Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Battle of Lepanto

The Battle of LepantoToday is the 435th anniversary of the victory of an alliance of Christian navies against the Turks off the coast of Lepanto. 1571, like 1683, is one of the significant dates in the struggle of European Christendom to roll back the Islamic conquests.

I blogged about it more fully last year, so this year I’ll point you to Miss Kelly’s post on the topic.


BSC said...

Vivat Hispania!
Domino Gloria!
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!

moif said...

Good job we had those Spaniards at hand!

And imagine. The same unit still exists today... I wonder...

X said...

A nice anniversary present from Sweden?

Well I thought it was interesting... ;)

Spanish diplomat said...

If a victory could be achieved those days against the fearsome and powerful Ottoman Empire and its Islamic Jihad, anothe one can be achieved today too!
Let's Lepanto inspire us all

Zerosumgame said...

This may interrupt the party, but I am sure that in 1571, Jews were rooting for the Ottomans, who were far more tolerant than the Spaniards, who spent 100 years massacring, burning and focing conversion upon Jews before finally kicking them all out in 1492.

I despise modern Islam more than most people, since it has vowed and second and final Holocaust, but 400 years ago, they were definitely the better side.

X said...

No, they appeared to be the better side, but look how jews were treated east of the ottoman empire, in lands that Islam had held for a longer period. The treatment of jews in christian lands was terrible, but it was an attitude that was becoming less prevalent as the christians became more enlightend, whilst it was becoming more prevalent in Islamic lands, proportional to how long those lands had been held by Islam.

The spaniards were obviously a holdover but even they eventually got with the message.

Zerosumgame said...


You are (to put it a little more gently than you put it to me on your blog) talking out your posterior.

No, they appeared to be the better side, but look how jews were treated east of the ottoman empire, in lands that Islam had held for a longer period.

The Ottoman Empire was founded in 1302, most of Anatolia was Ottoman in 1400 (and it was already populated with Seljuks before that), Constantinople fell in 1453 -- 118 years before this battle - plenty of time for the Ottomans to Islamicize.

The treatment of jews in christian lands was terrible, but it was an attitude that was becoming less prevalent as the christians became more enlightend,

Read Martin Luther's "The Jews and their Lies" written in 1543 -- a more vile, Nazi pack of Jew-hatred has probably never been written by a Christian clergyman. This is the man who was the catlyst for "The Reformation", part of the European "Enlightenment". The secular enlightenment did not come until 2 centuries AFTER this battle.

Let's also look at some wonderful examples of post-Lepanto Christian enlightenment toward the Jews:

In 1648-9, the Cossacks and Poles massacred 200,000 Jews, the largest genocide of Jews until Hitler.

Britain did not allow Jews back in until 1656, 85 years after Lepanto. Sweden did not allow Jews in until 204 years after Lepanto. The Pope's Jewish ghettoes in Rome were not torn down until il Rissorgimento in the 1850s.

The spaniards were obviously a holdover but even they eventually got with the message.

This shows that you REALLY don't know what you're talking about. While the Spaniards allowed some Jewish refugees to pass through in WW2, they did not revoke the edict of expulsion until -- are you ready for this? 1964! You read that right.

And poll after poll shows the Spaniards to be among the most rabid haters of Israel and the Jews in Europe (which in itself is saying a lot), with an intense, genocidal hatred rivalling that of the Islamonazi world.

In other words, the Spanish have never "got with the message" and never, ever, ever will.

OreamnosAmericanus said...

I know it's heresy, but a civilization's attitude toward Jews is not the sole measure of its worth. If Lepanto and Vienna had not happened, and Europe had been overrun by the Turkish Muslims, would the world be a better place? If you ask Greek and Balkan Christians about their lovely experiences under the gentle hand of the Prophet, you might get another point of view.

I deplore anti-Semitism, and I pretty much a Zionist, but it's myopic to use this one yardstick.

Zerosumgame said...


I know it's heresy, but a civilization's attitude toward Jews is not the sole measure of its worth.

Actually, in Western culture, the attitude towards Jews is one of the most accurate barometers of the spiritual, moral, political, economic and psychological health of a nation.

Ever notice how totalitarian regimes have almost invariably been not only anti-semitic, but often genocidal toward Jews?

The most democratic, enlightened and prosperous nations of the Western World are in the Anglosphere -- the USA, Canada and Australia (Britain really does not qualify anymore) -- and they are probably the three nations in the world most hospitable to Jews.

When Europe has been good to Jews -- 1950 to 2000, it prospered. Now that Europe is in permanent decline and headed toward the black hole of Islamofascist rule, the Europeans have reverted to being their old, rabid anti-Semitic selves.

Frank said...

Zero, why do you persist in turning every post into a forum for snivelling about historical mistreatment of the Jews? Believe it or not, history consists of more than an unending string of pogroms, evictions, and Jew-baiting pottymouth.

This kind of vociferous whining creates more anti-Semitism than all the Mein Kampfs and Protocals ever written. Please give it a rest.

Spanish diplomat said...

You obviouslly don´t know Spain personally.
First of all, the only big "European-standard" pogrom against Jews in Spain took place in 1391. It is true since then the situation for Jews became less tolerable, but you did not have here the manslaughter which were common in other places.
Secondly, in 1492 Jews were told to convert to Christianity or leave. The shocking thing is, unique in Jewish history, that THE MAJORITY OF JEWS CHOOSE TO CONVERT instead of leaving the country. They did so because Spain was THEIR country, and they stayed here forever, integrated with the rest of the population. This has not happened ever before or after 1492. If you don´t trust me, simply read Bentzion Netanyahu´s works on the matter. You will also learn from other historians how many descendents of converted Jews were still available in the high professions and even in the Palace with the Kings.
Third. For those who left the country (and there is no question that no one should have been put into this dilemma), they always kept their attachment to Spain. They are the real Sephardim Jews, who kept the language and memories of their life here for centuries.
Fourth. Jews started to come back to live in Spain openly during the 19 century.
Fifth. Since 1927 Foreign Jews of Sephardic ancestry are entitled to Spanish nationality. Until Israel was not born, Spain was their first choice of passport in case of need.
Sixth. During the 2WW Spanish Embassies in Axis and occupied countries tried succesfully to protect as many Jews as it was feasible. Our Embassy in Budapest was the most succesful one. But even our Embassy in Berlin managed to save a few hundreds.
Seventh. After the war, Franco´s Spain did not establish diplomatic ties with Israel because the Israelis didn´t want it. They had their reason s, but they gave Franco no option but to look for Arab friendship in times of international isolation.
Eighth. If you mention the opinion poll thay say people don´t trust Jews in Spain, you fail to mention what amount of people actually say so (very low) and also, that BY FAR, the group of people most Spaniards don´t trust include Muslims and Gypsies. What you can, unfortunately find in Spain is no different from the biased anti-Israeli media you will find thoroughout Europe. I don´t like this at all, but this NOT a Spanish-only problem.
Ninth. Coming back to Lepanto, Most people who send comments to this posting agree the Ottomans had earned an undeserved good reputation. If you still believe the Turks were better than the others, then you have to explain to us how come most Jews sided with Greeks, Servians, Bulgarians, etc while their countries fought the Turks for independence.
The History of mankind is full of tragedies and blood. But one expects the human beings to learn and improve. Those who do not, are not the ones whose company we look for, don´t you think?

Zerosumgame said...


Zero, why do you persist in turning every post into a forum for snivelling about historical mistreatment of the Jews?

Uh, maybe because Jew-hatred is at the CORE of Islamonazi ideology? It is at the CORE of why Europeans let Islamist terrorism grow on their soil?

This kind of vociferous whining creates more anti-Semitism than all the Mein Kampfs and Protocals ever written.

So, Jews standing up for themselves causes Jew-hatred, and Jews not standing up for themselves causes Jew-hatred. What do you want Jews to do? Continue going quietly to their deaths?

Please give it a rest.

I will post about anti-semitism here when I deem it appropriate. If Jews pointing out and being fed up with anti-semitism bothers you, maybe you can go to a website run by someone like Pat Buchanan, Justin Raimondo or Joe Sobran, all Paleocons who think the Jews are the cause of all evil.

Zerosumgame said...

Spanish Diplomat

Most Jews converted during the pogroms of 1391 - when the choice was conversion or DEATH, not in 1492. The Inquisition was instituted to ferret out conversos forced to baptism at the sword in 1391, and later those who were forced to convert under threat of death by King Manuel of Portugal in 1497, when he did NOT give Jews an option.

Your assertion that Israel did not attempt to achieve diplomatic recognition from Spain is at best, a severe distortion. Full diplomatic relations with Germany were restored in 1966, a full 20 years before they were restored with Spain (and a decade AFTER Franco's death). Further, Spain was not looked upon with the horror of Germany, Austria, or even Poland, despite Franco's Fascism; Israel knew of Franco's efforts to allow about 20,000 Jews passage to safety. Why would Israel not want to establish diplomatic relations with Spain after she had already done so with Germany?

Franco's opposition to recognition of Israel was based on two factors:

a) The old-fashioned, pre-Vatican II view of the Jews as Christkillers, and the fact that (taking its lead from the Vatican) that the evil, accursed killers of Christ could not be recognized as the keepers of the Holy Land. Spain was of course, an intensely Catholic nation until 35-40 years ago.

b) Franco was a precursor to DeGaulle, Pompidou and the "Euro-Arab dialogue" in claiming a special relationship with the Arab World, precisely due to the long Moorish occupation of Iberia. Spain's traditional hatred of Jews made this an easy alliance for Franco to manage.

X said...

Uh, maybe because Jew-hatred is at the CORE of Islamonazi ideology? It is at the CORE of why Europeans let Islamist terrorism grow on their soil?

I can agree with the first part of that statement, but the second simply reveals your own ignorance.

Your posts reveal you for what you are, my friend. You accuse others here of anti-semetism when they are on your side. You demand that we follow your way of thinking and resort fo ad-hominem attacks and racial slurs when we don't agree with you 100%. You, sir, are no better than the muslims. Simply put, you are a racist, beligerent and hateful man, unwilling to look past his prejudices and apparently unable to take the other point of view. I can only thank God that I have met enough jews over my lifetime to know you are completely unrepresentative of them. Were you the first Jew I had met, only God knows how I might have reacted and what I might have been willing to believe... maybe that'll give you something to think about.

Zerosumgame said...


For you to compare me with Muslims, when I have never called for a Jewish Jihad nor for Jewish world domination, nor have I ever called anyone here a name (which is more than we can say for you), nor threatened any poster shows that you have imbibed too much of Europe's own moral inversion when it comes to the Jews. You have the same double standard -- a Jew reacting to hate is as bad as the one who hates the Jew to start with.

As a European, you simply cannot stand Jews who tell it like it is. British Jews have a reputation for being extraordinarily passive in the face of the growing anti-Semitism. In America, we are not like that.

If you cannot see the double standard, if you cannot accept the extent to which hatred of Jews has warped Europe, then I do not see you as being on my side.

Nor would it bother me if you are not.

Baron Bodissey said...

Look, would you guys please take your flame war someolace else? It's a real turd in the punchbowl.

Zero, I will agree that the Jews have been horribly oppressed for centuries across all of Europe.

Archonix, I will agree that Zero doesn't know what he's talking abbout.

Okay? Now we're done. Go fight somewheres else.

Let's think about constructive coemments instead...

robert in england said...

Oh Sod, and I was just going to post a comment.....
I dont know ANY passive Jews over here, but I wouldn't make too many comments from a country which hosts CAIR and was the home of those well known anti-semites Henry Ford and the Harleys & Davidsons. Just saying, Pot meet Kettle you know...
I agree absolutely that anti-semites are indeed worthless cretins WHEREVER AND WHENEVER they are found, and I think most posters here would back me on that.
Archonix: Zero may occasionaly go on about Jews, but lets at least face the fact that historically, he has a reason to be pissed, unlike the muslim scum to whom you seem to have compared him.
Now, where was I...Oh yeah, I actually had something to say that was on topic.
Lepanto was a watershed in relations with the 'slims, as it showed them they could not just do as they pleased and that the Christians/West/Crusaders were a lot tougher than rumour had made them.
A story for our own times perhaps?

Robert in England

Yorkshireminer said...

If Philip II had spend the plunder he extracted from the mines of Mexico and South America on fighting Islam instead of trying to reconvert 1,500,000 recalcitrant Dutchmen in a war that lasted 80 years. Europe would be in a stronger position than it is now. But he was always fighting on two front first the Dutch and then the Turks, and for good measure lets have a go at the English. Spain at the time was very much like the Arab oil Kingdoms are now, flushed with un earned wealth, and could have done anything he liked. Instead of myopically concentrating on the real enemy Islam, he myopically concentrated on the Dutch, and like the Generals in the First World War could not find an answer to the Dutch defence system which so resembled the defence system of the First World War, instead of barb wire the Dutch had liquid barb wire, the vast system of rivers and canal instead of Bunkers fortified towns along the edge of the rivers and if he did make breakthrough the Dutch could quickly re-enforce their weak points with men and materials with the thousands of boats that plied their inland waterways, in exactly the same way the Germans and the Allies did in the First world war with the use of the Railways. To Philip Lepanto was a distraction, it is a pity he was such an ardent dogmatic Roman Catholic.

Spanish diplomat said...


Philip II had to confront too many enemies at the same time and, in the end, he couldn´t focus himself efficiently on the real enemies, the Muslims.

To pretend, as you do, that Lepanto was a distraction for Philip is, simply, to ignore the facts and to project your mindset into 16 century conditions and situations.

Philip had to confront, first of all, the war of the Alpujarras, a very bloody conflict organized by the Muslims still living in Spain at the time; who challenged the Crown and proclaimed Jihad with Ottoman and Berber aid (by the way, it was also Don Juan de Austria the general who succesfully suppressed them). It took quite some time to prevail on them.

Spain was also attacked by Berber pirates, the threat to our and Italian coasts was constant, and there was a very difficult containment policy.
And, of course, you had the Ottoman threat, which lead to Lepanto.
By the way, France was actively helping the Ottomans.

On top of all that he was distracted by a Calvinist-national rebellion in the Netherlands, which was of no consequence to Spain, but which was terribly important for the Catholic, Fleming subjects of the King (modern day Belgium, remember). These Dutch rebels were aided by none other than your country (I believe you are English), that was also busy trying to catch Spanish vessels coming from the Americas and following an openly hostile policy towards Spain.

So you accuse Philip of not focusing on the real thing while you forget to mention why he couldn´t...

On the other hand, you must remember the King got financing for all this, in time when there were not regular armies or navies, by a 20% tax on American gold and silver and by calling on the different Parliaments of the several kingdoms of Spain for money, which they could give or refuse. And you can guess taxpayers represented in Parliament were not very interested in distant campaigns in the North Sea, but in actually fighting the real threat coming from Islam. So they frequently refused credit to the King.
Spaniards during that time had very clear idea of what Islam meant and how could it threaten them.

And finally a word on the "dogmatic" King. He was a man of his time. His enemies in England or the Netherlands were not less "dogmatic" than he was (or was not). And, actually, they choose to fight the only available Western leader who was prepared to fight Islam till the end.

I feel your comments on him were really unfair.