When the spark strikes a powder keg of ethnic, sectarian and nationalist conflict, the tragic answer is yes. This week marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First Balkan War (October 1912 to May 1913). It was the second in a series of three wars that led to the great and not quite...
In all fairness, though the author does go back to 1453 and the most lamentable fall of the glorious city of Constantinople, it goes earlier, and deeper, than that. Much of what happened in the Balkans is directly attributable to the wars between Christians and Muslims (or Hagarenes/Saracens/Ishmaelites, if Robert Spencer's latest book can be believed, which the evidence I've seen so far seems to support, at least to a certain degree). It isn't *merely* about seaports and geographical advantages. It is far, far larger than those causes - though those causes most certainly played a part!
Montenegro's Oct. 8, 1912, declaration of war on the Ottoman Turkish Empire and its Oct. 9 attack on neighboring Albania, an Ottoman protectorate, stunned Europe. Montenegro, a military midget, attacking Albania, another poor and backwater Balkan nowhere? Can a tiny statelet like Montenegro spark great havoc?
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