Tenth Crusade (pre-21st century)

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This article is about the expression derived from expeditions to the Holy Land. For the term coined in response to the War on Terror, see Tenth Crusade (CounterPunch).

The tenth crusade is an expression that is primarily sometimes used to describe military incursions by western governments into Muslim-majority nations in the post-early modern period, however, it has also been used to described incursions by western governments in general.[1] Although the term initially was a rhetorical device denoting European interventions, more recently it has come to denote the United States military.[2]


Although the ninth crusade is officially the last military incursion by western Christian-majority nations into the Muslim-majority Middle East, coiners of the term suggest that there have been many interventions into the Middle East that mimics previous crusades whose enumeration may vary to "eleventh", or "twelfth" crusade.[3][4] There have also been many contemporary military expeditions into the Muslim world wherein some of the details of the campaign overlap with medieval invasions launched by European Christians.[5]



Examples of instances that have been compared to a crusade, or suggested as being a tenth crusade includes the Alexandrian Crusade of 1365 and the Lebanese Civil War.[6] Due to the fact that pro-Zionist edicts were primarily signed in Christian majority nations, some viewed its founding as a tenth crusade.[7] Muammar Gaddafi of Libya described the Napoleonic invasion of 1798 as a subsequent crusade, although its enumeration is inexact, depending on how the Papal crusades were added up.[8] Some publishers have described how there existed among Muslims a sense of the existence of crusaderism during the colonial period.[9] The insurgents in the Greco-Turkish wars were seen by many American Christians as being engaged in a tenth crusade.[10]


The "War on Terror" under the George W. Bush administration, has alternatively been termed the tenth crusade, due to the religious nature of the Republican Party. This analogy has been particularly felt to be congruent due to Bush himself having used the term crusade which was picked up on by Columnist Alexander Cockburn (see Tenth Crusade (CounterPunch)). Political commentator James Pinkerton cited two intermediate wars also called "Tenth Crusade", thus renumbering the War on Terror as the "Twelfth Crusade".[11] When the term appears in writing, it usually indicates the author's disapproval of militant Christianity.

US President George W. Bush, from a speech September 16, 2001

This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while. And the American people must be patient. I'm going to be patient. But I can assure the American people I am determined, I'm not going to be distracted, I will keep my focus to make sure that not only are these brought to justice, but anybody who's been associated will be brought to justice. Those who harbor terrorists will be brought to justice. It is time for us to win the first war of the 21st century decisively, so that our children and our grandchildren can live peacefully into the 21st century.[12]

Further reading[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Landis, Geoffrey (2001). Impact Parameter and Other Quantum Realities. p. 319. 
  2. ^ Nienhaus, Volker (1986). Mitteilungen des Deutschen Orient-Instituts, Issues 28-29. p. 52. 
  3. ^ Olson, Elizabeth (2012). Religion and Place: Landscape, Politics and Piety. p. 70. 
  4. ^ Bennis, Phyllis (1990). Beyond the Storm: A Gulf Crisis Reader. p. 253. 
  5. ^ Christian Crusades in Nairobi, Page 25, Zacharia Wanakacha Samita, 1998
  6. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=TFZAybIaLaQC&pg=PA133
  7. ^ Did Desert Shield lead to Desert Hate, p 38, Michael Schmid - 2013
  8. ^ Muslim-Christian Encounters (Routledge Revivals), Page 82, William Montgomery Watt - 2013
  9. ^ Muslim, Christian, Jew, p 56, Arthur G. Gish - 2012
  10. ^ Brands, H W (1998). What America Owes the World: The Struggle for the Soul of Foreign Policy. p. 6. 
  11. ^ Newsday article issued December 4, 2003
  12. ^ [1]