Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oi! DON'T say Crusade!

Yesterday I posted about the Crusader Narrative, a world view that considers modern Western military action as a continuation of the medieval Crusades against Islam.

Today I was astonished to read this:

“The resolution is defective and flawed,” [Russian Prime Minister] Putin told workers at a Russian ballistic missile factory. “It allows everything. It resembles medieval calls for crusades.”

Odd and perhaps irresponsible language. Russian President Medvedev seems to think so too:

"It is absolutely inexcusable to use expressions that, in effect, lead to a clash of civilizations, such as 'crusades,' and so on. That is unacceptable," Medvedev said. "All that is now happening in Libya is the result of the appalling behavior of the Libyan leadership and the crimes it committed against its own people."

Russian diplomats did not veto the authorization of force resolution when it came before the Security Council because "I do not consider this resolution to be wrong," he added.

Having failed to learn a lesson from George Bush's poor choice of words back in 2001, France's interior minister Claude Guéant announced that "happily", French President Sarkozy "took the lead in the crusade" to mobilise support for intervention in Libya. Presumably using the word to imply a noble cause rather than a medieval religious war, Guéant has already come under attack for this insensitive language. Gaddafi must be pleased with this talk, however, having already referred to the intervention as "a colonial crusade".

So, again: don't say crusade.

1 comment:

  1. How did these guys become politicians (who are supposed to understand and act on people's perceptions) if they don't understand how different people perceive different things? Going to war in a Muslim country while saying "crusade" (in any of its meanings) is akin to a going to war in America saying 9-11 or Pearl Harbor. It brings back bitter memories and stimulate negative feelings, thus creating more violence and resistance.


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