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A history lesson - UK & World Politics
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peterharvey
uk_world
peterharvey
A history lesson
In 1808 Napoleon invaded Spain. His army enjoyed such overwhelming superiority that the Spanish army barely had an opportunity to fight. Being defeated but with most of its command structure intact, it took its men and materiel off to the hills and proceeded to fight a war that gave the word 'guerrilla' to the world.

The UK government intervened (self-interestedly of course) on the side of Spain against Boney.

The only history that is read in Washington is the kind that shows the Patriots beating off the Redcoats, and preferably the Disney version. European history is for wimps.

Peter
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Comments
tom_berney From: tom_berney Date: May 21st, 2004 10:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Peter,

[it took its men and materiel off to the hills and proceeded to fight a war that gave the word 'guerrilla' to the world.]

I have seen military 'experts' like Carl saying that the Iraqi resistance cannot be members of their forces as their army were cowards who did not stand and fight! The expertise does not seem to extend to understanding that standing and fighting an overwhelming force with total air superiority etc is actually insane if you have the option of disappearing and fighting a winnable war of attrition.

[The only history that is read in Washington is the kind that shows the Patriots beating off the Redcoats, and preferably the Disney version. European history is for wimps.]

Quite

regards
Tom
peterharvey From: peterharvey Date: May 22nd, 2004 04:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tom,

[I have seen military 'experts' like Carl saying that the Iraqi resistance cannot be members of their forces as their army were cowards who did not stand and fight! The expertise does not seem to extend to understanding that standing and fighting an overwhelming force with total air superiority etc is actually insane if you have the option of disappearing and fighting a winnable war of attrition.]

That sounds like a refusal to admit that your side can possibly be wrong. There will always be people who are constitutionally incapable of admitting that they have made a mistake, and when it is on this scale it is even harder. The Americans’ main mistake was to disband the Iraqi army instead of getting it on its own side.

Peter
tom_berney From: tom_berney Date: May 24th, 2004 11:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Peter,

[There will always be people who are constitutionally incapable of admitting that they have made a mistake, and when it is on this scale it is even harder.]

With the added bonus that American right-wingers know they are acting on direct instructios from God.

[The Americans’ main mistake was to disband the Iraqi army instead of getting it on its own side.]

Among many others - like believing Chalabi.

Regards,
Tom

peterharvey From: peterharvey Date: May 27th, 2004 06:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tom,

[With the added bonus that American right-wingers know they are acting on direct instructios from God.]

There's nothing new there. I've been reading about the English Civil War, when *both* sides thought that.

Peter
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