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The relevant analogy to US fighting force (including, especially, its relationship to the US populace) is the army of France under Napoleon III.

Middle class largely out of it, working class obviously the backbone, high bourgeoisie occupying officers roles, not a citizen army but in name only.  Just waiting to get their asses kicked by a real citizen army. In this light, Iraq might be seen as a Sebastopol, a relatively long conflict with no real winners which served mostly to piss off France's most important ally, Russia.

We can only hope that when Sedan comes, the aftermath will be equally as bloodless. Though I can't imagine Bush (or his successor) in exile in England. Where oh where would such a man go?

Walk around the US a bit, take a look at bellies which recall images, at least for me, of the excesses of Rome, and ask yourself if the US could in fact field more than just a small force of elite citizen soldiers. No, without technology, there's no there there. All the rot of Rome, with none of the glory.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 10:44:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bloodless aftermath ?

You're talking about the army that did the repression of the Paris Commune...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 11:33:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That happened a bit later.

Initially, the republic was restored, but they made the mistake of fighting on. If they had sued for peace, things may have been different, but, being the type of men of a certain class that they were, they didn't. That's the logic of these things.

But the coup that removed the monarchy was itself almost entirely bloodless.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:00:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean, the end of the empire ?

I'm afraid we won't get to see Dubya wandering in a Hummer, on the battlefield of the Najrah defeat, in desperation over his lost war and legacy... That's what helped the creation of the republic after the Sedan defeat. And don't forget that the third republic was initially monarchist...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:33:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I don't forget it at all. Just like the Democrats are hardly on the side of the people, either.

It's a nice though to imagine such Bush wanderings, but I imagine him more somewhere in Uruguay, far away from horses though, he's afraid of them. They might bite.

Monarchy, empire, six of one, demi-dozen of the other by that point in French history. In fact, Nap III needed that war in order to ensure ascension of his descendance, which is why many refer to the period as the imperial monarchy.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:42:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the US is not up against a citizen army.

Look, guerillas are fine. They win as long as they don't lose. That is, as long as they hang around, the enemy will leave and they will win.

But they can't beat conventional forces on the battlefield. That's just what the conventional forces want to, as the result is utter carnage.

They have to go conventional themselves at that point, like at Dien Bien Phu or the last offensive against South Vietnam.

This will obviously not happen in Iraq at this juncture.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:39:24 PM EST
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Iraq's isn't.

But Iran's is.

And if it isn't Iran, there will eventually be another. That's the logic of what the US has found itself in, and eventually it will play out, as it always has.

Hopefully not on a battlefield, but here again, it's hard to see how this is avoidable.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:44:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the Iranians couldn't even beat the Iraqis when the Iraqis had an Army.

If the Iranians are mad enough to fight a conventional war against the Americans, they will be ground to dust. That's it.

If they fight unconventional (read Hizb Allah, and google Paul van Ripen and Millenium Challenge 2002) there will be huge problems for the Americans, but not huge enough to make retreat impossible.


Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:59:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We shall see.

It's one thing to fight your neighbor who has the advantage of knowing the terrain as well as you, and whose supply lines are at the very least not exposed and primarily within controlled, sovereign territory.

It is quite another to fight an isolated and demoralized expeditionary force whose supply lines are very exposed and primarily passing through increasingly hostile territory.

I think if you are suggesting that US troops in Iraq and, importantly, allied civilian personel, will be anything but sitting ducks, you are sadly mistaken. I mean, I saw Rambo in Afghanistan also, but the reality is something different...

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 02:36:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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