Significant Military Events

I was asked in the comments about significant military events. Since that is a more interesting topic than debating with buh as to whether rapes in DR Congo are ordered by Bush personally or the multinational corpations or the Vulcan overlords (since we all know that no blacks have ever committed any crime ever in history - except for those in the Republican party of course), I have done some more thinking and here's what I came up with.

First of all, you need to actually settle on a frame of reference. For many/most Muslims, the thing that interests them is not the spread of human rights across the globe, but the spread of Islam. For most westerners however, people's religion is the most mind-numbingly boring topic imaginable. So battles that leave this or that religion better off, are completely and utterly irrelevant. But for Muslims, every time Mohammed murdered some unsuspecting Jew tilling his land, it's like, wow, I wish I had been there to see that! With the conquest of Mecca being like ... the Mecca.

So too, Americans have been raised with a diet of how important American independence was, as America's liberal democracy is so important, and so unique, that all other liberal democracies are well, just liberal democracies and like if you were to accidentally bump into one of them, you might, like, catch some horrible disease or sumfin. So the only things that matter are some stupid battles that no-one else in the world has even heard of, because, like, who cares?

So first of all I have to declare my own mindset. I am a secular humanist and want to live under a secular, humanist government, and as a humanist, I want other humanists to also enjoy the same thing. So rather that battles that force Islam down people's throats, I'm interested in battles that force humanism onto some government (instead of allowing the government to rape, murder, whatever). So if 1000 years ago Iceland, which was likely the closest thing the world had to a humanist government at the time) had used its democratically-controlled security forces to spread its own form of government across the globe, THAT would have been the most significant military event.

But the world is not that lucky. Instead, there was a long struggle, and that struggle continues today. It continues not just against dictators, but sick people like buh who support them from the comfort of the free world.

As we know now, America is the country that is now capable of doing what Iceland was unable to do 1000 years ago. But the European Union could probably pull it off too, if it were that way inclined. It'd be more difficult of course, but their opponents are even more hopeless than them, so it'll still be a cakewalk. But they're missing the political will. But even despite that, it still means that Europe can at least protect its own human rights. And whatever else the Europeans may be, they are still part of the free world. So that part of the free world is secure.

But it wasn't like that a short time ago. A really significant military event was Eastern Europe leaving the Warsaw Pact and joining NATO. It may not be the same as WWII, but the actions of the belligerents in the Cold War, were pretty much the same as WWII. Both sides forged alliances, and both sides developed ever-better weapons in order to prosecute that war. The fact that neither side actually fired their weapons (unless you count the sideshows in Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan) is pretty much irrelevant. Firing weapons just means some resources are depleted. Unless borders move, it's totally irrelevant. It's the equivalent of each side boiling some of its own soldiers in oil. Soldiers die, expensive oil is wasted. But both sides are in exactly the same state, even though it's called "peace" instead of "war".

And given that communism, with it's allure of an allegedly better definition of "freedom" (freedom from poverty - and everyone can relate to that, because no-one is ever satisfied with their lot in life, no matter how well off they are in comparison to their ancestors) was of mortal threat to liberal democracy, this is probably the most singular important military event in world history. Without the US military to prevent the Soviets rolling over Western Europe, the world would be a very different place indeed. So just because the belligerents didn't get into a full-scale shooting match, doesn't make it much less of a war. The fact is that the good guys won a lot of territory, the bad guys sort of simply disappeared the same way the Nazis (ie national SOCIALISTS - more left-wing scum) did.

Other things, like the Chinese, Vietnamese, Indians going from capitalism to capitalism over the course of a few decades is largely irrelevant. Of course it is terrible for the people living in squalor in India thanks to Ghandi's moronic economic policies, or innocent people sent to commie gulags in China and Vietnam, but as far as the free world's ideological spread is concerned, it turned out to be immaterial. Yes, the Chinese and Vietnamese did manage to kill a small number of people from the free world, and waste some of our resources, but that's about it. No major permanent impact. Could have turned out differently, but it didn't.

Hell, we're in the same position right now with the Middle East. Assad's rise to power in a military coup in Syria could turn out to be the most significant military event in world history if he goes on to develop nukes and uses them to wipe out every major city in the free world, allowing Ba'athism to conquer the globe. But so far he hasn't, so his pathetic little coup which he calls a "revolution" has about as much substance as his son's chin.

As we go back in history we can see some other events like WWII. That's not particularly significant because the borders didn't improve in favour of the free world significantly. Although getting the Japanese out of China was important (because that increased the danger from Japan's ideology - Japanese nationalism) and breaking up German strength was also important in ending Germany's ideology (German nationalism - I don't think Nazism had any traction as an ideology - they nearly went bankrupt before the shooting started).

WWI was more significant as it put an end to some competitors - the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires. These large power blocks are a threat as they can act as a single entity with a common ideology (ie whatever ideology the dictator has). We don't have that problem with NATO. You can break NATO into the current 26 components or into 260 components and you still end up with exactly the same thing - the components have an ideology that allows them to come together of their own free will. Not possible to force them to listen to some dictator's ideology. Even if America was a dictatorship, it would have zero clout with the other NATO members. In fact, it would be expelled.

The same sort of thing could exist even if Australia. Even if the UN somehow coerced Australia into splitting up into individual states, maybe by threatening nuclear annihilation or something, the different states would all say something like "fine. yah. we're all countries now. as a country, i hereby wish to engage in a special state to state relationship like australia used to have with new zealand. and we'll have common defence in ANZUS like we used to as well. free trade all round obviously. and we'll probably adopt strikingly similar laws. oh, and we'll have one of those euro currency thingos except called the ozi".

Anyway, the humanist ideology doesn't go back very far. Europe was pretty much wall to wall dictatorship not that long ago. So the next thing to protect is scientific progress. That was threatened by Muslims at one point in time, and by Mongols at another. The Muslim invasion was defeated at Gates of Vienna and the Mongol one was defeated by some Muslims in Egypt. So both of those were significant in allowing the Europeans to develop.

The English beating the French was significant as it put an end to France starting wars with the other European countries for no particular benefit to liberal democracy. Keeping the Spanish out of South America was significant in reducing their ability to do any damage.

I thought that the Roman invasion of England was significant in that it brought England up to first world standards (which later proved useful in spreading my ideology), but perhaps that would have happened anyway in the Norman (French) invasion.

The American war of independence (won by the French) would have been significant if it had actually caused a problem. But it didn't. America never did anything serious to the UK, and when America's resources were actually required, they did turn up, albeit belatedly, so no harm done. And they subsequently took over the job of holding the line, so then it became a question of things like the UK's resources not being used to assist in Vietnam. But America so outclasses everyone else that that particular malfeasance isn't particularly significant.

There are two more significant military events I can think of.

Afghanistan proved that merely providing air power to one side in a civil war is enough to win, so supporting liberal democracy worldwide in the long term will never require much more than some target practice for the US Air Force.

Iraq proved that it is not religion that divides humans, but ideology, and that in the long term, all you need to do is provide air power to the ideology you like.

All those things combined have brought us to where we are, which is to say, be in position to spread Iceland's ideology of 1000 years ago, across the globe, and making it technically impossible for any competitor to take away our choice of government ideology (secular humanism) by force.

Iraq is the singlemost significant military event, because it provided the petri dish that was required to isolate the exact ideology (ie message 666) that our governments were operating under when they fought, which is what is required to usher in worldwide freedom, and thus peace, both between countries, and even between individuals, into the future. Basically anti-non-humanists need to defeat non-humanists in order for the world to be a safe place for humanists. After that war, comes true peace, rather than an armistice.

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