On crusade, King Richard the Lionheart had a craving for pork. But none could be found in the Holy Land, whose inhabitants abhorred swine’s flesh. How was the dilemma to be resolved? The problem of how King Richard dealt with an absence of pork inspired Sir Walter Scott to write a Crusader Poem about it.
Thus reads the description of my latest video, “Crusader Poetry”, published to YouTube on February 10, 2016. The clip, which clocks in at 17 minutes and 34 seconds, can hopefully be viewed at the top of today’s blog entry.
It was the old crusader times. Things were scary back then. And things are scary now because the Crusades never definitely ended. Soon after the spooky events of September 11, 2001 – dubbed “9/11” – George W. Bush proclaimed a new crusade. And now, with the economy in dreadful shape, it makes sense that many would want to have yet another Crusade. Among these New Crusaders are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. After a poor showing in New Hampshire, though, Crusader Hillary is not looking so likely. But Crusader Donald picks up the slack and promises to go beyond even waterboarding for torture of the heathen.
The European and Arab versions of the Crusades have little in common, it says on the back of the book, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes. Among the incidents told in Amin Maalouf’s book is that of the Syrian city of Ma’arra, in 1098 AD.
To us, the crusaders were the Franks. But the Arabs called them the Franj. The Franj do not like to talk about what happened at Ma’arra. The Frankish chronicler Radulph of Caen describes how the Franj put the townspeople to the sword. Adults were boiled in cooking pots. Children were impaled on spits, grilled, and then eaten by the hungry crusaders. 
And ever since, in the epic literature of the Turks, the Franj are invariably described as cannibals.
Is something like this what New Crusader Donald has in mind when he says he will go beyond even waterboarding? Hey, it worked for Richard the Lionheart (at least as Sir Walter Scott described it). When no pork could be found, a substitute for same was devised. 
——- Sources ——-
 The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, by Amin Maalouf. New York: Schocken Books, 1984.
 From “Appendix to Introduction”: The Talisman, by Sir Walter Scott. Kindle e-book edition.