Adonis Diaries

Archive for September 16th, 2009

The “Big Army” crossing the Beresina River; (September 14, 2009)

 

            The self appointed Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, had entered Moscow.  The Russian governor of Moscow burned his Capital three days after the French troops entered this “Saint City”.  Bonaparte lingered for an entire month in Moscow, hopelessly waiting for Czar Alexander to initiate negotiation.  Bonaparte finally ordered the retreat; he also ordered General Moreau to blast off the Kremlin. Bonaparte was forced to re-take the same route he used for coming to Moscow.  Bonaparte and “The Big Army” of 670,000, initially, were to re-witness the scene of carnage of the battle of Borodino; with a twist: the 80,000 victims were reduced to carcasses and the wolves and crows had done their cleaning job.

            Finally, after weeks of walking in the Russian winter weather half the army was dead from freezing, famine, drowning, and diseases. The guerilla Cossacks harassed this multinational army into lunacy; many soldiers were acting up crazy and irrationally. Then this big army had to cross the Beresina River.  The Russian General Kutuzoff appeased the British General Wilson saying: “It is in the swamps of Beresina that the meteorite will cool down.  So far, Bonaparte has no alternative but to follow the passage that I let him take; he is not even allowed to stop and rest.”

            The main bridges on the Beresina were destroyed.  The French engineering regiment headed by Eble tried to build all night long two makeshift bridges in a valley; they had to construct the bridges dipping in frozen water. The pontoon layers knew that they will not survive the day.

            The Russian army of 40,000 headed by General Tchitchakoff was waiting on the other side of the river. Miracle of miracle, in the morning the Russians had vacated their posts to allow Bonaparte safe passage and not be made prisoner. Bonaparte crossed at 2 pm. Then mayhem ensued.

            The entire army was pressing to cross on unstable bridges. The first wave of crossers drowned or was trampled due to the heavy push from the back.  Those trying to climb from the sides were carried off by the freezing powerful river. Women were holding their babies off water to be picked up before sinking in the river; not many babies found rescuers: everybody had no time to lose.

            What is it with women and babies following armies? It has been the custom since antiquity for whole families to follow their “noble warriors”, not those mercenaries or poor soldiers. Perhaps the noble warriors didn’t feel excited being deprived of their tasty dishes or the warmth of female bodies. But what with babies and kids? I never knew of a noble warrior caring of providing sympathy and affection to their kids. Obviously, women were of great help washing, cooking, cleaning after, gathering woods, tending the wounded, and rejuvenating the illusion of a peaceful period.  In this Russian campaign the civilians following the armies were caught between fires, crushed by horses and carriages, and killed when made prisoners.

            Then the Russian shells aimed amid this dense army increased the havoc. The bridge reserved for the artillery broke down. The masses surging from behind prohibited the column from backtracking. Everyone was precipitated in the river.  Thus, there was a surge to the only remaining bridge; men and materials were to be using this bridge. The carriages could not be stopped and entered in the masses and crashed into the compact assembled soldiers.  Nobody was hearing the moaning of the fallen and trampled.

            Bonaparte sent a brief message to the French Senate “During the 26 and 27 of November the army crossed.”   On December 5, 1812 Bonaparte abandoned his army and fled to Paris.

            If it was a military matter General Kutuzoff could have annihilated the French Big Army but he allowed it to cross the Russian borders.  There are two reasons for that decision: first, it was a highly political decision by Czar Alexander I.  Bonaparte was the master of Europe.  Without Bonaparte Europe would have sank into civil wars; the European leaders preferred Napoleon to stay for a short while so that he be targeted as the sole enemy and thus unite Europe until a political plan for restructuring the States is agreeable to all parties after the fall of Napoleon.  Second, it was a pragmatic decision.  The Russian army barely could afford to feed its soldiers.  It would have turned a horrific burden to caring for over 200,000 enemy soldiers who were enfeebled, sick, and crazy.  General Kutuzoff must have been extremely relieved to see the enemy has finally retreated behind the borders.

(September 15, 2009)

“There are no ends Sir, re-think your means…”

          Two critical questions have been around for ever.  The first question is “What is the purpose of man?”   The second question is “Is there any means of freeing man from war threats?”

            The first question received general answers such as “The free development of every one will lead to freeing every one else” or “Earth will know the Lord, as waves cover the sea.”  These general answers that means liberty, freedom, peace, justice, and fraternal love are meaningless because they need to be operational, well defined, well discriminated, and the means well thought out in details.

            The second question is answered by another general rhetorical answer “No nation will raise the sword against another nation.”  Prophets and religious leaders did not outdo the meanest local politician in their good intentions.

            “Is there any means of freeing man from war threats?” was asked to Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud in 1932; twelve years after the institution of the League of Nations after WWI.  The League of Nations was lead by the USA, France, Britain, and Italy; it was the precursor of the United Nations established after WWII and headed by the USA, USSR, China, France, and Britain with veto power.  Basically, they are the two cheeks of the same ass.

            Einstein said: “A minority avid of power reigning over the great masses that do not get but suffering and impoverishment.  The way for international security is to impose on States to abandon without condition a part of their liberty of action or sovereignty.  There are no other alternatives.” 

            Freud position was “It is not possible to avoid war unless men agree to institute a central power to which States demand arbitration and respect the decision.  The League of Nations does not dispose of an army which cannot be formed unless the constituent States concede it. I am baffled that a unanimous accord by humanity has not banished war.  It is my contention that whoever works toward the development of culture is also struggling against war.”

            Nobel peace laureate Bertha von Sutter replied to Alfred Nobel “Do not always qualify our plan for peace as a dream. Progress toward justice is not a dream; this is the law of civilization”

            “Is there any means of freeing man from war threats?” is still a general question.  It would be far meaningful to divide this question into three practical ones.  The first question would be “Is there any way to prevent pre-emptive wars?”  The second question is “Is there ways to prevent civil wars?”  The third question should be “How man can be set free to decide on his death?”

            How to prevent civil wars have been answered by the USA and Western Europe; all citizens are equal before the law of the land; all citizens have the right to vote; all citizens have the right to be candidates; all citizens can do commerce and trade anywhere in the land; all citizens abide by the same civil status laws; all citizens are served equally well by public services; and no citizen is discriminated against by gender, race, color, or religious belief. If civil wars can be prevented then wars can be prevented: war is war, just view other people as you want people to regard you!  Just stop discriminating other people by race, color, religion, or gender.  They should enjoy the same rights that you want to enjoy.    

            If the world community can decided on a universal law that gives man the right to dispose of his life then all the moral values would become corollary to that fundamental right.  We are born by a fluke of nature but death is a certainty once born; how we wish to die is the only power that we should have to decide for our destiny.

 

            The most controversial of all questions is “Do ends justify the means?”  The most frustrating in this question is that the first two pre-requisite questions have not been answered satisfactorily by the world community. So far, the ends have been but abstract general notions of liberty, freedom, democracy, justice, equality, and so on.  So far, the means have been but brutal force, assassination, incarceration, humiliation, and disrespect of human rights, customs, traditions, and cultures.  Occupied people wait for the means to materialize in order to comprehend the nature of the end game.  When the occupier disband a nation’s army then you know that brute force occupation is the means to annihilate the social fabric of the society.  How can democracy be instituted if democracy is not applied by the occupier?  How can liberty be disseminated if the occupier has forgotten that liberty is resistance to an occupying force?  How can justice be established if martial laws are applied?

            Man is a dog, a cat, or nothing.  The vast majority of men are dogs.  Dog has a fixed logic; once trained properly he nails rules down.  Dog may learn from experience but fails to generalize the experience.  Misha the dog was entrapped on a spiked fence and got scared; she would not jump over the fence on the location it got the fright.  Misha jumps over the fence in another location; it is the same kind of dangerous fence, the same color, and the same height; it was just another location!  Cat has flexible logic and it baffles man.  There are these two kittens. The ugly one is smarter, more courageous, and enterprising.  The first time I hit the ugly cat for myawing it comprehended my reason for hitting her, or so I think.  The next time she saw the stick her behavior changed; now the stick meant “food is on the way”; food is the objective and survival means launching guerrilla warfare and louder myawings.

 

            The main function of the UN should be to prohibit pre-emptive wars under all conditions. The UN failed when it cowered to the US dictates for invading Iraq.  Britain, France, and Germany contributed to this war by softening their stance for economical benefits.

            I say: “There are no ends Sir, re-think your means.”


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

September 2009
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