Journalist Jeremy Scahill writes in "Explosive Allegations: Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder," that,
A former Blackwater employee and an ex-U.S. Marine....claim that the company's owner, Erik Prince, "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith."
In September 2001, then-President George W. Bush announced a "crusade" against terrorism.
Do Erik Prince and George W. Bush understand what are the connotations of the word crusade to anyone who is mindful of world history--and especially to one who is also an Islamic resident of the Middle East? Probably not.
In American popular culture crusade has lost virtually all of its negative weight, probably because the word has been so often used in the US in the context of promoting or describing almost entirely non-violent evangelical proselytizing campaigns (e.g., Crusade Ministries) or a group's campaigns to address a perceived social ill.
But a project dubbed a "crusade" ought not to be a thing to celebrate, and it is rightfully an utterly disgusting term to many Muslims around the world. For them, crusade conjures up tales of wanton violence and wholesale slaughter against Muslims by arrogant Westerners.
The Crusades were 200 years (A.D. 1095 - 1291) of Church-sanctioned military campaigns of conquest against majority-Muslim cities in the Holy Land, especially Jerusalem; the campaigns (which were not called Crusades until generations later) involved the barbarous actions by Crusaders against not only armed opponents but civilian populations.
Radulph of Caen, an eyewitness to events at Ma'arra in 1098, wrote, "In Ma'arra our troops boiled pagan adults in cooking-pots; they impaled children on spits and devoured them grilled."
The chronicler Albert of Aix seemed to rank Muslims lower than dogs when he wrote, "Not only did our troops not shrink from eating dead Turks and Saracens; they also ate dogs!"
While some scholars argue that these descriptions are fabrications reflecting European nobles' disdain for European peasants, it does not matter insofar as it is notions such as that of Crusaders as "baby eaters" that, accurate or not, endure in the Middle East.
When the Crusaders attacked Jerusalem, this is one description of what ensued:
the pilgrims entered the city, pursuing and killing the Saracens up to the Temple of Solomon, where the enemy gathered in force. The battle raged throughout the day, so that the Temple was covered with their blood. When the pagans had been overcome, our men seized great numbers, both men and women, either killing them or keeping them captive, as they wished. (Gesta Francorum.)
After capturing the stronghold of Acre, Richard I ("the Lionheart") ordered the nearly 2,700 inhabitants of the city taken outside of its walls and massacred.
It is also worth noting that the Crusades stirred up a great deal of anti-Semitism as well, resulting in pogroms especially during the early part of the Crusade era.
There were atrocities committed by both Muslim and Christian armies during the Crusades, but what the Crusades ended up doing, ultimately, was radicalizing segments of Muslim populations by invading and slaughtering 1,000's of civilians. The Crusaders eventually lost every parcel of land they'd occupied, including Jerusalem and Acre itself. In other words, the Crusades utterly failed in their military and religious objectives. That should be repeated: the Crusades were a failure in every sense of the word. Why then would you want to evoke a period of violent and shameful excess by calling anything you're involved with a "crusade?" Why, unless you are either ignorant or very much mean to conjure up the ruthless, religion-based, quasi-genocidal actions against Muslims that much of the Crusades represented.