Survival of the Luckiest – Franz Kunstler: Austria-Hungary’s Last Soldier

Europe Between East And West

Toward the end of his long and improbable life Franz Kunstler is reported to have said, “When I’m 110 the devil can come and get me.” The devil never came for Kunstler, but death did. At the ripe old age of 107, Kunstler finally died. It had been a long time in coming.

It has now been over six and a half years since Kunstler, the last surviving Austro-Hungarian soldier to fight in World War I, died. Kunstler outlived the other 7,800,000 soldiers who fought for an empire that would vanish at the end of the war. Kunstler had won the lottery ticket of life, outlasting his compatriots by luck and longevity. The biographic (and geographic) details of Kuntsler’s life are astonishing. They illuminate the lost multicultural world of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a world of many different ethnic groups living side by side. This world existed across much of Central…

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Now Let Us Praise Tragic Men: Maximilano of México

An excellent and thoughtful article on the ill-fated Archduke Maximilian, albeit a bit too sympathetic towards Juarez for my tastes.

Musings On The Right

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Cinco de Gringo Mayo is upon us, inaugurating a deluge of white drinking not seen since St. Patrick’s Day was on a Friday. While you’re slamming down your fifth watered down tequila take a little time to pour one out for Maximiliano I of the Second Mexican Empire.

Now strictly speaking Maximiliano technically doesn’t have anything to do with Cinco de Mayo or the Battle of Puebla. But this is my site and I’ll shoehorn whatever I like into wherever I see fit.

Mexican history is inevitably one of lost opportunities and ruined possibilities. From the Conquest to Independence, the Reform War, el Porfiriato, the Revolution, the Cristero War and all the way to the current drug war, justice and peace seem somewhat illusory. While Maximilano was a flawed man, I can’t help but think maybe it was lost juncture for Mexico, possibly a more peaceful and just one.

The…

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On False Idealism

Although I was rather dismayed to learn of the U.S. missile strikes on Syrian Airbases, I was far more disheartened by the reaction of many of the President’s former supporters, in particular a piece written by the perpetually misleared Mark Citadel. Among some of the other detractors of the president include conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson, anti-catholic harridan Ann Coulter, and the nationalist maniac Richard Spencer. With the exception of Citadel, all of the above are American Citizens, and all of the above identify with either the “Alt-Right”, the “Reactosphere”, or both. Ironically, for a group supposedly opposed to Globalism, the Alt-Right and much of the Reactosphere have proven rather globalistic themselves. There is no sense of loyalty to one’s leader or country, only a mad cry that “traitor”. Not one consideration that the strike was, in essence, a “shot over the bow” that caused no casualties and negligible damage. Only shallow attacks on the President and his character, as well as in the case of Citadel (among others), entirely uncalled for and vulgar attacks on the President’s family. I could not find a singular shred of patriotism in any of the attacks on Trump, save for a few, more measured responses a few days afterwards. It was entirely ignored that, on a purely pragmatic level, Assad is hostile to American interests, or that Russia is not the friend of the West. The Alt-Right cares only about it’s “movement” independant of any real, lasting loyalties to their nation. I’ve seen Americans say that their “only hope” is now Marine Le Pen, a pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, anti-religious Leftist from a whole seperate continent whose sole appear to them is radical xenophobia. Never mind that blaming Islam for Wahhabism is roughly akin to blaming Catholics for atrocities committed by Calvinists in the Eighty Years War (of which there were many).

Apologies if it seems that I’m rambling at this point, but I’ve been thinking about the Alt-Right and its many problems for some time now. I have no issue with having ideals and sticking to this, but one should never let this cause them to lose sight of their loyalties. Much as I wanted Norbert Hofer to win in Austria, it was something ultimately out of my control, and to some extent, not my concern. My first loyalty is always to the Faith, followed by my Fatherland, and then to lawful authorities. My loyalty is not to Syria, or Russia, or to Assad or Putin. It is to America and Trump. The American attacks on Syria were foolish, unneeded, and frankly stupid. But neither Assad nor Putin is a saint, and one should not be so ready to renounce a loyalty, born of a hard-won victory, for so trivial an incident as this.

Vienna, 12 September, 1683

Today marks the 333rd Anniversary of the Christian Victory at the Siege of Vienna, in which a Polish-Imperial Relief force led by King John III Sobieski of Poland defeated the Ottoman forces which had laid siege to Vienna.

“It marked a turning point: not only was further Ottoman advance on Christian territories stopped, but in the following war that lasted up to 1698 almost all of Hungary was reconquered by the army of Emperor Leopold I. From 1683 the Ottoman Turks ceased to be a menace to the Christian world”
 – Walter Leitsch

Some thoughts on the present state of Islam

The mainstream views on Islam are getting, quite frankly, rather tiring. Nearly everyone insists that you have to either be totally blind to the crisis at hand and believe that ISIS only exist because of poverty and american imperialism, or be a loony who thinks that ISIS is the pinnacle of Islamic teaching and that all Muslims are terrorists. Neither is true. Islam is not a religion of peace, but honestly, I’d be hesitant to call any religion a “religion of peace” without first indicating what I meant by peace. There is a longstanding tradition of Holy War in Islam, but there is no major, mainstream tradition of Islamic terrorism, and the distinction between this needs to be made. Saladin’s conquests were in line with traditional Islamic thought, ISIS or Al-Qaeda committed random acts of terror against unarmed civilians is most certainly not. Modern Islamic Terrorism is rooted almost entirely in Wahhabism, an eighteen-century revanchist aberration of the traditional Islamic teaching on (lesser) Jihad. The traditional Islamic rulings on how warfare is to be conducted are generally fairy civil, with the exception of their rulings on slavery, the issue there is less in ruling than it is on lack of practice. But let’s be honest, how many times did medieval Christians follow the Peace and Truce of God?

We need to be able to have honest conversations about Islam, without the fear of being demonized as an “Islamaphobe”, if we want to find a solution to the problems of modern Islam. I think Islam could be reformed to be a reasonably peaceful religion. But so long as we have this insistence that Islam has nothing to do with Islamic Terrorism, we will be unable to confront the theological issues that lie at the very root of the problem. Just the same, so long as we have a knee-jerk reaction to anything Islamic, we will continue to foster a climate of mutual hostility that will do nothing but prevent any sort of mutual understanding or attempts at peace. Christians would do well to remember the words of Christ on the cross; “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”

Deo Vindice

“For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it’s still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t even begun yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave yet it’s going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn’t need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose than all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago.”
― William Faulkner, Intruder in the Dust

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Deo Vindice

The South Shall Rise Again