3 thoughts on “Getting from Point A to Point B just got a lot easier.

  1. These tunnels remind me of the various times in history when Turks dug tunnels to detonate explosives under the walls of Christian fortresses they were besieging. Vienna itself would have fallen due to such tunnels, were it not for Sobieski’s relief, but in the Turks’ ultimately successful siege of Constantinople the defenders foiled such tunnels by building their own parallel tunnels.

    However, it’s the case of another failed Muslim attempt to breach the defenses of an Infidels’ redoubt that contains the most important lesson for Israel — and for the rest of us. During the siege of Famagusta (1570- 1571) Mustafa Pasha launched massive assaults with a far superior army, dug tunnels filled with explosives and applied other military engineering feats to vanquish the small Christian garrison.

    All failed, due to the heroic defenders. Mustafa’s forces suffered heavy losses and he was getting tired and discouraged. So he hit upon an idea of the largest, most dangerous tunnel of them all: “peace” negotiations.

    As relayed by one of the sources devoted to the commemoration of this event

    “Lala Mustafa, discouraged by the limited results achieved by his troops, stricken by the death of his son and ignoring the fact that the defendants had exhausted their gunpowder, offered extremely good terms for the surrender of Famagusta. The terms included: military honours; safe transfer to Crete of the troops and freedom for the rest of the population to remain or follow the troops. [snip]

    On August 5, [Famagusta’s commander, Marco Antonio] Bragadino and his lieutenants were ready to formally hand over the keys of Famagusta to Mustafa. The meeting was accepted and at the beginning Mustafa was very polite. Then suddenly his mood changed. He demanded retention of a Venetian officer as security against the safe return of the Turkish fleet from Crete. Bragadino protested that this had not been part of the agreed surrender. This enraged Mustafa and he ordered his guards to hack three of Bragadino’s lieutenants to bits. Bragadino had his nose and ears sliced off and was thrown into a dungeon for ten days. Then he was publicly humiliated and finally chained between two pillars in front of the cathedral and was flayed alive. Eyewitness account agree that he bore all these torments in dignity and silence. Mustafa stuffed Bragadino’s skin with straw and paraded it around the city on a cow.”

    • Famagusta, formerly a mainly ethnic Greek city in Northern Cyprus, is a ghost town since the illegal occupation by Turkey forty years ago. Hence the constant demonstrations outside Turkish embassies ever since (!)

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