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Has the US gotten a touch Byzantine?

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  • Has the US gotten a touch Byzantine?

    Your resident history nut, back again?

    Remember the discussions comparing the US now to Imperial Rome, classical Athens, and Louis XIV's France. I've been exchanging emails with a friend of mine on the subject of Cold War politics, our applying the same principle to Iran in the 80's, and their effects of the situation now. (like, creating it, maybe?)

    This current situation is actually beginning to sound more and more Byzantine. I'm not sure if our President is playing Justinian or Heraclius. It doesn't much matter, both there reigns ended disasterously. Increasing rhetoric amongst religious types. Political intrigue of all kinds internally, though waged through different channels. An emphasis on a leaner, meaner military because the manpower nor the supporting resources are as available as they use to be. Belisarius's campaigns in Italy against the Ostrogoths sound analogous to the Iraq situation. (* The Byzantine's eventually won, but were so exhausted by their efforts that an invasion by Lombards a decade later nearly cleaned the East Romans from the peninsula completely. *) Heraclius's expeditions into the far reaches of Sassanian Persia also seem similar to our action in Afghanistan, without the regime-change provision. (* Heraclius finally returned having terrorized most of Persia, and both empires had so exhausted themselves that they were unable to resist the expansion of the Muslim Caliphate, curiously, also nearly a decade afterward. Byzantium lost Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and it's North African territories very quickly. *) And our "Any enemy of my enemy is my friend" mentality that we slipped into during the Cold War sounds similar to Constantinople's policy of setting barbarians against barbarians to keep all barbarians at bay.

    Do you think our government will get over over the "Any enemy of my enemy is my friend" mentality of the Cold War era and develop a better set of criteria for choosing friends and enemies? Maybe, but we're talking about a bureaucracy here, so any change will be slow and halting at best.

    Doug H.

  • #2
    Your resident history nut, back again?

    Remember the discussions comparing the US now to Imperial Rome, classical Athens, and Louis XIV's France. I've been exchanging emails with a friend of mine on the subject of Cold War politics, our applying the same principle to Iran in the 80's, and their effects of the situation now. (like, creating it, maybe?)

    This current situation is actually beginning to sound more and more Byzantine. I'm not sure if our President is playing Justinian or Heraclius. It doesn't much matter, both there reigns ended disasterously. Increasing rhetoric amongst religious types. Political intrigue of all kinds internally, though waged through different channels. An emphasis on a leaner, meaner military because the manpower nor the supporting resources are as available as they use to be. Belisarius's campaigns in Italy against the Ostrogoths sound analogous to the Iraq situation. (* The Byzantine's eventually won, but were so exhausted by their efforts that an invasion by Lombards a decade later nearly cleaned the East Romans from the peninsula completely. *) Heraclius's expeditions into the far reaches of Sassanian Persia also seem similar to our action in Afghanistan, without the regime-change provision. (* Heraclius finally returned having terrorized most of Persia, and both empires had so exhausted themselves that they were unable to resist the expansion of the Muslim Caliphate, curiously, also nearly a decade afterward. Byzantium lost Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and it's North African territories very quickly. *) And our "Any enemy of my enemy is my friend" mentality that we slipped into during the Cold War sounds similar to Constantinople's policy of setting barbarians against barbarians to keep all barbarians at bay.

    Do you think our government will get over over the "Any enemy of my enemy is my friend" mentality of the Cold War era and develop a better set of criteria for choosing friends and enemies? Maybe, but we're talking about a bureaucracy here, so any change will be slow and halting at best.

    Doug H.

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    • #3
      I think you made a very good observation Doug. We see the enemy of my enemy policy today with some of our so called allies in the war on terror. He who fails to learn from history...

      quote:
      I'm not sure if our President is playing Justinian or Heraclius.
      Actually I think he's just playing dumb. Or then again maybe he isn't playing. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
      NuTex

      Comment


      • #4
        Darn it Doug!
        The new year has just started and you already made me start thinking, hang over and all!
        I will have to read up on the subject before I will post any oppinions.


        P.S. I love it when you talk histoy!

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