Today’s Yardeni Morning Research Briefing – History Repeats Itself

by Marilou Moursund on March 25, 2015

in Geopolitical,Recommended Reading

Ed Yardeni is traveling in Spain this week, and this morning’s Research Briefing has some interesting historical perspective on the ongoing struggle between the West and Islamic terrorism:

Crusades: Then & Now. While Christianity won the fight over Spain, it lost the battle for the Middle East. In 1095, Pope Urban II proclaimed the First Crusade to restore Christian access to holy places in and near Jerusalem. Following the First Crusade, there was an intermittent 200-year struggle for control of the Holy Land. The period included seven more major crusades and numerous minor ones. In 1291, the conflict ended in failure when the last Christian stronghold in the Holy Land at Acre fell.

Recent events confirm that human history repeats itself. In mid-February, Islamist militants claiming loyalty to ISIS released a video appearing to show the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians who were taken hostage in Libya. A militant says they are sending a message “from the south of Rome.” In addition, “All crusaders: safety for you will be only wishes, especially if you are fighting us all together. Therefore we will fight you all together… The sea you have hidden Sheikh Usama Bin Laden’s body in, we swear to Allah we will mix it with your blood.” At the end of the footage, the same English-speaking fighter raises his knife to the water and says ISIS would “conquer Rome.”

The Crusades aren’t over, as far as ISIS is concerned. The March issue of The Atlantic featured a widely read article by Graeme Wood titled, “What ISIS Really Wants.” Wood states that the key to understanding the Islamic State is knowledge of its motivation, which, he noted, is “millenarian.” In brief, Wood explains that the Islamic State believes “that there will be only 12 legitimate caliphs, and [Abu Bakr al-] Baghdadi is the eighth; that the armies of Rome will mass to meet the armies of Islam in northern Syria; and that Islam’s final showdown with an anti-Messiah will occur in Jerusalem after a period of renewed Islamic conquest.”

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