The other 11 September

(To Andrea Forte)

On 11 and 12 September 1683 the Euro-Christian forces, led above all by the king of the Polish-Lithuanian Confederation, John III Sobieski, took place victoriously battle of Vienna, the second and last siege that the Ottoman army, led by Kara Mustafa Pasha, brings to the city. The extent of this defeat is not clear from the outcome, since even a possible victory would not have yielded the desired result from the geopolitical trajectory, which the Ottoman Empire is performing.

The first Ottoman mistake is to imagine oneself Roman, the second is to misunderstand both the spiritual and material center of Roman power, the third is to underestimate the main enemy of one's posture, the Russians, precisely because Ottoman attention and energy were centered on a wrong axis.

First mistake. The conquest of Constantinople is the highest symbolic point of the Ottoman imaginary, intent on accomplishing itself not as a Turkish-Anatolian, but as heir to the Roman-Byzantine Empire. Reincarnation of the second Rome (the sultans after the taking of the city will also be titled Qaysar-i Rum, Cesare dei Romei), whose direction is supposed to be the priority conquest of the West, from the Balkans to the deep north of Europe, to take the lands of Rome and which he will later call Rumelia. Up to Vienna, the umpteenth and never the last golden apple, an ideal imperial achievement. But an empire made by the Turks cannot be Roman, it must be Turkish.

They do not understand that defense is the main area of ​​expansion of an empire, deep lands, where to keep the enemy away from one's Anatolian heart, which instead the Ottomans still imagine having to reach in the Balkans, in Vienna and then in Rome, and everywhere in a West, which, however, cannot satisfy their defensive needs.

Here you enter the second Turkish mistake. To think that Rome was great for the domination of the terrestrial routes, to imagine it as a homogeneous empire, because it was terrestrial. Of course Rome is great for what it does on land, but it is more so when it makes the leap towards the sea, when it homogenizes, conquering it, the whole Mediterranean, giving center and unity, therefore solidity. Getting Rome would have implied understanding that the domination of the seas is the first red line of Anatolian defense, that the Anatolian peninsula is a ship in the Mediterranean, that it is in its waters that the Turkish imperial fulfillment rests, its mythical Kizilelma, the red apple, the mystical wisdom of the imperial mystery, or the ability, which becomes right, to harmoniously dominate the world. Mystery that began thousands of years earlier, when the Turks imagined the prototurchi coming down from the Altay mountains. Descent that marks the beginning of a march, a march that translates a destiny and a right to be ecumenical as rulers. In the Mediterranean Anatolia is defended, in the Mediterranean it is fulfilled spiritually, that is, it becomes imperial. This is the only declination of the Roman legacy that would have been accessible to Turkish ambitions and mythical instruments. It is a march that takes the wrong path, which does not reach his soul, but only a little more land, never enough to become spirit, to allow the Turks to become themselves.

This error generates the third. The Turks do not realize that a more lethal Rome rises in the northern cold, Moscow. Paradoxically, it is precisely the mistake of Ottoman incompleteness that allows the Russians to become empire, in response to their ancestral fear of the Turkish element, which they imagine as the reincarnation of the Mongol, for centuries the brutal oppressor of the Russians. To understand the asymmetry of their respective perceptions, for the Turks the Russians are nothing more than one of the peoples of the north. They do not understand that, if a Russian empire arises, its imperial ambitions would be almost identical to those of Turkey. The Turks themselves do not perceive themselves as the reincarnation of the Mongols, but a people who have been victims of them, but who, nevertheless, resisting the great enemy of the Russians, instilled in them the idea of ​​being the replica of the old monster. Insurmountable perceptual line for the Russians, who respond with brutal wars, not in the name of magnification, but in the name of the fact that, if the only real way to defeat a mortal enemy is to reincarnate in it - like the Turks, they believe, they did it with the Mongols - then the Russians will do it with the Turks.

So the Russians don't just want to defeat the Turks, they want to eradicate them from the earth and from history. For this reason the lands inhabited by the Turks will not only be conquered, but colonized, inhabited by the Russians, precisely to reincarnate in those lands and for this same reason the Russians want to arrive in Anatolia and Istanbul, to disintegrate the last existing state of the Turks. Deadly war, which the Turks, being Ottomans, do not perceive, except when they no longer have the strength to win, now committed to defending the anti-strategic territories of Hungary and Transylvania.

Thus began the supreme strategic battle for the domination of Ukraine, and even more for all the space between the Carpathians and the Caucasus. Indeed, the Russians understand before the Turks that the Caucasus and Crimea itself are not enough. It serves all theulug yurt, the Turkish-Mongolian West, to tighten in a pincer, from the Balkans to the Caucasus, Istanbul. Dominating this space decides who the true external power of Europe is and who dominates its periphery. The Russians understand that these lands are necessary to get to Istanbul, but for the Turks the Black Sea and its northern coasts are not the center of a strategic axis. To the north they imagine the Crimean tarari as main enemies, not the Russians, who in Crimea see the launching pad towards the Dardanelles Strait, via the Black Sea and, before that, capable of superimposing material strategy and symbolic self-awareness, the advanced position of defense of the Russian heart.

Matter and spirit were said, and the Ottomans both lost north of the Black Sea. In 1552 Ivan IV proclaimed himself ulug khan, the title of the sovereigns of the Golden Horde (the Mongolian-Turkishized khanate), with this imagining to snatch the Mongol reincarnation from the Turks (already in 1547 he was the first Russian Grand Duke to proclaim himself Tsar - Caesar - of Russia), but concretely obtaining the symbolic name of what domination in those lands is. Russia manages not only to be the external power of Europe, but to be European and contributes, together with many other factors, to crushing the Turkish in the European imagination as another par excellence, an absolute enemy. The titles of zar e ulug khan they are the first step in the march to take possession of the western steppe and to legitimately take back Rome-Constantinople-Istanbul.

It is the XNUMXth century. It is 1683, the Ottoman disaster in Vienna appeals to the Russians. At the end of the century, Crimea is surrounded, not immediately annexed to the Russians (Canat of Crimea), because by itself it would not be enough, because it is a sword on the Straits, as they are on her and on the Russian heart, but in fact it is suffocated. and it will be absorbed in 1783, when for almost a century, with the Treaty of Istanbul of 1700 (in Carlowitz in 1699 the Russo-Ottomans only temporarily lay down their arms), Russia has been attributed to Ukraine. With that of Küçük Kaynarca of 1774, the Ottoman Empire recognizes the Russian empire in fact the dominion over all the lands north of the Black Sea, starter of the Russian domination over the whole land between Dniestr and Don, the area that covers the flanks of the Crimea and complete the Russian defensive bastion. Ukraine does everything and allows everything to be done. Without it, the Ottoman Empire could make Russia's stay in Crimea itself unsustainable. With the possession of Ukraine the Balkans are opened to Russia and the Russian Balkan-Caucasian pincer rises over Istanbul. In 1878 the Russians had the army at the gates of the city. The Ottoman Empire dissolves with the First World War ... but also the Russian one.

It was on the Black Sea and its coasts, in the seas, that the Ottoman Empire should have brought the empire, or its strategic defense, but to do so it would have had to understand the geopolitical-strategic scope of the domination of the Mediterranean and its value. of thalassocracy in general.

The empire is built on the seas because power is made there. Failure to do so has prevented the Turkish perception from closing the Black Sea to the Russians, thus obstructing above all the Balkan route and the Crimea-Dardanelli axis.

1683-2001 . If 1683 marks the beginning of the victorious counter-offensive of the European powers and the decline of the Ottoman Empire, while still remaining powerful for a long time, it can be said that 11 September 2001 marks the idea that global superpower and vulnerability are not in contradiction. In turn, the poor management of the Afghan affair has shown how the very offensive possibilities of a superpower are not in themselves unlimited, especially in the imperial will to implement them indefinitely. The policeman of the whole world seems to be relegating to the administrator of the world that must be defended. In terms of the American narrative, this is not the beginning of decline, but at least a rhetorical disaster.

Thinking back to our 11 September, that of 2001, and to the twenty years that have passed from the first Qaedist coup to the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, one cannot fail to see an analogy between the durations of these cycles. Also the battle of Vienna in fact it triggers a reaction, also conducted with great force in the initial blow and poorly managed in its continuity. It leads to more than fifteen years of conflict, which ended with the treaty of Carlowitz of 1699. The Doha agreement of 2018 in turn marks an American withdrawal from an a-strategic zone for it, as Hungary was for the Turks, but the Turks are based on their mistake, the Americans can " undo ".

Certainly in 1683 the Turks and in 2001 Al Qaeda they can do a lot, because so many are the limits of the powers that are challenged. In both cases, religion masks politics of power. It is true, Pope Innocent XI in 1683 calls for the "last crusade" against the Turks, and in 2001 the Islamic extremists hope for a more anti-Islamic crusade than against terrorism itself, but in 1683 the very Christian Frenchman Louis XIV does not hesitate. to push the Turks against the Austrian emperor Leopold I, in turn jealous of John III of Poland after the victory.

The western front in 2003 crumbles into its European component in the face of the invasion of Iraq. Because power is at stake, not religion.