sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Islamic Ambition

Early warriors who stood as a bulwark against Islam (1099)
(translated: Order of the Hospitalier Knights of Saint
John and the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher)
Islam has been trying to conquer Europe since the 700's. Christian Europe stood as a bulwark to those ambitions, but Europe isn't Christian anymore and they welcome Islamic people as guest workers. Nowhere is that more in evidence than in Germany. ISIL is making noise about their ambition to give it one more try. (read here) The story was carried by CNN, but watered down, as one would expect. CNN wouldn't want to appear Islamophobic.
No, we will conquer Europe one day. It is not a question of if we will conquer Europe, just a matter of when that will happen. But it is certain. ... For us, there is no such thing as borders. There are only front lines," the spokesman, identified only as a German ISIS fighter, told journalist Juergen Todenhoefer in an article for CNN.  
"Our expansion will be perpetual. ... And the Europeans need to know that when we come, it will not be in a nice way. It will be with our weapons. And those who do not convert to Islam or pay the Islamic tax will be killed."
Convert or die is a well-worn refrain from Islam.

Context and Precedence: (a history lesson)

Charles Martel was the general who halted Islam's march into Europe. As a matter of practice, he appeared where his enemies least expected him, when least expected, at midday, when armies of that era traditionally were resting. Finally, he attacked them how they least expected it, by feigning a retreat to draw his opponents into a trap. The feigned retreat, next to unknown in Western Europe at that time—it was a traditionally eastern tactic—required both extraordinary discipline on the part of the troops and exact timing on the part of their commander.

In the modern era, Matthew Bennett and his co-authors of Fighting Techniques of the Medieval World, published in 2005, argue that "few battles are remembered 1,000 years after they are fought ... but the Battle of Poitiers, (Tours) is an exception ... Charles Martel turned back a Muslim raid that, had it been allowed to continue, might have conquered Gaul." Michael Grant, author of History of Rome, grants the Battle of Tours such importance that he lists it in the macrohistorical dates of the Roman era.

European schoolchildren learn about the Battle of Tours in much the same way that American students learn about Valley Forge and Gettysburg.

The Muslim army tried once again, invading France in 736. All worked as he had planned, until Martel arrived, albeit more swiftly than the Moors believed he could call up his entire army. Unfortunately for Rahman's son, however, he had overestimated the time it would take Martel to develop heavy cavalry equal to that of the Muslims.
The Caliphate believed it would take a generation, but Martel managed it in five years. Prepared to face the Frankish phalanx, the Muslims were totally unprepared to face a mixed force of heavy cavalry and infantry in a phalanx. 
The Umayyad Caliphate was ultimately destroyed at the Berre River (Near Narbonne) in 737.

History Repeats - Sorta

ISIL first needs to take out the Saudis and the oil sheikdoms in the Persian Gulf. The oil sheiks need US military might to stop them. Wonder why the price of oil is half of what it was 6 months ago? Wonder why the US is staging heavy armor in the Gulf at the moment, preparing for yet another (Third) Gulf War?

In order to have a Caliphate, ISIL first needs to eliminate competing Muslim/Arab potentates in the nuke their ass and steal their gas scenario. Their ambition requires that they first strangle the West from Middle Eastern oil. That may be a problem with US/Canadian proven reserves far outstripping the Saudis - but with ISIL, it's not an exact science.

In Texas

As to the Lone Star Parson and his Dallas Light Cavalry (Irregular) Troop. There is plenty of justification for military orders in the modern day based on historical precedent.  And if Sikhs can carry knives around for religious purposes, there is no reason that you and your folks can't carry a revolver and a saber.

Military orders were founded during the Middle Ages for the purpose of crusading and either propagating or defending the faith either in the Holy Land or against Islam. Some orders have become secularized (castrated) in the modern era, but it doesn't negate history and precedent.
This list is intended to be comprehensive. The orders are listed chronologically according to their dates of foundation and extinction (in parentheses), which are sometimes approximate, and may in significance vary from case to case, the foundation of an order, its ecclesiastical approval, and its militarisation occurring at times on different dates. (Wikipedia)
Order of Saint James of Altopascio (c. 1075-1459)
Knights Hospitaller (1099, today known as Sovereign Military Order of Malta)
Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (Awarded as an honorific to prominent pilgrims by the Franciscan Custos of the Holy Sepulchre from the 14th century onwards and established formally as an Order by the Pope in the 19th century)
Knights Templar (c. 1118-1312)
Order of Saint Lazarus (c. 1123, disputed legacy)
Order of Aviz (1128, secularized in 1789)
Order of Saint Michael of the Wing (1147, disappeared early in the 18th century, restored in 1828 (disputed legacy))
Order of Calatrava (1158)
Order of Aubrac (1162, disappeared late in the 18th century)
Order of Santiago (1170)
Order of Alcántara (1177)Order of Mountjoy (c. 1180-1221, merged into the Order of Calatrava)
Teutonic Knights (1190, converted to a purely religious order since 1929)
Hospitallers of Saint Thomas of Canterbury at Acre (1191-1538)
Order of Monfragüe (1196-1221, merged into the Order of Calatrava)
Order of Sant Jordi d'Alfama (1201 - early 15th century, merged into the Order of Montesa)
Livonian Brothers of the Sword (1202-1236, then merged into the Teutonic Order as the Order of Livonia, disbanded 1561)
Order of Dobrzyń (1216, disappeared mid-13th century)
Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy (1218 - Converted to a Clerical Order in 1398 with Knights readmitted in 1926 and reaffirmed in 2002)
Militia of the Faith of Jesus Christ (1221-1285, merged into the Third Order of Saint Dominic)
Order of the Faith and Peace (1231-1273)
Militia of Jesus Christ (1233, disappeared mid-13th century)
Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1261-1556)
Order of Santa María de España (1270-1280, merged into the Order of Santiago)
Order of Montesa (1317)
Order of the Knights of Our Lord Jesus Christ (1318, secularized 1789)
Order of the Dragon (1408, disappeared late 15th century)
Order of Saint Maurice (1434-1572, merged into the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus))
Order of Our Lady of Bethlehem (1459-1460)
Order of Saint George of Carinthia (1469-1732)
Order of Saint George of Parma (before 1522)
Order of Saint Stephen Pope and Martyr (1561)

Toilet Flower

Dateline: Newport Beach, California 

Deconstructing Saturday. 

I slept in until people called from the East Coast regarding work, forgetting that there is a three hour time difference and it's Saturday. 5 am is early but you play the cards as they fall.

The Japanese refer to a toilet as a "beni" -- and the word for flower in Japan is "hana". That being the case, I can't understand why they gave the popular restaurant chain the name, "Benihana". It's Saturday and the youngest daughter (23) craved Japanese, if you please. And since I am not a fan of raw fish, we ended up at toilet flower for lunch, followed by a leisurely desert of trifle at Muldoon's Irish Pub

For those of you who don't know, trifle is my favorite desert. I like good trifle better than bad trifle, but even bad trifle isn't all that bad. Muldoon's trifle is excellent. Some prefer the sponge cake soaked in liquor. I find that the taste of alcohol overwhelms and prefer it without. Some of you will think that fake Japanese food, bathed in sodium, followed by an Irish desert of pure delicious carbs is a bit odd and may be unsettling. It wasn't. 

Death Star Fire Pit
Since the weather was warm (temp 65), a walk on the beach worked. Keep in mind that there is a practical difference between walking on the beach wearing shorts and a swim in the water. 

As WoFat would point out to you, he thinks I'm crazy as a shit house rat for making my living jumping into cold water. Who am I to argue, but those were the days of my callow youth. Today, splashing my feet in the surf on a beautiful day in the warm SoCal winter was good enough.

Once at the beach, there is no reason to leave when the sun goes down, is there? (temp 58) But it's better with a fire than it is without a fire. Better with good company than alone. Better with a light supper than going hungry. Better with live music being played by friends and singing along than sitting there mute.

I'm getting to the sermonette portion of this missive. Hang on. 

Now for the polemic: Doing something that you like, even if it is not doing anything constructive, is better than doing something that you don't like. I realize that it's not profound wisdom, but think of all of the people who do things that they don't like because they feel that they "should" be doing it. I realize that we all have to do things to keep the ball rolling -- but you have to examine your motives and need vs want. So the essence of this sermonette is that I don't want you to "should" on yourself. Life is too short.

Life's a beach.