Skip to comments.Lost Glory of Ottomans
Posted on 11/12/2001 9:03:35 AM PST by TimSkalaBimEdited on 07/12/2004 3:35:58 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
ATHENS — About 130 years ago, as Ottoman rulers struggled to hold together their crumbling Muslim empire, a noted writer and political adviser returned from Central Europe with a gloomy report.
"I passed through the lands of the infidels. I saw cities and mansions," wrote Ziya Bey. "I wandered in the realm of Islam. I saw nothing but ruins."
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
I liked this article, which seems to sum up most of the complaints I hear from the Muslim lands -- they feel entitled to more than they have.
For an example in the modern world see what happened to Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia when they forced their Jews out.
The Ottoman Empire was at its heart a Mongol Empire and like their Mongol cousins further east, they relied on others (Arabs, Albanians, Greeks, Armenians, Slavs, etc) to run their empire for them.
One can say that the Ottomans were the laziest Imperialists the world had ever seen!
We'll take care of Afghanistan, and Russians can watch it after we're gone. North Africa, maybe we can get France and Italy to take some initiative (fat chance).
Western Europe, a backwater was able to leap ahead while the Turks never advanced beyond Middle ages technology.
Beware spinmiesters of the New World order.
PS: The Turks allowed the Jews and Christians to remain, living off the Dhimmi taxes like parasites, the real financial foundation the Turkish empire.
Besides the Armenian holocaust, the 500-year Ottoman legacy is a source of deep seated hatred, intolerance and instability in the Balkans, not to talk of its primitive way of life. Janissaries, Turkish elite troops, were made up of kidnapped Christian boys, ages 7 to 14. The kidnappings, knowin in Serb lands as danak u krvi or tribute in blood, were repeated annually. The boys would be taken to Istanbul, forced to convert to Islam and conscripted into the military for life. Impaling rebellious Serbs and other was a favorite punishment. For those who don't know much about this, a stake is driven through the victim's anus and upper torso; the victim is then lifted like a pig on a spit, vertically and left there to die. Death is slow and agonizing, sometimes lasting several hours.
Just like Osama, the accomplishments of the Ottomans in the history are ecclipesed by the evil they caused. Ottomans left much more destruction, hate and discontent than culture and civlization behind them. Lamenting over this lost "paradise" in the likes of Osama and others is analogous to lamenting over Mussolini's fascit Italy -- by ignoring its wrongdoings in Africa and Europe and concentrating on the fact that (for the first time in history) Italian trains were on time.
The Ottoman Empire existed because it exploited the dhimmis Greek and Armenian Christians, in large part, who were the economic backbone of the Empire.
Myths and Politics
THE INTERNATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES ASSOCIATION
SYMPOSIUM ON THE BALKAN WAR
YUGOSLAVIA: PAST AND PRESENT
Dinner Address delivered on 31 August 1995
Myths and Politics: Origin or the Myth of a Tolerant Pluralistic Islamic Society
Ladies and gentlemen:
My subject this evening is: Myths and Politics: Origin of the Myth of a Tolerant Pluralistic Islamic Society. I stress the world "Tolerant", which was omitted from the program.
Ten years ago, when I came to America for the launching of my book: THE DHIMMI, JEWS AND CHRISTIANS UNDER ISLAM, I was struck by the inscription on the Archives Building in Washington: "Past is Prologue". I had thought -- at least at the beginning of my research -- that my subject related to a remote past, but I realized that contemporary events were rapidly modernizing this past. Muslim countries where Islamic law -- the SHARI'A -- had been replaced by modern juridic (imposed by the European colonizing powers,) were abandoning the secularizing trend, replacing it with Islamization in numerous sectors of life. This impression of the return of the past became even more acute when I was working on my next book, published in 1991, the English edition which will appear in a few months under the title: THE DECLINE OF EASTERN CHRISTIANITY UNDER ISLAM - 7th TO 20th CENTURY: FROM JIHAD TO DHIMMITUDE (Associated University Presses).
In this study, I tried to analyze the numerous processes that had transformed rich, powerful Christian civilizations into Islamic lands and their long-term effects, which had reduced native Christian majorities into scattered small religious minorities, now slowly disappearing. This complex Islamization process of Christian lands and civilizations on both shores of the Mediterannean - and in Irak and Armenia - I have called: the process of "dhimmitude" and the civilization of those peoples who underwent such transformation, I have named the civilization of "dhimmitude". The indigenous native peoples were Jews and Christians: Orthodox, Catholics, or from other Eastern Christian Churches. They are all referred to by Muslim jurists as the "Peoples of the Book" - the Book being the Bible - and are subjected to the same condition according to Islamic law. They are called dhimmis: protected peoples, because Islamic law protects their life and goods on condition that they submit to Islamic rule. I will not go into details here for this is a very long and complex subject, but in order to understand the Serbian situation one should know that the Serbs were treated during half a millennium just like the other Christian and Jewish DHIMMIS. They participated in this civilization of dhimmitude. It is important to understand that the civilization of dhimmitude grows from two religious institutions: JIHAD and SHARI'A, which establish a particular ideological system that makes it mandatory - during the jihad operation -- to use terror, mass killings, deportation and slavery. And the Serbs -- because I am speaking of them tonight -- did not escape from this fate, which was the same for all the populations around the Mediterannean basin, vanquished by JIHAD. For centuries, the Serbs fought to liberate their land from the laws of JIHAD and of SHARI'A, which had legalized their condition of oppression.
So while I was analyzing and writing about the processes of dhimmitude and the civilization of dhimmitude, while listening to the radio, watching television, reading the newspapers, I had the uncomfortable feeling that the clock was being turned back.
Modern politicians, sophisticated writers -- using phones, planes, computers and all the modern techniques -- seemed to be returning several centuries back, with WIGS or STIFF COLLARS, using exactly the same CORRUPTING ARGUMENTS, the same tortuous short-term politics that had previously contributed to the gradual Islamization of numerous non-Muslim peoples. I had to shake myself in an effort to distinguish the past from the present.
So, is the past always prologue? Are we doomed to remain always prisoners of the same errors? Certainly, if we do not know the past. And this past -- the long and agonizing process of Christian annihilation by the laws of JIHAD and dhimmitude -- is a taboo history, not only in Islamic lands, but above all in the West. It has been buried beneath a myth, fabricated by Western politicians and religious leaders, in order to promote their own national strategic and economic interests.
Curiously, this myth started in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 19th century. It alleges that Turkish rule over Christians in its European provinces was just and lawful. That the Ottoman regime, being Islamic, was naturally "tolerant" and well disposed toward its Christian subjects; that its justice was fair, and that safety for life and goods was guaranteed to Christians by Islamic laws. Ottoman rule was brandished as the most suitable regime to rule Christians of the Balkans.
This theory was advanced by European politicians in order to safeguard the balance of power in Europe, and in order to block the Russian advance towards the Mediterannean. To justify the maintenance of the Turkish yoke on the Slavs it was portrayed as a model for a multi-ethnical and multi-religious empire. Of course, the reality was totally different! First the Ottoman Empire was created by centuries of JIHAD against Christian populations; consequently the rules of JIHAD, elaborated by Arab-Muslim theologians from the 8th to the 10th centuries, applied to the subjected Christian and Jewish populations of the Turkish Islamic dominions. Those regulations are integrated into the Islamic legislation concerning the non-Muslim vanquished peoples and consequently they present a certain homogeneity throughout the Arab and Turkish empires.
The civilization of dhimmitude in which the Serbs participated had many aspects that evolved with changing political situations. In the 1830s, forced by the European powers, the Ottomans adopted a series of reforms aiming at ending the oppression of the Christians.
In the Serbian regions, the most fanatical opponents of Christian emancipation were the Muslims Bosniacs. They fought against the Christian right to possess lands and, in legal matters, to have equal rights as themselves. They pretended that under the old system that gave them full domination over the Christians, Muslims and Christians had lived for centuries in a convivial fraternity. And this argument is still used today by President Izetbegovic and others. He repeatedly affirms that the 500 years of Christian dhimmitude was a period of peace and religious harmony.
Let us now confront the myth with reality. A systematic enquiry into the condition of the Christians was conducted by British consuls in the Ottoman Empire in the 1860s. Britain was then Turkey's strongest ally. It was in its own interest to see that the oppression of the Christians would be eliminated in order to prevent any Russian or Austrian interference. Consul James Zohrab sent from Bosna-Serai (Sarajevo) a lengthy report, dated July 22, 1860, to his ambassador in Constantinople, Sir Henry Bulwer, in which he analyzed the administration of the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He stated that from 1463 to 1850 the Bosniac Muslims enjoyed all the privileges of feudalism. During a period of nearly 300 years Christians were subjected to much oppression and cruelty. For them no other law but the caprice of their masters existed.
The DEVSHIRME system is well known. Begun by the Sultan Orkhan (1326-1359), it existed for about 300 years. It consisted of a regular levy of Christian children from the Christian population of the Balkans. These youngsters, aged from fourteen to twenty, were Islamized and enslaved for their army. The periodic levies, which took place in contingents of a thousand, subsequently became annual. To discourage runaways, children were transferred to remote provinces and entrusted to Muslim soldiers who treated them harshly as slaves. Another parallel recruitment system operated. It provided for the levy of Christian children aged six to ten (ICHOGHLANI), reserved for the sultans' palace. Entrusted to eunuchs, they underwent a tyrannical training for fourteen years. (A system of enslaving Black Christian and Animist children, similar to the DEVSHIRME existed in Sudan as is shown from documents to be published in my book. A sort of DEVSHIRME system still exists today in Sudan and has been described and denounced by the United Nations Special Report on Sudan and in a recent article last Friday's TIMES OF LONDON.) In 1850, the Bosniac Muslims opposed the authority of the Sultan and the reforms, but were defeated by the Sultan's army aided by the Christians who hoped that their position would thereby improve, "but they hardly benefited." Moreover, despite their assistance to the sultan's army, Christians were disarmed, while the Muslims who fought the sultan could retain weapons. Christians remained oppressed as before, Consul Zobrab writes about the reforms: "I can safely say, they practically remain a dead letter".
Discussing the impunity granted to the Muslims by the sultan, Zohrab wrote:
Commenting on this situation, the consul writes:
"Such being, generally speaking, the course pursued by the Government towards the Christians in the capital of the province Sarajevo where the Consular Agents of the different Powers reside and can exercise some degree of control, it may easily be guessed to what extend the Christians, in the remoter districts, suffer who are governed by Mudirs generally fanatical."
"Christian evidence in the Medjlises (tribunal) as a rule is refused. Knowing this, the Christians generally come forward prepared with Mussulman witnesses (...), twenty years ago, it is true, they had no laws beyond the caprice of their landlords."
"Cases of oppression are frequently the result of Mussulman fanaticism, but for these the Government must be held responsible, for if offenders were punished, oppression would of necessity became rare."
In the spring of 1861 the sultan announced new reforms in Herzegovina, promising among other things freedom to build churches, the use of church bells and the opportunity for Christians to acquire land.
Commenting on this, Consul William Holmes in Bosna-Serai writes to Ambassador Sir Henry Bulwer that those promises rarely applied. He mentions that the Serbs, the biggest community were refused the right to build a church in Bosna-Serai. Concerning the right to buy land, he writes; "Every possible obstacle is still thrown in the way of the purchase of lands by Christians, and very often after they have succeeded in purchasing and improving land, it is no secret that on one unjust pretext or another, it has been taken from them."
Consul Longworth writes, from Belgrade on 1860 that by its Edicts the "Government may hasten such a reform but I question very much whether more evil than good will not arise from proclaiming a social equality which is, in the present stage of things and relations of society, morally impossible."
The biggest problem, in fact, was the refusal to accept either Christian or Jewish testimony in Islamic tribunals.
Consul Longworth comments on "the lax and vicious principle acted upon in the Mussulman Courts, where, as the only means of securing justice to Christians, Mussulman false witnesses are permitted to give evidence on their behalf."
The situation didn't change, and in 1875 the Grand Vizier Mahmud Pasha admitted to the British Ambassador in Constantinople, Sir Henry Elliot, the "impossibility of allowing Christian testimony at courts of justice in Bosnia." Thus, the Ambassador noted: "The professed equality of Christians and Mussulmans is, however, so illusory so long as this distinction is maintained."
This juridical situation had serious consequences due to the system of justice, as he explained: "This is a point [the refusal of testimony] of much importance to the Christians, for, as the religious courts neither admit documentary nor written evidence, nor receive Christian evidence, they could hope for little justice from them."
The difficulty of imposing reforms in such a vast empire provoked this disillusioned comment, from Sir Francis, consul-general, judge at the British Consular Court in 1875 Constantinopole: "Indeed, the modern perversion of the Oriental idea of justice is a concession to a suitor through grace and favor, and not the declaration of a right, on principles of law, and in pursuance of equity."
From Consul Blunt writing from Pristina on 14 July 1860 to Ambassador Bulwer, we learn about the situation in the province of Macedonia: "[...] For a long time the province of Uscup [Skopje, Macedonia] has been a prey to brigandage: [...] Christian churches and monasteries, towns and inhabitants, are now pillaged, massacred, and burnt by Albanian hordes as used to be done ten years ago."
"The Christians are not allowed to carry arms. This, considering the want of a good police, exposes them the more to attacks from brigands." "Christian evidence in law suits between a Mussulman and a non-Mussulman is not admitted in the Local Courts."
Ten years before he said: "Churches were not allowed to be built; and one can judge of the measure of toleration practiced at that time by having had to creep under doors scarcely four feet high. It was an offense to smoke and ride before a Turk; to cross his path, or not stand up before him, was equally wrong." [...]
Fifteen years later, in another report from Bosna-Serai, dated December 30, 1875, from consul Edward Freeman, we learn that the Bosnian Muslims had sent a petition to the sultan stating that before the reforms, "they lived as brother with the Christian population. In fact, wrote the Consul, "their aim appears to reduce the Christians to their former ancient state of serfdom." So once again we go back to the myth. When reading the literature of the time, we see that the obstruction to Serbian, Greek and other Christian liberation movement was rooted in two main arguments:
1) Christian DHIMMIS are congenitally unfitted for independence and self-government. They should therefore remain under the Islamic rule.
Indeed these are theological Islamic arguments that justify the JIHAD since all non-Muslim people should not retain political independence because their laws are evil and must be eventually replaced by the Islamic rule. We find the same reasoning in the Palestinian 1988 Covenant of the Hamas. Those arguments are very common in the theological and legal literature and are exposed by modern Islamists.
The myth didn't die with the collapse of the Turkish Empire after World War I. Rather it took another form: that of the National Arab Movement, which promoted an Arab society where Christians and Muslims would live in perfect harmony. Once again, this was the fabrication of European politicians, writers and clergyman. And in the same way as the myth of the Ottoman political paradise was created to block the independence of the Balkan nations, so the Arab multi-religious fraternity was an argument to destroy the national liberation of non-Arab peoples of the Middle East (Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Maronites and Zionists.)
And although from the beginning of this century until the 1930s, a stream of Christian refugees were fleeing massacres and genocide on the roads of Turkey, Irak and Syria, the myth continued to flourish, sustained mostly by Arab writers and clergyman. After the Israelis had succeeded in liberating their land from the laws of JIHAD and DHIMMITUDE, the myth reappeared in the form of a multi-cultural and multi-religious fraternal Palestine which had to replace the State of Israel (Cf. Arafat's 1975 UN speech). Its pernicious effects led to the destruction of the Christians in Lebanon. One might have thought that the myth would end there.
But suddenly the recent crisis in Yugoslavia offered a new chance for its reincarnation in a multi-religious Muslim Bosnian state. What a chance! A Muslim state again in the heartland of Europe. And we know the rest, the sufferings, the miseries, the trials of the war that this myth once again brought in its wake.
To conclude, I would like to say a few last words. The civilization of dhimmitude does not develop all at once. It is a long process that involves many elements and a specific conditioning. It happens when peoples replace history by myths, when they fight to uphold these destructive myths, more then their own values because they are confused by having transformed lies into truth. They hold to those myths as if they were the only guarantee of their survival, when, in fact, they are the path to destruction. Terrorized by the evidence and teaching of history, those peoples preferred to destroy it rather than to face it. They replace history with childish tales, thus living in amnesia.
=== The end of the speech
* About the author:
Madam BAT YE'OR, author and scholar, born in Egypt. A British citizen living in Switzerland, she is a specialist on the DHIMMIS and "DHIMMITUDE" (a new word which she coined), and the subject of her pioneer research for the past twenty-five years. Author, since 1971, of numerous articles on non-Muslims under Islamic rule, she broke new ground with her book:
THE DHIMMI: JEWS & CHRISTIANS UNDER ISLAM, preface by Jacques Ellul (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press & Associated University Presses, Cranbury, N.J./London/Toronto, 1985), Enlarged English edition.
Her second major work...
LES CHRETIENTES D'ORIENT ENTRE JIHAD ET DHIMMITUDE: VIIe-XXe siecle, preface de Jacques Ellul (Paris, La Cerf, 1991) (English edition published by AUP in early 1996, English title: THE DECLINE OF EASTERN CHRISTIANITY UNDER ISLAM; 7TH TO 20TH CENTURY. FROM JIHAD TO DHIMMITUDE) - Associated University Press, 440 Forsgate Drive, Canbury, New Jersey 08512, tel: (609) 655-4770, 520 pages, cloth and paper cover option... ...established the author's reputation as an innovative thinker in a virgin field of research. The significance of her latest book in French JUIFS ET CHRETIENS SOUS L'ISLAM: LES DHIMMIS FACE AU DEFI INTEGRISTE (Paris, Berg international, 1994) is revealed by its subtitle: The Dhimmis faced with the challenge of Fundamentalism. Here, she covers the period of Turkish rule in the Balkans and analyses contemporary events. An English edition is scheduled for 1997.
======== End - about the author =========
Excerpt from author's interview for daily Politika....
Politika: What is your experience in relation to Dhimmitude having in mind the fact that your are a Jew born in Egypt?
Madam Bat Ye'Or: "I was witness of expulsion of the Jewish community from Egypt (85,000 persons). It was done in the ambient of hatred, terrorism, pillage and robbery. It started in 1945 and had its peak in 1948 and 1956. Anyhow, this is common experience of Jews in the entire Arab world. There used to be some 1,000,000 Jews there. Today only 10,000 remained. I wrote about it in one of my books. Contacts with Arab Christians helped me a lot in my strive to widen the understanding of the problem..."
========= End of the excerpt
To learn more on how the myth of the Muslim tolerance occurred, please open any encyclopedia and look for "EASTERN QUESTION".
To simplify it: The super power of the 19th century, Great Britain, waged a "space game" with the other potential super power: Russia. Where interests of the two crossed was - Balkans (then under Turkish occupation).
It would be most natural that Russia should have the influence in the the area. Most of the subdued Balkan nations (Serbs, Greeks, Rumanians, Bulgarians) are Eastern Orthodox - like Russians. That did not fit British interests. That is how Britain allied itself with Turkey and invented the myth of the Muslim tolerance.
When Turks cut throats, raped women and steal children of Balkan Christians - it was OK for the Brits - it was an expression of tolerance... As long as Russians do not get influence in the Balkans.
The history repeats itself. Super powers play again with the destiny of the Balkan peoples. They play with fire.
"A positive feature in Ottoman administration was the religious toleration generally extended to all non-Muslims. This, however, did not prevent occasional massacres ..."Religious toleration, Ottoman style - What a hoot.
Thats a hoot! Saudi sits on top of 1/4 of the known worlds oil supply. Billions and Billions of dollars and years and years of wealth poured into that sandpit and they still have no other export, no science centers, no art centers, but they do have public beheadings and amputations. If any country could ever have developed a modern society with money in the history of man, it was Saudi Arabia. But money does not make society. Never has, never will. They like being in the dark ages. Give them any progessive society and they will turn it into a hellhole of corruption and repression ASAP. It is the Islamic way.
Are the Turks to become the West's version of the Janissaries? or are they Sepoys?
The Raj system for the new millenium.
If you consult the source -- the Koran -- you will find that Christians and Jews are referred to as the "People of the Book." As monotheists, they were only a step away from accepting Islam. Muslims share Moses (Musa) and Jesus, as prophets recognized by Mohammad. So, technically speaking, the Jews and Christians are "on their way" but are somewhat "myopic" more than anything. They are only a step away from recognizing that the last prophet in the series is Mohammad.
Little good did Ottoman's "tolerance" do for the Armenians, Serbs and rebelious Greeks. The sad legacy of that "tolerance" was what drove Serbs to resist living in a Muslim-dominated Bosnia headed by a Muslim fundamentalist, Alija Izetbegovic (America's friend and ally) and his imported mujaheddin cohorts.
The same goes for Kosovo. At the root of all these problems, including Macedonia, and much more, is the Ottoman Turkish Imperium and the legacy of an evil and destructive empire that it was.
Amen. One can hardly argue with such track record. The resume says it all.
Roger Tamraz was the original bagman for this concept as applied to oil. The question is- who gave him the bag?
The fact is, America is now an empire. You can be unhappy about this fact, decry it as antithetical to GW's farewell address, but it is a fact. Personally, I think that GW, being a military realist, would have understood why this situation developed. Technology has developed to the point that we cannot remain safe in Fortress America while some hostile force gains control of the rest of the world. Whether that force is Nazism, Communism, Chinese Imperialism, or Islamism, we as a people will not survive if we fail to engage the rest of the world to prevent any one nation from gaining an ascendancy which would threaten us.
Had there remained several other great powers that more or less balanced each other, we could simply do our best to make sure that none gets too powerful. However, when the Europeans and Japanese did their best to destroy themselves, the world emerged from WW2 with only 2 powers of any consequence, the Soviets and us. The Chinese developed into a regional power later, but leave them out of it for now. The collapse of the Soviets left the world with only one so-called superpower, and that status created certain realities for the US. Sure, it could refuse the assignment, as Pat Buchanon and others advise. But that policy is, in my estimation, a very ostrich-like attitude towards the world. Sooner or later, some large predator will come along to bite us on the butt while our heads are buried in the sand.
Thus, I come to the conclusion that empire-by-another-name is what we are, have become, and must continue to administer. Call it what you will, but if a historian of 3 centuries hence examines the Pax Americana, he would look at it as such. We currently have Allies (Nato, Japan, Taiwan), friendly non-allied zones (Australia, India, Israel, Phillipines) spheres of influence (South America, Central America, Thailand, Gulf Arab states, east European countries). We have a smattering of actively hostile states (Cuba, Afhanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon). We have some very important independent regional powers with potential to threaten US interests (Russia and China.)
Part of our job, as guarantors of our children's and our nation's future, is to find a way in this century of reintegrating the Russians into the world system peacefully, and easing the Chinese out of totalitarianism without an outbreak of regional conflict that could escalate into global war of immense proportions. (If you think Islamic sleepers are bad, imagine many times more Chinese ones--smarter, better trained, more fully integrated into the host society. But that's also another story). What we do not currently have, which prior empires had, are colonies or semi-independent vassal states (at least formally). These have always been anathema to us, being so anti-colonial in our national origins. What I am suggesting, and I am not the first, is that one outcome of this war is that we set up a better way to further the CIVILIZED WORLD'S interests by administering certain nations that are simply not capable of being "good world citizens" on their own, and must therefore be given good parental supervision. Any country where 90 percent of the people are on the side of Bin Laden qualifies for supervision. Maybe, when the Madrassas are eliminated, and actual education takes place in actual schools, maybe after 30 years or so, some of these states may be less in need of oversight, but for now, they need a time out.
There are places that we could, if we chose, directly administer. These would be similar in nature to colonies, except that I believe that we would have no interest in staying forever. I would certainly not advocate permanent colonies, but it would be up to politicians to stick to their priniciples and leave when our interests allowed it. Germany and Japan after 1945, would be good examples of this kind of structured "re-education" in human rights, democracy, and honest government that we would seek to instill before bugging out. Germany and Japan were much more conducive to this kind of culture than many countries currently giving us trouble, so it is unclear whether this would be as easy, or even possible. But the effort is better than coming back every 25 years, especially in a world with easy development of nuclear weapons.
There would also be places where the US would not want to get directly involved. One obvious place is Saudi Arabia, because Mecca and Medina are located in its borders. Nothing would be surer to give us grief and headaches than taking control of Arabia and Mecca, and giving 900 million Muslims, including millions in the US, what they would consider a huge insult to their religion. Thus the need to involve 3d parties, specifically 3d parties who are Muslim. The House of Saud and its wahabbi co-religionists have proven themselves unreliable allies in the American empire, and will, eventually, have to be removed. Who better to take their place than the Turks, who are the lone example in the Muslim world of the possibility of a modern, secular Islamic state. They are not perfect, but they are good enough to be an ally in Nato, and their administration would be overseen by the key world power, the US. Turkey in 2002 would not be the same as the Ottomans in 1784. I don't think we have to worry about them going around massacring people.
What names you place on these types of arrangements does not really matter. The Persian empire had satraps, tributary states and parts of Persia Proper. Alexander, and later, Rome, kept much of this system intact. Europeans in the 1800s developed similar systesm. Whatever you want to call it, you would have lands of other westernized, civilized allies (to which we hope to add Russia), you would have lands that were directly administered by the US, lands directly administered by countries friendly to the US, lands which are self-administered but which are subject to certain strictures imposed by the US, and lands which are developing but not threatening to US interests (most of the third world).
There would still be independent states hostile to, or potentially hostile to, US interests, and our goal should be to bring these states in from the cold, so to speak. China, for example, will someday either lash out in war or, a la Russia, collapse from its internal contradictions, and be ready to join the system. It really is a good system, it has made all countries who join freer, more wealthy and more culturally enriched (in spite of Gilligan's Island and Brittany Spears.) This all comes down to one thing, folks: Keeping the world from blowing itself up. Once the states that can threaten the world are brought under control, this threat diminishes. Until this occurs, it is almost a certainty that someday, somewhere, GTW will occur. Someone has to get control first to prevent that. I propose it be us (and not China, the other main contender). And before I hear from someone that I'm some New World Order globalist, let me say--I don't want the UN or the world to have any say in the US. I want the US to lead the world.
You just hate Turks in that kind of visceral, tribal hate that prevents clear thought. That's not conservative, that's prehistoric. And you're no Pericles, you're a Serb. Quit trying to usurp the glory of Greece.
You may fool yourself with the conservative tag, but only yourself.
I am not a Serb (not that there is anything wrong with that).
It is actually the essence of conservatism to create and defend an empire. Ask Winston Churchill. It is liberalism to dismantle one (ask the post-war Labor party), and it is folly and pacifism to refuse to take charge in some fashion of nations from which you are threatened with mass destruction. As we all know from George Orwell, refusal to act in the face of such threats is objectively to favor the other side.
What I would like to hear about is the excesses in which the Saudis live, and how that money is distributed. My understanding is that one, you have to come from the right family, and two, the controlling family has so much money it doesn't know what to do with it. Had a friend who grew up in several oil countries, and while a teenager in UAE, he had a friend who was wealthy prince, and their family had stooopid stuff like gold plated machine guns, gold plated commode seats, and monster truck type Mercedes coupes.
Even though that is kind of the absurd, it illustrates the thinking of the Islamic world in general: the Palestinians, and others deemed displaced or disenfranchised, must be compensated. But not by the Islam, the Arabians, or the Persians, but the West. Same goes for Israel: Palestinians deserve a homeland, but not in Yemen, Saudi, or any other Middle Eastern state, it must come from Israel. Although this thinking is irrational and illogical, and intellectually dishonest, it continues to shape our world.
Bactrians were an Iranian tribe closely related to the Persians culturally and linguistically. I think Roxanne was Bactrian. Iranians were originally a nomadic people of the steppes. Some migrated south, to India (the Aryans), and some to Iran (Persians, Medes). Some migrated west (the Scythes). There were Iranian tribes in western China. Bactrians were a tribe that held the mountains in northern Iran and Afghanistan, and many of the lush farmland in the valleys. An ancient Northern Alliance if you will.
As I said, Alexander was a conservative. He started out to defeat the Persians to punish them for an invasion that occurred about 100 years early, and which still wounded Greek sensibilities, to free the Greek cities of Anatolia, and to deter future Persian aggression. Just like we protect ourselves from future aggression, by pacifying the lands of our enemies.
I looked up some of your past posts, and you have a keen interest in Balkan affairs, for whatever reason. I don't know if searches go back far enough, but you would see from my posts how harshly I criticized the Clinton Administration during the Serbian air strikes for doing a number of stupid things, including making enemies of former friends, supporting Islam in the heart of Europe, and using the US military to deflect memories from the sting of impeachment. I think that part of this current campaign will involve rooting out militant Islam from the Balkans, and reforming immigration policy in Germany, France, Britain as well as in the US. Nothing is stupider than creating a 5th column in our own back yards.
"New Economy": (1) Giving U.S. Government backed loans to political contributors who want to export American jobs and money. (2) Convincing those who lost their jobs that they will be retrained for non-existent dot.com jobs, then forgetting about them. (3) Giving government grants to lefty Econ professors in sandals to tell us how this is good for America. (4) Its all OK as long as we continue to import lots of oil and otherwise continue the status quo.
"Engagement": (1) Convincing the sheeple that the situation that exported their jobs and money must be protected through the meddling of incompetent American beaurocrats, think tankers, and political appointees in the national affairs of places with unpronounceable names. (2) Maintaining the energy status quo at all costs, because Exxon and the Saudi family are "much more important" than the peons that can't find a gas station that sells biomass-based fuels or anything made from natural gas. (3) When (1) fails to achieve the objective, call in the military, or if Congress won't buy-in, NATO or the UN. Do it in a way that gives the sheeple nightly pyrotechnics on CNN until they are convinced the job is done. Under no circumstances should anything be done, such as taking out Hamas or Hezbollah, or anything else that might upset the Saudis. Include a nationally sanctioned group pander to islam.
Incorrect. Suleyman's father, Selim the Grim (love that name), declared himself caliph after conquering Egypt and Arabia in 1517.
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