Friday, March 09, 2007
Building a Democracy
In 1776 the colonies of America, at least the ones south of the Saint Lawrence, declared their independance from Britain. The rebels were supplied by France and brutaly faught by the British. After 5 years of bloody war the British left.
In 1784 the first nation, after Britain, to recognize the new American republic was the nation of Morocco. Moroccos neighbor Algeria did not have such nice relations with the US. During the next war the US continued smaller wars in the waters of North Africa to reduce the "pirates"
On July 7th 1798 the United States recinded its treaty obligations with its former ally and launched sea operations against French vessals. Between 1798 and 1800 the United States and France faught at sea a war known as the Quasi-war.
Then on June 12, 1812 the United States delcared war on Britain over the latters continued blockade of Nepoleonic France, Britains seizure of American ships, and over the border with Canada. This lasted 2 years and resulted in the burning of the new city of Washington. The war continues untial 1815 when the British are finally stopped in New Orleans by Andrew Jackson. Couriously the battle takes place after the peace treaty is signed in Ghent.
In 1846 the US, after trying and failing to buy half of the nation of Mexico, went to war to take it. The war lasted two years and ended in the US having won all it wanted and also in the ousting the Mexican President. It was also the begining of the American anti-war movement led buy such figures as Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Quincy Adams, and Henry David Thoreau. The US had about 14,000 casualties.
Many of the future generals of the coming Civil War cut their teeth in the Mexican War. Fighting with indians continued all through this time from 1776 until, well pretty much now.
The Civil War, which claimed around 620,000 soldiers, tens of thousands of civilians, and impoverished millions, almost destroyed American democracy. The photo above is a negro grave diggers reinturing battle field dead.
I guess my point here is that we are really stupid to think that Iraq will settle down and be at peace anytime soon. For the first 87 years the United States was in one war or another. We are the poster child for successful revolutions. "Successful" revolutions. If we are the successs story good God almighty we better not get involved with making democracys around the world. Not unless we want unedning war and carnage.