A muslim perspective from a non-Muslim. An aetheist, which is fine, yet one who takes a pro and con tact in a struggle he doesn't believe in, rendering him not objective, but highly subjective.
The crusades a spectacular failure? Okaaay, let's pretend current history and the civilizational repercussions of them don't exist. The Muslims really only wanted what they have, their earlier conquests were just for show.
He seems to ignore a certain aspect of history, particularly the Caliphate of the 7th and 8th century which saw a Muslim expansion, (not simply an autonomous or equal ideology, as the author tries to paint them as), into Europe. The crusades were a reaction to take back Christian lands.
Of course, it is used to this day to politicize and rally the masses, just as patriotism and cry's for freedom are used on our side.
Exactly what we see, is also what we see today, in reaction to the United States victory in the Cold War. The winner is seen as an imperialist tyrant. All of it's actions in defense of itself are, after the dangers have passed of course, thoroughly scrutinized and criticized and marginalized to the nth degree.
The loser gets the luxury of underdog, victim status, simply by virtue of losing.
If there indeed exists a large cultural struggle, you can be sure Bush is merely a small part and not much in the way of a catalystic player to be hung for his role in the struggle.
It's a mass movement of humanity, with flock-like thinking, to powerful for any individual or group of 'enlightened individuals' to stand against, any more than they can stop evolution. Influence? Yes. Stop? No.