August 5, 2006
Morning in ViennaBy Timothy Birdnow
There are pivotal moments in history, events in which the course of human affairs is altered forever. One such moment occurred along the Danube River in 1683. On that fateful morning in the later 17th century, the fate of Western Civilization was sealed by the determination of those brave defenders who stood their ground against the might of the Ottoman Turks.
We face a similar crisis today, and the fate of our civilization likewise hangs in the balance. How we handle the current situation in Middle East in the next few months or years may well decide our future for good.
Three centuries ago, the Turks were in their final push against Christendom, the last expansionistic act by the spear of Islam in their jihad to conquer Europe for Allah. It was second big push for the jihad against Christendom
The Saracens had fallen 900 years before to defeat by the Franks under Charles Martel in 732, and had been confined to the Iberian Peninsula until 1492 when their last outpost at Granada fell to Aragon and Castille. In the East the Turks had fought to retake and hold Palestine during the Crusades, and, despite the brief establishment of a Christian Kingdom in that land, had managed to force the Crusaders back into Europe, but had not been successful in penetrating into their heartland.
Constantinople proved far more difficult to conquer than the Muslims had expected, and did not fall until 1453. The great expansion of Islam had obviously lost steam, and the final battle would be fought by a ragtag group of defenders: Lithuanians, Hapsburgs, Saxons, Bavarians, and Poles against Grand Vizier Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha and the might of the Ottoman army. Vienna would be the decisive battle.
The Battle of Vienna ended in defeat for the Muslims, and began the long slide by Islam into near irrelevance, as far as the Europeans cared. The battle opened after a 2 month siege of the Holy Roman Empire's capital city on September 12, 1683 in the pre—dawn hours. It ended that era of Islamic expansion with a defeat at the hands of Jan Ill Sobieski and Charles V of Lorraine.
When the World Trade Center was destroyed in 2001, nobody in the news media seemed to understand the choice of September 11 by al Qaeda as their attack date. It has often been suggested that this was merely a random date chosen for convenience. I beg to differ. It seems clear to me that bin Laden was sending America and the West a message. Al Qaeda had an old score to settle, and was putting us on notice that the era of expansion is resuming after the interruption of Vienna. Night fell on September 12 for the soldiers of Allah, and so our towers fell on the preceding morning three hundred and eighteen years later.
It is important to understand this history in order to understand what we are up against; our enemy has a long memory and seeks to avenge this defeat of its ancestors. The radical Islamists are not upset about our presence in their lands, nor are they upset about Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, nor about our "exploitation" of their oil fields, nor our invasion of Iraq. They are taking a much longer view, a view with vengeance in mind! Vengeance for Tours, vengeance for Granada, vengeance for Vienna. They want to reinvigorate Islam, return to the days of pride and victory and submission by their foes. They want to establish the Caliphate and place the entire world under Sharia law. If we in America fail to understand this, we have failed to understand our enemy.
The Islamic world would have remained a backwater had it not been for a couple of fortuitous occurrences: the discovery of massive amounts of oil under the desert sands and the rise and fall of Soviet Communism. Oil enriched the medieval sheiks and granted them enormous economic power over the West, and the struggle between first Fascism and then Marxism and America lead to continual entanglement in the region by the Great Powers, who would fight by proxy through Israel and the Islamic world. The establishment of Israel was, of course, the genesis of this phase of the Western/Islamic war. It really had nothing to do with Arabs who now call themselves Palestinians (who were few and far between at that time) and everything to do with the Crusades. This was, to many Muslims, a new Crusader kingdom established, this time with Jews instead of Christians. Islam was not going to lose its hard—won territory, and so the Arabs took immediate steps to drive Israel into the sea.
That the Islamic World would be thrashed by Israel every time it attacked simply made the Arabs angrier. Israel could never finish the job for fear of conflict between the U.S.S.R., which backed the Arabs, and America. They did what those who cannot win wars by direct military engagement often do: they took up guerilla warfare.
Terrorism is a new concept in name only. Islam has utilized terror to advance the spread of submission. Consider these passages"
And so, with blessing from the Quran, the dirty war began, the war in which innocents and children would be killed, in which the enemy would hide behind women and utilize their enemy`s own virtues against them.
The Terror War makes sense from a military standpoint, since Islam cannot hope to fight on an equal footing against the awesome power of Western military might. In short, our weapons have become so powerful that it would be suicide to go against us on the battlefield, and the jihadis understand this.
Considering that the Byzantines held the Turks off for a very long time with one technological monopoly, the incendiary Greek Fire. Jihadis today grasp the folly of fighting against modern military weapons headlong. Greek Fire may as well be firecrackers next to what we can unleash on them now.
The fall of the Soviet Empire left a power vacuum, and Islam sees this moment as their opportunity to return to a pre—912 mentality and resume their rightful place in history. (The Chinese may beg to differ, but that fight can wait a bit yet.)
They know they are reproducing faster than their rivals, they know their societies are less decadent, they needn`t worry about political opposition in their top—down societal structures, they have expendable soldiers and, since their religion places less emphasis on the value of life, they can convince parents to strap bombs on their children. The time is ripe for World Jihad, and we are indeed, as Newt Gingrich has deemed it, in a World War.
But too many in America (most notably on the right, Pat Buchanan) are echoing the European sentiment, arguing that the war in Lebanon isn`t our fight. Really? If this isn`t our business, then was it Poland`s business to defend Vienna? Did Lithuania have any right to send troops to fight the Ottomans? The Turks hadn`t invaded Poland or Lithuania, after all, and troubles between the Hapsburgs and the Ottomans weren`t any of their business! By this specious reasoning of Buchannan and company, Vienna would have fallen to Islam.
The idea that this is not our fight can be applied to many of the wars America has fought. why did Virginia help defend Massachusettsetts from the British? It wasn`t their fight! Why did the U.S. defend Texas against Mexican encroachment? It wasn`t their fight! Why fight Spain, Imperial Germany, Nazi Germany, North Korea, North Vietnam, Iraq? In none of these cases did any of our foes invade, or threaten to invade, the United States of America, yet we went to war. Why? Because we realized that a threat on a foreign shore will not remain on that foreign shore forever, and that we could not ignore the growing danger. We are not required to await an invasion to act militarily, and thank God neither the Poles nor Lithuanians did so at Vienna. History would appear very differently if we had followed the advice of a Buchanan.
The nature of warfare has itself changed, and this means that the concept of an invasion has likewise changed. An Islamic army is not going to march triumphantly into Washington. Our jihadi friends have been invading our soil in their own way. They hit us from within in the 1993 World Trade Center attack, and the 911 attacks were not executed by operatives from outside of the country, but from terror cells which had infiltrated the United States. Since 911 we have been catching jihadis on our soil. This constitutes a de—facto invasion of our sovereign territory. In short, we already have been invaded!
Did the fact that Benjamin Church or Benedict Arnold were not a part of an invading army make them any less enemies to the Patriots during the Revolution? They worked for a foreign enemy, which made them part of the invasion. Was not Sherman an invader of Georgia, despite the fact that Georgia was part of the United States just prior to the Civil War? To make the case that the enemy must march in from overseas to make them an enemy is just plain silly. The military oath of office is to defend the Constituion against all threats foreign and domestic; Radical Islam is a threat that`s both foreign and domestic, and it`s ultimate aim is to replace the Constitution with Sharia Law.
Of course, Iran already hgas invaded our sovereign territory, and we failed to act against them. The seizure of the American embassy was an act of war, since embassies are considered sovereign territory of the nation they represent.
The realities of modern warfare have changed, and we have to accept this fact. Given the increasing destructiveness of weaponry which can be used against us, and the decrease in travel time, it is no longer feasible to sit back and wait for an enemy to come. A single determined man with backing from a terrorist organization can potentially wipe out much of a city! He can leave a friendly host country (such as Syria or Iran) and destroy New York or unleash deadly bio—weapons within 24 hours!
Time is clearly not on our side. The longer we wait to deal with the problems of terrorism and state sponsorship, the greater the danger grows. Our enemy continues to develop its technological capabilities, and the longer we wait the stronger they will be. We have to act far more quickly and effectively today.
We are at the critical moment in history. We are now the defenders with our backs to the walls of Vienna! We are the soldiers upon whom everything depends! Our courage or failure will set the course for the rest of human history; we have to act! We have the power to do what is necessary, we have the means, but do we have the will?
Timothy Birdnow is the proprietor of Birdblog.