Tuesday, August 15, 2017
It says something about the success of this policy of embracing the whole of European culture and not setting Christianity against it that for quite some time the celebration of Ferragosto was legally mandatory in the Papal States.
Monday, August 14, 2017
A few things should be clear from the facts of this situation. On the one hand, the organizers were clearly unconcerned about what sort of image they presented to the American public (or were intentionally ‘clowning’) as you cannot hold a demonstration, preceded by a torchlight procession, with Roman salutes and swastika flags and then cry “unfair” when the other side calls you a bunch of Nazis. These people guaranteed that the statue will be removed and that no one with any official position will go anywhere near them. Secondly, it is also perfectly clear that even if they had been goose-stepping down Emancipation Park in brown shirts, they had gone through the legal process to do it and had every right to be there. The Antifa types who came to challenge them did not, the police and civil authorities did not do their duty and have heaped all the blame on one side. It also, needless to say, made no difference to the mainstream media that the leftist counter-protesters had such flags on display as that of the Soviet Union (which killed more people and invaded more countries than Hitler ever did) as well as one or two of the Spanish Republic, that leftist regime which put more people to death in a few months than the supposedly notorious Spanish Inquisition snuffed out in as many centuries.
I can imagine two different things coming from this; those who made up “Unite the Right” will shrink away into obscurity having again portrayed themselves as simply the Nazi Party USA (one of the organizers was Richard Spencer who some may remember from his “Hail Trump! Hail Victory!” speech) or this will ratchet up the extremism on the part of the White identity types who can reasonably say that while others have been allowed to demonstrate, they were not and that while others have been allowed to speak, they are not. Racial or ethnic advocacy groups are allowed for everyone but them and thus there is no need to bother with staying within the law. The law only applies to certain people. So, I am not much of a prophet, I think it will either get calmer as more people just accept the situation or it will not if they choose to fight back.
Secondarily, I also noticed a number of people on our own side making the case, and God bless them for it, that monarchy, traditional values and authentic Christianity are the only things that can “unite the right”. Unfortunately, and this is where we need to do better, I could not agree. Yes, me, the “Mad Monarchist” could not agree that this was a truthful statement. Why? Because the fact is, we are not united even among ourselves and I certainly know as I get the angry messages almost on a daily basis. For some, usually the Catholics, it is a sectarian issue as only Catholic monarchies will do. Even there, many problems arise over what the definition of “Catholic” is these days. The ones who tell you it is perfectly simple are also the ones who usually say Pope Francis is of course not Catholic at all. See the problem? Monarchists do not agree on the map, they do not agree what people deserve to have their own countries and for many of those who do, they cannot agree on who should be the monarch of those countries. The best example of this is the royalists of the various branches of the House of Bourbon. In France, Spain, Parma and the Two-Sicilies, in every case there is division over who should be the monarch now or who should be the monarch if there was to be one.
France: Republican By Default’. Monarchists probably get tired of my scolding but it is something that must be learned because the republicans have certainly learned it and used it to their advantage. President Adolphe Thiers referred to the republic as the form of government that “divides us least”, which was sadly true and should make every monarchist deeply ashamed. There were also more mocking comments comparing the Count of Chambord to George Washington as the “Founding Father” of the Third French Republic. Likewise, republicanism in Spain first reared its ugly head due to the inability of Spanish monarchists to unite behind one monarch. After fierce fights between the rival branches of the Bourbon dynasty, it was decided to start over from blank paper and bring in a monarch of the House of Savoy. Yet, the old divisions refused to be reconciled, ending in King Amadeus abdicating in disgust and going back to Italy at which time the First Spanish Republic came into being. Once again, two Bourbon rivals refusing to reconcile on who should take the throne ended up with there being no throne at all.
I could go even farther and say that many monarchists have become so entrenched in their partisan divisions that, were it up to them, the western world would be engulfed in near total anarchy since no agreement, no treaty, no decision by governments or crowned heads could ever have validity. This comes into play, for example, concerning those countries which, in my experience, many monarchists outside of those countries think should not exist at all. The Kingdom of Belgium, for example, should not exist according to many monarchists. Never mind that the crowned heads of Europe all agreed that it should, that doesn’t matter to them. The Kingdom of Italy, likewise, should not exist according to many (non-Italian) Catholic monarchists, never mind that it was finally endorsed by the Pope with the Lateran Treaty by which the Holy See recognized it and in return the Kingdom of Italy was made an officially Catholic monarchy. No, for many, the Lateran Treaty is worthless paper and even the disgraceful depths the Italian Republic has sunk to is not enough to make these people think maybe the Savoy monarchy wasn’t so bad after all and just maybe Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII knew what they were doing.
Mark Steyn (a Canadian United Empire Loyalist) once said something to the effect of, mainstream society will be debating trans-gender bathrooms when the mullahs nuke us. If monarchists do not shape up, we will be arguing over whether the Duke of Bavaria should be the King of England, whether the Duke of Calabria or the Duke of Castro should be King of the Two Sicilies whenever Italians stop wanting their own country, whether a Habsburg or a Hohenzollern should be German Emperor whenever Germans finally stop wanting to be a republic or whether the man in white in the Vatican is really the Pope or not when the last descendants of western civilization are killed off. By and large, proper western civilization has already collapsed, what remains to be seen is whether the people whose inheritance it is will have a future or not. I don’t want monarchists left out of that struggle but, as I said to all those who criticized the (very easily criticized) “Unite the Right” crowd; where were you? Where was your demonstration?
The bottom line is, we need to shape up, we need to improve and we need to stop fighting among ourselves and start fighting the enemies of all we hold dear. Those enemies still want to see “the last king strangled with the entrails of the last priest” and they don’t care who that king or priest are or what their opinions or dynastic branch is. We really need to put our divisions aside, draw a line in the sand and say the enemy will go no farther. From there, we push on but, as I know I’ve said before (sorry for being repetitive), right now we should at least be able to agree on the need to stop the bleeding before the patient dies.
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Unlike some other parts of the world, western (in this case American) forces did not come to topple a primitive and barbaric heathen people to save them from darkness and suffering. Hawaii had its own savage history to be sure, but all of that was a distant memory long before 1898. King Kamehameha the Great subdued the other chiefs of the islands, uniting them under his rule and ending the many years of sporadic warfare between the Hawaiian people. This was the start of the establishment of the Kingdom of Hawaii. In 1819 he was succeeded by his son King Kamehameha II and it was during his reign that Protestant Christian missionaries came to Hawaii from the United States. They converted the Royal Family to Christianity and this, in turn, brought an end to certain native customs and taboos which were barbaric. With the 1840 Constitution of King Kamehameha III, the Kingdom of Hawaii officially became a Protestant Christian monarchy. Catholic and even Mormon missionaries arrived later but never attracted many converts. The Kingdom of Hawaii was not a country of ignorant primitives when Americans started to arrive on its shores in growing numbers, rather it was a civilized, though simple, Christian monarchy with all of the trappings of any other well established sovereign kingdom.
In 1887, fearing the King was about to take more direct control of matters, the Americans in Hawaii staged a sort of armed uprising and forced King Kalakaua to sign a new constitution, thereafter known as the "Bayonet Constitution" which stripped the monarch of almost all of his powers. The Kingdom of Hawaii was still to be democratic of course but the franchise was restricted to those who owned land and, by this time, most of the land was owned by Americans. Furthermore, in the interest of goodwill and compassion of course, Americans were allowed to retain the U.S. citizenship while still being nominal subjects of the King of Hawaii. In many ways, the fate of the Hawaiian kingdom was sealed then and there and King Kalakaua died a bewildered man, bitter at his betrayal by the foreigners he had believed were his friends, who had always assured him that their presence and growing influence in the kingdom was for the best and would benefit everyone in the end. It was, of course, not true. They were Americans and not Hawaiians, their first loyalty was to the United States and not the King of Hawaii, their kinship was with those like themselves and not those native to the islands.
In 1895 the Hawaiians attempted a counter-revolution to overthrow the republic and put the Queen back on the throne. Needless to say, this was again too little, too late as the American presence had long become far too large and too powerful to dislodge. The uprising was crushed at its outset and Queen Liliuokalani was arrested and put in prison. However, by the following year, the republic pardoned the Queen and released her, being in full control they had nothing to fear from her being at liberty. The native Hawaiian population had, by then, become too greatly displaced to ever pose a threat to the new American regime. A year later, in 1897, the President of the United States signed the treaty of annexation (thus making Hawaii only the second U.S. state, after Texas, to join the Union by treaty) with the official ceremony being held the following year on August 12. Queen Liliuokalani spent the rest of her life in legal battles with the U.S. government, trying to obtain compensation for her loss, mostly to no avail. She was finally granted a pension of $1,250 a month in 1911 but by that time she did not have long to collect as she died in 1917.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Kim Il Sung was not best pleased by what he witnessed in the Soviet Union following the death of Stalin. He saw Nikita Khrushchev try to put a kinder face on Soviet Communism with his admission of past mistakes and campaign of de-Stalinization. Kim Il Sung thought this was horrible and he never got along terribly well with Khrushchev because of that. It also made him determined that his work would not be undone by his successor the way Stalin’s had been. In 1980 he publicly declared that his successor would be his son Kim Jong Il. It would later be firmly established in law that the leader of the country must be a descendant of Kim Il Sung, though not strictly hereditary as the leader can choose which of his children are to succeed him. Each has taken care to choose the heir most like themselves and the least likely to change anything. All of this, of course, was seen as quite outrageous in the rest of the communist world and for the very same reason it is being discussed here; a son succeeding his father as leader seemed much too monarchical for any sort of communist regime to consider.
Nonetheless, Kim Il Sung was adamant and could easily point to the changes in other communist countries to justify his actions. How else could he be sure that another successor would not do to his image what Khrushchev had done to that of Stalin? No, far better to restrict the possible candidates to his own offspring who would be most like himself, both genetically and by upbringing. He also began to cultivate a cult of personality more grandiose than was seen in any other communist dictatorship and that too would play a part, making him, his wife and son a sort of unholy trinity for the officially atheist country. By doing this, Sung also ensured that his successors would not stray from the path he had forged for if they did, it would discredit their father and thus discredit themselves in the process. The entire concept was based on political calculations and not respect for tradition. Sung’s own wife, for example, always referred to Sung as “General” rather than “husband” because, as with any Marxist state, your individual identity is only worthy in its relation to the state, not to other people. Terms such as ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ or ‘mother’ and ‘father’ were also, particularly in Confucian societies, inherently hierarchical and thus out of step with the egalitarian ideals of communism. Pol Pot would have people killed for using such terms in his communist state in Cambodia which is why everyone referred to each other as ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ with Pol Pot famously known only as “Brother Number One”.
Usually, the people in North Korea simply refer to their dictators by their honorific titles. Kim Il Sung was “the Great Leader” and Kim Jong Il was “the Dear Leader”. Likewise, just as Kim Il Sung was declared “Eternal President”, allowing for none to come after him, following the death of Kim Jong Il in 2011, he was declared, “Eternal General Secretary” and his son and successor, the current dictator Kim Jong Un, was made “First Secretary”. Despite all of the “Dear Leader” nonsense, there is evidence that Kim Jong Il was never very popular in North Korea and that he himself knew that the outpourings of affectionate devotion from his people was coerced and not genuine. This seems likely given that he came to power just after the fall of the Soviet Union when the generous financial support Moscow had always provided to its client in Pyongyang suddenly stopped coming and the North Koreans were finally forced to confront the effects of their economic policies which were the height of financial stupidity.
There were also rumors (and that is often all one has to go on concerning the DPRK) that the rule of Kim Jong Il had been bad enough that, before it was over, some wanted to be rid of the “Kim Dynasty”. However, not only would the members of the family be expected to oppose this, it would also go against the wishes of their founder Kim Il Sung who had ordered that the leadership remain with his family until the revolution was “completed”, whatever that means. Kim Jong Il certainly intended things to carry on as they had done but he was presented with a problem in finding a suitable successor. His oldest son, Kim Jong Nam, was suspected of wanting to change things, to perhaps make North Korea a communist dictatorship more like the Chinese model. This was not acceptable. The second son, Kim Jong Chul, was also considered unworthy though we know very little about him other than he’s a fan of Eric Clapton and was described by the dictator’s former Japanese cook as acting “like a little girl”. So, in the end, it was the younger son, Kim Jong Un, who was deemed the most reliable and least likely to change anything. He even adopted a hair style similar to that of his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, to associate himself with North Korea’s founder and most popular dictator.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
To summarize the views of LaRouche and his movement, this man believed that the British Empire was and still is alive and well, despite all evidence to the contrary. He maintains that the supposed global super-power, the United States of America, is, in fact, not even an independent country but is, rather, simply one of the pawns of the British Empire which still dominates the world and that HM Queen Elizabeth II is the unquestioned and absolute ruler of this British Empire which secretly dominates the world. He has claimed that the Queen maintains her position by being at the top of a vast, global, drug cartel network and has never missed on opportunity to accuse the British Royal Family of being responsible for every tragedy and atrocity that has ever come about. Some of these have gained more traction than others, such as his assertion that Diana, Princess of Wales, did not die as a result of a drunk driving accident but was assassinated by British secret agents on orders from the Duke of Edinburgh.
LaRouche was a very big fan of Franklin D. Roosevelt, but certainly all recent American presidents have simply been the puppets of this Anglo-Dutch British Empire in his view. All of this may seem quite entertaining for southern Europeans but, rest assured, LaRouche does not let you off the hook either. After all, he also asserts that the Anglo-Dutch empire, run by Germans, was established in order to supplant the Venetian empire which dominated European affairs and held all of Europe in its grip previously. So, in the annals of the secret history of the world according to Lyndon LaRouche, before the British Empire dominated the world through banks and drug cartels, it was the Venetian republic which did so, all of the supposedly powerful kings of Spain and France, the German and Italian princes simply being the powerless puppets of the villainous and all-powerful Doge of Venice!
Does this sort of thing happen in other parts of the world? Not to any great extent from what I can tell. I have never heard of any equivalent in Africa or the Islamic countries. In Japan the native monarchy is certainly not talked about in such a way though I have seen a few examples in Japanese entertainment of portrayals of the (again) British monarch being the one who secretly calls the shots, that the British royals and hereditary aristocracy are still the ones really in control of the country, they just do everything behind the scenes so as not to attract notice. That being said, I have to believe this is simply a tool of imaginative fiction and I doubt very seriously anyone in Japan actually believes that. The only non-western equivalent I have ever heard of is the conspiracy regarding the late Qing Dynasty which is prevalent among the more bizarre elements of the Han Chinese nationalists though, obviously, in a country like Communist China, it is hard to know how much of this to take seriously since it is all necessarily based on rumors and such. As conspiracy theories go, it is a fantastic one.
The idea that there are anti-Han Manchurians in control of China at a time when non-Han minorities have been reduced to a miniscule fraction of the Chinese population is clearly absurd but hardly more absurd than LaRouche arguing that U.S. President Obama, the son of a man imprisoned by the British colonial authorities in Kenya, would be the pliant stooge of the British monarch. It is no less absurd than the conspiracy put forward by the recently deceased Jack Chick that the Islamic religion was created by the Pope as an instrument of the Catholic Church, that the Catholics, Muslims, Jews, pagans and Freemasons were all playing for the same team against his version of “true” Christianity. How can anyone possibly believe any of this?
There a myriad of these types of conspiracies, aimed against various groups, large and small alike and they can be quite irritating. I find them irritating because, for one thing, secrets are hard to keep and most people with a sinister agenda are quite open about what they are doing because they do not think it is sinister. Focus on winning the game, not dissecting the motives of the other player. I also find it irritating because it gives permission for people to stop taking responsibility for their own actions or, more usually, their inaction. It encourages people to see themselves as victims and there are few things more destructive in the modern world than the victim mentality. It also leads to the same sort of thing that the tens of thousands of Christian denominations led to in western religion which was an ever increasing amount of skepticism. When people do not know what to believe, when there are so many different narratives that are being pushed, people simply give up, stop believing anything they hear and, again, become inactive.
I would also add, frivolously, that these types of conspiracies do make me laugh in as much as the enemies of monarchy tend to have a loftier view of existing monarchs than many monarchists do. While monarchists lament the powerless state of western monarchs, the enemies of monarchy like LaRouche followers still think they are the most powerful people in the world, secretly dominating world affairs behind the scenes. Sometimes, one must simply appreciate the irony of the situation.
Saturday, August 5, 2017
After all, look at it this way: most of the monarchies of Europe have done away with male preference in the succession because the west has abandoned the traditional, Christian, view of the family. This has happened in the name of the 'equality' of the sexes (though obviously not of age but don't get me started on that issue). So, as queens shall become more common in the future of the European monarchies with Spain, Belgium, The Netherlands and Sweden all set to have female monarchs next time around, the egalitarian mentality will beg the question; why is a woman who marries a king given the title of 'queen' but a man who marries a queen is only given the title of 'prince'? Personally, I would not expect anyone to care that much as few seem to care about men being treated unfairly compared to women. Whenever that happens, the feminists suddenly turn all 'patriarchal' and say, "be a man and stop complaining". However, Prince Henri has objected and I would not be at all surprised to see some in the future take up the issue simply as a way of forcing more innovation on the remaining monarchies or just as an excuse to accuse monarchy of being inherently opposed to egalitarianism (which it is). So, yes, by all means, ridicule Prince Henri for his un-gallant behavior but also ask yourself; in this age of supposed equality, why do the girls get to be queens but the boys do not get to be kings when they get married?
Personally, I think it is just another example of the idiocy of the whole egalitarian mindset and particularly of the outright absurdity of trying to enforce "equality" on a monarchy, but, maybe that's just me...
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Nicholas Pavlovich Romanov was born at Gatchina on June 25, 1796 to Czar Paul and his wife Czarina Maria Feodorovna (Dorothea of Wurttemberg). He did not lead a pampered childhood at all, as was common in Russia despite what people think of royalty in general. He was made to sleep on an army bed, a habit he kept up for the rest of his life (just as Kaiser Franz Joseph of Austria would) and kept to a very strict routine of study and exercise overseen by General Count Lamsdorf. He was not fond of study but very early on came to love the army and military life. He also had instilled in him a very strong and sincere Orthodox Christian faith, which he also tended to view in military terms. God was his supreme commander, he would be His general and lead people on the path to salvation. He joined the Imperial Russian Army in 1814 but, to his deep regret, did not see action in the battles against the French that made Russia famous.
The problem was that there were deep divisions in the upper echelons of the Imperial Russian Army at the time of the death of Czar Alexander I in 1825. During the wars against Napoleon, many Russian officers had picked up a great deal of French thinking and wanted to import these ideas to Russia. Many also disliked Nicholas because he was so strict as a commander and expected everyone to obey army regulations to the letter, regardless of how lofty their rank. Because of this, and because Constantine did not wish to be Czar but refused to make a public statement to that affect, Nicholas was caught in an awkward position. Taking advantage of Constantine’s obstinacy, the liberal army officers began plotting a military coup, thinking they could overthrow Nicholas and have Constantine, a man who had no wish to rule, as a puppet Czar who would do nothing while they made Russia more like Napoleonic France. Some, like Colonel Pavel Pestel, of the Southern Society, even wanted to overthrow the monarchy and establish a republic. Fortunately for Nicholas, someone informed him about what these secret societies were up to.
There would certainly be no constitution and no emancipation of the serfs for the Russian Empire under Nicholas I and this incident on the very first day of his reign only convinced him that revolutionary republicanism was a disease that was easily spread and he would have to be all the more strict and all the more on guard that it never be allowed to take root in Russia. He would be a very ‘hands-on’ ruler, toured the country extensively, had studies taken of the situation and would enact any needed changes gradually and carefully. In domestic policy, his focus was on stability. In foreign policy, he was certainly no warmonger, fearing that wars cause stress that could be exploited by revolutionaries. However, war was not long in coming to his door due to the traditional enemies of Russia in Persia and Turkey. In 1826 the Persians (Iranians) arrested the Russian ambassador and launched a war to regain provinces in the Caucasus lost to Russia in a previous conflict. Czar Nicholas responded swiftly and forcefully.
The Persian conflict had been one of self-defense, forced on him by the Persians. However, as long as the Turkish Sultan did not attack Russia, he could take no action. Again, he knew how easily revolution can spread and just as the Turkish Sultan would not want his Christian subjects to rebel, the Czar would not wish the Catholic, Lutheran or Muslim subjects of the Russian Empire to rebel against him. Instead, he cooperated with the British and French to push for the Greeks to be given autonomy within the Ottoman Empire and for Russian merchant ships to have access to the Straits to reach the Mediterranean. However, the Sultan refused to grant autonomy to the Greeks and after signing an agreement granting Russian ships access to the Straits, the Sultan then closed the Straits, and this finally induced the Czar to declare war on the Turks in 1828. Once again, the Imperial Russian Army was everywhere victorious on both the Balkan and Caucasian fronts. When Russian troops captured Adrianople in August of 1829, moving toward Constantinople, the Turkish Sultan decided to sue for peace. The resulting treaty gave autonomy and Russia the right to occupy Moldavia and Wallachia until the Turks completed their war reparations payments and gave autonomy to Serbia. It also gave Turkish recognition to Russian sovereignty over Armenia and Georgia and granted autonomy to Greece which, by 1830, the major powers of Europe agreed to advance to complete independence for a Greek kingdom.
In the aftermath of this rebellion, Czar Nicholas I was convinced that previous Russian monarchs had been far too lenient on the Poles. He considered Poland vital to the status of Russia as a power in Europe, placing it within reach of the western powers and he would not tolerate any dissent there. He closed down Polish universities, abolished the Polish parliament and the separate Polish army. Poland would be ruled more directly from St Petersburg and he also began forcing the Poles to speak Russian. The Czar who believed in, “Orthodoxy, Autocracy and Nationality” wanted to suppress disunity in his empire and one way was to have everyone be conversant in the same language. He placed similar requirements on Belorussia and Ukraine in what has since been called a campaign of ‘Russification’. To the extent possible, he wanted to make Russia an empire of one people, with one faith under one monarch. Obviously, there would be differences among his subjects but he wanted to at least apply pressure toward greater unity in language and religion.
When it came to serfdom, which the Decembrists had wanted to abolish, Czar Nicholas I was, again, quite different from how he is often portrayed. The Czar did not like serfdom, indeed, he strongly opposed it. Yet, the Czar did not feel it would be right to impose emancipation on the nobility who depended on serfdom. To do so would doubtless inflame the nobility against the monarchy and it could cause immense social unrest by raising expectations, not only among the emancipated serfs, but the rest of the Russian populace as well. Instead, true to character, Czar Nicholas tried to lead by example. The Crown Estates of Russia covered vast tracts of the country and were home to a huge number of serfs. The Czar ordered the general in charge of these lands to enact changes to improve the lives of the serfs who lived and worked on these imperial properties. Poorer serfs were allotted more land, schools were built for their children and new model farms were established. Nicholas hoped that the rest of the nobility would follow his example in this regard and do similar things to improve the lives of their own serfs. Some noble Russian aristocrats did exactly this but, unfortunately, most did not.
The Turkish situation soon faded to the background when the worst thing possible in the mind of Nicholas I occurred in 1848 when revolutions began breaking out all across Europe. Whereas, in 1830, the Czar had been quick to offer help to any imperiled monarch, this time he was slower to respond, fearing trouble at home as the unrest spread so far, so quickly. He did not want to have his army far away in a foreign country if a major rebellion suddenly broke out in the Russian Empire itself. However, the threat of revolution on the doorstep of Russia was another matter. He stamped down calls for a constitution in Moldavia and Wallachia but the real crisis arose when revolution broke out in the Austrian Empire. The Hungarians rebelled and the Polish areas under the Habsburg Crown rose up as well to support them. This greatly alarmed the Czar as he feared the bulk of the Polish population, under the Romanov Crown, might follow their example. However, there were uprisings in almost all parts of the Austrian Empire, even in Vienna itself but most seriously in Italy and Hungary and the Austrians simply could not cope with them all. Czar Nicholas I decided to intervene and sent the Imperial Russian Army into Hungary to crush the rebellion there in support of the new Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph. A fair-minded man, he also intervened in Germany to prevent Prussian aggression against Denmark, resulting in an agreement by 1850.
The British media worked the public into a furor on the issue and the politicians made harsh denunciations of Russia that they could not back down from, accusing Russia of preparing for a war of conquest against the Turks. The Czar wanted no such thing and tried to settle the issue by compromise but, emboldened by the French and British showing support, the Turkish Sultan refused to budge and furthermore demanded that the Russians withdraw from Moldavia and Wallachia. In October of 1853 Russia and Turkey began what became known as the Crimean War. Britain and France soon joined in on the side of Turkey, the Italian Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia would later as well. This was all bad enough, but the most infuriating thing of all was when the Emperor of Austria demanded that Russia evacuate Moldavia and Wallachia as well, threatening to join the war on the allied side otherwise. Nicholas thus had no choice but to comply but he was positively enraged that the Habsburg monarch, of all people, would do such a thing, having so recently come to his rescue when the Habsburg monarchy was in real danger of total collapse. It was a slight that the Russians would not forget.
Monday, July 31, 2017
|U.S. forces in Narva, Estonia (which borders Russia)|
The American politicians, needless to say, do not want war with Russia either (though a war with Syria or Iran is something I would not consider beyond them) and they would be doing none of this if they believed for a moment that Russia would ever fight back. The more dim even act as though they are completely ignorant of the fact that the choice between war or peace with Russia is one that is not only up to them but up to the leadership in Moscow as well. I really wish people would learn from history, the common lament of historians of all ages I am sure. All of this should remind us of the Crimean War and not just because Crimea and Ukraine are again at issue. For those not familiar or who would like to refresh their memory, read this past post about the Clash of Monarchies in the Crimean War. Suffice it to say that neither Britain or France really expected to get into a war with Russia over what amounted to a sort of turf-feud between Christian factions in the Holy Land. Napoleon III of France, who took the side of the Catholics (silly man), was satisfied by Turkish concessions on the issue and the British, being a Protestant country and not Catholic or Orthodox really had ‘no dog in the fight’, so to speak, concerning the original issue. How then did this all come to war?
|British troops depart for Crimea|
After having stoked the fires of anti-Russian sentiment to such a degree, the politicians in London were left with no other option but to make good on their threats rather than face the public humiliation of backing down from their hysteria. The Czar of Russia was not averse to talking the matter over but he was also not about to back down over an issue in which he clearly felt that he was in the right. He would not and, given his character, could not simply wash his hands of the large Orthodox Christian population living under Ottoman rule in the Holy Land and the Balkans. The result was a war in which nearly 40,500 British troops were killed, France lost over 100,000, Sardinia lost just over 2,000 and the Turks lost almost 45,500 men. The Russians lost the war of course and had casualties of over half a million, just over 500,000 compared to total Allied losses of just over 200,000. Their position was severely weakened and yet, what had the Allies really won with their victory over Russia in Crimea? The French abandoned their interests in the region when another republic replaced Napoleon III, brought down by the Germans in 1870, and the Russian Imperial Navy was soon back in the Black Sea and the British could do nothing about it since neither the French or Germans would support them. Hopes the British had of added Alaska to Canada were thwarted when Czar Alexander II sold the vast territory to the United States. What had Britain gained? Not much.
|President Vladimir Putin|
It is, I think, worthwhile to take a step back and look at the basic situation here. Russia does not have military forces or military bases in any country bordering the United States. Russia has not attacked the United States and the same European leaders who howled about Trump rubbishing NATO during the campaign and demanded reassurance of America’s commitment to their defense are now not wanting to get so tough on Russia after all. Iran, likewise, (and regular readers will know what I think of the monstrous and illegitimate regime in Tehran) is no threat to the United States and never have Shiite Islamic terrorists attacked the United States itself. Sunni Islamic terrorists have, many, many times and yet we are sanctioning the Islamic Republic of Iran while selling weapons to the (Sunni) Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. North Korea, finally, is more problematic and yet, one could make the case that they would not be threatening America if American forces were not right next door in South Korea and Japan. The South Korean government, particularly the new President, does not want to take a hard line with North Korea and is very friendly with China. So, on that front, my question is; if South Korea is not worried about the North, why should Americans be? Pull the U.S. forces out and let South Korea handle the situation.
|Where sanctions tend to lead...|