Lieutenant Colonel Allen B West (US Army, Retired)
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. George Santayana
“Those who fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it”. Sir Winston Churchill
Greetings fellow bikers, South Floridians, and indeed all my fellow Americans who shall read this missive. It is again time for another venture into the realm of American politics. There is so much which I could easily assess but I think that right now we need a simple history lesson.
The lead quotes come from two Men who were visionary in those simple words which they left for us all. I find in being a student of history that most of the things a Nation, or sometimes individuals, experience can be traced back to some period in earlier times. I do believe that history does repeat itself in revolving cycles, due to the ignorance of those who refuse to study it.
As we analyze our most critical issue in America, truly the world, it comes down to economic/fiscal principles and policies. As a career military officer I remember the first books we were mandated to read as Second Lieutenants; Rommels, “Attacks” and Sun Tzu’s, “Art of War”. Later we read the strategic writings of Carl von Clausewitz, Jomini, and studied the campaigns of Alexander and Hannibal.
Why was that important?
During Operation Desert Shield/Storm the quick demise of the Iraqi Army came due to the tactic of envelopment. One of the earliest recorded uses of that tactic came during the Second Punic War of the Carthaginians against the Romans at the Battle of Cannae. It was conceived and executed by Hannibal.
It is therefore not too amazing that I was able to find a fundamental quote from ancient history which we shall use as a basis for this month’s piece.
“The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome becomes bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance”. Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 BC
The budget should be balanced.
GO WEST BLOG!: September “Washingtoons”: The Voice from Rome