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Triple-pronged Jihad - Military, Economic and Cultural. Bat Ye'or [Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis]
The American Thinker ^ | April 5th, 2005 | Alyssa A. Lappen interviews Bat Ye'or

Posted on 04/05/2005 8:12:20 AM PDT by Tolik

[In a wide ranging interview with Islamic scholar Bat Ye'or comes a frank discussion of Eurabia: what it is, and what it means for Americans.  Interview by Alyssa A. Lappen]

In her new book, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis, Bat Ye'or takes a sweeping view of history, not the one that most of us consider, just past the ends of our noses. The world's preeminent historian of two unique Islamic institutions, jihad and dhimmitude—the latter, the humiliated, precarious state of non-Muslim peoples living under Islamic rule—Bat Ye'or has masterfully portrayed the means by which the Euro-Arab Dialogue unfolded over the past 30-plus years. “There are three forms of jihad,” she says today, “the military jihad, the economic jihad and the cultural jihad.” The EAD between the European Community and the Arab League has been a means of spreading [the] economic and cultural jihad from the Middle East to Europe.

In November 1967, Charles De Gaulle announced at a press conference that henceforward, France would assume a pro-Arab policy. His goals were to prevent a return to intra-European wars and to help France resume its leading role in European politics and history. Little could he have imagined the far-reaching results. De Gaulle died in November 1970, but in October 1973, following Egypt and Syria's war against Israel, Georges Pompidou picked up his policy reigns and led Europe into the Euro-Arab Dialogue  (EAD), a process that took hold and changed the face of Europe for the worse.

On French initiative, the European Community sought to open a Euro-Arab Dialogue, but the Arab League for their part made any dialogue dependent on the establishment of an anti-Israel policy in Europe.

Outraged that Israel had won the war against all odds, with help from the U.S., the oil-producing members of the Arab League unilaterally quadrupled the price of oil and cut production by 5 percent a month. Additionally, they imposed an oil embargo on the nations considered friendly to Israel--the U.S., Denmark and Holland. France and Germany panicked. On November 6, 1973, the nine countries of the European Economic Community met in Brussels and issued a joint resolution that reversed the intent and meaning of United Nations Resolution 242, and declared illegal all territory Israel had gained in its defensive 1967 war. Furthermore, the EEC demanded that henceforward “the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people” be included in any definition of peace.

Having met the Arab League's preliminary demands, the EC recouped the free flow of oil embargoed to Holland and Denmark the month before. Furthermore, the EC was now free to pursue the EAD. The agreement to open discussions, however, came with further conditions. France and all other European Community nations had to agree to adopt pro-Arab and anti-American policies. Thus, the free flow of oil came with significant political riders. This little known dialogue, which subsequently burgeoned into an enormous EU-funded apparatus, thus began to plant the seeds of political, economic and cultural jihad in Europe. Less than 30 years after the end of World War II, it also revived some of the policies of the Nazis. The policies had migrated to the Middle East during World War II and afterwards, with the flight of Nazi fugitives to Egypt, Syria and other Arab nations. Now, Nazi ideology found its way back into European politics through the EAD launch of a unified European anti-Israel policy. 

European leaders hoped through the EAD to create "a global alternative to American power." The Arab powers hoped to promote Islam and anti-Israel policies worldwide. What followed, in addition to Europe's mass importation of Middle Eastern ideas and culture was also mass Muslim immigration into Europe. Europe gained new markets—and free-flowing oil—but at the cost of lost political independence, and lost independence for European Community member nations. Recently, reporter Alyssa A. Lappen interviewed Bat Ye'or on the far-ranging implications of these developments.

Q. Was it intentional that the Euro-Arab Dialogue had these results?

A. Of course, on the Arab side, the [intentions and] decisions were very clear from the beginning. The idea was to develop good relations with Europe in order to separate Europe from America, weaken the West, encourage Arab Muslim immigration into Europe, organize a militant Islamic community in Europe, and develop a strong European Islam with political and intellectual influence on European development.

On the European side, opinions varied according to political views. There is no doubt that the French goal to establish Euro-Arab links stood on strong anti-American and Judeophobic grounds. The European parties willing to follow the French lead shared with the Arabs an antisemitic/anti-Zionist policy. During the Second Wold War, and even before, links existed between the Arab world and pro-Arab, European anti-Semites. The whole Arab nationalist movement of the early 20th century was constructed and supported with the rejection of Israel in mind. Ba'ath Party founder and convert to Islam, Michel Aflak, from the 1930s opposed the existence of the state of Israel on religious and political grounds. Opposition persisted even in England, which sought the mandate from the League of Nations for the Jewish National Homeland in Palestine. After WWII, the European rapprochement with Arab countries was just a continuation of the anti-Zionist policies that had started in the beginning of the 20th century.

Q. How could the European countries turn against their policies and reverse the entire result of World War II and all their ideological gains. Wasn't this a complete reversal?

A. There was no reversal. In Europe, the Holocaust was in preparation before it happened. There was a powerful European transnational anti-Semitic movement checked by those who opposed it, who didn't seek the disappearance of the Jews and did not expect a genocide. But World War II brought to power with the Nazi occupation, those anti-Semitic leaders who planned and collaborated in the genocide throughout Europe. The genocide of the Jewish people stopped only because the war stopped. But had the war continued, the Holocaust also would have continued. In Europe, there was no desire to stop it. It would have continued were it not for the Allies, who brought the war to an end. But until the last moment, French Vichy government trains throughout France carried Jewish children to the gas chambers. And Maurice Papon, a Vichy government minister during World War II, headed important ministries for the governments which followed after the war. Vichy government civil servants were still powerful after the war. Some intellectuals turned their coats, some were killed, some were condemned.

After the war De Gaulle proclaimed a new start and a reconciliation with Germany. This was part of the process of promoting peace in post-war Europe. But the whole of occupied Europe had been fascist, Nazi and anti-Semitic. So less than 20 years after the war, this anti-Semitic movement tried to re-establish relations with Arabs, who were pro-Nazi during the war and favored the Nazi cause. Therefore, the contacts continued, although in a more clandestine way.

Q. So really, you seem to be saying that the Marshall plan was not completely successful.

A. After the war, it was taboo to speak about the camps. The first books on the Holocaust were published in America. A traumatized European Jewry could not evoke this situation.

Now concerning the economy, the Marshall plan helped to reunite Europe and reconstruct it. But there were strong Communist parties also, which were hostile to America. So many Nazis recycled into the Communist and leftist parties. This was a change, of course. They whitewashed themselves.

Q. Were there Europeans and European policy makers who opposed this Euro-Arab Dialogue and fought it.

A. Yes, there were people who opposed the shift of Europe, and especially in France. But the French government was the engine running this policy. If France had not taken the lead to organize the unity of Europe as a counterweight to America, and to build a Euro-Arab block against America, the Euro-Arab Dialogue would not have happened. This is just a hypothesis. But France took the lead because of strong affinities in the French colonial class with the Maghreb. France had previously controlled all the Maghrebian countries, Syria and Lebanon as well as African Muslim territories. Also, France kept its relations with [indicted WWII criminal] Hajj Amin el Husseini, a fervent collaborator with Hitler. De Gaulle saved Husseini from the Nuremberg tribunal.

Q. I didn't know that.

A. Husseini was in Germany when the Allies arrived. He was handed over to the Red Cross and he surrendered to the French forces stationed in Germany. In May 1945 he was brought to France with Marshall Pétain. So Husseini was controlled and protected by France. The British were searching for him to judge him at the Nuremberg trial for his alliance with Hitler and his collaboration in the genocide of the Jews. A year later De Gaulle's French government helped him escape to Egypt. According to Husseini's memoir, he promised that France could win the sympathy of the whole Arab people if it established and led a European policy opposing Great Britain and Israel.

Talks on this matter started after the Second World War. At the time, De Gaulle was Israel's best ally. But in the 1950s, many Nazis immigrated to the Arab countries, especially Egypt and Syria, they maintained their relations with French Nazi collaborationists and European neo-Nazis. In the 60s and early 70s, France took an increasingly anti-Israeli position.  In 1971 it established a close relationship with Qaddafi's and engaged in massive arm sales to Arab countries. Economic and political links developed. By 1971, France had brought the European Community to share its pro-Arab views. 

Denmark and Holland were reluctant to follow the French anti-Israel line. But at this time there was no united European community foreign policy. The European Community was only based on economic agreements. There was no common political vision.

In fact, it was only after the 1973 Kippur war, that this policy developed thanks to French initiative. By then there were 9 countries in the European community. For the first time they adopted a common foreign policy in relation to the Arab world and based on oil. After the oil boycott imposed by the Arabs, they linked Europe's oil supply to European support for the PLO, Arafat and an anti-Israeli policy. As a condition for the start of a Dialogue with the Europeans, they requested that the anti-Israeli policy be linked to the economic sector of Euro-Arab exchanges. Hence the Dialogue came to rest on two pillars, anti-American and anti-Israel policies. It is absolutely extraordinary that less than 30 years after the end of World War II, after America had saved Europe from destruction, the common European Community foreign policy was based on an anti-Israel and anti-American strategy. And from this followed the whole development that we see now.

Q. The thing that strikes me the most is how the EAD relates to the history of Jihad. In the Decline of Eastern Christianity, it was clear that the jihad was economic from the beginning. So this EAD did not just evolve in the 1970s. First you buy off the ministers, then you send economic envoys,  then you pollute the political system, then you send the horsemen, and then the whole society collapses.

A. Yes, the jihad is an ideological war, which is based on theology, its aim was to conquer lands and impose the Koranic law. Often the tactic includes the corruption of leaders. Terror is also a means of jihad: terrorized people submit. In past centuries the corrupted leaders often opened the city’s gates to the jihadist armies. Corruption is also used to encourage conversions, particularly among high officials. And you have many conversions now in Europe.

Q. Now?

A. Yes. Many people have converted to Islam. Some by conviction, some by opportunism. They leave a civilization and a culture that they hate and join one that they view as a winning one. There are many reasons why people convert. Today Islam recruits in jails but also among intellectuals.

Q. But what about the leadership. Is it merely corruption?

A. There are different reasons. In Europe, the romantic view of Lawrence of Arabia idealizes Islam. And thanks to the cultural components of the Euro-Arab Dialogue - which encompasses many sectors -  every book speaks about the grandeur of the Islamic civilization, its superiority to Western civilization [Note: this 12th century map serves as the cover to an official publication of the Dialogue; it shows the Mediterranean literally turned upside down, with the Arab world in a dominant position, situated above the the geographic north of infidel Europe.] There is a whole apologetic cultural trend about Islam, an ideological movement that glorifies it. Young people are influenced. This developed in the 70s and 80s within the Dialogue, raising an enthusiasm for Islam. It has led to several conversions of intellectuals and politicians. The churches were also very pro-Islamic, because they saw a way, in linking with Islam, to reconcile Islam and Christianity against Israel. Much of the church was very anti-Semitic, in spite of the Second Vatican Council in 1962 to 1965. In fact there were those inside the church who opposed the rapprochement with the Jews. It was not an easy thing. Priests who fought strongly for the reconciliation did not succeed as well as they hoped. They just opened a door for reconciliation, but they had to fight to keep the door open against the opponents.

Q. Who are some of these people who have been converting.

A. Many are neo-fascists or neo-nazis or ex-communists. Many also come from the extreme Left. The Italian Mario Scialoja was responsible for the Italian section of the World Islamic League. Its vice-president for the Italian section was also a convert. Converts gets money and prominent positions in European Islam. They direct Islamic centers, publishing houses and newspapers. Some collaborate with the powerful Muslim Brotherhood and are viscerally anti-Christian and anti-Jewish.

Q. How did De Gaulle get this change going.

A. First, all this was not done until after his death. In 1967, de Gaulle declared that the policy of France would be fundamentally an Arab policy. But he died in November 1970. The whole thing started in 1973 under his successors. The French did not like this policy, but it was a slow, gradual movement.

Q. And even now, most Europeans do not know.

A. No, not about the Euro-Arab Dialogue. Some know the Mediterranean partnership. But except for those involved in this policy, they do not know about the Anna Lindh Foundation [to promote “understanding between Europe and the countries around the Mediterranean and the Middle East]. Europeans work hard, there is much unemployment and they absorb the culture from the media and television. Disinformation all around supports the pro-Arab policy. Anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism are congenial to Palestinianism, the new culture of Europe.

Q. What is of concern is that one sees the same thing already happening here. The media is pro-Arab, it is impossible to get them to change, even with the facts. The whole ideological aura has already infiltrated the press and the universities.

A. You have to expose the cultural jihad, and discuss its consequences in Europe, and the sub-culture of lies from which it is growing. The lies are crumbling now as the jihadist ideology and war against the Western world become more apparent. In fact, Europe has denied its own roots and the spring from which its spiritual Biblical values emerged. It is a denial of one’s own spirituality and  sources. Now, in Europe, Israel is a demonized word, a confiscated reality. European governments created an anti-Semitic culture in order to integrate the Muslim immigration, but they have absorbed  also the values of a jihadist society. This is why Europe is intellectually and spiritually confused and disoriented. You cannot ally with jihadist forces that want to destroy you intellectually, spiritually and politically, without being destroyed, and this is what is happening.

Q. Then why do you say the whole thing is crumbling. Clearly they are winning.

A. There is so much hatred now in Europe, so many lies, so much confusion, that people don't know where they are going. They don't understand what is happening. They don't understand why they have to hate America, Israel and why they have to hate themselves. They have no view of the future except the economic extension of the EU. Our leaders commend that every effort should be made to integrate the foreign immigrants. It is not the foreigners that have to adapt in  a country they have chosen to come. Foreigners were given the right to immigrate with their own culture. So they have imported the seeds of the culture of dhimmitude into Europe. This is their culture, this is the type of relationship they had with Jews and Christians and they brought it with them. This was the culture in which they were educated, and this is what creates so much confusion in Europe.

Q. Europe is completely lost and nothing can be done?

A. I don't see a solution. Europeans are not reproducing. Soon, the 60- and 70-year-olds will die. And there are no Europeans to replace them. Suddenly, millions of Europeans won't be there any more. And against that loss is a mounting immigrant population, which refuses totally to integrate into a society many hate. In some schools, the new generation rejects the curriculum, under the pretext that it is not an Islamic history or culture, or that it is a Judeo-Christian perspective. In a few years they will be adults and have political power. Laws and institutions will change, already there are pressures in schools and hospitals for sex segregation. Polygamy is unofficially tolerated.

Q. So 15 million Arab Muslims out of 350 million can do this? Change an entire continent? It's only 15 million.

A. No, it is over 20 million, but in fact you don't know their number, because it is impossible in some countries to take a census on a religious basis, and anyway there are always new immigrant waves, this is without counting the clandestine ones, those who come without papers.

Q. So it could be 50 million.

A. I don't know, no one knows. It is not so much the number that counts, it is the will to take the power, and to dominate. At the beginning of each [historical Islamic] conquest, the Muslims were a very small minority. But this colonizing minority became masters over overwhelming Christian majorities.

Q. Let's talk about the universities because the same thing is beginning to happen in the U.S. We have professors coming from the Middle East, spouting anti-Israeli, anti-American propaganda, funded by the Saudis, and it is getting very difficult to open your mouth in the universities.

A. Palestinianism started in the universities in Europe in the late 1960s. The whole Left was pro-Palestinian because the Soviets supported them and gave them training camps and arms to conduct their terrorist activities. The agreements between the European and Arab leaders  included in the Euro-Arab Dialogue, mention that the Arabic civilization and Middle Eastern subjects should be taught in European universities by Arabs from the Arab countries.  The Arab perspective of history whereby jihad was a peaceful conquest -  not really even a conquest -  but a just war against unbelief,  was imported into European universities. The idealized Muslim vision of history, and Islam's conception of tolerance towards infidels entered into the educational system. This partial vision exists also here on campuses.

Q. I think it is, and you starting to see these Islamic centers, with Middle Eastern professors coming.

A. [Philosopher and theologian] Jacques Ellul was totally opposed to what he called “the subversion of Western culture,” but his views caused him to be marginalized by the Protestant church, the university, and the press. Many people shared his opinion, but they were silenced by the network of the Euro-Arab Dialogue supported by the government’s policy and the powerful European Commission. Through the network of the EAD the Muslim policy and culture infiltrated into the highest political and cultural levels in European countries members of the EC. This is why it succeeded so well.

Q. Look, you could see something similar happen here, with the President's nomination to the U.S. Institute of Peace. Daniel Pipes as you know was nominated to that, but there was a huge war against his nomination, and finally, the President appointed him by executive order during a summer recess. But there are Islamists seeping into that institution and elsewhere into the upper echelons of government. What can Americans do?

A. The history of jihad must be taught according to the Western perspective. And the same for dhimmitude, its development and  consequences. This is extremely important, to prevent a return to the condition of dhimmitude. Unfortunately, an institute to study the history of jihad and dhimmitude worldwide has not been established.

Q. So you think an institute would help.

A. Of course.  In Europe, this history has been totally erased, in order to please the Muslim world. The Islamic view is taught whereby conquests were achieved through peaceful means, with tolerance, which is the contrary to the reality. In Europe, the Muslim groups always accuse the West, and take a tack that makes them victims and victimized. All evil is projected on the West and on Israel, and this vision gives the West a feeling of guilt towards Arabs. In fact, what Arabs have done with the help of European intellectuals engaged in the Euro-Arab Dialogue is to project the Jewish history of victimhood onto the Arabs, in order to neutralize  the West. They have usurped the history of another people to create guilt among Western countries and paralyze them. This process has eliminated the whole history of jihad. We see that Europeans are incapable of understanding their past, or even the current situation. This work was begun by Edward Said who promoted European guilt toward the Arabs and Muslim people. He was totally supported by high level governmental bodies and European universities. Otherwise he would not have achieved such fame, his position being based on historical ignorance and anti-Western racism.

Q. Could you briefly explain the history of jihad and dhimmitude.

A. The history of jihad started in the 7th century with the Islamic religion and the conquests of Arabia by the followers of Mohamed. Arabia was inhabited by a pagan majority, but there were also a great number of Christians and Jewish peasants and artisans who cultivated the oases there. Mohamed started his war against the pagans in Arabia, who opposed his beliefs. He fled to Medina, where Jewish tribes lived. On their refusal to convert to his belief, he attacked them and either expelled them or, as in the case of the Qurayza tribe, he executed all the men and sold the women and children into slavery. Then Mohamed continued his war to impose Islam on the whole of Arabia. Finally, just before he died, he had converted the whole of Arabia to his religion. Now Mohamed's tactic was in fact patterned on the normal means of Bedouin war. But the founders of Islamic law established a whole school, a jurisdictional process by which they made this warfare into a sacred obligation to conduct a worldwide war against the realm of unbelief. This ideology inspired from the life of Mohamed, either true or invented, based on Koran, the hadith and the biographies of the Prophet, became the sacred duties of jihad in order to Islamize the world. Now the ideology and laws of jihad represent a system founded on Islamic theological belief.

This is how jihad developed. Since then, the Arab armies were bent on always conquering more territories in order to expand the rule of the Koran over the earth. They conquered all the Christians lands west of Arabia in the Middle East. They invaded  Egypt, Syria, Palestine and the Maghreb. These lands inhabited by Jews and Christians, were Islamized through different procedures. Arab conquests expanded to Iberia (Spain) in Europe, Portugal and up to France and Switzerland and were stopped in Poitiers in the 8th century. In the East, the Muslim armies conquered Persia, Armenia and part of the Byzantine empire, which was later totally dominated by the Turkish tribes converted to Islam. Then, further East, Muslim power expanded in Afghanistan to the Indus. From the 11th century, there was a second wave of Islamization, which concentrated on Europe. Under the Ottomans it advanced to the borders of Poland and Hungary and occupied the whole of Eastern European countries who became part of  the Muslim empire. The Ottomans were stopped at the gates of Vienna in 1683.

All these lands were, at the beginning, populated by non-Muslim people. At this time, these lands had armies and kings. The kings were deposed and the armies disbanded, but the population stayed in the cities and the countryside. So once a land has been Islamized, the whole colonization process took place. These processes were based on legal texts written by Arab theologians in the 8th and 9th centuries. The system of dhimmitude is congenial with Muslim colonization. Non-Muslim majorities were either totally eliminated or survived as small minorities, heirs of the big civilizations that they represented before the conquest. The process of dhimmitude, is of course linked to jihad.

Q. Let's talk about the economic portion of this war.

A. Well, first of all, terrorism destroys civilized life and the prevention of terrorism is very expensive. Now with the weapons of mass destruction it is possible to kill thousands of people at once and control a population by terrorism. It happened in Spain. Zapatero, the President of the Spanish government, like a dhimmi, pulled the Spanish army from Iraq and went to Morocco to proclaim his love for Morocco and Islam. He said he would not deal with terrorism through arms, but by giving aid. Paying money for your security means ransoming. This is the policy of Europe.

Q. It is the policy of the U.S. also. We have given $50 billion to Egypt, and they hate us. And a few hundred billion to all the other Arab countries, probably, so it dwarfs any aid to Israel. Is this a bad thing?

A. It is bad policy to feed those who hate you. The help that is given must be appreciated, because it is paid through the work of other people. Government should not squander the money of the European taxpayers, who are deprived of many services to which they are entitled for their work. The European Union has paid billions to Arafat during the intifada. The more the Palestinian terrorists killed Israelis, the more money they received. To the Arabs, this is encouragement to continue.

Q. It seems that the U.S. government must be made aware that an economic jihad is also a means to wage war.

A. Yes, jihad takes different forms. The military jihad is waged through terrorism. The cultural jihad is done in the universities through the subversion of western values. It developed under the aegis of the Euro-Arab Dialogue. The economic jihad used the oil boycott. Arab countries rely heavily on oil exports. Their economy is very dependent on Western products. It is important to reduce our dependency on the Arab countries' oil, in order to free ourselves from the economic jihad.

Q. Does corruption of officials that go with the jihad. Do you see any of that in the U.S.?

A. Well, in the U.S. you have a different system, you have a much stronger democracy. The people can control the policy of the government. It is under strong scrutiny. But this is not so in Europe. The policy of Europe is conducted at the top level, and this escaped the people's scrutiny. They do not understand what is happening. And the whole foreign policy of the Euro-Arab Dialogue was conducted by the European Community, the European Counsel of Ministers, the European Parliament and the European Commission, which are different bodies than each European country government.

Q. Right, but in the U.S. we also have the World Bank, the North American Free Trade Agreement which is going to be expanded to South America, and I presume that will have links to the EU and those things are not followed here, either.

A. We live in a global world, and international organizations develop. Americans should be aware of these developments and be diffident of the United Nations, which is an extremely corrupted organization, which works according to different standards. Here, it must be clearly stated that the Arab Muslim countries, 56 countries, and the Palestinian Authority, which will become a state soon, probably, operate according to Koranic justice, which is not what we consider justice. It is based on the superiority of Islam over non-Muslim countries, it justifies jihad and jihadists' values. Those whom we call terrorists, are called freedom fighters, because fighting against non-Muslims countries is a “just war”. This is why the Palestinians have a “just cause” and conduct a “just war.” The same in Darfur, in Sudan. As long as we have different values, it will be difficult to agree on what is just. For Muslim countries, Sharia rules take precedence over any other rules, especially over man-made rules. They consider Western rules inferior to their God given rules. For this reason, America is right to refuse to participate in the International Court of Justice, which is dominated by Islamic and European nations, both abiding to the Islamic principles of justice.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: arabs; batyeor; dhimmitude; eurabia; europe; jihad

1 posted on 04/05/2005 8:12:20 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Lando Lincoln; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; Valin; yonif; SJackson; dennisw; monkeyshine; Alouette; ...

Nailed It!
Moral Clarity PING!

This ping list is not author-specific for articles I'd like to share. Some for perfect moral clarity, some for provocative thoughts; or simply interesting articles I'd hate to miss myself. (I don't have to agree with the author 100% to feel the need to share an article.) I will try not to abuse the ping list and not to annoy you too much, but on some days there is more of good stuff that is worthy attention. I keep separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson, Lee Harris, David Warren, Orson Scott Card. You are welcome in or out, just freepmail me (and note which PING list you are talking about).

2 posted on 04/05/2005 8:14:21 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik
Eyeopening Truths the MSM & Academia would not tell you! This women has been amazing as she has stood almost alone warning of Jihadis' plans for the destruction of western civilization. She's reminded me of a Churchill between the world wars.

For those who can't get a hold of her books here's her website which explains what life under Sharia will bring those so foolish to think peaceful coexistence is an option: Bat Ye'or

3 posted on 04/05/2005 8:46:11 AM PDT by drpix
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To: Tolik

Here is an interesting account of how the first attempt by the Ottomans to penetrate Central Europe was stopped at Vienna in 1529. Fletcher Pratt was a largely self taught writer who catches the spirit of the Ottoman Jihad state very well. This menace seems to be rising again this time with the active assistance of the elites of the peoples who were the backbone of resisting the Islamization of the west in past centuries. Why don't these corrupt fools take a good look at an Islamic state, even liberal Tunisia, and ask themselves if they really want to live in such a sewer. Traitors and foolsis what they are.

Vienna And The Failure To Complete The Crescent
In the early part of the sixteenth century there developed a nexus of decision in Western Europe. It centered around five men--two of them kings, one an emperor, one a religious leader, and one a politician wearing the clothes of a religious leader. Though all of them took advice and occasionally changed the details of their policy, they were so consistent that it is possible to deal with them in general terms.
One of the kings was Henry VIII of England; his policy looked inward to England and outward across the Atlantic, and although his support was eagerly sought by other members of the power group and that seeking influenced many of their actions, he was always so unwilling to do anything practical about affairs on the Continent that he may be dismissed with the remark that he raised tides like the moon and remained about the same distance.
The second king was Francis I of France, who thought of himself as a knight-errant like Pedro of Aragon, and behaved like a bandit. He inherited a realm which had become the first modern unified state of Europe under Louis XI, Charles VII's son, with the great feudatories broken down, and a military system based on a combination of artillery with heavy cavalry, especially designed to deal with English armies of static archers and men at arms. In Francis' very first year of 1515 ambition took him to Italy, where he encountered the Swiss pikemen and halberdiers, the terror of Central Europe, at Marignano. It was one of the most gigantic battles of the age. Two days of desperate fighting proved that the new French system was quite as useful against pikemen as against archers. "The drunken Swiss" were driven from the field; France won the duchy of Milan and made with Switzerland a "perpetual peace" that really turned out to be perpetual.
The war in which this took place was really part of the long duel between the royal house of France and the ducal house of Burgundy, which in Jeanne d'Arc's time so nearly missed ending in the completion of Henry V's conquest. But the ducal house of Burgundy had ceased being merely the greatest of the French feudatories. By one of those marriages which caused a rival king to ejaculate, "Tu, felix Austria, nube", its possessions had fallen in with those of the Hapsburg Empire. By another, with Joanna, the heiress of Spain (who, like all queens named Joanna, ultimately went mad), that peninsula and its immense overseas empire were added to the Hapsburg heritage. In 1519 the third protagonist of this story, Charles V, attained the united throne.
He inherited more than dominions that encircled France on every side and a tradition of implacable hostility toward her. Charles also acquired the Spanish military establishment, based on solid blocks of heavily armored, thoroughly disciplined pikemen, with little knots of arquebusiers at the corners: the tercias. At Pavia in 1525 this establishment clashed with Francis and the combination of fire power and push proved so far superior to what France could put in the field, even with Swiss help, that the French army was destroyed and Francis himself taken prisoner.
The event decided the fate of Italy, which in a practical sense became a Spanish possession for two generations, but it did not make things much easier for Charles, because of the politician in the power complex. This was Pope Clement VII, who could never forget that before his election he had been Giulio de' Medici, a member of the former ruling house of Florence. Neither in this capacity nor as an Italian temporal potentate was he anxious to be helpful to Charles, and in fact was so unhelpful that strains built up to that sack of Rome, which is usually taken as the most convenient date point for the end of the Italian Renaissance.
Quite as importantly the Holy Father procrastinated about calling a general council of the Church, which Charles deeply desired as a means of dealing with one of his leading problems, the fifth member of the combination, Martin Luther. It is by no means certain that a council would have extricated Charles from his difficulties with the Reformers, for when the matter came to a head, Luther had already pronounced his conviction of the fallibility of councils to Charles' face at Worms. By this date the movement had taken on a certain nationalistic aspect in addition to the religious. But the refusal of Clement to call a council made it very certain that Charles would not easily get out of this particular trouble.
There were the forces. They produced a long series of French-Imperial wars that left everybody poor, without any significant territorial changes after Pavia. These wars had the technical characteristic of being largely conducted through siege operations. After Pavia nobody quite dared to meet the Spanish infantry in the field, and in any case, the plunder of a town at reasonable intervals was one of the best methods of keeping mercenary Landsknechts and terciaries to the line of discipline.
By 1528 the situation of Western Europe had become not too dissimilar from that in the Middle East at the date when the Persian and Byzantine empires had exhausted each other just in time to clear the track for the coming of the Saracens. Here also there was a sprawling empire, short of financial resources, with part of its population in a state of religious disaffection, engaged in a great struggle with another entity.
The Muslims were at hand to take advantage of the situation here also.

They were no longer the penniless Saracens of the desert, with the drive supplied by a religion which had united a race, but a closely organized and modern, if non-Western, state--the Ottoman Turks. They were a clan which appeared in Asia Minor in 1227, nomads from the steppes and relatives of the Seljuq Turks. The Seljuqs assigned them some territory around Ankara as a reward for military services. The Seljuqs themselves had reached Asia Minor earlier, as servants and fighting men for the later and more luxurious caliphs, and soon owned everything; but they had no gift of political organization, and as the clan system tended to fragment where they were in permanent residence, they became a group of quarreling independent principalities about the time the Ottomans arrived on the scene.
These Ottomans had two stupendous pieces of luck. One was in their royal family; in the course of nearly 300 years, down to the point at which this narrative begins, that family produced an unbroken succession of no less than nine extremely able rulers--energetic, adventurous, cruel, just, and intelligent. Conquest was their peculiar pleasure. No other family strain in all history can show such a record.
The second piece of luck was Ala ed-Din, one of the members of this family and elder son of Othman, the first sultan. He was a philosopher and a theoretician, who willingly left the throne to his younger brother Orkhan, and devoted himself to working out a military and administrative system that would make the most of what the Ottoman Turks had.
There were never very many of them, but they were all soldiers, and being of nomad origin, soldiers who fought on horseback. When a district was overrun, it was cut up into fiefs, each of which was to supply a horseman. These fiefs were combined into districts and the districts into larger counties under the authority of a beylerbey. Thus far the system was feudal. There was a provision that a fief did not necessarily fall from father to son, each must must prove his own right by valor and service, but there were similar statutes in early European feudalisms also, and the Turkish setup might have taken similar lines of development but for the unique additive supplied by Ala ed-Din.
This was the institution of the yeni cheri, Europeanized as Janissaries. Their background was that the later caliphs of Egypt had set up a body of slave soliders called the Mamelukes; at the same time in all Muslim countries the religious duty of exacting tribute from all non-Muslims endured. Ala ed-Din combined the two institutions by taking his tribute in the form of male children. They were brought up in Islam, forbidden to marry or to engage in trade, held under the strictest discipline and, except for those who showed administrative talent, they were confined to the camp from the age of twenty-five. They were infantry.
The Ottoman sultans thus had a celibate military community within the body of their state, one whose only devotion was to them and to Islam, and one whose every member was trained from childhood in the sole business of war. With such an instrument in the hands of the heads of state, and with such heads of state as the Ottoman line provided, the feudal lords never had a chance to develop into great feudatories, as in the West. They remained a body of first-class cavalry and a rather loose aristocratic class, since only the son of a feudal tenant could hold a fief.
The military organization thus combined a standing army of elite infantry, whose cavalry wings could be increased in an emergency. It was infinitely superior to anything in the West, and the Ottomans proceeded to prove it, beginning with what was left of the dying Greek Empire, since they were not too interested in subduing other Turks. By 1355 what was left of the Byzantines in Asia Minor had been wiped out; in 1361 Murad I crossed the straits, took Adrianople, made it his capital, and began working on the Balkans. Serbia, Bulgaria, Albania, Montenegro, Wallachia celebrate national heroes for their resistance to the flood from the East, but it always ended the same way, in another nation or district being added to the Ottoman Empire. With each addition the number of available fiefs and of children to be made into robot Janisseries grew, a snowballing process without visible limit.
It was not even interrupted by an incursion of Mongols who captured Sultan Bayezid I and kept him in an iron cage till he died; nor by the fact that each succeeding sultan usually found it necessary to have his brothers and cousins poisoned or strangled. The supply of good blood in the Othmanli line seemed inexhaustible. By the middle of the fifteenth centry the whole of the Balkans and Greece were Turkish and their fleets began to dominate the eastern Mediterranean.
One of the specific excellences of that Ottoman line was its ability to learn. It is not certain when and where they first encountered cannon--probably in the hands of Venetian sailors--but it did not take them long to discover that this invention covered the one technical weakness of an army essentially nomadic by habit and thought, its inability to handle siege operations. The new device was adopted with enthusiasm, and under the influence of the Turkish penchant for magnificence the Ottoman heavy artillery speedily became the best in the world. When Muhammad II reached the throne in 1451 he at once began casting enormous guns that could throw stone balls up to twenty-five inches in diameter; two years later he turned them on the greatest city in the world and Constantinople became Istanbul.
It was a shock to Christianity, but all efforts to raise a crusade encountered the fact that Christianty was thinking about other things. Moreover, Muhammad failed to take Rhodes from the Knights of St. John; his successor, Bayezid II, kept peace in Europe except with the Hungarians, whom everyone regarded as little better than the Turks; and his successor, Selim the Grim, became involved in a series of wars in the East, in support of Muslim orthodoxy against the Shi'ite heretics of Persia. It is worth noting that his artillery won the wars for him and also enabled him to take over Syria and Egypt.
In 1520 he died, and his son Suleiman, known to Turks as Suleiman the Lawgiver and to Europe as Suleiman the Magnificent, became the tenth sultan.

To contemporaries this seemed good news rather than bad. The communications of the West with the Turkish court through Venice were excellent, and people knew all about the new ruler--about twenty-five years old, tall for a Turk, somewhat of sallow countenance, with Tartar blood from his mother; very quick, both of mind and body, delighting in romantic tales and the Muslim type of chivalry, a linguist who could converse with his officers in most of the Balkan dialects, knew Italian, was a master of Persian and Arabic, and wrote poetry in his own language so well that even if he had not bee a ruler he would have ranked as one of his country's leading poets. His interests were thoroughly Western; he had been governor of European Turkey while his father was campaigning in the south and east, and he cared nothing for Selim's crusade against the Shi'ite heretics. A despot, but an enlightened despot, on the familiar model of Francis I and Charles V; Europe considered it entirely possible to do business with a man like that. Finally, his grand vizier and alter ego was a Greek turned Muslim, a man named Ibrahim, of infinite charm and accomodation.
Europe overlooked two factors, not very surprisingly, since they were buried in Muslim law and tradition. One was the fact that just before his death, the late Grim Selim had become Caliph of all Islam, Commander of the Faithful. In the theory of Muslim law this office should be in the hands of a member of the Prophet's clan, the Koreish. The last caliph of the blood was a shadowy creature, who held a phantom ccourt at Cairo; when Selim acquired Egypt, the office was resigned to the sultan without much urging. Suleiman thus inherited the position of the early caliphs as combined emperor, Pope, and commander in chief of the armies of a Muslim world that had abruptly become very nearly united, thanks to his father's overthrow of the heretical units and the explusion from Spain of the last remnants of the Almohades.
The second factor overlooked in the West was the compilation of a code of Muslim law, which took in not only the Qu'ran, but also the sayings of the Prophet recorded from oral tradition and the decisions of the early caliphs. The code was not complete when Suleiman reached the throne, but there was enough of it, added to previous codes, to establish the main line, and one point in it was absolutely clear: it was the plain religious duty of Muslims to conquer the unbeliever, convert him to Islam, or impose tribute upon him. It is not recorded tht Suleiman was particularly devout, but many of his officers were, and the Janissaries, who were begining to realize themselves as an influential guild, were not at all happy unless there was a war on.
The sum of these forces was that Suleiman's interest in the West became an interest in conquering the West, and he began with a demand on young King Lajos (or Louis) of Hungary for tribute. Young King Lajos had the ambassadors killed, which would have been a fairly good cause of war even if nobody were trying to provoke one. Suleiman set the troops in motion, and without difficulty captured the two great border fortresses of Szabacs and Belgrade. They were, in fact, taken almost too easily; not only did Suleiman wish to shine, but also the vizier, Ibrahim, pointed out to him that the realm had expanded so rapidly to east and south that some labor of consolidation in those directions would be necessary. The shining part of the program was temporarily accomplished by an attack on the Knights of St. John of Rhodes, who were forced to surrender after a tremendous defense. Suleiman was still engaged in distributing fiefs, putting down local troubles, and organizing administration in Egypt and Kurdistan when he received a letter from the King of France.
It was written from Madrid, whither Francis had been taken as a prisoner after Pavia, and it urged the sultan to press on against Hungary and the empire for glory and booty; France would do her part by keeping Charles V occupied in a two-front war. The embassy acted as a detonating charge; Suleiman dropped his administrative details into the hands of subordinates and turned in the direction to which ambition, religion, and the demands of the Janissaries all urged him--Hungary.
That state was particularly ill-prepared to meet attack. Throughout the turn-of-the-century period Hungary had presented the curious spectacle of social evolution backward. The great nobles cased themselves in semi-barbaric luxury and jewels, even wearing their coronets to bed; the burden of taxation fell ever more heavily on the peasantry until they staged a fierce revolt, fiercely repressed in 1514. It was followed by the "Savage Diet", which enacted laws that placed the entire laboring population in actual, not virtual, slavery to "their natural lords", annuled any charters the towns had, permitted nobles to engage in trade tax-free, and came down so hard on the minor gentry that thousands of them preferred to cross the Turkish border, live under Muhammad, and pay tribute rather than be part of such a regime. King Lajos himself was often short of clothes and food.
When Suleiman came through Belgrade with 100,000 men, Lajos could assemble less than 30,000, feudal cavalry, with a group of forced-to-fight peasant infantry. Lajos had hoped and asked for help from Charles V, doubly his brother-in-law, but Francis of France, faithful to his engagement with the Turks, pushed an army into Italy, and the emperor could spare nothing. Young King Lajos led against the Turks at Mohacs; on August 28, 1526, he was killed with both archbishops of the realm, five bisops, and 24,000 men, and Hungary ceased to exist as a nation. The plunder of Buda furnished the bazaars of the Near East with wares for years afterward, and Suleiman had John Zapolya, the voivode of Transylvania, elected to the vacant throne as a tributary king.
He was not the only claimant. The emperor's brother Ferdinand called himself King of Hungary in the right of his wife, sister of the late King Lajos, and assembled enough of the magnates to make up something called a Diet, which went through a form of election. "Tell him I will see him at Mohacs," said Suleiman when he heard of it, "and if he is not there I will come to Vienna for him."
For the moment the sultan was too busy with affairs in Persia to do anything about Vienna, and with the withdrawal of Turkish troops, Hungary collapsed into an anarchy of roving bands who theoretically held for King Ferdinand or King John, but actually served only themselves. But by the end of 1528, Suleiman had solved out his Pesian preoccupations and determined that the next step should be the thorough digestion of Hungary through the fief system, as the Balkans had been digested earlier. A necessary step in this direction was the capture of Vienna and the elimination of any German danger to the new frontier, as the Hungarian danger to the Balkans had been eliminated by Mohacs and the capture of Buda.
The strategic plan was to take Vienna in the late summer of 1529, winter there and, drawing in reinforcements, proceed to a spring campaign for the preliminary conquest of Germany. Francis of France could be counted on to keep the empire busy on the opposite flank, the one Charles regarded as vital; Ferdinand, like young King Lajos, would have to depend pretty much on his own resources. Suleiman had observed that these Christian kingdoms lacked such unity of action as was conferred by the combined sultanate-caliphate.
On April 10, 1529, the sultan left Istanbul with more than 200,000 men. The Janissaries were sent up the Danue in boats; King John Zapolya would join with a contingent in Hungary.

Ferdinand, in addition to his title of King of Hungary, was also Archduke of Austria and King of Bohemia. As soon as he heard that Suleiman was on the march, with his ultimate desination the Rhine, meetings of the estates were called in all the dominions where Ferdinand had any authority. The leading limitation on all Central European monarchies of the date was that of weak police power. Austria voted to sent every tenth man for the defense of Vienna, but could by no means enforce it, and Bohemia, where the estates valiantly declared in favor of mobilizing every man capable of bearing arms, actually sent only 2,000, and these not till late August. The Diet of the empire, which was assembled at Speyer, voted an assistance of 12,000 foot and 2,000 horse, but tacked on a provision that no troops at all were to move until a deputation had visited Hungary to find out whether this nonsense about a Turkish drive was really true; then went into a series of almost interminable debats as to who should command the imperial forces if it turned out that they were really needed. Charles V was in Italy, very much concerned about what the French were doing there, and Pope Clement VII was intensely occupied in reestablishing the Medici dukedom of Florence in place of the republic.
That is, nobody wished to believe there was any real danger except the men on the spot. Fortunately for Germany and Europe there was a couple of very good men on the spot. The better was a certain Graf Nicolas zu Salm-Reifferscheidt, all his life a solider of the empire, who had fought at Pavia and personally wounded and been wounded by King Francis. Salm was already sixty-six at the time, and in the year of Suleiman's invasion seventy; a man who had defended the Croat and Slovene lands against the puppet King Zapolya and who knew the country. He was too minor a noble to be named formally as commander; after its endless debate the Diet of Speyer gave this office to Duke Friedrich of the Palatinate.
Graf Nicolas reached Vienna in the early days of September; not long after his arrival word came through that Suleiman had taken Pesth, where the empire had a small garrison, and the Janissaries had slaughtered every man in the place. If any news were needed to stir the Viennese to work on their defenses this was probably it; but down to the coming of Graf Nicolas there had been nobody to take the lead, to tell people what to do. And there was everything to do: the city wall dated from approximately the time when Rudolph of Hapsburg made the place his capital in 1276, was only six feet thick and ruinous, enclosing the strictly limited area now known as "the Ring". The outer palisade beyond the dry ditch was so weak that it bore and deserved the name of "city hedge"--Stadtzaun; the citadel was an old building of brick and timber; the houses roofed with highly inflammable shingles. There were no magazines.
Graf Nicolas sent details out to scout the countryside for every kind of food, while in and around the city he built and destroyed. All the houses of the suburbs outside the ancient wall were pulled down or burned to deprive the attackers of cover, including the great city hospital, two churches, and three convents. There was no time to build new masonry walls or to extend the old ones; where they were weak, earthwork bastions were thrown up and stoutly palisaded. The bank of the Danube arm that swings past the city was also trenched and fitted with palisades. To avoid the ricochet of shot all the paving stones were taken up and most of them used for a new loose wall inside the old from the Stuben to the Karnthner Gate--on the east side, along the creek that is called Wiener Bach, where the old defenses were weakest.
Graf Nicolas conducted a conscientious census, assembling as many of the useless mouths as he could, women, children, old men and ecclesiastics, for dispatch outside the city. On 21 September word came that the Turks were across the river Raab and had taken the outpost of Altenburg; two days later there arrived in the city 700 first-class Spaniards and about 1,000 German troops of the empire under the Pfalzgraf Philip, the second of the two good leaders in the defense. He said that the deputation from the Diet of Speyer had reported that the Turkish danger was indeed serious, and Duke Friedrich had come as far forward as Linz with the imperial contingent but, hearing that Suleiman was in great force, declined to risk ruin by advancing any further.
That same day there was a skirmish outside the walls between a body of Turks and 500 cuirassiers under Graf Hardegg; the cuirassiers were driven in with the loss of seven prisoners, four of whom were presently sent to Vienna by the sultan, richly dressed, to bear his terms. He expected to breakfast in the city on the twenty-ninth; if it would surrender at discretion, none of his people but functionaries should enter and all would be secure; if it held out the place would be so utterly destroyed that no one would know where it had stood, and every living thing in it would be put to the sword. In view of the general proceedings of the Turks one could believe that; the word was that the light troops of their vanguard had come up with a convoy of 5,000 of the useless mouths at Traismauer and massacred every one of them.
Graf Nicolas had four Turkish prisoners dressed as richly as the cuirassier messengers and sent them to Suleiman. They bore no word in return. The garrison numbered 22,000 foot, 2,000 horse, and seventy-two guns of nearly as many calibers and makes. The cavalry were stationed in the four main squares to rush wherever they were needed; a master gunner was assigned to each of the pieces. Pfalzgraf Philip outranked Salm, but cheerfully waived the fact and only countersigned his orders. There were nearly 350,000 of the attackers.

That summer it had rained. It rained with an intensity such as few people in that part of Europe had seen, day after day, one of the most remarkable meteorological events of the century. Suleiman would have thought it beneath him to be impeded by the weather, and in fact he did not allow himself to be. The horsemen who formed the largest numerical proportion of his army were not, and ahead of the main body there moved a corps of 20,000 of them, called by the Turks akinji, or "sackmen", whose specific task was to devastate the country and destroy the inhabitants in preparation for Turkish occupation. They were the people who cut off the 5,000 noncombatants at Traismauer, and it is estimated that they got rid of two thirds of the population of the districts through which they moved, which cannot be much of an exaggeration.
The horsemen could thus move, no matter how wet it was. The camp followers, baggage, and women could move after a fashion in wagons, and it did not matter if they fell behind, because everything they supplied could be had by ravaging the countryside. The Janissary infantry and the light guns moved up the Danube in boats. But there was one force that could not move at all through those perpetual rains in a country largely wooded and with no metalled roads. That was the heavy artillery, the siege guns, which weighed all the way up to twelve tons apiece. Even the Danube flotilla could not carry such monsters, and they were left behind, to the number of 200.
In view of the number of his troops, the fact that he was joined at Mohacs by Zapolya, who commanded certain Hungarian loyalties, and the skill of his engineers, this did not seem particularly important to Suleiman. He planned on mining operations if Vienna did not surrender easily, and some thousands of his host were experienced miners from Wallachia and Moldavia. When he arrived opposite the city on September 26 and set up seven great camps around it--tents visible as far as the eye could reach from the tower of St. Stephen, where Salm established his observation post--the first thing he did was to command reguar parallels at the southwest side of the city and mining operations against the Karnthner Gate area on the south side, accompanied by artillery bombardment and a ceaseless storm of arrows.
It was characteristic of Suleiman the Magnificent that while these arrows were so numerous that they made the streets near the walls unsafe, many of them were finished with costly fabrics and even inlaid with pearls. The Janissaries fired most of them from the ruins of the suburban houses. The results from the guns available were notably poor against Salm's emergency earthworks; after the first day target was shifted to the taller buildings, notably St. Stephen's tower, and it says something about the quality of Turkish gunnery practice that they could not even drive Graf Nicolas from his post. The artillery of the defense does not seem to have been much better in the beginning. Many of the embrasures in the old walls were so narrow that the guns would not traverse properly and there was no fund of experience in mounting pieces behind earthwork bastions. But Salm, or someone under him, had a highly judgmatical eye; some of the guns were removed to the tops of buildings, and for others platforms were built, after which they really began to hurt, especially in the areas along the river.
This was to have a highly important result, but in the meanwhile the main event was a cavalry sally from the Karnthner Gate, led by the Austrian Eck von Reischach on the twenty-ninth, the day Suleiman proposed to breakfast in Vienna. Von Reischach had spotted numbers of the Turks spread out among the vineyards on that side, and killed a lot of them before they could assemble. Through the next day it was all shooting, and at noon on October 1 the result of the good artillery practice along the river appeared in the form of a Turk who came out of the no man's land created by the guns and said he was of Christian parents, bearing information.
He was turned over to a cavalry commander, Wilhelm von Roggendorf, who had him tortured a little to make sure he was telling the truth, and thus learned that the Turks were driving mines in an utterly unexpected spot--not where their parallels were, opposite the Berg, but right under the Wiener Bach, on both sides of the Karnthner Gate. Countermining was ordered at once; next morning a big mine under the gate tower was broken into and destroyed in a strange underground battle by torchlight. General Roggendorf gave the deserter substance for life; guards were placed in all the cellars, with drums scattered over with dried peas, where activity was suspected.
Suleiman's technique of mining had failed to work by surprise; but there was no other means of getting into the city, so he turned to making it work by main force and superior numbers. More mines were dug in the Karnthner Gate area and all along under the Wiener Bach. Twice countermines reached the Turkish powder chambers and as much as eight tons of explosive was carried off from one of them; three times in the stormy week between October 4 and October 12 mines did go off and made breaches in the walls, one of them wide enough for twenty-four men abreast. The always victorious Janissaries assaulted these breaches; but behind them were palisades, and behind the palisades Spanish arquebusiers and German Landsknechts with their long swords and huge halberds, quite as rough citizens as the Janissaries, and better armed for the conditions. There were 1,200 bodies in the breach on the afternoon of the twelfth.
Late that night there was a council of war in the Turkish camp. It was still raining, the food situation in the huge army had become distinctly serious, since provision convoys could not move. The losses had not been intolerable in numerical terms--the figures ran between 14,000 and 20,000--but their incidence was alarming, most of them falling on the aristocratic horsemen and the Janissaries. The latter proud troops were depressed and doing something they had never done before, complaining that their lives were being sacrificed needlessly. The vizier, Ibrahim, remarked that the law of the Qu'ran had been satisfied by three main assaults, each three times renewed. But Suleiman the Magnificent was not satisfied. Three more great mines, one on each side of the Karnthner Gate, one directly under the Beg, were just ready, and he wanted a really grand attack, the whole force of the ary, supported by all its guns. He promised the Janissaries a donative of 1,000 aspers per man for this attack, with 30,000 aspers and promotion to the highest military rank for the first man inside the city.
On the morning of the fourteenth everything was ready. At nine the order to explode the mines was given and the sacred horsetails borne forward. The thing miscarried from the start. The mine at the Berg never went off at all (the Austrians had countermined it and robbed it of its powder) and though the Kanthner Gate mines made a breach 130 feet across, the rubble fell outward, and the defense had a trench inside with new palisades, behind which waited the same nasty Spaniards and Germans with their long spits. From the walls the Turkish officers, including the vizier himself, could be seen trying to drive the men forward with whips and sabers. It was no use; for the first time in Turkish history an army refused to advance any farther, almost en masse.
Graf Salm was hit in the hip by the splinters of a stone ball during the attack, a wound from which he never recovered, but that night Vienna was kept awake by the light of fires, as the Janissaries burned everything not portable, and the screams as they threw their prisoners into the fire. Next morning they were gone. It snowed.
In the deserted camps the Austrians found some curious-looking brown beans. They boiled them; the beans themselves were not very good, but the soup that came from them proved quite potable. It was the first coffee in Europe.

Various causes add up to the Turkish defeat at Vienna, one of the main ones undoubtedly Suleiman's lack of those heavy guns that had battered holes in besieged places from Constantinople to Rhodes to Belgrade. The rains deprived him of the guns and also of the time to take the city without them, and the miners were not a particularly efficient substitute. They produced gaps in the walls, but their very operation allowed new defenses to be set up behind the gaps, and mass attacks were powerless against these defenses. Yet the breaking of the siege had a positive technical side as well as a negative; those resolute Spanish arquebusiers and German Landsknechts were something the Janissaries had not encountered before; and the West had at last developed a tactical force that could meet the standing army of the Turkish Empire on equal terms.
Yet it was the effects rather than the causes that made Vienna decisive. The unbeatable Janissaries had been beaten, and not only beaten, but broken in morale. They were only human after all, and now they knew it. Not only that; a main line of the story lies in that donative of 1,000 aspers per man to make them undertake an attack they would normally have urged upon their sultan. Vienna, in fact, marked the end of the Janissaries as the tribute-children fanatics founded by Ala ed-Din. They began by taking in their own children and making it a privilege to be a Janissary with the disabilities that accompany any hereditary caste, and there was eventually nothing left of them but the savagery that made them throw prisoners into the fire.
This development did not reach its peak at once, to be sure. The Janissaries were to turn into unruly Praetorian guards, who made and unmade sultans, and this was perhaps inevitable. But even determinism must admit that Vienna started them down the long slide. After they had been defeated there and were paid extra for being defeated, their basic moral broke and they were never the same. The marvelous Turkish military instrument had a crack in it.
So did the marvelous Turkish family of the Othmanli sultans. Suleiman had a son, Mustapha, universally and probably correctly reported as not inferior in ability to any in the line. He was reasonably friendly with the vizier, Ibrahim, but after his birth there was brought to Suleiman the Russian girl known historically as Roxelana. After the defeat at Vienna she became for Suleiman something rare in Oriental history, a devouring passion which nothing could slake. She bore him two sons and a daughter, and it was elementary that she should want one of her sons to be the heir of empire. There were two barriers; and in spite of the fact that Turkish sultans usually kept their private and public lives separate, the defeat at Vienna made it quite easy for Roxelana to destroy the major hindrance, Suleiman's friend, the almost genius, Ibrahim. He was executed for inefficiency, Roxelana married her daughter to a man whom she had no difficulty in getting promoted to the viziership, and started a deliberate campaign against Mustapha. One afternoon when he called on his father he was met by the seven mutes with their bowstrings, whom Suleiman watched at their work, urging them to hurry.
That was the end of the great line. Roxelana's son Selim became sultan, but he was correctly known as Selim the Sot, and down to the time Kemal Ataturk overthrew the remains of the dynasty, the Othmanli line never produced another able man. For some years the Turks made faces and horrible noises in Eastern Europe, but always on a declining scale, always steps going down. They even worked up to another siege of Vienna in 1683, but it was a matter of local politics and brought on them the combined forces of Venice, Poland, Austria, and Russia, and the end of it was that they lost most of Hungary and all of the Crimea. The real Turkish danger to Europe was ended for good on the morning of October 14, 1529.
And this was not all that ended. When Martin Luther heard of the advance of Suleiman against the Hungarians, he declared it was a visitation fro God in punishment for the sins of the Pope and his bishops; but after Suleiman started for the Rhine by way of Vienna, he rapidly changed stance and declared it the duty of every Christian to oppose the Turk. This had a double effect; for Charles the Emperor, already involved in a two-front war against France in Italy and the Netherlands, could not neglect the help of the north German Protestants. He therefore tolerated internal religious disorder for the sake of keeping out the external, and not a few of the stern halberdiers of Vienna were Lutherans. By the time Charles was ready to turn against the Protestants, they were too solidly established for even an emperor to cut them down.

4 posted on 04/05/2005 8:52:46 AM PDT by robowombat
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To: Tolik


5 posted on 04/05/2005 1:34:20 PM PDT by spodefly (This is my tag line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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