Isis rampage: history says we must protect Europe’s borders

If Isis, from a standing start, can threaten Baghdad in a few days, then nothing is safe

Column LAST UPDATED AT 09:05 ON Tue 17 Jun 2014

In 628 AD the Byzantine Emperor Herakleios advanced into Persia with his army, overthrowing the Shah of Shahs, sacking his palace and recovering the True Cross that the Persians (then Zoroastrians) had stolen from Jerusalem in a violent ant-Christian rampage a few years before. The Persians, long-time bitter rivals of the Byzantines, were defeated once and for all.   

Arriving back in Constantinople in the spring of 630, Herakleios was met by the entire population, who came out to greet him “dancing with joy”.  He didn’t actually use the precise words “mission accomplished” but that was the gist of it.  Not only was the threat against Constantinople lifted, but the Christian Holy Places were now back in Christian hands.  

So confident were the imperial military elite a couple of years later that they refused to pay the traditional subsidies in gold and precious goods to friendly tribes who guarded their southern desert frontiers.  As a result, they were entirely unprepared for the conquering whirlwind that emerged from Arabia in the wake of the Prophet Muhammad’s death.  

Jerusalem fell in 638 AD.  Less than a hundred years later, in 732, the descendants of these desert warriors with their new religion of Islam had hacked their way as far north as Tours (just a little more than two hours drive from modern-day Paris), where they were defeated by Charles Martel (Charlemagne’s grandfather).  

Edward Gibbon famously saw it as a narrow escape for Christian civilization. Without Charles Martel, he wrote, “the Arabian fleet might have sailed without a naval combat into the mouth of the Thames. Perhaps the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet.”

I doubt Baghdad will fall to Isis although Western embassies seem to be getting into their usual panic about evacuations.  The Iraqi Army, despite a poor showing in some outlying areas, should be able to defend its capital city and in any case can call upon the unlimited support of Shia militias (who, if you remember, chased the British Army out of Basra in 2007), and, if necessary, the Iranian armed forces.

Nevertheless, the episode should provide a salutary lesson to Western military planners.  First of all, and most obviously - except to the fellow inhabitants of Tony Blair’s analytical padded cell – the West should not intervene militarily in other countries’ affairs.  

Secondly, old fanaticisms are now emerging on the world stage that do not play by the rules.  They certainly do not respect borders: one of the first things Isis did last week as they broke out of Syria was to dismantle as many border posts as they could find.  They regard the modern borders of the Middle East as a Western colonial imposition – which they are.  We in the West seem to think that these lines drawn on a map long ago in between pink gins are somehow sacrosanct.  They are not.

If a group like Isis, from a standing start, can threaten Baghdad in a few days, then nothing is safe. What is to stop a group of fanatics from descending on the tourist beaches of Cyprus, or isolated towns in the heel of Italy?  We need to guard Europe’s borders.

President Putin may have designs on Ukraine but he is completely to be trusted as protector of the Eastern Marches of Christendom.  Our serious vulnerabilities lie elsewhere.  As Gibbon points out, the Muslim armies defeated at Tours crossed into Europe over the straits of Gibraltar and advanced a thousand miles in less than 20 years.

Our Mediterranean flank is vulnerable. I hope that our political and military leaders will eventually overcome their death wish for our way of life, realising that defending Europe’s borders is what they should have been doing all along. It’s nothing that strong naval and amphibious forces with the authority to turn away refugees and undesirables can’t handle.      

But there is another much less reassuring lesson to be drawn from Gibbon’s description of the Battle of Tours – something it may be too late to fix.  

He regarded it as a military miracle guaranteeing the survival of Christian Europe against what he saw as a deeply uncivilised alternative.  It was to him an essential British value – unthinkable that anyone lucky enough to be living on these shores should not share it.

That many of our so-called fellow countrymen wouldn’t agree these days is worrying enough.  But what really keeps me awake at night is that our lobotomised political elite would struggle to express a clear view.

Go on, some Member of Parliament unafraid of the whips or the narrow but still career-destroying banner of political correctness: ask Mr Cameron or Mr Hague on the floor of the Commons a direct question – “Do you regard the Battle of Tours as a providential victory, or a tragic defeat?”    · 

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"What is to stop a group of fanatics from descending on the tourist beaches of Cyprus, or isolated towns in the heel of Italy? We need to guard Europe’s borders.... defending Europe’s borders is ... nothing that strong naval and amphibious forces with the authority to turn away refugees and undesirables can’t handle"

Europe is in danger of conquest by refugees? Blow 'em away, sink their overcrowded rubber boats, they shall not pass!

We now know at least one of the " fellow inhabitants of Tony Blair’s analytical padded cell".

So defending Europe's borders against uninvited gatecrashers means one should be confined to a padded cell? He has not suggested shooting them, by turning them away he could just mean detention camps until they can be repatriated. Regardless the current policy of releasing them into the general population so encouraging more of them to come and risk their lives crossing the Sahara and Med is insane and totally unsustainable.

Dubai is regarded by many Islamic fundamentalists as the next target.

Charles Martell was a visionary and a superb military commander who spent most of his life preparing to combat Islam,our politicians and more so the EU are PC gutless fools who cannot grasp that Islam is again (thanks mainly to Blair and the US) spreading like a cancer that destroys non believers and eventually will lead to the first truly global conflict and as off right now it is a war we cannot win.

We have to sooner or later stop Islam spreading across Europe and into the UK. The question is, do we stop it now or wait while we dither and then pay a heavier price in blood and treasure?

Erope is already doomed - they will be taken from within.
Nearly every Euro country now has no go zones for Christians
It will get far worse

John - Islam is already here - aided and abetted by spineless, complacent and rather stupid politicians of all persuasions.

Until we become less squeamish about "upsetting the sensibilities" of the "ethnic minorities" we are sitting ducks for radical Islam in our society - on our streets and in our schools and wider cultural institutions.

The PC liberal "elite" already have an awful lot to answer for - not least Tony Blair, Cameron, Hague et al - and the charge sheet is growing.

BethW - I hadn't heard that but it is to be devoutly desired.

I thought Gulf War 1, Gulf War 2, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistam, the US invasion of Afghanistan etc etc were to 'stop Islam'. What happened?

I doubt very much if Mr. Cameron or Mr. Hague have heard of the battle of Tours - they would assume it is a price war between holiday tour operators.

Hague rejoice! Tours de France is coming to Yorkshire.

There is evil, and it comes in the name of Mohammed the self created and self serving bandit prophet.

...search me!

thanks @CRISPIN BLACK, your article is straight to the points and it sums it up the western intention on MiddleEast, and puts the case clear of western forces planning to rule, occupy and if not destroy Middle-East (in short Islamic Nations), for the history this was true even for the crusaders for the matter and the revenge back on them by the Islamic Army. The modern day crusade has been deeply exposed in the pretext of lies (WMD, women liberation, etc.), so why is western media not so open like you to say so, why hide the fact of their actual intention? Since, Muslims are uncivilised or barbaric (as per what western audience are being taught) and Islam as a religion is Evil (again plenty of proof from Western media, fox is superman of this media, who is trying to save non-muslim from muslim), however what you do is free mongering and being NOT specific to the events that unfolds in world. As no one in the MiddleEast asked western to interfere (at least before they interfered) similarly no one will ask non-muslim to interfere by ISIS, the world is being ruled by many leaders who are war mongers, power hungry, looters, bullies, arrogant, killers, gangs of killers, and we have witnessed it in history and now too. So, none is safe in this world, in western world or in Islamic world. The common people like us, has very limited say on what they will do tomorrow (a fox under the sheepskin), you and me are common people, we use our intellectual ability to protect ourselves and sometimes use the same as intellectual terrorism tool to scare others. Yes, even clan will have to protect their territory and its a human right so are the Middle east people, waging war on them and crying foul is not in the spirit of game that they play between each other. What we witnessed since 911 is purely a crusade blessed by pope to bush as god message (and we know the lie behind it, but we are blind to accept it), and the same is from the Muslims. I am a strong vocal opponent of what Deviant Muslim do (and wester powers also under the God blessing, wonder which God is with them), whatever their name may be, but you are not helping them to be sane either. ITs a history coming round and round. I am not sure after my death how the world will be, but I am nether waiting to see how it be, as my term in this world is over, what counts is how I behaved in the earth with my God created humans and jinn, and how I carried the message of 1 God to my dear ones. So be safe and write useful article that bridge the misunderstanding.

There are no 'deviant Muslims' there is only one Islam, a rampant and dangerous political ideology.

FrenchNewsonlin beg to differ with you, there are deviant Muslim ! for example, when i am as a Practicing Muslim knows what my Allaah and my last and final messedger said about treating myself, my family, my relatives, my friends, ,y neighbour, my non-muslims, and all that he created, i treat them as it should be treated at the best. So with all due respect the pain and agony that i am enduring lookig at whats is happening is same as you are goign thru, except that i persive this from the agle of clan protecting a clan, and i look at protecting humans, not just a clan (european), i would agrue the same for middle-east to be protected or like GB said "God Bless America", but why would a God who is God of all human kind bless only the people living in a lasso of human made borders, no, this is human error, we are not people of borders, we are people of earth, we live in the earth that is given by God almight, or to kajol the atheitst (nature or matter or Monkey), whatever the case may be, we still live in the world that is distributed as per "What i want" and not what God inititally intend to be.

Coming to the point, you and me are from the same DNA of Adam & Eve (peace be upon them), no matter how you want to tell me that we are not. So why not be a world under the command of 1 GOD.

the fear of all nation now is on Islam, and its growing power in future, which everyone knows that it is the only things left to be crushed (after jews exsumed in billions, christain confused on what they should do and instead though that colonization is the best method, and now they see drone as their best saviour, the hindus and buddist feel insucure due to the nature of their own mythological belief, we all know what they the budditsh has now resorted to in Myanmar and Srilanka, the Chiniese feel their communist ideolgy is under threat form Muslims, the european form the balkans, turks, etc.), in short all scared to death that Islam will dominate and bring the law that will prohibit them from things that they can easily do now. After all the drunkers, fornicators and the people who love materials are the one who feel unsafe now. And Islam has the answer for them.

Mind you, if the call was to save Europe or anyother nation to save from the sins that they are deep invloved in, Musllims will be the first to stand in to protect it. Cant say this for any nations law for now.

Again protecting your clan is not an issues here, demonizing Islam on the worng context is what i am agaisnt for.