Tuesday, January 3, 2012


This isn't D&D, this is history.  But if you want to understand how America ultimately collapses, and why it happens, and what that fall ultimately looks like - whether it happens in twenty years or a hundred years - the history lesson is available.  This is the first part of six for the 1983 series, The Spanish Civil War, narrated by Frank Finlay (who some will know played Porthos in the 70s Musketeer movies):

You should watch the entire series, which is available on google.  Pay very careful attention to Franco's employment of the Moroccan colonial army, and how it was used to control the home country.  Then scoff at a future American government's use of future colonial Iraqi, Afghan, Colombian and Congolese armies to subjugate 'good' Americans.  Tell me about how it could never happen.



Spawn of Endra said...

I won't say that would never happen, but are there similar instances of, e.g., colonial or Commonwealth armies being brought in to suppress unrest in Great Britain?

Alexis said...

I suppose it depends on whether you consider Ireland historically part of Great Britain. I quote:

"The Treasury always thinks up tame ideas for new Ministers. When I arrived at the Admiralty the budget was being discussed. I was quickly told that we could save a great deal of money if we got rid of the Gurkhas. I said, "But the Gurkhas are the people we need to fight terrorism." If we had enough Gurkhas in Ireland, I believe that terrorism would disappear very quickly. The Treasury tries it on everyone who arrives there. People are always told, "Get rid of the Gurkhas." Anyone who has any sense or who has any knowledge of the Gurkhas and how they operate says, "Don't get rid of them. They are the one group of people whom we need above all else for this sort of terrorist war we are now coping with".

From Hansard, 1996

Spawn of Endra said...

I personally don't consider Ireland to be part of Great Britain, but I understand that Northern Ireland (which is what the Lord Orr-Ewing is referring to there) is part of that state. I don't have exhaustive knowledge of Gurkha deployment, but I gather that despite the statement of a Lord in the midst of a debate about cutting costs of the BBC World Service, Gurkhas have never been deployed in Northern Ireland.


This doesn't mean that it could never happen. Anything may happen. But I'm not ready to believe that what happened in Spain is inevitable for every imperial power in its decline, the US, UK, or whoever.

noisms said...

Forgive me, but the comparison seems totally unjustified to me. (I studied a bit about nationalism in Spain way back as an undergraduate.) Spain had been riven by civil strife for a hundred years before the civil war itself, and the war took place against a backdrop of extremist politics, with fascists, carlists, anarchists and communists all at each others' throats. Extremist politics are now dead in the West, and there hasn't been Spain-like civil strife in a Western country since WWII.

More specifically, the US Army is not politicised and generals have no incentive whatsoever to attempt to seize power as Franco did, let alone any means. Morocco, which is where the initial coup came from, is right next door to Spain, unlike any supposed US "Empire".

Finally, the US doesn't have an Empire, and seems likely to retreat to splendid isolation in the next decades.

On the Gurkhas, that quote is from a member of the House of Lords, which has effectively no constitutional power in the United Kingdom. Its value as an indicator of UK government policy is more-or-less nil. There is no question that Gurkhas would ever have been deployed in NI.

JDJarvis said...

Alexis, I think you got it wrong there, the U.S. troops will be employed as the colonial army/foreign legion for the Chinese as U.S. power and influence wanes. How up front this will be all depends on the politicians.

Ben Brooks said...

noisms:"Extremist politics are now dead in the West"

I'm surprised anyone can say this with a straight face considering the current field of US presidential candidates on the right. You have some calling for the virtual dissolution of government, others want to hand it all over to the corporations, and most have declared war on the separation of church and state.

Not to mention all the people they feel shouldn't count as "real" Americans. Hell, the largely conservative congress just tried to pass a law making it legal for the military to hold US citizens indefinitely without recourse for being suspected terrorists. It really shouldn't take a history major to figure out how that law would be abused in short order.

And that's not even mentioning how hard police in various cities have been cracking down on peaceful demonstrators of the OWS movement. And in defense of what exactly? The state and the people aren't being demonstrated against.

Can't happen here my fanny. :)

"fascists, ... anarchists and communists"

To varying degrees in order: Republicans, Libertarians, and Democrats. No royalists yet, but you could argue that big business is making it's push. :)

Tristan said...

"To varying degrees in order: Republicans, Libertarians, and Democrats."

The problem with this analysis is that all of the above groups share essentially the same ideology. Any bickering between them is about who gets the pie, not how the pie is made.