I'm beginning to think that the American conflict in Iraq is a 'Crusade'. Now, it's not being officially called that by any government but I'm beginning to think that that's what we're involved in. For a background on what a Crusade is see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusade .
It seems like much of what has been going on is similar, misinformation is used to rally assistance to an 'aggrieved' party and to have others join in on attacking someone else - particularly Arab / Muslim peoples for the betterment of all of the aggrieved parties friends.
Now, you might be tempted to say that a Crusade requires a religious component, and I'm beginning to think that for President Bush - it does. The 'evil ones' are the terrorists, they are everywhere and anywhere, they don't believe in 'freedom' or 'democracy' and they should, the world would be a better place if they all believed etc.
At the time of the crusades the Pope was the focus of much power in Europe, today it's the American King, and if you don't do what he wants he'll excommunicate you - throw you out of the community of nations, mark you as a rogue nation etc.
Now, I'm no peace nick- I think Canada's involvement in Afghanistan is important, horrible things were being done there in the name of religion, and I hope that the difference between Afghanistan and Iraq is religion - we're not there to change the Afgani people (though some of that will happen) our primary mission is to bring peace. In Iraq and the rest of the middle east - the Americans are engaged in wholesale 'nation building' to bring their 'religion' to the ignorant undemocratic peoples of the middle east.
My big concern is that the crusades lasted from the 11th to the 13th centuries, 200+ years...