Indeed the military doctrine of the west is a large
part of how the western culture rose to dominance.
John Keegan has written several books in which he
identifies the aspects of western military theory that
allowed it to defeat any opponent that it faced. He
traces this back to the tactics of the heavy infantry
of the Greek hoplites and beyond. I am not military
theorist but my understanding of Keegan's idea is that
the west adopted the element of a constant attack [I
am not using his terms]. More importantly according to
Keegan, western societies are open. Their armies are
made up of men who are more of less willing to be
there. They willingly enter the fight and willing
participate in he destruction of the enemy to protect
Western military theory is based on the idea of
constant attack that is aimed to destroy the enemy.
Other military theories emphasized brief attacks by
light mobile forces followed by withdrawals that are
intended to damage and humiliate the enemy. He
develops this idea with references to wars from
Alexander the Great on. In one example, he shows how
heavy French infantry was able to destroy Arab cavalry
and thus end Arab expansion in the west. The Arab
cavalry crashed into an inexorably advancing wall of
shields and pikes and was thereby destroyed.
Reference to events happening today in Fallujah are
--- Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I looked up the history of the phrase, "western
> civilization," a few
> years ago but don't remember the results too
> clearly. But I'll risk a
> generalization without being able to cite now the
> linguistic details
> that are part of its grounds.
> "Western Civilization" was a 19th century invention
> primarily for the
> purpose of justifying or rationalizing the rape of
> the whole damn earth
> by a few big 'western' powers (led first by england
> and france, later up
> to the present by the u.s.). The hymn of western
> civilization is
> Kipling's "White Man's Burden," written to justify
> the mass slaughter of
> Philippinos by the invading barbarians from the
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