Monday, August 11, 2014

The Crusades: Sir Barack and the Knights of the Oval Office

The Siege of Antioch
One commentator on CNN suggested that the Western Powers will get more bang for their buck by unleashing humanitarian aid in lieu of air strikes in Iraq. He also said that the US was the last one who should undertake a military counteroffensive as our bombings are just the kind of images that can be expropriated for propaganda purposes. ISIS is like the hydra that produces more heads every time you try to lop one off. But what do you do when ISIS forces are about to take over the capital of Kurdistan, Erbil, threatening a sect, the Yazidis, with imminent extinction.  Joyce’s Stephan Daedalus famously averred that “history is nightmare from which I am trying to awake” and Vico who Joyce also studied believed in the circularity of history. So have we come full circle. Are we now reliving the era of the Crusades when Knights Templars took off to do battle in the exotic east with the marauding hordes--attempting to safeguard the sacred artifacts and sites of Christendom and in the current instance of Islam and antiquity too (“Isis Is About to Destroy Biblical History in Iraq,” The Daily Beast, 7/7/14) and capture the Holy Grail (aka an oil well or two) along the way. The descriptions of ISIS are so horrific that they in fact fit nicely into the fairytales and legends we associate with the historical battles for the Holy Land during the time of the Crusades. Ah and yes one other thing our current exploits in attempting unseat terrorists sanctioned by nation states or unsanctioned terrorism of the kind represented by ISIS, which have gone on since the time of the first Iraq war early 90’s, are turning out to be like the Crusades: all encompassing endeavors which will take place over eras and even lifetimes.

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