Category Archives: History

American Cultural Prejudice

I wonder why the Liberals, most Republicans, and the American mass media still see Russia as an enemy and NOT the Islamic terrorists, especially when the Cold War is over.

This biased attitude against the Russians seems completely irrational to me, when the Russian people and culture have the same lifestyle as we have and are similar to ours, and never a single Russian citizen or government has ever attacked the United States of America, with bombs or bullets.

Why do the GOP establishment and Liberals hate the Russians so much, when Putin is the only leader in the world who is seriously fighting the same Islamist terrorists that killed thousands of American citizens in US soil? I just wonder whether it’s a case of deeply-rooted American cultural prejudice against the Russians.

Society in History

Society versus the individual, who comes first? Or which one is more important for the development of a nation? It has always been a long-discussed argument in history, specially between those who strongly favor socialism, such as the incumbent Barrack Obama and the Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and those who support and speak up for individual rights, such as the Republicans. It is easy to figure out, using reason and common sense. Here is my opinion:
Without individuals there would not be society, just as there would not be a car without all the different parts that constitute it. So, the individual comes first, just as the family come first; then, the clan; then, the tribe; then, the nation, which had its origin in the confederation of tribes, that were connected together by a common language, ethnicity, and historical background. “Society” is an abstract concept, but individuals are real persons, who can rejoice or suffer, and who get together to form a society out of their own free will. A society is the interaction of the individuals, who behave according to cultural patterns. So, meeting the needs of each individual that get together to constitute the whole means meeting society’s needs.

Roman Emperors vs Modern Governments

Modern historians and media have always portrayed Ancient Romans and Roman emperors as being cruel and savage people. However, compared to modern 20th century governments, we can see that this picture of the Romans is a distorted one. The Ancient Roman culture did not produce ruling monsters the size of Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Hitler, and Islamic fundamentalists who caused the death of millions upon millions of their own people as well as minorities in the name of an ideology and a religion. They also did not have presidents like Harry Truman and Lyndon B Johnson, who ordered the firebombing of Tokyo, Osaka, Bremen and Vietnamese cities, respectively, and the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing millions of women and children just because they wanted to increase their popularity by putting World War II and the Vietnam War to an end, taking the soldiers out of the battlefield and be elected presidents on their own (they had succeeded incumbent presidents). They also did not have Islamic terrorists, whose only objective is mass-murder of civilian population because the fundamentals of their religion say so.

I know you are going to say that Emperor like Caligula or Nero would have used atomic weapons if they had that technology, but these monsters were killed by the Praetorian Guards when things started to get out of hands, which paved the way for emperors such as Trajan, Adrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius.

We must not get actual human events out of its historical and cultural context, for the Romans and the Greeks were the products of their time and had completely different cultural mores (the values that constitute the cultural fabric of a given civilization) than human beings of today. And one of their moral values was “courage”, and, in order to get social acceptance, a military had to fight face to face with the enemy on a given battlefield, and the enemy had the form of an armed soldier, not women and children. We must judge the Romans in their historical circumstances; in ancient times, an ordinary Roman citizen enjoyed the highest standard of living and political and social freedom in antiquity; Rome was also the only City-State to grant citizenship to foreigners. The Romans were vicious only with those nations that tried to destroy Rome, like Carthage.

In Ancient Times, specially among the Romans, the cultural values revolved around survival of the individual and of the group (clan, tribe, nation), never around monotheistic religious doctrines or political ideologies. The Romans would never waste their money, time and energy building pyramids to honor a tyrant, for example, for it was useless for survival; they would rather build bridges, aqueducts, irrigation systems, and a strata via (roads), because these were useful for the Roman citizens, who were living human beings. The Soviet Union, Communist China, and Cuba squandered away precious government income to deify and worship their tyrants, like Mao and Stalin; the result, terrible famines that wiped out entire populations.

In time of war, the objective of the Roman consuls and emperors were the conquest of a hostile nation to ensure the survival of Rome, which was completed through a process called romanization of that region.

Roman Republic vs Absolute Monarchy

When Voltaire spoke of “Republic”, or of a “Republican System”, during the 18th century Enlightment period, he mentioned the Ancient Roman Republic as a system to curb the dictatorial powers of absolute monarchs. He was rediscovering the Roman Republic of Ancient Times to find a solution to absolute monarchy of modern times! If you didn’t know, the Republic is the division of power in three branches (legislative, judicial, and executive ones) as a system of check and balance. So, all our so vaunted political evolution was nothing less than the political Renaissance of the Ancient Roman Republic, for there had been an involution in the light of Christian monotheism rather than an evolution until the 18th century. But the ancient Romans were not monotheistic people, for they were polytheists. Like absolute monarchy, monotheism is a totalitarian theological system that despotically rules the human mind through an only God; like the Republican System, polytheism is a system of check and balance of different Gods that keep the universe in equilibrium and that gives human being absolute liberty concerning knowledge and prosperity, and under a polytheistic system, women were not only a lot freer but they played an important role in society. Whereas in monotheistic societies of patriarchal tribes, women were not only segregated but also stoned to death from ancient times even until today! Look what is going on in the Middle East!

By Carlos Benito Camacho

US Foreign Policy

The United States of America has exercised political and economic hegemony over the Western World for the past seventy years, but the American foreign policy has been contradictory, schizophrenic, and suicidal. During the Cold War, for example, and in an ideological context, the US government backed many military coups and dictators in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa in order to avoid the expansion of communism through the so-feared domino effect. However, during the Carter Administration, the US government took a 180ยบ turn, attacking military regimes in Latin America, accusing them of human right violations during the war against leftist terrorist groups; this was a complete contradictory and hypocritical US approach to Latin America guerrilla conflicts of the late 1970s, for it was a Democratic government that got the Unites States involved in the quagmire of Vietnam, dropping more bombs in Southeast Asia than during WWII, killing thousands of defenseless women and children, with the US foot soldiers burning entire Vietnamese peasants villages.

From 1979 to 1988, the US government armed the Mujahideen Islamic guerrilla to help them in their war against the Soviet Army that had invaded Afghanistan, also providing them with logistic support. The Reagan Administration spent hundreds of millions of dollars to help the Afghan Islamic insurgents drive the Russians out of their country. Nevertheless, it was the same American-backed Islamist group (now called the Taliban) that would commit the most horrendous terrorist act in world’s history on September 11, 2001, knocking down the World Trade Center towers and crashing a third plane against the Pentagon, with the undercover logistic support of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Quite a contrast to the Soviet foreign policy of the time; Russia had aided first China, during the Korean War, then North Vietnam in the early 1960s; however neither of these countries ever carried out attacks on Russian territories or interests.

In March 2003, the Bush Administration started Operation Iraqi Freedom, which was the invasion of Iraq with the objective to oust Saddam Hussein from power. Hussein was a secular dictator who had been backed and used by both the American and French governments in the 1980s to put a check on the Iran’s Islamic regime geopolitical expansion, with the goal to establish a balance of power in the region; this Iranian Islamist theocracy had overthrown the Shah of Persia in 1979. However, that balance of power was destroyed in 2003 as the absence of Saddam Hussein brought about a deep vacuum power, paving the way for some Islamist terrorist groups, that cropped up on the chaotic horizon that ensued and whose members are bent on creating a caliphate or religious State stretching from Iran to Spain and from France to North Africa.

Backed by the Obama Administration, the so called Arab Spring was a political and social movement that has taken place in Arab countries, knocking three secular regimes so far (including Moammar Gaddafi of Libya and Mubarak of Egypt) out of power. Nevertheless, it completely failed when the US government tried to overthrow the Russian-backed president Bashar al-Assad of Syria, by arming Islamist insurgents that stirred up a civil war in that country. This American move was extremely dangerous and suicidal for Europe and the Western World, as the armed struggle in Syria caused a massive, Islamist refugees invasion of Europe, most of them being young men of a fighting age. But the most unreasonable and senseless act of the American and European foreign policy in the region is that the Obama, Merkel and Hollande Administrations have refused to grant any aid and political asylum to Christians, Yazidis, Druzes, and other ethnic monorities, but have opened wide the migratory gates to Islamic refugees instead.

By Carlos B Camacho