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Europe: The Pigeons Have Come Home to Roost!

Updated on February 7, 2012

More bloodshed in the name of religious intolerance: The Crusades.

The Saracens (Moslems) don't quite see the Crusaders as Heroes!
The Saracens (Moslems) don't quite see the Crusaders as Heroes!

It's Their Turn Now!

Europe: The Pigeons Come Home to Roost.

It is unfortunate for the modern generation of European nations that so many atrocities were committed against countries all over the world, but especially in the Far East, Africa and South and North America (Mexico).

A nation has a long memory embellished by much exaggeration held in folk lore and the biased accounts found in history books.

Not that there was much need to embellish the brutality of those swarming from the empire builders in Britain, Spain, Holland, France and Belgium. Germany, for all its local aggression, was not the worst behaved in other lands, with the exception of its mindless pogrom against the Jews.

But people don’t forget imperialistic injustice and as soon as the tide changes - which it usually does - they tend to turn on the offspring, even though a hundred years, or more, has passed since the earlier European colonialists.

You need to read extensively to get even a rough idea of the extent of the subjugation of foreign people in the name of religion, land acquisition, favorable trade or outright piracy. It is well beyond a simple hub article.

In the UK, we know a little about the crusades and the control of the Middle East which accompanied them. What the British fail to grasp is how much resentment is felt in Arab Islamic countries today and how this plays a big part in the mind-set that produces terrorism and the manipulation of oil prices, etc.

In Africa, too, reading about what was perpetrated against the Zulus by Belgium and England as well as by the Boers in South Africa, along with the occupation and land grabbing for farming in Kenya, etc., leaves any reader with a nasty taste in their mouth about European brutality and single minded greed.

Spanish ambitions in Mexico and South America left not a leaf unturned where bestial behavior, religious intolerance and complete domination of countries such as Mexico for 400 years was concerned. It is no accident that not one statue of Hernan Cortez, the “great” Spanish conqueror, can be found anywhere throughout the length and breadth of Mexico. Cortez was a bullying opportunist with his ambitions set on success in the Spanish courts and he disliked his Mexican subjects, seeing them as a means to an end. (Mexico is looked down upon by modern Spaniards, too).

Much as the subjugated lands feared and hated the boot of the occupiers they could do little about it right up until after the First World War, where a weakened Europe was unable to maintain its domination in its empire and, one by one, these countries sued for and obtained their liberty and self governance. Britain, especially, seemed to be deprived of the benefits of colonization almost overnight while it struggled to deal with the huge influx of its erstwhile subjects entitled to make Britain their home due to wartime treaties.

Spain suffered less because it had been thrown out of the Americas many years earlier and had recovered from most losses.

North Americans had a nation far too young to have been a colonizing power, apart from depriving the Indian nations within its borders of their lands and rights - some of which have been returned in the form of casinos!

But N. Americas recent conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East and its stultifying end to the war with Japan, plus its mutual ambition with Europe and huge military/technological might dubbed the nation with the title “Bullies on the Block,” and aroused fear tinged with envy all over the world.

We now see this resentment of Europe in general, and Britain specifically, expressed in hundreds of different ways. Not only is Britain remembered with disfavor in the Middle East and Africa, etc., it is rapidly becoming the pariah of Europe.

My point, I suppose, is that we should use some humility today when dealing with our erstwhile empire. Britain has an unfortunate habit of “motor-mouthedness.” We are too good at being scathing of anyone who doesn’t think just like us. Like naughty kids, we seem to strive to upset enemies and friends alike. Not a day goes by without some haw-haw idiot making superior remarks about the USA, a nation that should inspire us to thanking the lord every waking hour. If one of our last friends eventually abandons us it will be down to gutless little funny men like Jeremy Clarkson making xenophobic comments against the ‘States.

What Britain doesn’t realize is that every remark made by our statesmen, MP’s, celebrities and others who should no better reaches the whole world in seconds on the Internet: Twitter, Facebook, Google and Wikipedia, etc., etc.

Those receiving a tongue-lashing by some effete Oxbridge twit, think, “Oh, so that’s what they really think of us?” “Just see how much oil…arms…gas…grain…military help…money, etc., we let them have next time they’re here with the begging cup.!

Europe - and especially Britain - needs to do a lot of fence mending world-wide if it intends to survive in these difficult times. Just being British - once a passport to immediate success for so many - is a disadvantage today.

When abroad I always say I’m an Australian/Mexican personally! Two countries which have never had overseas ambitions.

Ya…teines razon hombre! (Too right, cobber!)

Note: This article is not chronologically or factually accurate as I did not use any resources when writing it. It merely expresses an opnion of why Britain - and Europe - need to be diplomatic in today's world to assuage the dislike of former lands they controlled.

 

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    • profile image

      diogenes 

      6 years ago

      I am just so TIRED of jingoistic breast-beating about Great Britain. If we were great in some way, we are certainly not now.

      The Europeans have caused just about all the problems in the world with their exploitation and cruelty and they need to face up to that.

      Bob

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 

      6 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      A somewhat bleak hub, Bob.

      If memories really do linger that long and we really are still receiving payback for the Crusades of nearly 1000 years ago then we are all really f****d. It would seem that there is no moving forward from what were very different times ... so much for civilisation.

      Does such a thing as civilisation exist or are we really all still cavemen?

      BTW ... I know Brits can sometimes be a jingoistic pain in the proverbial but I have encountered far more 'We are Americans and we live in the best country in the world' sort of comments on HP than Brits praising the UK. My experience is that we are more likely to put ourselves down.

      I am hardly a raving patriot but I believe we should all try and see our relative country's in a good light and support their forward development.

    • profile image

      diogenes 

      6 years ago

      North America has less to atone for than many; at least many of their conflicts have been to aid others. But this blind pursuit of oil at any cost is the modern day blight.

      How we need to escape the boot of fossil fuel and go electric or hydrogen

      Bob

    • profile image

      diogenes 

      6 years ago

      Hi Spirit' Yes, same old, same old. Natural selection gone awry I'm afraid. Maybe we are on the point of being able to alter man's genome for future generations so peace becomes a real alternative...here's hoping!

      Bob

    • BobbiRant profile image

      BobbiRant 

      6 years ago from New York

      Great hub, as usual. Yes, people using religion as an excuse to torture and kill has been as old as time, I'm afraid. LOL I thought only the American government thought 'we are it' and had cornered the market. But, as you point out, it has been other countries too. Enjoyable read.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      6 years ago from Isle of Man

      I thoroughly enjoyed this article and what you say makes perfect sense. I see people coming back lifetime after lifetime making the same mistakes again and again. The Muslim in the last life comes back as the Christian in this one but nothing changes! How many lifetimes and how much hardship must man endure before he wakes up from his insane dream? Thanks Bob.

    • profile image

      diogenes 

      6 years ago

      Hi Sophie: So true. It's hard for Brits of my generation to think kindly of Germans even today when they are surely a much nicer and more gentle race than we are!

      Bob

    • profile image

      Sophia Angelique 

      6 years ago

      You're right about people having long memories. It always bemused me when I was growing up that Afrikaaners hated the British because of the Boere War between 1899 and 1902. I couldn't understand how the next generation could hang onto something that their parents or grandparents had experienced.

    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 

      6 years ago from northeastern US

      every country thinks it's the best. that's how human minds work.

    • profile image

      diogenes 

      6 years ago

      All I can see is that European countries were doing the invading, right or wrong, I didn't see any Moslem hordes in London

      Bob

    • profile image

      diogenes 

      6 years ago

      Come on, Will, it went a bit deeper than that!

      Bob

    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 

      6 years ago from USA

      Very good hub! For once, I read a page of history that is to say unbiased. Not seen from the invader's perspective! It is important for the people to know that the Crusades were about wealth and the greed of the European kingdoms that use religion as a pretext for war! Christians invaded the Far East not the other way around Starr (once more check your facts)!

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 

      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      The Crusades were in response to Muslim aggression and the denial of Christian access to Jerusalem.

    • profile image

      diogenes 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for visit, James. The atrocities are legion i am afraid

      Bob

    • profile image

      diogenes 

      6 years ago

      Bell. You are right, as usual, I am an Anglophobe to a fault.

      Bob

    • JamesPoppell profile image

      JamesPoppell 

      6 years ago

      Nice stroll through history. Good hub. Vote up.

    • bell du jour profile image

      bell du jour 

      6 years ago from Ireland

      Very interesting hub Bob, I do think you are being a little tough on your countrymen, but I have to agree the British do tend to have that 'we are best' attitude.

      voted up and interesting

      Bell

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