[lit-ideas] Re: More & More off-list

  • From: "Mike Geary" <atlas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2007 23:33:49 -0600

>>As to the Crusades, they have been misrepresented in recent years due to the 
>>misrepresentation of them by the Islamtists.<<

Thank you, Lawrence, sometimes I begin to fear that there are no surprises left 
in life, but you always come through.  Thank you.

Mike Geary
Supporter of the Children's Crusade.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Lawrence Helm 
To: Lit-Ideas 
Sent: Monday, December 17, 2007 8:12 PM
Subject: [lit-ideas] More & More off-list

The note you are responding is a note I posted on-line, but it has not yet 
appeared on Lit-Ideas; so I shall copy you as usual in case this one doesn’t 
appear either.  Ever since you were placed in solitary confinement and allowed 
only brief periods in the exercise yard, heavily supervised, my notes have gone 
awry.  Perhaps because I’ve been associating with you I am under suspicion 
also; although since my posts have been confined by the authorities to the dust 
bin, I don’t understand how anyone would know.
Ah, so some of your comments were to motivate me to reply.  Since you commented 
similarly to others I assume you had the same purpose in mind for them.  And 
since none of them have replied . . . I assume that their notes of reply are in 
the same Lit-Ideas Limbo as mine.
As to the Crusades, they have been misrepresented in recent years due to the 
misrepresentation of them by the Islamists.   According to the Islamists, 
Muslims were peacefully minding their own business when without provocation the 
evil Christians aggressively attacked them.  This is funny in the same way a 
conspiracy theory is funny.   Actually, Christian nations had been minding 
their own business, albeit in the manner of Troy, that is enjoying their wealth 
and learning to practice war no more when they were attacked by the Barbarians. 
  These Barbarians (Muslims) conquered city by city and Western Christianity 
ignored  cries coming from the East for help for year after year.  Finally the 
Pope called for a Crusade.  And foreshadowing Joseph Goebbels, Islamists and 
their admirers have been holding up the Crusades as an example of Western Evil 
ever since Sayyid Qutb made that preposterous claim.
From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx [mailto:Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx] 
Sent: Monday, December 17, 2007 5:21 PM
To: lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Ain't going to war no more'
Thanks for a thought (and feeling) provoking thought. I see traffic is slow and 
your post has not been distributed yet with the list, and, as far as this post 
by mine -- this very one I'm sending you now cc the list -- is concerned, 
perhaps never will! 
So for the record, I made a little search into two delightful OED expressions, 
"Foreign Office" and "War Department". Enjoy!
I think you are right and that it's irresponsible to deny war, etc. I hope you 
appreciate I was trying to mimick the silly entries in "Who's Who", where one 
reads of Churchill, "He enjoys a cigar in the tub", or stupid things like that. 
I was also interested in 
(a) motivating you to reply and providing an occasion, as it proved, to let us 
see your excellent, superb, stylish defense of the casus belli -- complete with 
description of the Hellenes are 'barbarian', which I enjoyed, and the motto, 
"There are always barbarians". Indeed, a common idiom in Buenos Aires is still, 
"There are no Moors on the coast" ("No hay moros en la costa") meaning, "No 
danger in view", which must come with the Conquistadores and there fear that 
the Moors would tripple across the Gibraltar Strait like _this_. 
(b) re-thinking the Crusade, as Richard the CoeurLion _is_ on my list of lists! 
And I wonder what led these people to cross all Europe to restore the Faith. 
You are possibly right that I would not like Buenos Aires being bombed so I 
apologise if I hurt your feelings which have grown so loyal to your homeland as 
they should after 9/11.
I hope other members of the list also comment on your post. It deserves good 
When I was mentioning the 'superb', etc. I was referring to your qualifying the 
excerpts from Cartladge and Strauss, not the not-so-great JLS. Anyway, thanks.
Hey, my English setter, Ruperto, never died, so I still _own_ him, in a 
metaphorical sense (He was stupidly stolen). You can count the fox terrier as 
yet another dog I own, though. Again, I was mocking the Who's Who entries. 
This pdf. on athletics I recently referred to in a post
makes a few references to what the author calls the 'warrior-athlete', which I 
hope you will appreciate. Apparently, it's pretty heavy gear!
I have a few other thoughts about war, etc. Back to the recruit versus 
volunteer. And I don't want to sound offensive, but how much 'volunteer' can it 
be if a member of the armed forces receives a salary. (I've just come from a 
'literacy' volunteer centre, and by definition, a 'volunteer' is someone who 
does not receive monetary compensation. Please explain!). Back to the 
war-argument, I think you DO like the ghurkas, but during the Falklands War, 
the Argentine army was basically (a) professional -- though hardly 'volunteer' 
-- and (b) draft, recruits -- if you volunteer, the best for your mental 
health, I would think. Argentina was not prepared for the fight, and they were 
using silly gear and weapons -- like Mausers -- that could not compare to the 
mercenary killing instict of _them_ ghurkas -- and their foreign faces! For 
some reason I cannot imagine an English officer climbing Tumbledown to kill an 
Argentine! After the years of the Good Beef from Old Argentina and all that. 
They trusted the _ghurkas_ to do the 'dirty' job.
It's also worth considering that what you mention as war being the occasion or 
excuse or pretext for the display of manly deeds may no longer be applicable 
with the technicalization (if that's the word) of most 'military strategies' 
now. I love a bootcamp, but apparently it's all computerized now, and don't be 
surprised if they also have 'simulated' boots in simulated 'camps'. 
My reference to 'foreign' was meant as partly comical, in that it's a word that 
has nice philosophical puzzles (of the naive linguistic kind) about it. We 
think of a foreign-language, and that's French for Americans, but it's American 
for the French, et al. I was also reminded of George Mikes (a foreigner, name 
pronounced Mikesh) who writes in "How to be an alien", "I told this 
Englishwoman that I was ready to marry her, as my mother did approve of my 
marrying a foreigner. To which she replied, "Me, a foreigner? I'm not a 
foreigner. You are a foregner, and your old mother, too!". "Even in Croatia?" I 
asked. "Surely. Things like these are truths, and surely truth is not relative 
to place or time." :-)
Hey, you make me sound like I'm Nero in an sempiternal (if that's the word) 
orgy in Buenos Aires. And no, I would not resign (if that's the word) my right 
to fight in a war. I don't like a satrap, least so a foreign one!
I commend your honor and intelligence and passion in dealing with and doing 
your best to understand 'foreign policy'. It can be a fascinating subject too. 
And nice to catalogue in the swimming pool library too. I have a few books on 
British foreign policy, and they make for quite a shelf! One is called "Britain 
in the Western Mediterranean" with a nice map showing all those posts of the 
Empire from Horatio Nelson's little bay in Mayonne (Minorca), plus Malta (where 
the Queen recently celebrated her 60th? anniversary with Philip) and of course 
Gibraltar (that they still possess). I also own a little silly, "Queen 
Victoria's little wars", and books on the "Indian Mutiny", "The Boer War", "The 
Reason Why" -- and a few on the Falklands/Malvinas. 
Foreign is as foreign does, too. Who would have thought that the Chileans -- to 
an European -- would count as a 'foreign' to Argentina!? Why, they (Chile) were 
_once_ part of the Argentine Empire! Yet, we were more than once on the verge 
of war, and I understand your commentary on wanting to negotiate peace as best 
as possible. As a matter of history, it was the Pope who settled peace for us! 
-- over the Beagle Channel. And as you mentioned on this list too, it's the 
Uruguayans now. Fancy living in a country which, as Homer (Simpson) sings, 
sounds like "UR-u-Gay?" 
J. L. Speranza
   Buenos Aires, Argentina
Foreign Office: the department of the ‘Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs’; 
the building in which the business of this department is carried on. 
1797 Rep. Committees Ho. of Comm. XII. 301 The Office of Secretary of State for 
the *War Department was first established on the 11th July 1794. 1819 D. B. 
WARDEN Acc. U.S. III. 395 Chapter xliv. Of the War Department. Ibid. 405 The 
original proceedings of all courts-martial, ordered by the war department, are 
transmitted to that department by the judge advocate of the court. 1866 G. B. 
MCLELLAN Let. 26 Dec. in McLellan's Own Story (1887) xii. 221 The entire 
establishment..was removed to the War Department building, without my 
knowledge. 1944 Time 2 Oct. 19/1 This was strictly a military document drafted 
by the War Department.

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