Crusaders = ISIS ?
At a recent prayer breakfast President Obama compared the actions of the Crusaders to ISIS. He is correct except in one very important point… the last crusade ended in 1272. Now I wasn’t around in the 1200’s but word has it pretty much the entire world was engaged in savage butchery. The norm in those days was to sack a city, burn it, loot it, pillage it, put the men to the sword, rape the women, and then sell them and the children into slavery. in the old testament the Jews slaughtered half the land of Canaan, torching cities and killing the inhabitants: every man, woman, and child (according to them because Yaweh told them to.) Basically the world was starkly gruesome and without pity in those days. Jump to today. Western powers do their best to avoid civilian casualties. A population is aghast at “torture” such as waterboarding. We use super expensive Smart weapons to make sure we don’t kill the wrong people. Sometimes we let the bad people go if they are too close to good people. So while comparing the deeds in the Crusades to the deeds of ISIS today will show similar actions (sans videotaping of prisoners being put to death) at least a big chunk of the world sees those types of actions as repugnant, hence the comparison fails on a temporal basis. That public opinion acknowledged, no one will deny that civilians get killed in modern fighting, but at least the goal of the military campaign is not specifically targeted against civilians. War prisoners are sent to prison camps, not executed in a stylized barbaric fashion. One may however argue that lethal injection or hanging isn’t all that great a way to execute a prisoner, citing the execution of prisoners in the US, or the beheading of criminals in Saudi Arabia. Hmmm seems that perhaps the comparison might hold after all… perhaps attempting to draw any moral argument is fallacious from the beginning, at least from an arguable philosophical sense. Perhaps the only right… is indeed might. The victors write the history books after all.