The Oh-So-Familiar Conflict of 1492

3,841 words


Salvador Dalí, The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, 1959

James Reston, Jr.
Dogs of God: Columbus, the Inquisition, and the Defeat of the Moors
New York: Anchor Books, 2006

When reading James Reston, Jr.’s highly entertaining book about the final Spanish push against the Moors, one is struck by just how remarkably similar that conflict was to the oh-so-familiar violent divides of today. The Spanish Reconquista story parallels the smoldering West vs. Islam conflict that is the Global War on Terror as well as the sharp ethno-domestic conflicts in the United States.

The center timeframe of this book is 1492, a year when the Spanish conquered Moorish controlled Grenada, when Jews were expelled from Spain, and when Christopher Columbus headed out on his great voyage of discovery.

The book is titled Dogs of God because the Dominican Order[1] [2] was called the same after it arose to counter the Albigensian Heresy that had sprung up in the south of France in the 13th century. The crusade against the Albigensians was waged through mixture of religious efforts and secular military action. This model, with the Dominicans at their head, would be used by the Spanish against the Moors, and especially the Jews as the Spanish Reconquista came to its conclusion.

Revisionist History as the Norm

Before one reads this review further, one needs to recognize that while Dogs of God is an excellent popular history and very entertaining read, it views the situation from a revisionist historical perspective. This revisionist narrative claims that Moorish Spain was a tolerant, multicultural paradise filled with scientific advancement. By this reckoning, in Moorish Spain, Jews benevolently occupied the top positions in society. Under the revisionist idea it is said that Moorish-occupied Córdoba[2] [3] had “gardens” and “public lighting.” The “gardens” of Córdoba even alluded to in the 1962 epic movie Lawrence of Arabia.[3] [4] Dogs of God does not question why the native Iberian Christians living during the Reconquista were so focused – for centuries – on driving the Moors and the Jews with their “gardens” and “public lighting” from Spain.

One must question the revisionist norm of Moorish Spain in light of modern circumstances. Presently, Western Europe has Moors and other Islamic people settled in every city of consequence. At the high end, in Western Europe and especially in the United States, Jews occupy many of the high ranking jobs in finance and government. Seeing the present situation, where modern indolent “Moorish” communities[4] [5] in Western Europe only produce charity cases, petty criminals, and terrorists, and where a great many government policies favor organized Jewish interests one can see that Moorish-occupied Spain was a dismal place. The revisionist idea of Moorish Spain was probably developed by anti-European Jewish activist historians living in Europe during the Enlightenment, when Moorish invasions and occupations were well beyond living memory.[5] [6]

As a result of the increasingly unbelievable ideas of the revisionist viewpoint, this review of Dogs of God will add information related to the Reconquista that is found in sources outside of the book.[6] [7] Ultimately, the situation described in Dogs of God has as much insight to modern dilemmas in North America and Western Europe as it does in the year Spain became a superpower.

The Moorish Invasion and Occupation of Iberia

Why there were Moors in Spain in 1492 was that nearly 800 years earlier, in 711, the Spanish Visigoth kingdom was beset by severe internal political strife due to a contested royal succession. Sensing weakness, the Moors moved to conquer Spain after moving a large army across the Strait of Gibraltar. Much of this invasion is shrouded in legend. Reston highlights, and indeed blames the invasion on one legend – that the cause of the invasion was in response to King Rodrigo raping an Arab maiden.[7] [8] Spain’s Visigoth capital at Toledo was conquered by the Moors when, as Reston puts it, “The Jews of the city, who had long suffered persecution under the Goths, had opened the city’s gates for the invaders and were rewarded for their heroics by the Moors.”[8] [9] After Toledo fell, the Moors went on to conquer all of Iberia save the peninsula’s northern mountains and went on to attack France where they were turned back at Tours.

Reston briefly describes the slow Reconquista of Spain in the early days, including El Cid’s spectacular recapture of Toledo by El Cid in 1085. After El Cid turned the tide, the pattern of the Reconquista stayed the same for centuries. It went like this, the economy of Spanish Christian kingdoms increased relative to that of the Moors. With the better economy, the Spanish had better soldiers, better logistics, and better military equipment than the Moors. Bit by bit, they used this advantage to capture Moorish territory.

The Portuguese were also under Moorish occupation and had a considerable Jewish population, but they threw the Moors out faster than the Spanish. The last Moorish territory in Portugal was freed in 1249, two and a half centuries prior to the Spanish capture of Grenada. Because Portugal freed itself of its Jewish/Moorish burden quicker than Spain, many of the innovations in science and maritime navigation occurred first in Portugal and then spread to Spain.

Tensions with the Jews

Dogs of God’s author doesn’t look too closely at the long-term cultural impact of the fact that the Jews of Toledo opened the gates to the Moors in 712. To get a glimpse of what likely happened to the Spanish Christians after their Jewish neighbors opened the Toledo gates, one merely needs to watch the latest ISIS video where young women are taken into sexual slavery and captured men are killed in cruel and unusual ways.[9] [10] One would think that Toledo’s Jews opening the gates to the Moors would put an understandable burning desire for vengeance on the part of the Spanish Christians.

However, as shown in the quote above, Reston calls these treacherous Jews “heroes.” Reston also insists that the Jews were “persecuted” in Visigoth Toledo. He doesn’t ask the question, why, if they were so persecuted and therefore likely to be a threat – would the Toledo City Government not better secure the gates from an internal, Jewish attack? Why not set up checkpoints at the routes in and out of Toledo’s Jewish neighborhoods? One suspects the Jews of Toledo weren’t oppressed, and when the Moors came they merely saw an opportunity and took it, with no regard for the welfare of their Spanish neighbors.

As the Spanish captured formerly Moorish territory, Jews remained and prospered just as much under the Spanish as under the Moors. During the 12th century, across Western Europe, Jewish culture advanced on all fronts. This advance would bring them into sharp conflict with Europeans. To add a modern perspective here, like the Jews opening the gates at Toledo, contemporary American Jews have done well materially, and have punched above their weight in treason and espionage, especially during the Cold War.[10] [11] Jews were behind the disastrous 1965 Hart-Celler Act, and there was a suspicious Israeli “Art Student” espionage operation that occurred[11] [12] just before 9/11.[12] [13]

Granada – The Last Stronghold of the Moors

The marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella also was a turning point in the Reconquista. The marriage united[13] [14] the two Spanish Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon. Additionally, the two sovereigns were quite capable and inherited a government that had longstanding institutional knowledge on handling the Moors and dealing with the rival Christian kingdoms. Once post-marriage domestic political situation became settled and a Portuguese invasion of Spain through Alburquerque, Spain[14] [15] was beaten off, Ferdinand and Isabella looked to conquer Grenada.

Reston doesn’t mention this but, the biggest advantage that the Spanish had over the Moors of Grenada was that the last Islamic outpost in Iberia, to put it frankly, was ruled by Moors. The Moors of Grenada, as a group, were probably not that bright. Today the average IQ of Moroccans is 84.[15] [16] This explains why the Spanish had a larger economy, batteries of siege artillery, and well led, well-armed, well supplied troops. However, while the Spanish troops were superb, a company of Spanish infantry sunbathing on the frontier rather than keeping watch may very well end up with its soldiers either captive or beheaded.

To pay for the final conquest of Grenada, among other things, Ferdinand and Isabella used the services of Don Abraham Senior, a Rabbi originally from Portugal. Don Senior was used as a tax farmer and he also was charged with specifically collecting taxes aimed at Jews. This revenue paid for enlistments through the campaigning seasons of the late 1480s and early 1490s. Spaniards signed up for 80-day tours.

In addition to the modern interpretation of Moorish human biodiversity factors, as with all Third World political systems, the political elite was fundamentally cruel and unjust. This created a rift. On one side of the rift was Boabdil, supported by the commoners. On the other side was Muley Aben Hassan, supported by Grenada’s nobility. The women of Granada’s royal harem schemed to support either Boabdil or Muley. Boabdil’s mother urged that he fight the Christians to secure his domestic place as King of Grenada, but in doing so, Boabdil was defeated and captured. While in Spanish captivity he was treated like a king. The Spanish decided to return Boabdil to Grenada where he still had considerable support against Muley. Because of this Spanish strategy, “The House of the Moors stood divided against itself.”[16] [17]

Boabdil’s strategy, if he had one at all, was to keep the last of Islamic Spain by appeasing the Spanish. Boabdil would keep his troops in their garrisons as the Spanish chewed off a piece of Grenada loyal to Muley. When Muley died, his brother, El Zagal the Valiant took over the kingdom, and the rift deepened. El Zagal positioned himself at the town of Baza.[17] [18] Ferdinand’s army moved to take the town, but were repulsed, in part due to the Moor’s skilled use of defending in the local terrain. The area around Baza is a series of walled farms and orchards not unlike the insurgent-held area around LSA Anaconda during the Iraq War. Ferdinand’s army settled into a long siege. When Baza finally fell to the Christians, there was no further effective Moorish defense. Boabdil surrendered Granada after a series of negotiations in 1492.

With the Moors out of the way, the Spanish Government could yield to the pressure to remove the Jews. The official Court Rabbis attempted to bribe the Spanish Royal Family to not carry out the order, but Torquemada intervened, reminding Ferdinand and Isabella of Judas’s thirty pieces of silver. The expulsion of the Jews also became a rip-off. Payments on debts owed to Jews were delayed until after the expulsion order’s removal date passed, Jews were charged an exit fee from Spain and then an entry fee to get into Portugal. Jews attributed the calamity to them “not following the Laws of Moses” rather than the fact their behavior had been antithetical to Spanish interests. Portugal followed Spain’s expulsion order in 1497. The Jews mostly found refuge in the Islamic-held portions of the Mediterranean world.

In Aryan/Jewish Conflicts, Metapolitics Works

Jews didn’t just leave or convert as the European racial Reconquista built momentum. In areas of Iberia under Christian rule, Jews continued on with their ways and a conflict of interests naturally developed between them and Spanish Christians. As a result of this conflict, the Spanish launched what would now be called a metapolitical effort against the Jews. The effort took on several forms and developed over decades. Those involved in the metapolitical effort were from different parts of society and didn’t always agree. The metapolitical efforts went backwards and forwards, and sometimes only applied to particular parts of Spain rather than the whole, but ultimately their efforts strengthened each other and led to the expulsion of the Jews in 1492.

The first metapolitical effort was a legal and religious effort at the top ranks of society. After an explosive series of pogroms, the Spanish government forced all Jews to convert in 1391. The Jews that converted in 1391 were called conversos or New Christians. After conversion, they stayed in the same high-station niche as before, only as “Christians” they were not subject to any anti-Jewish legislation.

Critical anti-Jewish legislation was passed in 1412. The legislation, called The Laws of Valladolid, ordered Jews that didn’t convert to be separated from native Iberians. As with all legal government solutions, such as the immigration laws in the United States, the will to enforce the law was unstable. In 1480 the Cortes of Toledo determined that the 1412 Laws of Valladolid had never been enforced and the Spanish crown began to put Jews in ghettos.

The next metapolitical effort came from the middle rank, “citizen activist” ranks. Of this, Kevin MacDonald writes, “The friars, who spearheaded the 13th-century Christian reform movement as well as the anti-Semitism of the period, came mainly from the newly created urban middle and upper-middle classes. These classes viewed the Jews as a competitive threat…”[18] [19] In 1486, one Friar named Antonio de la Peña threatened, “’…[T]o set up his pulpit in the Jewish quarter and cause such a commotion that the whole city would not be able to remedy the matter.’ In another sermon, Peña said, ‘If the Christians of this city do not light a fire on the hill, the wolves would not be frightened off.’”[19] [20] Dona Abraham Senior, Queen Isabella’s Court Rabbi was barely able to keep the Friar from preaching by appealing to the Queen.

Another, extremely important metapolitical effort in the Spanish/Jewish conflict also came from the middling ranks of Spanish society. In 1449, a priest named Marcos Garcia de Mora put forward a work called Memorial. In this publication, Garcia argued that the conversion of the New Christians was fraudulent. His work was a direct attack on the entire power structure. Garcia was hanged by the government, but his ideas spread. Within 40 years, the very King and Queen of Spain believed them.

His ideas were believed at the top and spread throughout the land because they were true.[20] [21] Reston writes about one incident that emphasizes the truth of the false conversion charges, “During Lent [1471] when a group called the Cofradia del Caridad, the Brotherhood of Charity, were marching through the streets of Córdoba, a young conversa girl emptied water on the parade from an upper story. As drops fell on the statue of the Virgin Mary they were carrying, pandemonium erupted, and the brothers of charity chanted: ‘Death to the conversos,’ with terrible consequences.”[21] [22]

Reading this between the lines one must see this more than an innocent actions of a young girl. It strikes this reader as odd that any person would empty water on a religious parade. Such a thing seems awfully irreverent, rude, and aggressive, especially in light of the tense situation regarding New Christians. In fact, it strikes one as much like the casual anti-Christian behavior one sees from Jews today or on Jewish-produced TV programs and movies. Additionally, the conversa girl was probably emptying a chamber pot filled with something other than water on the parade goers. One must wonder if the Jewish “New Christians” both couldn’t help but be hostile and also felt a sense of invulnerability.

Probably the most effective metapolitical effort involved rumor and fantasy that the lowest ranks of society easily understood. This included two ideas. The first was that Jews were killing children as part of their Passover rituals, and the second was that Jewish conversos were defiling the sacraments of bread and wine used in communion in some way. The multipronged metapolitical effort forced the Spanish government to organize the Inquisition to sort out who was truly Christian or merely faking it in 1478.[22] [23]

When Universalist Religious Theology Meets Ethnic Conflict

The Spanish Inquisition was really a heresy by the theology under which it claimed to operate. To explain further, the Inquisition was operating under the control of the Spanish government, not the Pope – a very suspicious arrangement under the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Additionally, it is theologically questionable that a government program such as the Inquisition should question the genuineness of any person’s conversion carried out under church authority. However, the Inquisition was, in fact, a rational response to a Jewish/Aryan conflict. The Inquisition was the answer to the question of what happens when a universalist religion meets a racial-ethnic conflict in the here and now.

In the contemporary United States, a similar thing is occurring. The universalism of Christianity is warped by racial-ethnic conflict. American churches remain fundamentally segregated, although no mainstream church officially acknowledges the divides in America between whites and the Jews and “Moorish” non-whites. However, there are religious changes occurring in American society driven by the racial-ethnic conflict that echo the Inquisition.

After the racial and ethnic ‘civil rights’ conflict of the 1960s, several white American activists have sought to carry out their own religious reformations which, like the Inquisition, assume that racial Jews are irredeemable. One is Ben Klassen’s Creativity Movement. Another is William Luther Pierce’s Cosmotheism. The Christian Identity movement is also a racially oriented religion hostile to Jews. None of these religions have really gone viral, but there has also been enough of a revival of racially oriented Germanic Paganism to cause the Veterans Administration to add a Thor’s Hammer as an Emblem of Belief on Veteran’s gravestones. One thing of note, about the same time that negative aspects of Jewish influence on American society was too great to ignore, i.e. when the Iraq War clearly became a quagmire in 2006, the pro-Zionist Evangelical Protestant movement lost a large number formerly affiliated young adults.

Spanish (and Portuguese) Culture Takes Off Like a Rocket

During the time of Ferdinand and Isabella, aside from the fierce racial conflict between Indo-Europeans and Semites and the religious conflict between Jews, Christians, and Moslems, another thing is occurring at the time but, with a few exceptions, only the Christian Aryans are in on it. This is that the scientific knowledge related to geography is connecting to the increasingly sophisticated nautical and military technology. Farsighted men were beginning to realize that their sailors could go anywhere there were winds and water to float a caravel. Again, the Islamic Kingdoms of Morocco and Grenada were very close to Portugal, but none profited from this revolution in maritime affairs. Jews, while in every Iberian city of consequence contributed little to this advance of science.

In Portugal, Prince Henry the Navigator (1394–1460) became a patron of explorers and mariners, and his seamen were doing great things. Portuguese sailors were beginning to fully explore the coasts of Africa, and went on to understand the currents and wind patterns on the Atlantic. They also discovered the Azores Islands. Christopher Columbus, an Italian, also heard word of severely lost sailors who might have seen the Americas, as well as the bodies of a strange pair of people washed up upon the coast of Ireland. These people were of a race not known and wearing strange clothes. They were probably Inuit from Greenland who’d drowned in a kayak accident and floated to Ireland. The combination of clues, advancing technology, and expanding scientific knowledge came together in Portugal.

Columbus took his idea to head west towards Asia to the King of Portugal, however various advisors and schemers interfered and Columbus was betrayed. After Grenada fell, Columbus took his revolutionary maritime knowledge to Spain. Intrigued, the Spanish sovereigns sponsored his voyage and the rest is history. When the Spanish expelled the Jews and Moors, its culture took off to glory.


[1] [24] [25]

[2] [26],_Spain [27]

[3] [28] [29]

[4] [30] A more likely example of how the Moorish people in Spain behaved can be found in the modern Belgian town of Molenbeek. One former resident called it a despondent, destitute, fatalistic neighborhood. [31]

[5] [32] [33]

[6] [34] For a more likely true account of what Moorish Spain was like: [35]

[7] [36] Surprisingly, Reston does not mention modern invasions with similar alleged causes. In 1989, the official reason that the Americans invaded Panama in 1989 was after several American servicemen were shot and one woman threatened with rape. [37] In fact, tensions between Panama and America had been building for years and were centered on Drug Trade issues. Americans had also been moving combat troops to the Panama Canal Zone for months prior to the invasion. In 711, Moslem armies had been making conquests for a century. The Moors had probably been making preparations to invade Spain for a year or more.

[8] [38] Dogs of God, Kindle Loc. 1133

[9] [39] One can watch an ISIS Video here: [40]

[10] [41] Like the conversos, American Jews control key parts of the economy, and most, if not all major financial swindles or disasters such as the Savings and Loans Crisis of the 1980s or the Enron collapse have a Jewish origin. In the words of William Luther Pierce, “What do we find?” [After some financial scandal,] “Another Jewish ‘financial genius’ blinking at the light and trying to scurry away like a startled cockroach, a bulging suitcase full of money in each hand.” [42]

[11] [43] [44]

[12] [45] [46]

[13] [47] The Kingdoms were united during the lives of both Sovereigns. Due to legal technicalities, when Isabella died, the kingdoms ceased to be united, but this was only temporarily.

[14] [48],_Badajoz [49]

[15] [50] [51]

[16] [52] Dogs of God: Columbus, Kindle Loc. 1849

[17] [53],_Granada [54]

[18] [55] MacDonald, Kevin B., Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism, Kindle Loc. 3298.

[19] [56] Dogs of God, Kindle Loc. 2487.

[20] [57] When reading about the leadership of the 1967 anti-napalm protests in Madison, Wisconsin, I was struck by the casual anti-American hostility of the family of Jewish protester Paul Soglin. “Paul rarely saw his mother more dismayed than she was on the day that he came home from the Hyde Park school with an American Legion medal he had won for a seventh-grade essay extolling the symbolic glory of the American flag.” The United States has no state religion, but it does have a semi-spiritual Americanism faith. That pseudo-faith has socially binding rituals and semi-religious icons such as the American flag. Jewish hostility towards these symbols in 1950s America preceded Jewish hostility towards American culture on the part of the Paul Sogln’s 1960s New Left. It also shows that for Jews, citizenship in the United States was not undertaken in a genuine way. It was a conversion every bit as false as the New Christians in 15th century Spain. (Quote found here: Maraniss, David, They Marched Into Sunlight: War and Peace Vietnam and America October 1967, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003, Loc. 1733)

[21] [58] Dogs of God, Kindle Loc. 787

[22] [59] Kevin MacDonald adds, “The real crime in the eyes of the Iberians was that the Jews who had converted after 1391 were racialists in disguise, and this was the case even if they sincerely believed in Christianity while nevertheless continuing to marry endogamously and to engage in political and economic cooperation within the group. Those who had voluntarily assimilated prior to 1391 were not targets of the Inquisition, since such individuals were implicitly viewed as being free from the crime of racialism. It was not the extent of Jewish ancestry that was a crime, but the intentional involvement in a group evolutionary strategy. In this sense, the Inquisition was profoundly non-racist. Rather, it was concerned with punishing racialism.” Separation and Its Discontents, Kindle Loc. 3499