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Wars

Politicians should fight their own battles.
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Polititians should fight their own battles instead of sending young people to hardship, mutilation and death. When politician vote for war, they should be the first people on the front lines with a rank of Private. In ancient times, even generals fought in hand to hand combat. Nowadays, politians and generals sit back in comfort and complete safety ordering thousands to do their bidding for their own political agenda and self-aggrandizement.
brainiac, Feb 21 2001

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       Uh, in that case I nominate Jesse Ventura for President.
centauri, Feb 21 2001
  

       I don't believe [brainiac]s claim that "in ancient times, even generals fought in hand to hand combat" is even historically true (as an overall trend, at least), and would like to see this confirmed or contradicted by a source with big historical credentials.   

       (Later: Thanks for the references. PeterSealy's looks useful. Doing this kind of thing anecdotally is a bit difficult, since of course acts of personal heroism are going to be overreported relative to acts of careful planning and accounting. "He watched from a hill and got nary a scratch" isn't going to play well with the guys back in the tavern - nor with the general's cronies.)
jutta, Feb 21 2001, last modified Feb 22 2001
  

       jutta, I quite fear whose with first hand source are quite dead. Quite.
tierrie, Feb 21 2001
  

       brainiac, I promise this is not intended as a personal slight; we all make typos. But do you (or does anyone else) see anything amusing in the fact that someone using the name brainiac would use the word "politicians" four times and spell it differently each time?
beauxeault, Feb 21 2001
  

       I probably ought to point out that Sir Winston Churchill, like his father before him, sought to distinguish himself in war prior to a political career. To do this he purposefully made the classic cavalry faux par of his time - buying a white horse. As it happens his distinguished military career did not help him too much as an MP until Britain needed someone to lead a collation government in WWII and he became the obvious person for the job.
Aristotle, Feb 21 2001
  

       (For what it's worth: Up until the end of the republic, Roman generals were usually -- not always -- themselves elected officials and did sometimes -- not always -- fight in their own battles. Athenian, Carthaginian and other varieties of generals were in the same sort of position. Celtic war leaders fought personally. No really authoritative references, jutta; but Livy, for one, tells stories about the personal heroism of early Roman generals in hand-to-hand combat, and it's a popular theme elsewhere too. It gets rarer as sources get better, but leading an army did, at least, require a general to be present and did put them in danger, even if few of them were on the front lines fighting hand-to-hand. Whether it's "a feature of warfare common to primitive cultures ancient and modern", as evidenced by, uh, the Iliad, is not for me to say.)   

       Anyway, this doesn't really help this idea much. Apart from everything else, it's been around for a long time. Its popularity might date to the Vietnam war or something.
Monkfish, Feb 22 2001
  

       UnaBubba: Don't got me wrong, I'm not trying to say he was a saint - just that he had a military history.   

       Overall the concept of generals, king or politicans leading their troops into battle has largely been discredited by army size. If you actually control an army larger than be deployed in a single field the role of the supreme military leader is to coordinate. Besides some military leaders have made awful politicians, take Wellington for example, and such an idea would have us pick gladiators as heads of state.
Aristotle, Feb 22 2001
  

       Henry V of England personally led his troops to Normandy and at Agincourt in 1415 they killed off a fair proportion of French nobility.
Richard III of England died in battle at Bosworth Field in 1485.
Duke Charles the Bold of Burgundy died in battle at Nancy in 1477.
King Harold II of England was killed in battle at Hastings in 1066.
  

       These are all well documented. There are more but it is getting late.
sirrobin, Feb 22 2001
  

       it's not a new idea, but it's one that has yet to be put into practice in the industrial era and therefore valid. furthermore, as it is typically dismissed as nonsense or unworkable the moment it is raised (hello, and WHY is that???) so therefore it fully qualifies as half-baked because it fits the definition: it isn't done. anyone not ready to suit up themselves and take up arms for a fight or cause has no freaking business ordering others to do what he or she lacks personal courage and/or conviction to do himself/herself. period. end of issue. therefore, put monkeyfaced shrubya in an arena with captain sham suddein and let them duke it out or duel it out ... not NUKE it out with all of OUR lives at stake. screw dying for governments run by fat old men, aren't you as sick of that sh*t as the rest of us are???
codesushi, Oct 13 2002
  

       So, which government leaders are fat, [codesushi]? Only ones I can think of are trim, lean, even.
bristolz, Oct 13 2002
  

       Whats the point in killing anyone over anything. If everyone who ever had a problem w/anyone else would just meet on a neutral ground roll up a fatty and take a chill, everything would be alwrite. People take their beliefs too far when they try to envolve innocents who might not believe in the cause that much. Why cant we all just get along
op1getdopeseed, Oct 05 2003
  

       //Whats the point in killing anyone over anything. If everyone who ever had a problem w/anyone else would just meet on a neutral ground roll up a fatty and take a chill, everything would be alwrite. People take their beliefs too far when they try to envolve innocents who might not believe in the cause that much. Why cant we all just get along//   

       Ah, wouldn't that be nice, if people could safely beat their swords into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks. Unfortunately, one of the great lessons of history, all too often forgotten, is that those who beat their swords to ploughshares plow for those who don't.
supercat, Oct 05 2003
  
      
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