Trust me, alliteration wasn’t intended. Sue me.
Jerusalem isn’t a notable place. Up close, it’s a nothing city. For a very long time though, Jerusalem was (and still is) an important symbol to a group of people following the teachings of Christ.
Christians once put the sword to the heathens, those who stood in their way of returning to Jerusalem, the birthplace of Christianity.
The Crusades were a group of Church-sanctioned wars spanning over several centuries (eventually leading Europe into the Dark Ages) to reclaim this holy place of Jerusalem.
With God’s blessing, they (The Christians) went back and forth between Rome and Jerusalem to conquer the heathen scrurge and take back what they believed was theirs to take back, as well as anything else they felt they could claim – gold, silver, gems, art, women, etc.
They were successful at reaching their objective several times. Oh yes, it was won and lost. The Crusade’s achievements were matched only by its failures: Heathens reclaiming their town and improving the fortifications in the surrounding areas in preparation for the next invasion.
Let’s face it. The town was worth little to the invaders. Once the local authorities were sacked, Jerusalem offered nothing of real value. Sure, a psychological blow carried good but temporary weight, so too did the acquiring of what the Church said was the spiritual hub of Christianity but there was no money in Christ’s death town once their job was done.
It was the war they needed, not the town. The Church got extremely wealthy from the war, not reaching any objective.
That’s why it had to be done several times over.
And now I find myself listening to Chris DeBurgh’s ‘Fall of Jeruselam‘ and hear history repeating itself in every lyric… and in today’s news.
Mankind loves a war. We do war well. All we need is an excuse and the support of others who share similar beliefs to start crossing our neigbours borders and creating mischief in another’s backyard. It becomes a ‘right’ to take and murder once an omnipitent being is said to approve of it.
And here we are. Borders are being crossed and the mischief has set in. The Jeruselam Factor is at play and we’re now headed the same way – the way we’ve always done good wars.
But there is something we should learn from the past.
Like the Crusades, any objective proclaimed to justify a war will lead to nowhere-city. There’ll be more satisfaction produced during the war’s journey than its end-destination.
I doubt anyone will take notice because the dreams of a perfect conquest promises much more than what comes after one. Placing a flag in a foreigner’s soil is nice but it’s short-lived. It marks the ending of plundering, acquistions and increasing wealth. It marks the beginning of reality – that wars are more exciting than finishing them.