Russia And The Nerve Agent:
Where you get the idea that dysfunctional countries have all this power I have no idea except that it makes a good story. First you think North Korea is a threat. Now you think Russia is a threat, maybe China too. Russia is at the foot of the west, the same position it occupied one hundred years ago during WW1 and the Russian Revolution. (It was even at the foot of the west before that during the time of the czars when Peter the Great imitated Holland and other European countries when he built St. Petersburg).
Russia was the country that suffered the most during WW1 and WW2, hardly a position that would make it a threat. It has never had much of an economy, and its people were all too recently freed from serfdom. The powers that created the world wars were the leading powers, and are still the leading powers such as the US, England, Japan, Germany, etc. Hardly surprising. (Germany, by the way, is the KEY to making Russia actually work. Historically this has been true since before the time of Peter the Great. )
The Russians don’t have the power to do much of anything at all. The real danger — and it actually happened one hundred years ago — is that if you put pressure on the farce that is the Russian government it will implode and cause chaos within Russia and a tanks in the streets the way you did in the early 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union. You will have a civil war that will rock Eastern Europe and cause chaos that will affect western Europe. This is what the western powers are trying to avoid.
The Russians would NEVER shoot a missile at America. It is doubtful if their technology is up to it, but even if it is, they know it would spell the end of their country. Beating America into space is laughable and hardly worth mentioning. If America is not pursuing the space station it is because they don’t want to. Private individuals such as Jeff Bezos are doing it here instead. Russia in WW2 showed how their army didn’t hold together in Berlin and fought itself. Stalin tried to make his generals compete with each other, etc — totally stupid. The only reason they got that far was because of American aid.
This nerve agent was supposedly something that was stockpiled during World War 2 and never used. After the war you were supposed to destroy your reserves of it. The Russians claimed that they had gotten rid of all of it — ha! They obviously kept the stockpile. This is an attack on Britain with war grade chemical weapons and should be treated as such. Such things should NEVER be permitted, and this is a flagrant violation of the rule that should not be allowed to get out of hand.
Even if the Americans don’t participate, the British navy should sail past St. Petersburg, Russia and warn the Russians.
Russia and the Russian Dictator Stalin played an important part in the upcoming Edward Ware Thrillers at War novel Unlocking Trinity.
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Roman Army More Destructive Than Atomic Bomb:
We read about Scipio Aemilianus, head of the Roman army, weeping at the end of the Third Punic War as he stood by the historian, Polybius, and supervised the systemic burning and destruction of Carthage. The last 50,000 citizens presented an olive branch to the Roman army and marched out of the doomed city to a life of slavery. Aemilianus quoted Homer about Troy. But Oppenheimer on July 16, 1945 when he watched the first nuclear explosion quoted Bhagavad Gita: “Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds”. The atomic bomb is supposed to be the ultimate weapon destroying more than anything else. But really the Roman army at Carthage after the Third Punic War destroyed more —- and they didn’t even have guns or explosives at all!
Rome and the Roman army took apart a whole civilization and obliterated all traces of it. Nothing survived for very long, not even the art or culture after the last ruler of Carthage committed suicide and his wife threw her children into the flames and then leaped into the flames herself. But after World War 1 and World War 2 the defeated parties not only survived but prospered and in very short order, too. The United States and Britain didn’t burn all the German cities to the ground and enslave whole populations. Germany and Japan came right back after the war and became economic engines again. Rome and the Roman army would never have permitted this with Carthage.
We are commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War 1. Europe cannot get over the Battle of the Somme and other similar battles losing thousands of men. But Rome and the Roman army suffered more during the Second Punic War, especially during the Battle of Cannae, and got over it very quickly. Nor did it make Rome hate war and want to avoid it at all costs.
This attitude that somehow the past was more peaceful and the present more violent needs to be re-examined. It doesn’t fit the facts. The Punic Wars seem more horrible than either World War 1 or World War 2.
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Trump and Titus: 2000 Years of the Jews in Europe:
Yesterday when Trump was making a speech on the White House steps about his tax cut and congressmen and senators were standing on the stairs, it was reminiscent of the days of ancient Rome when generals had triumphs. In particular I am thinking of the famous triumph of Titus who was then the son of the Emperor Vespasian in the year 70 BC. He defeated the Jews in the First Jewish Roman War and sent them off into the Diaspora from which they did not return until after World War 2 almost two thousand years later. The famous Titus’s Arch which still stands in Rome today depicts this event.
Today the UN took a vote whether to condemn the US for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. All of the membership of the EU, the western European countries, voted to condemn the US and Israel. Western Europe is showing its long, long tradition of anti-Semitism. Japan also voted to condemn showing that it was once part of the Axis Powers in World War 2, allied with the Nazis and Hitler.
America is trying to right the historic wrong that has gone on for two thousand years. Not that the Diaspora did not contribute greatly to Jewish civilization in making them the democratic country they are now today. But it is time to let them go home again after two thousand years.
The great mystery in the vote was England. All the other Anglo countries either voted with the US or abstained. But England voted to condemn the resolution to make Jerusalem the capital of Israel and to have the US put its embassy there. Yet it was England who promulgated the Balfour Declaration one hundred years ago, starting the movement that ended up creating the modern state of Israel. England has been in decline for a century from the power it once was, but this shows that it is slipping into the orbit of Germany and other continental countries and losing its own ideals that once made it great.
But at least Trumps stands on the White House steps looking like a Roman of old. Now that the Jews are no longer fractious and rebellious the way they were two thousand years ago, he is saying to go home again.
Cheops Books LLC will soon publish an historical thriller involving Titus. It is called Pliny: A Novel. The encyclopedia writer Pliny was a friend of the Emperor Titus and his father Vespasian.
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