Not for two and a half centuries after the sacking of

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NotfortwoandahalfcenturiesafterthesackingofRomedidthecounterattackbegin.In1095,atachurchcouncilinClare-mont,France,PopeUrbanIIrosetopreachtheFirstCrusade.Itsgoal:JerusalemandtheHolySepulcherthathadheldthebodyofChrist."ThosewhoderidethisasaChristianobjectivehavelivedtoolonginbooksandunderlamps,''writesCatholichistorianWar-renCarroll.Realmenandwomen,asdistinctfromscholarlyabstrac-tions,havehomeswhichtheylove.JesusChristwasarealman.Hehadahome.Helovedit.Hisfollowers(and)wor-shiperswhocameafterHimlovedthelandandplacesHehadlovedandtrod,simplybecauseHehadlovedandtrod-denthem.UtterlyconvincedthatHeisGod,theycouldnotbelieveitrightthatanypeoplenotrecognizingHimasGodshouldrulehishomeland.In1099,ledbyGodfreyofBouillonandRaymondofToulouse,theCrusaderscapturedtheHolyCity.Offeredthetitle"KingofJerusalem,"eachrefusedtowearacrownofgoldinthecitywhereChristhadwornacrownofthorns.MuslimsregardthecrusadesaswarsofChristianaggression.ButamajorityinPalestinewasprobablystillChristianin1095,and hadasmuchrighttothelandastheirconquerors."[T]hecommonassumptionthattheCrusadeswereanactofunprovokedChristianaggression"isfalse,writesCarroll.Before1095,*alltheaggressionhadbeenMuslim.TheMuslimsweretheoriginalandcontinuingattackersandconquerorsofChristianterritory."TheFirstCrusadewas"ajustwarconductedforadeeplyspiritualpur-posethoughoftenseriouslyflawedinitsexecution."
IIsIslamtheEnemy?[67]IfMeccawereoverruntodaybyinfidelarmies,wouldnotMus-limsbejustifiedinconductingajihadtoliberatetheirholycity?WoulddevoutMuslimsbeashamedofsucha war, orapologizeforhavingwagedit?NoRECORDREMAINSofUrban'sepochaladdress.ButitissaidthatthisformermonkfromClunywasextraordinarilyelo-quentinhisnativeFrenchasheralliedthemartialspiritofhisau-diencetoredirectitfromfeudalconflictstoanoblercause.ThepopespokeofaholywartoreuniteChristiansandrecapturealandofmilkandhoneyfromSeljukTurkswhopreyedonChristianpilgrims.PerhapsUrbansawinthisfirstcrusadeawaytoendtheschismthathadlatelyseparatedtheeasternchurchfromRome.ToallCrusaderswhodiedrepentant.Urbanofferedaplenaryin-dulgence.Whenhefinishedspeaking, thecongregationstoodasoneandroared,"Deusvultl"Godwillsit!VolunteersforthatFirstCrusadefarexceededpapalexpecta-tions.AnotherviewoftheCrusadesisheldbyourmulticulturalelite,whochargethatthesewerewarsofChristianaggressionwhosesignaturewaspillageandmassacre.Speakingathisalmamater,GeorgetownUniversity,ex-PresidentClintonsuggestedthat9/11mayhavebeenpaybackforthecrimesofGodfreyandRaymond.

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George H W Bush

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