Thoughts on Iraq

Nick Berg was murdered last Saturday. The videotape of his slaughter appeared on the Internet this week.

Our generation of Americans is woefully ignorant of the real history of warfare. The recent photos of Americans mistreating Iraqi prisoners provokes massive revulsion, but the reaction is out of proportion to the offenses. (Yet the most recent reports indicate that there are even worse photos emerging now; so I’m not referring to them, only to the earlier ones.) Nobody approves of Americans mistreating prisoners, but what we’ve seen in the earlier photos was mild compared to warfare as it really can be.

More typical of real war is the murder of Nick Berg. The militant Muslims are facing hopeless odds against the Americans. Their only hope is to break American morale. Public slaughter is a time-proven method of doing just that. As you can see from the American reactions, it works.

In 1565 the Muslims were winning the world until they were defeated in their seige of Malta. The Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, Jean de la Vallette, commanded a force of about 8,500 men, most of whom were not real soldiers. Only 541 were his Knights or servants-at-arms. The invading Turkish force numbered around 50,000. How could the Christians win? Only by intimidation.

After four months of besieging the Maltese fortifications, the Turkish commander offered favorable terms of surrender to the Christians. La Vallette responded by gathering up his Turkish prisoners, who had been captured in earlier conflicts, and ordering that their heads be struck off. Their headless bodies were then dumped into the sea in full view of the invaders. And their heads were loaded into cannons and fired like cannonballs into the midst of the Turks.

The Turkish invaders did not appreciate this at all.

The seige was resumed, but the Turks could not prevail. Upon hearing that the Christians had received reinforcements, they decided to abandon the effort and sail away. This was just in time for the Christians. Unknown to the Turks, La Vallette only had about 600 fighting men left and Malta was on the verge of collapse. But just as the Turks had gotten into their ships, they received word from their intelligence sources that the Maltese reinforcements were only a handful of men, not nearly enough to make any difference in the battle’s outcome. So they decided to resume the seige after all.

As they were leaving their ships to take up their former positions, La Vallette ordered a charge. His men came pouring out of their fortified positions and threw themselves furiously at the thousands of Turkish fighting men. This so intimidated the Turks that they fled. They had already lost at least 30,000 troops by fighting with these Maltese madmen and they had no more heart to pursue the campaign.

Thus was Malta saved from Muslim conquest, and Islam was turned back from its European campaign.

Butchering the enemy in order to demoralize the survivors is nothing new. In Viet Nam, I think it was, a Viet Cong jungle fighter would sneak into a camp where two Americans were sleeping side by side and silently cut the throat of one. Why not both? Because the second one became nearly useless from the terror of waking up and seeing what had happened, and his condition demoralized others as well. More bang for the buck, so to speak. [Note: I have learned from my uncle, a machine gunner in the Pacific during WW2, that Americans used the throat-cutting trick back then. So the Cong didn’t invent it.]

Our opponents in Iraq are not sissies. They intend to defeat us. If their will is greater than ours, they’ll succeed.

Added note: the Left around the world are blaming Berg’s death on G. W. Bush or a CIA plot or even on Berg himself. See this article.


  1. Michael from the nation of Malta GC says

    regarding the turkish siege on Malta, it was the Turks who after bombarding for a month Fort St. Elmo they captured this fort and killed all the survivors and threw the corpses in the harbour. After seeing this La Vallette ordered that all turkish prisoners will be killed and their heads fired as cannonballs. The Maltese population did not need any terms or condition from the Ottomans, they have suffered for many years by their attacks of piracy on the island, and many where taken to slavery by them. In the great siege it was the Maltese population revenge as they did not want to see their island under the Ottomans. Remeber that in Malta it was and still is the Roman Catolchisim the prime religion.