Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Remember History ... Or Be Doomed To Repeat It


I always bristle at comparisons between the United States and Ancient Rome, after all, we all know what happened to Rome. Unfortunately, the United States is once again emulating that great Empire. I don’t know how much everyone is aware of the use of mercenaries in the Iraqi War, but it is impressive.

There are thousands of private “security contractors” currently keeping the peace in Iraq. Most of these are former US and UK military, but with a smattering of South Africans and even Gurkhas. In fact, mercenaries are fast becoming South Africa’s biggest export.

Now, private security companies are starting to recruit mercs out of Latin America. Peruvians guard the perimeter of a US installation in Basra, Chileans protect the Green Zone in Baghdad and Hondurans provide security at the terminals in Baghdad International Airport. Salvadorians and Ecuadorians have also provided mercenary services. These security companies are going after Latin American recruits hard. Where a US mercenary commands a $10000.00 to $15000.00 monthly salary, Latin Americans are paid from $1000.00 to $1500.00.

Now, back to Rome … towards the end of the Roman Empire, the Roman Empire was comprised of a large majority of Barbarian mercenaries. Flavius Orestes took advantage of this by turning the mercenaries against Rome and taking over the Western Roman Empire in 475 AD.

Let us hope there is no Flavius Orestes lurking in the shadows of the US Government … has any one seen Dick Cheney recently?

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4 comments:

David said...

I like the repeat-even if it was a mistake. It helps get the idea of a stupid cycle across!

buffalodickdy said...

We got a ways to go before our power erodes enough to be compared. The British Empire, and others copied these things too.

Paul Champagne said...

david ... okay, I'm going to pretend this wasn't a mistake and claim my just genius dues. I just love it when serendipity calls.

buffalo ... seems like most empires are locked in this cycle.

Sunni Kay said...

Weren't there other mitigating factors to the fall of the Roman Empire? One I remember vaguely, and my history classes feel like they were eons ago now, was that there was a drastic demilitarization, possibly, no standing army any longer? I could be very wrong on that fact, but it stands out in my memory. Also, they had conquered to vast an area for the weaponry that was in practice at the time. Rome may not have had the same difficulties armed as many countries are now. with information also traveling as quickly as it now does.

Seriously, just some food for thought, as the comparison you draw in one worth serious thought despite any potential arguments to the opposite.