Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Ghenghis Khan - The most misunderstood man in history.

by johnofgwent

OK then. Hands up anyone who hasn't said it. You know what I mean. "So and So's politics are slightly to the right of Ghenghis Khan". Ah I see a hand up there at the back .... LIAR !!! But the point is of course, the whole world knows the chap was a ruthless warrior, demented executioner, devourer of babies, and overall thoroughly nasty man.

Or was he. You see, I was looking through the net for a rebuttal / put down for one of the more rabid lefty's on ukdebate yesterday, and I thought wouldnlt it be wonderful to dig up some PDF of some academic treatise that showed the master of conquest to be a chap who held democratic elections and introduced welfare benefits for the disabled warriors and their grannies .....

Well, I have not found that yet but if you have I really want to hear from you.

But I did trip over a report in the Los Angeles Times authored three years ago after Saddam Hussein (now there's a chap who knew a thing or two about ruthless military dictatorships and how to run them) likened George Bush's invasion to that of the great Mongol Horde that overran the land irag now stands on about eight hundred years earlier. And it makes fascinating reading ....

First up was the size of the "Mongol Horde"
In the 13th century, Temujin — better known by his title, Genghis Khan ("world leader") — headed a tribal nation smaller than the workforce of Wal-Mart, yet he conquered and ruled more people than anyone in history
It sort of puts it into prespective, that (!) But hang on, it gets better.
So that every warrior knew his place within the struggle, Genghis Khan began each campaign with meetings to communicate to his approximately 100,000 soldiers where and why they would fight. The legal justification for the Mongol invasion of Iraq derived from the reluctance of the caliph of Baghdad to control the Shiite Cult of the Assassins, whom the Mongols accused of attempting to kill their khan.
Incredible, isn't it. Every man fighting for the horde was met and told what they were fighting over and why. Every one of them could say they fought because their leader told them to their face that the men they were going to kill and die trying to kill were led by a man who had vowed to see Khan's head on a pole in the desert., his kingdom in ruin, their mothers sold into slavery.

Let's compare that with today shall we. Find me one man in our entire force out there putting their life on the line in the heat and the dust, who was met before the combat began and told why. Yes I'm sure Tony Blair met the head of The Army for a cosy chat, but you try finding me one bloke marching through our streets in a homecoming parade who was given the respect that Khan gave to those who were to die for him.

On the other hand, in those days a leader went to war with his troops, saw and felt it all, and therefore felt more urgently and more pressingly the need to know the hearts and minds of his own forces. Maybe if Brown was out there being shot at .....

But it gets even better.
The Mongols executed the caliph and his sons on charges that they spent too much money on their palaces and not enough defending their nation.
I look at the way Westminster MP's have behaved over their second home expense claims and I confess ... I like this man Ghenghis Khan

And better still.

They killed most members of the court and administration. The Mongols took no prisoners and allowed no torture, but they executed swiftly and efficiently, including the soldiers of the defeated army who, they believed, would be a constant source of future problems if allowed to live. The first several months of a Mongol invasion were bloody, but once the takeover ended, the bloodshed ended.

Just as the Mongols perfected the list of who to kill in a conquered land, they knew whom to reward and how to do it. In Baghdad, Hulegu installed a government under Ata Malik Juvaini, a devout Persian Muslim, who governed for most of the next 20 years and whose writings survive as some of the great scholarly works of the Muslim world.

The Mongols spared anyone with a craft, such as carpentry, writing, pottery, weaving or metal working. They fiercely enforced religious freedom, which created an essentially secular state. In Baghdad, they gave many of the caliph's palaces to Mongol allies for more practical uses. They lowered taxes for merchants and eliminated them for religious, medical and educational professionals. They educated women along with men.

For all subjects, they instituted harsh laws enforced equally under nearly incorruptible officials.
I wish the LA Times had cited references in this article. Because I have to say that the more I read, the more I like the chap.

But then I'm a craftsman with no military service and a hankering towards the medical profession, so I get a tax free life under a ruler who treats all equally in an uncorruptible administration. Sounds like Nirvana to me.

All Hail The Mighty Khan!