JUST FOUND Video Of American Steven Sotloff Getting Beheaded By ISIS

By Theodore Shoebat and Walid Shoebat

Shoebat.com has just found the video of ISIS beheading American journalist Steven Sotloff.

ABC, while not having the video, said that the video “purportedly” showed the beheading. The rest of the mainstream media is saying the same thing. Well now we know for a fact that Steven Sotloff, like James Foley, was beheaded.

Some complained about showing the video, but this is naive and is irresponsible by the U.S. government and the media alike in which they for decades watered down the real threat that Americans face when they pussyfoot with Islam. Perhaps the only way to help people understand why we post the video is to explain the hard lesson that needs to be sent to people who only learn the hard way, especially the liberal type who are sympathetic to Islamic causes and think that a cobra is simply just another fish. Here is Sotlof’s naive and typical western lack of comprehension about Muslim fundamentalists which cost him his life:

As was the case with Foley, Sotloff appeared to be sympathetic to the causes of opposition groups in Libya and Syria (sounds familiar?) as well as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Unfortunately, these American journalists like most liberals are often times far too willing to befriend Muslim fundamentalists who will turn on them.

In the days after the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt was overthrown last year, Sotloff visited the site of the Brotherhood protests at the Raba’a al-Adawiyya mosque and wrote about the experience:

When I told my Egyptian friend Ahmad Kamal that I wanted to go to the Muslim Brotherhood protest camp in Nasser City, a pallid look gripped him. “Don’t go there!” he pleaded. “They are fanatics who hate foreigners. Americans like you are in danger there.”

After an hour of fruitless conversation over endless glasses of sweet tea, I rose, shook Ahmad’s hand, and headed straight to the lair where he believed I would be devoured.

But when I arrived at Nasser City, the picture Ahmad painted of long-bearded, club-wielding extremists bent on roughing up secular Egyptians was just as devoid of truth so much else in this divided country. Coups depicted as revolutions, peaceful protesters painted as fanatics, and disgruntled citizens hailed as revolutionaries have transformed Egypt into a circus where the main attraction is the uncertainty of heading into the unknown.

Was it “devoid of truth”? Its time for folks to listen up; this is Islamic fundamentalism which we warned you about for decades, and Soltof’s head is the result. Stop pussyfooting with cobras.

The full details surrounding Sotloff’s disappearance are not known but it happened about one month later in Syria and if he was willing to go to Raba’a al-Adawiyya in the days after Mursi was overthrown, there’s no telling what he was willing to do in Syria.

As Shoebat.com has reported, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood are now fighting each other, not because of a difference in ideology but more over turf and what each side envisions as the model and leadership of any Caliphate.

In hindsight, Sotloff would have done well to listen to Ahmad, the man who pleaded with him to stay away from Raba’a al-Adawiyya. These journalists who don’t understand the mindset of the likes of the FSA in Syria (as Foley apparently did not) also don’t understand the stealth mindset of Muslim Brotherhood figures like Gehad el-Haddad.

Gehad El-Haddad

Gehad El-Haddad

While at the mosque, Sotloff interacted with a former Clinton Foundation employee and Muslim Brotherhood leader Gehad el-Haddad, who was the Chief of Staff to Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Khairat el-Shater:

Drawing on his vast knowledge of Western liberalism, Haddad explained how the military’s coup contravened the pillars of democracy. “President Morsi was elected by the people at the ballot box,” he noted, scratching his perfectly trimmed beard. “Only there can his legitimacy and position be removed. Not in the streets with tanks and machine gun toting soldiers.”

Haddad’s sentiments were echoed by those in the crowd albeit less articulately and more fragmented. “The people voted for Morsi,” 45-year-old teacher Sa’id Rashwan told me. “Why have a few now decided he cannot rule?’

Such frustrations were the main theme of the Nasser City protests. But others expressed puzzlement with the very fundamentals of electoral politics. “Is this how democracy functions?” asked a 38-year-old carpenter, Salim Moussa. “When people get mad at your president does he have to resign?”

Despite their indignation, Morsi supporters were adamant they would not resort to violence. “We have made our commitment to elections and democracy,” Haddad explained. “We believe violence neither serves our cause nor that of the Egyptian people.”

At the time, one of Sotloff’s tweets directed followers to Haddad’s twitter feed in order to get the Muslim Brotherhood perspective about what was going on in Egypt:


Haddad’s last tweet was on September 12th of last year. He was jailed soon thereafter as Egypt came under the control of Gen. Abdel Fatah el-Sisi. As Shoebat.com has reported on extensively, Haddad was an employee of the Clintons (Bill and Hillary) for years.

In a bizarre type of macabre foreshadowing, Sotloff ended his article with a paragraph that would ultimately prove his friend Ahmad right:

Ahmad refuses to countenance that the Brotherhood and its supporters have legitimate grievances. Such stubbornness is blocking the path to reconciliation Egypt desperately needs to extricate itself from its security and economic woes. And until Egyptians like Ahmad extend an olive branch to those in Nasser City, Egypt will continue to be mired in a zone of uncertainty.

In the case of Foley, as Shoebat.com reported, despite his support for the Free Syrian Army (FSA), a group affiliated with the FSA reportedly turned Foley over to his ultimate killers as a goodwill gesture.

As for Sotloff, he demonstrated a willingness to put himself in a very bad spot and attempted to ingratiate himself with bad actors.

When those bad actors are Muslim fundamentalists, betrayal should always be in the calculus.


Andrew Sotloff was the Jewish grandson of holocaust survivors. Despite this, he befriended Muslim Brotherhood terrorists who are descendants of Hitler’s allies. Sotloff, who is the latest American to be beheaded by ISIS terrorists.

As a reporter, Sotloff appears to have gotten access to terrorists by taking their side and reporting favorably about their efforts. In one instance, Sotloff mourned a dead FSA terrorist, calling him a ‘friend’ in a tweet several months prior to being kidnapped in August of last year (h/t Got News):


Sotloff supported the Arab Spring and loved Islam according to the UK Daily Mail:

The Jewish journalist – who held joint American and Israeli citizenship – spoke fluent Arabic and had a showed a deep love for the Islamic world before he was captured by ISIS militants in Syria in 2013. He was executed by them on Tuesday…

…‘A million people could have told him what he was doing was foolish, it seemed like it to us outsiders looking in, but to him it was what he loved to do and you weren’t going to stop him,’ said his friend, Emerson Lotzia. ‘Steve said it was scary over there. It was dangerous. It wasn’t safe to be over there. He knew it. He kept going back.’

That account would seem to square with an article written by Sotloff from Cairo in the days after the removal of Mohammed Mursi from power. Incorporated into his article was an account of a conversation he had with a friend who warned him not to go to the mosque where Muslim Brotherhood supporters were protesting. Sotloff told of how his friend was wrong and that the Muslim Brotherhood has legitimate grievances, as Shoebat.com reported.


, , , , , , , ,

  • James_DAP

    These devils need to be wiped out.

  • CaKe

    The fake new boogeymen! Thanks CIA for the scare. Unfortunately I don’t buy your shit anymore.

  • Joe

    With all these beheadings going on we will soon be seeing you walid back on Fox News cnn etc bet they listen an believe now

    • shoebat

      I really do not desire to be on major news media. I hate being on the spot light and I am more of an introvert to be frank.

      • Proudvet56

        I have an important question. How can I contact you besides here? Thanks

  • muffin

    This is absolute ridiculously false bs we are supposed to believe!! Unreal is all I can say….

  • secretwarrior

    .. my heart is heavy for this attrocity.. I also wanted to send a letter to his mother right after hearing..about her letter pleading for his life..u do not plead with the devil u will only insight him to kill, I believe this is why it happened so soon, don’t u see he gets pleasure out of causing you more pain.. people need to wake up to the way the devil works… the reason all these liberals and the lost..and even some Christians don’t see it.. is they are lacking the understanding and truth.. :that the devil came to steal, kill and destroy.. he is the enemy of each of our soul, u each personally have to have ur life in order and your true salvation worked out..unless u are born again..u cannot see your enemy clearly or the narrow road to life. god have mercy

  • Mike Johnson

    Again, to me, this video appears to be staged. Just like the first video I see no fear in the face of the American. I also see no blood in the initial strokes of the knife against throat. Having seen beheading videos before, I can’t recall seeing any that don’t show the complete beheading of victim. I would not be surprised if these videos are nothing more than propaganda.

    • Joshuatree

      They really don’t show enough of the initial cuts to see blood, they barely show the actual beheading… The head certainly looks real!…Although I agree he was very relaxed, however Foley was stressed out, very apparent.

    • shoebat

      Its possible, but not certain.

    • margaret

      I agree. If it were me I’d put up one helluva fight, spew all sorts of garbage at them. I’d rather die screaming for Jesus or how Islam sucks….I keep wondering if they’re holding a knife to a baby or child where this man is looking, or if they told him they wouldn’t kill him if he cooperated…The stoic calm is just too suspicious right up to his lifting his knee when he allegedly starts… no scream, no fight.
      Photoshop can create anything. On the other hand, if they did kill him, I suspect they did so right after Foley. Too much effort to keep him.

    • Sherri

      I don’t think it’s fake if you look at other videos you are held captive devoid of emotions there’s no reason to fight scream and tell unless your in that situation you have no idea what your at peace with it would do say or act.

  • melissa smith

    If it’s real, these issi people, who I won’t call men, are cowards. They cut the necks of men, who are on their knees with their hands tied behind their backs. How is that a just or brave killing?

  • susan

    Why is this demonic piece of flesh still breathing?

  • susan

    Did you ask that young reporters family if he was alive?

  • mj trigga the uptown nigga

    because it really takes so long and it is really quit hard to cut of a head it takes a lot of twisting and breaking to get the head off it probably took them a could of minutes to do it and they loo like complete dumb asses

  • Tin

    Unfortunately, the only way this message will impact the American home land is when it arrives here on our soil, in our cities with our neighbors or families as the real victims. Until then, it’s all a Hollywood Production.. Fortunately, the gun hating Liberals will be the easy targets of crazy men with knives culling the heard thus preserving the limited supplies for the rest of us.

  • shoebat

    This is why I preserve complete judgment while I do not dismiss that the beheading did happen. Its confusing.

  • shoebat

    But you have not ignored it and thats what counts to me.

  • shoebat


  • HerediTerrorily Insane aka Puc


    • C20

      Before the US went into Iraq General Wesley Clark said years ago during the Bush years that the US planned to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Iran. Is the creation of ISIS part of this?

  • shoebat

    Always are glad to be of service. The goal is to disgust you. So lets see, if one says be careful dealing with people on drugs and someone says that Marijuana is not really a drug, we should only be careful of people who use heavy drugs. Would this be sound advise to your children? Or would you tell your children e careful of any drug use? For the love of humanity, stop being stupid. If you insist on being stupid, then take a trip to Iraq or Syria and interview ISIS.

  • shoebat

    When it comes to the Rapture, its not the timing that most should focus on, but that action of what is done and what happens. Do you know what you will do right after the Rapture?

  • geofly

    Muslims….the best thing to do is feed them to the pigs. You got to starve the pigs for a few days, shave the heads and pull the teeth out for the sake of the piggies’ digestion. You could do this afterwards, of course, but you don’t want to go sievin’ through pig sh!t, now do you?

  • Martha Elrod

    Why aren’t they fighting with their last breath? Sitting there, taking it? Something’s fishy here.

  • deed

    You would think nobody has seen a beheading video before…think again…we have seen many of them online, and they all look real except these.

    • tedlv

      Could it be you were spared the most horrible parts of the beheading?

    • tedlv

      Why am I being censored?

      • You’re not. Disqus is slow in processing heavy threads.

        • Woody

          Just saw your “follow;” couldn’t have asked for more–God Bless

  • shoebat

    Do you have a shovel handy? I need to load all this cash in my pickup truck.

  • shoebat

    Do you have a shovel handy? I need to pie all this cash on my pickup truck.

  • shoebat

    Of course its not my sons fault, but lets take your example and apply it to the reporter Sotlof, his friend Ahmad said that the Muslim Brotherhood are rabid dogs, but instead of staying away from the den of wolves, he walked in it and declared the rabid dog as a cuddly poodle.

  • shoebat

    Comparing Muslims with Christians is the works of liberal idiots. If you want t compare Christian Crusaders with Islamic Jihad, than I can arrange for a debate to have your brains set straight.

  • shoebat

    Why would I delete stupid comment? I always hunt for these first since they are a prize catch. Please keep it forthcoming.

  • shoebat

    “The Old Testament is a collection of folk stories from one of the most superstitious groups of nomads ever to inhabit the planet. It glorifies war, vengeance, hatred, misogyny (you can look that one up), and slavery. Jesus asked that we love our neighbors as ourselves, and that we love God.”

    Yet Jesus quoted the Old Testament. By your analogy, you are calling Jesus misogynist.

    Rule #1, when you call someone an “idiot” without making sense, you are simply suspecting that the other person is like you.

  • shoebat

    What do you want him to call then “gentle doves”? And then you call Rick the same? Do me a favor, get lost.

    • Good sir, this is why I avoid American ‘Christianity’ like the plague. They are truly lost. By the way, I have a shovel. I could use one scoop of those zillions. 😀

  • shoebat

    “Words are useless to such as these.”

    You got that right.

  • shoebat

    “hoebat is a smart guy, clever. He attracts the ignorant with hatred, anger and fear. He gets people emotionally riled up.”

    It seems to work, your sticking around.

    “I suggest you all leave,”

    Well, your still sticking around. Do you ever do what you preach?

    But I do prefer you stick around and vomit, and then eat your own vomit.

  • shoebat


    If your really serious in examining the Christians we save, and if we prove it, will you give up a month’s salary to donate to help them? If you are willing to take my challenge, come forth, or else, just keep your trap shut and stop your slander.

  • James Kaiser

    Are you serious?!?!? BAHAHAHAH! He sent arms to the the Iranian’s (which was illegal in the first place due to a trade embargo) in what he hoped would be an exchange for American hostages being held in Lebanon! Unbelievable!

  • C20

    Joan R may be 81 but Michele didn’t like what she said…. so another Breibert, Clancy, Larry, Grandma, Autopsy guy, and who else.

  • C20

    I know a minister who said he believes in Pan-Millennialism, that in other words, it will all pan out in the end. Seriously, each of us need to get ourselves right with God,memorize the Bible in case it is not available to read; spend time in prayer on our knees. Not to forget James “Faith without works is dead”. That is much more important than Millennial views.

  • tedlv


  • C20

    Get off the site! You have done no research on truth, life, what Jesus has given you. Go someplace where someone wants to listen to your babble.

  • shoebat

    Jimmy, its not tribulation yet, although it seems. Just focus on finishing the marathon.

    • The one thing people DON’T do. Pre-trib rubbish is the equivalent of the commercial, “Calgon, take me away!”

  • shoebat

    Brainwashing is good. The important thing is to focus on what you wash your brains with.

  • shoebat

    When all fails, accuse your opponent with racism. I say this is rather classic. I by no means ever said to put Muslims in prison or to treat them unfairly. Can you quote me on that? You can’t. I believe in equality only under two: the equality of opportunity and the equality under the law. A Muslim is entitled BOTH.

    As far as the Crusaders, while I condemn what certain Crusaders did, in general I support their plight, that is to stop Islamic invasions into Christian territory and the Muslim abuses against Christians. Here I took the effort to brainwash you with what a real historian (one of the best globally on the subject) on such history:

    As a Crusade historian, I found the tranquil solitude of the ivory tower shattered by journalists, editors, and talk-show hosts on tight deadlines eager to get the real scoop. What were the Crusades?, they asked. The Islamic world has a just grievance against the West. Doesn’t the present violence, they persisted, have its roots in the Crusades’ brutal and unprovoked attacks against a sophisticated and tolerant Muslim world? In other words, aren’t the Crusades really to blame?

    Osama bin Laden certainly thought so. In his various video performances, he never fails to describe the American war against terrorism as a new Crusade against Islam. Ex-president Bill Clinton has also fingered the Crusades as the root cause of the present conflict. In a speech at Georgetown University, he recounted (and embellished) a massacre of Jews after the Crusader conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 and informed his audience that the episode was still bitterly remembered in the Middle East. (Why Islamist terrorists should be upset about the killing of Jews was not explained.) Clinton took a beating on the nation’s editorial pages for wanting so much to blame the United States that he was willing to reach back to the Middle Ages. Yet no one disputed the ex-president’s fundamental premise.

    Well, almost no one. Many historians had been trying to set the record straight on the Crusades long before Clinton discovered them. They are not revisionists, like the American historians who manufactured the Enola Gay exhibit, but mainstream scholars offering the fruit of several decades of very careful, very serious scholarship. For them, this is a “teaching moment,” an opportunity to explain the Crusades while people are actually listening. It won’t last long, so here goes.

    The threat of Islam
    Misconceptions about the Crusades are all too common. The Crusades are generally portrayed as a series of holy wars against Islam led by power-mad popes and fought by religious fanatics. They are supposed to have been the epitome of self-righteousness and intolerance, a black stain on the history of the Catholic Church in particular and Western civilization in general. A breed of proto-imperialists, the Crusaders introduced Western aggression to the peaceful Middle East and then deformed the enlightened Muslim culture, leaving it in ruins. For variations on this theme, one need not look far. See, for example, Steven Runciman’s famous three-volume epic, History of the Crusades, or the BBC/A&E documentary, The Crusades, hosted by Terry Jones. Both are terrible history yet wonderfully entertaining.

    So what is the truth about the Crusades? Scholars are still working some of that out. But much can already be said with certainty. For starters, the Crusades to the East were in every way defensive wars. They were a direct response to Muslim aggression—an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands.

    Christians in the eleventh century were not paranoid fanatics. Muslims really were gunning for them. While Muslims can be peaceful, Islam was born in war and grew the same way. From the time of Mohammed, the means of Muslim expansion was always the sword. Muslim thought divides the world into two spheres, the Abode of Islam and the Abode of War. Christianity—and for that matter any other non-Muslim religion—has no abode. Christians and Jews can be tolerated within a Muslim state under Muslim rule. But, in traditional Islam, Christian and Jewish states must be destroyed and their lands conquered. When Mohammed was waging war against Mecca in the seventh century, Christianity was the dominant religion of power and wealth. As the faith of the Roman Empire, it spanned the entire Mediterranean, including the Middle East, where it was born. The Christian world, therefore, was a prime target for the earliest caliphs, and it would remain so for Muslim leaders for the next thousand years.

    With enormous energy, the warriors of Islam struck out against the Christians shortly after Mohammed’s death. They were extremely successful. Palestine, Syria, and Egypt—once the most heavily Christian areas in the world—quickly succumbed. By the eighth century, Muslim armies had conquered all of Christian North Africa and Spain. In the eleventh century, the Seljuk Turks conquered Asia Minor (modern Turkey), which had been Christian since the time of St. Paul. The old Roman Empire, known to modern historians as the Byzantine Empire, was reduced to little more than Greece. In desperation, the emperor in Constantinople sent word to the Christians of western Europe asking them to aid their brothers and sisters in the East.

    Understand the crusaders
    That is what gave birth to the Crusades. They were not the brainchild of an ambitious pope or rapacious knights but a response to more than four centuries of conquests in which Muslims had already captured two-thirds of the old Christian world. At some point, Christianity as a faith and a culture had to defend itself or be subsumed by Islam. The Crusades were that defense.

    Pope Urban II called upon the knights of Christendom to push back the conquests of Islam at the Council of Clermont in 1095. The response was tremendous. Many thousands of warriors took the vow of the cross and prepared for war. Why did they do it? The answer to that question has been badly misunderstood. In the wake of the Enlightenment, it was usually asserted that Crusaders were merely lacklands and ne’er-do-wells who took advantage of an opportunity to rob and pillage in a faraway land. The Crusaders’ expressed sentiments of piety, self-sacrifice, and love for God were obviously not to be taken seriously. They were only a front for darker designs.

    During the past two decades, computer-assisted charter studies have demolished that contrivance. Scholars have discovered that crusading knights were generally wealthy men with plenty of their own land in Europe. Nevertheless, they willingly gave up everything to undertake the holy mission. Crusading was not cheap. Even wealthy lords could easily impoverish themselves and their families by joining a Crusade. They did so not because they expected material wealth (which many of them had already) but because they hoped to store up treasure where rust and moth could not corrupt. They were keenly aware of their sinfulness and eager to undertake the hardships of the Crusade as a penitential act of charity and love. Europe is littered with thousands of medieval charters attesting to these sentiments, charters in which these men still speak to us today if we will listen. Of course, they were not opposed to capturing booty if it could be had. But the truth is that the Crusades were notoriously bad for plunder. A few people got rich, but the vast majority returned with nothing.

    What really happened?
    Urban II gave the Crusaders two goals, both of which would remain central to the eastern Crusades for centuries. The first was to rescue the Christians of the East. As his successor, Pope Innocent III, later wrote:

    How does a man love according to divine precept his neighbor as himself when, knowing that his Christian brothers in faith and in name are held by the perfidious Muslims in strict confinement and weighed down by the yoke of heaviest servitude, he does not devote himself to the task of freeing them? … Is it by chance that you do not know that many thousands of Christians are bound in slavery and imprisoned by the Muslims, tortured with innumerable torments?
    “Crusading,” Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith has rightly argued, was understood as an “an act of love”—in this case, the love of one’s neighbor. The Crusade was seen as an errand of mercy to right a terrible wrong. As Pope Innocent III wrote to the Knights Templar, “You carry out in deeds the words of the Gospel, ‘Greater love than this hath no man, that he lay down his life for his friends.’”

    The second goal was the liberation of Jerusalem and the other places made holy by the life of Christ. The word crusade is modern. Medieval Crusaders saw themselves as pilgrims, performing acts of righteousness on their way to the Holy Sepulcher. The Crusade indulgence they received was canonically related to the pilgrimage indulgence. This goal was frequently described in feudal terms. When calling the Fifth Crusade in 1215, Innocent III wrote:

    Consider most dear sons, consider carefully that if any temporal king was thrown out of his domain and perhaps captured, would he not, when he was restored to his pristine liberty and the time had come for dispensing justice look on his vassals as unfaithful and traitors … unless they had committed not only their property but also their persons to the task of freeing him? … And similarly will not Jesus Christ, the king of kings and lord of lords, whose servant you cannot deny being, who joined your soul to your body, who redeemed you with the Precious Blood … condemn you for the vice of ingratitude and the crime of infidelity if you neglect to help Him?
    The re-conquest of Jerusalem, therefore, was not colonialism but an act of restoration and an open declaration of one’s love of God. Medieval men knew, of course, that God had the power to restore Jerusalem Himself—indeed, he had the power to restore the whole world to his rule. Yet as St. Bernard of Clairvaux preached, His refusal to do so was a blessing to His people:

    Again I say, consider the Almighty’s goodness and pay heed to His plans of mercy. He puts Himself under obligation to you, or rather feigns to do so, that He can help you to satisfy your obligations toward Himself. … I call blessed the generation that can seize an opportunity of such rich indulgence as this.
    It is often assumed that the central goal of the Crusades was forced conversion of the Muslim world. Nothing could be further from the truth. From the perspective of medieval Christians, Muslims were the enemies of Christ and his Church. It was the Crusaders’ task to defeat and defend against them. That was all. Muslims who lived in Crusader-won territories were generally allowed to retain their property and livelihood, and always their religion. Indeed, throughout the history of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, Muslim inhabitants far outnumbered the Catholics. It was not until the 13th century that the Franciscans began conversion efforts among Muslims. But these were mostly unsuccessful and finally abandoned. In any case, such efforts were by peaceful persuasion, not the threat of violence.

    All apologies
    The Crusades were wars, so it would be a mistake to characterize them as nothing but piety and good intentions. Like all warfare, the violence was brutal (although not as brutal as modern wars). There were mishaps, blunders, and crimes. These are usually well-remembered today. During the early days of the First Crusade in 1095, a ragtag band of Crusaders led by Count Emicho of Leiningen made its way down the Rhine, robbing and murdering all the Jews they could find. Without success, the local bishops attempted to stop the carnage. In the eyes of these warriors, the Jews, like the Muslims, were the enemies of Christ. Plundering and killing them, then, was no vice. Indeed, they believed it was a righteous deed, since the Jews’ money could be used to fund the Crusade to Jerusalem. But they were wrong, and the Church strongly condemned the anti-Jewish attacks.

    Fifty years later, when the Second Crusade was gearing up, St. Bernard frequently preached that the Jews were not to be persecuted:

    Ask anyone who knows the Sacred Scriptures what he finds foretold of the Jews in the Psalm. “Not for their destruction do I pray,” it says. The Jews are for us the living words of Scripture, for they remind us always of what our Lord suffered … Under Christian princes they endure a hard captivity, but “they only wait for the time of their deliverance.”
    Nevertheless, a fellow Cistercian monk named Radulf stirred up people against the Rhineland Jews, despite numerous letters from Bernard demanding that he stop. At last Bernard was forced to travel to Germany himself, where he caught up with Radulf, sent him back to his convent, and ended the massacres.

    It is often said that the roots of the Holocaust can be seen in these medieval pogroms. That may be. But if so, those roots are far deeper and more widespread than the Crusades. Jews perished during the Crusades, but the purpose of the Crusades was not to kill Jews. Quite the contrary: Popes, bishops, and preachers made it clear that the Jews of Europe were to be left unmolested. In a modern war, we call tragic deaths like these “collateral damage.” Even with smart technologies, the United States has killed far more innocents in our wars than the Crusaders ever could. But no one would seriously argue that the purpose of American wars is to kill women and children.

    The failure of the Crusades
    By any reckoning, the First Crusade was a long shot. There was no leader, no chain of command, no supply lines, no detailed strategy. It was simply thousands of warriors marching deep into enemy territory, committed to a common cause. Many of them died, either in battle or through disease or starvation. It was a rough campaign, one that seemed always on the brink of disaster. Yet it was miraculously successful. By 1098, the Crusaders had restored Nicaea and Antioch to Christian rule. In July 1099, they conquered Jerusalem and began to build a Christian state in Palestine. The joy in Europe was unbridled. It seemed that the tide of history, which had lifted the Muslims to such heights, was now turning.

    But it was not. When we think about the Middle Ages, it is easy to view Europe in light of what it became rather than what it was. The colossus of the medieval world was Islam, not Christendom. The Crusades are interesting largely because they were an attempt to counter that trend. But in five centuries of crusading, it was only the First Crusade that significantly rolled back the military progress of Islam. It was downhill from there.

    When the Crusader County of Edessa fell to the Turks and Kurds in 1144, there was an enormous groundswell of support for a new Crusade in Europe. It was led by two kings, Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, and preached by St. Bernard himself. It failed miserably. Most of the Crusaders were killed along the way. Those who made it to Jerusalem only made things worse by attacking Muslim Damascus, which formerly had been a strong ally of the Christians. In the wake of such a disaster, Christians across Europe were forced to accept not only the continued growth of Muslim power but the certainty that God was punishing the West for its sins. Lay piety movements sprouted up throughout Europe, all rooted in the desire to purify Christian society so that it might be worthy of victory in the East.

    Crusading in the late twelfth century, therefore, became a total war effort. Every person, no matter how weak or poor, was called to help. Warriors were asked to sacrifice their wealth and, if need be, their lives for the defense of the Christian East. On the home front, all Christians were called to support the Crusades through prayer, fasting, and alms. Yet still the Muslims grew in strength. Saladin, the great unifier, had forged the Muslim Near East into a single entity, all the while preaching jihad against the Christians. In 1187 at the Battle of Hattin, his forces wiped out the combined armies of the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem and captured the precious relic of the True Cross. Defenseless, the Christian cities began surrendering one by one, culminating in the surrender of Jerusalem on October 2. Only a tiny handful of ports held out.

    The response was the Third Crusade. It was led by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa of the German Empire, King Philip II Augustus of France, and King Richard I Lionheart of England. By any measure it was a grand affair, although not quite as grand as the Christians had hoped. The aged Frederick drowned while crossing a river on horseback, so his army returned home before reaching the Holy Land. Philip and Richard came by boat, but their incessant bickering only added to an already divisive situation on the ground in Palestine. After recapturing Acre, the king of France went home, where he busied himself carving up Richard’s French holdings. The Crusade, therefore, fell into Richard’s lap. A skilled warrior, gifted leader, and superb tactician, Richard led the Christian forces to victory after victory, eventually reconquering the entire coast. But Jerusalem was not on the coast, and after two abortive attempts to secure supply lines to the Holy City, Richard at last gave up. Promising to return one day, he struck a truce with Saladin that ensured peace in the region and free access to Jerusalem for unarmed pilgrims. But it was a bitter pill to swallow. The desire to restore Jerusalem to Christian rule and regain the True Cross remained intense throughout Europe.

    The Crusades of the 13th century were larger, better funded, and better organized. But they too failed. The Fourth Crusade (1201-1204) ran aground when it was seduced into a web of Byzantine politics, which the Westerners never fully understood. They had made a detour to Constantinople to support an imperial claimant who promised great rewards and support for the Holy Land. Yet once he was on the throne of the Caesars, their benefactor found that he could not pay what he had promised. Thus betrayed by their Greek friends, in 1204 the Crusaders attacked, captured, and brutally sacked Constantinople, the greatest Christian city in the world. Pope Innocent III, who had previously excommunicated the entire Crusade, strongly denounced the Crusaders. But there was little else he could do. The tragic events of 1204 closed an iron door between Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox, a door that even today Pope John Paul II has been unable to reopen. It is a terrible irony that the Crusades, which were a direct result of the Catholic desire to rescue the Orthodox people, drove the two further—and perhaps irrevocably—apart.

    The remainder of the 13th century’s Crusades did little better. The Fifth Crusade (1217-1221) managed briefly to capture Damietta in Egypt, but the Muslims eventually defeated the army and reoccupied the city. St. Louis IX of France led two Crusades in his life. The first also captured Damietta, but Louis was quickly outwitted by the Egyptians and forced to abandon the city. Although Louis was in the Holy Land for several years, spending freely on defensive works, he never achieved his fondest wish: to free Jerusalem. He was a much older man in 1270 when he led another Crusade to Tunis, where he died of a disease that ravaged the camp. After St. Louis’s death, the ruthless Muslim leaders, Baybars and Kalavun, waged a brutal jihad against the Christians in Palestine. By 1291, the Muslim forces had succeeded in killing or ejecting the last of the Crusaders, thus erasing the Crusader kingdom from the map. Despite numerous attempts and many more plans, Christian forces were never again able to gain a foothold in the region until the 19th century.

    Europe’s fight for its life
    One might think that three centuries of Christian defeats would have soured Europeans on the idea of Crusade. Not at all. In one sense, they had little alternative. Muslim kingdoms were becoming more, not less, powerful in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. The Ottoman Turks conquered not only their fellow Muslims, thus further unifying Islam, but also continued to press westward, capturing Constantinople and plunging deep into Europe itself. By the 15th century, the Crusades were no longer errands of mercy for a distant people but desperate attempts of one of the last remnants of Christendom to survive. Europeans began to ponder the real possibility that Islam would finally achieve its aim of conquering the entire Christian world. One of the great best-sellers of the time, Sebastian Brant’s The Ship of Fools, gave voice to this sentiment in a chapter titled “Of the Decline of the Faith”:

    Our faith was strong in th’ Orient,
    It ruled in all of Asia,
    In Moorish lands and Africa.
    But now for us these lands are gone
    ‘Twould even grieve the hardest stone …
    Four sisters of our Church you find,
    They’re of the patriarchic kind:
    Constantinople, Alexandria,
    Jerusalem, Antiochia.
    But they’ve been forfeited and sacked
    And soon the head will be attacked.
    Of course, that is not what happened. But it very nearly did. In 1480, Sultan Mehmed II captured Otranto as a beachhead for his invasion of Italy. Rome was evacuated. Yet the sultan died shortly thereafter, and his plan died with him. In 1529, Suleiman the Magnificent laid siege to Vienna. If not for a run of freak rainstorms that delayed his progress and forced him to leave behind much of his artillery, it is virtually certain that the Turks would have taken the city. Germany, then, would have been at their mercy.

    Yet, even while these close shaves were taking place, something else was brewing in Europe—something unprecedented in human history. The Renaissance, born from a strange mixture of Roman values, medieval piety, and a unique respect for commerce and entrepreneurialism, had led to other movements like humanism, the Scientific Revolution, and the Age of Exploration. Even while fighting for its life, Europe was preparing to expand on a global scale. The Protestant Reformation, which rejected the papacy and the doctrine of indulgence, made Crusades unthinkable for many Europeans, thus leaving the fighting to the Catholics. In 1571, a Holy League, which was itself a Crusade, defeated the Ottoman fleet at Lepanto. Yet military victories like that remained rare. The Muslim threat was neutralized economically. As Europe grew in wealth and power, the once awesome and sophisticated Turks began to seem backward and pathetic—no longer worth a Crusade. The “Sick Man of Europe” limped along until the 20th century, when he finally expired, leaving behind the present mess of the modern Middle East.

    From the safe distance of many centuries, it is easy enough to scowl in disgust at the Crusades. Religion, after all, is nothing to fight wars over. But we should be mindful that our medieval ancestors would have been equally disgusted by our infinitely more destructive wars fought in the name of political ideologies. And yet, both the medieval and the modern soldier fight ultimately for their own world and all that makes it up. Both are willing to suffer enormous sacrifice, provided that it is in the service of something they hold dear, something greater than themselves. Whether we admire the Crusaders or not, it is a fact that the world we know today would not exist without their efforts. The ancient faith of Christianity, with its respect for women and antipathy toward slavery, not only survived but flourished. Without the Crusades, it might well have followed Zoroastrianism, another of Islam’s rivals, into extinction.

    Thomas F. Madden, is one of the top historians on medieval history and also on the Spanish Inquisition. He is an associate professor and chair of the Department of History at Saint Louis University. He is the author of numerous works, including The New Concise History of the Crusades, and co-author, with Donald Queller, of The Fourth Crusade: The Conquest of Constantinople.

    • A grown-up response to infantile questions. Unfortunately, this stuff goes over the head of the brain-dead.

  • Willard Boggs

    First take your religion out and become a scientist or an atheist for sometime & do research. I have researched on my own & this is the truth: watch & learn Why We Are Afraid, A 1400 Year Secret, by Dr Bill Warner: http://youtu.be/t_Qpy0mXg8Y via @YouTube

  • Willard Boggs

    Lets all learn the truth Watch & learn for what he says is the truth Why We Are Afraid, A 1400 Year Secret, by Dr Bill Warner: http://youtu.be/t_Qpy0mXg8Y via @YouTube

  • Look East. It’s always been there, and we’ve always battled.

  • shoebat

    Thank you C20

  • Bart

    Cool. Any other head chopping videos?

  • Sabrina Coleto

    why don’t you wake up stupid cunt

  • IRGC Soldier

    Thanks I appreciate you but God never answered this question why I should pay the punishment of someone else and drag me here.

  • IRGC Soldier

    If you kill for something that will take you to heaven (oneway ticket to heaven) you will behead your enemies for that price