Thursday, October 07, 2010

Why we're not Ottomans (or Muslims)

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto, a decisive naval engagement in 1571 between the main fleet of the Ottoman Empire and an allied fleet composed of ships from Spain, Venice, and other European states. The allied fleet lost only 17 ships in the battle, while the Ottomans lost nearly 200 galleys, 20,000 soldiers and sailors, and 10,000 liberated oar-pulling galley slaves.

Just as the Battles of Britain and Midway proved that Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan weren't invincible in 1940 and 1942, respectively, the lopsided outcome of the Battle of Lepanto was a stunning reversal for the superpower of that time, and marked the beginning of the end of the westward expansion of the Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean Sea and southern Europe.


ismellarat said...

MTV was said by some to have brought down the Soviet Union. That nagging feeling that someone, somewhere, just might be having a good time - and that they don't subscribe to the same ideas your oppressive leaders say are so essential - is a killer, and I've seen articles describing how Muslim fanatics are bemoaning this "rotten," pacifying influence on their youth. "You want us to get killed over nothing?"

I don't think much of the MTV culture, but it sure as hell beats what it would be replacing in totalitarian societies. We fortunately didn't have to go to war to beat the Soviets, and I hope to see the wackos eventually take the path of more liberal Muslim countries like Turkey. No one needs to die.

Jody Wilson said...

Again, I'm convinced the U.S. military played a far greater role than you're giving it credit for here. Without our Abrams tank divisions, A-10 tank killers, medium- and long-range nuclear missiles, nuclear submarines, and our occasional willingness to fight the USSR in proxy wars, (Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, etc.) 24/7 MTV broadcasts wouldn't have amounted to a hill of beans. The USSR would still be with us today, and probably covering a larger area than it did in the 1980's.

ismellarat said...

Have you heard of Antony Sutton? Maybe most conspiracy theorists are cranks (and he did distance himself from them, saying they too often "overstated the case,") but none other than the Hoover Institution published his first three books - a series titled Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development.

I never saw a copy, but this later book seems to summarize what he found, and is online:

So of course MTV wasn't enough to defeat the Soviets, and of course we need a military to defend the US. But are we perhaps creating some of our own problems? There's certainly money in creating social problems that welfare then "solves." Why would most or all things military necessarily be immune? Why does one institution always patriotically represent "the country," while the other is always blamed on
"the damn liberals?" When almost all politicians are corrupt?

I got just as sick as you probably did or would have gotten, when I heard that a (Berkley?) student newspaper proclaimed "VICTORY!" when Saigon finally fell. Of course the bad guys are real. But are we opposing them (and promoting freedom) in the most effective way?

You've probably heard of Smedley Butler, whose track record as "the most decorated Marine in history" surely must give him some credibility. What do you think of his minibook, War Is a Racket?

So sure, let's get rid of that 60%, but maybe we can also pare down some of the military with no bad consequences. Apparently, there are tons of bases that it itself would like to close, but can't, because of the local "economic" impact of borrowed federal dollars
no longer coming in.

Things are happily much different now, because the closed societies that the crazies depended on to keep their slaves in the dark can no longer be maintained. I hope we can just wait this out.