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Friday, December 07, 2007


Jerry Pournelle, who, while considering himself a conservative, is opposed to Bush's war, has been discussing the Imperial ambitions of the neo-cons. He said this & added an email from me at the end:

..... We can mind our own business, only we don't. Our intervention in Kossovo was insane: here was an historic province of Serbia with a Serbian majority as late as the 1920's; which never ever had a policy of legal immigration of Albanians; and the US bombs Belgrade in order to enforce Albanian rights in a place few Americans could find on a map (and a majority of those would be Serbian)! This is roughly analogous to Russia bombing Washington to get the US to cede San Diego to Mexico.

That's where globalization leads. It leads to the US about to fight the Kurds to keep them from annoying the Turks, or else having to side with the Kurds against the Turks. Neither is an inviting prospect.

We defended Viet Nam during the Cold War because we had a national interest in Containment as a policy and if you are for containment you must do some containing. We let millions go to reeducation camps and become boat people because the Democrats in Congress smelled blood in the water and wanted Republican scalps, and couldn't be bothered to support an ally against a naked blatant invasion from the North by an armored army with more tanks than the Wehrmacht had at Kursk. That is a measure our our constancy and determination.

Globalization means domestic imperialism because empires need constancy of purpose and can't kowtow to the Senate. Rome was an Empire before Caesar, but it wasn't a competent one because Senate and People couldn't agree on how to govern it or how to govern the army or what to do about the Gauls, or how to suppress the pirates in the Mediterranean and Ionic Seas. Pompey took care of the pirates, then it took Caesar to take care of Pompey, and ---

Those who will not study history are condemned to repeat it. Imperial Republics do not last; either they cease to be imperial or, far more likely, they cease to be Republics. Venice was an exception for a long time and the Framers studied and discussed the Venetian Republic; I doubt that ten members of Congress know that or know anything about Venice and Venetia. And Venice did not seek to be global.

Perpetual war for perpetual peace.


Subject: On Empire

The pragmatic problem, for Americans of going for a world empire is that they are thinking small.

The history of Europe from 1568 (Netherlands' rebellion) to 1918 is of endless fights as to who got to be Holy Roman Emperor & rule Belgium. Meanwhile Britain, which had the advantage of being an independent land mass took the rest of the world.

In the long or even medium term what language is spoken on the Moon & Ganymede is more important than that of Kosovo & Iraq & need not cost more to influence.

Neil Craig

Congress could also usefully study the great Genoa Municipal Bond Crisis of whenever it was.
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