What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.

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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

Where can I get my coin?

He then alleged that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who headed JSOC before briefly becoming the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and his successor, Vice Adm. William McRaven, as well as many within JSOC, "are all members of, or at least supporters of, Knights of Malta."
[. . .]
"Many of them are members of Opus Dei," Hersh continued. "They do see what they're doing -- and this is not an atypical attitude among some military -- it's a crusade, literally. They see themselves as the protectors of the Christians. They're protecting them from the Muslims [as in] the 13th century. And this is their function."

"They have little insignias, these coins they pass among each other, which are crusader coins," he continued. "They have insignia that reflect the whole notion that this is a culture war. … Right now, there’s a tremendous, tremendous amount of anti-Muslim feeling in the military community."

This seriously sounds like the man was sauced. But it got me thinking, what would the old Crusading Knights of Malta look like today?

The Order was, by the 14th century, a warmaking institution. These were fighting men sworn to the defense of Christendom against the forces of Islam (i.e., the Turks). When all Crusading Kingdoms were defeated and ousted from the Near East, the Knights holed up at Rhodes, before retreating to Malta, where they hung on despite a massive assault in 1565.

They were independent of Rome and of national powers like the Hapsburgs. They were occasionally a real headache for conciliatory churchmen. They somewhat counterbalanced the business-oriented callousness of the Italian marine powers like Venice and Genoa, who were often content to placate the Turks and let threatened Christians rot in order to maintain trading relationships. The Knights’ seamanship was legendary. They were at every major naval battle of that age. They operated like pirates against the Turks. It was a bloody business, and they were tough SOBs. When the Sultan decided he had had enough of them, he dispatched a colossal force to drive the Knights from the sea for good. A great battle ensued and Malta defended her liberty.

So what would an organization like this look like today? Interesting question. Harassing and embarrassing the Egyptians and sheltering Copts? Cyberwar on CAIR? Constant annoyance of the State Dept and all diplomats everywhere? I can promise you it would annoy American policymakers. Probably they would have opposed the Iraq war as a major distraction from the real action. Probably liberals in 2003 would have discovered a Strange New Respect for the Knights of Malta.

Long live the Knights of Malta!

Comments (25)

I don't think a Knight of Malta would be granting interviews to Rolling Stone, but that's just me.

I do love Mr. Hersch trying to identify NeoCons as orthodox Catholics and members of Opus Dei. I truly think that is hilarious.

The real reason America invaded Iraq before Iran was because Dubya thought that was the alphabetical order.

Sadly, nine Christian Catholics have heard of the great man,Jean Parisot De La Valette, and few have heard of The Battle of Lepanto; and fewer still realise that 911 was chosen by Muslims as the date to attack The Great Satan, America. because on September 11th, 1683, The King of Poland, Jan Sobieski, arrived at the Gates of Vienna commanding an army that would lead to a great and glorious defeat of our Mortal enemy, Islam.

Islam doesn't forget while we never even learn.

I second Mr. Cella. Long live The Knights!!!

The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Rhodes, and Malta is, of course, alive and well. Since losing Malta to Napoleon (the Order's rules prohibit engaging in combat with Christians, so the French sailed into the well-defended harbor at Valetta unopposed) and then having it just straight-up stolen from them by the English at Vienna, they've had to adjust their activities, however.

And long may the Order prosper, Titus. I'm just imagining what a martial order dedicated to defense against Jihadist assault would look like today.

Jeremy Scahill claims to have seen these coins, but there's no proof they are OD- or SMOM-related that I know of. Aren't there many military traditions involving coins? It'd be ridiculous if the writer is turning "challenge coins" into "crusader tokens."

Coins?

Like... medals? Maybe even....miraculous medals?

*X-files music*

(OTOH, I have several command coins-- they're traditionally given when you change commands in the Navy. If supply hasn't "lost" them on Ebay or something.)

Come to think of it, Scahill says he saw *Templar* imagery, not SMOM. As far as I know, there's only one legit Catholic order that follows the rule of the Templars, the rest are masonic. So even Scahill's report doesn't say much.

Great, now I have to read "The Flying Inn" all over again...

Paul,

I thought of this post while reading this piece last night:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/long-withdrawing-roar_533703.html

I have to admit I cringe every time I read quotes from Middle-Eastern Christians like Efram. Quite frankly, he seems crazy. I suspect folks like him and Fawaz, who dismissed the Maronites as "politicized", fear power because they have been beaten down for too long. That's why a Knights of Malta that helped protect them and regain their dignity might not be a bad idea.

I would love to throw some money in a basket during a Sunday Mass for the support of a military order that would fight against the Muslim threat! Can you picture the priest saying during the homily: Fellow Catholics, the Holy Father says it's time to get tough with the Muslims. He has tried to dialogue and reason with them for years, and all they have done is to insult the faith and kill our brother Catholics. It's time to man up instead of putting up. Please give generously when the basket is passed the second time. And a recruiting officer for the Knights of Malta will be available after all Masses for those who want to take a more direct approach in "getting tough". The Holy Father Wants You!

Mr. Dalton,

I'm Presbyterian, but I'd probably sign up for that unit. Maybe Mecca is worth a Mass?

Maybe Seymour has them confused with the Masons, secret handshakes, a wink and a nod.
Hersh was for a long time considered a source, good for a lead to the MSM. Don't be so sure that some of the nuts don't pick up on this and run with it. The "protectors of Christians" line certainly is an attention grabber in some circles, as is the shocker "anti-muslim feeling" in the military, bound to keep the staff at the NY Times awake nights.

This is ridiculous. The whole "coin exchange" thing is an old Army tradition. Coins are given out with insignias for well done jobs, and one accumulates them throughout the whole career. Now, if you go to a bar you can "coin" someone, so if they don't coin you back they have to pay for your drink.

Yes, that's all there is to it.

Fellow Catholics, the Holy Father says it's time to get tough with the Muslims.

Not any time soon. My diocesan newspaper just this week decided - slow news and all - that now was the time to unveil the so-called "fact" that Catholic teaching is against civilian ownership of guns. Needless to say, the "teaching" is supported by (a) US Conference documents that indicate that wide-spread ownership of guns may be contrary to hopes to decrease violence, (especially in democratic rule-of-law countries) (b) some third-rate Vatican council putting out an obscure document that includes some tough language that suggests that the right to self-defense by weapons may belong more to states than to individuals, and some self-trumpeted "expert" saying that this means Catholic teaching rejects people owning their own guns.

In other words, the article is making up Church teaching out of a bunch of bureaucrats' self-congratulatory magic-wand waving about what they wish were Church doctrine. Of course, the official statements of Church doctrine say nothing of the sort.

I would love to throw some money in a basket during a Sunday Mass for the support of a military order that would fight against the Muslim threat!

I'm Presbyterian, but I'd probably sign up for that unit.

Gentlemen, if you are so anxious for combat there are real viable options available for you and most offer the service of chaplains too. No need to pine for the day when Church militarizes her mission.

That's why a Knights of Malta that helped protect them and regain their dignity might not be a bad idea.

We know one thing; the invasion and occupation of Iraq by the US military has made life for Christians there a living hell. So much for Hersh's "auxiliaries of the Vatican are directing the Pentagon and leading a Crusade against Islam."

There's a world of difference between wanting to support actually facing the biggest threat of our time and "being anxious for combat."

Gotta love it: never mind rape squads, feeding people into plastic shredders feet first because some relative might have pissed someone off, etc-- they weren't too genocidal against Christians that kept their heads down and whose daughters didn't catch the eye of anyone important. Never mind that the same ones yelling this also want us to get out, which is what enables the bastards to target the Copts... it's just a hammer.

There's a world of difference between wanting to support actually facing the biggest threat of our time and "being anxious for combat."

Yeah one simply requires reclining in front of the TV, the other, enlisting one's own flesh and blood.

they weren't too genocidal against Christians that kept their heads down

Before the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Iraqi Christian community numbered about 900,000. Now it’s about 350,000.

Ever wonder why Iraqi Christians were against our invasion?

"Since the year 2003, Christians are the victims of a killing situation, which has provoked a great emigration from Iraq," Syrian Archbishop Athanase Matoka

"You know, everybody hates the Christian. Yes, during Saddam Hussein, we were living in peace - nobody attacked us. We had human rights, we had protection from the government but now nobody protects us."

"Since 2003, there has been no protection for Christians. We've lost many people and they've bombed our homes, our churches, monasteries," he said.
Archbishop Athanasios Dawood, Syrian Orthodox Church

Ever wonder why Iraqi Christians were against our invasion?

No, because I already knew about there being high-ranking "Christians" that helped him commit genocide on the Kurds and marsh Arabs, as well as helping with the various other atrocities. It was a scandal to those paying attention before it became a useful anti-American hammer.

You are aware that the Syrian Orthodox Bishop you're quoting lives in London, right?

How were Christians in Iraq treated under Saddam?


We were fifth-degree citizens. What I mean is first degree were Arab Sunnis, second were Arab Shiites, third were Kurds, fourth were Turkmen, and we were the fifth. Yes, the country was more civil, but the regime was a dictatorship—killing people, discrimination policies, etc. We were never accepted to be in the military as leaders or high-rank officials unless we accepted that we are Arabs and not Assyrians. Several hundred thousand Christian Assyrians fled from Iraq during Saddam’s time, especially after 1991, when he adopted his faith campaign and closed all our businesses that were dealing with liquor or alcohol. More than 300,000 Christians fled after [the first Gulf War].
But weren’t some Christians, such as [former Deputy Prime Minister] Tariq Aziz, high-ranking Baath Party officials?
Two or three guys—no more than that—who Arabized, which means they denied their religion and identity as Assyrians.

Hey, if you want to go help those Christians, Don-- head on over. I'm sure Mr. Kanna would greatly like your help in protecting these folks.

No, because I already knew about there being high-ranking "Christians" that helped him commit genocide on the Kurds and marsh Arabs, as well as helping with the various other atrocities.

You began by saying Iraqi Christians were worse off under Saddam Hussein than they are now. After that position became untenable, you switched gears, trotted out the concept of collective guilt and now imply they deserved all that has befallen them since our invasion of the country.

We were never accepted to be in the military as leaders or high-rank officials unless we accepted that we are Arabs and not Assyrians.
Discrimination is quite different than genocide. The latter came only after after the "war of liberation" was launched and the occupation began. Their plight is well-documented, the historical record is clear. The American invasion of Iraq has been a moral and geopolitical disaster on every level, and an incalculable one for the Christians of that country.

Before you decide to "help" another people with an armed invasion, maybe you should ask for their permission first. You could even benefit from listening to them now;
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/episodes/july-23-2010/disappearing-christians-of-iraq/6701/


You began by saying Iraqi Christians were worse off under Saddam Hussein than they are now.

No, I did not; I said nothing about the current relative condition of anybody, in response to YOU dragging the topic over to Iraq, incidentally ignoring that imported and/or foreign funded terrorists are doing the attacks, (in part because it gets such a lovely "bang" per attack) ignoring that the one you're quoting isn't even in the country, (and that by publicly calling for them to leave means that any who do not will be targeted even more by the terrorists) ignoring what someone who is there (and is risking his life by being a public official, let alone a Christian one) says about the situation, or that Christians fleeing Iraq (or any other middle east country that isn't Israel) is not a new thing....

If you can't even bother to pay attention to what I wrote, I'm not going to bother spending the time to read you. Especially when I said "they weren't too genocidal against Christians that kept their heads down and whose daughters didn't catch the eye of anyone important". (There's a long tradition of Kurdish Christians.)

Discrimination is quite different than genocide.

Churches being suicide bombed, standard issue terrorist home-invasions, and thousands leaving the country, are not genocide.
Saddam, of course, were there...but hey! Ignore the mass graves, hundreds of thousands of dead bodies... they didn't happen where you could see it, and nobody on TV said it was because they're Christian, so that's OK!

The invasion of Iraq debunks ideologues of all kinds. First, those fevered authors of fiction like Hersh, who spin yarns for his Upper Westside readers regarding the secret workings of a Catholic cabal guiding Pentagon policy to advance Christian interests in the Middle East. Assyrians, Chaldeans, Orthodox and Roman Catholics were all united in opposing the invasion and the grotesquely bloody aftermath confirms their wisdom. Second, are the chest-thumping warriors who are so intent on repeating the folly that they will still, even as we remain bleeding in the dessert, say with a straight-face; "let's do it again."

Liberal interventionists have unleashed a series of strategic blunders that have badly devastated the future of Christian community in the Middle East, the geopolitical prospects of our nation and the lives of millions of innocent people who live in that region.

Bang your war-drum if you must. But note how few are joining you.

The next time Hersh wants to regale his audience with an exciting tale he should make it more plausible. Like; agents of al Quaeda and Iran have penetrated and hijacked our foreign policy apparatus.

I'm Presbyterian, but I'd probably sign up for that unit. Maybe Mecca is worth a Mass?

Given the number of pilgrims that are there at any point for the Hajj, it'd be a suicide mission for a force that lacked the force multipliers of a first world military to do a frontal assault.

The most practical solution would likely be to get a good helicopter pilot, use the collections to hire a bunch of former Spetsnaz guys and have them land on the Ka'ba with a few dozen pounds of C4.

"The most practical solution would likely be to get a good helicopter pilot, use the collections to hire a bunch of former Spetsnaz guys and have them land on the Ka'ba with a few dozen pounds of C4."

Don't forget the speakers blaring the Battle Hymn of the Republic and your stars and stripes rhinestone cowboy hat. Styling.

We temporarily interrupt The War of Civilizations with this inconvenient update;

Egypt's majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had been a promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community, was honoured, when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas eve mass services in churches around the country and at candle light vigils held outside. We interrupt this War of Civilizations with news from Egypt.

From the well-known to the unknown, Muslims had offered their bodies as "human shields" for last night's mass, making a pledge to collectively fight the threat of Islamic militants and towards an Egypt free from sectarian strife.

"We either live together, or we die together," was the sloganeering genius of Mohamed El-Sawy, a Muslim arts tycoon whose cultural centre distributed flyers at churches in Cairo Thursday night, and who has been credited with first floating the "human shield" idea.


Read more: http://nation.foxnews.com/coptic-christians/2011/01/15/egypts-muslims-attend-coptic-christmas-mass-serving-human-shields#ixzz1CFm1QVIz

We will now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

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