As an addendum of sorts to the recent post regarding Semitic Mind Weaponisation we have a perfect example from that crazy old Levant provided by an SBS One ‘Lost Worlds’ TelAvision documentary about the Knights Hospitaller Crusader castle named ‘Crac des Chevaliers’ located in what is today Syria. In 1271 the Sultan Baibars had recently acquired the top gig via some rather brutal Brutus-like activity on the old Sultan Qutuz. It seems the old Hashish eating Assassins ‘got Medieval’ on old Qutuz’s arse and sent him to Muslim Paradise. Baibars then went on to capture the old crack with relatively little effort and due almost entirely to that ole timey Semitic deception.
Although he outnumbered the defenders 20 to 1, having an army of over ten thousand, he was very aware of how difficult, if not impossible, it would be to take the castle and the massive losses he was likely to suffer so he first attempted negotiation for surrender. This failed and he commenced to attack the castle with siege machines such as massive trebuchets and to mine the outer defences. After about a month he broke through the outer wall after collapsing one of the towers only to be confronted, beyond a deep and wide moat, by the sheer and steep sides of the inner walls rising some fifty metres high.
He must have been stunned and dismayed by the scope of the task ahead and the prospect of spending a very, very long time on one castle so he opted for the instinctive cunning of the Semite. After ten days of no further fighting, the Arabs handed over a letter to the garrison commander. The letter purported to be from the Grand Master of the Hospitaller Order in Tripoli saying there would be no reinforcements and granting permission for them to surrender. It must have been an excellent forgery because it was accepted as genuine and terms were negotiated for surrender and safe passage for the defenders.
Of course the entire garrison was slaughtered upon their emergence from the castle, most of them being beheaded, as is the Arab custom. And the lesson of this tale? We think you know that one, gentle reader...