Readability

History is a Funny Thing

by baldilocks

In the wake of the thir­teenth anniver­sary of the Islamic attacks of 9/​11, I found myself revis­it­ing the stand at the Gates of Vienna. I had already known about the Bat­tle of Vienna, but, in the Baldilocks minipast, I had glossed over the specifics — the per­ti­nent dates of the stand, Sep­tem­ber 1112, 1683, and the lead­er­ship role that the King of Poland, Jan Sobieski, played.

The bat­tle was won by the com­bined forces of the Holy Roman Empire of the Ger­man Nation and the Pol­ish – Lithuan­ian Com­mon­wealth, the lat­ter being rep­re­sented only by the forces of the Crown of the King­dom of Poland (the march of the Lithuan­ian army was delayed; as a result they arrived in Vienna after it was relieved). The Vien­nese gar­ri­son was led by Ernst Rüdi­ger Graf von Starhem­berg, an Aus­trian sub­ject of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor. The over­all com­mand was held by the com­man­der of the Pol­ish forces, the King of Poland, Jan III Sobieski.

As it hap­pens, I am read­ing — or, rather lis­ten­ing to – Tim­o­thy Snyder’s Blood­lands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, which, high­lights the attempt of the two to rid Europe of the Poles. Of course, we know that the Poles were not unique in this respect, but the attempt to exter­mi­nate the Poles is par­tic­u­larly ironic in light of the role that the 17th cen­tury Pol­ish monarch played in pro­tect­ing Europe from Islam.

All of the Euro­pean tribes/​nation-​states were long-​standing ene­mies to each other, and, in fact, resumed their wars fol­low­ing the suc­cess­ful push­back of the Mus­lims. Indeed, after the death of Jan Sobieski’s suc­ces­sor, Poland fell into civil war, and a cen­tury later, Aus­tria, Prus­sia and Rus­sia par­ti­tioned Poland – which only came back into exis­tence in 1918 at the end of World War I. As I’ve already alluded to, the 20th cen­tury incar­na­tions of the lat­ter three nations would do again on Sep­tem­ber 1, 1939.

But, the point is that the Euro­pean kingdoms/​national enti­ties united to defeat a com­mon foe: Islam. And, they united under a com­mon ban­ner: Chris­tian­ity. (Sobieski had been asked by Pope Inno­cent XI to lead the coalition.)

A cou­ple of days ago, I pointed to the role that Islam played — and is still play­ing – in the frag­men­ta­tion of the African con­ti­nent. Islamic slave raiders have been com­mit­ting a prim­i­tive form of geno­cide against the hun­dreds of tribes of Africa for 1400 years and many observers have noted how Africans have failed to develop over these same centuries.

But, if we put all of the infor­ma­tion together, we can eas­ily see what a dif­fer­ence unity makes.

One set of tribes united against invaders and their con­ti­nent flour­ished, in spite of con­tin­ual internecine wars. Another set of tribes failed to unite against the same invaders and, as a result, the con­ti­nent became mired in chaos, slav­ery and death. The other result: the con­ti­nent was soft­ened up for col­o­niza­tion by any power seek­ing to do so.

There’s another dif­fer­ence between the two con­ti­nents in rela­tion to Islamic incur­sion and it’s a spir­i­tual one.

[To be continued]

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was pub­lished in 2009; the sec­ond edi­tion in 2012.

Please con­tribute to Juliette’s Projects: novel, Inter­net, blog fees, and COFFEE

Or con­tribute to Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Inde­pen­dent Journalism — –»»

by baldilocks

In the wake of the thirteenth anniversary of the Islamic attacks of 9/11, I found myself revisiting the stand at the Gates of Vienna. I had already known about the Battle of Vienna, but, in the Baldilocks minipast, I had glossed over the specifics—the pertinent dates of the stand, September 11-12, 1683, and the leadership role that the King of Poland, Jan Sobieski, played.

The battle was won by the combined forces of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the latter being represented only by the forces of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland (the march of the Lithuanian army was delayed; as a result they arrived in Vienna after it was relieved). The Viennese garrison was led by Ernst Rüdiger Graf von Starhemberg, an Austrian subject of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor. The overall command was held by the commander of the Polish forces, the King of Poland, Jan III Sobieski.

As it happens, I am reading—or, rather listening to–Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, which, highlights the attempt of the two to rid Europe of the Poles. Of course, we know that the Poles were not unique in this respect, but the attempt to exterminate the Poles is particularly ironic in light of the role that the 17th century Polish monarch played in protecting Europe from Islam.

All of the European tribes/nation-states were long-standing enemies to each other, and, in fact, resumed their wars following the successful pushback of the Muslims. Indeed, after the death of Jan Sobieski’s successor, Poland fell into civil war, and a century later, Austria, Prussia and Russia partitioned Poland–which only came back into existence in 1918 at the end of World War I.  As I’ve already alluded to, the 20th century incarnations of the latter three nations would do again on September 1, 1939.

But, the point is that the European kingdoms/national entities united to defeat a common foe: Islam. And, they united under a common banner: Christianity. (Sobieski had been asked by Pope Innocent XI to lead the coalition.)

A couple of days ago, I pointed to the role that Islam played—and is still playing–in the fragmentation of the African continent. Islamic slave raiders have been committing a primitive form of genocide against the hundreds of tribes of Africa for 1400 years and many observers have noted how Africans have failed to develop over these same centuries.

But, if we put all of the information together, we can easily see what a difference unity makes.

One set of tribes united against invaders and their continent flourished, in spite of continual internecine wars. Another set of tribes failed to unite against the same invaders and, as a result, the continent became mired in chaos, slavery and death. The other result: the continent was softened up for colonization by any power seeking to do so.

There’s another difference between the two continents in relation to Islamic incursion and it’s a spiritual one.

[To be continued]

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012.

Please contribute to Juliette’s Projects: novel, Internet, blog fees, and COFFEE

Or contribute to Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—–>>>>