Napoleonic Lessons for George Bush & Co.
Jim Grichar (aka Exx-Gman)
cable television Arts and Entertainment Network (known as A&E)
recently presented a four-hour film on Napoleon, focusing on his
rise to power in France and his subsequent fall. The film, which
has gotten a mixed reception from viewers and which may not have
been historically accurate in all its details, did drive home several
important points, notably regarding what power does to an individual
and the fact that empires collapse. In Napoleonís case, it appears
to have been the effect of power on his ego and his determination
to dominate France and the rest of Europe and create an empire.
And the film depicted how a number of military powers eventually
banded together to thwart Napoleonís and Francesís imperial dreams.
Bush who appears to have acquired similar ego problems since taking
office, seems absolutely certain that what he is doing is right
in the conducting the war on Iraq and what he broadly describes
as the war on terror. But he and his neo-con advisers (aka the Axis
of Deceit) should reconsider U.S. policy towards Iraq and the Middle
East now that they have gotten an easy initial military victory
over Saddam Hussein. A policy of continued war attacking other
countries that may have provided aid to Iraq and that might be sheltering
some of Iraqís former regime members could boomerang by creating
a hard and lasting alliance against the U.S. Thus, George Bush and
Company would be wise to heed the historic lessons provided by that
tumultuous Napoleonic period of European history lest they set America
up for a big fall.
Many Wars Will the U.S. Government Start?
are some general similarities between the position Napoleon was
in as he tried to expand the French empire and the position of George
Bush and his Axis of Deceit (his neo-con advisers both within and
outside the U.S. government).
George Bush is no Napoleon having only been in the Air National
Guard and never having directly commanded troops in war, he has
been taking advice from people who seem to have Napoleonic visions
of worldwide U.S. empire, despite the fact that most of them have
never been in battle.
Bush seems driven by a vision and possibly by his ego to: 1) secure
U.S. dominance over the Middle East oil fields and use that as a
lever of power; 2) force other countries into setting up democratic
governments in a fit of Wilsonian idealism that is, spreading
democracy around the world in a sort of Pax Americana;
and, 3) protect Israel from attacks by its Arab neighbors. Whatever
explanation is accurate, the bottom line is the same: America wants
to run a world empire by attacking other countries, actions that
the U.S. constitution does not permit. While the reasons for Bushís
imperial wars may differ, the actions would be similar to what Napoleon
did: keep attacking countries until none challenged the U.S. government.
this Axis of Deceit has convinced George Bush that this is the right
thing to do. Like Napoleon, George Bush seems quite certain that
what he is doing is correct and he will not change his mind. In
a policy based upon deceit and treachery, the Axis of Deceit has
used the media to bamboozle the American public into thinking that
the war on Iraq, and any subsequent wars, are only designed to stop
terrorist attacks against the United States. They have justified
the notion that the U.S. is allowed to attack, preemptively, other
countries that now do or might someday harbor hostile thoughts towards
the apparent victory over Iraq, the Axis of Deceit is now preparing
the U.S. public for launching attacks on other countries, most notably
Syria. The U.S. has accused Syria of providing equipment and guerilla
fighters to attack U.S. troops in Iraq. When asked on Sunday, April
13thís "Meet the Press," if senior Saddam aides had fled
to Syria, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said, "Oh, thereís
no question but that they did. Absolutely. ... Some left and went
to Syria and stayed, and some have left Iraq, gone to Syria and
transited to other countries. Rumsfeld refused to comment on whether
Syria gave asylum to two Iraqi scientists, known as "Dr. Germ"
and "Mrs. Anthrax." There are other reports that the Syrians
might be hiding some of Saddamís weapons of mass destruction. Leaked
CIA reports (you do not hear Administration complaints of illegal
leaks, do you?) also claim that Syria might be trying to build its
own weapons of mass destruction, including missiles and nuclear
addition, these intelligence reports claim that some of Saddamís
people may only be using Syria as a transit point to enter France!
And, surprise of surprises, George Bushís good buddy, Russian President
Vladimir Putin (remember, George looked into Vladís KGB soul and
liked what he saw), has been providing intelligence to the Iraqis,
reportedly including a list of "hit men" who could be
tapped for assassination jobs against the U.S. and other Western
Bush has begun to parrot the same line, giving credence to U.S.
pressure that is being put on the Syrian government. How
long before this pressure translates into an attack on Syria? If
the U.S. is really in control of Iraq, then what is the point of
attacking Syria, other than appeasing the Axis of Deceit in its
support of U.S. protection for Israel?
has even gone so far as to suggest that the war on Iraq has gotten
North Korea to change its tune and make concessions to start talks
on controlling its nuclear program. Are we to scratch Pyongyang
from the Axis of Evil?
U.S. government seems to have made a lot of new potential enemies
with our war on Iraq, such as Syria, France, and Russia. Are we
going to attack all of them if they do not come around to our way
of thinking on the Middle East? Is that the goal of the Axis of
Deceit and George Bush?
about finishing up our involvement in Afghanistan? Notice how that
nation-building quagmire has temporarily disappeared from the U.S.
mediaís radar screen. Our involvement there is not finished by any
stretch of the imagination, with the significant possibility of
al Qaeda and the Taliban regrouping for counter-attacks there. If
the U.S. angers enough Muslims by its wars, especially those in
Pakistan, then any overthrow of the current pro-U.S. and nuclear
weapon equipped Pakistani regime would lead to real trouble. Will
the U.S. have to start a war against Pakistan, or does the Axis
of Deceit think they can con India into launching a pre-emptive
nuclear strike against that country?
Costs of Empire
the looks of it, Bush and Company may be getting the U.S. into a
position somewhat similar to that which Napoleon got France into
during his rule, that is, many other countries are angered at it
and willing to work behind the scenes, and openly if necessary,
to thwart itís foreign policies and its wars. While the U.S. may
currently have military superiority over most countries, it cannot
pick fights with everyone that opposes it. If the U.S. angers many
countries as badly as Napoleon angered the European monarchs of
his day, then these other countries may decide to raise their defense
spending and create military alliances among themselves in order
to thwart further U.S. imperial actions.
that happens and the U.S. public tells the Axis of Deceit to take
a hike because of the costs in lives and money, what will they say?
Probably that America did not spend enough on defense and that it
did not have the courage to impose "a benign Pax Americana"
on the rest of the planet. But then the Axis of Deceit never seems
to care about the costs of building and maintaining the empire of
their dreams since the public at large gets to foot the bill!
A&E Network may have done a favor to the U.S. public by helping
to sponsor and show the four-hour movie on Napoleon. And it will
have been a really big favor if enough of the public demands, and
gets, a termination of the disastrous imperial wars being conducted
by George Bush and his Axis of Deceit.
Grichar (aka Exx-Gman) [send
him mail], formerly an economist with the federal government,
writes to "un-spin" the federal government's attempt to con the
© 2003 LewRockwell.com