Reconquista - Christians v Muslims in Europe

Tony Blair's latest call to war against Islam reminded me of the history of La Reconquista. The Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula took place in a long series of battles led by Christian kings. It is a complicated story. Several Christian kingdoms emerged (Asturias, Castille, Catalonia, Navarre, Leon, and Portugal). King Sancho of Navarre united most of the Christian kingdoms, but they did not stay united. The Iberian Peninsula at the time was very different than the intolerant regime later dominated by the Inquisition. Iberia was the most tolerant and progressive area of Europe where people lived in close contact with one another. Spanish universities were rare centres of learning in the European medieval Dark Age. The Reconquista was not a simple, straightforward matter. Not only were their wars between Moors and Christians, but both Moors and Christians sought allies from their co-religionists as well as princes and nobles of the other faiths. Finally, with the growing power of Castille, Christians moved south and one Muslim principality after another fell. The last Muslim kingdom to fall was Granada (1492).
Interesting that the Catalonian colours of the knight and horse in the painting come down to the present day in the form of the Catalan flag and the colours of Barcelona FC.
 The Battle of the Puig (1237) by Andrés Marçal de Sax 

Tony Judt on Israel , America and Iraq


Wick Lane - Elwick Hawthorne (1931)

Haunting atmospherics from EH once again

Marquez on Allende

Forty years have passed since the Chilean president Salvador Allende died in La Moneda Palace in Santiago, attempting to defend himself with an AK-47 he had been given by Fidel Castro. 

Here, in a piece from the New Statesman published in March 1974, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Gabriel García Márquez explores Allende’s record in Chile, his rivals’ dealings with the United States and the rise of his successor – the army general Augusto Pinochet. LINK

Britain's Syrian Jihadis

Cafe De La Paix - Edouard Cortes

Bombers, Clashes Leave 105 Dead, 127 Hurt Across Iraq

Bombers, Clashes Leave 105 Dead, 127 Hurt Across Iraq -- Antiwar.com

"At least 105 people were killed and 127 more were wounded today when bombers struck deep into the Shi’ite south again. Baghdad also suffered from multiple bombing attacks. The now usual violence also occurred in Anbar and in the north."


Police Clash With Student Demos In Venezuela

Boko Haram Admits To Nigerian Bombing

Led Zep - Unreleased

Communications Breakdown/Good Times-Bad Times. PLAY HERE

Drones in Yemen: How U.S. Attacks Are Devastating a Nation

Drones in Yemen: How U.S. Attacks Are Devastating a Nation | Politics | Rolling Stone:

"New Report Documents the Human Cost of U.S. Drone Strikes in Yemen:

Such quite literal existential uncertainty is coming at a deep psychological cost for the Yemeni people. For Americans, this military campaign is an abstraction. The drone strikes don't require U.S. troops on the ground, and thus are easy to keep out of sight and out of mind. Over half of Yemen's 24.8 million citizens – militants and civilians alike – are impacted every day. A war is happening, and one of the unforeseen casualties is the Yemeni mind."