Anniversary of a crucial, yet almost forgotten battle that saved the West

August 15, 2013

Siege of Constantinople, from the Constantine Manasses Chronicle.

Today marks the 1,295th anniversary of the lifting of the Muslim siege of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire and fortress guarding the West against the East.

Raymond Ibrahim recounts the the events of the siege, including the serial atrocities of the vast Islamic army that marched out from Syria and the cleverness of the Byzantine Emperor, Leo III, in finally defeating them. Read the whole article –it’s a watershed moment in Western History that should be remembered along with the sieges of Vienna– but here’s an excerpt where Ibrahim discusses its profound consequences:

It is difficult to exaggerate the significance of this battle. That Constantinople was able to repulse the caliphate’s hordes is one of Western history’s most decisive moments: Had it fallen, “Dark Age” Europe — chaotic and leaderless — would have been exposed to the Muslim invaders. And, if history is any indicator, the last time a large expanse of territory was left open before the sword of Islam, thousands of miles were conquered and consolidated in mere decades, resulting in what is known today as Dar al-Islam, or the “Islamic world.”

Indeed, this victory is far more significant than its more famous Western counterpart, the Frankish victory over the Muslims at the Battle of Tours, led by Charles Martel (the “Hammer”) in 732. Unlike the latter, which, from a Muslim point of view, was first and foremost a campaign dedicated to rapine and plunder, not conquest — evinced by the fact that, after the initial battle, the Muslims fled — the siege of Constantinople was devoted to a longtime goal, had the full backing of the caliphate, and consisted of far greater manpower. Had the Muslims won, and since Constantinople was the bulwark of Europe’s eastern flank, there would have been nothing to prevent them from turning the whole of Europe into the northwestern appendage of Dar al-Islam.

Nor should the architect of this great victory be forgotten. The Byzantine historian Vasiliev concludes that “by his successful resistance Leo saved not only the Byzantine Empire and the Eastern Christian world, but also all of Western civilization.”

The West’s war with Islam, a jihad begun and fought against us as a religious obligation, didn’t begin on September 11th, 2001, nor even in 1979, when Khomeini took over Iran. It’s been fought off and on for over 1,400 years, and now is in an active phase. The genius and determination of Leo III in desperate battle bought Western Europe the time it needed until it could stand on its own.

I think tonight I’ll raise a toast to the Emperor and his people; perhaps somewhere they’ll know their valor is still honored.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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More #FastAndFurious guns found

August 15, 2013

We’re going to be living with —and people will keep dying from— the consequences of this “felony stupid” fiasco for years to come. Via CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson (1), we learn that more “walked” guns have been found at crime scenes in Mexico:

Three more weapons from Fast and Furious have turned up at crime scenes in Mexico, CBS News has learned, as the toll from the controversial federal operation grows.

According to Justice Department tracing documents obtained by CBS News, all three guns are WASR-10 762-caliber Romanian rifles. Two were purchased by Fast and Furious suspect Uriel Patino in May and July of 2010. Sean Steward, who was convicted on gun charges in July 2012, purchased a third. The rifles were traced yesterday to the Lone Wolf gun shop in Glendale, Ariz.

During Fast and Furious and similar operations, federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) encouraged the Lone Wolf and other gun stores to sell massive amounts of weapons to questionable purchasers who allegedly trafficked them Mexican drug cartels.

Patino is said to have purchased 700 guns while under ATF’s watch. Ever since, a steady stream of the guns have been recovered at crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S. But the Justice Department has refused repeated requests from Congress and CBS News to provide a full accounting. An estimated 1,400 guns are still on the street or unaccounted for.

And I think that number is low.

Victor Davis Hanson thinks Benghazi is the mother of all Obama scandals, and he makes a strong case. But I’d argue that Operation Fast and Furious is also a worthy candidate. Consider: a law enforcement arm of the federal government, one specifically charged with controlling the illegal trade in arms, decides it would be a good idea to facilitate the illegal purchase of said arms by agents of vicious Mexican drug cartels, based on some vague plan to trace these weapons and arrest the drug lords.

A plan born from the start to fail: there were no tracking devices on the weapons, no way to connect them to the drug lords, no way to do anything at all about them until they showed up at crime scenes, often with people newly killed by those same weapons. Then they could all stand around like morons and say “Yep. Serial umber shows that’s an OF&F gun alrighty!”

Back in D.C., the Department of Justice thinks this is a swell plan and gives it top priority — OCDETF status. Apparently they thought an increase in violent crime in Mexico traceable to American guns would increase pressure for gun control, specifically tighter restrictions on long guns, here at home.

Meanwhile, over 300 Mexicans and at least two US federal officers were killed with Fast and Furious weapons, one of them here in the United States. And when the scheme starts coming to light after the killing of Border Agent Brian Terry in Arizona, the administration lies through its teeth about who knew what and when, the President hides the Attorney General behind “executive privilege” (itself an abuse of that privilege), he thumbs his nose at a contempt f Congress citation, and the families of the dead Americans are left to wonder why their government sold criminals the weapons that killed their loved ones.

And those weapons keep showing up, and people keep dying.

Yeah. I’d call this Obama’s biggest scandal.

Footnote:
(1) Who seems to have drawn some ominous attention.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Congress and Obamacare, then and now

August 15, 2013

Ain’t it the truth?

congress-obamacare-waiver

via California Political Review

Background: Congress gets its own Obamacare waiver. You, on the other hand, are stuck with it, peasant.