Catholic History Restored
History; Posted on: 2008-06-23 13:36:17 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
Setting the record straight
by Malcolm A. Kline
One of, if not the main, problem with the way that history has been taught for decades is that students gain little indication of the majesty of it all. Facts that help explain why the world works as it does are casually tossed aside by those we would entrust with passing on the past because they do not fit some theory du jour.
Such theories usually spin around the alleged avarice of Christian white males, such as, supposedly, our founding fathers...
Google the phrase “college lectures and courses on the Battle of Lepanto” and you will not come up with any immediate links to Catholic university web sites. Yet it was arguably the decisive battle in the 16th century war between Christendom, as Europe was then known, and the Ottoman Empire.
“It was the bloodiest battle in history with the greatest loss of life in a single day until World War II,” Christopher Check, the executive vice-president of the Rockford Institute says. It was also “the beginning of the end for the Ottoman Empire,” Check argues.
The former marine spoke at a May 25th dinner organized by the Fitzgerald-Griffin Foundation. “All but 13 of the Turkish galleys were destroyed.” Check told the crowd at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Tysons Corner, Virginia.
Along with other pivotal battles that academics routinely ignore, the Battle of Lepanto serves to highlight three trends which recur with amazing regularity throughout history, namely:
1. The degree to which the undermanned side wins;
2. The reluctance of the mercantile and financial classes to take up arms against any regime with which they find relations lucrative no matter the nature of the regime; and
3. The transformation of adversaries into allies, albeit over sometimes epic stretches of time...
In the run-up to the Battle of Lepanto, 71-year-old Jean de Valetteo, as Grand Master of the brotherhood, led the Knights of Saint John as they held off an assault on Malta by thousands of Ottoman troops.
At Lepanto, 75,000-80,000 Christians faced off against 120,000 Turks. Nevertheless, the former had armor, the latter did not, Check notes.
Moreover, the Turks had 40 more ships and crossbows. The Christians, meantime, had more gunpowder.
“The Christians killed off all the experts—pilots and archers,” Check explains. They also had rosaries.
“Many of the soldiers of the Holy League were criminals,” Check recounts. They were freed to fight the battle and win their freedom.
“Each got a rosary,” Check said. “The Turks used Christian galley slaves,” Check stated. “The Christians used Muslim galley slaves but not to the same extent,” he alleges.
Meanwhile, “Venice wanted to keep trade with Turkey open so they backed off on going to war with them,” Check states. “France had open trade with Turkey for years.”
Thus, what Pat Buchanan used to call the “Free Trade Uber Alles Crowd” has an historical precedent that precedes not only present-day Sinophiles but even Neville Chamberlain. Finally, it must be noted, although Check did not, that Turkey is now the West’s most stalwart ally in the Muslim world.
Check did discuss the more corrosive threat faced by Western Europe today from Islamic extremists. “One hundred years ago, Cardinal Newman said that everyone is inclined to think that the age they live in is the most wicked but this decade has something that no other has,” Check pointed out. “Italians and Spaniards are contracepting themselves out of existence and allowing the enemy to take up residence within their borders.”
Read Letters from Lepanto, a collection of articles from European Americans United.
News Source: campusreportonline