Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Roman Times, Israeli Times
Once upon a time, there was a small village nestled along the banks of a swift moving river. The village was at the place where the river was shallow enough to cross, this being the first crossing place upstream from the Mediterranean sea. The people built their village upon seven hills. Their name for the place was Rome.
Over time, the Romans were occupied by the more sophisticated peoples to the North, the Etruscans * . The Etruscans were a cruel, but pleasure loving people. Under the cruel ruler ship of the Etruscan kings, the Romans grew in the civilized arts. Eventually, they threw out the Etruscans. Later, the Romans conquered them.
The Romans expanded from their seven hills to unify the Latin tribes, to subjugate the Samnites, and then the Greek colonies in Southern Italy. The study of the rise of the Roman republic will keep you busy for, oh, four years to cover the centuries of war by land and sea, diplomacy and treachery, and the development of law, culture, and religion.
After Rome solidified its hold on Italy, it came into conflict with the merchant empire of Carthage. The study of the three wars it took the Romans to obliterate Carthage will consume another year or two of your life, if you wish to study it properly. And at this point, we have only completed the Roman domination of the Western Mediterranean. After Rome had made the West safe for Roman trade, she was forced to turn east. At that time in the Eastern Mediterranean were three empires, a few kingdoms, plus pirates, brigands, and roving mercenary tribes.
The Eastern Mediterranean, when the Romans turned their eyes of their eagle standards towards it, was still living in the shadow of the greatest conqueror that has ever lived. His name was Alexander *, indeed, he is called to this day Alexander the Great.
You can lose a good few years of your life in the study of Alexander. A background in the wonderous history of the Greeks is a secure foundation. I cannot do Alexander, or those upon whose shoulders he is carried, justice here. The only point I wish to make is that after the mighty Alexander died, his empire broke up into three pieces. These lesser empires were based in Greece (the Seleucids * ), Egypt (the Ptolemids * ), and Iraq (the Antigonids * )
The three empires fought many wars with each other. Cities were built, and burnt. Fleets of ships were cut from the forests, and sent to sink each other by ramming or burning. Some times storms sank the fleets, sometimes plague carried off the sailors. There was a lot of warring going on. It makes good reading. Some people think that history repeats itself, and a lot of that repeating can be found with the name Seleucis, Antiochus, and Ptolemy.
One of the many little kingdoms that rose and fell among the three battling empires of the Eastern Mediterranean was the kingdom of the Jews. The first kingdom of these people had been carried off into slavery long before the time of the Seleucids, Ptolemids, and Antigonids. They had returned to their land and managed to resurrect their nation. At the time I wish to look at, the dynasty of the Maccabees was ruling the nation of Israel.
Now, Rome found it useful to have an ally in the East, to discomfit their rivals in the East. Rome allied itself with Israel, much as in our modern times the Americans have allied themselves with the Maccabees * .
Rome fought a number of wars in the East. This was during the period called the Crisis of the Roman Republic. For whatever reasons (depending on your pre-existing political beliefs, depending on what factors you wish to cherry pick to support your pre-judged opinions), the Roman politicians of the time needed vast amounts of money to buy votes. Roman democracy was driven by money, by land grants for soldiers, by having standing armies handy to cut down lesser politicians with smaller armies.
As various Roman generals crushed and looted the three great empires of the East, they could always turn to their allies in Jerusalem to help them. And the enemies of Jerusalem were too busy being crushed by the Roman Imperator * * * * of the moment to crush Jerusalem. Such is the reality of politics.
By the time of Augustus * , the first Roman emperor, the Romans had subjugated the East. The sea that separates Europe from Africa was renamed ‘Our Sea’ in their language of Latin, a name which it bears to this day.
But, an interesting thing happened after the Romans squished their rivals. The turbulent tribes that surrounded Israel hated Israel. The Greeks, the Idumeans, the Bedouin, the whatever, all found the people of Israel difficult to live alongside. There were riots and assassinations and muggings and robberies. For whatever reason (take your pick, argue it well and get a degree), there was discord.
The Romans grew to dislike the Israelis in proportion to the control they had in the East. Once the legions were garrisoned in the East, the Israelis looked different from Rome. No longer necessary as a military ally, these people were now the stigma causing social disorder, reducing taxation, increasing occupation costs, and a bothersome distraction from the Roman taste for civil war.
Unlike the Americans, who have a significant population of Christians who support the alliance with Israel for religious reasons, the Romans simply crushed the Israelis. The temple was looted; The Romans built a tasteful arch glorifying the looting * .
Which, of course, leads me to the point of this exercise.
At what point will the Americans abandon their alliance with Israel, much as the Romans did? Certainly, it is no difficult thought experiment to visualize the harmony and gratitude of the vast, oil rich, peoples of the religion of peace if an American president abandoned Jerusalem and its people to the mercies of their armies. Could one not say that most of the turbulence in the present Middle East has its root cause in the existence of Israel? And if this is so, what a harvest of peace and prosperity if this little country is abandoned to stand on its own, with its thin slice of territory and small arsenal of weapons and smaller reservoir of cannon fodder.
Yes, today America is allied to Israel, much as was ancient Rome allied to the ancient kingdom of the Maccabees. But much as Maccabee turns into Herod * , so too can Kennedy turn into Mohammed. Yes, the modern Israel has terrible weapons atomic, biological, and chemical. But if a few kilos of plutonium wrapped in cobalt finds its way to Mecca as the nursery schools of Tel Aviv are turned into Beslan * , I am sure there would be a little relief, perhaps some joy in the new Washington I visualize here, and perhaps in Berlin, too. There have been massacres before, say the massacre of the German children in Bucharest in 1945 (fifty thousand children, was it not?). There are grudges that people have that they do not speak of except amongst friends (thank you, Human Rights Commission), and a few of them are aimed at Jerusalem. Tell me it is not so.
In America, the people who support Israel are the Christians. The Christians are under attack from the forces of political correctness. Their energies are being expended in such battles as home schooling and opposing third trimester abortions. Maybe, in a few years, in a few campaigns, they will be more interested in survival, appeasement, or accommodation rather than defending an alliance with a state and culture that rather despises them. Others have written about this * . The Israelis of the kingdom of Herod did not embrace diversity and celebrate the worship of neither Caligula nor Nero as a god. They were intolerant, and not being chummy with the Romans lead to the Romans not being chummy with them. If the descendents of the people of Herod do not want to get along with those in the modern Rome who get along with them, well, the quid pro quo * will become no quid, no quo. No ammunition for you, just when you need it most. Maybe the new Americans will just ground the Israeli air force, to make things a level playing field. How much of that peak oil would that bring? That is a lot of air conditioning for those retired baby boomers.
Of course I could be wrong. I might have made a spelling mistake. Maybe I used a semi colon incorrectly. By the new left logic, that proves that everything I believe in is wrong (unless it is approved by the new left logic). Perhaps someone who once commented on this blog during the history of its existence also commented on a blog that in the history of its existence used the N-word instead of the N-word. Maybe I am operating under the delusion that all these dead white males are somehow important. How many federal ridings do the children of Herod influence? I should ask Bob Rae the next time we meet. Of course, the Americans will continue in their alliance to Israel, continue to shed blood for oil, and to wage wars distasteful to the Main Stream Media, when the money would be better spent creating jobs for people without ability who vote for parties that the Main Stream Media finds to its taste. Yup.
I, Fenris Badwulf, wrote this.
Posted by Fenris Badwulf at 12:00 PM
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I can't let Comment Spam be the only response to this interesting history lesson, so to quote the Smartest Woman in America, "At this point, what does it matter?"ReplyDelete
Quite so, Anonymous.ReplyDelete
The time for talk is over. Time for action.
But, what action? I find no consensus
I would like to say you were wrong, but I fear that you are not. We have made a nasty habit of betraying our allies over the past decades.ReplyDelete
We have become a country without a chest.