A Saint’s Life

A Saint’s Life

Vladimir the Great, Prince of Kiev

Vladimir Svyatoslavich, Prince of Kiev


The family had grown in importance. It seemed like yesterday that Roric of Jutland had come down the Volga with his band of Rus with the sole purpose —instinctive capitalist that he was—of controlling the Silk Route that run through there from Asia to the north of Europe.

By the time his grandson, Svyatoslav, made his debut into the world, the Rus controlled most f the lands of the Slavs, and had settled in their ever more important base of Novgorod. The control extended especially to the Slavic women, the Rus’ favorite pastime.

Svyatoslav was the son of Igor and Olga, who upon receiving the holy oils took the name of Helena and who, at the death of her husband was left the burden of their irksome children, reason enough to have passed into history as St. Helena.

Olga of Kiev, the saint who buried people alive

One fine day Olga went to Constantinople to pay a visit to Emperor Constantine VII, Basileus of Byzantium. With the growing fortunes of the Rus, it was time to butter the bread of the Great Kahuna. But Constantine didn’t give a damn if these barbarians had made a dime or two, and did not receive her. Instead, he sent a minister of low rank, leaving Olga fuming at the snub. The effeminate Greek had made an enemy.

To make matters worse, at her return to Novgorod she found that Svyatoslav, free from the controlling glance of his mother, had been fooling around with the housemaid, Malusha, all the more evident considering the notable increase in Malusha’s waist.

Every attempt to convince the recently converted Olga that divine intervention by the Holy Spirit had a hand in the miraculous conception was for naught. And Malusha was sent packing, rather hurriedly, to the house of her brother, Dobrynia some 500 miles away.

Olga’s calm and collected admonitions to Svyatoslav must have been heard, for he never again admitted responsibility nor recognized any of his numerous bastards, nor did he ever again brought the objects of his desire home.

In due time, Malusha gave birth to a cute baby boy, Vladimir. Not even Olga would disown the recognized Prince of Novgorod, so Malusha and her offspring were allowed to return and join Svyatoslav and his new wife, by now in her 7th month, awaiting the arrival of the second son and first heir to the throne, Yaropolk.

And people ask where do the Russians come up with stories like the Brothers Karamazov!

To further complete this lovely picture of a Christian home, cousin Astrid arrived with her son Olaf, escaping a little dustoff in which her husband, Trygvar, had managed to lose his head and his kingdom at the same time.

As the children grew up to manhood, Svyatoslav gave Yaropolk the kingdom of Kiev, and the bastard Vladimir got the consolation prize of Novgorod, displaying an absolute lack of geopolitical sense, or of the character of his offspring.

Olaf, of course, didn’t get anything.

The first thing Yaropolk did as King was to depose Vladimir and send him packing. Which he did, in company of cousin Olaf, and the two of them spent a few years doing tourism, splitting heads and spreading bastards from the Volga to the Danube and from the Dardanelles to Sicily.

Having thus acquired some experience in the art of negotiation by head-butt, they returned to Novgorod. It appears Vladimir was itching to negotiate with Yaropolk.

And that he did. Soon after arriving, he shoved a few choice arguments down his half-brother’s throat and took the now widowed wife of Yaropolk as his concubine, adopting their child, who seemed to be a good boy.

Back in Novgorod, and with Kiev also in his pocket, Vlad started looking around for ways to expand his dominions. He was never satisfied.

He found the way in the form of Rogneda, darling daugter of the Count of Polotsk who, in spite of her name, was one good looking lass.

Rogneda of Polotsk

Vladimir sent emissaries to Polotsk to request Rogneda’s hand in marriage. Uncle Dobrynia, Malusha’s forgotten brother led the team. When Dobrynia relayed the request to the Count, he laughed to the point of needing an oxygen tent. Alas, those were not yet available.

—  Rogneda, boys, come over here! He called his household to witness the event. Look! HAHAHAHA! What an interesting Bwahahaha proposal these folks bring us! Awhahahaha!!!!!!

Come here, Dobrynia, please share the proposal with us.

—    Sire, my nephew Vladimir, the Great Count of Novgorod and Prince of Kiev requests the hand of your daughter Rogneda in marriage.

—    Hiiiiiiii…..the hand of…..haaaa. Rogneda, darling, what do you think about marrying the “Prince” –he said while trying to catch his breath.

—    The heck if anybody thinks I am going to clean the boots of a housemaid bastard! –said Rogneda who was very class conscious and had never read Gorky.

—    You see—the count said to Dobrynia—if the girl doesn’t want to….hehehe.

—    I’d respectfully suggest you reconsider—said Dobrynia—Vladimir is not the understanding kind. A little bugsy, even.

—     Bugsy?—piped in Rogneda’s brother—The way he carries on crabs and fleas are the least of his problems!

The Count of Polotsk, obviously, did not know about Vladimir’s temperament. Dobrynia was right. So was Rogneda’s brother. And when the bugsy prince got the reply, his reaction didn’t take long.

—What the crap! Nobody talks that way about my mamuschka!—he exclaimed—and off to Polotsk went the Rus, looking for trouble.

After a single day of sword swinging, skull cracking and other forms of effective communication, Vladimir made it to the Count’s palace, where he found him in the company of Rogneda and her brothers. But this time nobody was laughing.

Then Dobrynia, who besides being the uncle was Vladimir’s Chief Brownose, said:

—Hey, Vlad, that one there is the one who said she’s not going to clean the boots of a housemaid’s bastard. Why don’t you make her now the whore of a housemaid’s bastard?

Vladimir, never one to recuse such an invitation, after all the Chronicles of the Rus describe him as a fornicatur inmensus et cruelis, right there proceeded to oblige his uncle while his minions held the count and his entourage forcing them to witness the event.

Immediately after, the Count of Polotsk and his family lost their heads. Well, they didn’t actually lose them, they were taken away by the Rus. All, of course, except for Rogneda’s.

It seems Rogneda had some qualities, for soon after Vladimir married her.

And it seems fornicator inmensus did, too, for this time she voiced no opposition.

In the year of our Lord 978, curiously 9 months after the fall of Polotsk, young Izyaslav (St. Isaac) was born. Just at about the same time as his half-brother Yaroslav. Vladimir wasted no time in the making of heirs.

A few years passed in domestic bliss in the house of Vladimir, Rogneda, their children and the mothers of some of them until, finally, Vlad decided it was time again to expand his dominions. This time, by marrying the Basilissa Anna Porphyrogenita, daughter of Romanus II Porphyrogenitus, Emperor of the East, and sister of Basileus II and Constantine VIII. These Greeks loved numbers in their names.

Basil (Basileus) II, Emperor of the East

But it was not to be easy. Basileus Basilius wasn’t a lowly Count, and he couldn’t be simply coaxed. Or perhaps he was. Sorrounded by Greeks, Bulgarians and a few thousand extras, he asked for Vladimir’s assistance in the form of 6,000 soldiers he needed urgently.

Vladimir and Dobrynia came up with a plan. Dobrynia then went to Constantinople and relayed the following message: Moral support, all you want. But troops, any number of troops, Vladimir can only spare for a member of the family. Now, if he were to marry the Basilissa…

—WTF!—exclaimed the Basileus Basilius, turning into a basilisk at the notion of that barbarian vacillating with the Basilissa.—Go tell that son of a whore he can stick his troops up his…

—Just a moment, brother!—interrupted the Basileus Constantine, who knew of Vladimir’s reputation and did not want to mess with him—I think we can find a solution.

—Solution my foot, replied the Basileus Basilius. If Anna finds out we’ve been keeping her pure this many years to deliver her to fornicatur inmensus

—That’s it!— said Constantine, not a bad…

Et cruelis, you moron! If Anna does find out she’ll make eunuchs of us. The nervousness in Basileus’ voice meant he was quite serious about the possible ramifications.

—Not so fast, replied Constantine, you need to get out more. Tell the palooka that we have no problem…provided he converts to Christianity, and let him be happy we are not Jews, at least he gets to keep his foreskin intact.

—I see, said Basileus, if he does not convert, we are off the hook. If he does, his own people will stew him…

—Yep, and they can send us a doggie bag.—Finished Constantine.

—Visir! — called Basileus — tell that idiot messenger to come back.

And so they sent their reply to Vladimir.

Kac? Khto eta? Said Vladimir, who spoke Russian. Is the Basileus vacillating with me? You mean if they put a little water on my forehead they deliver their sister? Tell them to send the priest and let us not waste time.

—Wait! What if the boys don’t like it? — asked Dobrynia, his worry showing in his voice. —They kind of like Thor, the forest fairies, Odin…nobody rams guilt down their throats…

—Whoever does not like it can come and see me. I’ll show them who’s boss and why they call me fornicatur inmensus.

Et cruelis, added another brown nose that happened to walk by and overheard the conversation.

Et cruelissimus, added Vladimir, never to be outdone. Every single one of you schmucks gets baptized, and I don’t want to hear a single Nyet!

Yet, Vladimir was not able to relax. —What if these effeminate morons make me baptize and then whistle Dixie? The chroniclers will change my name to Moronius Inconmensurabilis, and I won’t be able to scare a Greek maiden!

So he finally set off to Constantinople with the 6,000 soldiers the Basileus requested…and 6,000 more in case he vacillated.

Indeed, the Basileus tried to get off the agreement by every means possible. Was the water really holy water? Was the priest sanctioned by the Patriarch or was he one of those Romish fools that we don’t care for? How about we get the soldiers now and argue the point later?

And they had good reason to play around. Anna was making the palace rounds, sharp knife in hand, making gestures that left no doubt as to her intentions if her brothers didn’t stand up for her virtue.

Finally, Vladimir had enough. And with the backing of 12,000 Rus that hadn’t even had a personal visit in months, he camped in front of the gates of Constantinople, after duly kicking the bejesus out of Bulgars and Greeks so that no distractions remained.

“I am going to have the Basilissa’s heinie nice and calmly. Or all three of yours my way,” said the note he sent to the palace.

—OK, the Basilissa’s nice and calmly, said Basileus Basilius, no longer vacillating.

—That’s it, brother — said Constantine, covering his parts as he glanced at the approaching Basilissa.

—What? Said the Basilissa, you value mine less than yours? As she continued to sharpen the knife.

The brothers looked to each other, exclaiming simultaneously: You bet! And, dear Anna, yours is lost one way or the other. Think of mama, think of papa, the purple, the Empire!

—Ok, said the Basilissa. I’m sold. Tell the Barbarian I’ll marry him.

—Great! — Exclaimed the Basileus Basilius, who could not hide his relief.

—Wonderful, we have a wedding! — echoed Constantine, still holding his crutch, just in case. — And what made you change your mind sister?

Inmensus, of course—said the Basilissa as she left the room.

And thus, in 989 A.D., Vladimir married Anna at the very gates of the besieged city and was baptized, converting the Rus because he could. At the ceremony he took the name George, or perhaps the Patriarch just gave it to him, unable to escape the image of the warrior, sword in hand, receiving the oils.

Anna Porphyrogenita

Over time, Vladimir became Basileus, reigning over a vas Empire and thousands of his own bastards.

As soon as he keeled over, efforts began to make him a Saint. Sure, he’d been a Barbarian, but after his conversion he behaved rather well, was the position of the Patriarch of the Orient. Forty bastards? Nah, that’s just gossip. In any case, I can’t believe it was that many… Ok, yes, he sired them, but at least he brought Christianity to the Rus!

But every time, his sanctification failed at the last minute. Look away all you want, they could pave over his “sins” but there was no way to even invent him a miracle. And Saints must have miracles. So there.

Several generations later,  on 15 July 1240, Tzar Alexandr, a descendant of Vladimir, was camped on the shores of the River Neva facing an enemy several times smaller and weaker than his army, the last obstacle to a unified Russia.

—What do we do Boss? Asked his Field Marshall, who was always asking questions just to show he wasn’t brain dead.

—Well, we are gonna have us some fun, replied Alexandr.

—Do I give the attack command, then?

—No. Not yet. Call me a few witnesses. I have to do something first.

The witnesses assembled, Alexandr, struggling to keep a straight face, exclaimed: “Vladimir Svyatoslavich, Little Father! Help us win this battle for the greatness of Russia and the Glory of God!”

In a matter of minutes, Alexandr crossed the Neva and decimated the enemy. Some of the usual sycophants swore to have seen Vladimir leading Alexandr’s charges during the battle.

What can I say, give a Russian soldier a bottle of vodka and he’ll see three Suns, four Moons and a corpse leading a charge.

“You welcome, Little Father.” Is all that Alexandr said after the battle, while winking an eye to the sky.

From that day on, Alexandr became Alexandr Nevsky, and was duly sainted; and Vladimir, son of Svyatoslav and the maid, fornicatur inmensus et cruelis, became St. Vladimir (St. George), a cross replacing his sword in the icons of the Eastern Church to this day.

Nobody knows why, when they take his icons in procession, thousands of women flock to his image to touch him and ask him for who knows what. It may have something to do with swords and fertility, but what do I know.

St. Vladimir


Vladimir Svyatoslavich was the author’s 37th great-grandfather through his daughter with Anna Porphyrogenita, Dobronegra Mariya Vladivorovna v’Kieva and Kaszimierz Odnowieciel “the Restorer,” Duke of Poland.

Tell King Charles We’ll Pay No Taxes

Tell King George, Charles We’ll Pay No Taxes!


Rally, Mohawks! Bring your axes,

And tell King George we’ll pay no taxes!

A few years ago, as I was driving through Ipswich, Massachusetts, I saw one of those historical markers that so abound in the northeast and, having an interest in the town, I naturally stopped to read it.  Placed a few years ago near the Choate Bridge, the sign read:

“23 August 1689. Citizens of Ipswich led by Rev. John Wise denounced the levy of taxes by the arbitrary government of Sir Edmund Andros and from their protest sprung the American Revolution of 1689.”

The sign appeared to explain the town’s advertising billing itself as “The birthplace of the American Revolution,” but surely there was a mistake. For, as we all know, no event of particular importance took place in Ipswich during the Revolutionary War.

Lexington has a firm claim on the first shot fired in the Revolution, thanks to H. W. Longfellow; and Salem may well have a claim to first blood. Boston has the committees of correspondence, John Hancock, the Adamses, the tea party, and a score of events leading to and through the revolution. And so does Philadelphia, Trenton, Yorktown, New York, Brooklyn, Valley Forge, and a list of places long enough to fill a good-sized book. But, Ipswich?  What could Ipswich possibly claim in connection to the revolution other than the participation of her militiamen from the march of 19 April 1775 onwards?

Then, as I was pondering the place names and events, the date struck me. The American Revolution, we all know, has sufficient precedents going back to the French and Indian War: the protests over the Stamp Act; Benjamin Franklin passing the contents of Governor Hutchinson’s letters to Sam Adams and he, doing what he did best, publishing them and raising a raucous over their content; Joyce Jr. escapades, etc. However, the sign was pretty clear. There could be no mistake. Twice it mentions 1689 as the date of occurrence of an “American Revolution.” That was the time of Governor Andros, not Hutchinson; the time just a few years before the Salem witch trials, long before most of our revolutionary patriots were even born; and yet, it sounded eerily familiar. The issue at hand, just as it would be eighty years later, was taxes levied without consent of the taxed.

I was soon to learn that, indeed, the events in Ipswich played an important part in a continuous struggle over the attainment and preservation of the same liberties that Jefferson so aptly described in the Declaration of Independence.  And that this struggle started in East Anglia in the late 16th Century and led, inexorably, to American independence.


The Immigrants

Every schoolboy in the country knows that our ancestors left England in fear of persecution and came to America in search of religious freedom.  While that may have been true for some isolated individuals, I dare say that every schoolboy in America is wrong.

While earlier settlements, starting in the first years of the 17th Century had been going on, particularly in Virginia and what is now North Carolina, it is the arrival of the Pilgrims and the Puritans that is more often associated with the settling of America. Never mind that, by 1620, the Pilgrims were coming to an existing colony on the Chesapeake Bay (or, perhaps, New York), and only due to a storm, some poor navigation and an impending lack of beer did they land on Plymouth Bay. Never mind that their reason for leaving Leyden had nothing to do with any search for religious freedom, but because: “Of all sorrows most heavily to be borne, was that many of the children…were drawn by evil examples into extravagant and dangerous courses, getting the reign off their necks and departing from their parents.” In other words, the kids were having a ball in Holland, which many attractions lead many into temptation to this very day, were growing too independent, and did not think that father knew best. If the Pilgrims were in New York today they would probably volunteer to be the first settlers in Mars, or some such other destination, freedom from religious persecution notwithstanding!  And, lest we forget, never mind that the first Puritans arrived in 1630, a full 24 years after the establishment of Jamestown, to an existing colony in Massachusetts where John Endicott had already been elected Governor and was preparing to bid them welcome.

However, it is also a fact the Massachusetts Bay Company would bring tens of thousands of new immigrants into a rapidly expanding population in what was the greatest mass migration over the Atlantic until the 19th century, followed by the greatest in-grown demographic explosion ever recorded. The sheer numbers and industry of the northern settlers soon obscured the earlier settlements to the point that we associate their arrival with the beginnings of colonization in English America.

What possessed these many people to cross the Atlantic? Why would they live the safety of familiar places and venture over a perilous journey to an unknown land?

A case could be made that some fled persecution.  However, contrary to present-day fairytales, religious persecution was not generally visited upon the general public. Some dissenting ministers, in particular, were removed from their parishes and forfeited their revenues if their preaching did not conform to the church’s policy.  In other words, the state was simply not willing to provide for the sustenance of dissenting clergy and, these ministers being apparently unable to engage in any other trade; they were left with migration or starvation as their sole remaining options.  But in 1642, the New Model Army ended the reign of Charles I. A Puritan Parliament placed a Puritan leader, Oliver Cromwell, as Lord Protector of the realm, proceeded to cut-off the deposed king’s head, and sent every opposing faction into hiding or exile. And yet, the Puritans kept on coming to Massachusetts.  Thus were are led to believe, as it were, that our ancestors successfully waged a civil war, destroyed the established polity, engaged in regicide and the bloody persecution of every opponent, and then merrily jumped on ships to brave the crossing of the Atlantic fearing persecution from themselves.  I think not.

I fancy that their motives laid elsewhere and, paraphrasing JFK, that what caused them to embark in their perilous journey was not what England was doing to them, but what they could not do to England.  Brownists, Independentists and nonconformists of every color, our ancestors were disgusted with the way things had turned out in England and were determined to start from scratch building a “New” England at home or, for that matter, anywhere else. Their talk of universal voting rights extending to every freeman in the kingdom and of the illegitimacy of any taxes levied without representation of the taxed. Their notion of the common property of grazing lands and of government by elected representatives of the freemen. Their radical ideas about the separation of Church and State and the independence of local parishes led by pastors answerable only to the flock were surely as alien and sounded just as dangerous to Cromwell as they had to Charles I.

Most of the Puritans were yeomen, and most came from East Anglia. They were but one generation removed from serfdom and, after having acquired a measure of property and liberty, both physical and spiritual, during the Reformation, they were seeing their rights disappear due to Charles I’s extreme views on Royal Prerogative. The extravagance of the king’s court and his imposition of taxes without Parliament’s authority led to sometimes-violent reactions from all classes. Large and small freeholders were victims of illegal taxation imposed on their holdings, and the small ones could well see their return to life as tenants of the nobility or landed gentry. As there was no distinction between Church and State, conformist priests were busy preaching resignation, while non-conformist priests were busy condemning covertly and overtly the King’s policies. A spirit of opposition, then, to the Established Church began to take shape. Nowhere in England was this spirit of hostility to the Established Church more prevalent than in East Anglia, and the region became an early nursery of dissenters and a consistent supporter of clandestine congregations.

And so came our ancestors to America: a land without the pervasive “corruption” that so alarmed the Pilgrims and other Puritans. In America they would establish a “New” England, and build their Church into a “New Jerusalem.” They started without delay: as soon as they landed, the Pilgrims established their own Compact, constituting themselves into a “civil body politick” without so much as a courtesy reference to the King’s sovereignty beyond the requisite salutation. And further went the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay, establishing the first democratic system of government in the Americas: “Our civil Government is mixt: the freemen choose the magistrate every year…and at four courts in the year 3 out of each town (there being eight in all) do assist the magistrates in making laws, imposing taxes, and disposing of lands: our Juries are chosen by the freemen of everye town. Our Churches are governed by Pastors, Teachers, ruling Elders and Deacons, yet the power lyes in the whole Congregation and not in the Presbytery further than for order and precedence.”

In the process, they set some precedents that to this day make the fabric of our nation and that help define the American concept of Liberty: “…the other kind of liberty I call civil or federal (sic). This liberty is the proper end and object of authority, and cannot subsist without it; and it is a liberty to that only which is good, just and honest. This liberty you are to stand for with the hazard (not only of your good but) of your lives, if need be. Whatsoever crosseth this is not authority but a distemper thereof.”

And defend it they did. From that moment on, the story of the Puritans in America is one of a permanent tug-of-war between Royal Prerogative and the colony’s freedoms. While nominally under the King’s jurisdiction, they in fact thumbed their noses at any attempt to impose royal authority this side of the Atlantic, and the example spread:

  • In 1631, barely one year after the landing of the Winthrop fleet, Watertown refused to pay their part in a tax assessed to build a palisade inland from the Charles River, because they were not represented in the body that imposed the tax.
  • In 1653, New Amsterdam refused to pay taxes arbitrarily levied by Stuyvesant, the Dutch Governor.
  • In 1667, after the English took possession of the Dutch colonies, Governor Lovelace imposed a tax for the common defense. Eight villages remonstrated. Southold, Southampton and Easthampton consented, provided that they have the privileges of New England towns. Huntington replied: “we do not have the rights of Englishmen.” Jamaica declared it a “disenfranchisement, contrary to the laws of the English Nation.
  • In 1676, in Virginia, conflict between the prerogative and popular rights lead to the Great Rebellion led by Nathaniel Bacon. English troops (regulars) were introduced to quell the rebellion, and twenty-two people were hanged.
  • In 1678, Massachusetts denied the authority of Parliament, they “not being represented in Parliament.”
  • Between 1678 and 1680, the Quakers in Western New Jersey refused to pay taxes enacted by the Duke of York on vessels ascending the Delaware, because “by this we are assessed without law and excluded from our right of consent to taxes.”
  • In 1684, in Exeter, NH, after the council ordered a tax, the farmers drove off the Sheriff with clubs while their wives stood by with buckets of scalding water to prevent any attachment of property. And at Hampton, the Sheriff was beaten, his sword stolen, and he was then seated on a horse with a rope around his head and driven out of town. Live Free or Die!


The Revolutionists

It is then with plenty of precedent that we arrive at the end of the 17th Century. Governor Leverett, a former captain of Horse under Cromwell, had an ill-disguised dislike of royalty, and he seems to have represented the feelings of the colony well.

The sturdy independence of Massachusetts was taking shape and as ships were built, goods were sent to many foreign ports, and the navigation laws routinely ignored. In 1666, the General Court simply “neglected” to reply to a letter from the King. It should come as no surprise, then, that King and court would equally resent their unruly subjects across the Atlantic, and that they should favor policies with the purpose of undermining their independence. A perfect occasion presented itself in the form of the claim of Sir Ferdinando Gorges’ to Maine. This claim was based on a charter granted to his grandfather of the same name in 1639.  The elder Ferdinando had sponsored some settlements there, but Massachusetts annexed these between 1652 and 1658 by the settlements’ choice.  In 1675, the Attorney general of England determined that Gorges had a good title to the Province and also confirmed another claim of Robert Mason’s to New Hampshire. Thus, on 10 June 1676, Edward Randolph, a special envoy from the King, arrived in Massachusetts with a letter from Charles II acquainting the magistrates of Massachusetts of the claims of Gorges and Mason.  The fact that Randolph was a relative of Robert Mason must have sent a clear message to the colony.  The letter listed the “wrongs and usurpations” of Massachusetts, and demanded that agents be sent over to answer the charges.

Randolph was not too well received by some.  In a report he published of his two months of observations in New England, he wrote: “Among the Magistrates some are good men and well affected to his Majesty, and would be well satisfied to have his Majesty’s authority in a better manner established; but the major part are of different principles, having been in the government from the time they established themselves into a Commonwealth.”  He particularly disliked Gov. Leverett, Deputy Gov. Symonds, Mr. Danforth, Mr. Tyng, Major Clarke and Major Hathorne, as sturdy and uncompromising colonials, too inclined to be advocates of liberty and independence (!).

Agents were sent to England, but it was not easy to allay Charles II’s displeasure.  For good measure, he ordered that an oath of allegiance to the King be taken at once and, to ensure that the Navigation Laws were observed, he appointed Randolph himself as Collector of the Port of Boston.  However, in a pattern that would become familiar, Randolph’s efforts to enforce the tax met with resistance and no small measure of personal abuse. He wrote to the King of the disloyal sentiments prevalent in Massachusetts, recommended a writ of quo warranto against the Charter, and left for England within two years of his arrival. Once in England, he bitterly attacked the colonists, reiterated his advice against the Charter and expressed his view that a Governor General ought to be appointed by the King. He then returned to Boston with enlarged powers, bringing a letter from the King upbraiding the colonists for their “many misdeeds.”  In this letter, Charles II recalled the independent spirit manifest in the Colony from its beginnings and blamed them, among other things, for the shelter afforded the regicide judges, their evasion of the Navigation Laws and, quite naturally, of hindering his own efforts. He then declared his intention to annul the Charter.  The tone and explicit threat contained in the letter alarmed the colonists into sending representatives to England to plead their case. The General Court chose Joseph Dudley and John Richards to be such agents. The laws were revised, naval officers were appointed and the promise was made that, this time, the Navigation Laws would be enforced, cross my heart and hope to die. The agents were also instructed to expose the injustice of the claims of Mason and Gorges but, in spite of the general humble tone of the instructions, the agents were instructed to consent to nothing that would infringe upon the liberties and privileges granted by the Charter.

Meanwhile, Mason had presented a letter to the General Court, and the Court then ordained that a copy be sent to the magistrates Essex County, and that all landholders there convene at Ipswich or Newbury as soon as possible.  The meeting took place in Ipswich on the second Wednesday in February, 1680/81. Not surprisingly, the landholders declared that they had held their lands for fifty years, and had lately defended it against the Indians at the cost of twelve lives and several hundred pounds. They also pointed out that Robert Mason had never spent a penny, and pleaded that the claim be vented in a Massachusetts court and not in England. Perhaps more interestingly, the “Inhabitants of Glocester, alias Cape Ann, and other places adjacent,” presented a letter to the General Court where they claimed rightful title to their lands upon grant of the General Court, under the Charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and their purchase from the natives. There were signers from Gloucester, Rowley, Newbury, Ipswich and other towns.

The matter was no joke. Should Mason’s claim be accepted, every man’s title to his land would be in question and they all would be at the mercy of a new landlord, paying rent for the field they and their fathers had cleared and for the houses they had built and defended at great cost. At this point, Thomas Lovell, one of the Selectmen, had a personal meeting with Mason after which he recommended that Mason’s demands be recognized. There was an immediate call to a Town Meeting, from the records of which we read that: “The town generally voted to lay the sd. Thomas Lovell asyd & exclud him from being a Selectman and Capt. John Appleton was chosen to be a Selectman his room for the rest of the year.” Given the feelings of the town, it should then come as no surprise that while there are some records that preparations were made to present the claims of Mason to a County Court in Essex Co., no positive record exists that the case was ever called for trial.

At the same time, in Boston, Randolph was drawing Articles of high Misdemeanor against “Thomas Danforth, Daniel Gookin, Mr. Saltonstsall, Samuel Novell, Mr. Richards, Mr. Davy, Mr. Gidney, Mr. Appleton, magistrates, and against John Fisher,” and fourteen other deputies. The charges were “to refuse to admit the royal letters patent erecting the office of elector, refusal to repeal laws contrary to the laws of England, continuing to coin money,” etc. In this case, Randolph specified eight magistrates, including the Deputy Governor and fifteen deputies, as “factious and seditious.”

Finally, a decree of the Court of Chancery dated 21 June 1864 ended the arguments by vacating the Charter of Massachusetts. The institutions of the colony, civil and religious, erected upon that Charter, were no more.  As far as English law was concerned, the whole of those territories were what they had been before James I’s grant to Roswell and his associates: a property of the king of England by virtue of its discovery by the Cabots.

When news reached the colony, the General Court decreed the 12th of March as a day of solemn humiliation, and a request was sent for the towns to express their minds as to giving up the Charter.  The record of the meeting in Ipswich speaks for itself:

1685: Feb. 11th … It was also voted that all those that are desirous to retaine the privileges granted in the Charter & confermed by his Royall Majesty now reigning should manifest the same by holding up their hands, which vote was unanimous in the affirmative. None when tried appeared in the Negative.” Other towns voted along the same lines.

In 1664, an appeal to arms had been proposed when the Charter seemed endangered, but the Colonies were not now in good shape. The King Phillip’s war had left a depleted treasury and fresh memories of loss. And the colonists could expect no help from England, where the Constitutional party was on the run and Charles II was submitting the towns to his pleasure. They then took a different course of action and voted upon sending the king “an humble petition” to secure an abatement of some of his measures. Charles II died before reaching any decision on the fate of the Colonies. He was succeeded on 6 February 1684/5 by his brother, James II. James II’s accession to the throne was greeted less warmly then the demise of Charles I, but in a far less somber mood than the Restoration. On 24 July, a new petition was adopted, where the colonists implored pardon for their faults and a “gracious continuance of their liberties according to the Charter.” James II was as accommodating as his brother Charles II had been and, nothing being thereby accomplished, the General court was dissolved and members were appointed to the Council of Eighteen that replaced it. Gov. Simon Bradstreet, Nathaniel Saltonstall and Dudley Bradstreet declined membership in the new body. There was soon evidence of popular discontent.  The charges vary from “refusing to observe the publique fast appointed by the President of the Councill” to “speaking treasonable words.” Topsfield, Rowley and Ipswich were soon recognized as hostile to the new government, as they went from non-observance of fast days, to refusing to pay taxes, in the levying of which they had no voice.

On December 12th, 1686, arrived in Boston the new appointed governor, Sir Edmund Andros, landing with a detachment of 60 redcoats to ensure his safety.  Almost immediately, he ordered a tax of a penny on a pound, to afford a revenue.  In March, the council abrogated the old method by which the towns had decided the local rates on taxes levied by the General Court. The reaction was what we must by now expect from our forebears. In Taunton, the Town Clerk was bound to answer for a “scandalous, factious and seditious writeing” sent from the town to the Treasurer in answer to the tax warrant. Justice Thomas Leonard was suspended for being present and not preventing the actions of the Town meeting, and the Constables were bound over for not obeying the Treasurer’s warrant. In Ipswich, the Town meeting took place on 23 August 1687. However, the night before there was a meeting of the Selectmen and other leading citizens in the house of John Appleton, Jr., the Town Clerk, where they discussed what action to take at the town meeting the following day. Present were the Selectmen, Lieut. John Andrews, Moderator, Lieut. Thomas Burnam, Mr. John Whipple, Quart. Thomas Kinsman, Serg. Thomas Harte, Mr. John Appleton, Jr. and Nathaniel Treadwell; Rev. William Hubbard, Pastor of Ipswich church and Rev. John Wise, Pastor of the church at Chebacco (now Essex); Constable Thomas French, Nehemiah Jewett, William Goodhue, Jr., William Howlett, Simon Stace and some fourteen others.  After Constable French read the warrant, they all agreed that this “warrant-act” for raising a revenue, abridged their rights as Englishmen, and “did Discourse & Conclude yt it was not ye town’s Dutie any wayes to Assist yt ill Methode of Raising mony wtout a Generall Assembly, wch was apparently intended by above said Sr Edmund Andros & his Councill.”

Needless to say, the next day the town meeting was held and, after much discourse against the warrant, the town refused to choose a commissioner. To add insult to injury, delegates from Ipswich were sent to meetings in neighboring towns to promote opposition to the act.  This last action seems to have been the most obnoxious to the Council when formal proceedings began against the refractory towns. Warrants of arrest were issued against the Constable, Moderator and Clerk of Ipswich, though not against the other “Disaffected & evil Desposed persons within ye sd town as yet unknown who … met and assembled together att Ipswich aforesaid Did in a most factious & Seditious & Contemptuous manner then & there vote & agree that they were not willing nor would Choose a Commissioner as by a Warrant from Jno. Usher Esq. His Majesties Treasurer…the sd Jno. Appleton as Clerk of ye said Town put into writing and published Contrary to and in high Contempt of his majesties Laws & Government here established…” The following day, a warrant for the arrest of Rev. John Wise and of William Howlett was issued because they “Did particularly Excite and Stir up his Majesties Subjects to Refractoryness and Disobedience.”

The special grievance against Ipswich was not just that the town refused to elect a Tax Commissioner, but the drawing of the results of that meeting into a document that was then published and used as an incentive to similar action in other towns. This is especially made clear in the Council documents related to the arraignment of the Ipswich men, which states that these men were “committed for refusing to pay their rates…and making and publishing factious and seditious votes and writeings.” From later depositions, we gather that many of these men did not quietly submit to pressure and had complaints of their own. John Wise declared that “Mr. West, the Deputy Secretary declared to some of us that we were a factious People & had no Previlege left us. The Govrnr Sr Ed Andros said to some of us By way of Ridicule, Whether we though if Jac & Tom should tell the king wt moneyes he must have for ye use of his Govmt Implying that ye People of the Countree were but a parcell of Ignorant Jack & Toms.” Rev. Wise replied to these officials with a familiar claim to Revolutionary War historians: that, as Englishmen, the colonists had privileges according to Magna Charta.  This claim would form part of nearly every petition forwarded to the courts by imprisoned town officers and leading men of the towns of Essex County. Particularly harsh treatment was reserved for Maj. Samuel Appleton, whose refusal to admit any wrongdoing earned him a long stay at the stone jail of Boston. “In dark and damp quarters, treated as a common felon, the old veteran of King Philip’s war suffered every indignity for conscience sake, and made his protests against the usurpation.”  By October of 1687, Connecticut had given up her Charter, and Plymouth had surrendered as well.  All seemed lost.

However, on April 4th, 1689, a ship arrived in Boston bringing news of the Prince of Orange’s landing in England. By April 18th, the citizens of Boston were summoned by the drum’s beat. The mob seized Governor Andros and Randolph and hauled them to the same jail they had used to house opponents of their rule. The militia marched up King’s Street escorting Governor Bradstreet and Deputy Governor Danforth, replaced in their positions under the old Charter.  This done, a declaration believed to have been composed by Cotton Mather was read. This “Declaration of Gentlemen, Merchants and Inhabitants of Boston and the Country Adjacent” charged Governor Andros with malicious oppression of the people, with extortionate fees for probate and “what laws they made it was as impossible for us to know, as dangerous for us to break; but we shall leave the men of Ipswich and Plimouth (among others) to tell the story of the kindness which has been shown them on this account.” The declaration continued “Accordingly, we have been treated with multiplied contradictions to Magna Charta, the rights of which we laid claims unto. Persons who did but peacefully object against the raising of Taxes without an Assembly have for it been fined, some twenty, some thirty, and others fifty pounds.”

Before night, eighty-six years to the day before the Lexington Alarm, the revolution had succeeded and the Andros government was no longer. Articles of impeachment were immediately drawn against Andros, Dudley and Randolph, the first of which was that “Mr. John Wise, Minister, John Andrews, Sen., Robt. Kinsman, Wm. Goodhue, Junr., Tho. French. These prove their damage for their being unwilling for Sir Edmund Andros rayseing money on the people without the consent of the people, but Improved Contrary to Magna Charta.”

That this was, indeed, a successful revolution seems to have been clear in the minds of its contemporaries. Within months of the uprising, in June of 1689, Nathaniel Byfield’s published “An Account of the Late Revolution in New England, together with the Declaration of the Gentlemen, Merchants and Inhabitants of Boston, and the Country Adjacent, April 18: 1869.”

It is important to note that these events took place after news of the arrival of William of Orange in England, but before his victory there.  Had the Prince of Orange failed at his attempt to wrestle the crown from James II, New England would have, in fact, seceded from England. Faced with a fait accompli, and lacking either the will or the resources to reestablish the crown’s stranglehold in New England, William of Orange accepted the restoration of the Charter and left the colonists pretty much to themselves in exchange for a nominal recognition of his suzerainty.

A brief period of relative calm in these issues ensued, a period marked by the Salem witch trials and the Indian wars spanning from 1690 to 1745, but as soon as calm was restored to the Province, attempts were made to reassert the king’s right to taxation, and the grandchildren of our heroes raised with equal determination and finished their forebears work. But as we hail the men who fought for American Independence in the 1700’s, we must not forget their grandparents, who planted those ideas in their young minds. As Rufus Choate put it in his oration on the 200th anniversary of the town of Ipswich in 1834, “These men…may justly claim a distinguished rank among the patriots of America. You, their townsmen, their children, may well be proud of them. Prouder still, but more grateful than proud, that a full town-meeting of the free-men of Ipswich adopted, unanimously, that declaration of right, and refused to collect or pay the tax, which would have made them slaves. The principle of that vote was precisely the same on which Hampden resisted an imposition of Charles I, and on which Samuel Adams and John Hancock and resisted the Stamp Act, the principle that if any power but the people can tax the people, there is an end of liberty.




Bailyn, Bernard, “The Peopling of British North America,” The University of Wisconsin, 1985

Banks, Charles Edward, “The Winthrop Fleet of 1630,” Boston, 1930 Reprinted Baltimore, 1994

Boorstin, Daniel, “The Americans: The Colonial Experience,” Vintage Books, 1958

Bradford, William, “Of Plymouth Plantation,” A. Knopf, New York, 1993

Breen, T.H., “Puritans and Adventurers,” Oxford University Press, 1980

Bruun, Erik & Crosby, Jay, editors, “Our Nation’s Archive, The History of the United States in Documents,” New York, 1999

Davis, David Brion & Mintz, Steve, “The Boisterous Sea of Liberty,” Oxford University

Press, 1998

Dow, George Francis, “Everyday Life in the Massachusetts Bay Colony,” Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, 1935, reprinted New York, 1988

Fischer, David Hackett, “Albion’s Seed, Four British Folkways in America,” Oxford University Press, 1989

Fleming, Thomas, “Liberty! The American Revolution,” Viking Penguin, 1997

Forbes, Esther, “Paul Revere and the World He Lived In,” Book of the Month Club, Inc, New York 1983with a foreword by Daniel J. Boorstin

Heimert, Alan & Delbanco, Andrew, “The Puritans in America, A Narrative Anthology,” Harvard University Press, 1985

Mcmanus, Edgar J., “Law and Liberty in Early New England,” The University of Massachusetts Press, 1993

Tagney, Rinald N., “The World Turned Upside Down,” Essex County History, 1989

Waters, Thomas Franklin, “Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony,” The Ipswich Historical Society, Ipswich, Mass., 1905

Wolf, Stephanie Grauman, “As Various as Their Land,” Harper Perennial, 1994


Among the signers of the many petitions and declarations were the following ancestor’s of the author: John Osgood of Andover, and Robert Kinsman, Nathaniel Treadwell, William Goodhue George Wainwright and Moses Pengry of Ipswich. Their grandchildren and great grandchildren, to a man, would participate in the American Revolution, with most marching on the Alarm of 19th April 1775. Others, with similar results among their progeny included Samuel Appleton, Thomas Knowlton, Daniel Epps, Thomas Burnam, Francis Wainwright, John Appleton, John Wipple, Dudley Bradstreet, Christopher Osgood and Nathaniel Saltonstall


The Sharia Law Canard

The Sharia Law Canard

For months now, I have been witness, with not a small degree of astonishment, to a crescendo of voices opposed to what they term the “danger” of the “imposition” of Sharia law in the US.

Try as I might, I cannot see any logical basis for the claim. Recently, the cacophony has grown to hysterical proportions, with calls for demonstrations and warnings of the end of the world as we know it if Sharia Law is not “banned.”

I have news for the anti-Sharia warriors. It is already banned. It has been since 1789. The second clause of Article 6 of the US Constitution clearly states:

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

In other words, unless Sharia Law, by some kind of magical devise, is made a part of the US Constitution, it is not, nor can it be the Law of the land. Neither can Canon Law, the Napoleonic Code, Salic Law nor any other system of laws ever devised or to be devised by the mind of Man.

None, that is, unless, a constitutional amendment manages to garner massive support and is ratified by the legislatures of 38 states; but only after it gets a two thirds majority in the US Senate and House of Representatives.

Surely, a Muslim population of no more than 1% (yep, a whopping 1 percent), not all of whom are particularly endeared to the finer points of Sharia Law, cannot by any rational process be considered to have such overwhelming legislative power.

So, why the hullabaloo?

If Sharia is not—and by any stretch of the imagination cannot be—the law of the land, why would so many be so vocally calling for its banning? There are only two possible answers:

1. These people are dumber than a doorbell.
In their unabashed stupidity and ignorance, they actually think that somehow, a minimal fraction of the population can impose a foreign law on the rest of us by means of black magic or other such process. They know not our Constitution, nor the basics of our legal system, and are thus intellectually free to assume that we may one day wake up to a country ruled by the primitive legislation of an alien source.

2. They are moved by basic undiluted bigotry.
That is, their visceral resentment of anything that does not sound, smell or look familiar, including the peculiar tenets of an alien system most Muslims in the US escaped from. Which brings us back to point 1. This is not a new phenomenon, though social media has given it a heretofore unattainable reach. I can hear echoes of those who feared the Irish would bring “Popery” to our shores—in fact, they did, in much larger numbers and only to be diluted into the melting pot. Or that the Jews would eat our babies in strange secret rituals—of course, they didn’t, though there are still lunatics out there that maintain such imbecilities.

All of this is a distraction from real issues, as it has always been.

Terrorism, the scourge of our time, is trivialized by palookas fighting ghosts and antagonizing our natural allies in our real struggle to defeat it. Law abiding, patriotic Muslims, even those serving in our Police and Armed Forces, are made afraid to walk the streets of the cities they are sacrificing so much to protect. And the strategy of Jihadists finds new life in the actions of dupes whose ignorance and bigotry represent a more serious threat to our open society than a thousand goat-humpers screaming Jihad in the wilderness seconds before our Muslim allies dispatch them to the special place in Hell reserved for them.
So, my dear crazies, you can sleep tonight.

No witch doctor will come thirsting for your female parts, no crazed jurist is going to order your hand cut off, and you can hold on to your brew (unless a new Christian revival makes us dry again).

The New Jihad

Al-Jihad 1.0

In the early 1950s, the National Socialist leadership of Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Egypt created a commando unit, the Fedayeen,[1] to attack Israel within its borders in hopes of destabilizing the fledging nation.

This group, organized under the direction of SS-Gruppenführer Hajj Amin al-Husseini, and  Amin Omar (Johannes) von Leers, was recruited from among young Muslim Brotherhood  members in the Egyptian Army and in Cairo University, and was trained by Nazi SS officers like SS-Sturmbannführer Otto Skorzeny,  SS-Untersturmführer Wilhelm Boerner (Willy Berner), and Kreishauptmann  Erich Altern.[2]

This collaboration between Amin el-Husseini and Omar Amin von Leers produced the first of the Jihadist organizations as we know them today. It was, in fact, an advanced version of the Mufti’s pro-Nazi organization Al’Jihad al’muqqadas, commanded in 1947 by Ali Salameh, a Wehrmacht major that had arrived in Palestine in 1944 as part of Hitler’s aid package to the Mufti,[3] and the Arab League’s Jaysh al-Inqadh al-Arabi (Arab Liberation Army), also led by a Werhrmacht officer, Fawzi al-Quawuqji, made up of a coterie of carryovers from Rommel’s Afrikakorps, escapees from war prisoner camps and Albanian and Bosnian Muslims recruited by the Mufti during the war to wage guerrilla warfare on the British forces in Palestine. No one seemed to be troubled that this “Arab nationalists” were no more than “German volunteers [who], as in the old days, have adopted ‘Die Fahne Hoch’ as their marching song.”[4]


Fawzi al-Quawuqji, 1948


The fourth leg of this table was the Muslim Brotherhood. It was, after all, a leader of the German financed Brotherhood that in 1944 had called for a Jihad against Jews, “who needed to be destroyed like sick dogs.”[5] With German financing, the Muslim Brotherhood was at the end of WWII an impressive organization with more than a half a million members in Egypt, organized in over 1,500 chapters. And they now embraced Amin el-Husseini as their spiritual leader. It was this support that led the Arab League to appoint the Mufti as the Palestinian Leader, if in name only, in 1946. Upon the Mufti’s returned from Paris, he was extolled by the Muslim Brotherhood as a “hero [who] fought Zionism with the help of Hitler and Germany. Hitler and Germany are gone, but Amin Al-Husseini will continue the struggle.”[6]

The efforts of this band of commandoes were, in spite of continuing low-level attacks starting in 1951, largely ineffective. Neither did the Muslim population join them, nor where they able to inflict more damage than the random killing of civilians, mostly in isolated areas.


Israeli policemen at a site where 5 Fedayeen were killed, 1956


In the end, the Egyptian Army was soundly defeated in 1973, and the Fedayeen melted into the PLO and other terrorist organizations.

Al-Jihad 2.0

By the late 1970s, as Egypt moved into a peace process that culminated in 1979 with the signing of the Camp David accords, what was left of these trained commandoes steeped into the ideology of Husseini and von Leers went into the second stage of their development.

Their target now was not just Israel, but the Arab leaders that had “betrayed” them. The spectacular introduction of this new phase was the assassination of Anwar el-Sadat in 1981, by al-Jihad, formed by Muslim Brotherhood members, some trained as Fedayeen, and who later became one of the founding groups of al-Qa’ida.


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Assassination of Anwar el-Sadat, 6 October 1981


Alas, the Muslims masses failed, yet again, to join them. Despite an intense campaign of terrorist attacks in the 80s and early 90s, and serious attempts to provoke the Muslim population into following Iran’s example to establish theocracies in place of what they described as corrupt regimes too accommodating to the West, their efforts fizzled into little more than bands of marauders.

Al Jihad 3.0

In the mid-1990s, the leaders of al-Jihad struck a deal with Osama bin-Laden and changed their strategy again. Now the enemy were no longer the governments of Arab and Muslim countries but Western “crusaders”.

Saudi collaboration in the first Gulf War, allowing the establishment of military bases on its soil to contain Iraq, provided the excuse. In 1996, Al Quds al-Arabi, a London newspaper, published the first of a series of Fatwas by bin-Laden:

“Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places.” In it, bin-Laden, now associated with Aymann al-Zawahiri, declared (in a long and rambling tirade as difficult to read as it is to comprehend):

“The people of Islam awakened and realized that they are the main target for the aggression of the Zionist-Crusaders alliance…The latest and the greatest of these aggressions, incurred by the Muslims since the death of the Prophet (ALLAH’S BLESSING AND SALUTATIONS ON HIM) is the occupation of the land of the two Holy Places -the foundation of the house of Islam, the place of the revelation, the source of the message and the place of the noble Ka’ba, the Qiblah of all Muslims- by the armies of the American Crusaders and their allies… Our Lord, the people of the cross had come with their horses (soldiers) and occupied the land of the two Holy places. And the Zionist Jews fiddling as they wish with the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the route of the ascendance of the messenger of Allah (ALLAH’S BLESSING AND SALUTATIONS ON HIM). Our Lord, shatter their gathering, divide them among themselves, shaken the earth under their feet and give us control over them; Our Lord, we take refuge in you from their deeds and take you as a shield between us and them.”


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Bin Laden’s declaration of War’s first effect


But the Muslim masses did not join them. On the contrary, as events in Afghanistan and Iraq later were to show, most Muslims regarded the ramblings of bin-Laden as no more that those of a lunatic and, with the notable exemption of Iran, were perfectly happy to join with efforts to eradicate them from their lands.

Al-Jihad 4.0In 2008 two things happened.

First the US government adopted a policy of appeasement and abandoned its allies in the Middle East and, second, al-Qa’ida adopted a new strategy based in the also rambling and endless tract (1,600 pages!) of Abu Musab al-Suri, a veteran of 30 years of Jihad, close collaborator of bin-Laden and al-Zawahiri and beneficiary of Western largess. The strategy is carefully laid out in “The Global Islamic Resistance Call.”[7]

Al-Suri called for hundreds of attacks by small cells and individuals using all sorts of mundane weapons: cars, trucks, axes, knives, homemade explosive devises in the “underbelly” of the West. That is, From Paris and Brussels to Orlando and San Bernardino.


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Al-Suri (left, and bin Laden, c. 1994


Since Jihad has been unable to motivate Muslims to join a holy war, the object of the new strategy is to provoke westerners to do it, by reacting against the Muslim communities in the West in hopes that that will, in turn, finally cause a rising of Muslims worldwide in defense of their brethren.

So far, it has not happened. But the increasing virulence of anti-Muslim discourse in the West is not a good sign.

Let’s hope our “Holy Warriors” do not prove to be the tool the terrorists need to escape what will otherwise be total defeat at the hands of the largest Arab-Muslim-Western coalition ever assembled.

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Demonstrators playing into the hands of al-Qa’ida

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[1] Fedayeen from “fedai” one who gives his life for a cause had been used in the 19th century to denote an Ismaili assassin.

[2] One of the earliest trainees was Yasser Arafat, a Lieutenant in the Egyptian Army and, he claimed, a nephew of Hajj Amin al-Husseini.

[3] Gershon Avner to HIS-AD, 13 April 1948, HA 105/31 as quoted by Benny Morris, 1948, 121, and Joseph Nevo, The Arabs of Palestine, 1947-48: Military and Political Activity, published in  Middle Eastern Studies, 23, No. 1 (Jan. 1987), p. 35.

[4] Der Spiegel, 13 March 1948, p. 11.

[5] Thomas Mayer, Egypt and the Palestine Question: 1936-1945, Berlin, 1983, p. 191.

[6] Jeffrey Herf, Nazi Propaganda in the Arab World , Yale University Press, 2009, p. 244: Hassan Al-Banna and the Mufti of Palestine, in Contents of Secret Bulletin of Al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin dated 11 June 1946, Cairo, July 23rd, 1946, NACP RG 226 (Office of Strategic Services), Washington Registry SI Intelligence, Field Files, entry 108A, box 15, folder 2.

[7] The full text can be found here: https://archive.org/details/TheMilitaryTheoryOfTheGlobalIslamicResistanceCall#_ftn7#_ftn7#_ftn7#_ftn7SS-SturmbannführerSS-Sturmbannführer