George Friedman, the founder of the private intelligence corporation Stratfor, “inspired” by the recent developments around Libya, and the role the United States played in them, compares the drift of international politics of the American Republic after WWII, which is visually characterized by the absence of the “proper” Constitutional procedures of declaration of war in all post-WWII armed conflicts starting Truman’s Korea War, with the overtaking of the Roman Republic by the Roman Empire: What Happened to the American Declaration of War?
Mr. Friedman, of course, exaggerates the peaceful nature of the Roman Republic, which was at least no less war-loving than the Empire. And overstates the treachery and threat to the liberties of the consuls and tribunes the Empire rose on the shoulders of. The Republic, decayed inside out, fell under the weight of its own problems, and the Empire, contrary to the popular belief, not just galvanized, but invigorated and resurrected it. No surprise that Julius Caesar and Mark Antony decided to go forward with their Military Dictatorship plan on the Lupercalia celebration – festival which gives rejuvenation and fertility of the wild, primeval “other-world” to the formalized civilized society. As a result the Empire, grown from the Dictatorship by Caesar’s nephew Augustus, gave Rome half a millenia (or millenia and a half, counting in Byzantium) of extra life time.
However, the analogy between Rome and America, and finding the commonalities between their reasons and methods of foreign policies are perfectly valid. The foundations of the American international policies are similarly innate, natural and full of integrity like those of Romul, raised by the she-wolf. As well as the tactics are logical, conscionable and scrupulous. Rome never treated any other state as equal; never let its adversaries go, even if takes number of generations to achieve their full defeat; utilized any, even remote possibility to harass its enemies, through diplomacy and combinations; always allied with the weakest against the more powerful to get a more divided and easily manageable political landscape, and never payed the traitors. When had conquered a new opponent, Rome integrated it into the matrix of the state, utilized and praised achievements of the conquered, but never allowed any dim doubt about who is the Master.
If a state wants to live in peace with Rome, it must obey all its orders, no matter how ridiculous and stupid they may seem. The point here is not the content of the directive, but a reinforcement of the submissive position. If it was said there should be a democracy, that doesn’t mean that the populace should have their voice heard in the decision-making, but that a regime should have the Imperial QA stamp. If it was said to kiss the Imperial ass, it should be kissed with the proper enthusiasm. And it doesn’t matter what Emperor is right now on the throne – mad Caligula or Commodus, or wise Mark Aurelius or Tiberius.
However if one wants the respect from Rome… That would come only if the one is able to prove he is an equal opponent worthy the victory. That means many hundred years and dozens of generations of “hot” and “cold” wars, constant diplomatic scheming, looming here and there proxy-wars through third-countries, and permanent awareness and willingness for back-stubbing. And most important, to win such a contest, a prospective over-dog should have a concise vision of the Future World Order. Neither Etruria, Carthage or Gaul had that vision, in opposite to Goths and Ottomans.
Dose anyone have such a thirst, eagerness and resources for a permanent war, which was the air Rome breathed? Does anyone have a plan and place in their New World Vision for the last suriname or ghana? Yes? Then give it your best shot…
No? Then get in line and kiss our ass!