Is Assassination Useful?

In 44 BC conspirators favoring a Roman Republic stabbed famed commander Julius Caesar to death because he seemed to be heading to one-man rule. There followed fourteen years of war involving Caesar’s supporters and opponents. It was won by Caesar’s adopted son Octavius, who as emperor Augustus created a one man rule beyond even Caesar’s imagining. Assassination hadn’t worked.

Continue reading “Is Assassination Useful?”

Julius Caesar in Need Today, a Supreme Strategist with a Clear Purpose

Caesar had a plan and a goal that coincided with his own quest for personal glory: he would conquer Gaul (present-day France along with parts of neighboring countries) for the expansion and security of Rome in 50 BC. That he accomplished in nine years of well executed battles and deft negotiations among warring tribes. It was a conflict on many fronts which required his constant attention. Continue reading “Julius Caesar in Need Today, a Supreme Strategist with a Clear Purpose”

The Katyn Lie

War is death to the truth. Any plausible lie will do to advance the cause of one side or the other. An example is the Soviet execution of some 22 thousand Polish officers at Katyn forest as it cemented its rule following the 1939 pact with Nazi Germany – one after another shot in the back of the head and pushed into a mass grave. But we didn’t do it, claimed the Communists. The Nazis did. And for many years later, they were generally believed. Continue reading “The Katyn Lie”

Black Cats of War

The contrast was striking. The setting was the placid, bucolic Bent Pine Golf Club House at Vero Beach, Florida. The topic was the so-called Black Cats, a group of ambulance drivers in World War One, many of whom were students or graduates of Amherst College, which I, too, attended somewhat later. Their wartime experience was harrowing, their performance heroic. The ambulance was as vital as the trench in this war to end all wars. Continue reading “Black Cats of War”

America Come Home

It’s not easy to end a war even when it’s not going very well. President Trump promised to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Syria, but under pressure from the war community in Washington changed his mind about Syria. Some troops will remain to make sure peace, or its approximate, is secured. He has also calmed tensions with nuclear-armed North Korea but recently ended a summit with the North Korean leader with nothing accomplished, again owing to the resistance of the Washington warriors who fight, to be sure, from a distance. Continue reading “America Come Home”

Muslim Slaves in America

Muslims are having some trouble entering the United States these days, but there was a time when tens of thousands were enthusiastically welcomed for a permanent stay, no visa needed. These were slaves from Africa who arrived under duress in the 18th and 19th centuries. It’s estimated they made up about 20 percent of all slaves and were often esteemed, even by their owners, for their scholarship and attainments. Continue reading “Muslim Slaves in America”