Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 17th, 2008

Wild Goose Chase into the Old World (fiction, continue 4)

Toying with skirmishes

Since nothing is impossible to Alexander, then Alex took up the challenge: He was getting bored of inaction; and he was not meant to stay and watch Alexandria being built. He had a whole army becoming lax and drunk.  On the way back, Alexander opted for the route leading through Jerusalem to the Golan Heights.

The Persian king Artax was convinced that he could vanquish Alexander in one big battle, but he found it a good opportunity to test his war techniques.  Artax wanted to toy with Alex: the harder the loss the greater the friendship!

Artax military strategy was new for the period. It consisted of semi guerrillas’ warfare and carried at stages leading to the final frontal attack.

One of his war techniques, in direct confrontations, was to engage the enemy army with an army a third its size for most of the day, then to launch another fresh army of the same size as the first army after 3 p.m. and harass the enemy all night long.

Artax was to make use of flares to illuminate the enemy’s positions for night raids, if necessary. He once used these flares as an experiment because they were expensive, not very reliable, trafficked from China and needed improvements.

At dawn, Artax would finish up the battle with a major offensive when the enemy is completely exhausted and disoriented. Artax reflected that this technique might still save thousands of his soldiers from the slaughter-hood.

Most of the time, he would harass the enemy for two consecutive days, morning, noon, and evening with well focused raids on one main body of the army. For example, to focus on the right or left wings of the cavalry or on the foot soldiers in the center, then engaging the real attack when the enemy is about to have lunch.

The details during the maneuvering exercises consisted to leaving the left and right ails of the cavalry fifteen minutes far from the main body.  The rationale was that the enemy would be forced to leave a substantial reserve in the rear for emergencies in case of encirclement.

The main body, the size of a third of the enemy’s army, would have thousands of archers.  The foot soldiers and cavalry’s task was to protect the archers for retreating in order ,150 meters behind the trenches and set up another line of battle then to retreat behind the archers.  The logic of the exercise was to absorb the enemy’s initial fugue and let him cool off so that the battle would resume in a more rational process until fresh troops replace the initial army.

Artax learned that the favorite strategy of Alex was to attack directly the Kings’ positions from the onset of a battle. So, he offered him a double as a target in the first engagement; the double was presented with the same pomp as a monarch.

Unfortunately, Alex did not buy this trick because the Persian Monarch’s personal guards numbered three times as much.  The other factor was that the maneuvering exercises didn’t coincide with a real battle situation.

The Persian small army was to engage the battle around 10 a.m. so that they would fight till 3 p.m. before fresh reinforcements arrive. The Macedonian cavalry took the initiative from the onset and advanced for miles to meet the Persian army and then swooped down en mass on both sides without engaging but in an encirclement maneuver.

The Persian army was caught unprepared for this kind of exercises and the Macedonian infantry was quick and ferocious.  Alex’s army engaged with such zeal that the first army of Artax was demolished in less than three hour and barely any escaped surrender.

Alex sent a forward company to locate the other divisions of the Persian army but they were no where to be found.  The battle had ended before noon while the Persian army had still two more hours to rest before marching to battle.

In the meantime, the Macedonians had lunch break and then half an hour of resting period before they spent up their energy slaughtering this heavy burden on their arms, the thousands of war prisoners.

Alex called the day off for further intelligence and for burning the corps. 

The Two-Horned King (fiction. Chapter. 3)

Alexander The Great completely destroyed the proud city of Tyr after seven months of siege.  He hatefully hanged 8,000 of its inhabitants and sold the rest as slaves.

This victory was obtained by a fluke of incredible circumstances, coming together, to vanquish the Queen City of commerce:  not only the State of Carthage refrained to rescue its mother city-state but Alexander witnessed the miracle he wished for. More than 300 war ships flocked in from the neighboring islands (Cyprus and Arwad) and other port cities within a week, a bounty that Alexander did not expect, and at just the time he was about to lift the siege.

Tyre was attacked from the sea where the walls of this sea city were the least fortified.

Alexander moved on to destroy the fortified city of Ashkelon in current Gaza before entering Egypt.  The city of Ashkelon prided itself as the first exporter of incense and myrrh and Alexander emptied its stores and shipped the products to his mother so that she won’t have to worry anymore about any scarcity of what was essential to honoring her Gods.

Alexander was crowned King of Kings by the High Priest of Egypt and he started the construction of his new city called Alexandra on the seashore.

The Persian king Artax was ready to face off with Alexander but he was reluctant to advance to Egypt: he recognized that the populations of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Egypt were already hostile to the Persian long rule and they have pledged allegiance to Alexander.

Thus, he settled to find an excellent gimmick to draw Alexander out of Egypt.  Artax sent a letter to Alexander agreeing to negotiate and to hand over the already conquered land by his army.

Artax expressly angered Alexander by stating that Alexander had no choice but to accept the proposal unless he is willing to pursue the Monarch throughout the world; an impossible mission!

International Court Tribunal for genocides: do execute! (November 17, 2008)


We need to discriminate among the categories of mass murderers in genocide cases; those who gave orders to kill and maim, those who followed ordered under duress of being executed on the spot, those who followed order under duress of facing court martial and execution, and those who followed orders simply for fear of career, material and financial losses.  I would like all those who gave orders to kill and maim, from the highest to the lowest ranking, politicians and military men, to be executed. I would like the last category of murderers, who had choices not to follow orders, but did it for material benefits, to be executed in the International Tribunal. The two categories of murderess of those who barely had choices unless they die need to serve prison terms; the confinement in special prisons is for their own benefit: they would be able to focus on their deeds and then pay their dues to society and thus avoiding personal revenge from a “legitimate” point of view.

Sure, no prison terms would eliminate the nagging conscious for the rest of a life but it might be helpful to permit convicts of moving on, change behavior and participate within society instead of living on the fringes.  Of the four categories of murderers I am inclined to select the first category as the most vile and degraded human beings; at least instead of giving orders the officer should do the killing or maiming then he could be included in the prison terms categories and he would have avoided spreading cowardice and immoral behavior among his soldiers and subordinates.

In just the last two decades, over one hundred military conflicts were being waged around the world; most of them were hate conflicts among tribes, races, ethnic groups and sectarian sects.  Over 30 millions were displaced and more on the run.  Famine and diseases and under-development followed, killing millions more. The European States and the USA have enacted stringent regulations to limit the flow of political refugees.  Lebanon was a prime example in the eighties, Cambodia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Algeria, Kashmir, Yugoslavians, Bosnians and Croatians in Eastern Europe, and then Rwanda in Africa, Congo, Chechnya, Armenia, then Nigeria, Liberia, Sera Leon, then Ivory Coast, then Chad, then Afghanistan, then Iraq and now Pakistan and the cycle returns with Lebanon, Georgia, Congo, Somalia, Sudan, and Turkey against the Kurds.

All the militias in all these conflicts harbor the same behavior and attitudes; they raise high their Kalashnikov, they show their cigarettes in the same manner, they take nonchalant breaks, and then they are up to resume their dirty immoral killing and maiming as regular jobs. They all claim to follow orders from superiors and they are not that worried of being persecuted in justice. Most of the militias are barely over 16 and in Africa 10-year old were recruited (the most lethal and scary midget assassins).  In some countries almost a fifth of the population participated in the war, directly or indirectly, and they all got used to observing the massacres and blood shed and humiliations.

Gunter Grass mentioned that over 20,000 German deserters were executed because they refused to follow orders for the mass killing.  Why these real heroes have been forgotten and not commemorated every year? Ironically, these heroes are still considered as cowards and traitors by the German Army and most German civilians! Why only a sample, if any, of the perpetrators of genocides are brought to trial?

I can comprehend the example of South Africa for general amnesty as long as the guilty admits and clarify his deeds: you cannot imprison the fifth of the population because they willingly and ideologically participated in the apartheid system.  Argentina followed suit so did Chili but they should not have voted amnesty because only select circles in the army performed the genocides.  Lebanon voted amnesty to all, except those who killed clergymen, but went much further in the ignominy: the militia leaders were all appointed ministers for recompense and their subordinates elected deputies in the Parliament!




November 2008

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