Thursday, August 23, 2007

POLITICSHYPE: Juan Cole on Bush and Napoleon

Juan Cole has a brilliant piece up on comparing Napoleon's 1798 invasion of Egypt to Dubya's Iraq misadventure:

In both eighteenth century Egypt and twenty-first century Iraq, the dreary reality on the ground stood as a reproach to, if not a wicked satire upon, these high-minded pronouncements. The French landed at the port of Alexandria on July 1, 1798. Two and a half weeks later, as the French army advanced along the Nile toward Cairo, a unit of Gen. Jean Reynier's division met opposition from 1,800 villagers, many armed with muskets. Sgt. Charles Francois recalled a typical scene. After scaling the village walls and "firing into those crowds," killing "about 900 men," the French confiscated the villagers' livestock - "camels, donkeys, horses, eggs, cows, sheep" - then "finished burning the rest of the houses, or rather the huts, so as to provide a terrible object lesson to these half-savage and barbarous people."

Pitching the Imperial Republic: Bonaparte and Bush on Deck at Truthout

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