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"There’s No Such Thing as Judeo-Christian Values"
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From the Jewish Press:

GOYESHE KOP

There’s No Such Thing as Judeo-Christian Values

The label “Judeo-Christian” tends to assume, at the expense of Judaism, that Christians and Jews believe essentially the same things.

By: Yori Yanover

Published: December 26th, 2013

… The paragraph reminded me of the old Jewish joke, which is better spoken, but since I don’t know most of you personally, you’ll have to do the voices in your head:

A gentile professor of Judaic Studies in Iowa finds out that to really learn the Talmud he must go to the Boro Park section of Brooklyn and find himself a teacher. The professor flies over and knocks on a basement door and this little Jew comes out. Upon seeing him, the professor asks to be taught the Talmud, but the little Jews says, “I can’t teach you Tal-mud, you got a goyeshe kop, you just don’t think Jewish.”

The professor insists. The little Jew says, “OK, solve this problem, and I’ll teach you:

“Two people go down a chimney. One stays clean, the other gets completely schmutzig, filthy. Which one washes up?”

The professor eagerly answers, “The dirty one, naturally.”

The little Jew wails: “Goyeshe kop, goyeshe kop! I told you I can’t teach you anything. Listen, the schmutzig guy sees the clean guy. Schmutzig doesn’t see any problem. But the clean guy sees the schmutzig guy and figures he must be just as dirty, so he goes and washes. I told you, you got a goyeshe kop. I can’t help you.”

The professor begs for another chance, and the little Jew gives in, suggesting a new problem to solve:

“Two people go down a chimney. One stays clean, the other gets completely schmutzig. Which one of them would wash up?”

The professor says, “Sure, I know this one, it’s the clean fellow.”

At this, the little Jew wails, “Goyeshe kop, the clean one takes a look at the dirty one and says, Moishe, you’re all schmutzig, go wash already! Enough. I really can’t help you, mister, you got a goyeshe kop.”

The professor begs for one last chance, and the little Jews says, “Fine, one last chance, I’ll give you a completely new problem, then you’ll leave me alone:

“Two people go down a chimney. One stays clean, the other gets completely schmutzig. Which one of them washes up?”

At this point, if you’re telling this joke, it’s all physical stuff, as the poor professor from Iowa freezes, unable to decide which of the two conflicting solutions to choose. The little Jew can’t stand it anymore and interjects, “Goyeshe kop, who ever heard of two people going down a chimney and only one of them gets schmutzig?”

For me, this joke illustrates the essence of Rabbinic Judaism. Hardly interested in developing uniform answers or dogmas, Rabbinic Jews love dispute, which enshrines all opinions.

 
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  1. 70 AD is a very sharp and very under-considered division. “Judeo-Christian” makes sense from 33 to 70, a time in which Christ’s prediction of total destruction within a generation came true.

    http://www.culturewars.com/2008/JRSInterview.htm

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2014/09/19/a-brief-history-of-the-talmud-and-the-jewish-people/

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  2. i’ve been saying this for years fwiw. don’t know if this will convince ross douthat.

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  3. “The label “Judeo-Christian” tends to assume, at the expense of Judaism, that Christians and Jews believe essentially the same things.”

    I would say it’s at the expense of the Jews, as Christians are fighting Ebola in African and Jews are drinking wine in Tel Aviv.

    After working with Orthodox Jew for many years I get the joke.

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  4. i’ve been saying this for years fwiw. don’t know if this will convince ross douthat.

    Wasn’t it Upton Sinclair who said that it’s awfully hard to make someone understand something when their livelihood depends on them not understanding it?

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  5. Seems to me that the joke is that it depends upon being in a certain type of culture.

    Try that in oh say England circa 1700, and you’d be lucky to just get a thrashing.

    Lots of other times and places the.. whatever his title is would have wound up dead. Yet another corpse on the city cobblestones, along with the contents of the morning’s chamberpots.

    Just have a hard time imagining this joke working in Russia even today, or anywhere in the Middle East. Well Israel maybe.

    Just saying I can’t imagine the genesis of this joke going too far back in time.

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    • Replies: @dixie
    An equivalent joke about the economic professor who set the same exam question every year. When asked he replied that the answers are different every year.
  6. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Judeo-christian is a term invented by neo-cons to con good natured white gentiles into supporting israel and jewish interests the world over. Look at the good people over at Conservative Tree House to see how effective that phrase has been in subordinating white interests to Jewish interests.

    Speaking of jews, guess what Sarah Silverman thought would be a great SNL theme? …

    http://gawker.com/snl-encourages-whites-to-celebrate-being-on-top-while-t-1642633605

    SNL Encourages Whites to Celebrate Being On Top While They Still Can

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  7. “Judeo-Christian” is the construct of Christians who fear being accused of “anti-Semitism” before a death of a million knife cuts.

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  8. The Talmud is a stridently anti-Christian document so, yeah, that term is a massive oxymoron, but has gotten quite a lot of currency among clueless evangelicals.

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  9. Jews and Christians hold the same views on the relationship between God and his creation. That’s what distinguishes the two from the world’s other religions, particularly Islam. More modern Christians have slipped into occasionalism, but that’s another subject altogether.

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    • Replies: @Chubby Ape
    "Jews and Christians hold the same views on the relationship between God and his creation."

    No I don't think this correct; the Jewish view of Creation seems to be that's still in a state of churn and chaos while the Christian view is that it's is something of apparently infinite complexity but also something essentially ordered. For Christendom, Creation - ie this world and universe in which we find ourselves - is something we can use our mortal minds to at least partly make sense of because it's something that obeys laws; laws that are good because Creation is good. Jews, on the other hand, seem to see this world as one fundamentally broken, chaotic and wrong and something they've been given the task of repairing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tikkun_olam

    Gentlemen, let us wrap our minds around that concept: that Jews believe they are a people with the cosmically important right, duty and ability to eventually re-order the universe because God didn't finish the job. No wonder they feel like they could "create their own reality" in something as piddly as the Middle East or the US Federal Reserve.

    Until that cosmic healing and order is established though, Jews apparently see themselves living in a world of false idols, false nations and false kings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleinu

    What about Christendom? Well, as Charles de Gaulle said about France "we are, after all and above everything, a European people of the white race, of Greek and Latin culture and of the Christian religion". The Greek and Latin part of this mix is crucial; so crucial that both secular and religious scholars have said it was in at the foundation of Christianity, let alone the West.

    Over the centuries Christianity developed into a religion and world-view for people who had to run things, figure things out and make sense of the world. Out of that we got Scholasticism and the modern university. In the meantime we had rabbinical scholars engaging in minor trade and "creating their own reality".

  10. MMMM, various comments/responses:

    How can Klinghoffer say that he represents a tradition of 3000 years of rabbinic interpretation and in the same breath claim that there’s such a specific thing as “Scripture’s vision?”

    Rabbis haven’t been around for 3,000 years. Ispso facto, there hasn’t been 3,000 years of rabbinic interpretation.

    Because, to be honest, someone who has internalized the free spirit of our rabbinic sages

    This gets tossed around a lot, but it’s quite untrue. Rabbinic debate was not anything goes. Discussion had limits/taboos (cf Spinoza).

    Indeed, I would define the rabbinic view on politics as the sanctification of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Contentment.

    Seriously?

    If the Torah envisions us as independent thinkers, each pursuing a personal definition of material well being,

    This has got be a parody…

    He would likely hear angry grumbling on topics like the Crusades, during which Christian zealots decimated Jewish communities. He might hear a thing or two about how the Inquisition applied its Christian values to destroy the thriving Jewish centers of Spain and Portugal. Or he might hear about the European Holocaust and our annihilation at the hands of our faithful Christian neighbors. Pope Pious XII’s name might pop up in that context, as an example of how conservative Christian leaders responded when Jews were swept away in rivers of their own blood.

    Obligatory anti-Christian rhetoric…

    Jewish principles are easier to pin down: Open a siddur (prayer book) and right after the morning service, you find Maimonides’ Thirteen Principles of Faith. They are short, compact, and easy to remember—and there is even a rhyming version for sing-alongs.

    Wait, I thought that Judaism was characterized by the “free spirit of our rabbinic sages ?”

    There is no mandate on precisely how a woman should behave with her husband—Jews expect the happy couple to work it out for themselves.

    We’ll just not talk about the extremely patriarchal nature of traditional Jewish family life…

    More crucially, Christians rely on the Old Testament for legal delineation; whereas Jews rely solely upon our rabbinic tradition. We never, ever turn to our Bible for legal guidance, only to our rabbinic literature. To suggest that our Sages had anything at all in common with the likes of Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Carter or Pat Robertson is a slap in the face of 2500 years of scholarship.

    Newsflash, even Sola Scriptura Protestants have layers of Biblical interpretation/commentary that influence how they read the Bible. And as for the Catholics, it’s layer upon layer (Church Fathers, etc).

    I have deep respect for religious leaders active in the interfaith arena, who seek to communicate and cooperate with Christians on political and social issues. But I resent Klinghoffer’s attempt to erect an ideological partnership between Christianity and its blameless victims.

    MMM, seems to me that Judaism gave as good as it got for the first couple of centuries AD….

    Incidentally, we have more in common with Muslims than we do with Christians; Jewish law permits Jews to enter a mosque… but not a church.

    On the other hand:

    However, Maimonides’ view on the discourse between Jews and members of the two other major religions appears to contradict everything that we’ve established so far. It is an example of the great man’s clarity of thought, and his ability to depict crucial nuance in both religions.

    “It is permitted to teach the commandments to Christians and to attract them to our religion, and it is not permitted to do the same with the Ishmaelites,” he writes.

    This is because the Christians never denied the authenticity of our Torah, they merely added their nonsense on top of it, but they and we believe both in the Torah’s sanctity and in the fact that it is an accurate representation of the original Torah delivered to the Jews by God through Moses.

    The Muslims, on the other hand, even though their Koran describes the giving of the Torah to the Jews, they insist that in every point where their version differs from what’s in our Torah, this is because we either made a mistake in copying our texts, or, worse, falsified our texts.

    Therefore, argues Maimonides (Rambam’s responsa, Blau, answer 149) that while a discourse with a Christian could lead to his understanding of his mistaken reading and therefore could benefit from the explanation, even if he didn’t convert to Judaism – a Muslim will always perceive our explanations as being founded on a lie, so don’t bother.

    http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/maimonides-islam-good-christianity-bad-muslims-bad-christians-good/2013/11/15/

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Newsflash, even Sola Scriptura Protestants have layers of Biblical interpretation/commentary that influence how they read the Bible. And as for the Catholics, it’s layer upon layer (Church Fathers, etc).
     
    Typically young Jews and secularists who rail against "Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Carter or Pat Robertson" as avatars of Christianity do not know much about Christianity at all, except as a cartoon snake-handling version of the real thing.

    I've had discussions with young-ish Jewish "intellectuals" who didn't even know that the Bible was not the sole authority in Catholicism. Words like "Tradition" and "Magisterium" drew blank, puzzled stares (older Jewish intellectuals better steeped in Western canon tend to know much better).

    I exempt David Klinghoffer from this characterization, of course. Klinghoffer has serious Christian intellectual colleagues and friends, and I think he at one point in life even considered conversion to Christianity before going "all in" on his Judaism.
  11. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    As so many of us are agnostic or atheist, there is hardly uniformity within the Jewish community with regard to religious belief and practice. That is also true of Christians, but it is even more the case among Jews because of the ethnic dimension.

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  12. The term judeo-christian dates back only to the 19th century.
    There is probably more judeo-islamic values in common then judeo-christian, as christianity has rejected the semitic mid-oriental aspects of the Abrahamic religions.

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  13. Seems to me that the joke is that it depends upon being in a certain type of culture.

    Try that in oh say England circa 1700, and you’d be lucky to just get a thrashing.

    Lots of other times and places the.. whatever his title is would have wound up dead. Yet another corpse on the city cobblestones, along with the contents of the morning’s chamberpots.

    Just have a hard time imagining this joke working in Russia even today, or anywhere in the Middle East. Well Israel maybe.

    Just saying I can’t imagine the genesis of this joke going too far back in time.

    You really don’t anything about history, do you?

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  14. @Sunbeam
    Seems to me that the joke is that it depends upon being in a certain type of culture.

    Try that in oh say England circa 1700, and you'd be lucky to just get a thrashing.

    Lots of other times and places the.. whatever his title is would have wound up dead. Yet another corpse on the city cobblestones, along with the contents of the morning's chamberpots.

    Just have a hard time imagining this joke working in Russia even today, or anywhere in the Middle East. Well Israel maybe.

    Just saying I can't imagine the genesis of this joke going too far back in time.

    An equivalent joke about the economic professor who set the same exam question every year. When asked he replied that the answers are different every year.

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  15. RE: Judeo-Christian,

    1.Well, one can speak in terms of a broad commonality (e.g., certain shared texts, mythologies, etc). Of course, this commonality only really comes into focus when the two faiths are matched against something that is wholly other: Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Shinto, etc. And when you are doing that, it is probably best to speak in terms of the Abrahamic faiths ( Judaism, Christianity, Islam) on one side and everything else on the other.

    2. Judaism and Christianity or Judaism and Islam or Christianity and Islam. As for how these faiths relate when compared to each other, that’s tough. On the one hand, Judaism and Islam are more orthopraxic in orientation, while Christianity tends to emphasize Orthodoxy more. So, from that perspective, Judaism and Islam are on one side, while Christianity is on the other.

    On the other hand, Islam and Christianity are both universal, proselytizing faiths, which sharply distinguishes them from Judaism, with its tribalistic focus.

    3. Shared Lineage: Of course, one thing that does unite Judaism and Christianity is the fact that both religions grow out of Second Temple Judaism. Hence, there is a strangely intimate nature to their quarrel, rather like two sisters arguing over which one should inherit Dad’s estate…

    4. Lastly, one has to also bear in mind the very strong impact that Protestant Christianity has had on Judaism in the last 150 years, particularly in the USA. Conservative and Reform Judaism are, to a considerable degree, Protestantized forms of Judaism…

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  16. To suggest that our Sages had anything at all in common with the likes of Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Carter or Pat Robertson is a slap in the face of 2500 years of scholarship.”

    Well except for Jerry Falwell, who’s dead, I’m sure the other two would be very disappointed to hear that. In fact, they’d probably cry over their unrequited love for Israel and the Jewish people. The same is true of Mike Huckleberry, Gary Bauer, and a lot of Evangelicals and Christian Zionists.

    You Jews may not like them – but they like you. Whether you want their love or not. It’d be laughable if it wasn’t so pathetic. No. forget that. Its just laughable.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I think you mean Mike Huckabee, not Mike Huckleberry. Israeli Jews tend to be warmer to the evangelicals than are politically left wing American Jews. They realize that it is unwise to turn away a potential friend. They also remember the crucial assistance given to the Jewish community in Palestine by Orde Wingate, a British evangelical from a family that belonged to the Plymouth Brethren.
    , @Art Deco
    Well except for Jerry Falwell, who’s dead, I’m sure the other two would be very disappointed to hear that.

    Of 'the other two', Jimmy Carter has no particular affection for Israel (quite the contrary) and is pleased to engage in common projects with Abp. Desmond Tutu, who loathes Jews.


    To suggest that our Sages had anything at all in common with the likes of Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Carter or Pat Robertson is a slap in the face of 2500 years of scholarship.

    Did someone suggest to this chap that it's odd to compare people whose vocation is scholarship to a naval engineer turned agribusinessman turned politician turned amateur social worker or to a working clergyman cum institutional administrator or to a businessman cum institutional administrator (ordained)? Are we expecting the Sages to mind a nuclear reactor on a submarine, run a peanut warehouse, run campuses with north of 5,000 students enrolled therupon, superintend a congregation with thousands of members, or found and run a television network?
    , @Anonymous
    Jimmy Carter a friend of the Jews?

    That would be revisionist history, but it is not yet history.



    "You Jews may not like them"

    Which implies that they #1 (Jews) are monolithic in their dislike of they #2, consisting of everyone from Mike Huckleberry to unnamed Christian Zionists.
    This comes from a construction in the writer's mind, not a knowledge of the people involved.

    The writer seems determined to find a menacing Other, creates an image of them in his mind and then counter-poses his image with a group he finds nearer and dearer.
  17. My favorite story of rabbinic interpretation comes by way of an anonymous commenter at David Friedman’s blog:

    http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/2009/11/jewish-law-and-constitutional.html#c5756554659960796687

    In the story, God himself intervenes to support the legal ruling of the lone dissenting scholar, but the principle of majority rule trumps even him.

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  18. Here’s Rabbi Martin Siegel quoted in New York Magazine in 1972: “I am devoting my lecture in this seminar to a discussion of the possibility that we are now entering a Jewish century, a time when the spirit of the community, the non-ideological blend of the emotional and rational and the resistance to categories and forms will emerge through the forces of anti-nationalism to provide us with a new kind of society. I call this process the Judaization of Christianity because Christianity will be the vehicle through which this society becomes Jewish.”

    Yeah, for sure at the expense of Judaism. It seems they’ve done quite well.

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  19. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Honesthughgrant
    "

    To suggest that our Sages had anything at all in common with the likes of Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Carter or Pat Robertson is a slap in the face of 2500 years of scholarship."
     
    Well except for Jerry Falwell, who's dead, I'm sure the other two would be very disappointed to hear that. In fact, they'd probably cry over their unrequited love for Israel and the Jewish people. The same is true of Mike Huckleberry, Gary Bauer, and a lot of Evangelicals and Christian Zionists.

    You Jews may not like them - but they like you. Whether you want their love or not. It'd be laughable if it wasn't so pathetic. No. forget that. Its just laughable.

    I think you mean Mike Huckabee, not Mike Huckleberry. Israeli Jews tend to be warmer to the evangelicals than are politically left wing American Jews. They realize that it is unwise to turn away a potential friend. They also remember the crucial assistance given to the Jewish community in Palestine by Orde Wingate, a British evangelical from a family that belonged to the Plymouth Brethren.

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  20. A commenter of Yanover’s article:

    “We (Jews) are not them (Christians)
    They are not us”

    I could not agree more.

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  21. The term “Judeo-Christian” was hardly used prior to WWII, or more especially prior to the 1960s/70s.

    I can remember a time in the 1970s when Jews as such were still barely perceived to exist in the larger Christian culture; sure if you understood the code Jews were everywhere but the typical gentile was clueless. This changed when the whole Holocaust/Jewish victimology campaign was launched to make Christians feel guilty for merely existing.

    Christians used the term “Judeo-Christian” to seem more inclusive and not seem “anti-Semitic” whereas as late as the 1950s/60s you could still refer to our common Christian civilization, or Christendom, without irony and without qualifications or caveats or weasel word terms like “Judeo-Christian”.

    So this statement is in fact the opposite of the truth: “The label “Judeo-Christian” tends to assume, at the expense of Judaism, that Christians and Jews believe essentially the same things.”

    No, it tends to assume that Christians and Jews believe essentially the same things so as to disarm, disadvantage, and delude the Christian masses, who fear being called anti-semitic. It assumes that the two things are alike at the expense of Christendom. When Christians still had a culture of their own they did not feel the need to be “inclusive” by tacking on other terms our qualifiers to their own name.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Christians used the term “Judeo-Christian” to seem more inclusive and not seem “anti-Semitic” whereas as late as the 1950s/60s you could still refer to our common Christian civilization, or Christendom, without irony and without qualifications or caveats or weasel word terms like “Judeo-Christian”.
     
    This.

    One can acknowledge Jewish contributions to Western civilization and still recognize that the European and the broader Western civilization is a Christian one. For that matter, Christianity made an indelible and crucial mark on non-Western civilizations as well (much of East Asia's modernity was imprinted with the efforts of Christian missionaries who established schools and hospitals wherever they went).
    , @Cloudswrest
    Indeed. Google ngram viewer "judeo-christian" started circa 1935.

    https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=judeo-christian&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=1&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cjudeo%20-%20christian%3B%2Cc0
  22. Steve, I’m surprised you fell for this hogwash, and even more surprised that Razib Khan is ignorant of how the Founding Fathers (in public at least) meticulously compared American Independence to that of the founding of Israel. Indeed for Protestants who read the Bible A LOT, far more than Catholics, identification with Jews was (and is) commonplace. Lincoln’s speeches are filled with allegories comparing Americans to Jews, and the Puritans appropriated this language, citing Boston as a New Jerusualem.

    Feminist #1, that most Christian of Poets, William Blake, even wrote an Epic Poem called Jerusalem wherein he compared the English to Jews.

    So, history did not start last Thursday. And historically, Americans from Cotton Mather to Ronald Reagan have invoked Jewish history and seen themselves as “New Jews” in a continuity.

    Secondly, the “removed,” Amish-like Rabbinical attitudes expressed in the column are not representative of most Jews. Most Jews today are secular, profoundly integrationist, and reflect what Steve you noted Revealed Preference in their mating habits.

    To take one prominent Jew: Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg married his Asian girlfriend. Or Mr. Amy Chua, one Jeb Rosenfeld, would be another example.

    I would argue, and there is considerable weight in actual, real-life Jewish behavior on this front, that Jews have largely (and lamentably I might add) adopted many Christian Doctrines at least on the broader fronts:

    **Original Sin.
    **Universalism.
    **Utopianism.
    **Worship of Non-Whites as Racial Redeemers.
    **Original Sin as Racial Original Sin.
    **Pacifism.

    When the Bombay / Mumbai Massacres a number of years ago happened, with LeT running amok in fire-teams killing all sorts of people, one of their targets was a Jewish family running some charity, Chabad I think, in Bombay. When I read this my though was, why on earth were Jews from Israel there in the first place? The reason was the typical NGO-type feel-good charity, the same stuff producing Medicin sans Frontiers, Greenpeace, and the other universalist, utopian, pacifist, “White people are the original sin” and “non-Whites the redeemers.”

    It has taken literally the threat of Israel being overwhelmed by Africans in a matter of months if not weeks and constant rocket attacks from Hamas to convince Israelis otherwise on the matters of fences, borders and deportations, and it is an open question if the Israeli Courts will acquiesce in non-suicide or insist on Open Borders because Jews were not allowed in Sweden or Switzerland in 1942 or something.

    The problem with Christianity is that it is too successful: Europe, America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, are among the nicest places to live and Jews are no different from other peoples in wanting to adopt success including many fundamental moral assumptions. Assumptions that I find an utter disaster. Secular Jews are no less religious than say, Jerry Falwell or Oral Roberts, they just don’t got to church when they pray (or Synagoge). Instead their daily rituals are green recyclable bags at the grocery store, Global Warming, and Universalism Utopian Open Borders, beliefs they share with most of the secular and religious Christians.

    Both Mark Zuckerberg and say, the Lutheran World Council (and the Catholic Church if it comes to that) are in favor of Open Borders and anyone who wants to come to America to be allowed to do so.

    I’d say that’s shared Judeo-Christian values. Just bad ones. If you are not a billionaire. And maybe even if you are. Ask some of the Russian ones.

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    • Replies: @Hacienda
    Excellent stuff. Matches very well with my own experiences with Jews and Christians.

    It was actually a Jewish friend who gave me my first book on the Indian genocides or real estate transaction for the conservative PC police (yeah PC goes both ways). In the sense that while white
    language is monitored, if you are a minority, you simply aren't allowed to even say certain things in the presence of whites.

    Anyway, the book was "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee". It gave me a sense that whites live in a weird world of morality. A people living on a cemetary, almost like murderers discussing ethics and high civilization in a party atmosphere on the cemetary of people they liquidated.

    Jews and Christians at least seem aware of this. Jews far more so. Christians often are so blinkered they think history began with their births.
    , @meep
    Chabad isn't a universalist organization on par with Catholic Charities or something. They are by Lubavitch Hasidim for other Jews, especially religiously inactive ones. Lubavitch philosophy says that increasing the number of Jews performing commandments will hasten the coming of the Messiah, so they want secular Jews to take up praying and keeping kosher and so on. The Holtzbergs weren't in Mumbai to help the Indians, they were there to provide kosher food and religious services to Jews in the area, mostly business travelers and secular Israelis doing a gap year backpacking.
    , @Bill

    the Founding Fathers (in public at least) meticulously compared American Independence to that of the founding of Israel. Indeed for Protestants who read the Bible A LOT, far more than Catholics, identification with Jews was (and is) commonplace. Lincoln’s speeches are filled with allegories comparing Americans to Jews, and the Puritans appropriated this language, citing Boston as a New Jerusualem.
     
    It's one of those two times a day: the stopped clock is right. Syon almost got it above---Protestant influence on the Jews is not particularly important or interesting, but Jewish influence on Protestantism is very important and interesting. Scofield, Hagee, and the Puritans are the shabbas goys par excellence, and the US is the culmination of the Enlightenment project: to make a Christianity worthy to turn the lights on and off on shabbat.

    Obviously, only the Maidservant is going to be pleased with a concept like "Lady-Maidservant values."

    Oh, and as always, josh has it right.
    , @Twinkie

    Indeed for Protestants who read the Bible A LOT, far more than Catholics
     
    More jokes: "A Protestant is someone who reads nothing but the Bible; a Catholic someone who reads everything but the Bible."

    In reality, Protestants who are generally ignorant of Catholicism frequently express a surprise when they come to a Catholic Mass and find that there are THREE Bible readings.
  23. You really don’t anything about history, do you?

    Please elaborate when you make a comment like this.

    I think Sunbeam’s observation is valid. In 1700, a Jew speaking like this to a Christian would be caned. Someone of that era hearing this joke would not understand why the professor would tolerate such impudence from a Jew of all things, let alone return for more, therefore the joke wouldn’t work. It only makes sense in a modern Western society where the verbal aggressiveness of Jews is well-known and tolerated.

    Jokes are very much of their time. There’s a new book out, “American Cornball: A Laffopedic Guide to the Formerly Funny” by Christopher Miller, which explores the fact that most jokes that were regarded as hilarious generations ago would strike us as totally unfunny today. In the same way, a joke like this, with all the insulting language, wouldn’t get a laugh if you told it 250 years ago.

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  24. Wasn’t “Judeo-Christian” a term specifically coined to allow people to refer to the moral basis of Western Civ without making Jews feel excluded?

    You just can’t placate some people…

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    • Replies: @Lurker

    Wasn’t “Judeo-Christian” a term specifically coined to allow people to refer to the moral basis of Western Civ without making Jews feel excluded?

    You just can’t placate some people…
     
    Whats that line about certain parties crying out in pain as they strike you...
    , @ben tillman

    Wasn’t “Judeo-Christian” a term specifically coined to allow people to refer to the moral basis of Western Civ without making Jews feel excluded?
     
    Indeed. Wasn't it part of the phenomenon John Murray Cuddihy discussed in No Offense: Civil Religion and Protestant Taste?

    https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/john-murray-cuddihy/no-offense-civil-religion-and-protestant-taste/

  25. @meh
    The term "Judeo-Christian" was hardly used prior to WWII, or more especially prior to the 1960s/70s.

    I can remember a time in the 1970s when Jews as such were still barely perceived to exist in the larger Christian culture; sure if you understood the code Jews were everywhere but the typical gentile was clueless. This changed when the whole Holocaust/Jewish victimology campaign was launched to make Christians feel guilty for merely existing.

    Christians used the term "Judeo-Christian" to seem more inclusive and not seem "anti-Semitic" whereas as late as the 1950s/60s you could still refer to our common Christian civilization, or Christendom, without irony and without qualifications or caveats or weasel word terms like "Judeo-Christian".

    So this statement is in fact the opposite of the truth: "The label “Judeo-Christian” tends to assume, at the expense of Judaism, that Christians and Jews believe essentially the same things."

    No, it tends to assume that Christians and Jews believe essentially the same things so as to disarm, disadvantage, and delude the Christian masses, who fear being called anti-semitic. It assumes that the two things are alike at the expense of Christendom. When Christians still had a culture of their own they did not feel the need to be "inclusive" by tacking on other terms our qualifiers to their own name.

    Christians used the term “Judeo-Christian” to seem more inclusive and not seem “anti-Semitic” whereas as late as the 1950s/60s you could still refer to our common Christian civilization, or Christendom, without irony and without qualifications or caveats or weasel word terms like “Judeo-Christian”.

    This.

    One can acknowledge Jewish contributions to Western civilization and still recognize that the European and the broader Western civilization is a Christian one. For that matter, Christianity made an indelible and crucial mark on non-Western civilizations as well (much of East Asia’s modernity was imprinted with the efforts of Christian missionaries who established schools and hospitals wherever they went).

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  26. Gary north, the christian/ Calvinist commentator notes in the book

    http://www.garynorth.com/freebooks/docs/pdf/the_judeo_christian_tradition.pdf

    that there definitely no such thing as theJudeo Chritian tradion.
    The term Judeo christian was created by the one worlders(secular humanists) in order to create the perception that all religions are the same, there are no fundamental differences between religions and postmodernism/ one worldism/ secular humanism is the one true real religion that encompases and tolerates all truth…and if you disgree they will hang you be the neck until you are truly tolerant

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  27. @syonredux
    MMMM, various comments/responses:

    How can Klinghoffer say that he represents a tradition of 3000 years of rabbinic interpretation and in the same breath claim that there’s such a specific thing as “Scripture’s vision?”
     
    Rabbis haven't been around for 3,000 years. Ispso facto, there hasn't been 3,000 years of rabbinic interpretation.

    Because, to be honest, someone who has internalized the free spirit of our rabbinic sages
     
    This gets tossed around a lot, but it's quite untrue. Rabbinic debate was not anything goes. Discussion had limits/taboos (cf Spinoza).

    Indeed, I would define the rabbinic view on politics as the sanctification of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Contentment.
     
    Seriously?

    If the Torah envisions us as independent thinkers, each pursuing a personal definition of material well being,
     
    This has got be a parody...

    He would likely hear angry grumbling on topics like the Crusades, during which Christian zealots decimated Jewish communities. He might hear a thing or two about how the Inquisition applied its Christian values to destroy the thriving Jewish centers of Spain and Portugal. Or he might hear about the European Holocaust and our annihilation at the hands of our faithful Christian neighbors. Pope Pious XII’s name might pop up in that context, as an example of how conservative Christian leaders responded when Jews were swept away in rivers of their own blood.
     
    Obligatory anti-Christian rhetoric...

    Jewish principles are easier to pin down: Open a siddur (prayer book) and right after the morning service, you find Maimonides’ Thirteen Principles of Faith. They are short, compact, and easy to remember—and there is even a rhyming version for sing-alongs.
     
    Wait, I thought that Judaism was characterized by the "free spirit of our rabbinic sages ?"

    There is no mandate on precisely how a woman should behave with her husband—Jews expect the happy couple to work it out for themselves.
     
    We'll just not talk about the extremely patriarchal nature of traditional Jewish family life...

    More crucially, Christians rely on the Old Testament for legal delineation; whereas Jews rely solely upon our rabbinic tradition. We never, ever turn to our Bible for legal guidance, only to our rabbinic literature. To suggest that our Sages had anything at all in common with the likes of Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Carter or Pat Robertson is a slap in the face of 2500 years of scholarship.
     
    Newsflash, even Sola Scriptura Protestants have layers of Biblical interpretation/commentary that influence how they read the Bible. And as for the Catholics, it's layer upon layer (Church Fathers, etc).

    I have deep respect for religious leaders active in the interfaith arena, who seek to communicate and cooperate with Christians on political and social issues. But I resent Klinghoffer’s attempt to erect an ideological partnership between Christianity and its blameless victims.
     
    MMM, seems to me that Judaism gave as good as it got for the first couple of centuries AD....

    Incidentally, we have more in common with Muslims than we do with Christians; Jewish law permits Jews to enter a mosque… but not a church.
     
    On the other hand:

    However, Maimonides’ view on the discourse between Jews and members of the two other major religions appears to contradict everything that we’ve established so far. It is an example of the great man’s clarity of thought, and his ability to depict crucial nuance in both religions.

    “It is permitted to teach the commandments to Christians and to attract them to our religion, and it is not permitted to do the same with the Ishmaelites,” he writes.

    This is because the Christians never denied the authenticity of our Torah, they merely added their nonsense on top of it, but they and we believe both in the Torah’s sanctity and in the fact that it is an accurate representation of the original Torah delivered to the Jews by God through Moses.

    The Muslims, on the other hand, even though their Koran describes the giving of the Torah to the Jews, they insist that in every point where their version differs from what’s in our Torah, this is because we either made a mistake in copying our texts, or, worse, falsified our texts.

    Therefore, argues Maimonides (Rambam’s responsa, Blau, answer 149) that while a discourse with a Christian could lead to his understanding of his mistaken reading and therefore could benefit from the explanation, even if he didn’t convert to Judaism – a Muslim will always perceive our explanations as being founded on a lie, so don’t bother.
     
    http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/maimonides-islam-good-christianity-bad-muslims-bad-christians-good/2013/11/15/

    Newsflash, even Sola Scriptura Protestants have layers of Biblical interpretation/commentary that influence how they read the Bible. And as for the Catholics, it’s layer upon layer (Church Fathers, etc).

    Typically young Jews and secularists who rail against “Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Carter or Pat Robertson” as avatars of Christianity do not know much about Christianity at all, except as a cartoon snake-handling version of the real thing.

    I’ve had discussions with young-ish Jewish “intellectuals” who didn’t even know that the Bible was not the sole authority in Catholicism. Words like “Tradition” and “Magisterium” drew blank, puzzled stares (older Jewish intellectuals better steeped in Western canon tend to know much better).

    I exempt David Klinghoffer from this characterization, of course. Klinghoffer has serious Christian intellectual colleagues and friends, and I think he at one point in life even considered conversion to Christianity before going “all in” on his Judaism.

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  28. Exactly, this so-called label was a recent phenomena. In reality neither the twain shall meet. The Jews do allow the Fundies to believe there is a connection out of them needing Christians to help keep the money train to Israel going. In fact the Talmud is a very anti-Christian and anti-Goy text, at best we are the equivalent of sheep to the Jews to sheer.

    Historically the Jews hated the Christians(and prior to that the Greeks) and murdered them both when they had their rebellions against Rome in 70 A.D. and later under Bar Kochba.

    Their faith is very, very tribal. It’s them against the world.

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  29. Priss Factor [AKA "pizza with hot pepper"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    I grew up among Jews, and the Jewish attitude toward Christians of good will is like Woody Allen in this scene.

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  30. Heck, there is no such thing as “Christian” values. Copts, Maronites and other Eastern Christians have far more in common with their Muslim Arab neighbors than with Episcopalians. The same is true of Sephardic Jews. Orthodox Christians and Hassidic Jews have different values as well. It makes more sense to talk about “Western European” values, which are a mix of Greco-Roman philosophy, Germanic and Celtic tribal traditions and borrowed Jewish theology. Some assimilated Ashkenazi Jews certainly share these values, as do a lot of non-church goers.

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    • Replies: @Simon in London
    "It makes more sense to talk about “Western European” values, which are a mix of Greco-Roman philosophy, Germanic and Celtic tribal traditions and borrowed Jewish theology. Some assimilated Ashkenazi Jews certainly share these values, as do a lot of non-church goers."

    Yep.
    , @Art Deco
    Heck, there is no such thing as “Christian” values. Copts, Maronites and other Eastern Christians have far more in common with their Muslim Arab neighbors than with Episcopalians.

    In your imagination.
  31. If the Puritans who founded New England spent a lot of time obsessing over their Old Testaments, the idea that America is based on Judeo-Christian Values doesn’t sound too far-fetched.

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    • Replies: @josh
    Right, the Puritans were Judaizers in the parlance of their times. The trend can be traced back at least to Reuchlin and probably even to the Cathars. Probably due to their wealth and influence Jews were extremely fashionable in Renaissance and post-Renaissance Europe. Proto-protestants and early Protestants consulted Rabbinical texts and started learning Hebrew from Rabbis (sometimes) not understanding the radical break between the Jews and the religion of the people of the Torah circa 70 AD (if not 30 AD). Not to mention the influence of the ex-Marranos on early Calvinism who flooded the Netherlands in the 16th century after being kicked out of Spain and Portugal. According to Albion's Seed it was "Dutch" merchants who spread Calvinism to east Anglia. It's an interesting story and Heinrich Graetz, the father of modern Jewish historiography, is happy to fill your Goyish Kopf in on the details.

    https://archive.org/details/influencejudais00graegoog
    , @Peter Akuleyev
    If the Puritans who founded New England spent a lot of time obsessing over their Old Testaments, the idea that America is based on Judeo-Christian Values doesn’t sound too far-fetched.

    I wouldn't deny the strong element of Jewish theology embedded in Western European values, but the fact remains that our gentile ancestors mostly picked and chose those elements from the Old Testament that reinforced what we already believed. I don't see much of Leviticus in mainstream American life, nor belief in Hebrew exceptionalism (until recently anyway).
  32. Can’t help but laugh when I hear judeophilia attributed exclusively to clueless evangelicals. As in many things, they’re just trailing the leading lights of mainline thought by a generation or five. Of course, back then they were leading not only the mainline but American and in some cases Western thought as well, so some confusion is inevitable in this age that has seen their ignominious fall.

    See, for instance, Hebraism and Hellenism for an early example.

    Perhaps Hebraic-Christian would be more accurate, but from the Christian (across the political/theological spectrum) perspective, Christianity and modern Judaism share roots that are essential for the valid practice of Christianity itself. It is those roots (foundations) to which the word Judeo-Christian refers in its common usage.

    To many who use the word in that manner, several of the objections raised here will seem unduly tendentious and unlettered.

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  33. “If the Puritans who founded New England spent a lot of time obsessing over their Old Testaments, the idea that America is based on Judeo-Christian Values doesn’t sound too far-fetched.’

    They did and it isn’t.

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  34. @Steve Sailer
    If the Puritans who founded New England spent a lot of time obsessing over their Old Testaments, the idea that America is based on Judeo-Christian Values doesn't sound too far-fetched.

    Right, the Puritans were Judaizers in the parlance of their times. The trend can be traced back at least to Reuchlin and probably even to the Cathars. Probably due to their wealth and influence Jews were extremely fashionable in Renaissance and post-Renaissance Europe. Proto-protestants and early Protestants consulted Rabbinical texts and started learning Hebrew from Rabbis (sometimes) not understanding the radical break between the Jews and the religion of the people of the Torah circa 70 AD (if not 30 AD). Not to mention the influence of the ex-Marranos on early Calvinism who flooded the Netherlands in the 16th century after being kicked out of Spain and Portugal. According to Albion’s Seed it was “Dutch” merchants who spread Calvinism to east Anglia. It’s an interesting story and Heinrich Graetz, the father of modern Jewish historiography, is happy to fill your Goyish Kopf in on the details.

    https://archive.org/details/influencejudais00graegoog

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  35. I always thought “Judeo-Christian” values/civilisation/culture etc was a silly and somwhat obnoxious phrase. The Christianity of America derived from three strands: ancient Judaism, Greek or Greco-Roman philosophy, and pre-Christian northern European pagan culture. The Judaism of America derived primarily from Rabbinical Judaism plus some influence from northern-European Christian culture. There is no ‘Judeo-Christianity’.

    My impression is that the phrase is used to mean that American culture is not specifically Christian. Originally this was a Liberal-Progressive Jewish idea, that Jews were as American as Christians. Then as Christianity weakened, it became a Conservative or Neoconservative idea, that America had a specifically Judeo-Christian culture,as opposed to being a Multicultural void.
    So when I saw The Daily Show comedians sneering at the term, they were sneering at it for being a conservative/right-wing concept. An earlier generation of Liberal Jewish comedians would have championed the concept, while derogating Christians who claimed America was specifically Christian.

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  36. @Peter Akuleyev
    Heck, there is no such thing as "Christian" values. Copts, Maronites and other Eastern Christians have far more in common with their Muslim Arab neighbors than with Episcopalians. The same is true of Sephardic Jews. Orthodox Christians and Hassidic Jews have different values as well. It makes more sense to talk about "Western European" values, which are a mix of Greco-Roman philosophy, Germanic and Celtic tribal traditions and borrowed Jewish theology. Some assimilated Ashkenazi Jews certainly share these values, as do a lot of non-church goers.

    “It makes more sense to talk about “Western European” values, which are a mix of Greco-Roman philosophy, Germanic and Celtic tribal traditions and borrowed Jewish theology. Some assimilated Ashkenazi Jews certainly share these values, as do a lot of non-church goers.”

    Yep.

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  37. @Steve Sailer
    If the Puritans who founded New England spent a lot of time obsessing over their Old Testaments, the idea that America is based on Judeo-Christian Values doesn't sound too far-fetched.

    If the Puritans who founded New England spent a lot of time obsessing over their Old Testaments, the idea that America is based on Judeo-Christian Values doesn’t sound too far-fetched.

    I wouldn’t deny the strong element of Jewish theology embedded in Western European values, but the fact remains that our gentile ancestors mostly picked and chose those elements from the Old Testament that reinforced what we already believed. I don’t see much of Leviticus in mainstream American life, nor belief in Hebrew exceptionalism (until recently anyway).

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    • Replies: @OsRazor
    The foundation of Western Civilization is Hellenic-Christian. It's universalism, it's ethics, its metaphysics. There is very little of Judaism in it and then only coincidentally. At its core, Western Civilization embraces a very different way of looking at reality, which as we've seen makes it susceptible to easy manipulation when the leaders of Western Civilization are corrupt and weak and have stopped believing themselves.

    I love how the discussion here (with the very few defenders of Judaism citing Old Testament worship by early Colonists in the US) is affirming ridiculously the very joke cited above in the article. Judaism starts, begins and ends with the Talmud. What you find there tells you all you need to know about Jews and how they see the world and especially how they view Christians.

  38. @Whiskey
    Steve, I'm surprised you fell for this hogwash, and even more surprised that Razib Khan is ignorant of how the Founding Fathers (in public at least) meticulously compared American Independence to that of the founding of Israel. Indeed for Protestants who read the Bible A LOT, far more than Catholics, identification with Jews was (and is) commonplace. Lincoln's speeches are filled with allegories comparing Americans to Jews, and the Puritans appropriated this language, citing Boston as a New Jerusualem.

    Feminist #1, that most Christian of Poets, William Blake, even wrote an Epic Poem called Jerusalem wherein he compared the English to Jews.

    So, history did not start last Thursday. And historically, Americans from Cotton Mather to Ronald Reagan have invoked Jewish history and seen themselves as "New Jews" in a continuity.

    Secondly, the "removed," Amish-like Rabbinical attitudes expressed in the column are not representative of most Jews. Most Jews today are secular, profoundly integrationist, and reflect what Steve you noted Revealed Preference in their mating habits.

    To take one prominent Jew: Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg married his Asian girlfriend. Or Mr. Amy Chua, one Jeb Rosenfeld, would be another example.

    I would argue, and there is considerable weight in actual, real-life Jewish behavior on this front, that Jews have largely (and lamentably I might add) adopted many Christian Doctrines at least on the broader fronts:

    **Original Sin.
    **Universalism.
    **Utopianism.
    **Worship of Non-Whites as Racial Redeemers.
    **Original Sin as Racial Original Sin.
    **Pacifism.

    When the Bombay / Mumbai Massacres a number of years ago happened, with LeT running amok in fire-teams killing all sorts of people, one of their targets was a Jewish family running some charity, Chabad I think, in Bombay. When I read this my though was, why on earth were Jews from Israel there in the first place? The reason was the typical NGO-type feel-good charity, the same stuff producing Medicin sans Frontiers, Greenpeace, and the other universalist, utopian, pacifist, "White people are the original sin" and "non-Whites the redeemers."

    It has taken literally the threat of Israel being overwhelmed by Africans in a matter of months if not weeks and constant rocket attacks from Hamas to convince Israelis otherwise on the matters of fences, borders and deportations, and it is an open question if the Israeli Courts will acquiesce in non-suicide or insist on Open Borders because Jews were not allowed in Sweden or Switzerland in 1942 or something.

    The problem with Christianity is that it is too successful: Europe, America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, are among the nicest places to live and Jews are no different from other peoples in wanting to adopt success including many fundamental moral assumptions. Assumptions that I find an utter disaster. Secular Jews are no less religious than say, Jerry Falwell or Oral Roberts, they just don't got to church when they pray (or Synagoge). Instead their daily rituals are green recyclable bags at the grocery store, Global Warming, and Universalism Utopian Open Borders, beliefs they share with most of the secular and religious Christians.

    Both Mark Zuckerberg and say, the Lutheran World Council (and the Catholic Church if it comes to that) are in favor of Open Borders and anyone who wants to come to America to be allowed to do so.

    I'd say that's shared Judeo-Christian values. Just bad ones. If you are not a billionaire. And maybe even if you are. Ask some of the Russian ones.

    Excellent stuff. Matches very well with my own experiences with Jews and Christians.

    It was actually a Jewish friend who gave me my first book on the Indian genocides or real estate transaction for the conservative PC police (yeah PC goes both ways). In the sense that while white
    language is monitored, if you are a minority, you simply aren’t allowed to even say certain things in the presence of whites.

    Anyway, the book was “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”. It gave me a sense that whites live in a weird world of morality. A people living on a cemetary, almost like murderers discussing ethics and high civilization in a party atmosphere on the cemetary of people they liquidated.

    Jews and Christians at least seem aware of this. Jews far more so. Christians often are so blinkered they think history began with their births.

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    • Replies: @Udolpho

    Anyway, the book was “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”. It gave me a sense that whites live in a weird world of morality. A people living on a cemetary, almost like murderers discussing ethics and high civilization in a party atmosphere on the cemetary of people they liquidated.

    Jews and Christians at least seem aware of this. Jews far more so. Christians often are so blinkered they think history began with their births.
     
    This would seem to include you, as your great ephiphany came from a book published in the 70s that gives an American Indian perspective of a conflict in the context of very modern victim politics. You appear to regard this as an indictment of some kind ("almost like murderers") whereas an educated view of history is that such group conflicts are commonplace and the brutality of both sides was the norm.

    Too much sugared milk when you were a child, I'm afraid. Now you have this glib idea of the white race as murderers, injuring minorities everywhere, which is of very recent vintage and typically seen among foolish social justice warriors.

    The Jewish posture is not notable for being more realistic but for being more chauvinistic.
    , @syonredux
    Dear boy, you make things far too easy for me:

    Chinggis Khan (ruled 1206-27) 40,000,000 [make link]
    Total Dead (in roughly descending order)
    Alan McFarlane, The Savage Wars of Peace: England, Japan and the Malthusian Trap (2003, p.50): Chinese population reduced to half in 50 years -- over 60 million people dying or failing to be replaced.
    John Man, Genghis Khan: Life, Death, and Resurrection
    The Jin (North China) recorded 7.6 million households in the early 13th Century. The first Mongol census in 1234 recorded 1.7 million housholds. Man interprets this as a population decline from 60 million to 10 million. (p.262)
    Man make a rough guess that 1.25M people were killed in Khwarezm in two years-- that's 25% of 5M original inhabitants.
    Komarova and Korotayev, "A Model of Pre-Industrial Demographic Cycle": Oddly, they skip right over the Mongol invasion ("The Sung cycle was interupted quite artificially by exogenous forces"), but Fig. 13 ends with the population of China at about 102M in 1125, while Fig. 14 begins with 55M in 1250, a decline of over 45M.
    Matthew White, The Great Big Book of Horrible Things: The Definitive Chronicle of History's 100 Worst Atrocities (W. W. Norton, 2012)
    The death toll of 40 million is "Loosely based on McEvedy, Atlas of World Population History. McEvedy states that the population of China declined by 35 million during the thirteenth century. Also, the population decline in the western regions of Mongol conquests adds up to 2.75 million. All in all, it seems that Eurasia had 37,750,000 fewer people in the wake of the Mongols. I’ve rounded that off to avoid faking too much precision." (White, Great Big Book, p.578)
    "For now let’s forget the incredible body counts reported for individual atrocities and focus instead on overall estimates from modern demographers. By all accounts, the population of Asia crashed during Chinggis Khan’s wars of conquest. China had the most to lose, so China lost the most—anywhere from 30 to 60 million. The Jin dynasty ruling northern China recorded 7.6 million households in the early thirteenth century. In 1234 the first census under the Mongols recorded 1.7 million households in the same area. In his biography of Chinggis Khan, John Man interprets these two data points as a population decline from 60 million to 10 million. In The Atlas of World Population History, Colin McEvedy estimates that the population of China declined by 35 million as the Mongols subjugated the country during the thirteenth century. In The Mongols, historian David Morgan estimates the Chinese population (in both the north and the south) as 100 million before the conquest and 70 million after." (White, Great Big Book, p.123)
    Colin McEvedy, Atlas of World Population History (1978):
    China Proper: In the text, he states that the population declined by 35 million as the Mongols reduced the country to subjugation during the 13th Century. In the Chart, the population drops from 115M to 85M between 1200 and 1300 CE. (p.172)
    Iran: Charted population declined from 5.0M to 3.5M
    Afghanistan: from 2.50M to 1.75M
    Russia-in-Europe: 7.5M to 7M
    This indicates a total population decline of some 37.75 million.

    David Morgan, The Mongols, p. 83
    He estimates the Chinese population (in both the north and the south) as 100 million before the conquest and 70 million after (citing Langlois, China under Mongol Rule)
    MEDIAN: ca. 30 million.
     

    Timur Lenk (1369-1405) [make link]
    TOTAL:
    Peter Ford, “Ex-Russian Satellite Enjoys Setting Its Own Agenda,” Christian Science Monitor, June 3, 1997: “Tamerlane… was responsible for the deaths of as many as 20 million people...”
    Stephen Kinzer, "A Kinder, Gentler Tamerlane Inspires Uzbekistan," New York Times, November 10, 1997: “His Turkish and Mongol army is said to have killed 17 million men, women and children in his 14th century rampage…” [http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/53/107.html]
    Dave Carpenter, "Barbaric Tamerlane anointed a whitewashed hero in Uzbekistan," Associated Press, January 5, 1998: “His armies… are estimated to have massacred as many as 17 million people.”
    Colin McMahon, "The Rehabilitation of Tamerlane," Chicago Tribune, January 17, 1999: "...an estimated death toll of as many as 17 million people..."
    Jonathan Fenby, "Crossroads of conquest," Hong Kong: South China Morning Post, November 20, 1999: "...a local warrior with a limp from arrow wounds marched north, east, west and south to found an empire of his own on some 17 million corpses."
    H.D.S. Greenway, "New waves across the steppes," Boston Globe, May 27, 1998: "He is said to have killed 15 million people..." (incl. 90,000 in Baghdad.)
    Allen Howard Godbey, The Lost Tribes a Myth: Suggestions Towards Rewriting Hebrew History, p.385 (1974): "Genghis Khan is estimated to have destroyed twenty million people, Tamerlane twelve million."
    Israel Smith Clare, Library of universal history: containing a record of the human ..., v.7, p.2474 (1906): "... his ambition and cruelty brought twelve million human beings to violent deaths..."
    Ian McWilliam, "Uzbekistan Restores Samarkand To Boost Nationalist Pride," Los Angeles Times, August 23, 1994: "... a ruthless conqueror who, by one estimate at least, caused the deaths of about 7 million people."
    Individual events:
    Delhi (1398)
    James Trager, The People's Chronology (1992): 100,000 Hindu prisoners massacred at Delhi
    Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage: 100,000 POWs massacred
    Frank Smitha [http://www.fsmitha.com/h3/h13tt.htm]
    Isfahan: 70-100,000 massacred
    Sabzavar: 2,000 slaves massacred
    Baghdad (1401): 20,000
    1 Feb. 2005 History Today: "At Baghdad he had 90,000 of the inhabitants beheaded so that he could build towers with their skulls. At Sivas in Turkey, where he promised no bloodshed in return for surrender, he had 3,000 prisoners buried alive and pointed out that he had kept to the letter of his oath."
    9 Aug. 2004 Evening Standard (London) review of Marozzi's Tamerlane
    Baghdad: 90,000
    Isfahan: 70,000
    outside Aleppo: 20,000
    Delhi: more than 100,000 executions
    The (London) Independent (1 June 1998): 5M k. in 6 mos. in 1398 in India
     

    An Lushan Revolt (756-763 CE) 13,000,000 [make link]
    At the peak of the medieval Tang dynasty, the census taken in the year 753 recorded a population of 52,880,488. After eleven years of civil war, the census of 764 gave a figure of 16,900,000. The census figures are referenced in the following places:
    Beck [http://www.san.beck.org/AB3-China.html]: census counts 16,900,000 in 764 CE, compared to 52,880,488 ten years earlier. [loss of ca. 36M]
    Durand, JD, “The population statistics of China, AD 2 – 1953,” Population Studies (1960), Vol. 13, No. 3, p.209,223 ("Many historians have affirmed that 36 million lives were lost as a result of the violent event, but Fitzgerald and others have shown that this is incredible. Even if such a huge loss were conceivable, it would be naive to suppose that an accurate count could be carried out in the midst of the ensuing chaos.")
    Fitzgerald, 1973, p.312-315 ("The real cause of the decline in the figures for the censuses after the rebellion was the dispersion of the officials who had been in charge of the revenue department.")
    Hooker, Richard, World Civilizations, Washington State University, 1996, [http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/TEXT/chememp.rtf] ("...before the rebellion, China had a population of over 53 million people; after the rebellion, the population had plummeted to seventeen million.")
    Komorova, Natalia and Andrey Korotayev, "A Model of Pre-Industrial Demographic Cycle" [http://orion.oac.uci.edu/~dbell/SecularCycles.pdf] ("The actual population decline might have been even less than was estimated by Zhao and Xie, as the underregistration in the post-An Lushan T'ang Empire was especially heavy..." but on their graph of Chinese population, the line plummets from 53 to 17 million without any adjustment for an undercount.)
    Nicoll, Leo A., "World Civilization I Course Notes", Loyola University [http://www.loyno.edu/~nicoll/WorldCivFall/07china.htm] ("Population dropped from 53 million to 17 million.")
    Pitirim Sorokin, The Sociology of Revolution (1967): Population declined from 53M to 20M [loss of 33M]
    Stearns, Peter N., ed., The Encyclopedia of World History: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, 6th ed., Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001. [http://www.bartleby.com/67/370.html] ("In population, the census of 753 (on the eve of the Rebellion of An Lu-shan) recorded a figure of 52,880,488. Eleven years later, the census of 764 (after the rebellion) gave a figure of 16,900,000. Although this figure is certainly too low, it does indicate a clear decline in population.")
    René Grousset, The Rise and Splendour of the Chinese Empire (1970) p.171: "On the eve of the civil war, after a period of a hundred and forty years of internal peace, the census of 754 showed a number of families the equivalent of fifty-two million inhabitants. In 839, after the restored dynasty had already had three-quarters of a century to efface the scars of civil war, the census showed a population of no more than thirty million."[a long term loss of 22 million]
    Matthew White, The Great Big Book of Horrible Things: The Definitive Chronicle of History's 100 Worst Atrocities (W. W. Norton, 2012)
    I'll be the first to admit that the An Lushan Rebellion is problematic. Here was a civil war in China that everybody agrees was remarkably destructive. The numbers commonly cited are not wild-eyed legends passed down by frightened peasants and picked up by gullible storytellers, but rather official census records that showed a loss of 36 million people. Most scholars doubt the pinpoint accuracy of the census, but many books still give a death toll of 36 million with no skepticism whatsoever.
    As far as I could tell, there were only 3 ways to handle the An Lushan Rebellion:
    Use the census figures as given and report an absolute population loss of 36 million.
    Arbitrarily report a lower number based on nothing.
    Ignore the rebellion.
    Unfortunately each of those is dishonest in its own way.
    Using the numbers would ignore the fact that most scholars believe the numbers to be wrong.
    Making up new numbers would be pretending that I know something that no one else does.
    Ignoring it would imply that it never happened.
    Fortunately, the count of households presents slightly different numbers. In the seven counts before An Lushan’s Revolt, the census repeatedly found between 8 and 9 million households, and then, in the seven counts following the rebellion, the census consistently found no more than 4 million. Even a century after the revolt, in 845, the Chinese civil service could find only 4,955,151 taxpaying households, a long drop from the 9,069,154 households recorded in 755. This indicates that the actual population collapse may have been closer to one-half, or 26 million. For the sake of ranking, however, I’m being conservative and cutting this in half, counting only 13 million dead in the An Lushan Rebellion.
     

    Aztecs (1375-1419) [make link]
    Estimated Total of human sacrifices among Aztecs:
    Michael Harner (1977): "In 1946 Sherburne Cook, a demographer specializing in American Indian populations, estimated an over-all annual mean of 15,000 victims in a central Mexican population reckoned at two million [i.e. 1.5M sacrificed per century]. Later, however, he and his colleague Woodrow Borah revised his estimate of the total central Mexican population upward to 25 million. Recently, Borah, possibly the leading authority on the demography of Mexico at the time of the conquest, has also revised the estimated number of persons sacrificed in central Mexico in the fifteenth century to 250,000 per year" [i.e. 25.0M per century] [http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/aztecs/sacrifice.htm]
    William Prescott, History of the Conquest of Mexico (1843): "Scarcely any author pretends to estimate the yearly sacrifices throughout the empire at less than twenty thousand, and some carry the number as high as fifty!" [i.e. 2-5M per century] [http://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/PreConq.html]
    Wikipedia, as usual, takes the extreme viewpoint that there was hardly any sacrifice at all, maybe 300 to 600 annually, or 30,000-60,000 per century. [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sacrifice_in_Aztec_culture (Aug. 2006)]
    Dedication of a temple of Huitzilopochtli in Tenochtitlan by Aztec king Ahuitzotl (1487)
    Flexner, Pessimist's Guide to History: 80,000 human sacrifices
    Mark Cocker, Rivers of Blood, Rivers of Gold (1998): 20,000
    Harris, Cannibals and Kings (1977): 14,100 est. by Sherburne Cook
    Skull rack in Xocotlan: >100,000 skulls (Marvin Harris, Cannibals and Kings, citing Spanish eyewitness Bernal Diaz)
    Skull rack in Tenochtitlan held 136,000 skulls according to Spanish eyewitness Andres de Tapia
    Harris, Cannibals and Kings, considers that this "could be dismissed as exaggerations were it not for ... methodically racked and hence easily counted rows"
    Cocker, Rivers of Blood..., considers this an exageration: "double the true figure"

     

    The Fate of the Ainu:

    During the Muromachi period (1336–1573), the disputes between Japanese and Ainu eventually developed into a war. Takeda Nobuhiro killed the Ainu leader, Koshamain. Many Ainu were subject to Japanese rule which led to violent Ainu revolt such as the Koshamain's Revolt in 1456 against Japanese influence and control on the island.

    During the Tokugawa period (1600–1868) the Ainu became increasingly involved in trade with Japanese who controlled the southern portion of the island that is now called Hokkaido. The Bakufu government granted the Matsumae clan exclusive rights to trade with the Ainu in the northern part of the island. Later the Matsumae began to lease out trading-rights to Japanese merchants, and contact between Japanese and Ainu became more extensive. Throughout this period Ainu became increasingly dependent on goods imported by Japanese, and suffered from epidemic diseases such as smallpox.[10] Although the increased contact brought by trade between the Japanese and the Ainu contributed to increased mutual understanding, sometimes it led to conflict, occasionally intensifying into violent Ainu revolts, of which the most important was Shakushain's Revolt (1669–1672), an Ainu rebellion against Japanese authority.

    Ainu population dropped significantly during these years of Matsumae and shogunate rule. In 1807, officials estimated the total population of Hokkaido Ainu at 26,256. Observations made by Matsuura Takeshiro, for example, illustrate concretely the dramatic decline of Ainu populations caused by epidemic diseases. 47 years later that number was reduced to 17,810 a 32% decline.[11] The Ainu in the 14th century were much more populous before invasions from the Japanese. Some Ainu oral stories, and the Matsumae clan's documents, recall and record several severe battles between the Ainu people and the invaders. After losing several battles, the Ainu people were enslaved.[12]

    In 1868 there were about 15,000 Ainu in Hokkaido, 2000 in Sakhalin, and around 100 in the Kurile islands.[13]

    In a 2009 news story, Japan Today reported, "Many Ainu were forced to work, essentially as slaves, for Wajin (ethnic Japanese), resulting in the breakup of families and the introduction of smallpox, measles, cholera and tuberculosis into their community. In 1869, the new Meiji government renamed Ezo as Hokkaido and unilaterally incorporated it into Japan. It banned the Ainu language, took Ainu land away, and prohibited salmon fishing and deer hunting."[14] They regarded as 'extremely inferior races', as one Diet Member had expressed it in 1907 (Hokkaido Utari Kyokai 19902190)[15]
     
    I could go on all day.Fun times, dear boy.
  39. I think there is another mindset, and the origins of it I do not know.

    My personal mindset, and I think it is shared by others is this:

    Sunbeam confronts the Rabbis (all of them):

    Sunbeam: “Hey guys. Is there a big guy up there? You know with thunderbolts and angels? Actually created the universe? Keeps track of who is naughty, and who is nice? Reunites you with all your loved ones after death, assuming no one was naughty?”

    Rabbis: (start babbling)

    Sunbeam: “Yes or no. Let’s have a show of hands.”

    Sunbeam: “.”

    Sunbeam: “You guys suck, you know that? I don’t give a tinker’s ass about all your ‘lively debate.’ I solely want to know if you have ‘backup.’

    Sunbeam: ” ”

    Sunbeam: “Well moving on. I can get any number of touching and/or moving anecdotes and stories from… lots of places. Lots and lots of places. And without the big guy, there really isn’t anything special about you.”

    Sunbeam: “You guys talk too much. You all need to take a big glass of STFU.”

    Read More
  40. @The Z Blog
    Jews and Christians hold the same views on the relationship between God and his creation. That's what distinguishes the two from the world's other religions, particularly Islam. More modern Christians have slipped into occasionalism, but that's another subject altogether.

    “Jews and Christians hold the same views on the relationship between God and his creation.”

    No I don’t think this correct; the Jewish view of Creation seems to be that’s still in a state of churn and chaos while the Christian view is that it’s is something of apparently infinite complexity but also something essentially ordered. For Christendom, Creation – ie this world and universe in which we find ourselves – is something we can use our mortal minds to at least partly make sense of because it’s something that obeys laws; laws that are good because Creation is good. Jews, on the other hand, seem to see this world as one fundamentally broken, chaotic and wrong and something they’ve been given the task of repairing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tikkun_olam

    Gentlemen, let us wrap our minds around that concept: that Jews believe they are a people with the cosmically important right, duty and ability to eventually re-order the universe because God didn’t finish the job. No wonder they feel like they could “create their own reality” in something as piddly as the Middle East or the US Federal Reserve.

    Until that cosmic healing and order is established though, Jews apparently see themselves living in a world of false idols, false nations and false kings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleinu

    What about Christendom? Well, as Charles de Gaulle said about France “we are, after all and above everything, a European people of the white race, of Greek and Latin culture and of the Christian religion”. The Greek and Latin part of this mix is crucial; so crucial that both secular and religious scholars have said it was in at the foundation of Christianity, let alone the West.

    Over the centuries Christianity developed into a religion and world-view for people who had to run things, figure things out and make sense of the world. Out of that we got Scholasticism and the modern university. In the meantime we had rabbinical scholars engaging in minor trade and “creating their own reality”.

    Read More
  41. Simon,

    “An earlier generation of Liberal Jewish comedians would have championed the concept, while derogating Christians who claimed America was specifically Christian.”

    Likewise Liberal and run-of-the-mill apolitical Protestants of that era. Then it was about solidarity with the Jews against Hitler->racism. See Barmen et. al. Also young Hillary the Methodist Republican.

    Thus the seeds were sown of the anti-racism (nee anti-sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ad nauseum) that has largely replaced both Christianity and Judaism among the lumpenintelligensia.

    There was nothing obnoxious about it at the time, notwithstanding the unintended consequences.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Simon in London
    "There was nothing obnoxious about it at the time, notwithstanding the unintended consequences."

    Well, I was a Liberal once - growing up an atheist in conservative-Christian Ulster, I felt alienated from my host society, as American atheists and secular Jews do now.

    I think now: give us an inch and we'll take a mile. You have to stop us at the first pass, or we keep on until everything is destroyed. And victory won't even make us happy: the happiest Liberals I've seen in all the USA were in Ashville North Carolina, an enclave of SWPL refugees from the horrors of Washington DC, now safely surrounded by a swathe of gun-toting Conservative rednecks. That's what Liberals really want: sipping their overpriced lattes, sneering at Conservatives, yet safe in the knowledge that those maligned Conservatives are protecting the Liberals from harm.

    Liberals are like women: the trick is to give them what they really want, not what they say they want.

  42. @Peter Akuleyev
    If the Puritans who founded New England spent a lot of time obsessing over their Old Testaments, the idea that America is based on Judeo-Christian Values doesn’t sound too far-fetched.

    I wouldn't deny the strong element of Jewish theology embedded in Western European values, but the fact remains that our gentile ancestors mostly picked and chose those elements from the Old Testament that reinforced what we already believed. I don't see much of Leviticus in mainstream American life, nor belief in Hebrew exceptionalism (until recently anyway).

    The foundation of Western Civilization is Hellenic-Christian. It’s universalism, it’s ethics, its metaphysics. There is very little of Judaism in it and then only coincidentally. At its core, Western Civilization embraces a very different way of looking at reality, which as we’ve seen makes it susceptible to easy manipulation when the leaders of Western Civilization are corrupt and weak and have stopped believing themselves.

    I love how the discussion here (with the very few defenders of Judaism citing Old Testament worship by early Colonists in the US) is affirming ridiculously the very joke cited above in the article. Judaism starts, begins and ends with the Talmud. What you find there tells you all you need to know about Jews and how they see the world and especially how they view Christians.

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    • Replies: @HA
    "The foundation of Western Civilization is Hellenic-Christian."

    That's likewise too redundant. Once one mentions Christian, that is enough to signify Hellenic, Roman, and yes, Jewish culture, though I take your point that the rabbinical/Pharisaic emphasis on Talmudic commentary that eventually predominated in Judaism after the sack of Jerusalem is far less pronounced. I remember a First Things article (I think) by someone who appeared to be a Tridentine Mass enthusiast claiming that that Catholic rite had more ties to pre-exile Jewish temple rituals than what even Orthodox Jews practice today, given that the earliest liturgies were substantially derived from the latter.

    An equally neuralgic discussion would be to what extent "Christian" actually means "Protestant (and not Catholic)", or to what extent Hellenic and Roman influences are actually those that entered the zeitgeist through Freemasonry as opposed to Christianity.

  43. Hard as it is for some to come to terms with but there really was very little, well really none at all, jewish influence in England until the 20th century, after all we were the first to expel and formally ban them.

    English Puritanism has it’s influence in Lollardy.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Prime Minister Disraeli?
    , @josh
    The alchemy practiced by the major English enlightenment figures largely grew out of the Christian Caballah practiced by John Dee and his circle. Dee had toured the continent learning the genuine article, and like the other Judaizers of the time, accepted the Jewish tradition as older than the Christian and thus closer to God (Dee believed that learning the Enochian language, the original language God had spoken to Adam would grant him Godlike powers of creation) and the Rabbis were a better source on the old Testament than the Church. The tradition of occult knowledge as a source of power rather than wisdom (though not exclusively Talmudic but found in hermeticism and alchemy generally), which led to the Baconian tradition, entered English thought in the form of Jewish mysticism.

    Also, the Jews were able to reenter England as a quid pro quo for serving as intelligencers (spies) for Cromwell on the continent and around the world. This was hardly the first interaction between the Jews and English dissenters.
  44. This is the problem of a secular wing of the “Dark Enlightenment” treading into religious territory: hardly anybody seems to know what they’re talking about.

    I’m no religious scholar, but I at least pay attention when people talk about the Bible. After just a few months of learning about the Bible, you learn that Jews and Christians worship the same god (not the same god as Allah, by the way). Jews and Christians typically agree on this point.

    The next thing that becomes obvious is that the New Testament is built on top of and thoroughly foreshadowed in the old Old Testament.

    The notion of thinking of these as “New” and “Old” testaments is itself a misnomer, derived from the baseless idea that because God first made a covenant with the Israelites (well, first he made one with Abraham, but who’s counting) and then later made another covenant with followers of Christ, the new covenant replaces of the old one, the way you might trade in an old car for a newer model.

    This of course implies that God made a mistake and decided to go back on his word, and if you believe that then you have no business calling yourself a Christian, or a Jew for that matter: a “covenant” is inherently everlasting, bound to the universe like a natural law.

    A more accurate reading of scripture casts the new covenant as an addition to the old one, built upon it like a house upon a foundation. In this way, the two are bonded as one, and the term “Judeo-Christian”, regardless of how it came into being, has a legitimate and sound basis in truth. I happen to think it’s also a useful reminder to Jews and Christians of their shared spiritual heritage. Both too often ignore it.

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    • Replies: @Noah172
    Jews and Christians worship the same god (not the same god as Allah, by the way)

    In Christianity, God is a triune. Part 2 of that trinity is the fellow from Nazareth. Judaism emphatically rejects this understanding of God, as does Islam. Maimonides wrote Jews and Muslims worshipped the same deity, because of their shared unitarianism, in contrast to those "polytheistic" Christians.

    The next thing that becomes obvious is that the New Testament is built on top of and thoroughly foreshadowed in the old Old Testament

    Obvious to Christians, not Jews. Jews do not grant any religious validity whatsoever to the Greek scriptures. A rather big bone of contention between these allegedly allied religious factions.

    A more accurate reading of scripture casts the new covenant as an addition to the old one, built upon it like a house upon a foundation

    The predominant Christian view, across denominational lines, until fairly recent history was that the new covenant fulfills the old and then continues in its own direction -- i.e., supercessionism.

    Calvinism alters this somewhat: God's covenant was always with one people of God, composed of ethnic Hebrews and non-Hebrews (with the former group the great majority of the elect before Christ's earthly life and the latter the great majority thereafter). The OT contains numerous instances of gentiles incorporated into God's covenant people, as well as passages, which Christians interpret as messianic prophecies or foreshadowings of Christ, speaking of future salvation for non-Hebrews.
  45. Actually Israel is sending medical teams to W Africa.

    http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-joins-international-efforts-to-help-prevent-spread-of-ebola/2014/09/07/

    Strangely that’s from the same source Steve got his quip from. Odd how he missed it.

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    • Replies: @The most deplorable one

    Actually Israel is sending medical teams to W Africa.
     
    Yes, by sending two doctors to Cameroon. BFD.

    That is like having your cake and eating it too. Cameroon is currently a long way from where Obola is concentrated. It is east of Nigeria.
    , @The most deplorable one
    Odd how you missed that they are sending two doctors to Cameroon.

    How far away from the Ebola centers is that?
  46. Old Yiddish joke: Question: What do you call two Jews talking together in the street? Answer: An argument!

    Rabbinic Judaism has its roots in pharisaic Judaism, the religion of, e.g., Hillel, Gamaliel, and Saul of Tarsus (later Saint Paul). After the destruction of the Temple it became the only viable form of Judaism and was given impetus when a school of rabbis was permitted in Judea by the Romans. Rabbinic Judaism had to react against the other competing religion arising from Temple Judaism, Christianity; and Christianity had to react against Rabbinuic Judaism. The competition of these two religions against each other played a major role in the development of each. There is absolutely a Judeo-Christian tradition. And it is absolutely in the interests of current adherents of Rabbinic Judaism to deny this.

    On the other hand, Islam was created precisely as a monotheistic religion for Arabs, completely independent of Christianity or Judaism. Because its creator had more pride than creativity he borrowed heavily from the traditions of Jews and Christians. But Muslim ethics, metaphysics, theology, and other philosophical underpinnings from the Q’uran on are in many ways antithetical to both Christianity and Judaism in any form.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Old Yiddish joke: Question: What do you call two Jews talking together in the street? Answer: An argument!
     
    A better variant, simply: "Two Jews, three synagogues."
  47. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @anony-mouse
    Actually Israel is sending medical teams to W Africa.

    www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-joins-international-efforts-to-help-prevent-spread-of-ebola/2014/09/07/

    Strangely that's from the same source Steve got his quip from. Odd how he missed it.

    Actually Israel is sending medical teams to W Africa.

    Yes, by sending two doctors to Cameroon. BFD.

    That is like having your cake and eating it too. Cameroon is currently a long way from where Obola is concentrated. It is east of Nigeria.

    Read More
  48. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Although the term has been around for quite awhile it seems that it’s been used with greater and greater frequency in the past thirty years. Why the emphasis now? Is it due to the increasingly louder noise coming from the crackpot evangelical Christian Zionist faction?

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  49. According to Google’s Ngram viewer, the term “judeo-christian” didn’t even exist prior to the early to mid 1930s. Throughout most of the history of Christianity, the moral code of the west was termed “christian” full-stop.

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  50. @Whiskey
    Steve, I'm surprised you fell for this hogwash, and even more surprised that Razib Khan is ignorant of how the Founding Fathers (in public at least) meticulously compared American Independence to that of the founding of Israel. Indeed for Protestants who read the Bible A LOT, far more than Catholics, identification with Jews was (and is) commonplace. Lincoln's speeches are filled with allegories comparing Americans to Jews, and the Puritans appropriated this language, citing Boston as a New Jerusualem.

    Feminist #1, that most Christian of Poets, William Blake, even wrote an Epic Poem called Jerusalem wherein he compared the English to Jews.

    So, history did not start last Thursday. And historically, Americans from Cotton Mather to Ronald Reagan have invoked Jewish history and seen themselves as "New Jews" in a continuity.

    Secondly, the "removed," Amish-like Rabbinical attitudes expressed in the column are not representative of most Jews. Most Jews today are secular, profoundly integrationist, and reflect what Steve you noted Revealed Preference in their mating habits.

    To take one prominent Jew: Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg married his Asian girlfriend. Or Mr. Amy Chua, one Jeb Rosenfeld, would be another example.

    I would argue, and there is considerable weight in actual, real-life Jewish behavior on this front, that Jews have largely (and lamentably I might add) adopted many Christian Doctrines at least on the broader fronts:

    **Original Sin.
    **Universalism.
    **Utopianism.
    **Worship of Non-Whites as Racial Redeemers.
    **Original Sin as Racial Original Sin.
    **Pacifism.

    When the Bombay / Mumbai Massacres a number of years ago happened, with LeT running amok in fire-teams killing all sorts of people, one of their targets was a Jewish family running some charity, Chabad I think, in Bombay. When I read this my though was, why on earth were Jews from Israel there in the first place? The reason was the typical NGO-type feel-good charity, the same stuff producing Medicin sans Frontiers, Greenpeace, and the other universalist, utopian, pacifist, "White people are the original sin" and "non-Whites the redeemers."

    It has taken literally the threat of Israel being overwhelmed by Africans in a matter of months if not weeks and constant rocket attacks from Hamas to convince Israelis otherwise on the matters of fences, borders and deportations, and it is an open question if the Israeli Courts will acquiesce in non-suicide or insist on Open Borders because Jews were not allowed in Sweden or Switzerland in 1942 or something.

    The problem with Christianity is that it is too successful: Europe, America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, are among the nicest places to live and Jews are no different from other peoples in wanting to adopt success including many fundamental moral assumptions. Assumptions that I find an utter disaster. Secular Jews are no less religious than say, Jerry Falwell or Oral Roberts, they just don't got to church when they pray (or Synagoge). Instead their daily rituals are green recyclable bags at the grocery store, Global Warming, and Universalism Utopian Open Borders, beliefs they share with most of the secular and religious Christians.

    Both Mark Zuckerberg and say, the Lutheran World Council (and the Catholic Church if it comes to that) are in favor of Open Borders and anyone who wants to come to America to be allowed to do so.

    I'd say that's shared Judeo-Christian values. Just bad ones. If you are not a billionaire. And maybe even if you are. Ask some of the Russian ones.

    Chabad isn’t a universalist organization on par with Catholic Charities or something. They are by Lubavitch Hasidim for other Jews, especially religiously inactive ones. Lubavitch philosophy says that increasing the number of Jews performing commandments will hasten the coming of the Messiah, so they want secular Jews to take up praying and keeping kosher and so on. The Holtzbergs weren’t in Mumbai to help the Indians, they were there to provide kosher food and religious services to Jews in the area, mostly business travelers and secular Israelis doing a gap year backpacking.

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  51. @Whiskey
    Steve, I'm surprised you fell for this hogwash, and even more surprised that Razib Khan is ignorant of how the Founding Fathers (in public at least) meticulously compared American Independence to that of the founding of Israel. Indeed for Protestants who read the Bible A LOT, far more than Catholics, identification with Jews was (and is) commonplace. Lincoln's speeches are filled with allegories comparing Americans to Jews, and the Puritans appropriated this language, citing Boston as a New Jerusualem.

    Feminist #1, that most Christian of Poets, William Blake, even wrote an Epic Poem called Jerusalem wherein he compared the English to Jews.

    So, history did not start last Thursday. And historically, Americans from Cotton Mather to Ronald Reagan have invoked Jewish history and seen themselves as "New Jews" in a continuity.

    Secondly, the "removed," Amish-like Rabbinical attitudes expressed in the column are not representative of most Jews. Most Jews today are secular, profoundly integrationist, and reflect what Steve you noted Revealed Preference in their mating habits.

    To take one prominent Jew: Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg married his Asian girlfriend. Or Mr. Amy Chua, one Jeb Rosenfeld, would be another example.

    I would argue, and there is considerable weight in actual, real-life Jewish behavior on this front, that Jews have largely (and lamentably I might add) adopted many Christian Doctrines at least on the broader fronts:

    **Original Sin.
    **Universalism.
    **Utopianism.
    **Worship of Non-Whites as Racial Redeemers.
    **Original Sin as Racial Original Sin.
    **Pacifism.

    When the Bombay / Mumbai Massacres a number of years ago happened, with LeT running amok in fire-teams killing all sorts of people, one of their targets was a Jewish family running some charity, Chabad I think, in Bombay. When I read this my though was, why on earth were Jews from Israel there in the first place? The reason was the typical NGO-type feel-good charity, the same stuff producing Medicin sans Frontiers, Greenpeace, and the other universalist, utopian, pacifist, "White people are the original sin" and "non-Whites the redeemers."

    It has taken literally the threat of Israel being overwhelmed by Africans in a matter of months if not weeks and constant rocket attacks from Hamas to convince Israelis otherwise on the matters of fences, borders and deportations, and it is an open question if the Israeli Courts will acquiesce in non-suicide or insist on Open Borders because Jews were not allowed in Sweden or Switzerland in 1942 or something.

    The problem with Christianity is that it is too successful: Europe, America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, are among the nicest places to live and Jews are no different from other peoples in wanting to adopt success including many fundamental moral assumptions. Assumptions that I find an utter disaster. Secular Jews are no less religious than say, Jerry Falwell or Oral Roberts, they just don't got to church when they pray (or Synagoge). Instead their daily rituals are green recyclable bags at the grocery store, Global Warming, and Universalism Utopian Open Borders, beliefs they share with most of the secular and religious Christians.

    Both Mark Zuckerberg and say, the Lutheran World Council (and the Catholic Church if it comes to that) are in favor of Open Borders and anyone who wants to come to America to be allowed to do so.

    I'd say that's shared Judeo-Christian values. Just bad ones. If you are not a billionaire. And maybe even if you are. Ask some of the Russian ones.

    the Founding Fathers (in public at least) meticulously compared American Independence to that of the founding of Israel. Indeed for Protestants who read the Bible A LOT, far more than Catholics, identification with Jews was (and is) commonplace. Lincoln’s speeches are filled with allegories comparing Americans to Jews, and the Puritans appropriated this language, citing Boston as a New Jerusualem.

    It’s one of those two times a day: the stopped clock is right. Syon almost got it above—Protestant influence on the Jews is not particularly important or interesting, but Jewish influence on Protestantism is very important and interesting. Scofield, Hagee, and the Puritans are the shabbas goys par excellence, and the US is the culmination of the Enlightenment project: to make a Christianity worthy to turn the lights on and off on shabbat.

    Obviously, only the Maidservant is going to be pleased with a concept like “Lady-Maidservant values.”

    Oh, and as always, josh has it right.

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  52. The conclusion of the joke is rather amusing:
    “For me, this joke illustrates the essence of Rabbinic Judaism. Hardly interested in developing uniform answers or dogmas, Rabbinic Jews love dispute, which enshrines all opinions.”
    What a non sequitur! Nowhere in the joke do the two parties discuss anything. Instead, the Rabbi ridicules the professor.
    The whole point of the joke is that there is no rhyme or reason to the Rabbi’s arguments, other than the following – the Rabbi is always right. Whatever the Rabbi says – even if it contradicts what he said five minutes ago – is correct. That’s the moral of the story. The “dispute” “enshrines all opinions” only if all of these opinions belong to the Rabbi.

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    • Replies: @Power Child
    I think you're just being offended. The joke is similar to that scene in "The Life of Brian" where the shopkeeper tries to get Brian to haggle the price of the gourd. Brian keeps accepting whatever price the shopkeeper offers, much to the shopkeeper's frustration.

    It's really a joke about the difference between the two cultures: one where people use argument to search for solutions in an orderly fashion, and one where people value the argument itself as the highest virtue.

  53. Nothing in common. Except for that whole sympathy for the victim piece, and it’s not like that changed the world or anything.

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  54. @MC
    Wasn't "Judeo-Christian" a term specifically coined to allow people to refer to the moral basis of Western Civ without making Jews feel excluded?

    You just can't placate some people...

    Wasn’t “Judeo-Christian” a term specifically coined to allow people to refer to the moral basis of Western Civ without making Jews feel excluded?

    You just can’t placate some people…

    Whats that line about certain parties crying out in pain as they strike you…

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  55. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @anony-mouse
    Actually Israel is sending medical teams to W Africa.

    www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-joins-international-efforts-to-help-prevent-spread-of-ebola/2014/09/07/

    Strangely that's from the same source Steve got his quip from. Odd how he missed it.

    Odd how you missed that they are sending two doctors to Cameroon.

    How far away from the Ebola centers is that?

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  56. @Honesthughgrant
    "

    To suggest that our Sages had anything at all in common with the likes of Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Carter or Pat Robertson is a slap in the face of 2500 years of scholarship."
     
    Well except for Jerry Falwell, who's dead, I'm sure the other two would be very disappointed to hear that. In fact, they'd probably cry over their unrequited love for Israel and the Jewish people. The same is true of Mike Huckleberry, Gary Bauer, and a lot of Evangelicals and Christian Zionists.

    You Jews may not like them - but they like you. Whether you want their love or not. It'd be laughable if it wasn't so pathetic. No. forget that. Its just laughable.

    Well except for Jerry Falwell, who’s dead, I’m sure the other two would be very disappointed to hear that.

    Of ‘the other two’, Jimmy Carter has no particular affection for Israel (quite the contrary) and is pleased to engage in common projects with Abp. Desmond Tutu, who loathes Jews.

    To suggest that our Sages had anything at all in common with the likes of Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Carter or Pat Robertson is a slap in the face of 2500 years of scholarship.

    Did someone suggest to this chap that it’s odd to compare people whose vocation is scholarship to a naval engineer turned agribusinessman turned politician turned amateur social worker or to a working clergyman cum institutional administrator or to a businessman cum institutional administrator (ordained)? Are we expecting the Sages to mind a nuclear reactor on a submarine, run a peanut warehouse, run campuses with north of 5,000 students enrolled therupon, superintend a congregation with thousands of members, or found and run a television network?

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  57. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    GOYESHE KOP

    Ah, the thickheaded goyim cannot understand the profundity of our mysterious scribblings!

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  58. @MC
    Wasn't "Judeo-Christian" a term specifically coined to allow people to refer to the moral basis of Western Civ without making Jews feel excluded?

    You just can't placate some people...

    Wasn’t “Judeo-Christian” a term specifically coined to allow people to refer to the moral basis of Western Civ without making Jews feel excluded?

    Indeed. Wasn’t it part of the phenomenon John Murray Cuddihy discussed in No Offense: Civil Religion and Protestant Taste?

    https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/john-murray-cuddihy/no-offense-civil-religion-and-protestant-taste/

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  59. @Peter Akuleyev
    Heck, there is no such thing as "Christian" values. Copts, Maronites and other Eastern Christians have far more in common with their Muslim Arab neighbors than with Episcopalians. The same is true of Sephardic Jews. Orthodox Christians and Hassidic Jews have different values as well. It makes more sense to talk about "Western European" values, which are a mix of Greco-Roman philosophy, Germanic and Celtic tribal traditions and borrowed Jewish theology. Some assimilated Ashkenazi Jews certainly share these values, as do a lot of non-church goers.

    Heck, there is no such thing as “Christian” values. Copts, Maronites and other Eastern Christians have far more in common with their Muslim Arab neighbors than with Episcopalians.

    In your imagination.

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    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
    @Art Deco,

    Do you know anything about the topic? I have Maronite in-laws. From what I see Lebanese Christians have Middle Eastern values. The fact that they dislike Muslims and vice-versa has nothing to do with values, it is just tribalism. In fact the Maronite Christians I know tend to side with the Palestinians against Israel. In a similar vein, Bosnians and Croats are also more like each other than Croats are like French or Bosnians are like Syrians.
  60. @LondonBob
    Hard as it is for some to come to terms with but there really was very little, well really none at all, jewish influence in England until the 20th century, after all we were the first to expel and formally ban them.

    English Puritanism has it's influence in Lollardy.

    Prime Minister Disraeli?

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  61. @jimbojones
    The conclusion of the joke is rather amusing:
    "For me, this joke illustrates the essence of Rabbinic Judaism. Hardly interested in developing uniform answers or dogmas, Rabbinic Jews love dispute, which enshrines all opinions."
    What a non sequitur! Nowhere in the joke do the two parties discuss anything. Instead, the Rabbi ridicules the professor.
    The whole point of the joke is that there is no rhyme or reason to the Rabbi's arguments, other than the following - the Rabbi is always right. Whatever the Rabbi says - even if it contradicts what he said five minutes ago - is correct. That's the moral of the story. The "dispute" "enshrines all opinions" only if all of these opinions belong to the Rabbi.

    I think you’re just being offended. The joke is similar to that scene in “The Life of Brian” where the shopkeeper tries to get Brian to haggle the price of the gourd. Brian keeps accepting whatever price the shopkeeper offers, much to the shopkeeper’s frustration.

    It’s really a joke about the difference between the two cultures: one where people use argument to search for solutions in an orderly fashion, and one where people value the argument itself as the highest virtue.

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  62. The Jews really are the intellectual descendants of the Sophists in their willingness and eagerness to be prepared to take any side of any issue with any kind of clever reasoning, and disinterest in and devaluation of objective truth.

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  63. @Art Deco
    Heck, there is no such thing as “Christian” values. Copts, Maronites and other Eastern Christians have far more in common with their Muslim Arab neighbors than with Episcopalians.

    In your imagination.

    ,

    Do you know anything about the topic? I have Maronite in-laws. From what I see Lebanese Christians have Middle Eastern values. The fact that they dislike Muslims and vice-versa has nothing to do with values, it is just tribalism. In fact the Maronite Christians I know tend to side with the Palestinians against Israel. In a similar vein, Bosnians and Croats are also more like each other than Croats are like French or Bosnians are like Syrians.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Do you know anything about the topic?

    Yes.


    I have Maronite in-laws.

    And I attended a Melkite Church.

  64. @Hacienda
    Excellent stuff. Matches very well with my own experiences with Jews and Christians.

    It was actually a Jewish friend who gave me my first book on the Indian genocides or real estate transaction for the conservative PC police (yeah PC goes both ways). In the sense that while white
    language is monitored, if you are a minority, you simply aren't allowed to even say certain things in the presence of whites.

    Anyway, the book was "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee". It gave me a sense that whites live in a weird world of morality. A people living on a cemetary, almost like murderers discussing ethics and high civilization in a party atmosphere on the cemetary of people they liquidated.

    Jews and Christians at least seem aware of this. Jews far more so. Christians often are so blinkered they think history began with their births.

    Anyway, the book was “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”. It gave me a sense that whites live in a weird world of morality. A people living on a cemetary, almost like murderers discussing ethics and high civilization in a party atmosphere on the cemetary of people they liquidated.

    Jews and Christians at least seem aware of this. Jews far more so. Christians often are so blinkered they think history began with their births.

    This would seem to include you, as your great ephiphany came from a book published in the 70s that gives an American Indian perspective of a conflict in the context of very modern victim politics. You appear to regard this as an indictment of some kind (“almost like murderers”) whereas an educated view of history is that such group conflicts are commonplace and the brutality of both sides was the norm.

    Too much sugared milk when you were a child, I’m afraid. Now you have this glib idea of the white race as murderers, injuring minorities everywhere, which is of very recent vintage and typically seen among foolish social justice warriors.

    The Jewish posture is not notable for being more realistic but for being more chauvinistic.

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  65. This joke raises an interesting question: was the Talmud real Judaism or just a holding action?

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  66. ” that our Sages had anything at all in common with the likes of Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Carter or Pat Robertson is a slap in the face of 2500 years of scholarship.”

    Well, if you follow the antics of some of the “ultra-orthodox” rabbis in Brooklyn and Israel, I’d say they have a great deal in common.

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  67. “According to Google’s Ngram viewer, the term “judeo-christian” didn’t even exist prior to the early to mid 1930s. Throughout most of the history of Christianity, the moral code of the west was termed “christian” full-stop.”

    Einstein and friends coming to America unsurprisingly had some impact on attitudes…

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  68. Did someone suggest to this chap that it’s odd to compare people whose vocation is scholarship to a naval engineer turned agribusinessman turned politician turned amateur social worker or to a working clergyman cum institutional administrator or to a businessman cum institutional administrator (ordained)?

    Carter was an engineer in the same sense that Casey Jones was an engineer.

    Also, some people think Carter became a friend of Israel after his sister married an Orthodox Jew. I guess you disagree.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Carter was an engineer in the same sense that Casey Jones was an engineer.

    Carter earned a degree in physics, then had post-baccalaureate training in engineering in the Navy, and then served as engineering officer on naval vessels, including those in the nuclear navy.

    --

    some people think Carter became a friend of Israel after his sister married an Orthodox Jew. I guess you disagree.

    His sisters are both long dead and were both married nearly 25 years before his foray into federal politics and neither husband was Jewish. What this has to do with Carter's sour relations with Israel (which flared most recently with the publication of another of his books in 2006) and its advocates most of us will puzzle over in vain.

  69. “A more accurate reading of scripture casts the new covenant as an addition to the old one . . .”

    I would say the shift was from a this-worldly to an other-worldly perspective, a shift that took place in Rabbinic Judaism as well as in Christianity. The original promise was that if the Jews obeyed God’s commandments they would be rewarded with prosperity in the promised land; but after the Roman conquest it was clear things weren’t working out that way. Thus, if there was any justice in the world it had to be invisible; the only place left was what happens when you died. Even so, the this-worldly aspirations of both faiths endured in parallel: everything has a double meaning.

    I consider myself a kind of post-Christian Jew or, as one of Updike’s characters once described himself, as a Judeo-Christian. In other words, I don’t deny the truth of Christianity. I think it has proven itself. Just look around. And for that very reason it is time to think about what comes next. For me that means a new kind of reform Judaism — well, not so new, it existed here in the US in the 19th century. I also like old-fashioned 19th century Unitarianism, that recognized Jesus, not as God, but as a moral and historical genius. I think we should learn about him in school.

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  70. @OsRazor
    The foundation of Western Civilization is Hellenic-Christian. It's universalism, it's ethics, its metaphysics. There is very little of Judaism in it and then only coincidentally. At its core, Western Civilization embraces a very different way of looking at reality, which as we've seen makes it susceptible to easy manipulation when the leaders of Western Civilization are corrupt and weak and have stopped believing themselves.

    I love how the discussion here (with the very few defenders of Judaism citing Old Testament worship by early Colonists in the US) is affirming ridiculously the very joke cited above in the article. Judaism starts, begins and ends with the Talmud. What you find there tells you all you need to know about Jews and how they see the world and especially how they view Christians.

    “The foundation of Western Civilization is Hellenic-Christian.”

    That’s likewise too redundant. Once one mentions Christian, that is enough to signify Hellenic, Roman, and yes, Jewish culture, though I take your point that the rabbinical/Pharisaic emphasis on Talmudic commentary that eventually predominated in Judaism after the sack of Jerusalem is far less pronounced. I remember a First Things article (I think) by someone who appeared to be a Tridentine Mass enthusiast claiming that that Catholic rite had more ties to pre-exile Jewish temple rituals than what even Orthodox Jews practice today, given that the earliest liturgies were substantially derived from the latter.

    An equally neuralgic discussion would be to what extent “Christian” actually means “Protestant (and not Catholic)”, or to what extent Hellenic and Roman influences are actually those that entered the zeitgeist through Freemasonry as opposed to Christianity.

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  71. If the Puritans who founded New England spent a lot of time obsessing over their Old Testaments, the idea that America is based on Judeo-Christian Values doesn’t sound too far-fetched.

    They did and it isn’t.

    I was well into composing a reply to this when I realized it might have some merit.

    I am now carefully considering ceasing all references to “Jews” and instead calling them “Judeo-Christians.” I mean, if America’s Christian tradition is “Judeo-Christian,” then Jews are “Judeo-Christians,” right?

    I’ll take the half of that construction that I like, and you guys can keep the half of it that you seem to prefer. Win-win.

    I bet the people formerly known as “Jews” will love it, too, what with the fact that they’re actually “Judeo-Christians,” and all.

    Yep. The more I think about it, the more I like this idea.

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  72. The notion of thinking of these as “New” and “Old” testaments is itself a misnomer, derived from the baseless idea that because God first made a covenant with the Israelites (well, first he made one with Abraham, but who’s counting) and then later made another covenant with followers of Christ, the new covenant replaces of the old one, the way you might trade in an old car for a newer model.

    This of course implies that God made a mistake and decided to go back on his word, and if you believe that then you have no business calling yourself a Christian, or a Jew for that matter: a “covenant” is inherently everlasting, bound to the universe like a natural law.

    First, I’d like to introduce you to the concept of heresy. You can g**gle it for details.

    Second, there weren’t two Covenants. There was one Covenant, and God took it away from the Jews and gave it to all of mankind. It doesn’t apply to those who think otherwise.

    The nonsense about the implication of God making a mistake and breaking his word is just you arguing with yourself. God made an agreement with the Jews, the Jews failed to live up to it, and God took the agreement away from the Jews and gave it to humanity. That’s Christianity.

    Hacienda sez:

    Excellent stuff.

    ‘Nuff said.

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  73. I think that calling our set of values “Judeo-Christian” gives far too much credit to the non-Christian Jews.

    Just about everything we think of as an advance in morality comes from the Christian side of this divide. The Old Testament embodies a pretty horrible moral system, and the Jews were so insular and dismissive of all other peoples that it’s almost impossible to attribute any important moral advance to their views before the civilizing effect of Christianity. Jews were never at base concerned with just treatment of anyone besides other Jews. The unique contribution of Christianity was to regard all human beings as possessing the same fundamental moral dignity. How can one believe in such a thing if one also believes that any Jew is of vastly greater worth in the eyes of God than anyone else?

    Of course Christ and his followers were Jews, but they started (but only started) a clear break from previous Jewish morality.

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  74. A lot of the commenters here seem to assume that American Christians are simply trying to be politically correct to avoid being labeled anti-semitic. The data clearly does not support this hypothesis. According to the Pew survey (linked below) asking various people to rate how warm they felt to various religious, the group that felt the most personal warmth towards Jews was white Evangelicals. In addition white Evangelicals felt more warmth towards Jews than they did to any other religious group, including their fellow Christian Catholics.

    If the pro-semitism of American Christians was merely a response to modern political correctness, we’d find them to give lower Jewish warmth scores than atheists or agnostics, who tend to be much more cosmopolitan and liberal. America is a deeply pro-semitic country. And unlike American pro-black or emerging pro-gay attitudes, it wasn’t manufactured by the political correctness machine. Middle-class, Republican, church-attending middle America represents the core of America’s pro-Jewish sentiments. (The little religious anti-semitism that exists in the West comes from either fringe Catholic groups, a la Mel Gibson, or Russian Orthodox churches).

    The Obama coalition is an amalgamation of America’s peripheral groups against middle America. They’re bound together by ridiculous fear-mongering: telling single women that Mitt Romney wants to ban birth control, telling blacks that Republicans want to put them back in chains, etc. No group in this coalition is more misinformed than middle-class Jews. The liberal media has brainwashed them, reinforced by the cultural memory of living next to barbaric slavic peasants, that middle-American white Republicans would run Fiddler on the Roof style pogroms if give full power. And some of the Kevin MacDonald parroting clowns around these comments, seem to have the same notion that all it takes to break “Jewish power” is a revival of white middle-class political awareness.

    In reality nothing could be further from the truth. The devout white Evangelicals that make up the core of the Republican right are probably the most pro-semitic group of gentiles in history. If you ever actually bothered talking to Evangelicals, you’d realize that the vast majority feel a deep spiritual kinship with Jews. Most consider Jews to be God’s chosen people, consider them to be saved simply by virtue of being Jewish, and feel a religious obligation to defend them around the globe. They see parallels between historical Jewish oppression and what they consider modern-day oppression of believers by Godless secularists. They largely consider their to be a global atheist-Muslim alliance that forms a war on Christians, and consider the groups that attack Israel, and their international sympathizers, to be the front lines of this group.

    http://www.pewforum.org/2014/07/16/how-americans-feel-about-religious-groups/

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    • Replies: @Noah172
    If you dig into the details of that Pew survey -- you obviously did not -- you will notice that while the mean rating by white evangelicals for Jews was 69 (one of the highest ratings given one group by another), only 57% of white evangelicals claimed to know any Jews (lower than the 61% of the total population who know at least one Jew). That means that a lot of these evangelicals are gushing about Jews without knowing any. Moreover, having no slight familiarity with the politically conservative evangelical subculture, I can tell you that the Jews whom some evangelicals would claim to know are either "Messianic"/Jews for Jesus (that is, not really Jews), or media figures whom the churchgoers do not know personally (e.g. Ben Stein).

    If the pro-semitism of American Christians was merely a response to modern political correctness, we’d find them to give lower Jewish warmth scores than atheists or agnostics, who tend to be much more cosmopolitan and liberal

    Evangelical philo-semitism is another form of political correctness. Look, your typical Baptist right-winger might balk at bowing to the idol of MLK, because said right-winger lives near blacks and knows all too well their problems. But the Baptist right-winger still doesn't want to be seen as, or see himself as, one of the racist rednecks, so he finds another group, one of whose faults he is blissfully ignorant, to worship and slobber over in the manner that white secular liberals go gaga over blacks.

    you’d realize that the vast majority feel a deep spiritual kinship with Jews

    Based on what? Not personal experience, generally. Not knowledge of Judaism, Jewish culture, and Jewish involvement in things running counter to evangelical beliefs (such as the abortion movement). Not a proper understanding of traditional Christian theology (as opposed to dispensationalist hokum).

    Most consider Jews to be God’s chosen people, consider them to be saved simply by virtue of being Jewish, and feel a religious obligation to defend them around the globe

    The first two are heresies. Christianity teaches that Christians (i.e., those who accept Jesus of Nazareth as Lord and Savior) are God's elect. Any who reject Christ, including but not limited to adherents of Judaism, are the damned.

    The third point has no basis in Christian history, and only a tendentious basis in the scripture interpretation. (OT terms such as Jerusalem, Zion, Israel, etc. have traditionally been interpreted by Christians in a non-literal, spiritual, universalist manner.)

    They see parallels between historical Jewish oppression and what they consider modern-day oppression of believers by Godless secularists

    Jews have formed a highly disproportionate share of the intellectuals, activists, leaders, funders, and enforcers of various streams of anti-Christian godless secularism: communism, Freudianism, feminism, multiculturalism, gay rights, abortion, pornography, you name it. American Christian support of Israel is also a factor in Muslim persecution of Middle Eastern Christians.
  75. “If the Puritans who founded New England spent a lot of time obsessing over their Old Testaments, the idea that America is based on Judeo-Christian Values doesn’t sound too far-fetched.’

    The Puritans would have seen the term “Judeo-Christian” as a redundant redundancy. In their eyes they were the Jews. And also the Christians – there was no difference between the two. The language and practices of early Protestant Americans were shot through with echos of Israel. They gave their towns names like Bethlehem and Gilead.

    The hymn “Emmanuel” reads in part-

    “O come, O come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel, That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear.”

    Israel does not, in this context, mean the nation state which we today call Israel, or the group of related people which we call Jews. It means “ransom we Christians”.

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  76. Copts, Maronites and other Eastern Christians have far more in common with their Muslim Arab neighbors than with Episcopalians.

    Maybe you should inform the Muslim Arabs of that, because they’re killing and expelling Copts, Maronites and other Eastern Christians.

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  77. @LondonBob
    Hard as it is for some to come to terms with but there really was very little, well really none at all, jewish influence in England until the 20th century, after all we were the first to expel and formally ban them.

    English Puritanism has it's influence in Lollardy.

    The alchemy practiced by the major English enlightenment figures largely grew out of the Christian Caballah practiced by John Dee and his circle. Dee had toured the continent learning the genuine article, and like the other Judaizers of the time, accepted the Jewish tradition as older than the Christian and thus closer to God (Dee believed that learning the Enochian language, the original language God had spoken to Adam would grant him Godlike powers of creation) and the Rabbis were a better source on the old Testament than the Church. The tradition of occult knowledge as a source of power rather than wisdom (though not exclusively Talmudic but found in hermeticism and alchemy generally), which led to the Baconian tradition, entered English thought in the form of Jewish mysticism.

    Also, the Jews were able to reenter England as a quid pro quo for serving as intelligencers (spies) for Cromwell on the continent and around the world. This was hardly the first interaction between the Jews and English dissenters.

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  78. Argue about the Puritans all you want, but I can do without Wall Street Wolves, Hollywood, the MSM, AIPAC, social Justice activists, etc.

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  79. @ben tillman

    Did someone suggest to this chap that it’s odd to compare people whose vocation is scholarship to a naval engineer turned agribusinessman turned politician turned amateur social worker or to a working clergyman cum institutional administrator or to a businessman cum institutional administrator (ordained)?
     
    Carter was an engineer in the same sense that Casey Jones was an engineer.

    Also, some people think Carter became a friend of Israel after his sister married an Orthodox Jew. I guess you disagree.

    Carter was an engineer in the same sense that Casey Jones was an engineer.

    Carter earned a degree in physics, then had post-baccalaureate training in engineering in the Navy, and then served as engineering officer on naval vessels, including those in the nuclear navy.

    some people think Carter became a friend of Israel after his sister married an Orthodox Jew. I guess you disagree.

    His sisters are both long dead and were both married nearly 25 years before his foray into federal politics and neither husband was Jewish. What this has to do with Carter’s sour relations with Israel (which flared most recently with the publication of another of his books in 2006) and its advocates most of us will puzzle over in vain.

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  80. @Jus' Sayin'...
    Old Yiddish joke: Question: What do you call two Jews talking together in the street? Answer: An argument!

    Rabbinic Judaism has its roots in pharisaic Judaism, the religion of, e.g., Hillel, Gamaliel, and Saul of Tarsus (later Saint Paul). After the destruction of the Temple it became the only viable form of Judaism and was given impetus when a school of rabbis was permitted in Judea by the Romans. Rabbinic Judaism had to react against the other competing religion arising from Temple Judaism, Christianity; and Christianity had to react against Rabbinuic Judaism. The competition of these two religions against each other played a major role in the development of each. There is absolutely a Judeo-Christian tradition. And it is absolutely in the interests of current adherents of Rabbinic Judaism to deny this.

    On the other hand, Islam was created precisely as a monotheistic religion for Arabs, completely independent of Christianity or Judaism. Because its creator had more pride than creativity he borrowed heavily from the traditions of Jews and Christians. But Muslim ethics, metaphysics, theology, and other philosophical underpinnings from the Q'uran on are in many ways antithetical to both Christianity and Judaism in any form.

    Old Yiddish joke: Question: What do you call two Jews talking together in the street? Answer: An argument!

    A better variant, simply: “Two Jews, three synagogues.”

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  81. RE: Jude0-Christian,

    Well, there is the old joke:

    Western Civilization is a Frankenstein’s Monster. It has a Roman body, a Greek mind, and a Hebrew heart.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Western Civilization is a Frankenstein’s Monster. It has a Roman body, a Greek mind, and a Hebrew heart.
     
    And a German face?
  82. @syonredux
    RE: Jude0-Christian,

    Well, there is the old joke:

    Western Civilization is a Frankenstein's Monster. It has a Roman body, a Greek mind, and a Hebrew heart.

    Western Civilization is a Frankenstein’s Monster. It has a Roman body, a Greek mind, and a Hebrew heart.

    And a German face?

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  83. @Whiskey
    Steve, I'm surprised you fell for this hogwash, and even more surprised that Razib Khan is ignorant of how the Founding Fathers (in public at least) meticulously compared American Independence to that of the founding of Israel. Indeed for Protestants who read the Bible A LOT, far more than Catholics, identification with Jews was (and is) commonplace. Lincoln's speeches are filled with allegories comparing Americans to Jews, and the Puritans appropriated this language, citing Boston as a New Jerusualem.

    Feminist #1, that most Christian of Poets, William Blake, even wrote an Epic Poem called Jerusalem wherein he compared the English to Jews.

    So, history did not start last Thursday. And historically, Americans from Cotton Mather to Ronald Reagan have invoked Jewish history and seen themselves as "New Jews" in a continuity.

    Secondly, the "removed," Amish-like Rabbinical attitudes expressed in the column are not representative of most Jews. Most Jews today are secular, profoundly integrationist, and reflect what Steve you noted Revealed Preference in their mating habits.

    To take one prominent Jew: Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg married his Asian girlfriend. Or Mr. Amy Chua, one Jeb Rosenfeld, would be another example.

    I would argue, and there is considerable weight in actual, real-life Jewish behavior on this front, that Jews have largely (and lamentably I might add) adopted many Christian Doctrines at least on the broader fronts:

    **Original Sin.
    **Universalism.
    **Utopianism.
    **Worship of Non-Whites as Racial Redeemers.
    **Original Sin as Racial Original Sin.
    **Pacifism.

    When the Bombay / Mumbai Massacres a number of years ago happened, with LeT running amok in fire-teams killing all sorts of people, one of their targets was a Jewish family running some charity, Chabad I think, in Bombay. When I read this my though was, why on earth were Jews from Israel there in the first place? The reason was the typical NGO-type feel-good charity, the same stuff producing Medicin sans Frontiers, Greenpeace, and the other universalist, utopian, pacifist, "White people are the original sin" and "non-Whites the redeemers."

    It has taken literally the threat of Israel being overwhelmed by Africans in a matter of months if not weeks and constant rocket attacks from Hamas to convince Israelis otherwise on the matters of fences, borders and deportations, and it is an open question if the Israeli Courts will acquiesce in non-suicide or insist on Open Borders because Jews were not allowed in Sweden or Switzerland in 1942 or something.

    The problem with Christianity is that it is too successful: Europe, America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, are among the nicest places to live and Jews are no different from other peoples in wanting to adopt success including many fundamental moral assumptions. Assumptions that I find an utter disaster. Secular Jews are no less religious than say, Jerry Falwell or Oral Roberts, they just don't got to church when they pray (or Synagoge). Instead their daily rituals are green recyclable bags at the grocery store, Global Warming, and Universalism Utopian Open Borders, beliefs they share with most of the secular and religious Christians.

    Both Mark Zuckerberg and say, the Lutheran World Council (and the Catholic Church if it comes to that) are in favor of Open Borders and anyone who wants to come to America to be allowed to do so.

    I'd say that's shared Judeo-Christian values. Just bad ones. If you are not a billionaire. And maybe even if you are. Ask some of the Russian ones.

    Indeed for Protestants who read the Bible A LOT, far more than Catholics

    More jokes: “A Protestant is someone who reads nothing but the Bible; a Catholic someone who reads everything but the Bible.”

    In reality, Protestants who are generally ignorant of Catholicism frequently express a surprise when they come to a Catholic Mass and find that there are THREE Bible readings.

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  84. Hacienda- everybody who lives in the US lives on the same “cemetery”, whatever color they may be. People of all races get to thrive in the modern, prosperous United States that was taken from many diverse native tribes. Also, the ancestors of most American whites never killed any American Indians of any tribe (or owned any slaves for that matter). There weren’t any Lenni-Lenape left in South Philly when my great grandparents moved there from Vilnius, Palermo, and County Cork a hundred years ago. It is quite true that some Jews will be more openthan Gentiles talking about a Native American Genocide. Could it be that it is because they feel that their people were not responsible in any way for it- it was somebody else’s crime. It would have been a little different if your friend had given you a book on Mendel Khatayevich or Lazar Kaganovich.

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    • Replies: @Hacienda
    It was a 70s phenomenon. Given to me in 4rth grade. But powerful enough to color my views through college. Along with everything else at the time.

    I like the imagery of it. And I understand I use and benefit from the cemetary too. If I blame whites, I must blame myself too.

    That a Jew would give it too me, says more about Jewish motivations, eh? Which Whiskey pointedly made.

    Peace. Out.
  85. @Hacienda
    Excellent stuff. Matches very well with my own experiences with Jews and Christians.

    It was actually a Jewish friend who gave me my first book on the Indian genocides or real estate transaction for the conservative PC police (yeah PC goes both ways). In the sense that while white
    language is monitored, if you are a minority, you simply aren't allowed to even say certain things in the presence of whites.

    Anyway, the book was "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee". It gave me a sense that whites live in a weird world of morality. A people living on a cemetary, almost like murderers discussing ethics and high civilization in a party atmosphere on the cemetary of people they liquidated.

    Jews and Christians at least seem aware of this. Jews far more so. Christians often are so blinkered they think history began with their births.

    Dear boy, you make things far too easy for me:

    Chinggis Khan (ruled 1206-27) 40,000,000 [make link]
    Total Dead (in roughly descending order)
    Alan McFarlane, The Savage Wars of Peace: England, Japan and the Malthusian Trap (2003, p.50): Chinese population reduced to half in 50 years — over 60 million people dying or failing to be replaced.
    John Man, Genghis Khan: Life, Death, and Resurrection
    The Jin (North China) recorded 7.6 million households in the early 13th Century. The first Mongol census in 1234 recorded 1.7 million housholds. Man interprets this as a population decline from 60 million to 10 million. (p.262)
    Man make a rough guess that 1.25M people were killed in Khwarezm in two years– that’s 25% of 5M original inhabitants.
    Komarova and Korotayev, “A Model of Pre-Industrial Demographic Cycle”: Oddly, they skip right over the Mongol invasion (“The Sung cycle was interupted quite artificially by exogenous forces”), but Fig. 13 ends with the population of China at about 102M in 1125, while Fig. 14 begins with 55M in 1250, a decline of over 45M.
    Matthew White, The Great Big Book of Horrible Things: The Definitive Chronicle of History’s 100 Worst Atrocities (W. W. Norton, 2012)
    The death toll of 40 million is “Loosely based on McEvedy, Atlas of World Population History. McEvedy states that the population of China declined by 35 million during the thirteenth century. Also, the population decline in the western regions of Mongol conquests adds up to 2.75 million. All in all, it seems that Eurasia had 37,750,000 fewer people in the wake of the Mongols. I’ve rounded that off to avoid faking too much precision.” (White, Great Big Book, p.578)
    “For now let’s forget the incredible body counts reported for individual atrocities and focus instead on overall estimates from modern demographers. By all accounts, the population of Asia crashed during Chinggis Khan’s wars of conquest. China had the most to lose, so China lost the most—anywhere from 30 to 60 million. The Jin dynasty ruling northern China recorded 7.6 million households in the early thirteenth century. In 1234 the first census under the Mongols recorded 1.7 million households in the same area. In his biography of Chinggis Khan, John Man interprets these two data points as a population decline from 60 million to 10 million. In The Atlas of World Population History, Colin McEvedy estimates that the population of China declined by 35 million as the Mongols subjugated the country during the thirteenth century. In The Mongols, historian David Morgan estimates the Chinese population (in both the north and the south) as 100 million before the conquest and 70 million after.” (White, Great Big Book, p.123)
    Colin McEvedy, Atlas of World Population History (1978):
    China Proper: In the text, he states that the population declined by 35 million as the Mongols reduced the country to subjugation during the 13th Century. In the Chart, the population drops from 115M to 85M between 1200 and 1300 CE. (p.172)
    Iran: Charted population declined from 5.0M to 3.5M
    Afghanistan: from 2.50M to 1.75M
    Russia-in-Europe: 7.5M to 7M
    This indicates a total population decline of some 37.75 million.

    David Morgan, The Mongols, p. 83
    He estimates the Chinese population (in both the north and the south) as 100 million before the conquest and 70 million after (citing Langlois, China under Mongol Rule)
    MEDIAN: ca. 30 million.

    Timur Lenk (1369-1405) [make link]
    TOTAL:
    Peter Ford, “Ex-Russian Satellite Enjoys Setting Its Own Agenda,” Christian Science Monitor, June 3, 1997: “Tamerlane… was responsible for the deaths of as many as 20 million people…”
    Stephen Kinzer, “A Kinder, Gentler Tamerlane Inspires Uzbekistan,” New York Times, November 10, 1997: “His Turkish and Mongol army is said to have killed 17 million men, women and children in his 14th century rampage…” [Read More

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Chinggis Khan (ruled 1206-27) 40,000,000
     
    I think Jean Rostand wrote "Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god" (or certainly the Scourge of God per Attila).

    Personally, I think the killing part is relatively easy. It's the building afterward that is difficult.

    Tacitus unfairly wrote "Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium; atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant." In reality Romans were magnificent builders. That's why so much of Rome still survives while little remains of the Pax Mongolica.
  86. @Desiderius
    Simon,

    "An earlier generation of Liberal Jewish comedians would have championed the concept, while derogating Christians who claimed America was specifically Christian."

    Likewise Liberal and run-of-the-mill apolitical Protestants of that era. Then it was about solidarity with the Jews against Hitler->racism. See Barmen et. al. Also young Hillary the Methodist Republican.

    Thus the seeds were sown of the anti-racism (nee anti-sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ad nauseum) that has largely replaced both Christianity and Judaism among the lumpenintelligensia.

    There was nothing obnoxious about it at the time, notwithstanding the unintended consequences.

    “There was nothing obnoxious about it at the time, notwithstanding the unintended consequences.”

    Well, I was a Liberal once – growing up an atheist in conservative-Christian Ulster, I felt alienated from my host society, as American atheists and secular Jews do now.

    I think now: give us an inch and we’ll take a mile. You have to stop us at the first pass, or we keep on until everything is destroyed. And victory won’t even make us happy: the happiest Liberals I’ve seen in all the USA were in Ashville North Carolina, an enclave of SWPL refugees from the horrors of Washington DC, now safely surrounded by a swathe of gun-toting Conservative rednecks. That’s what Liberals really want: sipping their overpriced lattes, sneering at Conservatives, yet safe in the knowledge that those maligned Conservatives are protecting the Liberals from harm.

    Liberals are like women: the trick is to give them what they really want, not what they say they want.

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  87. @syonredux
    Dear boy, you make things far too easy for me:

    Chinggis Khan (ruled 1206-27) 40,000,000 [make link]
    Total Dead (in roughly descending order)
    Alan McFarlane, The Savage Wars of Peace: England, Japan and the Malthusian Trap (2003, p.50): Chinese population reduced to half in 50 years -- over 60 million people dying or failing to be replaced.
    John Man, Genghis Khan: Life, Death, and Resurrection
    The Jin (North China) recorded 7.6 million households in the early 13th Century. The first Mongol census in 1234 recorded 1.7 million housholds. Man interprets this as a population decline from 60 million to 10 million. (p.262)
    Man make a rough guess that 1.25M people were killed in Khwarezm in two years-- that's 25% of 5M original inhabitants.
    Komarova and Korotayev, "A Model of Pre-Industrial Demographic Cycle": Oddly, they skip right over the Mongol invasion ("The Sung cycle was interupted quite artificially by exogenous forces"), but Fig. 13 ends with the population of China at about 102M in 1125, while Fig. 14 begins with 55M in 1250, a decline of over 45M.
    Matthew White, The Great Big Book of Horrible Things: The Definitive Chronicle of History's 100 Worst Atrocities (W. W. Norton, 2012)
    The death toll of 40 million is "Loosely based on McEvedy, Atlas of World Population History. McEvedy states that the population of China declined by 35 million during the thirteenth century. Also, the population decline in the western regions of Mongol conquests adds up to 2.75 million. All in all, it seems that Eurasia had 37,750,000 fewer people in the wake of the Mongols. I’ve rounded that off to avoid faking too much precision." (White, Great Big Book, p.578)
    "For now let’s forget the incredible body counts reported for individual atrocities and focus instead on overall estimates from modern demographers. By all accounts, the population of Asia crashed during Chinggis Khan’s wars of conquest. China had the most to lose, so China lost the most—anywhere from 30 to 60 million. The Jin dynasty ruling northern China recorded 7.6 million households in the early thirteenth century. In 1234 the first census under the Mongols recorded 1.7 million households in the same area. In his biography of Chinggis Khan, John Man interprets these two data points as a population decline from 60 million to 10 million. In The Atlas of World Population History, Colin McEvedy estimates that the population of China declined by 35 million as the Mongols subjugated the country during the thirteenth century. In The Mongols, historian David Morgan estimates the Chinese population (in both the north and the south) as 100 million before the conquest and 70 million after." (White, Great Big Book, p.123)
    Colin McEvedy, Atlas of World Population History (1978):
    China Proper: In the text, he states that the population declined by 35 million as the Mongols reduced the country to subjugation during the 13th Century. In the Chart, the population drops from 115M to 85M between 1200 and 1300 CE. (p.172)
    Iran: Charted population declined from 5.0M to 3.5M
    Afghanistan: from 2.50M to 1.75M
    Russia-in-Europe: 7.5M to 7M
    This indicates a total population decline of some 37.75 million.

    David Morgan, The Mongols, p. 83
    He estimates the Chinese population (in both the north and the south) as 100 million before the conquest and 70 million after (citing Langlois, China under Mongol Rule)
    MEDIAN: ca. 30 million.
     

    Timur Lenk (1369-1405) [make link]
    TOTAL:
    Peter Ford, “Ex-Russian Satellite Enjoys Setting Its Own Agenda,” Christian Science Monitor, June 3, 1997: “Tamerlane… was responsible for the deaths of as many as 20 million people...”
    Stephen Kinzer, "A Kinder, Gentler Tamerlane Inspires Uzbekistan," New York Times, November 10, 1997: “His Turkish and Mongol army is said to have killed 17 million men, women and children in his 14th century rampage…” [http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/53/107.html]
    Dave Carpenter, "Barbaric Tamerlane anointed a whitewashed hero in Uzbekistan," Associated Press, January 5, 1998: “His armies… are estimated to have massacred as many as 17 million people.”
    Colin McMahon, "The Rehabilitation of Tamerlane," Chicago Tribune, January 17, 1999: "...an estimated death toll of as many as 17 million people..."
    Jonathan Fenby, "Crossroads of conquest," Hong Kong: South China Morning Post, November 20, 1999: "...a local warrior with a limp from arrow wounds marched north, east, west and south to found an empire of his own on some 17 million corpses."
    H.D.S. Greenway, "New waves across the steppes," Boston Globe, May 27, 1998: "He is said to have killed 15 million people..." (incl. 90,000 in Baghdad.)
    Allen Howard Godbey, The Lost Tribes a Myth: Suggestions Towards Rewriting Hebrew History, p.385 (1974): "Genghis Khan is estimated to have destroyed twenty million people, Tamerlane twelve million."
    Israel Smith Clare, Library of universal history: containing a record of the human ..., v.7, p.2474 (1906): "... his ambition and cruelty brought twelve million human beings to violent deaths..."
    Ian McWilliam, "Uzbekistan Restores Samarkand To Boost Nationalist Pride," Los Angeles Times, August 23, 1994: "... a ruthless conqueror who, by one estimate at least, caused the deaths of about 7 million people."
    Individual events:
    Delhi (1398)
    James Trager, The People's Chronology (1992): 100,000 Hindu prisoners massacred at Delhi
    Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage: 100,000 POWs massacred
    Frank Smitha [http://www.fsmitha.com/h3/h13tt.htm]
    Isfahan: 70-100,000 massacred
    Sabzavar: 2,000 slaves massacred
    Baghdad (1401): 20,000
    1 Feb. 2005 History Today: "At Baghdad he had 90,000 of the inhabitants beheaded so that he could build towers with their skulls. At Sivas in Turkey, where he promised no bloodshed in return for surrender, he had 3,000 prisoners buried alive and pointed out that he had kept to the letter of his oath."
    9 Aug. 2004 Evening Standard (London) review of Marozzi's Tamerlane
    Baghdad: 90,000
    Isfahan: 70,000
    outside Aleppo: 20,000
    Delhi: more than 100,000 executions
    The (London) Independent (1 June 1998): 5M k. in 6 mos. in 1398 in India
     

    An Lushan Revolt (756-763 CE) 13,000,000 [make link]
    At the peak of the medieval Tang dynasty, the census taken in the year 753 recorded a population of 52,880,488. After eleven years of civil war, the census of 764 gave a figure of 16,900,000. The census figures are referenced in the following places:
    Beck [http://www.san.beck.org/AB3-China.html]: census counts 16,900,000 in 764 CE, compared to 52,880,488 ten years earlier. [loss of ca. 36M]
    Durand, JD, “The population statistics of China, AD 2 – 1953,” Population Studies (1960), Vol. 13, No. 3, p.209,223 ("Many historians have affirmed that 36 million lives were lost as a result of the violent event, but Fitzgerald and others have shown that this is incredible. Even if such a huge loss were conceivable, it would be naive to suppose that an accurate count could be carried out in the midst of the ensuing chaos.")
    Fitzgerald, 1973, p.312-315 ("The real cause of the decline in the figures for the censuses after the rebellion was the dispersion of the officials who had been in charge of the revenue department.")
    Hooker, Richard, World Civilizations, Washington State University, 1996, [http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/TEXT/chememp.rtf] ("...before the rebellion, China had a population of over 53 million people; after the rebellion, the population had plummeted to seventeen million.")
    Komorova, Natalia and Andrey Korotayev, "A Model of Pre-Industrial Demographic Cycle" [http://orion.oac.uci.edu/~dbell/SecularCycles.pdf] ("The actual population decline might have been even less than was estimated by Zhao and Xie, as the underregistration in the post-An Lushan T'ang Empire was especially heavy..." but on their graph of Chinese population, the line plummets from 53 to 17 million without any adjustment for an undercount.)
    Nicoll, Leo A., "World Civilization I Course Notes", Loyola University [http://www.loyno.edu/~nicoll/WorldCivFall/07china.htm] ("Population dropped from 53 million to 17 million.")
    Pitirim Sorokin, The Sociology of Revolution (1967): Population declined from 53M to 20M [loss of 33M]
    Stearns, Peter N., ed., The Encyclopedia of World History: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, 6th ed., Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001. [http://www.bartleby.com/67/370.html] ("In population, the census of 753 (on the eve of the Rebellion of An Lu-shan) recorded a figure of 52,880,488. Eleven years later, the census of 764 (after the rebellion) gave a figure of 16,900,000. Although this figure is certainly too low, it does indicate a clear decline in population.")
    René Grousset, The Rise and Splendour of the Chinese Empire (1970) p.171: "On the eve of the civil war, after a period of a hundred and forty years of internal peace, the census of 754 showed a number of families the equivalent of fifty-two million inhabitants. In 839, after the restored dynasty had already had three-quarters of a century to efface the scars of civil war, the census showed a population of no more than thirty million."[a long term loss of 22 million]
    Matthew White, The Great Big Book of Horrible Things: The Definitive Chronicle of History's 100 Worst Atrocities (W. W. Norton, 2012)
    I'll be the first to admit that the An Lushan Rebellion is problematic. Here was a civil war in China that everybody agrees was remarkably destructive. The numbers commonly cited are not wild-eyed legends passed down by frightened peasants and picked up by gullible storytellers, but rather official census records that showed a loss of 36 million people. Most scholars doubt the pinpoint accuracy of the census, but many books still give a death toll of 36 million with no skepticism whatsoever.
    As far as I could tell, there were only 3 ways to handle the An Lushan Rebellion:
    Use the census figures as given and report an absolute population loss of 36 million.
    Arbitrarily report a lower number based on nothing.
    Ignore the rebellion.
    Unfortunately each of those is dishonest in its own way.
    Using the numbers would ignore the fact that most scholars believe the numbers to be wrong.
    Making up new numbers would be pretending that I know something that no one else does.
    Ignoring it would imply that it never happened.
    Fortunately, the count of households presents slightly different numbers. In the seven counts before An Lushan’s Revolt, the census repeatedly found between 8 and 9 million households, and then, in the seven counts following the rebellion, the census consistently found no more than 4 million. Even a century after the revolt, in 845, the Chinese civil service could find only 4,955,151 taxpaying households, a long drop from the 9,069,154 households recorded in 755. This indicates that the actual population collapse may have been closer to one-half, or 26 million. For the sake of ranking, however, I’m being conservative and cutting this in half, counting only 13 million dead in the An Lushan Rebellion.
     

    Aztecs (1375-1419) [make link]
    Estimated Total of human sacrifices among Aztecs:
    Michael Harner (1977): "In 1946 Sherburne Cook, a demographer specializing in American Indian populations, estimated an over-all annual mean of 15,000 victims in a central Mexican population reckoned at two million [i.e. 1.5M sacrificed per century]. Later, however, he and his colleague Woodrow Borah revised his estimate of the total central Mexican population upward to 25 million. Recently, Borah, possibly the leading authority on the demography of Mexico at the time of the conquest, has also revised the estimated number of persons sacrificed in central Mexico in the fifteenth century to 250,000 per year" [i.e. 25.0M per century] [http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/aztecs/sacrifice.htm]
    William Prescott, History of the Conquest of Mexico (1843): "Scarcely any author pretends to estimate the yearly sacrifices throughout the empire at less than twenty thousand, and some carry the number as high as fifty!" [i.e. 2-5M per century] [http://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/PreConq.html]
    Wikipedia, as usual, takes the extreme viewpoint that there was hardly any sacrifice at all, maybe 300 to 600 annually, or 30,000-60,000 per century. [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sacrifice_in_Aztec_culture (Aug. 2006)]
    Dedication of a temple of Huitzilopochtli in Tenochtitlan by Aztec king Ahuitzotl (1487)
    Flexner, Pessimist's Guide to History: 80,000 human sacrifices
    Mark Cocker, Rivers of Blood, Rivers of Gold (1998): 20,000
    Harris, Cannibals and Kings (1977): 14,100 est. by Sherburne Cook
    Skull rack in Xocotlan: >100,000 skulls (Marvin Harris, Cannibals and Kings, citing Spanish eyewitness Bernal Diaz)
    Skull rack in Tenochtitlan held 136,000 skulls according to Spanish eyewitness Andres de Tapia
    Harris, Cannibals and Kings, considers that this "could be dismissed as exaggerations were it not for ... methodically racked and hence easily counted rows"
    Cocker, Rivers of Blood..., considers this an exageration: "double the true figure"

     

    The Fate of the Ainu:

    During the Muromachi period (1336–1573), the disputes between Japanese and Ainu eventually developed into a war. Takeda Nobuhiro killed the Ainu leader, Koshamain. Many Ainu were subject to Japanese rule which led to violent Ainu revolt such as the Koshamain's Revolt in 1456 against Japanese influence and control on the island.

    During the Tokugawa period (1600–1868) the Ainu became increasingly involved in trade with Japanese who controlled the southern portion of the island that is now called Hokkaido. The Bakufu government granted the Matsumae clan exclusive rights to trade with the Ainu in the northern part of the island. Later the Matsumae began to lease out trading-rights to Japanese merchants, and contact between Japanese and Ainu became more extensive. Throughout this period Ainu became increasingly dependent on goods imported by Japanese, and suffered from epidemic diseases such as smallpox.[10] Although the increased contact brought by trade between the Japanese and the Ainu contributed to increased mutual understanding, sometimes it led to conflict, occasionally intensifying into violent Ainu revolts, of which the most important was Shakushain's Revolt (1669–1672), an Ainu rebellion against Japanese authority.

    Ainu population dropped significantly during these years of Matsumae and shogunate rule. In 1807, officials estimated the total population of Hokkaido Ainu at 26,256. Observations made by Matsuura Takeshiro, for example, illustrate concretely the dramatic decline of Ainu populations caused by epidemic diseases. 47 years later that number was reduced to 17,810 a 32% decline.[11] The Ainu in the 14th century were much more populous before invasions from the Japanese. Some Ainu oral stories, and the Matsumae clan's documents, recall and record several severe battles between the Ainu people and the invaders. After losing several battles, the Ainu people were enslaved.[12]

    In 1868 there were about 15,000 Ainu in Hokkaido, 2000 in Sakhalin, and around 100 in the Kurile islands.[13]

    In a 2009 news story, Japan Today reported, "Many Ainu were forced to work, essentially as slaves, for Wajin (ethnic Japanese), resulting in the breakup of families and the introduction of smallpox, measles, cholera and tuberculosis into their community. In 1869, the new Meiji government renamed Ezo as Hokkaido and unilaterally incorporated it into Japan. It banned the Ainu language, took Ainu land away, and prohibited salmon fishing and deer hunting."[14] They regarded as 'extremely inferior races', as one Diet Member had expressed it in 1907 (Hokkaido Utari Kyokai 19902190)[15]
     
    I could go on all day.Fun times, dear boy.

    Chinggis Khan (ruled 1206-27) 40,000,000

    I think Jean Rostand wrote “Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god” (or certainly the Scourge of God per Attila).

    Personally, I think the killing part is relatively easy. It’s the building afterward that is difficult.

    Tacitus unfairly wrote “Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium; atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.” In reality Romans were magnificent builders. That’s why so much of Rome still survives while little remains of the Pax Mongolica.

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  88. RE: Jews and contributions to Western Civ:

    1. 1st Century AD: Massive. Virtually the entire NT was written by Jews (the only significant exception is LUKE-ACTS, which are usually assumed to be written by a Gentile)

    2. Middle Ages: Very slight. Only Maimonides comes to mind as a significant intellectual figure.

    Early Modern Period: Again, quite slight. Unless you are willing to count Christians of Jewish ancestry: St John of the Cross, St Teresa of Ávila, Montaigne, etc

    Age of Reason-Enlightenment: Spinoza. Don’t lose your heads on this one. Spinoza was quite important, but Jonathan Israel’s claims are overblown. Moses Mendelssohn? M.M. is famous for being a Jew; Spinoza is famous for being a philosopher. ‘Nuff Said. You can also toss in David Ricardo at the tail end. Not as consequential as Adam Smith, but still significant.

    19th Century: Jewish Emancipation. This is when things start rolling: Marx, Durkheim, Freud, etc.

    Various observations:

    Disraeli: Very interesting figure. He was clearly fascinated by his Jewish heritage (just read his novels), but his knowledge of Judaism was rather superficial.

    Shaping of Modernity: Gentile project: Newton, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Adam Smith, Descartes, Benjamin Franklin, Priestly, etc. Only Spinoza came early enough to have been an important influence at the formative stages. Even so, as previously noted, Israel’s claims are overblown.

    Puritans: Some people seem to think that they were some kind of Jewish fifth column. Absurd. Yes, they were quite interested in the Hebraic roots of Christianity, but they were also Christians. For that matter, one can also detect the influence of Puritan chiliastic thought on Jews in the 17th century (cf Sabbatai Zevi, who was exposed to English chiliastic notions via his father, an agent for an English trading firm).

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    • Replies: @anon
    Jews did quiet well on Charles Murray's list of greatness, ending in 1950.
  89. @meh
    The term "Judeo-Christian" was hardly used prior to WWII, or more especially prior to the 1960s/70s.

    I can remember a time in the 1970s when Jews as such were still barely perceived to exist in the larger Christian culture; sure if you understood the code Jews were everywhere but the typical gentile was clueless. This changed when the whole Holocaust/Jewish victimology campaign was launched to make Christians feel guilty for merely existing.

    Christians used the term "Judeo-Christian" to seem more inclusive and not seem "anti-Semitic" whereas as late as the 1950s/60s you could still refer to our common Christian civilization, or Christendom, without irony and without qualifications or caveats or weasel word terms like "Judeo-Christian".

    So this statement is in fact the opposite of the truth: "The label “Judeo-Christian” tends to assume, at the expense of Judaism, that Christians and Jews believe essentially the same things."

    No, it tends to assume that Christians and Jews believe essentially the same things so as to disarm, disadvantage, and delude the Christian masses, who fear being called anti-semitic. It assumes that the two things are alike at the expense of Christendom. When Christians still had a culture of their own they did not feel the need to be "inclusive" by tacking on other terms our qualifiers to their own name.
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  90. Steve, do you get paid by the comment or something? Posting something like this is guaranteed to bring out the JIDF and stir up your “its really the WASPs!” style commenters. 200+ comments of the chosen trying to argue black into white.

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  91. @ Twinkie: it’s possible that, a hundred or so years ago, some people were impressed by some other people quoting latin without providing a translation.

    Not so much, these days.

    “To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.”

    It’s not at all clear to me what you think this has to do with the building abilities of the Romans.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    it’s possible that, a hundred or so years ago, some people were impressed by some other people quoting latin without providing a translation.

    Not so much, these days.
     
    It's from Tacitus, you know, a really famous Roman historian. Used to be quite well-known in the West. The Latin quote wasn't to impress, but to evoke.

    It’s not at all clear to me what you think this has to do with the building abilities of the Romans.
     
    Perhaps the "unfairly" part might shed some light on how that relates to my subsequent sentence.
  92. @Peter Akuleyev
    @Art Deco,

    Do you know anything about the topic? I have Maronite in-laws. From what I see Lebanese Christians have Middle Eastern values. The fact that they dislike Muslims and vice-versa has nothing to do with values, it is just tribalism. In fact the Maronite Christians I know tend to side with the Palestinians against Israel. In a similar vein, Bosnians and Croats are also more like each other than Croats are like French or Bosnians are like Syrians.

    Do you know anything about the topic?

    Yes.

    I have Maronite in-laws.

    And I attended a Melkite Church.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    And I attended a Melkite Church.
     
    Very fascinating Rite. At least to me.

    People think that Catholics are all Latins (Roman Rite), but there are over a couple of dozens of Rites everything from Ambrosian to Syrio-Malabarese that are in full communion with Rome yet maintain their diverse historical and cultural legacies and liturgies.
  93. @Calogero
    Hacienda- everybody who lives in the US lives on the same "cemetery", whatever color they may be. People of all races get to thrive in the modern, prosperous United States that was taken from many diverse native tribes. Also, the ancestors of most American whites never killed any American Indians of any tribe (or owned any slaves for that matter). There weren't any Lenni-Lenape left in South Philly when my great grandparents moved there from Vilnius, Palermo, and County Cork a hundred years ago. It is quite true that some Jews will be more openthan Gentiles talking about a Native American Genocide. Could it be that it is because they feel that their people were not responsible in any way for it- it was somebody else's crime. It would have been a little different if your friend had given you a book on Mendel Khatayevich or Lazar Kaganovich.

    It was a 70s phenomenon. Given to me in 4rth grade. But powerful enough to color my views through college. Along with everything else at the time.

    I like the imagery of it. And I understand I use and benefit from the cemetary too. If I blame whites, I must blame myself too.

    That a Jew would give it too me, says more about Jewish motivations, eh? Which Whiskey pointedly made.

    Peace. Out.

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  94. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @syonredux
    RE: Jews and contributions to Western Civ:

    1. 1st Century AD: Massive. Virtually the entire NT was written by Jews (the only significant exception is LUKE-ACTS, which are usually assumed to be written by a Gentile)

    2. Middle Ages: Very slight. Only Maimonides comes to mind as a significant intellectual figure.

    Early Modern Period: Again, quite slight. Unless you are willing to count Christians of Jewish ancestry: St John of the Cross, St Teresa of Ávila, Montaigne, etc

    Age of Reason-Enlightenment: Spinoza. Don't lose your heads on this one. Spinoza was quite important, but Jonathan Israel's claims are overblown. Moses Mendelssohn? M.M. is famous for being a Jew; Spinoza is famous for being a philosopher. 'Nuff Said. You can also toss in David Ricardo at the tail end. Not as consequential as Adam Smith, but still significant.

    19th Century: Jewish Emancipation. This is when things start rolling: Marx, Durkheim, Freud, etc.

    Various observations:

    Disraeli: Very interesting figure. He was clearly fascinated by his Jewish heritage (just read his novels), but his knowledge of Judaism was rather superficial.

    Shaping of Modernity: Gentile project: Newton, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Adam Smith, Descartes, Benjamin Franklin, Priestly, etc. Only Spinoza came early enough to have been an important influence at the formative stages. Even so, as previously noted, Israel's claims are overblown.

    Puritans: Some people seem to think that they were some kind of Jewish fifth column. Absurd. Yes, they were quite interested in the Hebraic roots of Christianity, but they were also Christians. For that matter, one can also detect the influence of Puritan chiliastic thought on Jews in the 17th century (cf Sabbatai Zevi, who was exposed to English chiliastic notions via his father, an agent for an English trading firm).

    Jews did quiet well on Charles Murray’s list of greatness, ending in 1950.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Jews did quiet well on Charles Murray’s list of greatness, ending in 1950.
     
    Sure, but the overwhelming bulk of the Jewish figures are post 1800.
  95. […] Of course, being a mere Christian, I realize I am unworthy to comment on my Church’s relationship with our exalted Elder Brothers.  Fortunately, an actual Jew has laid it out at length and clarity, so that even readers with the thickest goyeshe kop will get the message.  (My thanks to Steve Sailer and his always excellent blog for pointing this out.) […]

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  96. The Puritans would have seen the term “Judeo-Christian” as a redundant redundancy. In their eyes they were the Jews.

    Bingo. Whiskey’s whole stupid line of argument is simply a misinterpretation of Protestant faith in a pro-Jewish way. Which is natural, since he’s stated outright that he prefers Judaism to Christianity and has made it his sole mission to throw everyone under the bus to save the Jews from anything worse than a hangnail. The man’s as Scots-Irish as gefilte fish.

    Anyone who wants to know can just go read some Christian liturgy. “Israel” refers to the body of Christ.

    Israel does not, in this context, mean the nation state which we today call Israel, or the group of related people which we call Jews. It means “ransom we Christians”.

    Right. And this use of “Israel” is a direct reference to the Covenant with God, which the Jews lost, and was given to humanity. Hence the Jewish animus against Christianity for the next 2000 years.

    Only those most ignorant of or hostile toward Christianity (or the most blatant heretics) don’t know this.

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  97. Except for the tax brackets of the adherents, there is no difference between Reform Judaism and mainstream Protestantism.

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  98. The Mongols (of the 12th-14 centuries, give or take) are the people I feel most comfortable calling evil. Nobody else even comes close. They routinely promised safe passage to populations of cities, then murdered them once they accepted. Tens of thousands at a time. Women and children along with the men. And by “routinely,” I mean that you can read accounts of the Mongols and go wanting for a Mongol promise of safe passage that didn’t end that way. The only reason that I can think of that people kept falling for these promises as long as they did is that the Mongols’ level of evil was so alien to peoples in points west that they couldn’t conceive otherwise.

    One account has one high Mongol scumbag or another accepting the surrender of a Muslim prince, only to have him staked out in the heat, smeared with fat. The maggots ate him alive over a period of weeks. At least, that’s the account. I believe it of the Mongols.

    The only people that exceed the evil of the Mongols were the Aztecs, and the Mongols were far worse in scale. The Aztecs were only worse in the depths of their depravity. The Mongols didn’t reach those depths of Satanic depravity, but they managed to butcher 30m or so men, women, and children. That death toll was not to be exceeded until WWII.

    I’ve never liked throwing that word, evil, around, but no other word will do for these groups.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    The Mongols (of the 12th-14 centuries, give or take) are the people I feel most comfortable calling evil.
     
    They were no more or less evil than other conquering peoples of the time and throughout much of history.

    They used every trick in the book to win wars. It's just that they were really good at it for a couple hundred of years. Like many conquering peoples, they used terror as a weapon. Cities that opened the gates were generally treated well by the standards of the times (after all, indiscriminately slaughtering those who gave up easily would not convince others to follow suit - contrarily when obstinately resistant cities were razed, other cities would surrender more readily). This doesn't mean Mongols always spared those who gave up easily, of course. Other conditions intervened sometimes.

    Indeed, when they felt insulted or aggrieved (such as their ambassadors being murdered, as happened with Kwarizm), they went to great lengths to avenge it going so far as to exterminate the aggrieving party. Like a lot of other warrior peoples, they respected courage and honor, and frequently spared those who displayed them (one of Genghis Khan's great generals, Jebe, was an erstwhile foe who almost killed him in battle and displayed a bit of "balls" if you will and he was spared and embraced). See Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jebe

    After the battle, Genghis Khan asked the defeated to reveal who shot "his horse" in the neck (euphemizing his own injury as his horse's in an apparent attempt to conceal his injury, or possibly to prevent false confessions). Jebe is said to have voluntarily confessed that he shot Genghis Khan himself and not his horse, and further said, that "if Genghis Khan desired to kill him, it was his choice, but if he would let him live, he would serve Genghis Khan loyally". Genghis Khan, in his own usual custom, highly valued honesty and loyalty in his soldiers and so, in the traditions of nomadic chivalry, pardoned him and praised him on this account. He then gave him a new name, Jebe, which means both "arrow" and "rust" in Mongolian. Jebe was not his birth name (which was Zurgadai), but a nickname based on this occasion.
     
    And once Pax Mongolica was established and the Mongol authority held, one could travel safely throughout the Mongol Empire, from Sarai to Karakorum, without the fear of being robbed by bandits and outlaws.

    Mongols also respected religion and largely granted the freedom of conscience to their subjects.
  99. What’s funny is that the Mongols seem more known for their supposed invincibility than they are for their butchery. The facts don’t really bear this out. The Mongols either turned tail or eventually got whipped by every advanced civilization they went up against, with the exception of the Song. And their conquest of the Song was a very near thing. If the Chinese hadn’t had such a comfortable relationship with despotism, they might’ve had a population loyal enough to fight a bit harder, and that might very well have turned the tide. As it was, Song leaders were so busy defecting to and abetting the Mongols that China couldn’t quite fend them off in the end. Heck, if the Jin hadn’t rolled over for the Mongols and joined them, the Song might’ve been able to resist. And for that matter, if the Song hadn’t helped the Mongols take the Jin in the first place, same thing.

    Elsewhere, the Mongols had their asses straight up handed to them by the Sultanate of Delhi. The Mamluks stopped them in the Levant. And they took one look at the risk vs. reward of Europe beyond the Danube, and left and never came back.

    Most of the Mongols’ much-trumpeted vast land empire that was a dump then, and is still a dump today. All of which is not to say that they weren’t the pinnacle of pre-modern steppe/open field warfare, because they were.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    What’s funny is that the Mongols seem more known for their supposed invincibility than they are for their butchery. The facts don’t really bear this out. The Mongols either turned tail or eventually got whipped by every advanced civilization they went up against, with the exception of the Song.
     
    This is complete nonsense.

    Mongols were nearly invincible during their heyday. As an all cavalry force (reputedly each horseman had ten mounts), their strategic and operational mobility was incredible by the standards of their time. As lifelong hunters and warriors, their tactical skills as horse archers were superb. And while other skilled steppe peoples also possessed these elements, Genghis Khan also imbued his armies with an iron discipline other steppe peoples lacked. Unlike the plodding masses of the settled armies, Mongol armies frequently coordinated battles hundreds mile apart with incredible precision and speed. And then they had geniuses like Jebe and Subotai as generals. The combination proved to be all but irresistible.

    Tactically, one of the Mongols' favorite battle techniques was the feigned retreat. Relying on their superior mobility and iron discipline, Mongols frequently "broke" in the middle of battle and baited their enemies to an ill-conceived, disorganized pursuit. Then they turned around, surrounded their enemies, and shot them to pieces.

    The West and the Mamluks were saved by dumb luck. The Mongols had annihilated one European army after another advancing through Russia, Poland, and Hungary, but they had to return to Mongolia following their tradition when their Great Khan Ogedei died (all Mongol princes were required to vote to elect their next supreme leader; and some of course harbored the hope of being elected themselves).

    Similarly, Hulagu was set to ravage Egypt, but then Mongke Khan died, requiring him to return with the majority of his troops (Hulagu was potentially a candidate for the Supreme Khan-ship). At the Battle of Ain Jalut, the Mamluks subsequently defeated a token force left behind by Hulagu under a Nestorian Christian general (and that smaller force was largely Cuman/Kipchak and did not have many "Imperial," i.e. actual Mongol, troops).

    Mongols had three weaknesses. First, they were largely composed of light horse archers and also very few in number, so they rarely engaged in pitched battles. Generally they avoided such engagements as they had better mobility, but on rare occasions did suffer when cornered in unfavorable terrain by a heavier force.

    Second, as primitive steppe peoples they lacked siege engines. However, Mongols were extremely practical and quickly acquired trained personnel needed to build such engines. In fact, even when they razed cities, they took as useful prisoners artisans and skilled workers (and usually religious figures). Eventually they became quite adept at taking cities.

    Third, after the initial cohesion under Genghis Khan, his sons, and his grandsons dissipated, they fell upon themselves in vicious infighting. The Khans of the Golden Horde and the Il-Khans of Persia frequently warred rather than fighting their external enemies. And as their lives became luxurious and easy, they lost taste for conquest and settled into comfortable lives which weakened their military might. Genghis Khan himself predicted and bemoaned that while he suffered poverty, hunger, exile, extreme danger in youth, his descendants, because of his work, would enjoy lying on soft silk, eating exotic food, and having beautiful women.
    , @Twinkie

    Most of the Mongols’ much-trumpeted vast land empire that was a dump then, and is still a dump today.
     
    Again, that's nonsense.

    In their heyday, Silk Road cities like Bukhara and Samarkand were both immensely rich and flowing with the best of Islamic culture. Khorasan (eastern Persia) at the time was the jewel of Islamic world.

    The Shah of the Kwarezmian Empire who ruled the area made a very bad mistake in slaughtering Mongol ambassadors at Otrar; Mongols invaded and spared little, turning the area into desert, from which the area never recovered.
  100. The US was something of an attempt at Old Testament mores with New Testament citizens. So Judeo-Christian isn’t out of line.

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  101. JIDF

    LOL, the Jewish Internet Defense Force. Instant classic. Why didn’t I come up with that? Must be slipping in my dotage. So yoinked.

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  102. Western wisdom on god has evolved.

    God 1.0 – the mean bloody singular tribal unforgiving Jewish god.

    God 2.0 – the universal hopeful empathic forgiving Christian god.

    God 3.0 – the modern Darwinian god the creator – that set the universe in motion but does not interfere in its events.

    Judeo-Christian is an oxymoron – their empathic natures are totally different – who can straightforwardly look at combative apartheid Israel and greedy Wall Street and honestly say that the two religions are the same?

    When Christians turn to the Old Testament – they go wrong.

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    • Replies: @Simon in London
    "When Christians turn to the Old Testament – they go wrong."

    I agree with something Laurence Auster (Jewish convert to Christianity) said: Jesus said he came to add to the Law, not to abnegate it. For Jews that meant their existing Law, but for other cultures it means their own traditions, whether Roman, Teutonic, Gaelic etc. Interpret your own tradition in the light of Jesus' teachings; don't throw it in the bin and think you can rely on someone else's tradition (Old Testament, for non-Jews), or on the New Testament alone. The latter leads to the self-destroying pathological altruism that is the dominant Western paradigm. The former tends to go bad the other way.
  103. Maybe not now but there used to be Judeo Christian values, like maybe before 1968 or something. Actually for a while it seemed that Blacks, Whites, Jews, and all others where assimilating into a similar culture, then it all flew apart.

    This post might explain it:

    Texas: A Lot of Land, A Lot of Horses, Not a Lot of Jews

    http://heebmagazine.com/texas-a-lot-of-land-a-lot-of-horses-not-a-lot-of-jews/23624

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    • Replies: @Sunbeam
    Because I lack a better expletive: Jesus.

    "Texas: A Lot of Land, A Lot of Horses, Not a Lot of Jews
    http://heebmagazine.com/texas-a-lot-of-land-a-lot-of-horses-not-a-lot-of-jews/23624"

    How can anyone be so self obsessed? Or rather so obsessed with their own identity group? This is ridiculous, Jews seem to have whole publications dedicated to nothing but how anything and everything relates to Jews or doesn't.

    Okay ethnocentrism is the way of the world. But this is ridiculous. Don't they ever get bored with the whole thing?
  104. I’ve always had issues with the term “Judeo-Christian values” because it seems to imply that those groups somehow have higher “values” than the REST of us. The fact is that I’ve met very few ascribers to either faith that exhibit superior values.
    It’s good to be Wiccan.

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  105. It irks me wen the yiddish used is a-gramatical

    Noun and adjective must agree in gender

    Kop (German Kopf) = head is masculine

    Goyeshe (peasantly) is feminine.

    To my ear it should be:

    Goysher (masculine) Kop (masculine)

    Also
    “you got a goyeshe kop” grates my grammar sense.

    I would have said:

    Host a “goyyishem Kop” = You’ve got a peasant head

    The terminal particle “m” would make it the “accusative” and it is required after “You’ve got”.

    My Yiddish is from Southern Ukraine/Romania (so called Southern Yiddish dialect)

    Are these discrepancies customary in other dialects?

    Is there any other Yiddish speaker on this thread that can set me straight?

    sf

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    sf, I think that's "n" instead of "m".
    , @Peter Akuleyev
    I would have said:

    Host a “goyyishem Kop” = You’ve got a peasant head


    In Lithuanian/Polish Yiddish, it would be "Host a goyyishen Kop", just like German.
  106. I translated
    Goy =Peasant (singular)
    Goye (Goyte) = female Peasant (singular)
    Goym = peasants (plural)
    because in the villages there were Yiden (Jews) and Goym (Ruthenian Peasants), not much else.

    The peasants were illiterate.

    The village priest was of course a Goy, but he was literate, and I am not sure they’d say
    about him “goysher Kop”…

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  107. @Power Child
    This is the problem of a secular wing of the "Dark Enlightenment" treading into religious territory: hardly anybody seems to know what they're talking about.

    I'm no religious scholar, but I at least pay attention when people talk about the Bible. After just a few months of learning about the Bible, you learn that Jews and Christians worship the same god (not the same god as Allah, by the way). Jews and Christians typically agree on this point.

    The next thing that becomes obvious is that the New Testament is built on top of and thoroughly foreshadowed in the old Old Testament.

    The notion of thinking of these as "New" and "Old" testaments is itself a misnomer, derived from the baseless idea that because God first made a covenant with the Israelites (well, first he made one with Abraham, but who's counting) and then later made another covenant with followers of Christ, the new covenant replaces of the old one, the way you might trade in an old car for a newer model.

    This of course implies that God made a mistake and decided to go back on his word, and if you believe that then you have no business calling yourself a Christian, or a Jew for that matter: a "covenant" is inherently everlasting, bound to the universe like a natural law.

    A more accurate reading of scripture casts the new covenant as an addition to the old one, built upon it like a house upon a foundation. In this way, the two are bonded as one, and the term "Judeo-Christian", regardless of how it came into being, has a legitimate and sound basis in truth. I happen to think it's also a useful reminder to Jews and Christians of their shared spiritual heritage. Both too often ignore it.

    Jews and Christians worship the same god (not the same god as Allah, by the way)

    In Christianity, God is a triune. Part 2 of that trinity is the fellow from Nazareth. Judaism emphatically rejects this understanding of God, as does Islam. Maimonides wrote Jews and Muslims worshipped the same deity, because of their shared unitarianism, in contrast to those “polytheistic” Christians.

    The next thing that becomes obvious is that the New Testament is built on top of and thoroughly foreshadowed in the old Old Testament

    Obvious to Christians, not Jews. Jews do not grant any religious validity whatsoever to the Greek scriptures. A rather big bone of contention between these allegedly allied religious factions.

    A more accurate reading of scripture casts the new covenant as an addition to the old one, built upon it like a house upon a foundation

    The predominant Christian view, across denominational lines, until fairly recent history was that the new covenant fulfills the old and then continues in its own direction — i.e., supercessionism.

    Calvinism alters this somewhat: God’s covenant was always with one people of God, composed of ethnic Hebrews and non-Hebrews (with the former group the great majority of the elect before Christ’s earthly life and the latter the great majority thereafter). The OT contains numerous instances of gentiles incorporated into God’s covenant people, as well as passages, which Christians interpret as messianic prophecies or foreshadowings of Christ, speaking of future salvation for non-Hebrews.

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    • Replies: @Power Child
    Christians worship the same god as the Jews, but Christians see this god as taking three forms. That is not polytheism. It's like two people arguing over whether Lynyrd Skynyrd is rock or country--they're still talking about the same band.

    As for Islam, there are other monotheistic religions as well, but this doesn't mean they worship the same god as the Jews. Lynyrd Skynyrd is not ZZ Top, even if they're in the same genre.

    I agree that Jews reject the messages and truth of the NT, but they cannot deny that it is foreshadowed symbolically in the OT, and that because nothing in the NT contradicts the OT, the former can be seen as built on top of the latter rather than attempting to replace it.

    Calvinist and others are free to any wacky interpretation of the scriptures they want, but that doesn't make it accurate or legitimate.
  108. The Old Testament is the epic, warlike, clannish, and socially conservative part of the Bible. The New Testament is the liberal, universalistic, love your enemy/sin and you are forgiven part of the Bible. It should be of no surprise, then, that the more conservatively-minded Protestant reformers, like the much-overlapping Calvinist/Presbyterian/Puritan types, would hold the OT in high regard.

    In Medieval W. Europe, OT stories and characters were very popular for similar reasons. As you might imagine, warlike Germanic and Celtic peoples would be more interested in the story of David and Goliath (OT) than in the story of the Good Samaritan (NT). Consider the popularity of the name David and its derivatives (e.g. Scottish Clan Davidson) throughout the British Isles.

    See here, as well: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_Worthies

    Note that the three Jews are warriors from the OT, depicted as European knights.

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  109. Somehow I doubt that real-world Jews had much influence over Calvinists:

    “I have had much conversation with many Jews: I have never seen either a drop of piety or a grain of truth or ingenuousness – nay, I have never found common sense in any Jew.”

    -John Calvin

    Also, from jewishvirtuallibrary.org:

    “By their own account, biblical Jews inspired the Puritans’ vision and aspirations.
    Yet, New England’s Puritans were less than hospitable to Jews they actually found among them. The Connecticut colony they founded offers a clear example of the contradiction between their high regard for biblical Jews and their reluctance to have real-life Jews as neighbors…

    “…only a handful of Jews resided in Connecticut during the years of Puritan domination. The first reference to a Jew in Connecticut is to one “David the Jew,” who was arrested and fined by a Hartford court in 1659 for illegal peddling. A more telling case is that of Jacob Lucena, identified as “Jacob the Jew” in court records, who in 1670 was charged, in a manner reminiscent of 20th-century Southern lynch mobs, with the crime of being “notorious in his lascivious dalliance and wanton carriage and proffers to several women.”…

    “By the 1840s, conditions finally were ripe for change. Given their First Amendment rights, the middle-class, German-speaking Jewish immigrants in Hartford and New Haven would not tolerate religious discrimination…”

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    • Replies: @josh
    You could use the same method to doubt whether the Jews had any influence on Bolshevism. They weren't the originals, they weren't their at the end, but the showed up early, when it served their ends, and played a major role in the direction the movement would take.

    http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/41610252?uid=3739936&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21104850598133

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Tremellius
  110. Re: Puritans as philo-semitic, Judaizers, shabbos goyim, etc.

    The Puritans were on the whole more favorably disposed toward Jews than, say, Catholic Europeans of the 17th and 18th centuries. The Puritans were not, however, modern PC pussies or Zionists with heretical, bizarre theologies. Can anyone imagine Jonathan Edwards saying that it is acceptable for Jews to reject Christ because they receive salvation through their Old Testament covenant? Can anyone imagine Puritan-descended John Adams or John Quincy Adams ordering American soldiers to fight and die in wars against Muslims at the behest of a Jewish ethnostate — and quoting Biblical eschatological passages in justification thereof?

    If anything, the most pro-Jewish group in colonial and early republican America were the Southern gentry — the Cavaliers, in Albion’s Seed terminology — rather than the Puritans. These were the fellows who, lest we forget, were less devoutly religious than their northern cousins, more likely to embrace Deism, and more supportive of secular government. (The First Amendment forbade federal establishment of religion, not state; New England states had established, Puritan Congregational churches for years after the ratification of the Bill of Rights).

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Can anyone imagine Puritan-descended John Adams or John Quincy Adams ordering American soldiers to fight and die in wars against Muslims at the behest of a Jewish ethnostate —

    Something that never happened outside your imagination.
  111. Simon,

    “Well, I was a Liberal once – growing up an atheist in conservative-Christian Ulster, I felt alienated from my host society, as American atheists and secular Jews do now.”

    I still am. American atheists and secular Jews are far from feeling alienated in my neck of the woods- they’ve got the run of the joint and are feeling their oats. They also become less liberal with each passing year. The institutions have marched through their Leftism…

    Conservatives are the ones who most often use the term “judeo-Christian” these days because – in America at least – conservatives are always doing what liberals were doing a generation or two back*. Liberals then were using the term in good faith, and today’s conservatives use it in the same sense.

    * – as you note, the principle driver of this process is status striving. Nothing uniquely American/Jewish/Christian about that…

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  112. “The label “Judeo-Christian” tends to assume, at the expense of Judaism, that Christians and Jews believe essentially the same things.”

    Well, one ethnic truism on display, but not what the author suggests. Of course, the label was actually created to INCLUDE them in on the credit for the West that was built overwhelmingly by Christian Euros, by equivocating their contribution relative to the Christian Euros. But it gets twisted around to make it seem like the Christian West is actually persecuting them with the label.

    Kind of like the old Polish adage (I’m paraphrasing here) about an Eskimo stabbing you in the back while screaming in pain.

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  113. “millenial says”

    Well, you’ve got the superciliously superficial analysis down… the hint of knowing nihilism… the cheap kick in the nads to the politically disfavored group…

    You’ve chosen your pseudonym well.

    The Pierian spring doesn’t do grade inflation.

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  114. Josh said: “the influence of the ex-Marranos on early Calvinism who flooded the Netherlands in the 16th century after being kicked out of Spain and Portugal. According to Albion’s Seed it was “Dutch” merchants who spread Calvinism to east Anglia.”

    Check out this letter written by an actual Dutch Calvinist merchant. You may have heard of him: Peter Stuyvesant, the governor of New Netherland colony (later New York).

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/heritage/episode7/documents/documents_1.html

    “…with their customary usury and deceitful trading with the Christians…”
    “…very repugnant…”
    “…deceitful race — such hateful enemies and blasphemers of the name of Christ — be not allowed to further infect and trouble this new colony…”
    “…their abominable religion…”

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    • Replies: @josh
    Interestingly you can find that kind of language among just about all of the Judaizing groups in history; a combination of the revolution devouring its own, the fact that Judeaphilia does not survive long the interaction with actual Jews, and the Jews refusing to embrace their universalism and understanding of Christ as the fulfillment of Scripture.
  115. @Doug
    A lot of the commenters here seem to assume that American Christians are simply trying to be politically correct to avoid being labeled anti-semitic. The data clearly does not support this hypothesis. According to the Pew survey (linked below) asking various people to rate how warm they felt to various religious, the group that felt the most personal warmth towards Jews was white Evangelicals. In addition white Evangelicals felt more warmth towards Jews than they did to any other religious group, including their fellow Christian Catholics.

    If the pro-semitism of American Christians was merely a response to modern political correctness, we'd find them to give lower Jewish warmth scores than atheists or agnostics, who tend to be much more cosmopolitan and liberal. America is a deeply pro-semitic country. And unlike American pro-black or emerging pro-gay attitudes, it wasn't manufactured by the political correctness machine. Middle-class, Republican, church-attending middle America represents the core of America's pro-Jewish sentiments. (The little religious anti-semitism that exists in the West comes from either fringe Catholic groups, a la Mel Gibson, or Russian Orthodox churches).

    The Obama coalition is an amalgamation of America's peripheral groups against middle America. They're bound together by ridiculous fear-mongering: telling single women that Mitt Romney wants to ban birth control, telling blacks that Republicans want to put them back in chains, etc. No group in this coalition is more misinformed than middle-class Jews. The liberal media has brainwashed them, reinforced by the cultural memory of living next to barbaric slavic peasants, that middle-American white Republicans would run Fiddler on the Roof style pogroms if give full power. And some of the Kevin MacDonald parroting clowns around these comments, seem to have the same notion that all it takes to break "Jewish power" is a revival of white middle-class political awareness.

    In reality nothing could be further from the truth. The devout white Evangelicals that make up the core of the Republican right are probably the most pro-semitic group of gentiles in history. If you ever actually bothered talking to Evangelicals, you'd realize that the vast majority feel a deep spiritual kinship with Jews. Most consider Jews to be God's chosen people, consider them to be saved simply by virtue of being Jewish, and feel a religious obligation to defend them around the globe. They see parallels between historical Jewish oppression and what they consider modern-day oppression of believers by Godless secularists. They largely consider their to be a global atheist-Muslim alliance that forms a war on Christians, and consider the groups that attack Israel, and their international sympathizers, to be the front lines of this group.

    http://www.pewforum.org/2014/07/16/how-americans-feel-about-religious-groups/

    If you dig into the details of that Pew survey — you obviously did not — you will notice that while the mean rating by white evangelicals for Jews was 69 (one of the highest ratings given one group by another), only 57% of white evangelicals claimed to know any Jews (lower than the 61% of the total population who know at least one Jew). That means that a lot of these evangelicals are gushing about Jews without knowing any. Moreover, having no slight familiarity with the politically conservative evangelical subculture, I can tell you that the Jews whom some evangelicals would claim to know are either “Messianic”/Jews for Jesus (that is, not really Jews), or media figures whom the churchgoers do not know personally (e.g. Ben Stein).

    If the pro-semitism of American Christians was merely a response to modern political correctness, we’d find them to give lower Jewish warmth scores than atheists or agnostics, who tend to be much more cosmopolitan and liberal

    Evangelical philo-semitism is another form of political correctness. Look, your typical Baptist right-winger might balk at bowing to the idol of MLK, because said right-winger lives near blacks and knows all too well their problems. But the Baptist right-winger still doesn’t want to be seen as, or see himself as, one of the racist rednecks, so he finds another group, one of whose faults he is blissfully ignorant, to worship and slobber over in the manner that white secular liberals go gaga over blacks.

    you’d realize that the vast majority feel a deep spiritual kinship with Jews

    Based on what? Not personal experience, generally. Not knowledge of Judaism, Jewish culture, and Jewish involvement in things running counter to evangelical beliefs (such as the abortion movement). Not a proper understanding of traditional Christian theology (as opposed to dispensationalist hokum).

    Most consider Jews to be God’s chosen people, consider them to be saved simply by virtue of being Jewish, and feel a religious obligation to defend them around the globe

    The first two are heresies. Christianity teaches that Christians (i.e., those who accept Jesus of Nazareth as Lord and Savior) are God’s elect. Any who reject Christ, including but not limited to adherents of Judaism, are the damned.

    The third point has no basis in Christian history, and only a tendentious basis in the scripture interpretation. (OT terms such as Jerusalem, Zion, Israel, etc. have traditionally been interpreted by Christians in a non-literal, spiritual, universalist manner.)

    They see parallels between historical Jewish oppression and what they consider modern-day oppression of believers by Godless secularists

    Jews have formed a highly disproportionate share of the intellectuals, activists, leaders, funders, and enforcers of various streams of anti-Christian godless secularism: communism, Freudianism, feminism, multiculturalism, gay rights, abortion, pornography, you name it. American Christian support of Israel is also a factor in Muslim persecution of Middle Eastern Christians.

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  116. @george
    Maybe not now but there used to be Judeo Christian values, like maybe before 1968 or something. Actually for a while it seemed that Blacks, Whites, Jews, and all others where assimilating into a similar culture, then it all flew apart.

    This post might explain it:

    Texas: A Lot of Land, A Lot of Horses, Not a Lot of Jews
    http://heebmagazine.com/texas-a-lot-of-land-a-lot-of-horses-not-a-lot-of-jews/23624

    Because I lack a better expletive: Jesus.

    “Texas: A Lot of Land, A Lot of Horses, Not a Lot of Jews
    http://heebmagazine.com/texas-a-lot-of-land-a-lot-of-horses-not-a-lot-of-jews/23624″

    How can anyone be so self obsessed? Or rather so obsessed with their own identity group? This is ridiculous, Jews seem to have whole publications dedicated to nothing but how anything and everything relates to Jews or doesn’t.

    Okay ethnocentrism is the way of the world. But this is ridiculous. Don’t they ever get bored with the whole thing?

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  117. @vinteuil
    @ Twinkie: it's possible that, a hundred or so years ago, some people were impressed by some other people quoting latin without providing a translation.

    Not so much, these days.

    "To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace."

    It's not at all clear to me what you think this has to do with the building abilities of the Romans.

    it’s possible that, a hundred or so years ago, some people were impressed by some other people quoting latin without providing a translation.

    Not so much, these days.

    It’s from Tacitus, you know, a really famous Roman historian. Used to be quite well-known in the West. The Latin quote wasn’t to impress, but to evoke.

    It’s not at all clear to me what you think this has to do with the building abilities of the Romans.

    Perhaps the “unfairly” part might shed some light on how that relates to my subsequent sentence.

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  118. @Svigor
    The Mongols (of the 12th-14 centuries, give or take) are the people I feel most comfortable calling evil. Nobody else even comes close. They routinely promised safe passage to populations of cities, then murdered them once they accepted. Tens of thousands at a time. Women and children along with the men. And by "routinely," I mean that you can read accounts of the Mongols and go wanting for a Mongol promise of safe passage that didn't end that way. The only reason that I can think of that people kept falling for these promises as long as they did is that the Mongols' level of evil was so alien to peoples in points west that they couldn't conceive otherwise.

    One account has one high Mongol scumbag or another accepting the surrender of a Muslim prince, only to have him staked out in the heat, smeared with fat. The maggots ate him alive over a period of weeks. At least, that's the account. I believe it of the Mongols.

    The only people that exceed the evil of the Mongols were the Aztecs, and the Mongols were far worse in scale. The Aztecs were only worse in the depths of their depravity. The Mongols didn't reach those depths of Satanic depravity, but they managed to butcher 30m or so men, women, and children. That death toll was not to be exceeded until WWII.

    I've never liked throwing that word, evil, around, but no other word will do for these groups.

    The Mongols (of the 12th-14 centuries, give or take) are the people I feel most comfortable calling evil.

    They were no more or less evil than other conquering peoples of the time and throughout much of history.

    They used every trick in the book to win wars. It’s just that they were really good at it for a couple hundred of years. Like many conquering peoples, they used terror as a weapon. Cities that opened the gates were generally treated well by the standards of the times (after all, indiscriminately slaughtering those who gave up easily would not convince others to follow suit – contrarily when obstinately resistant cities were razed, other cities would surrender more readily). This doesn’t mean Mongols always spared those who gave up easily, of course. Other conditions intervened sometimes.

    Indeed, when they felt insulted or aggrieved (such as their ambassadors being murdered, as happened with Kwarizm), they went to great lengths to avenge it going so far as to exterminate the aggrieving party. Like a lot of other warrior peoples, they respected courage and honor, and frequently spared those who displayed them (one of Genghis Khan’s great generals, Jebe, was an erstwhile foe who almost killed him in battle and displayed a bit of “balls” if you will and he was spared and embraced). See Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jebe

    After the battle, Genghis Khan asked the defeated to reveal who shot “his horse” in the neck (euphemizing his own injury as his horse’s in an apparent attempt to conceal his injury, or possibly to prevent false confessions). Jebe is said to have voluntarily confessed that he shot Genghis Khan himself and not his horse, and further said, that “if Genghis Khan desired to kill him, it was his choice, but if he would let him live, he would serve Genghis Khan loyally”. Genghis Khan, in his own usual custom, highly valued honesty and loyalty in his soldiers and so, in the traditions of nomadic chivalry, pardoned him and praised him on this account. He then gave him a new name, Jebe, which means both “arrow” and “rust” in Mongolian. Jebe was not his birth name (which was Zurgadai), but a nickname based on this occasion.

    And once Pax Mongolica was established and the Mongol authority held, one could travel safely throughout the Mongol Empire, from Sarai to Karakorum, without the fear of being robbed by bandits and outlaws.

    Mongols also respected religion and largely granted the freedom of conscience to their subjects.

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  119. @Svigor
    What's funny is that the Mongols seem more known for their supposed invincibility than they are for their butchery. The facts don't really bear this out. The Mongols either turned tail or eventually got whipped by every advanced civilization they went up against, with the exception of the Song. And their conquest of the Song was a very near thing. If the Chinese hadn't had such a comfortable relationship with despotism, they might've had a population loyal enough to fight a bit harder, and that might very well have turned the tide. As it was, Song leaders were so busy defecting to and abetting the Mongols that China couldn't quite fend them off in the end. Heck, if the Jin hadn't rolled over for the Mongols and joined them, the Song might've been able to resist. And for that matter, if the Song hadn't helped the Mongols take the Jin in the first place, same thing.

    Elsewhere, the Mongols had their asses straight up handed to them by the Sultanate of Delhi. The Mamluks stopped them in the Levant. And they took one look at the risk vs. reward of Europe beyond the Danube, and left and never came back.

    Most of the Mongols' much-trumpeted vast land empire that was a dump then, and is still a dump today. All of which is not to say that they weren't the pinnacle of pre-modern steppe/open field warfare, because they were.

    What’s funny is that the Mongols seem more known for their supposed invincibility than they are for their butchery. The facts don’t really bear this out. The Mongols either turned tail or eventually got whipped by every advanced civilization they went up against, with the exception of the Song.

    This is complete nonsense.

    Mongols were nearly invincible during their heyday. As an all cavalry force (reputedly each horseman had ten mounts), their strategic and operational mobility was incredible by the standards of their time. As lifelong hunters and warriors, their tactical skills as horse archers were superb. And while other skilled steppe peoples also possessed these elements, Genghis Khan also imbued his armies with an iron discipline other steppe peoples lacked. Unlike the plodding masses of the settled armies, Mongol armies frequently coordinated battles hundreds mile apart with incredible precision and speed. And then they had geniuses like Jebe and Subotai as generals. The combination proved to be all but irresistible.

    Tactically, one of the Mongols’ favorite battle techniques was the feigned retreat. Relying on their superior mobility and iron discipline, Mongols frequently “broke” in the middle of battle and baited their enemies to an ill-conceived, disorganized pursuit. Then they turned around, surrounded their enemies, and shot them to pieces.

    The West and the Mamluks were saved by dumb luck. The Mongols had annihilated one European army after another advancing through Russia, Poland, and Hungary, but they had to return to Mongolia following their tradition when their Great Khan Ogedei died (all Mongol princes were required to vote to elect their next supreme leader; and some of course harbored the hope of being elected themselves).

    Similarly, Hulagu was set to ravage Egypt, but then Mongke Khan died, requiring him to return with the majority of his troops (Hulagu was potentially a candidate for the Supreme Khan-ship). At the Battle of Ain Jalut, the Mamluks subsequently defeated a token force left behind by Hulagu under a Nestorian Christian general (and that smaller force was largely Cuman/Kipchak and did not have many “Imperial,” i.e. actual Mongol, troops).

    Mongols had three weaknesses. First, they were largely composed of light horse archers and also very few in number, so they rarely engaged in pitched battles. Generally they avoided such engagements as they had better mobility, but on rare occasions did suffer when cornered in unfavorable terrain by a heavier force.

    Second, as primitive steppe peoples they lacked siege engines. However, Mongols were extremely practical and quickly acquired trained personnel needed to build such engines. In fact, even when they razed cities, they took as useful prisoners artisans and skilled workers (and usually religious figures). Eventually they became quite adept at taking cities.

    Third, after the initial cohesion under Genghis Khan, his sons, and his grandsons dissipated, they fell upon themselves in vicious infighting. The Khans of the Golden Horde and the Il-Khans of Persia frequently warred rather than fighting their external enemies. And as their lives became luxurious and easy, they lost taste for conquest and settled into comfortable lives which weakened their military might. Genghis Khan himself predicted and bemoaned that while he suffered poverty, hunger, exile, extreme danger in youth, his descendants, because of his work, would enjoy lying on soft silk, eating exotic food, and having beautiful women.

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  120. @Svigor
    What's funny is that the Mongols seem more known for their supposed invincibility than they are for their butchery. The facts don't really bear this out. The Mongols either turned tail or eventually got whipped by every advanced civilization they went up against, with the exception of the Song. And their conquest of the Song was a very near thing. If the Chinese hadn't had such a comfortable relationship with despotism, they might've had a population loyal enough to fight a bit harder, and that might very well have turned the tide. As it was, Song leaders were so busy defecting to and abetting the Mongols that China couldn't quite fend them off in the end. Heck, if the Jin hadn't rolled over for the Mongols and joined them, the Song might've been able to resist. And for that matter, if the Song hadn't helped the Mongols take the Jin in the first place, same thing.

    Elsewhere, the Mongols had their asses straight up handed to them by the Sultanate of Delhi. The Mamluks stopped them in the Levant. And they took one look at the risk vs. reward of Europe beyond the Danube, and left and never came back.

    Most of the Mongols' much-trumpeted vast land empire that was a dump then, and is still a dump today. All of which is not to say that they weren't the pinnacle of pre-modern steppe/open field warfare, because they were.

    Most of the Mongols’ much-trumpeted vast land empire that was a dump then, and is still a dump today.

    Again, that’s nonsense.

    In their heyday, Silk Road cities like Bukhara and Samarkand were both immensely rich and flowing with the best of Islamic culture. Khorasan (eastern Persia) at the time was the jewel of Islamic world.

    The Shah of the Kwarezmian Empire who ruled the area made a very bad mistake in slaughtering Mongol ambassadors at Otrar; Mongols invaded and spared little, turning the area into desert, from which the area never recovered.

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  121. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Old Jew
    It irks me wen the yiddish used is a-gramatical

    Noun and adjective must agree in gender

    Kop (German Kopf) = head is masculine

    Goyeshe (peasantly) is feminine.

    To my ear it should be:

    Goysher (masculine) Kop (masculine)

    Also
    "you got a goyeshe kop" grates my grammar sense.

    I would have said:

    Host a "goyyishem Kop" = You've got a peasant head

    The terminal particle "m" would make it the "accusative" and it is required after "You've got".

    My Yiddish is from Southern Ukraine/Romania (so called Southern Yiddish dialect)

    Are these discrepancies customary in other dialects?

    Is there any other Yiddish speaker on this thread that can set me straight?

    sf

    sf, I think that’s “n” instead of “m”.

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  122. Perhaps I am mistaken but in this discussion about Judaism vs. Christianity, I did not see much in the way of eschatology and the afterlife. Christianity is much more concerned about the Judgment in the afterlife than Judaism in general and, I would suspect, this has an effect on present behavior.

    In fact, in Catholicism, there is such a thing as an imperfect contrition, which is still “acceptable,” namely the boldfaced part of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (or Confession):

    God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to confess my sins, do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

    Meaning, alternation of bad behavior due more to fear of divine judgment, rather than principle’s sake, was considered adequate.

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  123. @Old Jew
    It irks me wen the yiddish used is a-gramatical

    Noun and adjective must agree in gender

    Kop (German Kopf) = head is masculine

    Goyeshe (peasantly) is feminine.

    To my ear it should be:

    Goysher (masculine) Kop (masculine)

    Also
    "you got a goyeshe kop" grates my grammar sense.

    I would have said:

    Host a "goyyishem Kop" = You've got a peasant head

    The terminal particle "m" would make it the "accusative" and it is required after "You've got".

    My Yiddish is from Southern Ukraine/Romania (so called Southern Yiddish dialect)

    Are these discrepancies customary in other dialects?

    Is there any other Yiddish speaker on this thread that can set me straight?

    sf

    I would have said:

    Host a “goyyishem Kop” = You’ve got a peasant head

    In Lithuanian/Polish Yiddish, it would be “Host a goyyishen Kop”, just like German.

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  124. @Art
    Western wisdom on god has evolved.

    God 1.0 – the mean bloody singular tribal unforgiving Jewish god.

    God 2.0 – the universal hopeful empathic forgiving Christian god.

    God 3.0 – the modern Darwinian god the creator - that set the universe in motion but does not interfere in its events.

    Judeo-Christian is an oxymoron – their empathic natures are totally different - who can straightforwardly look at combative apartheid Israel and greedy Wall Street and honestly say that the two religions are the same?

    When Christians turn to the Old Testament - they go wrong.

    “When Christians turn to the Old Testament – they go wrong.”

    I agree with something Laurence Auster (Jewish convert to Christianity) said: Jesus said he came to add to the Law, not to abnegate it. For Jews that meant their existing Law, but for other cultures it means their own traditions, whether Roman, Teutonic, Gaelic etc. Interpret your own tradition in the light of Jesus’ teachings; don’t throw it in the bin and think you can rely on someone else’s tradition (Old Testament, for non-Jews), or on the New Testament alone. The latter leads to the self-destroying pathological altruism that is the dominant Western paradigm. The former tends to go bad the other way.

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  125. “When Christians turn to the Old Testament – they go wrong.”

    I agree with something Laurence Auster (Jewish convert to Christianity) said: Jesus said he came to add to the Law, not to abnegate it. For Jews that meant their existing Law, but for other cultures it means their own traditions, whether Roman, Teutonic, Gaelic etc. Interpret your own tradition in the light of Jesus’ teachings; don’t throw it in the bin and think you can rely on someone else’s tradition (Old Testament, for non-Jews), or on the New Testament alone. The latter leads to the self-destroying pathological altruism that is the dominant Western paradigm. The former tends to go bad the other way.

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    • Replies: @anon
    What if your existing Law and tradition calls for human sacrifice like the Aztecs, or for cannibalism like some South Seas tribes? How do you interpret that tradition in light of Jesus's teachings?
  126. Well, judeo-islamic-values makes more sense than judeo-christian-values. To both jews and muslims, christians are polytheists and idol worshippers. Any deviance from strict monotheism is a deal breaker to them. God having a son with a human female is utterly ridiculous nonsense to both. Both circumcise, don’t eat pork, slaughter animals kosher/halal style, cover up their bodies etc.

    Jews were treated much better and felt more at home in islamic Spain and the Ottoman Empire than they ever did in Christendom.

    What exactly are the values that protestants have in common with jews? Belief in the Old Testament? Jews moved on to the Talmud centuries ago. And the New Testament trumps the Old in all sects of christianity.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    God having a son with a human female is utterly ridiculous nonsense to both.
     
    I believe both Jews and Muslims accept Genesis 6:2 (true, not God himself in those passages, but "sons of God" with "daughters of Men").

    Jews were treated much better and felt more at home in islamic Spain and the Ottoman Empire than they ever did in Christendom.
     
    While it is true that at one point the Sultan of the Ottomans boasted that the King and Queen of Spain impoverished their own kingdom (drive out Jews and other non-Catholics) to enrich his, your statement is overdone to say the least.

    Although at times treated well as subjects and dhimmis, the status of non-Muslims was always precarious and depended heavily on the whims of the ruling Muslims (see how well the Jews of Medina were treated), just as Hofjude ("Court Jews") were in Christian Europe. The difference is that Jews were eventually emancipated in Christendom and some were even ennobled, exceeding in prestige, power, and influence native Christian nobility in its own land.
    , @Bliss
    On the other hand here's what christianity has in common with Islam but not with judaism:

    Both christians and muslims venerate Jesus, as the son of God and as a prophet of God respectively. Talmudic judaism is not impressed with Jesus at all.

    Both christians and muslims, believe in bodily resurrection after death followed by eternal heaven or hell. This concept clearly comes from Ancient Egypt and is absolutely fundamental to both christians and muslims, not so much to the jews (they sure don't seem to obsess about it).

    Both christianity and islam, unlike judaism, are missionary religions that actively seek to convert pagans/kafirs (often through force, historically).
  127. @Bliss
    Well, judeo-islamic-values makes more sense than judeo-christian-values. To both jews and muslims, christians are polytheists and idol worshippers. Any deviance from strict monotheism is a deal breaker to them. God having a son with a human female is utterly ridiculous nonsense to both. Both circumcise, don't eat pork, slaughter animals kosher/halal style, cover up their bodies etc.

    Jews were treated much better and felt more at home in islamic Spain and the Ottoman Empire than they ever did in Christendom.

    What exactly are the values that protestants have in common with jews? Belief in the Old Testament? Jews moved on to the Talmud centuries ago. And the New Testament trumps the Old in all sects of christianity.

    God having a son with a human female is utterly ridiculous nonsense to both.

    I believe both Jews and Muslims accept Genesis 6:2 (true, not God himself in those passages, but “sons of God” with “daughters of Men”).

    Jews were treated much better and felt more at home in islamic Spain and the Ottoman Empire than they ever did in Christendom.

    While it is true that at one point the Sultan of the Ottomans boasted that the King and Queen of Spain impoverished their own kingdom (drive out Jews and other non-Catholics) to enrich his, your statement is overdone to say the least.

    Although at times treated well as subjects and dhimmis, the status of non-Muslims was always precarious and depended heavily on the whims of the ruling Muslims (see how well the Jews of Medina were treated), just as Hofjude (“Court Jews”) were in Christian Europe. The difference is that Jews were eventually emancipated in Christendom and some were even ennobled, exceeding in prestige, power, and influence native Christian nobility in its own land.

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    • Replies: @Bliss

    The difference is that Jews were eventually emancipated in Christendom
     
    Jews were emancipated by the Enlightenment movement from their un-emancipated lot under Christendom.

    The only reason jews weren't forcibly converted to christianity like everyone else was to serve as "proof" that christianity was based on real history, unlike the various myths on which the pagan religions were based. And the reason jews were humiliated and mistreated under Christendom was to show that they were suffering for having rejected Christ.
  128. @Bliss
    Well, judeo-islamic-values makes more sense than judeo-christian-values. To both jews and muslims, christians are polytheists and idol worshippers. Any deviance from strict monotheism is a deal breaker to them. God having a son with a human female is utterly ridiculous nonsense to both. Both circumcise, don't eat pork, slaughter animals kosher/halal style, cover up their bodies etc.

    Jews were treated much better and felt more at home in islamic Spain and the Ottoman Empire than they ever did in Christendom.

    What exactly are the values that protestants have in common with jews? Belief in the Old Testament? Jews moved on to the Talmud centuries ago. And the New Testament trumps the Old in all sects of christianity.

    On the other hand here’s what christianity has in common with Islam but not with judaism:

    Both christians and muslims venerate Jesus, as the son of God and as a prophet of God respectively. Talmudic judaism is not impressed with Jesus at all.

    Both christians and muslims, believe in bodily resurrection after death followed by eternal heaven or hell. This concept clearly comes from Ancient Egypt and is absolutely fundamental to both christians and muslims, not so much to the jews (they sure don’t seem to obsess about it).

    Both christianity and islam, unlike judaism, are missionary religions that actively seek to convert pagans/kafirs (often through force, historically).

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  129. @Twinkie

    God having a son with a human female is utterly ridiculous nonsense to both.
     
    I believe both Jews and Muslims accept Genesis 6:2 (true, not God himself in those passages, but "sons of God" with "daughters of Men").

    Jews were treated much better and felt more at home in islamic Spain and the Ottoman Empire than they ever did in Christendom.
     
    While it is true that at one point the Sultan of the Ottomans boasted that the King and Queen of Spain impoverished their own kingdom (drive out Jews and other non-Catholics) to enrich his, your statement is overdone to say the least.

    Although at times treated well as subjects and dhimmis, the status of non-Muslims was always precarious and depended heavily on the whims of the ruling Muslims (see how well the Jews of Medina were treated), just as Hofjude ("Court Jews") were in Christian Europe. The difference is that Jews were eventually emancipated in Christendom and some were even ennobled, exceeding in prestige, power, and influence native Christian nobility in its own land.

    The difference is that Jews were eventually emancipated in Christendom

    Jews were emancipated by the Enlightenment movement from their un-emancipated lot under Christendom.

    The only reason jews weren’t forcibly converted to christianity like everyone else was to serve as “proof” that christianity was based on real history, unlike the various myths on which the pagan religions were based. And the reason jews were humiliated and mistreated under Christendom was to show that they were suffering for having rejected Christ.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Jews were emancipated by the Enlightenment movement from their un-emancipated lot under Christendom.
     
    That's your answer to everything, eh, Enlightenment?

    Jews were largely emancipated by the Statute of Kalisz in Catholic Poland during the 13th Century. Was that due to Enlightenment too?

    Furthermore, many (perhaps most) European countries emancipated Jews during the 19th Century well after the Age of Enlightenment (late 17-18th Centuries). There were several forces at work that led to their emancipation.

    And while we are at it, did Enlightenment spontaneously and randomly occur in Christian Europe by magic? Was it just dumb luck? Why was there no Enlightenment in the Islamic world or in China? Moreover, did Christianity just disappear after the 18th Century? Did Europeans stop believing in the Divinity of Jesus?

    And what's with all these Founding Fathers extolling Christianity! http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=8755
  130. @Millenial
    Josh said: “the influence of the ex-Marranos on early Calvinism who flooded the Netherlands in the 16th century after being kicked out of Spain and Portugal. According to Albion’s Seed it was “Dutch” merchants who spread Calvinism to east Anglia.”

    Check out this letter written by an actual Dutch Calvinist merchant. You may have heard of him: Peter Stuyvesant, the governor of New Netherland colony (later New York).

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/heritage/episode7/documents/documents_1.html

    “…with their customary usury and deceitful trading with the Christians...”
    “…very repugnant…”
    “…deceitful race -- such hateful enemies and blasphemers of the name of Christ -- be not allowed to further infect and trouble this new colony…”
    “…their abominable religion…”

    Interestingly you can find that kind of language among just about all of the Judaizing groups in history; a combination of the revolution devouring its own, the fact that Judeaphilia does not survive long the interaction with actual Jews, and the Jews refusing to embrace their universalism and understanding of Christ as the fulfillment of Scripture.

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  131. I would say Disraeli proves my point at lack of influence. Would he have been Prime Minister otherwise. Late 19th century Jewish emancipation sees Jewish ideas begin to develop in Europe in general.

    Cromwell was a dictator, many argued passionately against readmittance demonstrating a general opposition to Jewish ideas.

    I just don’t think in general Jews deserve more than even a footnote in European history until the 19th century.

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    • Replies: @josh
    No offense intended, but you really don't know what you are talking about.
  132. @Millenial
    Somehow I doubt that real-world Jews had much influence over Calvinists:


    "I have had much conversation with many Jews: I have never seen either a drop of piety or a grain of truth or ingenuousness – nay, I have never found common sense in any Jew."

    -John Calvin



    Also, from jewishvirtuallibrary.org:

    “By their own account, biblical Jews inspired the Puritans’ vision and aspirations.
    Yet, New England’s Puritans were less than hospitable to Jews they actually found among them. The Connecticut colony they founded offers a clear example of the contradiction between their high regard for biblical Jews and their reluctance to have real-life Jews as neighbors…

    “…only a handful of Jews resided in Connecticut during the years of Puritan domination. The first reference to a Jew in Connecticut is to one “David the Jew,” who was arrested and fined by a Hartford court in 1659 for illegal peddling. A more telling case is that of Jacob Lucena, identified as “Jacob the Jew” in court records, who in 1670 was charged, in a manner reminiscent of 20th-century Southern lynch mobs, with the crime of being “notorious in his lascivious dalliance and wanton carriage and proffers to several women.”…

    “By the 1840s, conditions finally were ripe for change. Given their First Amendment rights, the middle-class, German-speaking Jewish immigrants in Hartford and New Haven would not tolerate religious discrimination…”

    You could use the same method to doubt whether the Jews had any influence on Bolshevism. They weren’t the originals, they weren’t their at the end, but the showed up early, when it served their ends, and played a major role in the direction the movement would take.

    http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/41610252?uid=3739936&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21104850598133

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Tremellius

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  133. @LondonBob
    I would say Disraeli proves my point at lack of influence. Would he have been Prime Minister otherwise. Late 19th century Jewish emancipation sees Jewish ideas begin to develop in Europe in general.

    Cromwell was a dictator, many argued passionately against readmittance demonstrating a general opposition to Jewish ideas.

    I just don't think in general Jews deserve more than even a footnote in European history until the 19th century.

    No offense intended, but you really don’t know what you are talking about.

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  134. Simon,

    “Interpret your own tradition in the light of Jesus’ teachings; don’t throw it in the bin and think you can rely on someone else’s tradition (Old Testament, for non-Jews), or on the New Testament alone. The latter leads to the self-destroying pathological altruism that is the dominant Western paradigm. The former tends to go bad the other way.”

    That sounds appealing, and there is something to the idea of not discarding one’s own (ethnic, say) tradition in lieu of the Hebrew, but once one engages at all in the text of the New Testament, one finds that the Old is indispensable for its understanding, not to mention understanding the civilization that grew up around centuries of familiarity with the two as one scripture, from Lindisfarne to Paradise Lost to MLK jr. preaching Exodus.

    Of course someone somewhere said something mean about Jews and someone owned slaves, so none of that counts now. Or something.

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  135. The term will disappear, along with this kind of humor, after most of the Jews in the West assimilate (and many of those who don’t will move to Israel). That is in one or two generations tops at the rates of intermarriage in the West. Once the overwhelming majority of Jews live in Israel, the term Judeo-Christian, and this kind of Ashkenazi Jewish/Yiddish humor will simply have no meaning at all. You might use the phrase Islamo-Christian by then but I doubt it. By then people will be tired of pretending about Islam, I think.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    You live in a fantasy if you think that Jews will assimilate in two generations. Jews haven't assimilated in 2000 years and this century will be no different, in spite of a percentage that do assimilate. Jewish ethnocentricity is still high, and the orthodox are plentiful and fertile. Furthermore, the nature of the Jewish sociopolitical system allows for Jews to find their way back even if their parents or grandparents assimilated. That's unique to Jews, and is one of the tools that has been used to great effect to thwart assimilation. Being in the Jewish fold confers a large mount of sociopolitical privilege over other groups. This social advantage gap will increase as other groups become even less cohesive. The sociopolitical advantage alone is enough for Judaism to warm the hearts of Jews on lost Jews alike. If anything, I think you will see net increase in tribal membership through births, returning lost Jews, and converts. It's a shame for 99% of converts that they are in for a rude awakening when they find that the only effective way to convert is to become Orthodox, which makes Judaism conversion de facto impossible for most aspirants. Though, many might be satisfied with the much less politically effective reform conversion, just to give a sheen of validity to their claim to tribe membership.
  136. @anon
    Jews did quiet well on Charles Murray's list of greatness, ending in 1950.

    Jews did quiet well on Charles Murray’s list of greatness, ending in 1950.

    Sure, but the overwhelming bulk of the Jewish figures are post 1800.

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  137. “A man in full says:

    Don’t bother Steve with facts, anony-mouse. Or his readers, either.”

    Don’t worry. He never has. I suspect we need not fear any from your quarter either.

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  138. @Josh

    Immanuel Tremellius seems to have totally rejected his Jewish heritage in favor of Christianity.

    Marrano converts to Calvinism in Holland are to be expected, as they attempted to integrate with their surroundings.

    I fail to see how either actually influenced Calvinism in any sort of modern philo-semetic way or ‘steered’ it in a particular direction.

    The whole “The Dutch rejected Catholicism, revolted against Spain, and tolerated Jews” trope is often trotted out as evidence of contemporary Jewish influence over the Dutch or special philo-semitic feelings held by the Dutch people. This simply isn’t true.

    1) The Dutch rejection of Catholicism, like elsewhere in Europe, had more to do with nationalism, the perception of Popery as foreign, and distaste for the corruption in the Catholic church, than with theological jargon.

    2) The revolt against Spain: this should be a no-brainer. Why would Germanic Dutchmen want to be vassals of Spain? This undoubtedly helped feed Protestant sentiment…

    3) Toleration of Jews: pure business interests. From the reply to Stuyvesant:

    “We would have liked to effectuate and fulfill your wishes and request that the new territories should no more be allowed to be infected by people of the Jewish nation for we foresee therefrom the same difficulties which you fear, but after having further weighed and considered the matter, we observe that this would be somewhat unreasonable and unfair… because of the large amount of capital which they still have invested in the shares of this company…”

    Obviously, Jews could, and did, reject Catholicism, fight Spain, and advocate for their own toleration, but for rather different reasons. The fact that Jewish and Dutch interests aligned in a particular time period does not prove any sort of special influence the former held over the latter.

    The desire to give disproportionate credit to various minority groups for influencing seminal events in European history is a fairly recent phenomenon in historical writing, for reasons that isteve readers should easily realize.

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    • Replies: @josh
    Your leaving out the 1) actual philo-semetism of a particular avant garde and very influential intellectual elite during the Elizabethan era and 2) the development of a marrano culture that, to get back to an isteve theme, had both secret (as in secret societies) esoteric doctrine and public exoteric practice. In other words, subversion was an essential aspect of the culture.

    Incidentally, freemasonry may have had jewish roots, though I have no idea how much stock to place in a single mention.

    http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/zeldis14.html

    Scroll down to the campanal enigma.
  139. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Simon in London
    "When Christians turn to the Old Testament – they go wrong."

    I agree with something Laurence Auster (Jewish convert to Christianity) said: Jesus said he came to add to the Law, not to abnegate it. For Jews that meant their existing Law, but for other cultures it means their own traditions, whether Roman, Teutonic, Gaelic etc. Interpret your own tradition in the light of Jesus' teachings; don't throw it in the bin and think you can rely on someone else's tradition (Old Testament, for non-Jews), or on the New Testament alone. The latter leads to the self-destroying pathological altruism that is the dominant Western paradigm. The former tends to go bad the other way.

    What if your existing Law and tradition calls for human sacrifice like the Aztecs, or for cannibalism like some South Seas tribes? How do you interpret that tradition in light of Jesus’s teachings?

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    • Replies: @Simon in London
    "@Simon in London

    What if your existing Law and tradition calls for human sacrifice like the Aztecs, or for cannibalism like some South Seas tribes? How do you interpret that tradition in light of Jesus’s teachings?"

    You would stop doing the bad bits, and keep the good non-murderous bits. Presumably there are some good bits, at least good for you. You don't throw the whole thing away.
  140. @Bliss

    The difference is that Jews were eventually emancipated in Christendom
     
    Jews were emancipated by the Enlightenment movement from their un-emancipated lot under Christendom.

    The only reason jews weren't forcibly converted to christianity like everyone else was to serve as "proof" that christianity was based on real history, unlike the various myths on which the pagan religions were based. And the reason jews were humiliated and mistreated under Christendom was to show that they were suffering for having rejected Christ.

    Jews were emancipated by the Enlightenment movement from their un-emancipated lot under Christendom.

    That’s your answer to everything, eh, Enlightenment?

    Jews were largely emancipated by the Statute of Kalisz in Catholic Poland during the 13th Century. Was that due to Enlightenment too?

    Furthermore, many (perhaps most) European countries emancipated Jews during the 19th Century well after the Age of Enlightenment (late 17-18th Centuries). There were several forces at work that led to their emancipation.

    And while we are at it, did Enlightenment spontaneously and randomly occur in Christian Europe by magic? Was it just dumb luck? Why was there no Enlightenment in the Islamic world or in China? Moreover, did Christianity just disappear after the 18th Century? Did Europeans stop believing in the Divinity of Jesus?

    And what’s with all these Founding Fathers extolling Christianity! http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=8755

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    • Replies: @Bliss

    That’s your answer to everything, eh, Enlightenment?
     
    If you got a problem with the Enlightenment you got a problem with America which is a product of the Enlightenment.

    European countries emancipated Jews during the 19th Century well after the Age of Enlightenment (late 17-18th Centuries).
     
    For centuries under Christendom jews were not emancipated and you are irrational enough to give christianity the credit for their emancipation instead of the Enlightenment? Get real, and get a real education instead of brainlessly parroting Tea Party BS.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_emancipation

    Jewish emancipation followed the Age of Enlightenment and the concurrent Jewish enlightenment.[2]
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon_and_the_Jews

    Napoleon Bonaparte of the First French Empire enacted laws that emancipated European Jews from old laws restricting them to ghettos, as well as the many laws that limited Jews' rights to property, worship, and careers........The French Revolution abolished the different treatment of people according to religion or origin that existed under the monarchy; the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen guaranteed freedom of religion and free exercise of worship, provided that it did not contradict public order. At that time, most other European countries implemented measures restricting the rights of people from minority religions. The conquests of Napoleon Bonaparte spread the modernist ideas of revolutionary France: equality of citizens and the rule of law.

    The French Revolution like the American Revolution was a product of the Enlightenment.

    And what’s with all these Founding Fathers extolling Christianity!
     
    Benjamin Franklin: Some books against Deism fell into my hands. . . It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.

    Thomas Jefferson: Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced an inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    Thomas Paine: Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half of the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind.

    James Madison: During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.

    John Adams: The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole cartloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity.


    As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion (Treaty of Tripoli, signed by President John Adams, 1797)
  141. I almost forgot how the Mongols used catapaults to hurl plague-infected corpses over the walls of cities that were giving them trouble. And their key role in spreading the black death to Europe. Oh, and how they marched people they’d enslaved into siege warfare against their own kind, laughing as they went to their deaths, under pain of death.

    And they routinely demanded ridiculous terms of surrender, essentially requiring total enslavement.

    Saw a comment that the 30-50+m killed by the Mongols represented more than 17% of the population, while WW2 “only” killed 3% of the world population. So, going by share of the population killed, the Mongol conquests were like 5 or 6 World War IIs.

    Yep, evil.

    They were no more or less evil than other conquering peoples of the time and throughout much of history.

    First, they killed 30m+ people. So, yes, they were a lot more evil than other conquering peoples. Like I said, they were not surpassed in their butchery until WWII. Second, yes, leaving scale aside, they were more cruel, heartless, and ruthless than other conquering peoples. They were basically bandits and marauders, writ large. Later, when they settled down and absorbed the cultural values of the civilized peoples they had conquered, they became less so, but that’s not the Mongols I was referring to. Even the most evil folk get exhausted after a couple centuries of unprecedented butchery.

    They used every trick in the book to win wars. It’s just that they were really good at it for a couple hundred of years. Like many conquering peoples, they used terror as a weapon.

    And they were much better at using terror than the others, because they were evil and terrified everyone.

    Cities that opened the gates were generally treated well by the standards of the times (after all, indiscriminately slaughtering those who gave up easily would not convince others to follow suit – contrarily when obstinately resistant cities were razed, other cities would surrender more readily). This doesn’t mean Mongols always spared those who gave up easily, of course. Other conditions intervened sometimes.

    I read account after account where they promised not to slaughter everyone if they surrendered, and then they slaughtered them when they surrendered. Dunno what to tell you.

    (after all, indiscriminately slaughtering those who gave up easily would not convince others to follow suit – contrarily when obstinately resistant cities were razed, other cities would surrender more readily).

    That’s just it, they didn’t seem all that logical about it. More like, we’re the Chosen of Heaven, it is our destiny to conquer and rule the world, and you have pissed us off by not having the gates open when we got here, so now we’re going to kill everyone, down to the last man, woman, and child. Resisting them at all was pretty much enough to get the Mongols to go into genocidal grudge mode.

    Indeed, when they felt insulted or aggrieved (such as their ambassadors being murdered, as happened with Kwarizm)

    Given their propensity for murdering other peoples’ diplomats, one wonders why they should have wondered.

    (one of Genghis Khan’s great generals, Jebe, was an erstwhile foe who almost killed him in battle and displayed a bit of “balls” if you will and he was spared and embraced).

    Jebe was a fellow Mongol. When the Mongols captured other peoples, who they intended to force to fight their wars for them, they exterminated all of the leaders. They didn’t bother to ask them to swear fealty.

    Pax Mongolica

    I find that a silly term. Didn’t you just quote the Latin about the men who create a desert and call it peace? It seems apt here.

    was established and the Mongol authority held, one could travel safely throughout the Mongol Empire, from Sarai to Karakorum, without the fear of being robbed by bandits and outlaws.

    The Mongol Empire was just a giant bandit army taxing the realm they’d subjugated. A very disciplined bandit army, I admit. They contributed practically nothing, culturally speaking.

    No one was safe from the Mongols in the Mongol Empire.

    Mongols also respected religion and largely granted the freedom of conscience to their subjects.

    They tolerated religions because they themselves had a primitive animist religion that paled next to the more complex systems of China, Europe, and West Asia, and they were clever enough to know better than to try to impose their religion on people with real faith. They were a bandit army, so they had no reason to convert anyone. I don’t find their lack of conviction in anything but their own racial and military supremacy to be particularly noteworthy.

    Mongols were nearly invincible during their heyday. As an all cavalry force (reputedly each horseman had ten mounts), their strategic and operational mobility was incredible by the standards of their time.

    They weren’t an all-cavalry force. They took China with slave armies, mostly infantry. In fact, every place you read about them using siege warfare, that’s a place they were taking with their slave infantries. And besieging with their slave engineers.

    But I think I already mentioned that they were the pinnacle of premodern steppe/mobile warfare.

    And then they had geniuses like Jebe and Subotai as generals. The combination proved to be all but irresistible.

    My personal theory is that Mongol open warfare tactics, combined with their bandit pragmatism, made their generals look like “geniuses.” The Mongols’ results were consistent enough over a long enough period that I suspect it was their whole military culture and way of life, the tactics that eventually came to be an ethnic thing for the Mongols, that were decisive. If it were really the generals, I think we’d see more uneven performance from the Mongols in the field under varying officer talent. But instead, they seem remarkably consistent to me. But this is just my own opinion.

    The West and the Mamluks were saved by dumb luck. The Mongols had annihilated one European army after another advancing through Russia, Poland, and Hungary, but they had to return to Mongolia following their tradition when their Great Khan Ogedei died (all Mongol princes were required to vote to elect their next supreme leader; and some of course harbored the hope of being elected themselves).

    I think that’s an outdated (if orthodox) view. The Mongols had wiped out several armies in the least fortified backwaters of Europe. Russia: primitive backwater with no stone fortifications, only wood and earth, the opposite of unified politically. Not heavily populated, either. Poland: only somewhat more fortified and populated than Russia, still far behind Europe to the west. Hungary was the best-fortified of the three, but it was still way behind parts west. Hungary was as far west as the Mongols’ steppe tactics would really avail them. Beyond, Europe was forest, bog, mountain, etc. And bristling with stone fortifications that were far more formible and numerous than anything the Mongols ever conquered. European castle architecture has never been matched, not even close. And beyond the quality was the sheer number of the things, hundreds of them throughout Europe that have no equivalent at all in China, for example.

    Just compare the population of the parts of Europe that the Mongols conquered, to the parts that they never even raided.

    Krak des Chevaliers (Syria) was built in the 12th century. The Mongols came through there – when did they reduce it? Oh, that’s right, they didn’t. The Mongols probably took one look at it and said, “uhm, I hear my kuriltai calling.” They never took anything like it.

    How about Constantinople? Plenty of riches there. Why didn’t the Mongols take it? Because they would have looked at it and known it to be far beyond their abilities. They never took anything like it.

    As for the kuriltai story, it doesn’t add up. The Mongols withdrew from Hungary before they received word of the Khan’s death (per Rashid al-Din). And there was nothing stopping the Mongols from trying again after electing a new khan. Nothing except the Mongols. Their behavior after withdrawing from Hungary isn’t consistent with the idea that they’d received word of a kuriltai, either. Instead of going straight home, they acted like bandits on the way home from a raid at their own, leisurely pace, attacking the Cumans in the east and pursuing them through the mountains for a year. Then they spent another year getting back to the Volga in 1243. All of which raises the question, why did they leave at all, let alone at such an idle pace? Why didn’t Batu appoint a lieutenant to lead in his stead, freeing him to make all speed back to the kuriltai with a small escort? There was no Mongol law that a campaign could not continue while a new khan was elected, or that an invading army must attend a kuriltai.

    Carpini’s the only source for the kuriltai tale, and that’s probably all it is. After all, Carpini also attests to the fact that the Mongols were liars and only honest with one another. “Oh, we had to come home for the Kuriltai, yeah, that’s the ticket” is just the sort of thing a racist bandit would tell an outsider, particularly a foreign diplomat, as an excuse. Carpini’s also the source for the erroneous idea that Ogedei was poisoned, when the Mongols themselves stated that he died of his own drunkenness, and explicitly dismissed the notion that he’d been poisoned.

    Rashid al-Din was in a far better position to know, and is the more reliable source.

    Wikipedia says:

    It was not until 1255, well into the reign of Möngke Khan, that Batu felt secure enough to again prepare to invade Europe. Fortunately for the Europeans, he died before his plans could be implemented.

    Lol. What, did the whole Mongol race “forget” that they were going to invade Europe, too? Kind of a big thing for military geniuses to forget.

    The Mongol Empire had hundreds of years to invade Europe, but they never moved beyond her poor, sparsely-populated, and barely-fortified frontiers. They let the Hungarians kick them out. Oddly-enough, during the respite, the Hungarians thought stone fortifications were key to defending their land against the next looming invasion by the Mongols, and undertook a massive castle-building project.

    The most persuasive argument for the kuriltai explanation is circular logic: the Mongols were invincible, so they must’ve decided to leave on their own.

    As for the requirement for members of the royal family to attend the kuriltai; like all Mongol laws, it was flexible. Leading up to the Toluid Civil Wars, one khan or another refused for quite some time to attend, citing dubious injuries and impairments. Because it suited him. Baku could have spent another year invading Europe west of the Danube, instead of diddling around like he did, and still made it to the kuriltai when he did.

    Similarly, Hulagu was set to ravage Egypt, but then Mongke Khan died, requiring him to return with the majority of his troops (Hulagu was potentially a candidate for the Supreme Khan-ship). At the Battle of Ain Jalut, the Mamluks subsequently defeated a token force left behind by Hulagu under a Nestorian Christian general (and that smaller force was largely Cuman/Kipchak and did not have many “Imperial,” i.e. actual Mongol, troops).

    Their forces were routinely more non-Mongol than Mongol. They conquered all of China with mostly-foreign troops. The Mongols had hundreds of years to move further south and west, through the Levant and into Africa, but they never tried. They never reduced any of the impressive Crusader fortresses in the Levant.

    I’ll take your failure to mention the Sultanate of Delhi as silent agreement that they whipped the Mongols’ asses (again, because of decent population and fortification density, as well as a strong will to resist).

    Eventually they became quite adept at taking cities.

    I think you worded this well; the superlatives should be dropped when referring to Mongols doing anything aside from what they were masters at – steppe/mobile warfare. Sure, they became quite adept at siege warfare. Lots of people were quite adept. Particularly the west Asian engineers the Mongols captured and pressed into service for all of their best siege work.

    Third, after the initial cohesion under Genghis Khan, his sons, and his grandsons dissipated, they fell upon themselves in vicious infighting. The Khans of the Golden Horde and the Il-Khans of Persia frequently warred rather than fighting their external enemies.

    I disagree. Except for the one civil war, I think they did a pretty good job of keeping themselves together post-1206. Well, of not fighting one another, anyway. They didn’t manage to keep the territories entirely united. For a bunch of jumped-up bandits, I think they did very well in this regard.

    As for their vulnerabilities, I think they were vulnerable to foot archers, who can carry bigger bows with a longer range, but who would depend upon fortifications for sustenance and lodging. They were also vulnerable while laying siege. They lost quite a few notable princes and leaders over the years, all while conducting sieges – never in steppe/mobile warfare.

    In their heyday, Silk Road cities like Bukhara and Samarkand were both immensely rich and flowing with the best of Islamic culture. Khorasan (eastern Persia) at the time was the jewel of Islamic world.

    All at the periphery of their empire. Other than Persia and China, all they conquered were backwaters, frontiers, and wastes. Which is not to sneeze at Persia and China, mind you – but they represent a relatively small share of the territory the Mongols conquered. People always point to the land area the Mongol Empire spanned, as if that’s so very impressive, when most of it was empty and barren.

    Again, that’s nonsense.

    In their heyday, Silk Road cities like Bukhara and Samarkand were both immensely rich and flowing with the best of Islamic culture. Khorasan (eastern Persia) at the time was the jewel of Islamic world.

    The Shah of the Kwarezmian Empire who ruled the area made a very bad mistake in slaughtering Mongol ambassadors at Otrar; Mongols invaded and spared little, turning the area into desert, from which the area never recovered.

    True, they did tend to shoot for the low-risk, high-reward targets, as bandits are wont to do. But that doesn’t change the fact that most of the territory they took was a dump. Go look at a map of the Mongol Empire at its greatest extent and lay it over a modern one showing the dumps of central Asia today. Most of central Asia was a dump then, and most of it is a dump now. Desert, steppe, taiga, tundra, dizzy highlands…dumps. Marginally liveable. You’ve pretty much mentioned the only stuff that they took other than China that was worth having.

    P.S., I’m cribbing a lot of this from Deep Ditches and Well-built Walls – A Reappraisal of the Mongol Withdrawal from Europe in 1242 by Lindsey Stephen Pow. It’s quite comprehensive and a very interesting read. You should give it a look, he makes a persuasive case that serious fortification was the salient factor common to all the areas that resisted or avoided Mongol conquest. Along with sufficient population density, and a will to resist, that is.

    I doubt the Mongols could have taken Europe. They could have caused a lot of havoc, but I think they would have failed. And I think they knew it. They had massive spy networks and took the trouble to research and scout out prospective targets. I think that’s what Batu & co. were doing, an expeditionary raid, and they left when they ran out of soft targets. Europe would have been much harder than China, relative to the reward. China was close by Mongolia, richer and plumper than Europe, and not particularly accomplished in or oriented toward warfare. They were soft. Europeans had a greater tendency to fight and a lesser tendency to cooperate, collude, or defect. They liked burning their own shit to the ground before letting the Mongols have it. Burying their metal treasure and heading for the hills. Christians saw the Mongols as devils, and would be more inclined by their faith against surrendering to or cooperating with a marauding army of treacherous pagans.

    I think the Mongols took what they could. Like the good wannabe Masters of the Universe that they were. And didn’t take what they couldn’t, or what they doubted their ability to take. The Mongols were very impressive, but they’re also very overrated, IMO. They were quite canny at picking the softest, richest targets. Their real genius may have been in not overreaching very often.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    I almost forgot how the Mongols used catapaults to hurl plague-infected corpses over the walls of cities that were giving them trouble. And their key role in spreading the black death to Europe.
     
    Throwing diseased biological matter into a fortified area during a siege was a common technique, not unique to Mongols. And Italian merchants were probably even more responsible for spreading the Black Death than Mongols were. It's not the Mongols' fault that they unwittingly lived in one of the two areas in the world with the plague (the other is New Mexico). Besides, the rate and spread of the plague affliction was directly correlated to the level of sanitation and mass hygiene, on which points the Europeans at the time did not fare well (we Americans have erased this ignominy of the West by becoming the most showering people on earth).

    Like I said, they were not surpassed in their butchery until WWII. Second, yes, leaving scale aside, they were more cruel, heartless, and ruthless than other conquering peoples. They were basically bandits and marauders, writ large.
     
    Does Lindisfarne ring a bell? Do you also consider the Vikings to be evil? They seemed to have been considered "cruel, heartless, and ruthless" beyond measure by the settled peoples. They were also enormously cunning and duplicitous, frequently reneging treaties and agreements.

    Later, when they settled down and absorbed the cultural values of the civilized peoples they had conquered, they became less so, but that’s not the Mongols I was referring to. Even the most evil folk get exhausted after a couple centuries of unprecedented butchery.
     
    You just described medieval Eurasian history.

    Given their propensity for murdering other peoples’ diplomats, one wonders why they should have wondered.
     
    Do elaborate. Karakorum was full of diplomats from the far corners of Eurasia. Most seemed to have reported being treated rather grandly.

    Jebe was a fellow Mongol. When the Mongols captured other peoples, who they intended to force to fight their wars for them, they exterminated all of the leaders. They didn’t bother to ask them to swear fealty.
     
    Jebe was not a Mongol. He BECAME one. Mongols were a very small tribe. They absorbed those who were not their kin. This was a common steppe practice going at least as far as the time of Attila the Hun.

    Not being asked to swear fealty must have been news to the Princes of Novgorod, Smolensk, Galich, Pskov, and many others who submitted, swore fealty to the Grand Khans, and were variously given honors, titles, and local authority. Some even fought valiantly and enthusiastically for their new overlords.

    Nobody, I mean absolutely nobody, can run a vast empire without embracing and honoring cooperative local rulers and allies. That was the case with the Romans and that was also the case with the Mongols. Your description of them as simple bloodthirsty savages who killed all before them is more propaganda than real history.

    They weren’t an all-cavalry force. They took China with slave armies, mostly infantry. In fact, every place you read about them using siege warfare, that’s a place they were taking with their slave infantries. And besieging with their slave engineers.
     
    When they operated thousands of miles from home as they did in Europe and the Middle East, they operated as all-cavalry. Only when they fought protracted wars with settled empires did they rely on locally conscripted infantry. And their engineers weren't "slaves." Mongols treated artisans and skilled workers well and rewarded them. But you are correct that they often drove common prisoners mercilessly to the gates of their enemies.

    But I think I already mentioned that they were the pinnacle of premodern steppe/mobile warfare.
     
    Which is, to be understated about it, no small thing at all. When they were destroying army after army in Eastern Europe with a small force (no more than two to three tumans or 20,000 to 30,000 men), they were operating 2,000-3,000 miles OVERLAND from their homeland (water transport changes the equation enormously). And while operating so deeply in foreign territory, they were able to coordinate two successful battles hundreds of miles apart in a span of a few days (the Battle of Liegnitz and the Battle of Mohi). Prior to the Industrialization and mechanization of warfare, this was without precedent. The speed of their advances was unmatched until the rise of the motorized/mechanized warfare in World War II.

    If it were really the generals, I think we’d see more uneven performance from the Mongols in the field under varying officer talent. But instead, they seem remarkably consistent to me. But this is just my own opinion.
     
    Certainly Genghis Khan, not exactly a military amateur, rated Jebe and Subotai as highly capable generals. So much so that even when imperial princes were nominal commanders, actual operational commands were exercised by these meritocratic military geniuses outside the Golden Family. Indeed Subotai in his old age became quite obese and could not mount a horse (a terrible shame in Mongol culture), but his command expertise was so valued that he was carted around by a wagon to command armies.

    I think that’s an outdated (if orthodox) view. The Mongols had wiped out several armies in the least fortified backwaters of Europe. Russia: primitive backwater with no stone fortifications, only wood and earth, the opposite of unified politically. Not heavily populated, either. Poland: only somewhat more fortified and populated than Russia, still far behind Europe to the west. Hungary was the best-fortified of the three, but it was still way behind parts west. Hungary was as far west as the Mongols’ steppe tactics would really avail them. Beyond, Europe was forest, bog, mountain, etc. And bristling with stone fortifications that were far more formible and numerous than anything the Mongols ever conquered.
     
    It's the orthodox view for a reason. I agree with much of what you wrote here, though, about terrain, fortifications, etc. Plus they were already operating thousands of miles away from their homeland and any farther incursions into non-grasslands would have complicated matters by several orders of magnitude.

    But the rest of Europe was not politically united either. And Mongols could still bypass strong points and wreak havoc. Central and Western Europeans armies would have unpalatable choices 1) watch their lands burn and starve inside fortifications or 2) give battle at the time and choosing of the Mongols and face annihilation. And as in Russia and Poland, Mongols would have quickly found allies who submitted and joined their war.

    Krak des Chevaliers (Syria) was built in the 12th century. The Mongols came through there – when did they reduce it? Oh, that’s right, they didn’t. The Mongols probably took one look at it and said, “uhm, I hear my kuriltai calling.” They never took anything like it.
     
    What would have been the point of reducing Krak des Chevaliers? What would be gained by it? The Mongols weren't threatened by it. If they had been, they would have attempted to capture it as they eradicated the Assassins and demolished the fortifications of Alamut (some of which were built 2,000 meters above sea level on extremely rugged, inaccessible, and inhospitable terrain to attackers).

    By the way, the vaunted Krak fell easily later to Baibars. He simply devastated the countryside around it. And when he eventually besieged the fortress, there weren't enough men to defend it. Why go charging at Hind flying tanks when you can shoot down supply helos with ease and starve out the enemy in their firebases?

    More on this later, but I just wanted to say thanks for a spirited discussion on this topic.
    , @Twinkie

    As for the kuriltai story, it doesn’t add up. The Mongols withdrew from Hungary before they received word of the Khan’s death (per Rashid al-Din).
     
    That is not quite correct. They re-grouped after the Battles of Liegnitz and Mohi, but continued to take cities and towns in Poland, Germany, and Southeastern Europe.

    And there was nothing stopping the Mongols from trying again after electing a new khan. Nothing except the Mongols.
     
    You are correct about the second sentence, but not in the way you mean. There was significant dissension in the Golden Family at the time, especially between Batu on the one hand and Guyuk and Buri on the other. Naturally there was considerable turmoil during the succession after Ogedei's death. Since the Mongols already ruled a huge empire, the possession and maintenance of power within it mattered far more than further conquests in the periphery of their realms.

    Why didn’t Batu appoint a lieutenant to lead in his stead, freeing him to make all speed back to the kuriltai with a small escort?
     
    For the same reason Hulagu only left a token force for Ain Jalut and hurried home with the bulk of his force. Kuriltai was "democratic" retrospectively but not that democratic in reality. Princes didn't simply show up with a token force if they cared to exert any influence (and survive). They showed up with their biggest and the best. Furthermore, Batu's armies, especially the crucial imperial tumans (actual Mongol warriors) were largely borrowed from the Grand Khan. He was obligated to return them.

    Their forces were routinely more non-Mongol than Mongol. They conquered all of China with mostly-foreign troops.
     
    In their early conquests, their forces were almost entirely all-cavalry. Infantry was virtually useless in steppe warfare. Only in those specific circumstances where they fought against armies of settled peoples (China where local conscripts were used) or where terrain intervened (Anatolia where they frequently dismounted; Japan where Korean seamen and conscripts were deployed) did they diverge from their traditional steppe horse archer techniques.

    The Mongols had hundreds of years to move further south and west, through the Levant and into Africa, but they never tried. They never reduced any of the impressive Crusader fortresses in the Levant.

    I’ll take your failure to mention the Sultanate of Delhi as silent agreement that they whipped the Mongols’ asses (again, because of decent population and fortification density, as well as a strong will to resist).
     

    Mongols like all rational conquering peoples avoided the strong and struck the weak (as Sun Tzu wrote, one should be like water which avoids high places and naturally flows to low places). The Vikings didn't exactly go around besieging heavily fortified areas (heck, they didn't exactly seek open battle either) - they often struck undefended towns and villages and took off in their fast ships before the opponents assembled their armies.

    Crusader fortresses were high risk, low value targets. But if Hulagu had not turned back from Egypt and conquered it with his main force, the Crusader fortresses would not have lasted long. Assaulting fortresses is stupid. You starve it out (by devastating the countryside) or rely on treachery.

    And the Sultanate of Delhi did not "whip the Mongol's asses." Mongols actually took Kashmir and Sindh easily. Delhi turned out be a tougher nut to crack, to be sure, especially since the invading force was quite small. The general historical assessment though is that the Sultanate repelled the Mongols but at a great cost to themselves. But this would be akin to the Caledonians boasting that they defeated the mighty Romans. Just as Romans weighed the costs and benefits, the Mongols likely saw a similar calculus when they were already busy fighting on many other fronts across the vast expanses of their empire. The Vietnamese and the Japanese also repulsed the Mongols, but they were never recipients of the full might of the Mongol Empire (the way Kwarizm was, for example). I don't think these minor repulses of small forces at the very peripheries of their empire were any knocks against the Mongols unless you previously attributed some sort of superhuman invincibility to them.


    I disagree. Except for the one civil war, I think they did a pretty good job of keeping themselves together post-1206.
     
    Er, no. Golden Horde and Il-Khanate warred incessantly though with varying intensity. In any case, the mutual rivalry between the sub-Khanates limited external aggression. Once they had vast empires to rule, the desire for conquest receded, which is quite natural.

    As for their vulnerabilities, I think they were vulnerable to foot archers, who can carry bigger bows with a longer range, but who would depend upon fortifications for sustenance and lodging.
     
    "Bigger" bows don't necessarily mean better bows. If you knew anything about archery, you'd know that the materials and the method of construction, and the tensions created thereby matter more. Mongols used a composite construction (wood and horn) in their bows that created a fantastic amount of tension in a very compact size. They outranged most "foot" bows except perhaps English long bows. Furthermore, as horse archers they had orders of magnitude greater mobility and tactical/operational flexibility. Foot archers were no threats to them.

    However, crossbowmen were a different story. During the Hungarian campaign (Mohi), the Mongols did suffer considerably at the hands of the Hungarian crossbowmen defending across Sajo river. The Mongols solved this problem by using catapults to clear the opposite banks of the crossbowmen. Once across the river, of course, the crossbowmen were easy meat to mince for the horsemen.


    They were also vulnerable while laying siege. They lost quite a few notable princes and leaders over the years, all while conducting sieges – never in steppe/mobile warfare.
     
    Siege warfare was inherently risky for all sides. In open battles commanders could escape if the tides of battle turned. Not so for siege warfare for anyone, not just Mongols. Does the name Pyrrhus of Epirus ring a bell? He of the "Pyrrhic victories"? He died attacking the city of Argos and was killed when, reputedly, a woman threw a tile at him from the rooftops of the city and wounded him, allowing him to be killed by the warriors of Argos. Commanders died at considerably higher rates in siege warfare, some from disease (armies sitting in one spot too long turned into a gigantic field hospital) and some from the unique dangers of attacking a fortified area (also, unlike in open battles, women and children frequently took part in defense of fortifications with great desperation, so unlike most open battles, the siege was a highly risky, dangerous type of combat in which the victor gave no mercy to the vanquished).

    Most of central Asia was a dump then, and most of it is a dump now.
     
    You keep repeating that, but I don't think you know much geographical history on this score.

    Transoxiana was very rich country, both from trade and farming. Bukhara and Samarkand were fabulously rich cities. Even today's their architectural legacy is quite stunning.

    And southern Russia, which the Golden Horde took as their main region, was the bread basket of the Greeks (always known for its rich soil) as well as flourishing in trade between northern Europe and the Byzantine world.

    Obviously, Mongols conquered many sparsely populated regions as well since their conquests were mostly interiors of the vast Eurasian continent (and human population density tended to be higher along coastal areas). But I don' think the conquest of China, Korea, Central Asia, much of the Middle East including Persia, and Russia should be sneered. After all, no other group of people has done it but the Mongols.


    Europe would have been much harder than China, relative to the reward. China was close by Mongolia, richer and plumper than Europe, and not particularly accomplished in or oriented toward warfare.
     
    Agreed except the last part of the supposed indisposition to warfare by the Chinese.

    They were soft. Europeans had a greater tendency to fight and a lesser tendency to cooperate, collude, or defect. They liked burning their own shit to the ground before letting the Mongols have it. Burying their metal treasure and heading for the hills. Christians saw the Mongols as devils, and would be more inclined by their faith against surrendering to or cooperating with a marauding army of treacherous pagans.
     
    That is not borne out by history. The pagan (and very bloodthirsty and treacherous) Vikings had no trouble getting "cooperation, collusion, or defection" from European Christians. Look up the term "Danegeld." Franks, Germans, Byzantines, and Russians routinely bought off marauding warriors with gold (Norsemen, Magyars, Turks, and Mongols, respectively).
  142. @Noah172
    Jews and Christians worship the same god (not the same god as Allah, by the way)

    In Christianity, God is a triune. Part 2 of that trinity is the fellow from Nazareth. Judaism emphatically rejects this understanding of God, as does Islam. Maimonides wrote Jews and Muslims worshipped the same deity, because of their shared unitarianism, in contrast to those "polytheistic" Christians.

    The next thing that becomes obvious is that the New Testament is built on top of and thoroughly foreshadowed in the old Old Testament

    Obvious to Christians, not Jews. Jews do not grant any religious validity whatsoever to the Greek scriptures. A rather big bone of contention between these allegedly allied religious factions.

    A more accurate reading of scripture casts the new covenant as an addition to the old one, built upon it like a house upon a foundation

    The predominant Christian view, across denominational lines, until fairly recent history was that the new covenant fulfills the old and then continues in its own direction -- i.e., supercessionism.

    Calvinism alters this somewhat: God's covenant was always with one people of God, composed of ethnic Hebrews and non-Hebrews (with the former group the great majority of the elect before Christ's earthly life and the latter the great majority thereafter). The OT contains numerous instances of gentiles incorporated into God's covenant people, as well as passages, which Christians interpret as messianic prophecies or foreshadowings of Christ, speaking of future salvation for non-Hebrews.

    Christians worship the same god as the Jews, but Christians see this god as taking three forms. That is not polytheism. It’s like two people arguing over whether Lynyrd Skynyrd is rock or country–they’re still talking about the same band.

    As for Islam, there are other monotheistic religions as well, but this doesn’t mean they worship the same god as the Jews. Lynyrd Skynyrd is not ZZ Top, even if they’re in the same genre.

    I agree that Jews reject the messages and truth of the NT, but they cannot deny that it is foreshadowed symbolically in the OT, and that because nothing in the NT contradicts the OT, the former can be seen as built on top of the latter rather than attempting to replace it.

    Calvinist and others are free to any wacky interpretation of the scriptures they want, but that doesn’t make it accurate or legitimate.

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  143. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Baghdad_(1258)

    A decadent realm, a corrupt gov’t, an idiot king betrayed by his advisors, and practically no siege preparations at all. Not exactly an impressive resistance. And the Mongols fielded what may have been the largest army they ever raised, estimated at 150,000 Mongols alone.

    This kind of Chinese firedrill always seems to precede successful Mongol invasions. The failed ones, and the places they never even tried to conquer? Not so much.

    Some raids were alleged to have reached Baghdad itself,[13] but these Mongol incursions were not always successful, with Abbasid forces defeating the invaders in 1238[14] and 1245.[15]

    Citizens attempted to flee, but were intercepted by Mongol soldiers who killed in abundance, sparing neither women nor children. Martin Sicker writes that close to 90,000 people may have died (Sicker 2000, p. 111). Other estimates go much higher. Wassaf claims the loss of life was several hundred thousand. Ian Frazier of The New Yorker says estimates of the death toll have ranged from 200,000 to a million.[27]

    The Mongols looted and then destroyed mosques, palaces, libraries, and hospitals. Grand buildings that had been the work of generations were burned to the ground.

    http://www.strategypage.com/articles/default.asp?target=mongol.htm#DestructionBaghdad

    Mustasim sent a message to Hulegu accepting all the khan’s terms, but was curtly told the time for negotiation was past. The heaviest bombardment was directed against the southeast corner of the walls and by February 1st, the third day of the bombardment, the Persian Tower was in ruins. On February 6th, the Mongols stormed and took the east wall. There they remained, as gradually the city surrendered.

    Mustasim continued to send envoy after envoy to Hulegu to beg for terms, but they were refused an audience. Instead Hulegu demanded that the commander of the caliph’s army and the deputy vizier order the withdrawal of the Muslim army from the city. The two leaders accomplished the task by telling the troops that they would be allowed to march away to Syria. As soon as the whole army was assembled on the plain outside the walls, the Mongols closed round them and killed them all, then the army commander and deputy vizier were also killed. Baghdad, without one soldier left to defend it, lay entirely at Hulegu’s mercy.

    On February 10th, Mustasim, his three sons and a retinue of about 3000 nobles went to Hulegu’s camp. They were received courteously. Mustasim was commanded to order the inhabitant to evacuate the city. The caliph sent messengers to Baghdad proclaiming that all who wished to save their lives should come out of the city unarmed. Vast crowds of people herded out through the city gates. As soon as they were gathered together on open ground they were mercilessly butchered. The number killed varies according to the source Persian accounts claim between 800,000 and 2 million slaughtered, while Hulegu, in a letter to Louis IX of France, boasted of 200,000 slain. In a display of the discipline which explains much of their success, Mongol troops had stood on the walls of the helpless city awaiting orders. On the 13th the Mongols entered the city in several columns at different points and told to do as they wished. What they wished was destruction and mayhem. Magnificent mosques were toppled; palace after palace was looted in the orgy of destruction that was the sack of Baghdad.

    Though the city had lost its commercial preeminence, it remained an important cultural, spiritual and intellectual center. The city held more than thirty colleges, among them the Mustansiriya, the best appointed university in the world. The cityscape was dotted with magnificent mosques, vast libraries of Persian and Arabian literature, plus numerous palaces belonging to the Caliph and his family and perhaps one of the greatest personal treasures to be found anywhere. It was the greatest city the Mongols conquered in the Middle East, and into this oasis of civilization they brought sword and torch. Books were dumped into the Tigris until it ran black from their ink.

    Most of the surviving women and children were herded together and transported to Qaraqorum, as was the wealth of the Caliph’s treasure house.

    On the 15th, while the pillage was underway, Hulegu visited Mustasim’s palace and forced the caliph to host a banquet for the Mongol leaders while the city burned and the cries from the street echoed into the night. Mustasim was forced to surrender all his treasures of gold, silver, and jewels. A Muslim Mongol had warned Hulegu against killing Mustasim, saying that if “a drop of the caliph’s blood touched the earth it would mean eternal damnation.” Hulegu heeded the warning. When dinner was over he had Mustasim and his sons sewn into Mongol carpets then trampled beneath the hooves of the Mongol cavalry. The caliph’s blood did not touch the earth.

    Baghdad’s agony lasted for seven days. On February 20th Hulegu was forced to strike his tents and march his army away because of the stench of rotting corpses hanging over the smoking rubble that marked what was left of the once great city.

    ‘Course, around 1400 Tamerlane (‘nother not-so-bad Mongol) came back through and built 120 towers out of 90,000 skulls.

    Illiterate, uncivilized, murderous, bandits. Impressive militarily – especially against soft targets – but not in much else.

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    • Replies: @Bliss

    The number killed varies according to the source Persian accounts claim between 800,000 and 2 million slaughtered, while Hulegu, in a letter to Louis IX of France, boasted of 200,000 slain.
     
    Why do you think Hulagu Khan was in such amicable correspondence with a King of Christendom? Why do you think the christians of Baghdad avoided the wholesale slaughter? Think about it.

    Hulagu Khan's mother was christian and so was his chief wife. A significant minority of the mongols were christians, including among the generals closest to Hulagu. His allies in the attack on Baghdad included the christian Armenians and Georgians and even some frenchmen.

    The savage destruction of Baghdad and merciless slaughter of its muslim citizens was as much a christian victory as a mongol one. Hulagu Khan was hailed by christians of that time as the new Constantine...
  144. I read a thread about Jews, now I hate Mongols.

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    • Replies: @Hacienda
    No reason to hate on the Mongols. They were a product of their time and circumstance.
    They did create the first major contacts across the Eurasian continent. Eg. Marco Polo, French
    emissaries to the Yuan court, allowed Mandeville, etc. Eventual transmission of key pre-1400 tech and understanding East to West. No Mongol Empire, no Renaissance.

    BTW, I understand the anti-Mongol kerfuffle is directed at me. But I'm Korean. And Korea was a tough, tough out for the Mongols. Took six invasions over 40 years. I believe Korea also happened to be the first to shake off the Mongol yoke by force.

    Karma won out as Mongols ate themselves up until the 17th C. Slaughter after slaughter in Mongolia for leadership. It took the Manchus to finally calm things down there.

    Karmically, all things are square between Koreans and Mongolians, as far as I'm concerned.
  145. @Svigor
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Baghdad_(1258)

    A decadent realm, a corrupt gov't, an idiot king betrayed by his advisors, and practically no siege preparations at all. Not exactly an impressive resistance. And the Mongols fielded what may have been the largest army they ever raised, estimated at 150,000 Mongols alone.

    This kind of Chinese firedrill always seems to precede successful Mongol invasions. The failed ones, and the places they never even tried to conquer? Not so much.

    Some raids were alleged to have reached Baghdad itself,[13] but these Mongol incursions were not always successful, with Abbasid forces defeating the invaders in 1238[14] and 1245.[15]
     

    Citizens attempted to flee, but were intercepted by Mongol soldiers who killed in abundance, sparing neither women nor children. Martin Sicker writes that close to 90,000 people may have died (Sicker 2000, p. 111). Other estimates go much higher. Wassaf claims the loss of life was several hundred thousand. Ian Frazier of The New Yorker says estimates of the death toll have ranged from 200,000 to a million.[27]

    The Mongols looted and then destroyed mosques, palaces, libraries, and hospitals. Grand buildings that had been the work of generations were burned to the ground.
     
    http://www.strategypage.com/articles/default.asp?target=mongol.htm#DestructionBaghdad

    Mustasim sent a message to Hulegu accepting all the khan's terms, but was curtly told the time for negotiation was past. The heaviest bombardment was directed against the southeast corner of the walls and by February 1st, the third day of the bombardment, the Persian Tower was in ruins. On February 6th, the Mongols stormed and took the east wall. There they remained, as gradually the city surrendered.

    Mustasim continued to send envoy after envoy to Hulegu to beg for terms, but they were refused an audience. Instead Hulegu demanded that the commander of the caliph's army and the deputy vizier order the withdrawal of the Muslim army from the city. The two leaders accomplished the task by telling the troops that they would be allowed to march away to Syria. As soon as the whole army was assembled on the plain outside the walls, the Mongols closed round them and killed them all, then the army commander and deputy vizier were also killed. Baghdad, without one soldier left to defend it, lay entirely at Hulegu's mercy.

    On February 10th, Mustasim, his three sons and a retinue of about 3000 nobles went to Hulegu's camp. They were received courteously. Mustasim was commanded to order the inhabitant to evacuate the city. The caliph sent messengers to Baghdad proclaiming that all who wished to save their lives should come out of the city unarmed. Vast crowds of people herded out through the city gates. As soon as they were gathered together on open ground they were mercilessly butchered. The number killed varies according to the source Persian accounts claim between 800,000 and 2 million slaughtered, while Hulegu, in a letter to Louis IX of France, boasted of 200,000 slain. In a display of the discipline which explains much of their success, Mongol troops had stood on the walls of the helpless city awaiting orders. On the 13th the Mongols entered the city in several columns at different points and told to do as they wished. What they wished was destruction and mayhem. Magnificent mosques were toppled; palace after palace was looted in the orgy of destruction that was the sack of Baghdad.

    Though the city had lost its commercial preeminence, it remained an important cultural, spiritual and intellectual center. The city held more than thirty colleges, among them the Mustansiriya, the best appointed university in the world. The cityscape was dotted with magnificent mosques, vast libraries of Persian and Arabian literature, plus numerous palaces belonging to the Caliph and his family and perhaps one of the greatest personal treasures to be found anywhere. It was the greatest city the Mongols conquered in the Middle East, and into this oasis of civilization they brought sword and torch. Books were dumped into the Tigris until it ran black from their ink.

    Most of the surviving women and children were herded together and transported to Qaraqorum, as was the wealth of the Caliph's treasure house.

    On the 15th, while the pillage was underway, Hulegu visited Mustasim's palace and forced the caliph to host a banquet for the Mongol leaders while the city burned and the cries from the street echoed into the night. Mustasim was forced to surrender all his treasures of gold, silver, and jewels. A Muslim Mongol had warned Hulegu against killing Mustasim, saying that if "a drop of the caliph's blood touched the earth it would mean eternal damnation." Hulegu heeded the warning. When dinner was over he had Mustasim and his sons sewn into Mongol carpets then trampled beneath the hooves of the Mongol cavalry. The caliph's blood did not touch the earth.

    Baghdad's agony lasted for seven days. On February 20th Hulegu was forced to strike his tents and march his army away because of the stench of rotting corpses hanging over the smoking rubble that marked what was left of the once great city.
     
    'Course, around 1400 Tamerlane ('nother not-so-bad Mongol) came back through and built 120 towers out of 90,000 skulls.

    Illiterate, uncivilized, murderous, bandits. Impressive militarily - especially against soft targets - but not in much else.

    The number killed varies according to the source Persian accounts claim between 800,000 and 2 million slaughtered, while Hulegu, in a letter to Louis IX of France, boasted of 200,000 slain.

    Why do you think Hulagu Khan was in such amicable correspondence with a King of Christendom? Why do you think the christians of Baghdad avoided the wholesale slaughter? Think about it.

    Hulagu Khan’s mother was christian and so was his chief wife. A significant minority of the mongols were christians, including among the generals closest to Hulagu. His allies in the attack on Baghdad included the christian Armenians and Georgians and even some frenchmen.

    The savage destruction of Baghdad and merciless slaughter of its muslim citizens was as much a christian victory as a mongol one. Hulagu Khan was hailed by christians of that time as the new Constantine…

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  146. @anon
    What if your existing Law and tradition calls for human sacrifice like the Aztecs, or for cannibalism like some South Seas tribes? How do you interpret that tradition in light of Jesus's teachings?

    What if your existing Law and tradition calls for human sacrifice like the Aztecs, or for cannibalism like some South Seas tribes? How do you interpret that tradition in light of Jesus’s teachings?”

    You would stop doing the bad bits, and keep the good non-murderous bits. Presumably there are some good bits, at least good for you. You don’t throw the whole thing away.

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    • Replies: @Bliss
    The Catholic Mass is a ritual that includes both human sacrifice and cannibalism.

    Eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the sacrificed Jesus ...
  147. @Simon in London
    "@Simon in London

    What if your existing Law and tradition calls for human sacrifice like the Aztecs, or for cannibalism like some South Seas tribes? How do you interpret that tradition in light of Jesus’s teachings?"

    You would stop doing the bad bits, and keep the good non-murderous bits. Presumably there are some good bits, at least good for you. You don't throw the whole thing away.

    The Catholic Mass is a ritual that includes both human sacrifice and cannibalism.

    Eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the sacrificed Jesus …

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  148. @Millenial
    @Josh

    Immanuel Tremellius seems to have totally rejected his Jewish heritage in favor of Christianity.

    Marrano converts to Calvinism in Holland are to be expected, as they attempted to integrate with their surroundings.

    I fail to see how either actually influenced Calvinism in any sort of modern philo-semetic way or ‘steered’ it in a particular direction.

    The whole “The Dutch rejected Catholicism, revolted against Spain, and tolerated Jews” trope is often trotted out as evidence of contemporary Jewish influence over the Dutch or special philo-semitic feelings held by the Dutch people. This simply isn’t true.

    1) The Dutch rejection of Catholicism, like elsewhere in Europe, had more to do with nationalism, the perception of Popery as foreign, and distaste for the corruption in the Catholic church, than with theological jargon.

    2) The revolt against Spain: this should be a no-brainer. Why would Germanic Dutchmen want to be vassals of Spain? This undoubtedly helped feed Protestant sentiment…

    3) Toleration of Jews: pure business interests. From the reply to Stuyvesant:

    “We would have liked to effectuate and fulfill your wishes and request that the new territories should no more be allowed to be infected by people of the Jewish nation for we foresee therefrom the same difficulties which you fear, but after having further weighed and considered the matter, we observe that this would be somewhat unreasonable and unfair… because of the large amount of capital which they still have invested in the shares of this company...”

    Obviously, Jews could, and did, reject Catholicism, fight Spain, and advocate for their own toleration, but for rather different reasons. The fact that Jewish and Dutch interests aligned in a particular time period does not prove any sort of special influence the former held over the latter.

    The desire to give disproportionate credit to various minority groups for influencing seminal events in European history is a fairly recent phenomenon in historical writing, for reasons that isteve readers should easily realize.

    Your leaving out the 1) actual philo-semetism of a particular avant garde and very influential intellectual elite during the Elizabethan era and 2) the development of a marrano culture that, to get back to an isteve theme, had both secret (as in secret societies) esoteric doctrine and public exoteric practice. In other words, subversion was an essential aspect of the culture.

    Incidentally, freemasonry may have had jewish roots, though I have no idea how much stock to place in a single mention.

    http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/zeldis14.html

    Scroll down to the campanal enigma.

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  149. @Twinkie

    Jews were emancipated by the Enlightenment movement from their un-emancipated lot under Christendom.
     
    That's your answer to everything, eh, Enlightenment?

    Jews were largely emancipated by the Statute of Kalisz in Catholic Poland during the 13th Century. Was that due to Enlightenment too?

    Furthermore, many (perhaps most) European countries emancipated Jews during the 19th Century well after the Age of Enlightenment (late 17-18th Centuries). There were several forces at work that led to their emancipation.

    And while we are at it, did Enlightenment spontaneously and randomly occur in Christian Europe by magic? Was it just dumb luck? Why was there no Enlightenment in the Islamic world or in China? Moreover, did Christianity just disappear after the 18th Century? Did Europeans stop believing in the Divinity of Jesus?

    And what's with all these Founding Fathers extolling Christianity! http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=8755

    That’s your answer to everything, eh, Enlightenment?

    If you got a problem with the Enlightenment you got a problem with America which is a product of the Enlightenment.

    European countries emancipated Jews during the 19th Century well after the Age of Enlightenment (late 17-18th Centuries).

    For centuries under Christendom jews were not emancipated and you are irrational enough to give christianity the credit for their emancipation instead of the Enlightenment? Get real, and get a real education instead of brainlessly parroting Tea Party BS.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_emancipation

    Jewish emancipation followed the Age of Enlightenment and the concurrent Jewish enlightenment.[2]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon_and_the_Jews

    Napoleon Bonaparte of the First French Empire enacted laws that emancipated European Jews from old laws restricting them to ghettos, as well as the many laws that limited Jews’ rights to property, worship, and careers……..The French Revolution abolished the different treatment of people according to religion or origin that existed under the monarchy; the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen guaranteed freedom of religion and free exercise of worship, provided that it did not contradict public order. At that time, most other European countries implemented measures restricting the rights of people from minority religions. The conquests of Napoleon Bonaparte spread the modernist ideas of revolutionary France: equality of citizens and the rule of law.

    The French Revolution like the American Revolution was a product of the Enlightenment.

    And what’s with all these Founding Fathers extolling Christianity!

    Benjamin Franklin: Some books against Deism fell into my hands. . . It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.

    Thomas Jefferson: Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced an inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    Thomas Paine: Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half of the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind.

    James Madison: During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.

    John Adams: The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole cartloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity.

    As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion (Treaty of Tripoli, signed by President John Adams, 1797)

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    If you got a problem with the Enlightenment you got a problem with America which is a product of the Enlightenment.
     
    I do not have "a problem with the Enlightenment." It is a historical process that unfolded several hundred years before I was born. It resulted in much good, but also unleashed some dark forces.

    Get real, and get a real education instead of brainlessly parroting Tea Party BS.
     
    Brainless parroting seems to be your forte. Why don't you look up "projection," Mr. Internet Amateur Psychologist?

    Still no answer for this? http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=8755

    I don't want to do a massive cut-and-paste. Just read the link and respond if you are intellectually honest.

    The French Revolution like the American Revolution was a product of the Enlightenment.
     
    The Permanent Revolution and the guillotine are like peas and carrots. Perhaps you think the "Reign of Terror" as an ironic term. Although Thomas Jefferson and a few other American radicals loved the idea, a large majority of the Founding Fathers were rather aghast at it (as was the conservative icon Edmund Burke, who was favorably disposed toward the American independence but loathed the French Revolution).
  150. The savage destruction of Baghdad and merciless slaughter of its muslim citizens was as much a christian victory as a mongol one.

    This statement is up to your usual intellectual and moral standards.

    The Catholic Mass is a ritual that includes both human sacrifice and cannibalism.

    Ditto.

    The Mongols wasted a lot of hot air soliciting alliances with Christian powers, and pretty much nothing ever came of it. The few Christians who did fight for the Mongols against the Muslims were almost all from non-European states, like Georgia.

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    • Replies: @Bliss

    The Mongols wasted a lot of hot air soliciting alliances with Christian powers, and pretty much nothing ever came of it.
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-Mongol_alliance

    Hulagu Khan, a grandson of Genghis Khan, was an avowed shamanist, but was nevertheless very tolerant of Christianity. His mother Sorghaghtani Beki, his favorite wife Doquz Khatun, and several of his closest collaborators were Nestorian Christians. One of his most important generals, Kitbuqa, was a Nestorian Christian of the Naiman tribe.[4] Military collaboration between the Mongols and their Christian vassals became substantial in 1258–1260. Hulagu's army, with the forces of his Christian subjects Bohemond VI of Antioch, Hethum I of Armenia, and the Christian Georgians, effectively destroyed two of the most powerful Muslim dynasties of the era: the Abbasids in Baghdad and the Ayyubids in Syria.[15]

    For Asiatic Christians, the fall of Baghdad was cause for celebration.[63][64][65] Hulagu and his Christian queen came to be considered as God's agents against the enemies of Christianity,[64] and were compared to the influential 4th-century Christian Emperor Constantine the Great and his revered empress mother, Saint Helen, an icon of the Christian church.

    In 1269, the English Prince Edward (the future Edward I).......started on a crusade of his own, the Ninth Crusade.[85]........ Edward understood the value of an alliance with the Mongols, and upon his arrival in Acre on May 9, 1271, he immediately sent an embassy to the Mongol ruler Abaqa, requesting assistance.[87] Abaqa answered positively to Edward's request

    In 1274 Pope Gregory X convened the Second Council of Lyon. Abaqa sent a delegation of 13 to 16 Mongols to the Council, which created a great stir, particularly when three of their members underwent a public baptism.[92] Abaqa's Latin secretary Rychaldus delivered a report to the Council which outlined previous European-Ilkhanid relations under Abaqa's father, Hulagu, affirming that after Hulagu had welcomed Christian ambassadors to his court, he had agreed to exempt Latin Christians from taxes and charges, in exchange for their prayers for the Khan. According to Rychaldus, Hulagu had also prohibited the molestation of Frank establishments, and had committed to return Jerusalem to the Franks.[93]......At the Council, Pope Gregory promulgated a new crusade in liaison with the Mongols


    In September 1281 the Mongols returned, with 50,000 of their own troops, plus 30,000 others including Armenians under Leo III, Georgians, and 200 Knights Hospitaller from Marqab
    , @Twinkie
    Yes on your assessment of Bliss's comments.

    But...

    The Mongols wasted a lot of hot air soliciting alliances with Christian powers, and pretty much nothing ever came of it. The few Christians who did fight for the Mongols against the Muslims were almost all from non-European states, like Georgia.
     
    A number of Russian princes joined the Mongols as I stated above. Also this:

    In religious matters, the Mongols were extremely tolerant. When they first appeared in Europe, they were shamanists, and as such they had no religious fanaticism. After adopting Islam they remained as tolerant as before,[7] and the khan of the Golden Horde, who first became a Muslim, allowed the Rus' to found a Christian bishopric in his capital. Nogai Khan, half a century later, married a daughter of the Byzantine emperor, and gave his own daughter in marriage to a Rus' prince, Theodor the Black.
     
    The idea that the Europeans ignored the possibility of Mongol alliance is not true. There was much hope in Europe that the Mongols were led by a Christian king "Prester John" who came to defeat the Muslims, a persistent myth that gained power due to a number of Mongol princes being Nestorian Christians. At one point, there was a real possibility of a Christian-Mongol alliance against the Muslims, but as with many things there was chance at work. Basically when the Christians wanted an alliance the Mongols did not; and when the Mongols did, the Christians did not.
  151. @Sunbeam
    I read a thread about Jews, now I hate Mongols.

    No reason to hate on the Mongols. They were a product of their time and circumstance.
    They did create the first major contacts across the Eurasian continent. Eg. Marco Polo, French
    emissaries to the Yuan court, allowed Mandeville, etc. Eventual transmission of key pre-1400 tech and understanding East to West. No Mongol Empire, no Renaissance.

    BTW, I understand the anti-Mongol kerfuffle is directed at me. But I’m Korean. And Korea was a tough, tough out for the Mongols. Took six invasions over 40 years. I believe Korea also happened to be the first to shake off the Mongol yoke by force.

    Karma won out as Mongols ate themselves up until the 17th C. Slaughter after slaughter in Mongolia for leadership. It took the Manchus to finally calm things down there.

    Karmically, all things are square between Koreans and Mongolians, as far as I’m concerned.

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  152. @Svigor

    The savage destruction of Baghdad and merciless slaughter of its muslim citizens was as much a christian victory as a mongol one.
     
    This statement is up to your usual intellectual and moral standards.

    The Catholic Mass is a ritual that includes both human sacrifice and cannibalism.
     
    Ditto.

    The Mongols wasted a lot of hot air soliciting alliances with Christian powers, and pretty much nothing ever came of it. The few Christians who did fight for the Mongols against the Muslims were almost all from non-European states, like Georgia.

    The Mongols wasted a lot of hot air soliciting alliances with Christian powers, and pretty much nothing ever came of it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-Mongol_alliance

    Hulagu Khan, a grandson of Genghis Khan, was an avowed shamanist, but was nevertheless very tolerant of Christianity. His mother Sorghaghtani Beki, his favorite wife Doquz Khatun, and several of his closest collaborators were Nestorian Christians. One of his most important generals, Kitbuqa, was a Nestorian Christian of the Naiman tribe.[4] Military collaboration between the Mongols and their Christian vassals became substantial in 1258–1260. Hulagu’s army, with the forces of his Christian subjects Bohemond VI of Antioch, Hethum I of Armenia, and the Christian Georgians, effectively destroyed two of the most powerful Muslim dynasties of the era: the Abbasids in Baghdad and the Ayyubids in Syria.[15]

    For Asiatic Christians, the fall of Baghdad was cause for celebration.[63][64][65] Hulagu and his Christian queen came to be considered as God’s agents against the enemies of Christianity,[64] and were compared to the influential 4th-century Christian Emperor Constantine the Great and his revered empress mother, Saint Helen, an icon of the Christian church.

    In 1269, the English Prince Edward (the future Edward I)…….started on a crusade of his own, the Ninth Crusade.[85]…….. Edward understood the value of an alliance with the Mongols, and upon his arrival in Acre on May 9, 1271, he immediately sent an embassy to the Mongol ruler Abaqa, requesting assistance.[87] Abaqa answered positively to Edward’s request

    In 1274 Pope Gregory X convened the Second Council of Lyon. Abaqa sent a delegation of 13 to 16 Mongols to the Council, which created a great stir, particularly when three of their members underwent a public baptism.[92] Abaqa’s Latin secretary Rychaldus delivered a report to the Council which outlined previous European-Ilkhanid relations under Abaqa’s father, Hulagu, affirming that after Hulagu had welcomed Christian ambassadors to his court, he had agreed to exempt Latin Christians from taxes and charges, in exchange for their prayers for the Khan. According to Rychaldus, Hulagu had also prohibited the molestation of Frank establishments, and had committed to return Jerusalem to the Franks.[93].…..At the Council, Pope Gregory promulgated a new crusade in liaison with the Mongols

    In September 1281 the Mongols returned, with 50,000 of their own troops, plus 30,000 others including Armenians under Leo III, Georgians, and 200 Knights Hospitaller from Marqab

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  153. @Svigor
    I almost forgot how the Mongols used catapaults to hurl plague-infected corpses over the walls of cities that were giving them trouble. And their key role in spreading the black death to Europe. Oh, and how they marched people they'd enslaved into siege warfare against their own kind, laughing as they went to their deaths, under pain of death.

    And they routinely demanded ridiculous terms of surrender, essentially requiring total enslavement.

    Saw a comment that the 30-50+m killed by the Mongols represented more than 17% of the population, while WW2 "only" killed 3% of the world population. So, going by share of the population killed, the Mongol conquests were like 5 or 6 World War IIs.

    Yep, evil.


    They were no more or less evil than other conquering peoples of the time and throughout much of history.
     
    First, they killed 30m+ people. So, yes, they were a lot more evil than other conquering peoples. Like I said, they were not surpassed in their butchery until WWII. Second, yes, leaving scale aside, they were more cruel, heartless, and ruthless than other conquering peoples. They were basically bandits and marauders, writ large. Later, when they settled down and absorbed the cultural values of the civilized peoples they had conquered, they became less so, but that's not the Mongols I was referring to. Even the most evil folk get exhausted after a couple centuries of unprecedented butchery.

    They used every trick in the book to win wars. It’s just that they were really good at it for a couple hundred of years. Like many conquering peoples, they used terror as a weapon.
     
    And they were much better at using terror than the others, because they were evil and terrified everyone.

    Cities that opened the gates were generally treated well by the standards of the times (after all, indiscriminately slaughtering those who gave up easily would not convince others to follow suit – contrarily when obstinately resistant cities were razed, other cities would surrender more readily). This doesn’t mean Mongols always spared those who gave up easily, of course. Other conditions intervened sometimes.
     
    I read account after account where they promised not to slaughter everyone if they surrendered, and then they slaughtered them when they surrendered. Dunno what to tell you.

    (after all, indiscriminately slaughtering those who gave up easily would not convince others to follow suit – contrarily when obstinately resistant cities were razed, other cities would surrender more readily).
     
    That's just it, they didn't seem all that logical about it. More like, we're the Chosen of Heaven, it is our destiny to conquer and rule the world, and you have pissed us off by not having the gates open when we got here, so now we're going to kill everyone, down to the last man, woman, and child. Resisting them at all was pretty much enough to get the Mongols to go into genocidal grudge mode.

    Indeed, when they felt insulted or aggrieved (such as their ambassadors being murdered, as happened with Kwarizm)
     
    Given their propensity for murdering other peoples' diplomats, one wonders why they should have wondered.

    (one of Genghis Khan’s great generals, Jebe, was an erstwhile foe who almost killed him in battle and displayed a bit of “balls” if you will and he was spared and embraced).
     
    Jebe was a fellow Mongol. When the Mongols captured other peoples, who they intended to force to fight their wars for them, they exterminated all of the leaders. They didn't bother to ask them to swear fealty.

    Pax Mongolica
     
    I find that a silly term. Didn't you just quote the Latin about the men who create a desert and call it peace? It seems apt here.

    was established and the Mongol authority held, one could travel safely throughout the Mongol Empire, from Sarai to Karakorum, without the fear of being robbed by bandits and outlaws.
     
    The Mongol Empire was just a giant bandit army taxing the realm they'd subjugated. A very disciplined bandit army, I admit. They contributed practically nothing, culturally speaking.

    No one was safe from the Mongols in the Mongol Empire.


    Mongols also respected religion and largely granted the freedom of conscience to their subjects.
     
    They tolerated religions because they themselves had a primitive animist religion that paled next to the more complex systems of China, Europe, and West Asia, and they were clever enough to know better than to try to impose their religion on people with real faith. They were a bandit army, so they had no reason to convert anyone. I don't find their lack of conviction in anything but their own racial and military supremacy to be particularly noteworthy.

    Mongols were nearly invincible during their heyday. As an all cavalry force (reputedly each horseman had ten mounts), their strategic and operational mobility was incredible by the standards of their time.
     
    They weren't an all-cavalry force. They took China with slave armies, mostly infantry. In fact, every place you read about them using siege warfare, that's a place they were taking with their slave infantries. And besieging with their slave engineers.

    But I think I already mentioned that they were the pinnacle of premodern steppe/mobile warfare.


    And then they had geniuses like Jebe and Subotai as generals. The combination proved to be all but irresistible.
     
    My personal theory is that Mongol open warfare tactics, combined with their bandit pragmatism, made their generals look like "geniuses." The Mongols' results were consistent enough over a long enough period that I suspect it was their whole military culture and way of life, the tactics that eventually came to be an ethnic thing for the Mongols, that were decisive. If it were really the generals, I think we'd see more uneven performance from the Mongols in the field under varying officer talent. But instead, they seem remarkably consistent to me. But this is just my own opinion.

    The West and the Mamluks were saved by dumb luck. The Mongols had annihilated one European army after another advancing through Russia, Poland, and Hungary, but they had to return to Mongolia following their tradition when their Great Khan Ogedei died (all Mongol princes were required to vote to elect their next supreme leader; and some of course harbored the hope of being elected themselves).
     
    I think that's an outdated (if orthodox) view. The Mongols had wiped out several armies in the least fortified backwaters of Europe. Russia: primitive backwater with no stone fortifications, only wood and earth, the opposite of unified politically. Not heavily populated, either. Poland: only somewhat more fortified and populated than Russia, still far behind Europe to the west. Hungary was the best-fortified of the three, but it was still way behind parts west. Hungary was as far west as the Mongols' steppe tactics would really avail them. Beyond, Europe was forest, bog, mountain, etc. And bristling with stone fortifications that were far more formible and numerous than anything the Mongols ever conquered. European castle architecture has never been matched, not even close. And beyond the quality was the sheer number of the things, hundreds of them throughout Europe that have no equivalent at all in China, for example.

    Just compare the population of the parts of Europe that the Mongols conquered, to the parts that they never even raided.

    Krak des Chevaliers (Syria) was built in the 12th century. The Mongols came through there - when did they reduce it? Oh, that's right, they didn't. The Mongols probably took one look at it and said, "uhm, I hear my kuriltai calling." They never took anything like it.

    How about Constantinople? Plenty of riches there. Why didn't the Mongols take it? Because they would have looked at it and known it to be far beyond their abilities. They never took anything like it.

    As for the kuriltai story, it doesn't add up. The Mongols withdrew from Hungary before they received word of the Khan's death (per Rashid al-Din). And there was nothing stopping the Mongols from trying again after electing a new khan. Nothing except the Mongols. Their behavior after withdrawing from Hungary isn't consistent with the idea that they'd received word of a kuriltai, either. Instead of going straight home, they acted like bandits on the way home from a raid at their own, leisurely pace, attacking the Cumans in the east and pursuing them through the mountains for a year. Then they spent another year getting back to the Volga in 1243. All of which raises the question, why did they leave at all, let alone at such an idle pace? Why didn't Batu appoint a lieutenant to lead in his stead, freeing him to make all speed back to the kuriltai with a small escort? There was no Mongol law that a campaign could not continue while a new khan was elected, or that an invading army must attend a kuriltai.

    Carpini's the only source for the kuriltai tale, and that's probably all it is. After all, Carpini also attests to the fact that the Mongols were liars and only honest with one another. "Oh, we had to come home for the Kuriltai, yeah, that's the ticket" is just the sort of thing a racist bandit would tell an outsider, particularly a foreign diplomat, as an excuse. Carpini's also the source for the erroneous idea that Ogedei was poisoned, when the Mongols themselves stated that he died of his own drunkenness, and explicitly dismissed the notion that he'd been poisoned.

    Rashid al-Din was in a far better position to know, and is the more reliable source.

    Wikipedia says:


    It was not until 1255, well into the reign of Möngke Khan, that Batu felt secure enough to again prepare to invade Europe. Fortunately for the Europeans, he died before his plans could be implemented.
     
    Lol. What, did the whole Mongol race "forget" that they were going to invade Europe, too? Kind of a big thing for military geniuses to forget.

    The Mongol Empire had hundreds of years to invade Europe, but they never moved beyond her poor, sparsely-populated, and barely-fortified frontiers. They let the Hungarians kick them out. Oddly-enough, during the respite, the Hungarians thought stone fortifications were key to defending their land against the next looming invasion by the Mongols, and undertook a massive castle-building project.

    The most persuasive argument for the kuriltai explanation is circular logic: the Mongols were invincible, so they must've decided to leave on their own.

    As for the requirement for members of the royal family to attend the kuriltai; like all Mongol laws, it was flexible. Leading up to the Toluid Civil Wars, one khan or another refused for quite some time to attend, citing dubious injuries and impairments. Because it suited him. Baku could have spent another year invading Europe west of the Danube, instead of diddling around like he did, and still made it to the kuriltai when he did.


    Similarly, Hulagu was set to ravage Egypt, but then Mongke Khan died, requiring him to return with the majority of his troops (Hulagu was potentially a candidate for the Supreme Khan-ship). At the Battle of Ain Jalut, the Mamluks subsequently defeated a token force left behind by Hulagu under a Nestorian Christian general (and that smaller force was largely Cuman/Kipchak and did not have many “Imperial,” i.e. actual Mongol, troops).
     
    Their forces were routinely more non-Mongol than Mongol. They conquered all of China with mostly-foreign troops. The Mongols had hundreds of years to move further south and west, through the Levant and into Africa, but they never tried. They never reduced any of the impressive Crusader fortresses in the Levant.

    I'll take your failure to mention the Sultanate of Delhi as silent agreement that they whipped the Mongols' asses (again, because of decent population and fortification density, as well as a strong will to resist).


    Eventually they became quite adept at taking cities.
     
    I think you worded this well; the superlatives should be dropped when referring to Mongols doing anything aside from what they were masters at - steppe/mobile warfare. Sure, they became quite adept at siege warfare. Lots of people were quite adept. Particularly the west Asian engineers the Mongols captured and pressed into service for all of their best siege work.

    Third, after the initial cohesion under Genghis Khan, his sons, and his grandsons dissipated, they fell upon themselves in vicious infighting. The Khans of the Golden Horde and the Il-Khans of Persia frequently warred rather than fighting their external enemies.
     
    I disagree. Except for the one civil war, I think they did a pretty good job of keeping themselves together post-1206. Well, of not fighting one another, anyway. They didn't manage to keep the territories entirely united. For a bunch of jumped-up bandits, I think they did very well in this regard.

    As for their vulnerabilities, I think they were vulnerable to foot archers, who can carry bigger bows with a longer range, but who would depend upon fortifications for sustenance and lodging. They were also vulnerable while laying siege. They lost quite a few notable princes and leaders over the years, all while conducting sieges - never in steppe/mobile warfare.


    In their heyday, Silk Road cities like Bukhara and Samarkand were both immensely rich and flowing with the best of Islamic culture. Khorasan (eastern Persia) at the time was the jewel of Islamic world.
     
    All at the periphery of their empire. Other than Persia and China, all they conquered were backwaters, frontiers, and wastes. Which is not to sneeze at Persia and China, mind you - but they represent a relatively small share of the territory the Mongols conquered. People always point to the land area the Mongol Empire spanned, as if that's so very impressive, when most of it was empty and barren.

    Again, that’s nonsense.

    In their heyday, Silk Road cities like Bukhara and Samarkand were both immensely rich and flowing with the best of Islamic culture. Khorasan (eastern Persia) at the time was the jewel of Islamic world.

    The Shah of the Kwarezmian Empire who ruled the area made a very bad mistake in slaughtering Mongol ambassadors at Otrar; Mongols invaded and spared little, turning the area into desert, from which the area never recovered.
     

    True, they did tend to shoot for the low-risk, high-reward targets, as bandits are wont to do. But that doesn't change the fact that most of the territory they took was a dump. Go look at a map of the Mongol Empire at its greatest extent and lay it over a modern one showing the dumps of central Asia today. Most of central Asia was a dump then, and most of it is a dump now. Desert, steppe, taiga, tundra, dizzy highlands...dumps. Marginally liveable. You've pretty much mentioned the only stuff that they took other than China that was worth having.

    P.S., I'm cribbing a lot of this from Deep Ditches and Well-built Walls - A Reappraisal of the Mongol Withdrawal from Europe in 1242 by Lindsey Stephen Pow. It's quite comprehensive and a very interesting read. You should give it a look, he makes a persuasive case that serious fortification was the salient factor common to all the areas that resisted or avoided Mongol conquest. Along with sufficient population density, and a will to resist, that is.

    I doubt the Mongols could have taken Europe. They could have caused a lot of havoc, but I think they would have failed. And I think they knew it. They had massive spy networks and took the trouble to research and scout out prospective targets. I think that's what Batu & co. were doing, an expeditionary raid, and they left when they ran out of soft targets. Europe would have been much harder than China, relative to the reward. China was close by Mongolia, richer and plumper than Europe, and not particularly accomplished in or oriented toward warfare. They were soft. Europeans had a greater tendency to fight and a lesser tendency to cooperate, collude, or defect. They liked burning their own shit to the ground before letting the Mongols have it. Burying their metal treasure and heading for the hills. Christians saw the Mongols as devils, and would be more inclined by their faith against surrendering to or cooperating with a marauding army of treacherous pagans.

    I think the Mongols took what they could. Like the good wannabe Masters of the Universe that they were. And didn't take what they couldn't, or what they doubted their ability to take. The Mongols were very impressive, but they're also very overrated, IMO. They were quite canny at picking the softest, richest targets. Their real genius may have been in not overreaching very often.

    I almost forgot how the Mongols used catapaults to hurl plague-infected corpses over the walls of cities that were giving them trouble. And their key role in spreading the black death to Europe.

    Throwing diseased biological matter into a fortified area during a siege was a common technique, not unique to Mongols. And Italian merchants were probably even more responsible for spreading the Black Death than Mongols were. It’s not the Mongols’ fault that they unwittingly lived in one of the two areas in the world with the plague (the other is New Mexico). Besides, the rate and spread of the plague affliction was directly correlated to the level of sanitation and mass hygiene, on which points the Europeans at the time did not fare well (we Americans have erased this ignominy of the West by becoming the most showering people on earth).

    Like I said, they were not surpassed in their butchery until WWII. Second, yes, leaving scale aside, they were more cruel, heartless, and ruthless than other conquering peoples. They were basically bandits and marauders, writ large.

    Does Lindisfarne ring a bell? Do you also consider the Vikings to be evil? They seemed to have been considered “cruel, heartless, and ruthless” beyond measure by the settled peoples. They were also enormously cunning and duplicitous, frequently reneging treaties and agreements.

    Later, when they settled down and absorbed the cultural values of the civilized peoples they had conquered, they became less so, but that’s not the Mongols I was referring to. Even the most evil folk get exhausted after a couple centuries of unprecedented butchery.

    You just described medieval Eurasian history.

    Given their propensity for murdering other peoples’ diplomats, one wonders why they should have wondered.

    Do elaborate. Karakorum was full of diplomats from the far corners of Eurasia. Most seemed to have reported being treated rather grandly.

    Jebe was a fellow Mongol. When the Mongols captured other peoples, who they intended to force to fight their wars for them, they exterminated all of the leaders. They didn’t bother to ask them to swear fealty.

    Jebe was not a Mongol. He BECAME one. Mongols were a very small tribe. They absorbed those who were not their kin. This was a common steppe practice going at least as far as the time of Attila the Hun.

    Not being asked to swear fealty must have been news to the Princes of Novgorod, Smolensk, Galich, Pskov, and many others who submitted, swore fealty to the Grand Khans, and were variously given honors, titles, and local authority. Some even fought valiantly and enthusiastically for their new overlords.

    Nobody, I mean absolutely nobody, can run a vast empire without embracing and honoring cooperative local rulers and allies. That was the case with the Romans and that was also the case with the Mongols. Your description of them as simple bloodthirsty savages who killed all before them is more propaganda than real history.

    They weren’t an all-cavalry force. They took China with slave armies, mostly infantry. In fact, every place you read about them using siege warfare, that’s a place they were taking with their slave infantries. And besieging with their slave engineers.

    When they operated thousands of miles from home as they did in Europe and the Middle East, they operated as all-cavalry. Only when they fought protracted wars with settled empires did they rely on locally conscripted infantry. And their engineers weren’t “slaves.” Mongols treated artisans and skilled workers well and rewarded them. But you are correct that they often drove common prisoners mercilessly to the gates of their enemies.

    But I think I already mentioned that they were the pinnacle of premodern steppe/mobile warfare.

    Which is, to be understated about it, no small thing at all. When they were destroying army after army in Eastern Europe with a small force (no more than two to three tumans or 20,000 to 30,000 men), they were operating 2,000-3,000 miles OVERLAND from their homeland (water transport changes the equation enormously). And while operating so deeply in foreign territory, they were able to coordinate two successful battles hundreds of miles apart in a span of a few days (the Battle of Liegnitz and the Battle of Mohi). Prior to the Industrialization and mechanization of warfare, this was without precedent. The speed of their advances was unmatched until the rise of the motorized/mechanized warfare in World War II.

    If it were really the generals, I think we’d see more uneven performance from the Mongols in the field under varying officer talent. But instead, they seem remarkably consistent to me. But this is just my own opinion.

    Certainly Genghis Khan, not exactly a military amateur, rated Jebe and Subotai as highly capable generals. So much so that even when imperial princes were nominal commanders, actual operational commands were exercised by these meritocratic military geniuses outside the Golden Family. Indeed Subotai in his old age became quite obese and could not mount a horse (a terrible shame in Mongol culture), but his command expertise was so valued that he was carted around by a wagon to command armies.

    I think that’s an outdated (if orthodox) view. The Mongols had wiped out several armies in the least fortified backwaters of Europe. Russia: primitive backwater with no stone fortifications, only wood and earth, the opposite of unified politically. Not heavily populated, either. Poland: only somewhat more fortified and populated than Russia, still far behind Europe to the west. Hungary was the best-fortified of the three, but it was still way behind parts west. Hungary was as far west as the Mongols’ steppe tactics would really avail them. Beyond, Europe was forest, bog, mountain, etc. And bristling with stone fortifications that were far more formible and numerous than anything the Mongols ever conquered.

    It’s the orthodox view for a reason. I agree with much of what you wrote here, though, about terrain, fortifications, etc. Plus they were already operating thousands of miles away from their homeland and any farther incursions into non-grasslands would have complicated matters by several orders of magnitude.

    But the rest of Europe was not politically united either. And Mongols could still bypass strong points and wreak havoc. Central and Western Europeans armies would have unpalatable choices 1) watch their lands burn and starve inside fortifications or 2) give battle at the time and choosing of the Mongols and face annihilation. And as in Russia and Poland, Mongols would have quickly found allies who submitted and joined their war.

    Krak des Chevaliers (Syria) was built in the 12th century. The Mongols came through there – when did they reduce it? Oh, that’s right, they didn’t. The Mongols probably took one look at it and said, “uhm, I hear my kuriltai calling.” They never took anything like it.

    What would have been the point of reducing Krak des Chevaliers? What would be gained by it? The Mongols weren’t threatened by it. If they had been, they would have attempted to capture it as they eradicated the Assassins and demolished the fortifications of Alamut (some of which were built 2,000 meters above sea level on extremely rugged, inaccessible, and inhospitable terrain to attackers).

    By the way, the vaunted Krak fell easily later to Baibars. He simply devastated the countryside around it. And when he eventually besieged the fortress, there weren’t enough men to defend it. Why go charging at Hind flying tanks when you can shoot down supply helos with ease and starve out the enemy in their firebases?

    More on this later, but I just wanted to say thanks for a spirited discussion on this topic.

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  154. @Svigor

    The savage destruction of Baghdad and merciless slaughter of its muslim citizens was as much a christian victory as a mongol one.
     
    This statement is up to your usual intellectual and moral standards.

    The Catholic Mass is a ritual that includes both human sacrifice and cannibalism.
     
    Ditto.

    The Mongols wasted a lot of hot air soliciting alliances with Christian powers, and pretty much nothing ever came of it. The few Christians who did fight for the Mongols against the Muslims were almost all from non-European states, like Georgia.

    Yes on your assessment of Bliss’s comments.

    But…

    The Mongols wasted a lot of hot air soliciting alliances with Christian powers, and pretty much nothing ever came of it. The few Christians who did fight for the Mongols against the Muslims were almost all from non-European states, like Georgia.

    A number of Russian princes joined the Mongols as I stated above. Also this:

    In religious matters, the Mongols were extremely tolerant. When they first appeared in Europe, they were shamanists, and as such they had no religious fanaticism. After adopting Islam they remained as tolerant as before,[7] and the khan of the Golden Horde, who first became a Muslim, allowed the Rus’ to found a Christian bishopric in his capital. Nogai Khan, half a century later, married a daughter of the Byzantine emperor, and gave his own daughter in marriage to a Rus’ prince, Theodor the Black.

    The idea that the Europeans ignored the possibility of Mongol alliance is not true. There was much hope in Europe that the Mongols were led by a Christian king “Prester John” who came to defeat the Muslims, a persistent myth that gained power due to a number of Mongol princes being Nestorian Christians. At one point, there was a real possibility of a Christian-Mongol alliance against the Muslims, but as with many things there was chance at work. Basically when the Christians wanted an alliance the Mongols did not; and when the Mongols did, the Christians did not.

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  155. @Bliss

    That’s your answer to everything, eh, Enlightenment?
     
    If you got a problem with the Enlightenment you got a problem with America which is a product of the Enlightenment.

    European countries emancipated Jews during the 19th Century well after the Age of Enlightenment (late 17-18th Centuries).
     
    For centuries under Christendom jews were not emancipated and you are irrational enough to give christianity the credit for their emancipation instead of the Enlightenment? Get real, and get a real education instead of brainlessly parroting Tea Party BS.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_emancipation

    Jewish emancipation followed the Age of Enlightenment and the concurrent Jewish enlightenment.[2]
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon_and_the_Jews

    Napoleon Bonaparte of the First French Empire enacted laws that emancipated European Jews from old laws restricting them to ghettos, as well as the many laws that limited Jews' rights to property, worship, and careers........The French Revolution abolished the different treatment of people according to religion or origin that existed under the monarchy; the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen guaranteed freedom of religion and free exercise of worship, provided that it did not contradict public order. At that time, most other European countries implemented measures restricting the rights of people from minority religions. The conquests of Napoleon Bonaparte spread the modernist ideas of revolutionary France: equality of citizens and the rule of law.

    The French Revolution like the American Revolution was a product of the Enlightenment.

    And what’s with all these Founding Fathers extolling Christianity!
     
    Benjamin Franklin: Some books against Deism fell into my hands. . . It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.

    Thomas Jefferson: Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced an inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    Thomas Paine: Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half of the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind.

    James Madison: During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.

    John Adams: The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole cartloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity.


    As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion (Treaty of Tripoli, signed by President John Adams, 1797)

    If you got a problem with the Enlightenment you got a problem with America which is a product of the Enlightenment.

    I do not have “a problem with the Enlightenment.” It is a historical process that unfolded several hundred years before I was born. It resulted in much good, but also unleashed some dark forces.

    Get real, and get a real education instead of brainlessly parroting Tea Party BS.

    Brainless parroting seems to be your forte. Why don’t you look up “projection,” Mr. Internet Amateur Psychologist?

    Still no answer for this? http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=8755

    I don’t want to do a massive cut-and-paste. Just read the link and respond if you are intellectually honest.

    The French Revolution like the American Revolution was a product of the Enlightenment.

    The Permanent Revolution and the guillotine are like peas and carrots. Perhaps you think the “Reign of Terror” as an ironic term. Although Thomas Jefferson and a few other American radicals loved the idea, a large majority of the Founding Fathers were rather aghast at it (as was the conservative icon Edmund Burke, who was favorably disposed toward the American independence but loathed the French Revolution).

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    • Replies: @Bliss

    I do not have “a problem with the Enlightenment.”
     
    Of course you have a problem with the Enlightenment. The fact that the anti-Enlightenment british politician Edmund Burke is your hero proves that. And since you have a problem with the Enlightenment it follows that you have a problem with the founding principles of America.

    The ideological adversary of your icon Burke was none other than Founding Father Thomas Paine, a hero of the Enlightenment who is regarded by many as The Father of the American Revolution. You don't stand with the men who founded America, instead you lie shamelessly about their beliefs and intentions. Basically, you are upto no good.
  156. @Twinkie

    If you got a problem with the Enlightenment you got a problem with America which is a product of the Enlightenment.
     
    I do not have "a problem with the Enlightenment." It is a historical process that unfolded several hundred years before I was born. It resulted in much good, but also unleashed some dark forces.

    Get real, and get a real education instead of brainlessly parroting Tea Party BS.
     
    Brainless parroting seems to be your forte. Why don't you look up "projection," Mr. Internet Amateur Psychologist?

    Still no answer for this? http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=8755

    I don't want to do a massive cut-and-paste. Just read the link and respond if you are intellectually honest.

    The French Revolution like the American Revolution was a product of the Enlightenment.
     
    The Permanent Revolution and the guillotine are like peas and carrots. Perhaps you think the "Reign of Terror" as an ironic term. Although Thomas Jefferson and a few other American radicals loved the idea, a large majority of the Founding Fathers were rather aghast at it (as was the conservative icon Edmund Burke, who was favorably disposed toward the American independence but loathed the French Revolution).

    I do not have “a problem with the Enlightenment.”

    Of course you have a problem with the Enlightenment. The fact that the anti-Enlightenment british politician Edmund Burke is your hero proves that. And since you have a problem with the Enlightenment it follows that you have a problem with the founding principles of America.

    The ideological adversary of your icon Burke was none other than Founding Father Thomas Paine, a hero of the Enlightenment who is regarded by many as The Father of the American Revolution. You don’t stand with the men who founded America, instead you lie shamelessly about their beliefs and intentions. Basically, you are upto no good.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Of course you have a problem with the Enlightenment. The fact that the anti-Enlightenment british politician Edmund Burke is your hero proves that. And since you have a problem with the Enlightenment it follows that you have a problem with the founding principles of America.
     
    That's very odd since Edmund Burke was very favorably disposed to the American Independence and also favored Catholic emancipation. Such a medieval despot, he.

    The ideological adversary of your icon Burke was none other than Founding Father Thomas Paine, a hero of the Enlightenment who is regarded by many as The Father of the American Revolution. You don’t stand with the men who founded America, instead you lie shamelessly about their beliefs and intentions. Basically, you are upto no good.
     
    Well, it certainly seems you share Paine's paranoia and delusion of grandeur. See Wiki, that bastion of medieval despotism and conservatism:

    Paine decided that President George Washington had conspired with Robespierre to imprison him. Embittered by this perceived betrayal, Paine tried to ruin Washington's reputation by calling him a treacherous man unworthy of his fame as a military and political hero. Paine described Washington as an incompetent commander and a vain and ungrateful person. In a scathing open letter to President Washington in 1796, he wrote: "the world will be puzzled to decide whether you are an apostate or an impostor; whether you have abandoned good principles or whether you ever had any."[57]
     
    Yes, Paine was arrested by the French Revolutionaries. Permanent Revolutionaries hate each other just as much as their supposed ideological foes.

    In 1802, he returned to the U.S. where he died on June 8, 1809. Only six people attended his funeral as he had been ostracized for his ridicule of Christianity.[5]...

    At the time of his death, most American newspapers reprinted the obituary notice from the New York Evening Post,[64] which read in part: "He had lived long, did some good, and much harm." Only six mourners came to his funeral, two of whom were black, most likely freedmen.
     
    Surely if the Founding Fathers were all deists, they'd have respected him for spiritual fellowship rather than ostracizing him?

    "Father of the American Revolution"? Perhaps. That's highly debatable (since a success has many fathers, but a failure is an orphan). But certainly NOT the Father of the Republic that resulted after the war. Many people are good at tearing things down. Few are wise and deliberate enough to be good at building something lasting afterwards.

    I make lies about the Founding Fathers? Really? Did I write this? http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=8755

    Still no answer to those lengthy Christian quotes from dozens of the Founders?
  157. @Noah172
    Re: Puritans as philo-semitic, Judaizers, shabbos goyim, etc.

    The Puritans were on the whole more favorably disposed toward Jews than, say, Catholic Europeans of the 17th and 18th centuries. The Puritans were not, however, modern PC pussies or Zionists with heretical, bizarre theologies. Can anyone imagine Jonathan Edwards saying that it is acceptable for Jews to reject Christ because they receive salvation through their Old Testament covenant? Can anyone imagine Puritan-descended John Adams or John Quincy Adams ordering American soldiers to fight and die in wars against Muslims at the behest of a Jewish ethnostate -- and quoting Biblical eschatological passages in justification thereof?

    If anything, the most pro-Jewish group in colonial and early republican America were the Southern gentry -- the Cavaliers, in Albion's Seed terminology -- rather than the Puritans. These were the fellows who, lest we forget, were less devoutly religious than their northern cousins, more likely to embrace Deism, and more supportive of secular government. (The First Amendment forbade federal establishment of religion, not state; New England states had established, Puritan Congregational churches for years after the ratification of the Bill of Rights).

    Can anyone imagine Puritan-descended John Adams or John Quincy Adams ordering American soldiers to fight and die in wars against Muslims at the behest of a Jewish ethnostate —

    Something that never happened outside your imagination.

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    • Replies: @Simon in London
    "Can anyone imagine Puritan-descended John Adams or John Quincy Adams ordering American soldiers to fight and die in wars against Muslims at the behest of a Jewish ethnostate —

    Something that never happened outside your imagination."

    I think some in Israel were quite keen on the destruction of Saddam Hussein's Iraq, which happened, and Likud wanted the destruction of Assad's Syria, which didn't. I don't think Israel per se was all that influential in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but the highly influential US Neoconservatives _thought_ they were acting in Israel's interests by promoting the invasion.
    , @Noah172
    Something that never happened outside your imagination

    Operation Nickel Grass

    Reagan in Lebanon

    Persian Gulf War (in part; oil and the protection of Saudi Arabia were of course other factors; but we did send Patriot missile batteries to Israel to defend it against Iraqi Scuds, so you can't deny that Israel was a factor behind that war)

    Iraq

    Obama's aborted war against Assad in 2013

    Iran (which even you mentioned right here in this thread), which Israel and its domestic fifth column have been pushing for nearly a decade, and which would be bigger and more disastrous than any of the preceding

    Israel has been the sole or at least a major factor behind a number of American wars and operations, or proposed wars, for more than 40 years
  158. @Art Deco
    Can anyone imagine Puritan-descended John Adams or John Quincy Adams ordering American soldiers to fight and die in wars against Muslims at the behest of a Jewish ethnostate —

    Something that never happened outside your imagination.

    “Can anyone imagine Puritan-descended John Adams or John Quincy Adams ordering American soldiers to fight and die in wars against Muslims at the behest of a Jewish ethnostate —

    Something that never happened outside your imagination.”

    I think some in Israel were quite keen on the destruction of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, which happened, and Likud wanted the destruction of Assad’s Syria, which didn’t. I don’t think Israel per se was all that influential in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but the highly influential US Neoconservatives _thought_ they were acting in Israel’s interests by promoting the invasion.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Israel's priorities were and remain Iran. See Martin Kramer on this subject. William Kristol, Neil Kozodoy, John Podhoretz, and David Frum are opinion journalists and no more influential than opinion journalists tend to be. I rather doubt either Gen. Powell or Sec. Rumsfeld were putty in the hands of any of their subordinates, including the one who took two classes from Leo Strauss ca. 1969, but then the Jew wire-puller meme has less pull with me than most on this board.
  159. No reason to hate on the Mongols. They were a product of their time and circumstance.
    They did create the first major contacts across the Eurasian continent. Eg. Marco Polo, French
    emissaries to the Yuan court, allowed Mandeville, etc. Eventual transmission of key pre-1400 tech and understanding East to West. No Mongol Empire, no Renaissance.

    They brought key tech west to east. Like real trebuchets, instead of the rinky-dink ones the Chinese had been using. Some say this was integral to the Mongols’ conquest of China.

    As for the Silk Road, it had been around for long before the Mongol Empire. Much Crusader activity was centered around taking over Silk Road outlets and ports. The “contact” stuff sounds like crediting Osama bin Laden with bringing America and Afghanistan closer together.

    The supposed good brought about by the Mongols was literally nothing next to their murder, rape, and thievery. Their contributions were essentially zero, even if you aren’t counting all the red ink on their ledger.

    BTW, I understand the anti-Mongol kerfuffle is directed at me. But I’m Korean. And Korea was a tough, tough out for the Mongols. Took six invasions over 40 years.

    So what? The Europeans, who you love to criticize, had mostly European victims down through the years.

    China took decades, too, but the Mongols got ‘er done.

    I believe Korea also happened to be the first to shake off the Mongol yoke by force.

    After they fell to the Mongols, you mean?

    Does Lindisfarne ring a bell?

    It didn’t, so I looked it up. The wikipedia page doesn’t even give a body count.

    Do you also consider the Vikings to be evil?

    Not at the moment. Maybe if I give them a closer look that’ll change. But unless they approach the scale of slaughter of men, women, and children that the Mongols did, or the sheer monstrous depravity of the Aztecs, then probably not. My “evil” is a pretty exclusive category. Like I said, I don’t like throwing the term around.

    Do elaborate. Karakorum was full of diplomats from the far corners of Eurasia. Most seemed to have reported being treated rather grandly.

    I dunno. I came across a couple of instances where the Mongols murdered diplomats. I’m not going to go dig them up.

    Jebe was not a Mongol. He BECAME one. Mongols were a very small tribe. They absorbed those who were not their kin. This was a common steppe practice going at least as far as the time of Attila the Hun.

    Now you’re splitting hairs. “Tatar” and “Mongol” and the like are Mongol ethnic names that came to represent a group of very similar steppe nomad peoples. Wiki says Jebe was from clan Besud, which belonged to the Taichud tribe, which was one of the three core tribes in the Khamag Mongol confederation in Mongolia, considered a predecessor state to the Mongol Empire.

    Wiki says the rule of the Mongols alternated between Borjigid and Tayichiud tribes prior to Genghis Khan.

    The Mongol Empire was founded by the kinds of Mongol alliances you’re describing as if it were some great reach across a multicultural divide.

    Not being asked to swear fealty must have been news to the Princes of Novgorod, Smolensk, Galich, Pskov, and many others who submitted, swore fealty to the Grand Khans, and were variously given honors, titles, and local authority. Some even fought valiantly and enthusiastically for their new overlords.

    Under pain of death.

    Nobody, I mean absolutely nobody, can run a vast empire without embracing and honoring cooperative local rulers and allies. That was the case with the Romans and that was also the case with the Mongols. Your description of them as simple bloodthirsty savages who killed all before them is more propaganda than real history.

    As you say, obviously everyone has to cooperate to a degree. So that’s less interesting to me. What’s salient about the Mongols is their propensity for slaughter, not their propensity for cooperation. And the cooperation they did solicit was usually from conquered peoples, under pain of death.

    Which is, to be understated about it, no small thing at all. When they were destroying army after army in Eastern Europe with a small force (no more than two to three tumans or 20,000 to 30,000 men), they were operating 2,000-3,000 miles OVERLAND from their homeland (water transport changes the equation enormously). And while operating so deeply in foreign territory, they were able to coordinate two successful battles hundreds of miles apart in a span of a few days (the Battle of Liegnitz and the Battle of Mohi). Prior to the Industrialization and mechanization of warfare, this was without precedent. The speed of their advances was unmatched until the rise of the motorized/mechanized warfare in World War II.

    You find a nomadic lifestyle more remarkable than I do. Driving a herd was an immense tactical advantage for the Mongols, but I don’t see it as some amazing accomplishment.

    Certainly Genghis Khan, not exactly a military amateur, rated Jebe and Subotai as highly capable generals.

    The Mongols seemed to be sincerely meritocratic despots. So I’m not surprised that they typically gave command to their best generals. My point was that it is my personal opinion that the Mongols’ success was not down to the genius of their brilliant generals, but to their “ethnic tactics,” if you will.

    Plus they were already operating thousands of miles away from their homeland and any farther incursions into non-grasslands would have complicated matters by several orders of magnitude.

    I think the real disadvantage in being so far from home was in asking for and receiving reinforcements. As nomads, they essentially brought their homeland with them, wherever they went, in terms of supply lines. So in the case of an invasion of Europe, their supply lines would have run to the Hungarian plains. Not far at all, really.

    But the rest of Europe was not politically united either.

    But more unified than Russia. I don’t recall reading anything about Hungarians defecting. Russians were more tribalistic frontier types, compared to Europe west of Hungary. That’s what I was talking about. The patchwork states of Europe, on the other hand, probably made the Mongols’ task that much more imposing. Unlike China, there was no central power to defeat that would put Europe into their hands.

    Central and Western Europeans armies would have unpalatable choices 1) watch their lands burn and starve inside fortifications or 2) give battle at the time and choosing of the Mongols and face annihilation. And as in Russia and Poland, Mongols would have quickly found allies who submitted and joined their war.

    Hey, all I know is the choice that the Mongols made, which was to turn around and head back toward the backwaters. And it wasn’t over some kuriltai. I suppose they did the math and didn’t like what they saw. Probably, they figured they had enough trouble with the Russians, Poles, and Hungarians, who were less prone to going over to the enemy than the Chinese or the Muslims, and more prone to burn their own cities and towns to the ground and head for the hills. Add in real fortifications and it was probably enough to dissuade them.

    Let’s just say I’m not convinced the Europeans were facing the choices you say they were. In fact, I think the Mongols found themselves faced with unpalatable choices, and they left for easier pickings.

    The idea that the Europeans ignored the possibility of Mongol alliance is not true.

    They didn’t ignore it. They dismissed it. Because they knew the Mongols were the greater threat by far, and treacherous to boot. Crusaders let the Mamluk army pass through their territory unmolested so they could go and fight the Mongols.

    What would have been the point of reducing Krak des Chevaliers?

    Indeed. There were plenty of easy pickings elsewhere.

    By the way, the vaunted Krak fell easily later to Baibars.

    It fell because the garrison was demoralized and surrendered. They got a forged letter from the grandmaster of their Order telling them to surrender.

    That aside, which fortresses of that ilk (we can step down a ways, since there aren’t many fortresses of that ilk) did the Mongols ever take? We can say “they didn’t need to,” but it’s an odd coincidence that the place dotted with castles built by those same European engineers managed to escape Mongol depradations altogether. Kind of suggests the Mongols knew they’d have to. In fact, given the Mongols’ preference for open warfare, where they didn’t lose princes and commanders, over siege warfare, where they lost them pretty regularly, I think your assessment of castles as places people go to starve to death is directly contradicted by the Mongols’ own behavior.

    The Mongols wasted a lot of hot air soliciting alliances with Christian powers, and pretty much nothing ever came of it. The few Christians who did fight for the Mongols against the Muslims were almost all from non-European states, like Georgia.

    A number of Russian princes joined the Mongols as I stated above.

    Did they fight for the Mongols against the Muslims? No. They fought for the Mongols against other eastern European peoples, Russians and Poles. Under pain of death.

    More on this later, but I just wanted to say thanks for a spirited discussion on this topic.

    NP, I’ve enjoyed it as well.

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    • Replies: @Bliss

    They didn’t ignore it. They dismissed it. Because they knew the Mongols were the greater threat by far, and treacherous to boot. Crusaders let the Mamluk army pass through their territory unmolested so they could go and fight the Mongols.
     
    You have already been given examples of a Pope and an english King who sought and got alliances with the mongols of the Ilkhanate in crusades, actual and planned, against the muslims. Yet you still insist that nothing of the sort ever happened. Amazingly brazen dishonesty.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninth_Crusade

    As soon as Edward arrived in Acre, he made some attempts to form a Franco-Mongol alliance, sending an embassy to the Mongol ruler of Persia Abagha, an enemy of the Muslims. The embassy was led by Reginald Rossel, Godefroi of Waus and John of Parker, and its mission was to obtain military support from the Mongols.[3] In an answer dated 4 September 1271, Abagha agreed on cooperation and asked on what date the concerted attack on the Mamluks should take place.

    At the end of October 1271, a small force of Mongols arrived in Syria and ravaged the land from Aleppo southward. However Abagha, occupied by other conflicts in Turkestan could only send 10,000 Mongol horsemen under general Samagar from the occupation army in Seljuk Anatolia, plus auxiliary Seljukid troops. Despite the relatively small force though, their arrival still triggered an exodus of Muslim populations (who remembered the previous campaigns of Kitbuqa) as far south as Cairo.[4]



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-Mongol_alliance

    In 1274 Pope Gregory X convened the Second Council of Lyon. Abaqa sent a delegation of 13 to 16 Mongols to the Council, which created a great stir, particularly when three of their members underwent a public baptism.[92] Abaqa’s Latin secretary Rychaldus delivered a report to the Council which outlined previous European-Ilkhanid relations under Abaqa’s father, Hulagu, affirming that after Hulagu had welcomed Christian ambassadors to his court, he had agreed to exempt Latin Christians from taxes and charges, in exchange for their prayers for the Khan. According to Rychaldus, Hulagu had also prohibited the molestation of Frank establishments, and had committed to return Jerusalem to the Franks.[93].…..At the Council, Pope Gregory promulgated a new crusade in liaison with the Mongols
    , @Twinkie

    They brought key tech west to east. Like real trebuchets, instead of the rinky-dink ones the Chinese had been using. Some say this was integral to the Mongols’ conquest of China.
     
    Trebuchets were likely invented in the Byzantine Empire and spread westward among the "Franks" and eastward among the Persians. I don't think that Western and Central Europeans should feel too hot about themselves on that score since they too "received" the technology. The Mongols used Persian engineers to build trebuchets to take some cities in China.

    The supposed good brought about by the Mongols was literally nothing next to their murder, rape, and thievery. Their contributions were essentially zero, even if you aren’t counting all the red ink on their ledger.
     
    As with most conquering peoples, they spilled a lot of blood. They were just better at it than just about everyone else. Although the Silk Road existed long prior to the Pax Mongolica, it was a dangerous journey of many years. During Pax Mongolica banditry and disorder was all but wiped out on it and it served as a very efficient and safe conduit of trade and information between the East and the West, perhaps the first time in history. The Mongols, of course, did not do this out of the goodness of their heart. They did it because their Persian and Chinese administrators impressed upon them the riches that would result from it.

    But, I agree wholeheartedly that they were not the builders that, say, Romans were. Romans assimilated others into their civilization. Mongols assimilated into those of the settled peoples... as pagan Germanic conquerors did also. The wild men of the North subduing the riches of the South and becoming a part of the latter is the history of the Eurasian middle ages.

    Not at the moment. Maybe if I give them a closer look that’ll change. But unless they approach the scale of slaughter of men, women, and children that the Mongols did, or the sheer monstrous depravity of the Aztecs, then probably not. My “evil” is a pretty exclusive category. Like I said, I don’t like throwing the term around.
     
    The Vikings displayed the same "evil" attributes you assign the Mongols: wantonly violent, bloodthirsty in combat and in the aftermath, cunning and duplicitous, prone to attacking the weak and avoiding the strong, avaricious and treacherous, and engaging all manners of destruction and rapine. Also superb in the warrior ways of their particular idiom (sea-borne raids). Their body count is unknown. But probably lower than that of the Mongols due to reasons beyond their control (lower population density of their targets, their relative lack of organization, etc.) and not because they did not desire the same ends as the Mongols did (conquest and rapine).

    I dunno. I came across a couple of instances where the Mongols murdered diplomats. I’m not going to go dig them up.
     
    Ok. So no one ever killed an emissary or two? Come now. Mongols actually respected the safety of the emissary as a rule. Besides, if they killed the diplomats, who would bring back their demands for homage? On the contrary, both Europeans and Muslims routinely killed Mongol emissaries, earning the deep hatred and ire of the Mongols who considered such acts particularly heinous (don't forget that Mongols, rather like the Pathans, had a strong tradition of hospitality and sanctuary even to those enemies so long as they sought them - which is why Genghis Khan's father consumed the food offered by their enemies the Tatars and died as a result of poisoning because he felt compelled to honor the code of hospitality thusly offered).

    Now you’re splitting hairs. “Tatar” and “Mongol” and the like are Mongol ethnic names that came to represent a group of very similar steppe nomad peoples.
     
    Tatars murdered Genghis Khan's father by treachery. Yet he incorporated them into his armies eventually, as he did with defeated Cumans, Chinese, Persians, and Russians. Steppe empires and confederations had a long tradition of incorporating the defeated into their armies. Attila the Hun led an army that was likely mostly Germanic and Alan (in which the Huns formed a small imperial nucleus). The difference was that Mongols were highly meritocratic and elevated men of talent from conquered peoples.

    Mongols often used well-read Chinese and Persian scholars as administrators and de facto rulers of their vast empire. They often took in non-Mongol captains of renown into their hierarchy and even their family. The famed Russian warlord Alexander Nevsky (whose legendary life was immortalized by Sergei Einstein's epic propaganda film in 1938) was initially a hostage to the Mongols, but was raised as a "blood brother" to Batu's son and married one of Batu's daughters. He was variously the Prince of Novgorod, Grand Prince of Kiev and Grand Prince of Vladimir. Today he is renowned for the defeat of the Teutonic Knights.

    It's not that Mongols were some sorts of avatars of multiculturalism. It's that they were very practical steppe people (where racial purity was rarely a strong ideological concept) and, in the case of Mongols, took talent where they found it regardless of race/tribe. To Genghis Khan, a man's personal qualities mattered more than his tribal or racial origin, and Mongols largely followed suit.

    You find a nomadic lifestyle more remarkable than I do. Driving a herd was an immense tactical advantage for the Mongols, but I don’t see it as some amazing accomplishment.
     
    If you don't think that successfully coordinating two large battles involving tens of thousands of men over three hundred miles apart within a couple of days with utter discipline and precision while over three thousand miles away (over land) from their home base during a pre-mechanization times is remarkable, you don't know much military history at all.

    But more unified than Russia. I don’t recall reading anything about Hungarians defecting. Russians were more tribalistic frontier types, compared to Europe west of Hungary. That’s what I was talking about. The patchwork states of Europe, on the other hand, probably made the Mongols’ task that much more imposing. Unlike China, there was no central power to defeat that would put Europe into their hands.
     
    The first part of this passage and the second part are contradictory. In the beginning you seem to be stating that Russia fell more easily because they were less united than Central and Western Europeans, but then immediately write next that the "patchwork states" of the West would have made it harder for the Mongols to conquer.

    Let’s just say I’m not convinced the Europeans were facing the choices you say they were. In fact, I think the Mongols found themselves faced with unpalatable choices, and they left for easier pickings.
     
    We'll never know. Given the massive amount of territory they conquered previously, I'd say they were busy plundering and dividing it amongst themselves.

    It fell because the garrison was demoralized and surrendered. They got a forged letter from the grandmaster of their Order telling them to surrender.
     
    Krak's fate was sealed a long time ago. Once the surrounding area was devastated and it couldn't support a sizable garrison the jig was up. Fortresses like Krak were very rare because they were white elephants.

    That aside, which fortresses of that ilk (we can step down a ways, since there aren’t many fortresses of that ilk) did the Mongols ever take?
     
    Alamut. You make yourself a threat to the Mongols (like trying to murder their Grand Khan) and they come for you even 2,000 meters high in your fortress.

    Did they fight for the Mongols against the Muslims? No. They fought for the Mongols against other eastern European peoples, Russians and Poles. Under pain of death.
     
    I don't get you here. Russian allies of the Mongols fought against the Germans and the Swedes. Byzantine allies of the Mongols fought against the Muslims. People fight their neighbors. Only the rare conquering peoples like the Macedonians, Romans, Vikings, and the Mongols go thousands of miles looking for dragons to slay.

    What do you mean by "pain of death"? Like anywhere, when confronted by a whirlwind of a conquering force, some defenders fall in battle, others flees, still others cooperate with the winners and join the conquest. All empires and conquering peoples incorporate the latter. Mongols were no different.
  160. It’s worth mentioning that Baibar promised the garrison at Krak des Chevaliers safe passage, and honored his word. They would not have surrendered to the Mongols.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    It’s worth mentioning that Baibar promised the garrison at Krak des Chevaliers safe passage, and honored his word. They would not have surrendered to the Mongols.
     
    You don't know that. At all.
  161. As for the Mongols’ religious tolerance, for one thing, I shudder to think of the slaughter they would have perpetrated had they been generally otherwise. For another, there were notable exceptions. Like when the Muslim Ilkhanate invaded the Golden Horde’s territory in Russia, slaughtering Russians and other Europeans to prevent the Golden Horde’s invasion of Muslim lands.

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  162. I don’t recall reading anything about Hungarians defecting.

    Which is odd, when I think about it. Bela was an unpopular king, all ’round. Maybe I should go back and take another look, because he certainly deserved some treachery.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Which is odd, when I think about it. Bela was an unpopular king, all ’round. Maybe I should go back and take another look, because he certainly deserved some treachery.
     
    Bela's Cuman allies certainly defected.
  163. @Simon in London
    "Can anyone imagine Puritan-descended John Adams or John Quincy Adams ordering American soldiers to fight and die in wars against Muslims at the behest of a Jewish ethnostate —

    Something that never happened outside your imagination."

    I think some in Israel were quite keen on the destruction of Saddam Hussein's Iraq, which happened, and Likud wanted the destruction of Assad's Syria, which didn't. I don't think Israel per se was all that influential in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but the highly influential US Neoconservatives _thought_ they were acting in Israel's interests by promoting the invasion.

    Israel’s priorities were and remain Iran. See Martin Kramer on this subject. William Kristol, Neil Kozodoy, John Podhoretz, and David Frum are opinion journalists and no more influential than opinion journalists tend to be. I rather doubt either Gen. Powell or Sec. Rumsfeld were putty in the hands of any of their subordinates, including the one who took two classes from Leo Strauss ca. 1969, but then the Jew wire-puller meme has less pull with me than most on this board.

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  164. I was remiss when I said “hundreds”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle

    For a variety of reasons, not least of which is that many castles have no recorded history, there is no firm number of castles built in the medieval period. However, it has been estimated that between 75,000 and 100,000 were built in western Europe;[105] of these around 1,700 were in England and Wales[106] and around 14,000 in German-speaking areas.[107]

    Note the use of “western Europe” here; the difference in fortification (inter alia) between the Europe conquered by the Mongols and the Europe they never even raided was profound, like night and day.

    From what little I understand of the history of castle-building in Europe, the impression I get is that the bulk of them were built between the 9th and 15th centuries. Most of those estimated 75-100k castles were probably around and functional in the 13th century.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Note the use of “western Europe” here; the difference in fortification (inter alia) between the Europe conquered by the Mongols and the Europe they never even raided was profound, like night and day.

    From what little I understand of the history of castle-building in Europe, the impression I get is that the bulk of them were built between the 9th and 15th centuries. Most of those estimated 75-100k castles were probably around and functional in the 13th century.
     
    Except the "castle" here is a very loose term. The vast majority of these tens of thousands of "castles" were not the architectural monsters (not in a negative sense, but in size and complexity) like Krak. Most were minor manorial fortifications built on hills and other natural barriers.

    Because the Chinese did not have the same political system, they did not build European-style castles, but countless villages, towns, and cities in China were walled and fortified as well (some quite heavily). Given enough time, technology, and manpower thrown at them, the Mongols were able to overcome them.

    Most of the really impressive European concentric castles (and siege technology, for that matter) came into being after the Crusades as Byzantine and Middle Eastern innovations filtered back.

    By the way, most of these minor fortifications, while good for impressing and dominating the local peasants and warding off bandits, were of questionable operational (as opposed to tactical) use in war. Large and massive city walls were a different story, of course. But it was the combination of improved technology and organization/supply during a much later period (15th Century and on) where large scale, heavily manned fortifications (bastions) became operationally and strategically crucial.
  165. As for the Jews under Christendom: Europe is not their land of origin, nobody invited them, nobody asked them to stay, and they were free to leave whenever they wished.

    Their mythology of persecution sounds to me like the drunk who’s thrown out of every bar in town and responds by writing a novel about how every bar in town is prejudiced. To quote Raylan Givens’ response to a member of another aggressive “victim group”; “if you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you’re the asshole.”

    The rise of the Jews did not occur in Muslim lands, or in east Asia, or in South Asia, or in Africa.

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  166. @Art Deco
    Can anyone imagine Puritan-descended John Adams or John Quincy Adams ordering American soldiers to fight and die in wars against Muslims at the behest of a Jewish ethnostate —

    Something that never happened outside your imagination.

    Something that never happened outside your imagination

    Operation Nickel Grass

    Reagan in Lebanon

    Persian Gulf War (in part; oil and the protection of Saudi Arabia were of course other factors; but we did send Patriot missile batteries to Israel to defend it against Iraqi Scuds, so you can’t deny that Israel was a factor behind that war)

    Iraq

    Obama’s aborted war against Assad in 2013

    Iran (which even you mentioned right here in this thread), which Israel and its domestic fifth column have been pushing for nearly a decade, and which would be bigger and more disastrous than any of the preceding

    Israel has been the sole or at least a major factor behind a number of American wars and operations, or proposed wars, for more than 40 years

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  167. @Svigor

    No reason to hate on the Mongols. They were a product of their time and circumstance.
    They did create the first major contacts across the Eurasian continent. Eg. Marco Polo, French
    emissaries to the Yuan court, allowed Mandeville, etc. Eventual transmission of key pre-1400 tech and understanding East to West. No Mongol Empire, no Renaissance.
     
    They brought key tech west to east. Like real trebuchets, instead of the rinky-dink ones the Chinese had been using. Some say this was integral to the Mongols' conquest of China.

    As for the Silk Road, it had been around for long before the Mongol Empire. Much Crusader activity was centered around taking over Silk Road outlets and ports. The "contact" stuff sounds like crediting Osama bin Laden with bringing America and Afghanistan closer together.

    The supposed good brought about by the Mongols was literally nothing next to their murder, rape, and thievery. Their contributions were essentially zero, even if you aren't counting all the red ink on their ledger.


    BTW, I understand the anti-Mongol kerfuffle is directed at me. But I’m Korean. And Korea was a tough, tough out for the Mongols. Took six invasions over 40 years.
     
    So what? The Europeans, who you love to criticize, had mostly European victims down through the years.

    China took decades, too, but the Mongols got 'er done.


    I believe Korea also happened to be the first to shake off the Mongol yoke by force.
     
    After they fell to the Mongols, you mean?

    Does Lindisfarne ring a bell?
     
    It didn't, so I looked it up. The wikipedia page doesn't even give a body count.

    Do you also consider the Vikings to be evil?
     
    Not at the moment. Maybe if I give them a closer look that'll change. But unless they approach the scale of slaughter of men, women, and children that the Mongols did, or the sheer monstrous depravity of the Aztecs, then probably not. My "evil" is a pretty exclusive category. Like I said, I don't like throwing the term around.

    Do elaborate. Karakorum was full of diplomats from the far corners of Eurasia. Most seemed to have reported being treated rather grandly.
     
    I dunno. I came across a couple of instances where the Mongols murdered diplomats. I'm not going to go dig them up.

    Jebe was not a Mongol. He BECAME one. Mongols were a very small tribe. They absorbed those who were not their kin. This was a common steppe practice going at least as far as the time of Attila the Hun.
     
    Now you're splitting hairs. "Tatar" and "Mongol" and the like are Mongol ethnic names that came to represent a group of very similar steppe nomad peoples. Wiki says Jebe was from clan Besud, which belonged to the Taichud tribe, which was one of the three core tribes in the Khamag Mongol confederation in Mongolia, considered a predecessor state to the Mongol Empire.

    Wiki says the rule of the Mongols alternated between Borjigid and Tayichiud tribes prior to Genghis Khan.

    The Mongol Empire was founded by the kinds of Mongol alliances you're describing as if it were some great reach across a multicultural divide.


    Not being asked to swear fealty must have been news to the Princes of Novgorod, Smolensk, Galich, Pskov, and many others who submitted, swore fealty to the Grand Khans, and were variously given honors, titles, and local authority. Some even fought valiantly and enthusiastically for their new overlords.
     
    Under pain of death.

    Nobody, I mean absolutely nobody, can run a vast empire without embracing and honoring cooperative local rulers and allies. That was the case with the Romans and that was also the case with the Mongols. Your description of them as simple bloodthirsty savages who killed all before them is more propaganda than real history.
     
    As you say, obviously everyone has to cooperate to a degree. So that's less interesting to me. What's salient about the Mongols is their propensity for slaughter, not their propensity for cooperation. And the cooperation they did solicit was usually from conquered peoples, under pain of death.

    Which is, to be understated about it, no small thing at all. When they were destroying army after army in Eastern Europe with a small force (no more than two to three tumans or 20,000 to 30,000 men), they were operating 2,000-3,000 miles OVERLAND from their homeland (water transport changes the equation enormously). And while operating so deeply in foreign territory, they were able to coordinate two successful battles hundreds of miles apart in a span of a few days (the Battle of Liegnitz and the Battle of Mohi). Prior to the Industrialization and mechanization of warfare, this was without precedent. The speed of their advances was unmatched until the rise of the motorized/mechanized warfare in World War II.
     
    You find a nomadic lifestyle more remarkable than I do. Driving a herd was an immense tactical advantage for the Mongols, but I don't see it as some amazing accomplishment.

    Certainly Genghis Khan, not exactly a military amateur, rated Jebe and Subotai as highly capable generals.
     
    The Mongols seemed to be sincerely meritocratic despots. So I'm not surprised that they typically gave command to their best generals. My point was that it is my personal opinion that the Mongols' success was not down to the genius of their brilliant generals, but to their "ethnic tactics," if you will.

    Plus they were already operating thousands of miles away from their homeland and any farther incursions into non-grasslands would have complicated matters by several orders of magnitude.
     
    I think the real disadvantage in being so far from home was in asking for and receiving reinforcements. As nomads, they essentially brought their homeland with them, wherever they went, in terms of supply lines. So in the case of an invasion of Europe, their supply lines would have run to the Hungarian plains. Not far at all, really.

    But the rest of Europe was not politically united either.
     
    But more unified than Russia. I don't recall reading anything about Hungarians defecting. Russians were more tribalistic frontier types, compared to Europe west of Hungary. That's what I was talking about. The patchwork states of Europe, on the other hand, probably made the Mongols' task that much more imposing. Unlike China, there was no central power to defeat that would put Europe into their hands.

    Central and Western Europeans armies would have unpalatable choices 1) watch their lands burn and starve inside fortifications or 2) give battle at the time and choosing of the Mongols and face annihilation. And as in Russia and Poland, Mongols would have quickly found allies who submitted and joined their war.
     
    Hey, all I know is the choice that the Mongols made, which was to turn around and head back toward the backwaters. And it wasn't over some kuriltai. I suppose they did the math and didn't like what they saw. Probably, they figured they had enough trouble with the Russians, Poles, and Hungarians, who were less prone to going over to the enemy than the Chinese or the Muslims, and more prone to burn their own cities and towns to the ground and head for the hills. Add in real fortifications and it was probably enough to dissuade them.

    Let's just say I'm not convinced the Europeans were facing the choices you say they were. In fact, I think the Mongols found themselves faced with unpalatable choices, and they left for easier pickings.


    The idea that the Europeans ignored the possibility of Mongol alliance is not true.
     
    They didn't ignore it. They dismissed it. Because they knew the Mongols were the greater threat by far, and treacherous to boot. Crusaders let the Mamluk army pass through their territory unmolested so they could go and fight the Mongols.

    What would have been the point of reducing Krak des Chevaliers?
     
    Indeed. There were plenty of easy pickings elsewhere.

    By the way, the vaunted Krak fell easily later to Baibars.
     
    It fell because the garrison was demoralized and surrendered. They got a forged letter from the grandmaster of their Order telling them to surrender.

    That aside, which fortresses of that ilk (we can step down a ways, since there aren't many fortresses of that ilk) did the Mongols ever take? We can say "they didn't need to," but it's an odd coincidence that the place dotted with castles built by those same European engineers managed to escape Mongol depradations altogether. Kind of suggests the Mongols knew they'd have to. In fact, given the Mongols' preference for open warfare, where they didn't lose princes and commanders, over siege warfare, where they lost them pretty regularly, I think your assessment of castles as places people go to starve to death is directly contradicted by the Mongols' own behavior.



    The Mongols wasted a lot of hot air soliciting alliances with Christian powers, and pretty much nothing ever came of it. The few Christians who did fight for the Mongols against the Muslims were almost all from non-European states, like Georgia.
     
    A number of Russian princes joined the Mongols as I stated above.
     
    Did they fight for the Mongols against the Muslims? No. They fought for the Mongols against other eastern European peoples, Russians and Poles. Under pain of death.

    More on this later, but I just wanted to say thanks for a spirited discussion on this topic.
     
    NP, I've enjoyed it as well.

    They didn’t ignore it. They dismissed it. Because they knew the Mongols were the greater threat by far, and treacherous to boot. Crusaders let the Mamluk army pass through their territory unmolested so they could go and fight the Mongols.

    You have already been given examples of a Pope and an english King who sought and got alliances with the mongols of the Ilkhanate in crusades, actual and planned, against the muslims. Yet you still insist that nothing of the sort ever happened. Amazingly brazen dishonesty.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninth_Crusade

    As soon as Edward arrived in Acre, he made some attempts to form a Franco-Mongol alliance, sending an embassy to the Mongol ruler of Persia Abagha, an enemy of the Muslims. The embassy was led by Reginald Rossel, Godefroi of Waus and John of Parker, and its mission was to obtain military support from the Mongols.[3] In an answer dated 4 September 1271, Abagha agreed on cooperation and asked on what date the concerted attack on the Mamluks should take place.

    At the end of October 1271, a small force of Mongols arrived in Syria and ravaged the land from Aleppo southward. However Abagha, occupied by other conflicts in Turkestan could only send 10,000 Mongol horsemen under general Samagar from the occupation army in Seljuk Anatolia, plus auxiliary Seljukid troops. Despite the relatively small force though, their arrival still triggered an exodus of Muslim populations (who remembered the previous campaigns of Kitbuqa) as far south as Cairo.[4]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-Mongol_alliance

    In 1274 Pope Gregory X convened the Second Council of Lyon. Abaqa sent a delegation of 13 to 16 Mongols to the Council, which created a great stir, particularly when three of their members underwent a public baptism.[92] Abaqa’s Latin secretary Rychaldus delivered a report to the Council which outlined previous European-Ilkhanid relations under Abaqa’s father, Hulagu, affirming that after Hulagu had welcomed Christian ambassadors to his court, he had agreed to exempt Latin Christians from taxes and charges, in exchange for their prayers for the Khan. According to Rychaldus, Hulagu had also prohibited the molestation of Frank establishments, and had committed to return Jerusalem to the Franks.[93].…..At the Council, Pope Gregory promulgated a new crusade in liaison with the Mongols

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  168. @Art Deco
    Do you know anything about the topic?

    Yes.


    I have Maronite in-laws.

    And I attended a Melkite Church.

    And I attended a Melkite Church.

    Very fascinating Rite. At least to me.

    People think that Catholics are all Latins (Roman Rite), but there are over a couple of dozens of Rites everything from Ambrosian to Syrio-Malabarese that are in full communion with Rome yet maintain their diverse historical and cultural legacies and liturgies.

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  169. @Svigor
    I almost forgot how the Mongols used catapaults to hurl plague-infected corpses over the walls of cities that were giving them trouble. And their key role in spreading the black death to Europe. Oh, and how they marched people they'd enslaved into siege warfare against their own kind, laughing as they went to their deaths, under pain of death.

    And they routinely demanded ridiculous terms of surrender, essentially requiring total enslavement.

    Saw a comment that the 30-50+m killed by the Mongols represented more than 17% of the population, while WW2 "only" killed 3% of the world population. So, going by share of the population killed, the Mongol conquests were like 5 or 6 World War IIs.

    Yep, evil.


    They were no more or less evil than other conquering peoples of the time and throughout much of history.
     
    First, they killed 30m+ people. So, yes, they were a lot more evil than other conquering peoples. Like I said, they were not surpassed in their butchery until WWII. Second, yes, leaving scale aside, they were more cruel, heartless, and ruthless than other conquering peoples. They were basically bandits and marauders, writ large. Later, when they settled down and absorbed the cultural values of the civilized peoples they had conquered, they became less so, but that's not the Mongols I was referring to. Even the most evil folk get exhausted after a couple centuries of unprecedented butchery.

    They used every trick in the book to win wars. It’s just that they were really good at it for a couple hundred of years. Like many conquering peoples, they used terror as a weapon.
     
    And they were much better at using terror than the others, because they were evil and terrified everyone.

    Cities that opened the gates were generally treated well by the standards of the times (after all, indiscriminately slaughtering those who gave up easily would not convince others to follow suit – contrarily when obstinately resistant cities were razed, other cities would surrender more readily). This doesn’t mean Mongols always spared those who gave up easily, of course. Other conditions intervened sometimes.
     
    I read account after account where they promised not to slaughter everyone if they surrendered, and then they slaughtered them when they surrendered. Dunno what to tell you.

    (after all, indiscriminately slaughtering those who gave up easily would not convince others to follow suit – contrarily when obstinately resistant cities were razed, other cities would surrender more readily).
     
    That's just it, they didn't seem all that logical about it. More like, we're the Chosen of Heaven, it is our destiny to conquer and rule the world, and you have pissed us off by not having the gates open when we got here, so now we're going to kill everyone, down to the last man, woman, and child. Resisting them at all was pretty much enough to get the Mongols to go into genocidal grudge mode.

    Indeed, when they felt insulted or aggrieved (such as their ambassadors being murdered, as happened with Kwarizm)
     
    Given their propensity for murdering other peoples' diplomats, one wonders why they should have wondered.

    (one of Genghis Khan’s great generals, Jebe, was an erstwhile foe who almost killed him in battle and displayed a bit of “balls” if you will and he was spared and embraced).
     
    Jebe was a fellow Mongol. When the Mongols captured other peoples, who they intended to force to fight their wars for them, they exterminated all of the leaders. They didn't bother to ask them to swear fealty.

    Pax Mongolica
     
    I find that a silly term. Didn't you just quote the Latin about the men who create a desert and call it peace? It seems apt here.

    was established and the Mongol authority held, one could travel safely throughout the Mongol Empire, from Sarai to Karakorum, without the fear of being robbed by bandits and outlaws.
     
    The Mongol Empire was just a giant bandit army taxing the realm they'd subjugated. A very disciplined bandit army, I admit. They contributed practically nothing, culturally speaking.

    No one was safe from the Mongols in the Mongol Empire.


    Mongols also respected religion and largely granted the freedom of conscience to their subjects.
     
    They tolerated religions because they themselves had a primitive animist religion that paled next to the more complex systems of China, Europe, and West Asia, and they were clever enough to know better than to try to impose their religion on people with real faith. They were a bandit army, so they had no reason to convert anyone. I don't find their lack of conviction in anything but their own racial and military supremacy to be particularly noteworthy.

    Mongols were nearly invincible during their heyday. As an all cavalry force (reputedly each horseman had ten mounts), their strategic and operational mobility was incredible by the standards of their time.
     
    They weren't an all-cavalry force. They took China with slave armies, mostly infantry. In fact, every place you read about them using siege warfare, that's a place they were taking with their slave infantries. And besieging with their slave engineers.

    But I think I already mentioned that they were the pinnacle of premodern steppe/mobile warfare.


    And then they had geniuses like Jebe and Subotai as generals. The combination proved to be all but irresistible.
     
    My personal theory is that Mongol open warfare tactics, combined with their bandit pragmatism, made their generals look like "geniuses." The Mongols' results were consistent enough over a long enough period that I suspect it was their whole military culture and way of life, the tactics that eventually came to be an ethnic thing for the Mongols, that were decisive. If it were really the generals, I think we'd see more uneven performance from the Mongols in the field under varying officer talent. But instead, they seem remarkably consistent to me. But this is just my own opinion.

    The West and the Mamluks were saved by dumb luck. The Mongols had annihilated one European army after another advancing through Russia, Poland, and Hungary, but they had to return to Mongolia following their tradition when their Great Khan Ogedei died (all Mongol princes were required to vote to elect their next supreme leader; and some of course harbored the hope of being elected themselves).
     
    I think that's an outdated (if orthodox) view. The Mongols had wiped out several armies in the least fortified backwaters of Europe. Russia: primitive backwater with no stone fortifications, only wood and earth, the opposite of unified politically. Not heavily populated, either. Poland: only somewhat more fortified and populated than Russia, still far behind Europe to the west. Hungary was the best-fortified of the three, but it was still way behind parts west. Hungary was as far west as the Mongols' steppe tactics would really avail them. Beyond, Europe was forest, bog, mountain, etc. And bristling with stone fortifications that were far more formible and numerous than anything the Mongols ever conquered. European castle architecture has never been matched, not even close. And beyond the quality was the sheer number of the things, hundreds of them throughout Europe that have no equivalent at all in China, for example.

    Just compare the population of the parts of Europe that the Mongols conquered, to the parts that they never even raided.

    Krak des Chevaliers (Syria) was built in the 12th century. The Mongols came through there - when did they reduce it? Oh, that's right, they didn't. The Mongols probably took one look at it and said, "uhm, I hear my kuriltai calling." They never took anything like it.

    How about Constantinople? Plenty of riches there. Why didn't the Mongols take it? Because they would have looked at it and known it to be far beyond their abilities. They never took anything like it.

    As for the kuriltai story, it doesn't add up. The Mongols withdrew from Hungary before they received word of the Khan's death (per Rashid al-Din). And there was nothing stopping the Mongols from trying again after electing a new khan. Nothing except the Mongols. Their behavior after withdrawing from Hungary isn't consistent with the idea that they'd received word of a kuriltai, either. Instead of going straight home, they acted like bandits on the way home from a raid at their own, leisurely pace, attacking the Cumans in the east and pursuing them through the mountains for a year. Then they spent another year getting back to the Volga in 1243. All of which raises the question, why did they leave at all, let alone at such an idle pace? Why didn't Batu appoint a lieutenant to lead in his stead, freeing him to make all speed back to the kuriltai with a small escort? There was no Mongol law that a campaign could not continue while a new khan was elected, or that an invading army must attend a kuriltai.

    Carpini's the only source for the kuriltai tale, and that's probably all it is. After all, Carpini also attests to the fact that the Mongols were liars and only honest with one another. "Oh, we had to come home for the Kuriltai, yeah, that's the ticket" is just the sort of thing a racist bandit would tell an outsider, particularly a foreign diplomat, as an excuse. Carpini's also the source for the erroneous idea that Ogedei was poisoned, when the Mongols themselves stated that he died of his own drunkenness, and explicitly dismissed the notion that he'd been poisoned.

    Rashid al-Din was in a far better position to know, and is the more reliable source.

    Wikipedia says:


    It was not until 1255, well into the reign of Möngke Khan, that Batu felt secure enough to again prepare to invade Europe. Fortunately for the Europeans, he died before his plans could be implemented.
     
    Lol. What, did the whole Mongol race "forget" that they were going to invade Europe, too? Kind of a big thing for military geniuses to forget.

    The Mongol Empire had hundreds of years to invade Europe, but they never moved beyond her poor, sparsely-populated, and barely-fortified frontiers. They let the Hungarians kick them out. Oddly-enough, during the respite, the Hungarians thought stone fortifications were key to defending their land against the next looming invasion by the Mongols, and undertook a massive castle-building project.

    The most persuasive argument for the kuriltai explanation is circular logic: the Mongols were invincible, so they must've decided to leave on their own.

    As for the requirement for members of the royal family to attend the kuriltai; like all Mongol laws, it was flexible. Leading up to the Toluid Civil Wars, one khan or another refused for quite some time to attend, citing dubious injuries and impairments. Because it suited him. Baku could have spent another year invading Europe west of the Danube, instead of diddling around like he did, and still made it to the kuriltai when he did.


    Similarly, Hulagu was set to ravage Egypt, but then Mongke Khan died, requiring him to return with the majority of his troops (Hulagu was potentially a candidate for the Supreme Khan-ship). At the Battle of Ain Jalut, the Mamluks subsequently defeated a token force left behind by Hulagu under a Nestorian Christian general (and that smaller force was largely Cuman/Kipchak and did not have many “Imperial,” i.e. actual Mongol, troops).
     
    Their forces were routinely more non-Mongol than Mongol. They conquered all of China with mostly-foreign troops. The Mongols had hundreds of years to move further south and west, through the Levant and into Africa, but they never tried. They never reduced any of the impressive Crusader fortresses in the Levant.

    I'll take your failure to mention the Sultanate of Delhi as silent agreement that they whipped the Mongols' asses (again, because of decent population and fortification density, as well as a strong will to resist).


    Eventually they became quite adept at taking cities.
     
    I think you worded this well; the superlatives should be dropped when referring to Mongols doing anything aside from what they were masters at - steppe/mobile warfare. Sure, they became quite adept at siege warfare. Lots of people were quite adept. Particularly the west Asian engineers the Mongols captured and pressed into service for all of their best siege work.

    Third, after the initial cohesion under Genghis Khan, his sons, and his grandsons dissipated, they fell upon themselves in vicious infighting. The Khans of the Golden Horde and the Il-Khans of Persia frequently warred rather than fighting their external enemies.
     
    I disagree. Except for the one civil war, I think they did a pretty good job of keeping themselves together post-1206. Well, of not fighting one another, anyway. They didn't manage to keep the territories entirely united. For a bunch of jumped-up bandits, I think they did very well in this regard.

    As for their vulnerabilities, I think they were vulnerable to foot archers, who can carry bigger bows with a longer range, but who would depend upon fortifications for sustenance and lodging. They were also vulnerable while laying siege. They lost quite a few notable princes and leaders over the years, all while conducting sieges - never in steppe/mobile warfare.


    In their heyday, Silk Road cities like Bukhara and Samarkand were both immensely rich and flowing with the best of Islamic culture. Khorasan (eastern Persia) at the time was the jewel of Islamic world.
     
    All at the periphery of their empire. Other than Persia and China, all they conquered were backwaters, frontiers, and wastes. Which is not to sneeze at Persia and China, mind you - but they represent a relatively small share of the territory the Mongols conquered. People always point to the land area the Mongol Empire spanned, as if that's so very impressive, when most of it was empty and barren.

    Again, that’s nonsense.

    In their heyday, Silk Road cities like Bukhara and Samarkand were both immensely rich and flowing with the best of Islamic culture. Khorasan (eastern Persia) at the time was the jewel of Islamic world.

    The Shah of the Kwarezmian Empire who ruled the area made a very bad mistake in slaughtering Mongol ambassadors at Otrar; Mongols invaded and spared little, turning the area into desert, from which the area never recovered.
     

    True, they did tend to shoot for the low-risk, high-reward targets, as bandits are wont to do. But that doesn't change the fact that most of the territory they took was a dump. Go look at a map of the Mongol Empire at its greatest extent and lay it over a modern one showing the dumps of central Asia today. Most of central Asia was a dump then, and most of it is a dump now. Desert, steppe, taiga, tundra, dizzy highlands...dumps. Marginally liveable. You've pretty much mentioned the only stuff that they took other than China that was worth having.

    P.S., I'm cribbing a lot of this from Deep Ditches and Well-built Walls - A Reappraisal of the Mongol Withdrawal from Europe in 1242 by Lindsey Stephen Pow. It's quite comprehensive and a very interesting read. You should give it a look, he makes a persuasive case that serious fortification was the salient factor common to all the areas that resisted or avoided Mongol conquest. Along with sufficient population density, and a will to resist, that is.

    I doubt the Mongols could have taken Europe. They could have caused a lot of havoc, but I think they would have failed. And I think they knew it. They had massive spy networks and took the trouble to research and scout out prospective targets. I think that's what Batu & co. were doing, an expeditionary raid, and they left when they ran out of soft targets. Europe would have been much harder than China, relative to the reward. China was close by Mongolia, richer and plumper than Europe, and not particularly accomplished in or oriented toward warfare. They were soft. Europeans had a greater tendency to fight and a lesser tendency to cooperate, collude, or defect. They liked burning their own shit to the ground before letting the Mongols have it. Burying their metal treasure and heading for the hills. Christians saw the Mongols as devils, and would be more inclined by their faith against surrendering to or cooperating with a marauding army of treacherous pagans.

    I think the Mongols took what they could. Like the good wannabe Masters of the Universe that they were. And didn't take what they couldn't, or what they doubted their ability to take. The Mongols were very impressive, but they're also very overrated, IMO. They were quite canny at picking the softest, richest targets. Their real genius may have been in not overreaching very often.

    As for the kuriltai story, it doesn’t add up. The Mongols withdrew from Hungary before they received word of the Khan’s death (per Rashid al-Din).

    That is not quite correct. They re-grouped after the Battles of Liegnitz and Mohi, but continued to take cities and towns in Poland, Germany, and Southeastern Europe.

    And there was nothing stopping the Mongols from trying again after electing a new khan. Nothing except the Mongols.

    You are correct about the second sentence, but not in the way you mean. There was significant dissension in the Golden Family at the time, especially between Batu on the one hand and Guyuk and Buri on the other. Naturally there was considerable turmoil during the succession after Ogedei’s death. Since the Mongols already ruled a huge empire, the possession and maintenance of power within it mattered far more than further conquests in the periphery of their realms.

    Why didn’t Batu appoint a lieutenant to lead in his stead, freeing him to make all speed back to the kuriltai with a small escort?

    For the same reason Hulagu only left a token force for Ain Jalut and hurried home with the bulk of his force. Kuriltai was “democratic” retrospectively but not that democratic in reality. Princes didn’t simply show up with a token force if they cared to exert any influence (and survive). They showed up with their biggest and the best. Furthermore, Batu’s armies, especially the crucial imperial tumans (actual Mongol warriors) were largely borrowed from the Grand Khan. He was obligated to return them.

    Their forces were routinely more non-Mongol than Mongol. They conquered all of China with mostly-foreign troops.

    In their early conquests, their forces were almost entirely all-cavalry. Infantry was virtually useless in steppe warfare. Only in those specific circumstances where they fought against armies of settled peoples (China where local conscripts were used) or where terrain intervened (Anatolia where they frequently dismounted; Japan where Korean seamen and conscripts were deployed) did they diverge from their traditional steppe horse archer techniques.

    The Mongols had hundreds of years to move further south and west, through the Levant and into Africa, but they never tried. They never reduced any of the impressive Crusader fortresses in the Levant.

    I’ll take your failure to mention the Sultanate of Delhi as silent agreement that they whipped the Mongols’ asses (again, because of decent population and fortification density, as well as a strong will to resist).

    Mongols like all rational conquering peoples avoided the strong and struck the weak (as Sun Tzu wrote, one should be like water which avoids high places and naturally flows to low places). The Vikings didn’t exactly go around besieging heavily fortified areas (heck, they didn’t exactly seek open battle either) – they often struck undefended towns and villages and took off in their fast ships before the opponents assembled their armies.

    Crusader fortresses were high risk, low value targets. But if Hulagu had not turned back from Egypt and conquered it with his main force, the Crusader fortresses would not have lasted long. Assaulting fortresses is stupid. You starve it out (by devastating the countryside) or rely on treachery.

    And the Sultanate of Delhi did not “whip the Mongol’s asses.” Mongols actually took Kashmir and Sindh easily. Delhi turned out be a tougher nut to crack, to be sure, especially since the invading force was quite small. The general historical assessment though is that the Sultanate repelled the Mongols but at a great cost to themselves. But this would be akin to the Caledonians boasting that they defeated the mighty Romans. Just as Romans weighed the costs and benefits, the Mongols likely saw a similar calculus when they were already busy fighting on many other fronts across the vast expanses of their empire. The Vietnamese and the Japanese also repulsed the Mongols, but they were never recipients of the full might of the Mongol Empire (the way Kwarizm was, for example). I don’t think these minor repulses of small forces at the very peripheries of their empire were any knocks against the Mongols unless you previously attributed some sort of superhuman invincibility to them.

    I disagree. Except for the one civil war, I think they did a pretty good job of keeping themselves together post-1206.

    Er, no. Golden Horde and Il-Khanate warred incessantly though with varying intensity. In any case, the mutual rivalry between the sub-Khanates limited external aggression. Once they had vast empires to rule, the desire for conquest receded, which is quite natural.

    As for their vulnerabilities, I think they were vulnerable to foot archers, who can carry bigger bows with a longer range, but who would depend upon fortifications for sustenance and lodging.

    “Bigger” bows don’t necessarily mean better bows. If you knew anything about archery, you’d know that the materials and the method of construction, and the tensions created thereby matter more. Mongols used a composite construction (wood and horn) in their bows that created a fantastic amount of tension in a very compact size. They outranged most “foot” bows except perhaps English long bows. Furthermore, as horse archers they had orders of magnitude greater mobility and tactical/operational flexibility. Foot archers were no threats to them.

    However, crossbowmen were a different story. During the Hungarian campaign (Mohi), the Mongols did suffer considerably at the hands of the Hungarian crossbowmen defending across Sajo river. The Mongols solved this problem by using catapults to clear the opposite banks of the crossbowmen. Once across the river, of course, the crossbowmen were easy meat to mince for the horsemen.

    They were also vulnerable while laying siege. They lost quite a few notable princes and leaders over the years, all while conducting sieges – never in steppe/mobile warfare.

    Siege warfare was inherently risky for all sides. In open battles commanders could escape if the tides of battle turned. Not so for siege warfare for anyone, not just Mongols. Does the name Pyrrhus of Epirus ring a bell? He of the “Pyrrhic victories”? He died attacking the city of Argos and was killed when, reputedly, a woman threw a tile at him from the rooftops of the city and wounded him, allowing him to be killed by the warriors of Argos. Commanders died at considerably higher rates in siege warfare, some from disease (armies sitting in one spot too long turned into a gigantic field hospital) and some from the unique dangers of attacking a fortified area (also, unlike in open battles, women and children frequently took part in defense of fortifications with great desperation, so unlike most open battles, the siege was a highly risky, dangerous type of combat in which the victor gave no mercy to the vanquished).

    Most of central Asia was a dump then, and most of it is a dump now.

    You keep repeating that, but I don’t think you know much geographical history on this score.

    Transoxiana was very rich country, both from trade and farming. Bukhara and Samarkand were fabulously rich cities. Even today’s their architectural legacy is quite stunning.

    And southern Russia, which the Golden Horde took as their main region, was the bread basket of the Greeks (always known for its rich soil) as well as flourishing in trade between northern Europe and the Byzantine world.

    Obviously, Mongols conquered many sparsely populated regions as well since their conquests were mostly interiors of the vast Eurasian continent (and human population density tended to be higher along coastal areas). But I don’ think the conquest of China, Korea, Central Asia, much of the Middle East including Persia, and Russia should be sneered. After all, no other group of people has done it but the Mongols.

    Europe would have been much harder than China, relative to the reward. China was close by Mongolia, richer and plumper than Europe, and not particularly accomplished in or oriented toward warfare.

    Agreed except the last part of the supposed indisposition to warfare by the Chinese.

    They were soft. Europeans had a greater tendency to fight and a lesser tendency to cooperate, collude, or defect. They liked burning their own shit to the ground before letting the Mongols have it. Burying their metal treasure and heading for the hills. Christians saw the Mongols as devils, and would be more inclined by their faith against surrendering to or cooperating with a marauding army of treacherous pagans.

    That is not borne out by history. The pagan (and very bloodthirsty and treacherous) Vikings had no trouble getting “cooperation, collusion, or defection” from European Christians. Look up the term “Danegeld.” Franks, Germans, Byzantines, and Russians routinely bought off marauding warriors with gold (Norsemen, Magyars, Turks, and Mongols, respectively).

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  170. @Bliss

    I do not have “a problem with the Enlightenment.”
     
    Of course you have a problem with the Enlightenment. The fact that the anti-Enlightenment british politician Edmund Burke is your hero proves that. And since you have a problem with the Enlightenment it follows that you have a problem with the founding principles of America.

    The ideological adversary of your icon Burke was none other than Founding Father Thomas Paine, a hero of the Enlightenment who is regarded by many as The Father of the American Revolution. You don't stand with the men who founded America, instead you lie shamelessly about their beliefs and intentions. Basically, you are upto no good.

    Of course you have a problem with the Enlightenment. The fact that the anti-Enlightenment british politician Edmund Burke is your hero proves that. And since you have a problem with the Enlightenment it follows that you have a problem with the founding principles of America.

    That’s very odd since Edmund Burke was very favorably disposed to the American Independence and also favored Catholic emancipation. Such a medieval despot, he.

    The ideological adversary of your icon Burke was none other than Founding Father Thomas Paine, a hero of the Enlightenment who is regarded by many as The Father of the American Revolution. You don’t stand with the men who founded America, instead you lie shamelessly about their beliefs and intentions. Basically, you are upto no good.

    Well, it certainly seems you share Paine’s paranoia and delusion of grandeur. See Wiki, that bastion of medieval despotism and conservatism:

    Paine decided that President George Washington had conspired with Robespierre to imprison him. Embittered by this perceived betrayal, Paine tried to ruin Washington’s reputation by calling him a treacherous man unworthy of his fame as a military and political hero. Paine described Washington as an incompetent commander and a vain and ungrateful person. In a scathing open letter to President Washington in 1796, he wrote: “the world will be puzzled to decide whether you are an apostate or an impostor; whether you have abandoned good principles or whether you ever had any.”[57]

    Yes, Paine was arrested by the French Revolutionaries. Permanent Revolutionaries hate each other just as much as their supposed ideological foes.

    In 1802, he returned to the U.S. where he died on June 8, 1809. Only six people attended his funeral as he had been ostracized for his ridicule of Christianity.[5]…

    At the time of his death, most American newspapers reprinted the obituary notice from the New York Evening Post,[64] which read in part: “He had lived long, did some good, and much harm.” Only six mourners came to his funeral, two of whom were black, most likely freedmen.

    Surely if the Founding Fathers were all deists, they’d have respected him for spiritual fellowship rather than ostracizing him?

    “Father of the American Revolution”? Perhaps. That’s highly debatable (since a success has many fathers, but a failure is an orphan). But certainly NOT the Father of the Republic that resulted after the war. Many people are good at tearing things down. Few are wise and deliberate enough to be good at building something lasting afterwards.

    I make lies about the Founding Fathers? Really? Did I write this? http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=8755

    Still no answer to those lengthy Christian quotes from dozens of the Founders?

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    • Replies: @Bliss

    That’s very odd since Edmund Burke was very favorably disposed to the American Independence and also favored Catholic emancipation.
     
    What the heck does that have to do with my point? Are you denying that he was anti-Enlightenment? If so, you are lying yet again.

    As for his support for American Independence:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/un-american-conservative/

    Burke inspired ambiguous reactions shortly after the Founding. He had, after all, been the agent of New York colony prior to the Revolution, and he supported the colonists’ grievances through the 1760s and 1770s.......But his interest in the colonies lasted only so long as they were a part of the Empire; once that was no longer the case, it disappeared......Not until 1791 did Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France reach America, and when it did his former admirers and friends, such as Thomas Paine, were disappointed by his fervent stance against the French Revolution. Burke’s relation to the new nation changed.


    Burke believed that Tradition was superior to Reason. Thus he believed in:

    1. A hereditary monarchy

    2. A hereditary feudal aristocracy

    3. A "revealed" religion as the state religion


    Good luck trying to pass them off as American or Enlightenment ideals. Basically, Burke and his anti-Enlightenment ilk are no different from the muslim conservatives: al-Qaeda, Taliban, ISIS who yearn for Caliph and Sharia.

    In fact Burke was a big fan of Sharia:

    http://harpers.org/blog/2011/01/burke-on-sharia-law/

    we have referred you to the Mahomedan law, which is binding upon all, from the crowned head to the meanest subject; a law interwoven with a system of the wisest, the most learned, and most enlightened jurisprudence that perhaps ever existed in the world.

    I make lies about the Founding Fathers? Really? Did I write this? http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=8755

     

    That is the 4th or 5th time in a couple threads you have given that same link. Given that I have already responded more than once (without you answering my points) I am suspicious of your intentions with that link. Do you have something to do with that site?

    Your link is nonsensical, it finds known deists and unitarians to be christians. Even Jefferson who rewrote the Bible is a christian according to these shameless liars you admire...
    , @Bliss

    In 1802, he returned to the U.S. where he died on June 8, 1809. Only six people attended his funeral as he had been ostracized for his ridicule of Christianity.[5]
     
    All the main Founders of America were critical of christianity as I have already shown. The difference with Paine was that he published a book (in 1794) Age of Reason in which he used extremely harsh words to bash christianity, like calling half the Bible (clearly meaning the Old Testament) the word of a demon instead of the word of God. It was out of line and potentially dangerous in a country where most citizens were christians. Any sensible politician would have distanced himself from Paine after that.

    Secondly, because of the perceived lack of support from Washington and others when he was imprisoned and almost executed during the French Revolution by the extremists who inflicted the Reign of Terror, he felt betrayed and attacked Washington in an open letter. Obviously that couldn't have gone down well in America.

    Thirdly, his uncompromising stance against slavery when many of the Founders were slave owners, had already marginalized him years earlier.


    Yet, Paine can never be marginalized by historians. He is called the Father of the American Revolution for good reason. Without his widely circulated and extremely influential pamphlet Common Sense which advocated independence, the American Revolution likely would not have happened.
  171. @Svigor

    No reason to hate on the Mongols. They were a product of their time and circumstance.
    They did create the first major contacts across the Eurasian continent. Eg. Marco Polo, French
    emissaries to the Yuan court, allowed Mandeville, etc. Eventual transmission of key pre-1400 tech and understanding East to West. No Mongol Empire, no Renaissance.
     
    They brought key tech west to east. Like real trebuchets, instead of the rinky-dink ones the Chinese had been using. Some say this was integral to the Mongols' conquest of China.

    As for the Silk Road, it had been around for long before the Mongol Empire. Much Crusader activity was centered around taking over Silk Road outlets and ports. The "contact" stuff sounds like crediting Osama bin Laden with bringing America and Afghanistan closer together.

    The supposed good brought about by the Mongols was literally nothing next to their murder, rape, and thievery. Their contributions were essentially zero, even if you aren't counting all the red ink on their ledger.


    BTW, I understand the anti-Mongol kerfuffle is directed at me. But I’m Korean. And Korea was a tough, tough out for the Mongols. Took six invasions over 40 years.
     
    So what? The Europeans, who you love to criticize, had mostly European victims down through the years.

    China took decades, too, but the Mongols got 'er done.


    I believe Korea also happened to be the first to shake off the Mongol yoke by force.
     
    After they fell to the Mongols, you mean?

    Does Lindisfarne ring a bell?
     
    It didn't, so I looked it up. The wikipedia page doesn't even give a body count.

    Do you also consider the Vikings to be evil?
     
    Not at the moment. Maybe if I give them a closer look that'll change. But unless they approach the scale of slaughter of men, women, and children that the Mongols did, or the sheer monstrous depravity of the Aztecs, then probably not. My "evil" is a pretty exclusive category. Like I said, I don't like throwing the term around.

    Do elaborate. Karakorum was full of diplomats from the far corners of Eurasia. Most seemed to have reported being treated rather grandly.
     
    I dunno. I came across a couple of instances where the Mongols murdered diplomats. I'm not going to go dig them up.

    Jebe was not a Mongol. He BECAME one. Mongols were a very small tribe. They absorbed those who were not their kin. This was a common steppe practice going at least as far as the time of Attila the Hun.
     
    Now you're splitting hairs. "Tatar" and "Mongol" and the like are Mongol ethnic names that came to represent a group of very similar steppe nomad peoples. Wiki says Jebe was from clan Besud, which belonged to the Taichud tribe, which was one of the three core tribes in the Khamag Mongol confederation in Mongolia, considered a predecessor state to the Mongol Empire.

    Wiki says the rule of the Mongols alternated between Borjigid and Tayichiud tribes prior to Genghis Khan.

    The Mongol Empire was founded by the kinds of Mongol alliances you're describing as if it were some great reach across a multicultural divide.


    Not being asked to swear fealty must have been news to the Princes of Novgorod, Smolensk, Galich, Pskov, and many others who submitted, swore fealty to the Grand Khans, and were variously given honors, titles, and local authority. Some even fought valiantly and enthusiastically for their new overlords.
     
    Under pain of death.

    Nobody, I mean absolutely nobody, can run a vast empire without embracing and honoring cooperative local rulers and allies. That was the case with the Romans and that was also the case with the Mongols. Your description of them as simple bloodthirsty savages who killed all before them is more propaganda than real history.
     
    As you say, obviously everyone has to cooperate to a degree. So that's less interesting to me. What's salient about the Mongols is their propensity for slaughter, not their propensity for cooperation. And the cooperation they did solicit was usually from conquered peoples, under pain of death.

    Which is, to be understated about it, no small thing at all. When they were destroying army after army in Eastern Europe with a small force (no more than two to three tumans or 20,000 to 30,000 men), they were operating 2,000-3,000 miles OVERLAND from their homeland (water transport changes the equation enormously). And while operating so deeply in foreign territory, they were able to coordinate two successful battles hundreds of miles apart in a span of a few days (the Battle of Liegnitz and the Battle of Mohi). Prior to the Industrialization and mechanization of warfare, this was without precedent. The speed of their advances was unmatched until the rise of the motorized/mechanized warfare in World War II.
     
    You find a nomadic lifestyle more remarkable than I do. Driving a herd was an immense tactical advantage for the Mongols, but I don't see it as some amazing accomplishment.

    Certainly Genghis Khan, not exactly a military amateur, rated Jebe and Subotai as highly capable generals.
     
    The Mongols seemed to be sincerely meritocratic despots. So I'm not surprised that they typically gave command to their best generals. My point was that it is my personal opinion that the Mongols' success was not down to the genius of their brilliant generals, but to their "ethnic tactics," if you will.

    Plus they were already operating thousands of miles away from their homeland and any farther incursions into non-grasslands would have complicated matters by several orders of magnitude.
     
    I think the real disadvantage in being so far from home was in asking for and receiving reinforcements. As nomads, they essentially brought their homeland with them, wherever they went, in terms of supply lines. So in the case of an invasion of Europe, their supply lines would have run to the Hungarian plains. Not far at all, really.

    But the rest of Europe was not politically united either.
     
    But more unified than Russia. I don't recall reading anything about Hungarians defecting. Russians were more tribalistic frontier types, compared to Europe west of Hungary. That's what I was talking about. The patchwork states of Europe, on the other hand, probably made the Mongols' task that much more imposing. Unlike China, there was no central power to defeat that would put Europe into their hands.

    Central and Western Europeans armies would have unpalatable choices 1) watch their lands burn and starve inside fortifications or 2) give battle at the time and choosing of the Mongols and face annihilation. And as in Russia and Poland, Mongols would have quickly found allies who submitted and joined their war.
     
    Hey, all I know is the choice that the Mongols made, which was to turn around and head back toward the backwaters. And it wasn't over some kuriltai. I suppose they did the math and didn't like what they saw. Probably, they figured they had enough trouble with the Russians, Poles, and Hungarians, who were less prone to going over to the enemy than the Chinese or the Muslims, and more prone to burn their own cities and towns to the ground and head for the hills. Add in real fortifications and it was probably enough to dissuade them.

    Let's just say I'm not convinced the Europeans were facing the choices you say they were. In fact, I think the Mongols found themselves faced with unpalatable choices, and they left for easier pickings.


    The idea that the Europeans ignored the possibility of Mongol alliance is not true.
     
    They didn't ignore it. They dismissed it. Because they knew the Mongols were the greater threat by far, and treacherous to boot. Crusaders let the Mamluk army pass through their territory unmolested so they could go and fight the Mongols.

    What would have been the point of reducing Krak des Chevaliers?
     
    Indeed. There were plenty of easy pickings elsewhere.

    By the way, the vaunted Krak fell easily later to Baibars.
     
    It fell because the garrison was demoralized and surrendered. They got a forged letter from the grandmaster of their Order telling them to surrender.

    That aside, which fortresses of that ilk (we can step down a ways, since there aren't many fortresses of that ilk) did the Mongols ever take? We can say "they didn't need to," but it's an odd coincidence that the place dotted with castles built by those same European engineers managed to escape Mongol depradations altogether. Kind of suggests the Mongols knew they'd have to. In fact, given the Mongols' preference for open warfare, where they didn't lose princes and commanders, over siege warfare, where they lost them pretty regularly, I think your assessment of castles as places people go to starve to death is directly contradicted by the Mongols' own behavior.



    The Mongols wasted a lot of hot air soliciting alliances with Christian powers, and pretty much nothing ever came of it. The few Christians who did fight for the Mongols against the Muslims were almost all from non-European states, like Georgia.
     
    A number of Russian princes joined the Mongols as I stated above.
     
    Did they fight for the Mongols against the Muslims? No. They fought for the Mongols against other eastern European peoples, Russians and Poles. Under pain of death.

    More on this later, but I just wanted to say thanks for a spirited discussion on this topic.
     
    NP, I've enjoyed it as well.

    They brought key tech west to east. Like real trebuchets, instead of the rinky-dink ones the Chinese had been using. Some say this was integral to the Mongols’ conquest of China.

    Trebuchets were likely invented in the Byzantine Empire and spread westward among the “Franks” and eastward among the Persians. I don’t think that Western and Central Europeans should feel too hot about themselves on that score since they too “received” the technology. The Mongols used Persian engineers to build trebuchets to take some cities in China.

    The supposed good brought about by the Mongols was literally nothing next to their murder, rape, and thievery. Their contributions were essentially zero, even if you aren’t counting all the red ink on their ledger.

    As with most conquering peoples, they spilled a lot of blood. They were just better at it than just about everyone else. Although the Silk Road existed long prior to the Pax Mongolica, it was a dangerous journey of many years. During Pax Mongolica banditry and disorder was all but wiped out on it and it served as a very efficient and safe conduit of trade and information between the East and the West, perhaps the first time in history. The Mongols, of course, did not do this out of the goodness of their heart. They did it because their Persian and Chinese administrators impressed upon them the riches that would result from it.

    But, I agree wholeheartedly that they were not the builders that, say, Romans were. Romans assimilated others into their civilization. Mongols assimilated into those of the settled peoples… as pagan Germanic conquerors did also. The wild men of the North subduing the riches of the South and becoming a part of the latter is the history of the Eurasian middle ages.

    Not at the moment. Maybe if I give them a closer look that’ll change. But unless they approach the scale of slaughter of men, women, and children that the Mongols did, or the sheer monstrous depravity of the Aztecs, then probably not. My “evil” is a pretty exclusive category. Like I said, I don’t like throwing the term around.

    The Vikings displayed the same “evil” attributes you assign the Mongols: wantonly violent, bloodthirsty in combat and in the aftermath, cunning and duplicitous, prone to attacking the weak and avoiding the strong, avaricious and treacherous, and engaging all manners of destruction and rapine. Also superb in the warrior ways of their particular idiom (sea-borne raids). Their body count is unknown. But probably lower than that of the Mongols due to reasons beyond their control (lower population density of their targets, their relative lack of organization, etc.) and not because they did not desire the same ends as the Mongols did (conquest and rapine).

    I dunno. I came across a couple of instances where the Mongols murdered diplomats. I’m not going to go dig them up.

    Ok. So no one ever killed an emissary or two? Come now. Mongols actually respected the safety of the emissary as a rule. Besides, if they killed the diplomats, who would bring back their demands for homage? On the contrary, both Europeans and Muslims routinely killed Mongol emissaries, earning the deep hatred and ire of the Mongols who considered such acts particularly heinous (don’t forget that Mongols, rather like the Pathans, had a strong tradition of hospitality and sanctuary even to those enemies so long as they sought them – which is why Genghis Khan’s father consumed the food offered by their enemies the Tatars and died as a result of poisoning because he felt compelled to honor the code of hospitality thusly offered).

    Now you’re splitting hairs. “Tatar” and “Mongol” and the like are Mongol ethnic names that came to represent a group of very similar steppe nomad peoples.

    Tatars murdered Genghis Khan’s father by treachery. Yet he incorporated them into his armies eventually, as he did with defeated Cumans, Chinese, Persians, and Russians. Steppe empires and confederations had a long tradition of incorporating the defeated into their armies. Attila the Hun led an army that was likely mostly Germanic and Alan (in which the Huns formed a small imperial nucleus). The difference was that Mongols were highly meritocratic and elevated men of talent from conquered peoples.

    Mongols often used well-read Chinese and Persian scholars as administrators and de facto rulers of their vast empire. They often took in non-Mongol captains of renown into their hierarchy and even their family. The famed Russian warlord Alexander Nevsky (whose legendary life was immortalized by Sergei Einstein’s epic propaganda film in 1938) was initially a hostage to the Mongols, but was raised as a “blood brother” to Batu’s son and married one of Batu’s daughters. He was variously the Prince of Novgorod, Grand Prince of Kiev and Grand Prince of Vladimir. Today he is renowned for the defeat of the Teutonic Knights.

    It’s not that Mongols were some sorts of avatars of multiculturalism. It’s that they were very practical steppe people (where racial purity was rarely a strong ideological concept) and, in the case of Mongols, took talent where they found it regardless of race/tribe. To Genghis Khan, a man’s personal qualities mattered more than his tribal or racial origin, and Mongols largely followed suit.

    You find a nomadic lifestyle more remarkable than I do. Driving a herd was an immense tactical advantage for the Mongols, but I don’t see it as some amazing accomplishment.

    If you don’t think that successfully coordinating two large battles involving tens of thousands of men over three hundred miles apart within a couple of days with utter discipline and precision while over three thousand miles away (over land) from their home base during a pre-mechanization times is remarkable, you don’t know much military history at all.

    But more unified than Russia. I don’t recall reading anything about Hungarians defecting. Russians were more tribalistic frontier types, compared to Europe west of Hungary. That’s what I was talking about. The patchwork states of Europe, on the other hand, probably made the Mongols’ task that much more imposing. Unlike China, there was no central power to defeat that would put Europe into their hands.

    The first part of this passage and the second part are contradictory. In the beginning you seem to be stating that Russia fell more easily because they were less united than Central and Western Europeans, but then immediately write next that the “patchwork states” of the West would have made it harder for the Mongols to conquer.

    Let’s just say I’m not convinced the Europeans were facing the choices you say they were. In fact, I think the Mongols found themselves faced with unpalatable choices, and they left for easier pickings.

    We’ll never know. Given the massive amount of territory they conquered previously, I’d say they were busy plundering and dividing it amongst themselves.

    It fell because the garrison was demoralized and surrendered. They got a forged letter from the grandmaster of their Order telling them to surrender.

    Krak’s fate was sealed a long time ago. Once the surrounding area was devastated and it couldn’t support a sizable garrison the jig was up. Fortresses like Krak were very rare because they were white elephants.

    That aside, which fortresses of that ilk (we can step down a ways, since there aren’t many fortresses of that ilk) did the Mongols ever take?

    Alamut. You make yourself a threat to the Mongols (like trying to murder their Grand Khan) and they come for you even 2,000 meters high in your fortress.

    Did they fight for the Mongols against the Muslims? No. They fought for the Mongols against other eastern European peoples, Russians and Poles. Under pain of death.

    I don’t get you here. Russian allies of the Mongols fought against the Germans and the Swedes. Byzantine allies of the Mongols fought against the Muslims. People fight their neighbors. Only the rare conquering peoples like the Macedonians, Romans, Vikings, and the Mongols go thousands of miles looking for dragons to slay.

    What do you mean by “pain of death”? Like anywhere, when confronted by a whirlwind of a conquering force, some defenders fall in battle, others flees, still others cooperate with the winners and join the conquest. All empires and conquering peoples incorporate the latter. Mongols were no different.

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  172. @Svigor
    It's worth mentioning that Baibar promised the garrison at Krak des Chevaliers safe passage, and honored his word. They would not have surrendered to the Mongols.

    It’s worth mentioning that Baibar promised the garrison at Krak des Chevaliers safe passage, and honored his word. They would not have surrendered to the Mongols.

    You don’t know that. At all.

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  173. @Svigor

    I don’t recall reading anything about Hungarians defecting.
     
    Which is odd, when I think about it. Bela was an unpopular king, all 'round. Maybe I should go back and take another look, because he certainly deserved some treachery.

    Which is odd, when I think about it. Bela was an unpopular king, all ’round. Maybe I should go back and take another look, because he certainly deserved some treachery.

    Bela’s Cuman allies certainly defected.

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  174. @Svigor
    I was remiss when I said "hundreds":

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle


    For a variety of reasons, not least of which is that many castles have no recorded history, there is no firm number of castles built in the medieval period. However, it has been estimated that between 75,000 and 100,000 were built in western Europe;[105] of these around 1,700 were in England and Wales[106] and around 14,000 in German-speaking areas.[107]
     
    Note the use of "western Europe" here; the difference in fortification (inter alia) between the Europe conquered by the Mongols and the Europe they never even raided was profound, like night and day.

    From what little I understand of the history of castle-building in Europe, the impression I get is that the bulk of them were built between the 9th and 15th centuries. Most of those estimated 75-100k castles were probably around and functional in the 13th century.

    Note the use of “western Europe” here; the difference in fortification (inter alia) between the Europe conquered by the Mongols and the Europe they never even raided was profound, like night and day.

    From what little I understand of the history of castle-building in Europe, the impression I get is that the bulk of them were built between the 9th and 15th centuries. Most of those estimated 75-100k castles were probably around and functional in the 13th century.

    Except the “castle” here is a very loose term. The vast majority of these tens of thousands of “castles” were not the architectural monsters (not in a negative sense, but in size and complexity) like Krak. Most were minor manorial fortifications built on hills and other natural barriers.

    Because the Chinese did not have the same political system, they did not build European-style castles, but countless villages, towns, and cities in China were walled and fortified as well (some quite heavily). Given enough time, technology, and manpower thrown at them, the Mongols were able to overcome them.

    Most of the really impressive European concentric castles (and siege technology, for that matter) came into being after the Crusades as Byzantine and Middle Eastern innovations filtered back.

    By the way, most of these minor fortifications, while good for impressing and dominating the local peasants and warding off bandits, were of questionable operational (as opposed to tactical) use in war. Large and massive city walls were a different story, of course. But it was the combination of improved technology and organization/supply during a much later period (15th Century and on) where large scale, heavily manned fortifications (bastions) became operationally and strategically crucial.

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  175. @Twinkie

    Of course you have a problem with the Enlightenment. The fact that the anti-Enlightenment british politician Edmund Burke is your hero proves that. And since you have a problem with the Enlightenment it follows that you have a problem with the founding principles of America.
     
    That's very odd since Edmund Burke was very favorably disposed to the American Independence and also favored Catholic emancipation. Such a medieval despot, he.

    The ideological adversary of your icon Burke was none other than Founding Father Thomas Paine, a hero of the Enlightenment who is regarded by many as The Father of the American Revolution. You don’t stand with the men who founded America, instead you lie shamelessly about their beliefs and intentions. Basically, you are upto no good.
     
    Well, it certainly seems you share Paine's paranoia and delusion of grandeur. See Wiki, that bastion of medieval despotism and conservatism:

    Paine decided that President George Washington had conspired with Robespierre to imprison him. Embittered by this perceived betrayal, Paine tried to ruin Washington's reputation by calling him a treacherous man unworthy of his fame as a military and political hero. Paine described Washington as an incompetent commander and a vain and ungrateful person. In a scathing open letter to President Washington in 1796, he wrote: "the world will be puzzled to decide whether you are an apostate or an impostor; whether you have abandoned good principles or whether you ever had any."[57]
     
    Yes, Paine was arrested by the French Revolutionaries. Permanent Revolutionaries hate each other just as much as their supposed ideological foes.

    In 1802, he returned to the U.S. where he died on June 8, 1809. Only six people attended his funeral as he had been ostracized for his ridicule of Christianity.[5]...

    At the time of his death, most American newspapers reprinted the obituary notice from the New York Evening Post,[64] which read in part: "He had lived long, did some good, and much harm." Only six mourners came to his funeral, two of whom were black, most likely freedmen.
     
    Surely if the Founding Fathers were all deists, they'd have respected him for spiritual fellowship rather than ostracizing him?

    "Father of the American Revolution"? Perhaps. That's highly debatable (since a success has many fathers, but a failure is an orphan). But certainly NOT the Father of the Republic that resulted after the war. Many people are good at tearing things down. Few are wise and deliberate enough to be good at building something lasting afterwards.

    I make lies about the Founding Fathers? Really? Did I write this? http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=8755

    Still no answer to those lengthy Christian quotes from dozens of the Founders?

    That’s very odd since Edmund Burke was very favorably disposed to the American Independence and also favored Catholic emancipation.

    What the heck does that have to do with my point? Are you denying that he was anti-Enlightenment? If so, you are lying yet again.

    As for his support for American Independence:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/un-american-conservative/

    Burke inspired ambiguous reactions shortly after the Founding. He had, after all, been the agent of New York colony prior to the Revolution, and he supported the colonists’ grievances through the 1760s and 1770s…….But his interest in the colonies lasted only so long as they were a part of the Empire; once that was no longer the case, it disappeared.…..Not until 1791 did Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France reach America, and when it did his former admirers and friends, such as Thomas Paine, were disappointed by his fervent stance against the French Revolution. Burke’s relation to the new nation changed.

    Burke believed that Tradition was superior to Reason. Thus he believed in:

    1. A hereditary monarchy

    2. A hereditary feudal aristocracy

    3. A “revealed” religion as the state religion

    Good luck trying to pass them off as American or Enlightenment ideals. Basically, Burke and his anti-Enlightenment ilk are no different from the muslim conservatives: al-Qaeda, Taliban, ISIS who yearn for Caliph and Sharia.

    In fact Burke was a big fan of Sharia:

    http://harpers.org/blog/2011/01/burke-on-sharia-law/

    we have referred you to the Mahomedan law, which is binding upon all, from the crowned head to the meanest subject; a law interwoven with a system of the wisest, the most learned, and most enlightened jurisprudence that perhaps ever existed in the world.

    I make lies about the Founding Fathers? Really? Did I write this? http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=8755

    That is the 4th or 5th time in a couple threads you have given that same link. Given that I have already responded more than once (without you answering my points) I am suspicious of your intentions with that link. Do you have something to do with that site?

    Your link is nonsensical, it finds known deists and unitarians to be christians. Even Jefferson who rewrote the Bible is a christian according to these shameless liars you admire…

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    As for his support for American Independence
     
    Burke was still loyal to his country. He couldn't exactly be all wild about the breakaway provinces, could he? He admonished the British government for its treatment of the Colonies and also urge the colonists to seek an amicable rapprochement with London instead of fighting a costly and divisive war. Sounded very sensible to me.

    His position on the American Colonies, therefore, was nuanced. The following is a good summary: http://almostchosenpeople.wordpress.com/2009/12/17/edmund-burke-and-the-american-revolution/

    Basically, Burke and his anti-Enlightenment ilk are no different from the muslim conservatives: al-Qaeda, Taliban, ISIS who yearn for Caliph and Sharia.
     
    Earlier I thought you were just obstinate and ill-informed (and quite badly mannered). Now I think you are simply mentally defective.

    That is the 4th or 5th time in a couple threads you have given that same link. Given that I have already responded more than once (without you answering my points) I am suspicious of your intentions with that link. Do you have something to do with that site?
     
    You got me. I am the owner and operator of that site and seek to make money by driving traffic there.

    Get a grip, man. You NEVER responded to that link while I responded to virtually all of your rantings while suffering various personal insults. I simply picked that link because it has a very good summary of the many Christian quotes from the Founders and is meticulously footnoted. All sources are there clear as day.

    Even Jefferson who rewrote the Bible is a christian according to these shameless liars you admire...
     
    Jefferson's religious views were ambiguous. He never declared himself a deist. See, again, Wikipedia:

    Throughout his life Jefferson was intensely interested in theology, biblical study, and morality. As a landowner he played a role in governing his local Episcopal Church; in terms of belief he was inclined toward Deism and the moral philosophy of Christianity, though when he was home he attended the Episcopal church and raised his daughters in that faith.[1][307]

    In a private letter to Benjamin Rush, Jefferson refers to himself as "Christian" (1803): "To the corruptions of Christianity I am, indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence..."[308]
     
    Most scholars see him as an "anti-clerical" Christian than a deist. And he was one of the radicals among the Founding Fathers, a vast majority of whom were conventional Christians.

    Here are some of what other Founding Fathers thought about Christianity:

    John Adams

    SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; JUDGE; DIPLOMAT; ONE OF TWO SIGNERS OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS; SECOND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

    The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.1

    Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company: I mean hell.2

    The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity.3

    Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. . . . What a Eutopia – what a Paradise would this region be!4

    I have examined all religions, and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world.5

     

    And:

    Samuel Adams

    SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; “FATHER OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION”; RATIFIER OF THE U. S. CONSTITUTION; GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS

    I . . . [rely] upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins.9

    The name of the Lord (says the Scripture) is a strong tower; thither the righteous flee and are safe [Proverbs 18:10]. Let us secure His favor and He will lead us through the journey of this life and at length receive us to a better.10

    I conceive we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world . . . that the confusions that are and have been among the nations may be overruled by the promoting and speedily bringing in the holy and happy period when the kingdoms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and the people willingly bow to the scepter of Him who is the Prince of Peace.11

    He also called on the State of Massachusetts to pray that . . .
    •the peaceful and glorious reign of our Divine Redeemer may be known and enjoyed throughout the whole family of mankind.12
    •we may with one heart and voice humbly implore His gracious and free pardon through Jesus Christ, supplicating His Divine aid . . . [and] above all to cause the religion of Jesus Christ, in its true spirit, to spread far and wide till the whole earth shall be filled with His glory.13
    •with true contrition of heart to confess their sins to God and implore forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior.14
     
    And:

    Josiah Bartlett

    MILITARY OFFICER; SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; JUDGE; GOVERNOR OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

    Called on the people of New Hampshire . . . to confess before God their aggravated transgressions and to implore His pardon and forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ . . . [t]hat the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be made known to all nations, pure and undefiled religion universally prevail, and the earth be fill with the glory of the Lord.15
     
    And:

    Patrick Henry

    REVOLUTIONARY GENERAL; LEGISLATOR; “THE VOICE OF LIBERTY”; RATIFIER OF THE U. S. CONSTITUTION; GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA

    Being a Christian… is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast.48

    The Bible… is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed.49

    Righteousness alone can exalt [America] as a nation...Whoever thou art, remember this; and in thy sphere practice virtue thyself, and encourage it in others.50

    The great pillars of all government and of social life [are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone, that renders us invincible.51

    This is all the inheritance I can give to my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed.52
     
    Perhaps you've heard of this guy, George Washington:

    George Washington

    JUDGE; MEMBER OF THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS; COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE CONTINENTAL ARMY; PRESIDENT OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION; FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES; “FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY”

    You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are.121

    While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.122

    The blessing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary but especially so in times of public distress and danger. The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier, defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country.123

    I now make it my earnest prayer that God would… most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of the mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion.124
     
    There is more, much more. But I tire of cutting and pasting.
  176. @Twinkie

    Of course you have a problem with the Enlightenment. The fact that the anti-Enlightenment british politician Edmund Burke is your hero proves that. And since you have a problem with the Enlightenment it follows that you have a problem with the founding principles of America.
     
    That's very odd since Edmund Burke was very favorably disposed to the American Independence and also favored Catholic emancipation. Such a medieval despot, he.

    The ideological adversary of your icon Burke was none other than Founding Father Thomas Paine, a hero of the Enlightenment who is regarded by many as The Father of the American Revolution. You don’t stand with the men who founded America, instead you lie shamelessly about their beliefs and intentions. Basically, you are upto no good.
     
    Well, it certainly seems you share Paine's paranoia and delusion of grandeur. See Wiki, that bastion of medieval despotism and conservatism:

    Paine decided that President George Washington had conspired with Robespierre to imprison him. Embittered by this perceived betrayal, Paine tried to ruin Washington's reputation by calling him a treacherous man unworthy of his fame as a military and political hero. Paine described Washington as an incompetent commander and a vain and ungrateful person. In a scathing open letter to President Washington in 1796, he wrote: "the world will be puzzled to decide whether you are an apostate or an impostor; whether you have abandoned good principles or whether you ever had any."[57]
     
    Yes, Paine was arrested by the French Revolutionaries. Permanent Revolutionaries hate each other just as much as their supposed ideological foes.

    In 1802, he returned to the U.S. where he died on June 8, 1809. Only six people attended his funeral as he had been ostracized for his ridicule of Christianity.[5]...

    At the time of his death, most American newspapers reprinted the obituary notice from the New York Evening Post,[64] which read in part: "He had lived long, did some good, and much harm." Only six mourners came to his funeral, two of whom were black, most likely freedmen.
     
    Surely if the Founding Fathers were all deists, they'd have respected him for spiritual fellowship rather than ostracizing him?

    "Father of the American Revolution"? Perhaps. That's highly debatable (since a success has many fathers, but a failure is an orphan). But certainly NOT the Father of the Republic that resulted after the war. Many people are good at tearing things down. Few are wise and deliberate enough to be good at building something lasting afterwards.

    I make lies about the Founding Fathers? Really? Did I write this? http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=8755

    Still no answer to those lengthy Christian quotes from dozens of the Founders?

    In 1802, he returned to the U.S. where he died on June 8, 1809. Only six people attended his funeral as he had been ostracized for his ridicule of Christianity.[5]

    All the main Founders of America were critical of christianity as I have already shown. The difference with Paine was that he published a book (in 1794) Age of Reason in which he used extremely harsh words to bash christianity, like calling half the Bible (clearly meaning the Old Testament) the word of a demon instead of the word of God. It was out of line and potentially dangerous in a country where most citizens were christians. Any sensible politician would have distanced himself from Paine after that.

    Secondly, because of the perceived lack of support from Washington and others when he was imprisoned and almost executed during the French Revolution by the extremists who inflicted the Reign of Terror, he felt betrayed and attacked Washington in an open letter. Obviously that couldn’t have gone down well in America.

    Thirdly, his uncompromising stance against slavery when many of the Founders were slave owners, had already marginalized him years earlier.

    Yet, Paine can never be marginalized by historians. He is called the Father of the American Revolution for good reason. Without his widely circulated and extremely influential pamphlet Common Sense which advocated independence, the American Revolution likely would not have happened.

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  177. You have already been given examples of a Pope and an english King who sought and got alliances with the mongols of the Ilkhanate in crusades, actual and planned, against the muslims. Yet you still insist that nothing of the sort ever happened. Amazingly brazen dishonesty.

    I can’t figure out if you’re just amazingly stupid, or amazingly dishonest. Maybe both? From the article you keep quoting:

    There has been much discussion among historians as to why the Franco-Mongol alliance never became a reality and why, despite all the diplomatic contacts, it stayed a chimera or fantasy.

    I’m going with amazingly stupid, for now.

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  178. As for the kuriltai story, it doesn’t add up. The Mongols withdrew from Hungary before they received word of the Khan’s death (per Rashid al-Din).

    That is not quite correct. They re-grouped after the Battles of Liegnitz and Mohi, but continued to take cities and towns in Poland, Germany, and Southeastern Europe.

    Talk to Rashid al-Din about it.

    You are correct about the second sentence, but not in the way you mean. There was significant dissension in the Golden Family at the time, especially between Batu on the one hand and Guyuk and Buri on the other. Naturally there was considerable turmoil during the succession after Ogedei’s death. Since the Mongols already ruled a huge empire, the possession and maintenance of power within it mattered far more than further conquests in the periphery of their realms.

    Funny how much overlap there is between the “periphery” you refer to, and strong fortifications, population density, will to resist, and a lack of the political vulnerability the Mongols prey