Sunday, November 27, 2011

The whole Mid-East mess was set in motion on this date --- Nov. 27th ---more than 900 years ago

On November 27, 1095, Pope Urban II makes perhaps the most influential speech of the Middle Ages, giving rise to the Crusades by calling all Christians in Europe to war against Muslims in order to reclaim the Holy Land, with a cry of "Deus vult!" or "God wills it!"


To this day, the word "Crusader" is anathema to Arabs. Of course, even in the absence of this centuries-old animosity, the West's insatiable thirst for oil insured a collision course. Still, as Princeton historian Bernard Lewis explained in WHAT WENT WRONG?, endemic failings within the Arab world are arguably as much to blame for the situation today, as are either the long-standing military rivalry between West and Middle-East or the Western thirst for Arab oil. Concluded Lewis in his 2002 book, "If the people of the Middle East continue on their present path, the suicide bomber may become a metaphor for the whole region...."

Perhaps the Arab Spring will break that cycle. Perhaps not.

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