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?
Is Shaka Khan Shaka Zulu's sister?
What is this "Jen-jis" crap Kerry said in his treason film against the nation? If you pay an extra 20K per college credit you get to reinvent the names of historical figures? Did I miss something or do I now have to pronounce "Ghosts" as "Joests"?
John Wayne's WORST screen role. An incredible bit of miscasting. However, there was even worse miscasting in another John Wayne role when Janet Leigh portrayed a Russian female pilot in Jet Pilot without even the hint of an accent. Also the jets in the movie (made around 1949) were already obsolete when Howard Hughs released it around 1958. The plot also made no sense. Somehow John Wayne "defected" to the commies and landed with Janet Leigh in Siberia. The security of the commies was so poor that Wayne and Leigh easily stole a jet plane in Siberia and came back to the states for a steak dinner (I kid you not).
Ah, the old Harold Lamb biography! I read it in junior high school way back in 1960! I had petty much forgotten it until you mentioned it. A good biography of its time (I think it was actually written in the '30s or '40s).
Nyet... that's "Jengis Con" !!! ;-))
I don't like Kerry.
But I heartily apporve of Genghis' way of dealing with people who create problems.
We could learn a lot from him.
As for Kerry - he's just another liberal Democratic Gurlie Man.
founder of Khan's Mongolian BBQ and
Gengis Formal Wear.
No, its "dyenquis ghan".
No, Owl_Eagle's pronunciation is the one true and correct pronunciation. He is a graduate of L'Universite Coulottes Fancee in Bern and is quite brilliant. When my daughter needed help in her third grade Aristotlean Pangyrrhic Dialectics class, Owl coaxed her through some rough reading and assignments and spurred her on to earning a solid B+ that others had trouble simply passing.
At Tufts, Owl majored in Classical Dental History and wrote a thesis entitled "Jinjis Khan: Man of Destiny and Bleeding Gums" in which he proved that the pain suffered by the otherwise pacifist Mongol due to his gum condition led to his episodic fits of aggression that led him to concquer much of the known world.
If any one on FR knows the proper pronunciation of Khan's name, it is certainly Owl_Eagle, Ph.D.
I believe anyone who would vote for Kerry to be president should be put in an institution or be taken out behind the shed and shot and eliminated from the gene pool.
We can NOT have a traitor and war criminal as Commander in Chief.
Looks like rintense's pooch!
"Not to be overly pedantic, but it's spelled (and pronounced) Jen-jis Khan."
Wow! I didn't know they wrote in English. :)
This book was also been well received, though it
is a travel narrative and only tangentially historical:
In the Empire of Genghis Khan: An Amazing Odyssey Through the Lands of
the Most Feared Conquerors in History, by Stanley Stewart, 2004, 266 pages
In this personal, witty account of travels across Mongolia by horse, Stewart mixes anecdote and history, capturing the warmth and spirit of the many people he encountered. He begins his journey in Istanbul, making his way by tramp steamer across the Black Sea, rattle-trap train from Volograd to Almaty, and a short hop by air to western Mongolia. From there he sets out across the steppes to Dadal, a thousand miles to the east. The book won the Thomas Cook Travel Award in 2001, the second Cook award for the British journalist and travel writer. ($14.95)
Many of you are correct that Ghengis Khan (a title) was born with the name of Temujin which means iron worker in his native language. When Temujin was born his fist was clutching a blood clot which was declared an omen that he was destined to become a heroic warrior.
This map reflects the Mongol Empire in 1227, when Genghis Khan died. His descendants expanded into Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and all of China. (Some accounts differ.)
The Museum of Mongolian History writes: In the West, Mongolia evokes the name of Chinggis Khan (also known by the Persianized spelling of his name, Genghis Khan) and his thirteenth century conquest of the most of the known world. His empire extended from the Mediterranean Sea to the Pacific Ocean, and the reputation of Chinggis' ruthless hordes of soldiers has endured until today.
Landlocked and strategically located between Russia, China, and Tibet, Mongolia has played a significant role in Inner Asian history. After the death of Chinggis, his grandson Khubilai Khan was the first ruler in the Yuan dynasty, a period of Mongol rule of China which lasted nearly one hundred years. Following the Yuan dynasty, various Mongolian khans attempted to recreate Chinggis's empire and dreamt of a new Mongolian age. In the sixteenth century, the Buddhist-based relationship between Tibet and Mongolia created by Khubilai was reestablished, giving rise to a renaissance in the arts, literature, political and religious structures of Mongolia.
Sorry about that trrriple post. I will check my machine for hiccups!