Long Wars: A Primer
Some are REALLY long...
CK ‘73 Reunion Update
For all of you who tried to get “registration” to work on the website…thanks for trying. And for those who let me know it didn’t work…thanks, too. I took the easy way out, deleted all the tech support emails that didn’t fix the issue, and got rid of the button. So. There. Problem Solved.
RHQ and Blocks of Rooms
As I’ve said before, the school has reserved a block of rooms at the old Sheraton on Woodward, which is spendier than the Hampton on Telegraph in Bloomfield Hills that I’m steering everyone towards, even at the reserved price. The Homewood in Troy, which used to be where the school steered us, is more, as well. Unless there’s a groundswell of resistance or someone in town offers their digs, it looks a lot like RHQ will be the Hampton on Telegraph by default of everyone’s there, anyway. Speak by mid-May or forever hold your peace.
Long Wars…and REALLY Long Wars
On 5 February 1985, in a solemn ceremony of unknown origins and unclear location, the mayors of Rome and Carthage signed a peace treaty ending the Third Punic War. This conflict was the longest in human history, but had had no practical effects on either city for 2,135 years. No doubt the two governments were prodded into the peaceful and wholly ceremonial action to promote international relations, or a cruise line, or something else without either warlike or other international implications.
It wasn’t because they were still fighting.
The conflict had begun in 151 (or 149; sources differ) BC, and (openly) ended when Carthage fell to the Romans under Scipio Aemilianus after a three-year siege that ended in the spring of 146 BC. Julius Caesar later built a Roman city on the site.
Carthage would become a major trading center under the Empire.
Conflicts that don’t resolve swiftly are labeled anotherVietnam in the American mass media, even though that conflict only involved combat troops for less than eight years (1964-72).
But the mass media doesn’t look at it that way…
Unlike the Third Punic War which just petered out over time, the prospect of a "long war" has reared its ugly head in the mass media as a conflict between militant Islam and the rest of the world—principally the industrial West—that would have a very active presence for generations. Despite the protestations of some on both sides, it has very little chance of a peaceful resolution within the next news cycle or before the next elections. It seems likely, indeed probable, that this latest “long war” between Islam and those who disagree with them will only end when people in the most influential factions (not necessarily the most powerful) realize the futility of continuing.
And that could take a very long time.
America should be accustomed to long wars; they’ve had several. As the American Indians gradually assimilated (by and large) over the course of 500 years of on-and-off violence (the Hundred Years’ War wasn’t a steady conflict, either), and the Irish insurgency against Britain waxed and waned over the course of at least as long. The (latest) Troubles in Ireland lasted from 1969 to 1999 (depending on who you ask), were only thirty years, but few would call that a “war” because…well, just because.
Some ask how the Native Americans could have prevailed; possible, but not after 1763.
Both the Indians and the Irish, the Walloons and the Basques, the Armenians and the Maori and countless other smaller ethnic cultures eventually simply had to stop struggling against the inevitability of demographic defeat against the ethnic Europeans, even if they won every battle in their own backyards.
After the (last) fall of Carthage, partial assimilation—not armed resistance—became the obvious key to cultural survival.
Not that it would happen, but it could. Declared wars, or open warfare, don't always end in victory parades. They don't even always end in clear military success. But they do always end. The real challenge is to still be alive when the shooting stops.
Why were the pre-1945 Germans the way they were?
Without a dream in my heart…
On 4 February:
1194: Britain ransomed Richard I of England from the Holy Roman Emperor, where he had been held for two years. The ransom, 100,000 pounds of silver (150,000 marks at eight ounces apiece). It is said that Britain never truly recovered financially until the 19th century, but only enjoyed breaking even until WWI.
1957: The first portable electric typewriters went on sale in Syracuse, New York. The Smith-Corona machine weighed in at 19 pounds, cost about $149 (depending on where you bought it), and sold like hotcakes, apparently. You could get one for about $20 on eBay these days if you were so inclined.
And today is NATIONAL HOMEMADE SOUP DAY, for those of you who indulge. Soup has been around since the pot was invented, probably some 20,000 years ago. So boil some of this and that over a burner and enjoy.