On May 29, 1453, Constantinople, the last great city of the Eastern Roman Empire, fell to the armies of Turkish Sultan, Mehmet II. A description of that day survives—a diary of a Venetian ship’s doctor, Nicolo Barbaro. He describes the last day of Byzantine Emperor, Constantine XI, who fought beside his Greek-speaking Roman soldiers on the city’s walls and was cut down in the breach. He writes, “The Turks put the city to the sword as they came, and everyone they found in their way they slashed with their scimitars, women and men, old and young, of every condition, and this slaughter continued from dawn until midday. . . . They sought out convents and all the nuns were taken to the ships and abused . . . some of them preferred to throw themselves into wells and drowned.”
During the reign of Constantine XI, he was more a mayor than an emperor. The Roman Empire of the East which once had comprised of Greece, the Balkans, Turkey, the Levant, and North Africa had been reduced to single citadel. The empire had been disappearing for centuries due to the relentless attacks by the armies of Allah. Similarly, under President Obama we are watching western interests and influence disappear throughout the greater Middle East due to the onslaught of the new warriors of Allah. But instead of that loss occurring over several centuries, the West now seems poised, over the space of couple decades, to lose its ability to shape events or to protect its own Middle East embassies or even to protect its own soldiers in London or on American Army bases. It may come to pass in the near term that our lone citadel in the Middle East will be tiny and vastly outnumbered, Israel. Consider what has happened just since Obama’s been in office.
Women of the new Iranian revolution are more fearless than the men
A few short months after President Obama’s inauguration in the Spring of 2009, while thousands of Iranians took to the streets for months, protesting against their ruler and their fake elections, the American media should have alerted to the fact that our new president would not be able to advance American hegemony in the region. He would see to it that we would lose it. The crowds of Iranian protestors carried signs and chanted, ‘Obama, are you with us?’ He did nothing. Aiding rebellion in the Middle East did not fit with the delusional narrative he had written for himself. It did not fit with his messianic vision. If Iran becomes a nuclear-armed power, Obama’s place in history will sink to a place that is unfathomable.
Taliban fighters in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan
With most of the American soldiers already gone, preparing to leave the country, or largely confined to their bases, large contingents of Taliban and foreign fighters are staging attacks all across Afghanistan, even in the capital city Kabul. Just this week, the Taliban and its allies fought a two-day battle for the city Sangin in the Helmand Province where Obama’s troop surge of tens of thousands had been waged. While the Afghan army has been able hold the city for now, the trend is bad. The entire province is now teaming with well- armed enemy fighters.
Afghanistan President Karzai, who is known to be corrupt, is now negotiating directly with the Taliban. Because we did not keep enough of a military presence to protect him, it appears likely that he will offer the Taliban some sort of a power-sharing arrangement. If that happens, it will inevitably create a safe haven for terrorists inside Afghanistan, nearly duplicating the scenario that led up to 9/11. Our ally, the British, suffered 444 soldiers killed in the Helmand province alone. If President Karzai, or any future president of Afghanistan cedes it, or a portion of the province to terrorists, what of the British, Americans and others who lost their lives there?
Tunisians take to the streets after a leading opponent of the Islamist government is assassinated
Putin and his most important Middle East ally, Assad
Russia continues to arm the Assad regime. Iran and Hezbollah are also sending armed soldiers into the country to side with Syria’s loyalist army. Although the Assad family and inner circle are a small Islamic sect (the Alouites), what is developing in Syria is a major Middle East war between Shiite and Sunni forces. But the danger is that Israel may be drawn in. Apparently, in exchange for sending him Hezbollah fighters, Assad is shipping long-range missiles and quite possibly, chemical weapons to southern Lebanon, next to Israel’s northern border. Israel has already responded with air strikes. From Iran’s point of view this is excellent, because this escalation of the Syrian civil war forces the West generally, and Israel specifically, to look away from its nuclear weapons sites.
An Ancient Corollary:
The citizens of Constantinople succeeded in halting the Islamic advance for seven hundred and fifty years, an accomplishment to which we owe our current way of life and our exalted standard of living. For seven, often brutal centuries the citizens of the Roman East guarded Europe’s southeastern flank, protecting Christendom from conquest by the ruthless armies of the Islamic Middle East. With this as our guide, the West must go to the defense of the lone citadel of Western Civilization and freedom, Israel.
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