The Freak: If you want peace, prepare for war
The Freak believes some military and political philosophy from ancient Rome remains important today.
The Romans had a saying: "Si vis pacem, para bellum", which means if you want peace, prepare for war. The Romans must have been onto something, because their peace, the "Pax Romana" was one of the longest and most prosperous times in antiquity.
The Roman lesson is as true today as it was 2,000 years ago. Strength begets stability, weakness begets aggression. The Germans might have thought twice about invading France, had the French invested in a fierce, highly mobile army instead of the Maginot Line.
Unfortunately, the lesson is often forgotten. Whether it is because people forget the lessons of history, or because of unjustified optimism about human nature, there are always those who advocate appeasement with an aggressive foe. This approach famously fails; as a Russian proverb (often quoted by Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khrushchyov, and Leonid Brezhnev) reminds us, the one who allows himself to be a sheep will always find a wolf nearby.
In very recent times, the American and British people demonstrated (in the face of the terrorist attacks carried out September 11th and July 7th in America and London respectively) that they had learned the lessons of history. Both people stood up defiantly against the aggressor and demonstrated the will (and ability) to fight back.
The lesson was clearly not learned by the Spanish. In the face of train bombings in Madrid, the Spanish people ousted their government in favor of a socialist government openly and aggressively advocating a policy of appeasement and retreat from battle. The Spanish apparently believed this would soften the hearts of their enemy and remove Spain from its target list.
Pity the Spanish for failing historical learning. Their enemy's response is not what they might have wanted. The reward for Spanish cowardice has been an open declaration of war and increased aggressive threats (you can read about the details here:
I hope the French are paying attention. They will be next and they better prepare to win at Poitiers/Tours again. I also hope the American and British people are paying attention and will not allow the painful price of war to distract them from that fundamental lesson of history: the strong survive and the weak and cowardly are devoured.
"If you want peace prepare for war." Indeed.
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