In 1803, the US lost one of its best ships when Bainbridge hit uncharted rocks. According to Anthony Irvin, the Philadelphia was “one-third of Preble’s Squadron.”
Month: March 2011
bookmark_borderWhen will we disband Nato?
The recent “no-fly” zone has proved that Nato is not needed. In the case of Germany and Turkey’s apparent objections, it seems that Nato was not even heeded.
Nato is a relic of the Cold War. It serves to annoy China and Russia, two countries that feel targeted by it. It is nothing more than a bunch of red tape, at worst, and a dangerous blade at the best.
Machiavelli stated that forts provoke attacks. Homer, the writer of the Odessy, stated that the unsheathed blade provokes like nothing else.
That’s not to say that having a military will always draw a nation into war, even though some of the founders feared that. Having a permanent military alliance, however, with all its expensive red tape, will cause problems.
In times of economic crisis, when the military is under threat of cuts, many strategists naturally fear losing their jobs. They are hard at work proving that they are needed. Big, long wars tend to start in times of threatened budget cuts.
This crisis can be dealt with by the EU, the Arab League, and the United States. When I first heard of the UN resolution, I was hoping that the Arab League would sort it out.
The Russian and Chinese objections are nothing new. That’s an old habit of theirs to pretend that they don’t interfere in other countries’ internal affairs. I guess the Warsaw pact, the invasion of Tibet, the civil war in Angola and Mozambique, terrorism in South Africa, and the Korean War, among others, never happened. Oh, and No Chinese troops are outside of China, and no Russian troops outside of Russia. If you believe that, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you…
Nato gives them an excuse, however, to kick up a fuss. Nato supposedly exists to get rid of the Russian empire or to get rid of communism. It doesn’t exist to protect civilians against Gadaffi. But in reality, it’s just a jobs program for a bunch of bureaucrats who like to think of themselves as strategists.
The UN didn’t need Nato to call the no-fly zone. (And the strikes didn’t start when they did because of Nato either. They started because of the French election.) Nato needs to be disbanded. It’s getting in the way of an intelligent defence policy, and it’s getting in the way of cooperation between the northern and southern (such as Berber) powers of the Western World.
I’d still like to see the Arab League take a leading role in defending civilians, or at least see another North African country get involved. It was inspiring to see the conflicts in other countries resolved with so little bloodshed.
bookmark_borderWhy is Hollywood so dangerous?
After watching an American movie with my kids, I sometimes tell them I’m homesick. They get absolutely terrified.
America, as it is portrayed in the movies, is like hell on Earth. Now, it’s not perfect…
bookmark_borderWhy is Tripoli so popular with historians?
In October, I had no idea what was going to happen in North Africa. Yet, I felt drawn to write a history of the “Barbary pirates.” I didn’t yet realize what would happen this year, nor did I know that Hollywood was already working on a film on that subject.
The first time I remember hearing any details about “Tripoli” was on board an old American ship, which was turned into a museum. I think it was the Constitution. I was just a school kid who might have seen a few pirate movies and heard a few war stories from elderly relatives.
My godmother was the first female conductor of the US navy. But there were so many other naval battles, why is “Tripoli” still remembered?
Continue reading “Why is Tripoli so popular with historians?”