10 thoughts on “Juan Cole on History of Western Incursions in the Mideast”

  1. Now we need a history of incursions into European spaces from Southwest Asian spaces. There have been many more of the latter than the incursions into Southwest Asian spaces listed by Juan Cole.

    Persian imperialism, Turkish invasions, Semitic settlements, and Muslim invasions into European spaces far outnumber those going the other way as to bloodshed, territory, ethnic conflict, and religious persecutions.

    The Crusades, Bonapart’s militarism, and the French & English greed for Southwest Asian spaces are pale in comparison to those going the other way.

    1. Of course, you will back up your assertions with numbers…and you will include Alexander the Great, the Byzantines, Romans, British, Spanish and Portuguese in your numbers.

    2. i guess bo is reading a set of history books that are different from the rest of most ppl

      since when did these groups have massive armies to invade “the other way” — i guess their man power were native american indians doing their killing — oh and btw way i guess the prosperity the asians et al are seeing these days is from the all the historical looting “going the other way”

      your reading of history is dyslexic to say the least

    3. It’s useless to point to one set of migrating armies and populations over another. For example, although not PC, the pre-European history of Africa is the history of tribal movements and conquest, as was the pre-European history of the Americas. The history of Europe is also filled with shifts in populations and conquest–the Danes, French, Germans, Swedes, Austrians, Russians all had a turn at it. The history of South Asia and the Middle East is not exempt either. Turkey is a good example: It has been overrun by a wide variety of non-Turkic peoples over the centuries. In short, pointing out one set of movements is an exercise in propaganda, not history.

    1. Incursions are not the same as migrations, but do you really think that only Europeans are guilty of invading, conquering and subjugating foreign countries? If so, what planet do you live on? And what was going on in your world when the Muslims were overruning Spain, the Balkans and southern Italy–while trafficking in white and African slaves–and the Huns were razing eastern Europe, in ours?

      Look, I’m all for putting the current invasion of Iraq in context of previous European incursions into the region. It’s an entirely valid and necessary exercise. But there’s no point in denying the historical crimes of non-Europeans, even if they aren’t the issue at hand.

  2. “Tu quoque” (as in “Yes, I did X horrible crime, but you– or those other people– did it, too!”) is a long (ancient) recognized logical fallacy– as in a weak or deceptive argument based upon a false logical connection.

    It ain’t no defense for committing a present crime.

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