Atlantis Online
September 24, 2017, 05:27:58 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Giant crater may lie under Antarctic ice
http://space.newscientist.com/article/dn9268
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

The Knights Templar Shows How to Fight ISIS and Win

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: The Knights Templar Shows How to Fight ISIS and Win  (Read 378 times)
1090Crusader
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 4149



« on: July 05, 2015, 04:49:10 am »


The Knights Templar Shows How to Fight ISIS and Win

The Fiscal Times By Andrew L. Peek
March 22, 2015 9:00 AM

    

The Knights Templar Shows How to Fight ISIS and Win

The Knights Templar Shows How to Fight ISIS and Win

701  years ago, on March 18th, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar was burned at the stake in France. As he died, Jacques de Molay cursed the French king who had betrayed him, and whose own dynasty collapsed fourteen years later. That didn’t help de Molay, whose order was exterminated as a road bump in the path of French power. 

Today, days after the Iraqi government admitted that its attack on Tikrit has ground to a halt, the death of the Templars offers lessons on how to fight the Islamic State, an entity they would have recognized very well.

Related: ISIS's 10 Most Extreme Acts of Terror

The only successes against ISIS have come at the hands of expressly ethno-sectarian troops—not states you could identify on a Google map: the Shiite militias and Iranian advisors that accompany the Iraqi army into battle, the Alawi Syrians and their Hezbollah allies, or the Kurds fighting, with a wink, for the Iraqi state. Even the first time ISIS was defeated, in 2007-2008, it was by expressly sectarian Sunni militias in Anbar, not by the Iraqi army.

There is no state army winning in the Middle East; nor, really, against radical Islam elsewhere, which has exploded since 2001. The reason lies in the history of the Knights Templars.

Before Amnesty International, before Greenpeace, the Knights Templars and other crusading orders like the Knights Hospitaller were the original non-governmental organizations. They were created to fill the gaps in state capacity, protecting pilgrims enroute to the Holy Land after the First Crusade recaptured Jerusalem in 1099. The Templars supplied banking, medical care, and a permanently expeditionary military capacity that solidified Christendom’s lines of communication to the Middle East, and they prospered by it.
Report Spam   Logged

Social Buttons

1090Crusader
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 4149



« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2015, 04:50:59 am »

Sovereignty was a bit of a confused concept at that time. Power was not wholly the prerogative of states, as it became after the Treaty of Westphalia in 1646, which put an end to the wars of religion.  While there were recognizable national entities – like France, most of all, and England – the lines of feudal loyalty were distinctly non-national. 

A baron could own lands in France but could also be nominally sworn to a lord in Burgundy or have vassals in the Holy Roman Empire who were nominally fighting his king, though they gave fealty to him. Underneath the map of medieval Europe, there were crisscrossing lines of identity and affiliation that were in many cases stronger than states. And no identity was stronger than Christendom.

That would change.  The Templars were ultimately undone not because the French king was greedy for their lands, because the balance of power between state and non-state had swung back towards the state. There was no more service to offer: The Crusades were over, and the Holy Land was lost. France had become a more unified kingdom and with unification came the jealousy of temporal authority. Then, it was a function of time, politics and technology.

In the modern day, it has swung towards the non-state, and ISIS
Report Spam   Logged
1090Crusader
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 4149



« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2015, 04:51:08 am »

ISIS revels in the gaps of state authority. The national Arab states it rivals have fallen far behind the rest of the world, with no efficiency other than the secret police. ISIS and other radical groups flood Twitter with an appeal to the global identity of Muslims. The spontaneity of a thousand different human interactions every day, across the globe, is bound to metastasize a network of ideas faster than any bureaucracy can keep manage. They are also aided, perversely, by the triumph of democratic capitalism.   

As the world’s only ideology, the victory of the West has laid bare its own weakness: that it offers no greater cause than more consumption and a softer life. Islamism, like communism and fascism, is the latest incarnation of man’s desire to fill that nothing with something. The victory of no cause may have perversely begged the creation of some cause - even a cruel and terrible one.

All the Interpol cooperation in the world hasn’t been successful in choking off the supply of recruits pouring into Syria to fight for ISIS, a substate pipeline not too unlike that of the Templars. The shadow networks of hiwala funding, military recruiting, and Islamist ideology crisscross European and European-drawn boundaries.

So what, then, is the Templar lesson for ISIS?  Perhaps it is simply that the hagiography of state authority waxes and wanes. Caesar will not always be Caesar. Today, it is expressly evident that there is a border between Iraq and Syria on our maps; but it is also expressly evident that there is no border in real life. Nor is there a real one between Syria and Lebanon; nor perhaps, really between Iraq and Iran. There is a gap in capacity.
Report Spam   Logged
1090Crusader
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 4149



« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2015, 04:51:32 am »

ISIS has arisen to fill that gap, but something else will arise to push back against it, since states cannot. That something won’t be the Templars, exactly, but it will also not be a state. It will instead be new non-state networks to funnel money and fighters against ISIS.

There are already reports of Americans and other Westerners going to join the Kurdish militias; how long before the Christian communities in Iraq and other ethno-sectarian communities under assault begin to attract adherents as well? 

The war against ISIS and radical Islam may not always be state versus non-state, but perhaps eventually non-state versus non-state. Popularized violence and popularized sovereignty; more efficient, certainly, to cut out the middleman. It would be the return of de Molay, at least for a while, until they don’t need him anymore.
Report Spam   Logged
1090Crusader
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 4149



« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2015, 04:51:49 am »

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/knights-templar-maps-plan-fight-130000317.html
Report Spam   Logged
1090Crusader
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 4149



« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2015, 04:53:18 am »

I wouldn't quite say that "nothing" is the world’s only ideological option to Islamism, but I do think the point is valid that to effectively combat an ideology, you do need to replace it with something. But it would take a long time to replace something so deeply rooted and prevent it from being passed down from generation to generation, which is partly why ethnic cleansing probably comes to be seen as a sensible option for people looking for a quick way to squash an ideology that they see as inspiring conflict. It's a lot easier to train someone up into your way of thinking than it is to change someone's mind after they've proven they're willing to kill others for what they claim to believe.
Report Spam   Logged
Medium of the Damned
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 406



« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2015, 04:55:47 am »

Too bad, I guess I will always be a hopeful historian praying that someone in the mainstream media would actually seize one of the many lessons the past has to teach us in a new and engaging way. Before the Crusades, the Muslim world was divided by political and sectarian lines. By the Second Crusade, these divisions were set aside to unite their world against a common, hostile foe. Colonialism led to Islamism, as a cultural touchstone that could rally and unite people against a common foe. ISIS is not very multinational, nor does it cross sectarian lines. So this is no Saladin or Baibars movement. If we fail to distinguish one group from another, whether ethnic group or religious faction or sect; then we not only miss opportunities but also run the risk of making this extreme, isolated and unloved band into the "caliphate" they wrongly claim to be.
Report Spam   Logged
Unknown12
Full Member
***
Posts: 18



« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2015, 04:58:20 am »

The writer of this article could not be more wrong on one very important point:

"As the world’s only ideology, the victory of the West has laid bare its own weakness: that it offers no greater cause than more consumption and a softer life. "

This is not true! The West offers the freedom to decide one's own fate. How can anyone not see that? ISIS purports to decide for us, whereas the western democracies let us decide for ourselves. Yes, that has led to conspicuous consumption, but that was our choice. Lord knows we have made mistakes, but how in the world does anyone ignore the freedom we have?
Report Spam   Logged
Anthem of the Damned
Full Member
***
Posts: 20



« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2015, 05:01:20 am »

Soo... Basically this journalist is saying sectarian violence is the only solution to defeat daesh... I'm a little disturbed by how casual and approving his prose sounds. Why is he only mentioning Christians? What makes him think the Christian backlash against Sunni terrorism would be any different than the #$%$ backlash against Sunni terrorism, with car bombs and borderline genocide? What makes him think what he's advocating for is any different from Irish Catholics and Protestants bombing each other? Religous warfare has always, by it's very nature involved mass murder of civilians. Even just to title an article "The Knights Templar Shows How to Fight ISIS and Win" is a form of advocacy for the crusades- brutal periods of ethnic cleansing. By saying that, this journalist is lowering his rhetoric to the level of the people currently advocating the horrific ethnic cleansing currently going on over there.
Report Spam   Logged
Thorvir Hrothgaard
Full Member
***
Posts: 27



« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2015, 05:04:19 am »

Very interesting article, and many highly interesting comments. Over 3 years ago, the US administration proclaimed, "Assad must go!" And then what? The US administration was smart enough to realize it had no answer to that question, and did not intervene further. They still have no answer, nor does anyone else.

One thing is sure. The "virtuous cycle in the Middle East" espoused by Pentagon leaders Wolfowitz and Pearl at the time of the second Iraq war never happened, either then or as a result of the "Arab Spring", which has brought chaos everywhere. I tend to look at these events through the prism of Crane Brinton's "Anatomy of Revolution" (1960). He saw revolutions as often being started by relatively moderate elements, who are thereafter displaced by more and more radical and violent elements. That has clearly happened. But the plethora of these radical and violent elements means that the gun, not democracy, will determine the future there. And it would be madness for the West, or Russia or China for that matter, to venture into this wasp's nest, or cess pit, depending on your view.

It's sad for the indigenous populations, but the truth is that only they can resolve their own problems and organize their own societies and lives.
Report Spam   Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum | Buy traffic for your forum/website
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines