One can be critical of the Crusades, but primarily because of the great damage they have inflicted on the Christian East. As for the slaughters, what the Crusaders did to the Muslim inhabitants of Jerusalem in 1099 was as bad as what the Muslims had done to countless Christian cities before and after that time. From the distance of almost a millennium, it is time to see the Crusades as Christendom’s reaction to Muslim aggression, a reconquest of something taken by force from its rightful owners. By the end of the 13th century, the last Crusader remnants in Palestine and Syria were wiped out. That was the end of the real Crusades but it was by no means the end of jihad. That same jihad that had conquered and reconquered the Holy Land continues in earnest today. With his Kingdom of Heaven, Ridley Scott has joined the ranks of its abettors. ~Srdja Trifkovic