGIS KHAN Mongolian Vodka right now. When I was there, they were just rediscovering their history and everthing was named Chinggis Kahn.
Great people, would like to visit them again sometime.
It's pronounced "Ghengis" here.
I'm not saying you're wrong, but to pronounce it the common way isn't wrong either.
The fact that Kerry pronounces it the sissy European way tells me a lot about him.
Okay where's the Captain Kirk 'KHAAAANNN!!' web link? :-)
About a third of his commanders were Christians. (Nestorians I believe.) If the Organized Christians (Catholics and Orthodox) weren't such jackasses they would have welcomed the Christian Mongols and put an end to the evil that is Islam.
I'm with you. Sissy boy's pronunciation only makes me more apt to use the Americanized version, with hard G's.
Wasn't he one of Captain James T. Kirks old running buddys?
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