September 12, 2012 by Julia
Here is what Ghengis Khan did when an out-of-control Islamic state killed his ambassadors:
Genghis then sent a 500-man caravan of Muslims to establish official trade ties with Khwarezmia. However Inalchuq, the governor of the Khwarezmian city of Otrar, had the members of the caravan that came from Mongolia arrested, claiming that the caravan was a conspiracy against Khwarezmia. It seems unlikely, however, that any members of the trade delegation were spies. Nor does it seem likely that Genghis was trying to provoke a conflict with the Khwarezmid Empire, considering he was still dealing with the Jin in northeastern China.
Genghis Khan then sent a second group of three ambassadors (one Muslim and two Mongols) to meet the shah himself and demand the caravan at Otrar be set free and the governor be handed over for punishment. The shah had both of the Mongols shaved and had the Muslim beheaded before sending them back to Genghis Khan. Muhammad also ordered the personnel of the caravan to be executed. This was seen as a grave affront to the Khan himself, who considered ambassadors “as sacred and inviolable.” This led Genghis Khan to attack the Khwarezmian Dynasty. The Mongols crossed the Tien Shan mountains, coming into the Shah’s empire in 1219.
After the remaining centers of resistance were destroyed, Genghis returned to Mongolia, leaving Mongolian garrison troops behind. The destruction and absorption of the Khwarezmid Empire would prove to be a sign of things to come for the Islamic world, as well as Eastern Europe. The new territory proved to be an important stepping stone for Mongol armies under the reign of Genghis’ son Ögedei to invade Kievan Rus’ and Poland, and future campaigns brought Mongol arms to Austria, the Baltic Sea and Germany. For the Islamic world, the destruction of Khwarezmid left Iraq, Turkey and Syria wide open. All three were eventually subjugated by future Khans.
Here is what our President “did” when an out-of-control Islamist mob killed our ambassador to protest freedom of speech on the other side of the world:
In a statement released Wednesday morning, President Obama called the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which led to the death of J. Christopher Stevens, the ambassador, and three other Americans “outrageous.” The attack apparently began as a reaction by an angry mob to a YouTube video denouncing Islam’s founding prophet.
“While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants,” Mr. Obama said in a statement released by the White House.
EDIT: There was a new statement literally as I was writing this. The president promised to “see that justice will be done.”
Talk is cheap, Mr. President. I know you believe that the attack was “outrageous,” that you “unequivocally oppose” it, and that you want “justice.” All thinking people do, so you aren’t really making some kind of courageous stand by saying it. The question is, will you let the mob win? THAT is where we will see the relative courage and foreign policy acumen of our president, not in platitudes that merely say part of what we are all thinking to a larger audience. What kind of idea are you, Mr. President?
The Telegraph spells out some of the pitfalls facing the U.S., but this is, essentially, an act of war. Maybe not by the government of Libya, but surely by some of its citizens. Now, I would not want to live under Ghengis Khan (for several reasons I will happily discuss if anyone really wants me to ramble on about medieval Mongolian history), but I also do not want to live in a country which violent radicals feel free to attack with impunity. I feel like there must be a happy medium somewhere in there where we can remind people that America is not to be trifled with, without wantonly slaughtering civilians.
I also don’t want my government suggesting that we have to appease the violent radicals. Yes, just because you have the right to speak, it does not mean you should necessarily speak every thought that occurs to you–it’s simple politeness, although you have every right to choose to not be polite. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to stop speaking, or supporting Coptic Christians, because of threats of violence from totalitarian mobs.
By the way, if you have the stomach for it, look at what Kos and its commenters have to say. These people are allergic to truth–and actual solutions. What should we do when someone kills our ambassador? No clue, but DON’T YOU DARE criticize the President’s non-response! RACIST!