Srdja Trifkovic’s conclusion to his piece on the Beslan tragedy (“After Beslan,” The American Interest, November) hits the mark precisely.  Orthodox Christians have had it proved to them over and over again that the West will prefer the friendship of the Mohammedan to ours, unless we volunteer to forsake our convictions and identity to become second-class Westerners.  At one time, this meant subjection to the pope.  Today, it consists in subjection to the New World Order.  It is ironic that the honest traveler cannot help but notice that what is left of Christian Europe—a living Christian Europe, not inanimate cultural monuments—remains in the Orthodox Eastern Europe so long despised by the once-triumphant West, at one time declared dead by communism but now haltingly yet demonstrably coming to life again despite malicious opposition from secularists and Muslims and uncomprehending interference from non-Orthodox Christians.  If you wish to know where the hope of the world lies, look East.

        —Fr. Steven Allen
Rectory of St. Spyridon Church
St. Clair Shores, MI

Nothing, including the 1182 massacre of thousands of Roman Catholics in Constantinople under the Byzantine emperor Andronicus, justifies the sack of Constantinople by the crusaders in 1204.  However, contrary to Srdja Trifkovic’s “After Beslan,” this was not what led to Muslim incursion into Europe.  The Muslims never made it into Eastern Europe until they were permitted to cross the Dardanelles in 1348 by John Cantacuzemus in exchange for their aid in his successful civil war to become Byzantine emperor.  This was almost a century and a half after the Fourth Crusade.  The Byzantines had two-and-a-half centuries to recover from the Fourth Crusade before the Ottomans finally took Constantinople in 1453, but, by that time, the Muslims were already very well established in Eastern Europe, thanks, in part, to John Cantacuzemus.

        —Joe Porreca
West Seneca, NY

Dr. Trifkovic Replies:

I am not sure just how much hope there is when we look East.  “The West” has just triumphed in the Ukraine, following a massive joint European-American disinformation and manipulation campaign.  Its goal is to turn the country into a mirror image of its westernmost third, a Russophobic condominium of Washington’s global hegemonists and the European Union’s postnational Christophobes.

Huntington’s civilizational blocks continue to determine Western attitudes.  The identity of the Eastern European Christians is deemed irrelevant, at best, or a removable obstacle, at worst.  After so many decades of suffering, their survival—let alone revival—is scarcely imagined except on Western terms, as a faithful imitation of, and absorption in, the postnational, post-Christian nightmare that surrounds us.

In 1204, the English, French, and Germans were all “Frankoi” who demanded compliance.  They fatally wounded Byzantium, which was the main cause of its weakened condition when the Muslim onslaught came.  Even on the eve of its final collapse, the precondition for any Western help was submission in Florence.  Eight hundred years later, when it comes to liquidating the last European remnant of living Christianity, any gap between the Sorosite left and the Wolfowitzian imperial “right,” between the United States and Europe, and between Europe “old” and “new,” disappears almost completely.

This is the only crusade that the Muslims can support with glee.  It is worse than a crime; it is a mistake.