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Thread: POTF 15 - Nominations

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    Aexodus's Avatar Persuasion>Coercion
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    Default POTF 15 - Nominations


    POTF is about recognising the very best posts, the best arguments and discourse in the D&D, and appropriately rewarding it. You shall progressively earn these medals once you achieve enough wins, but first you must be nominated in threads such as this one. And it works like this.

    Post of the Fortnight - Rules
    -Each user can nominate up to 2 posts per round, and the only valid form of nomination is by quoting with a link as shown below the chosen post in the PotF thread designated for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    Looking forward to getting this kicked off for real!
    -Each 15 days there will be a new Nomination thread put up, and all the posts written during this period are considered eligible, if properly nominated. Exception are posts who are somewhat breaking the ToS; upon being acted by Moderation, they are always considered uneligible.

    - Remember: It is possible to nominate up to 2 posts each round of the competition; it is also possible to change a nomination anytime before the actual round of nominations ends.

    - There will be two competitions held every month, with a period for nominations followed by a period of voting. The submitted posts can be discussed in a dedicated space.

    - Only posts that have not participated in a previous poll and that have been published in the current period of given time in any section of the D&D area may be nominated.

    - The authors of the nominated post will be informed so they can withdraw the candidacy if that is their wish.

    - The maximum number of participating posts in the final vote will be ten. If more than ten nominations are submitted, seconded nominations will take priority. After seconded nominations are considered, earliest nominations will take priority. If the number of posts submitted to the contest is less than ten, the organizing committee may nominate posts if it considers it appropriate.

    -The members of the committee will never nominate a post belonging to one of them, but the rest of the users can nominate their posts (organizers posts), and vice versa.

    -In the event of a tie, both posts will be awarded and both posters will receive rep and 1 competition point.


    - Public or private messages asking for a vote for a candidate post are forbidden. Violators (and their posts) may not participate in the running contest.

    - People are expected to consider the quality and structure of the post itself, more than the content of the same. While it's certainly impossible to completely split the two aspects when making our own opinion on a post, it remains intended, as also explained in the Competition Commentary Thread, that commenting and discussing on the content rather than on the form/structure of the post is considered off-topic for the purpose of this competition. You are free to nominate and vote for whatever reason you want, but what happens in public has to strictly follow up with the competition rules.


    A nominated post should:

    1. Be focused and relevant to the topic(s) being discussed.
    2. Demonstrate a well-developed, insightful and nuanced understanding of the topic(s) it is discussing.
    3. Be logically coherent, well organized and communicate its points effectively.
    4. Support its contentions with verifiable evidence, either in the form of links or references.
    5. Not be deliberately vexatious to other users.


    Good luck everyone!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akar View Post
    Well if you survive a beheading I feel like that's fair enough you get to go home

  2. #2

    Default Re: POTF 15 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by Dante Von Hespburg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusSertorius View Post
    Refusing to resign after a VONC, and waiting for the inevitable court case to time out the 14 days to form an alternative government, as just one example.



    Cooper-Letwin was rammed through in two days. It would have been a single day, if the Conservatives in the Lords hadn't prevented them from doing so. That is a dangerous precedent at odds with the way things have been done for a very long time.
    Just as a point here, i think the issue is indeed that the UK's unwritten constitution has been thoroughly shredded by both sides. Letwin set a dangerous precedent of backbenchers taking control of government busijness, and Boris is about to potentially set one too by refusing to resign after a VONC- which is approaching the dictatorial in regards to how the UK political system currently functions. Moreover he's even considering running rough-shod over Civil Service neutrality in any early GE to continue to implement policy that is disputed by other parties. We're effectively seeing the end of the Westminster system based on convention, i wouldn't be surprised if after this mess there are calls for a legal constitution that is recorded, as the unwritten one has proved entirely inadequate. Imagine for instance if Corbyn wins a GE, is successfully VONC'd down the line, but refuses to step down, aided and abetted by Boris doing exactly the same previously. We're in the ultimate in 'short-term' political thinking in ways that will be damaging for the state (pending any actual constitutional reform) in a post-brexit context- this is of course on top of May already having hugely undermined the political constitution- by weighting key committees, despite not being a majority government on her own steam, of allowing the use of archaic powers to 'streamline' parliamentary scrutiny (again Labout with those precedents will be interesting) of bills and the use of secondary legislation (which has far less scrutiny and is typically for unimportant edits) to sneak through primary legislation.

    We voted in 2016 as the UK, not as constituent nations. Scotland has already had a "once in a lifetime" referendum on their membership of the UK.
    The issue here is that this is a 'wish' position, as a Unionist i agree, but in practical terms that line of argument has very little value politically currently. The terms indeed were subject to material change advocated by the SNP and then ensured during the landslide in the Scottish Parliament, so the counter-bases is equally valid and with a mandate of its own. Moreover the Union is pending fundamental reform, in decline regardless of brexit, Scottish independence has consistently gathered pace, its merely been galvanized by brexit to seize the chance to score some further points in how different the political cultures are between the two nations, but a 'no-deal' Westminster government would find it very difficult to deal with a Scotland if this frankly unprecedented surge continues (it might not), deny a referendum if there is consistent polling for independence is an international and domestic nightmare that a post-brexit UK does not need, likewise though brexit has undermined the Unions case we used last time- i.e. that Scotland should remain in the UK due to economics and EU membership- both arguments which brexit has overridden (indeed vote leave i'd argue borrowed heavily from the Vote Yes tactics during the Scottish referendum, appealing to pride, positive nationalism and emotion).

    The reason of course that we on the Union side did not make any positive case for the Union in equally emotive terms is that there is a 'crisis' in Britishness, even back them that is widely recognized of what is the UK's 'point' as a Union. Historical justifications no longer apply, and the positives are essentially economic, thus its a very limited case. I'm not looking forward to what i think is now potentially an inevitable 2nd Scottish Indy ref sometime in the next few years where the case for the Union will be essentially- well, nothing. 'Global Britain' going it alone, while sure can be a success, equally applies to 'Global Scotland' going it alone- the USP essentially is no longer there until it can be re-established, which i'd go on a limb and say it would take a fair few years to do.

    Also in regards to Scotland joining the EU- i honestly do not think this is something anyone should rest their arguments on regarding Scottish Independence. The Scottish public are concerned about leaving the EU, particularly with no-deal, the SNP are making political hay of this, however i suspect that is all the EU is to the SNP. During the independence referendum it was never really tackled, and indeed the Unionists held the card 'you can't join, we're already in'. But i suspect they don't really care about actually being part of the EU. The SNP line traditionally has been (and would be in the case of any referendum), that what a post-UK Scotland does, is up to its own people- the implication being that for them independence is not contingent at all on Scotlands ability to join the EU. This of course was pointed out by us Unionists as economically idiotic with damage being done, but of course no-deal brexit even its advocates say will see the UK economy take a hit- the debate is for how long- similar lines of arguments can and were employed by the SNP. So its kinda a point that has been neutralized by how public debates have since gone- I remind you for instance that the first use of 'Project Fear' was what the SNP labelled the Unionists as , anytime during the indy ref, i'd talk about economics and why we should stay, that was used to shut anything i'd said down- in the wider picture it was used politically as exactly that. Brexit made this label UK-wide, and beyond what anyone actually thinks of the economic consequences of brexit- it has and will be used again to simply shut out aspects of the debate that are not part of the narrative that one side wants pushed.
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  3. #3
    Aexodus's Avatar Persuasion>Coercion
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    Default Re: POTF 15 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by Kritias View Post
    Okay, after research the laws for censorship in Germany falls under two categories: according to (a) Strafgesetzbuch section 86a, the public denial of the Holocaust, the use of Nazi imagery (except for educational purposes) as well as communist images or symbols since the KPD is also banned alongside the Nazi party, or generally propagangizing the nazis or the communists. (B) Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien (Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Minors) under which certain publications can be censored (in the sense they cannot be exhibited publicly to be purchased) and other sub categories that violate personal rights of German citizens, such as publishing private (aka nude) photos. So far, so good I trust. Because I can't really see something so outlandish that would make Germany an 'authoritarian trash' state. Unless you have a problem with t he Germans not allowing Nazi or communist imagery and propaganda.

    England, lets talk England. The United Kingdom has its own way of dealing with freedom of speech as you can see here. Now, it can be argued that the laws in place are more archaic in their understanding, but still the rights are there albeit needing a different justification that what you demand them to have. In regards to the points you raise: The drill rappers you note were classified as a 'gang' by the Metropolitan police because of their general activities which they allegedly brag about in their songs. So, that may be a reason for them getting arrested. Of course alleged gang activity and making music are two completely different issues. The fact is the metropolitan police used the songs themselves to point out the group is bragging on illegal activities that 410 allegedly committed. In any case, there's more than a simple violation of freedom of speech going on in this case.

    On the issue of the Nazi pug, Meechan was fined because in his videos he's giving the command for the pug to raise its paw with some very, very offensive stuff. Whether Meechan himself thought he was being hilarious at the point is not here nor there; the fact is that by uploading it to YouTube he was trying to tap in a current trend that makes the nazis 'funny' (you must have seen the memes), in order to make himself more known. And it worked, because after he caused the controversy and refused to pay his fine for this self-marketing stunt, he received donations through crowdfunding and went into politics with UKIP - hardly a victim of suppression of free speech, I'd say.

    On to the Heathen

    1. You say he explained it, I say he excused it. There's no convincing you if you don't want to see the other side.
    2. Look above on what these violations are. Again, both these countries score higher than the United States in all freedom indexes. So, saying another country isn't free because you compare it to a, largely imaginary [here, here, here, here], view on the freedom of the United States is plainly wrong. Also, three cases in two countries with more than 150 million people between them isn't a symptom of social repression; surely, if they were as authoritarian as you claim, we'd hear way more cases. More close to hundreds, or even tens of hundreds - not countable by hand, though.
    3. Once again, the private posts you make on Facebook and Twitter do not generate profit for their shareholders. In fact, if the two platforms become infested with hate speech and other stuff, this will directly damage their profit because more moderate people may decide to stay away; you see an ideological crusade against free speech where there's simply a business plan for sustainable growth and user retention. And once again, there's the ToS; If you break it, you get demonetized, or get your posts pulled down.
    4. There's no country in the world that doesn't restrict aspects of their citizens' rights in some way, shape or form. It's all part of the social contract in living in a society. You saying that some countries restrict rights and other don't shows how much misinformed you are on what the legal statures in the US really contain [here]. My suggestion is go open the legal statures and see what the terms you throw here really mean. Or check the links I've given you above. But this argument is based uncomfortably on fantasy; freedom of speech just doesn't work the same you think it does.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akar View Post
    Well if you survive a beheading I feel like that's fair enough you get to go home

  4. #4
    Abdlmecid I's Avatar Ay Carmela!
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    Default Re: POTF 15 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    I missed this at the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Axalon View Post
    Considering your wording there, I take it that you are not a Muslim? …Furthermore, I notice the problematic circumstance we have here due to the fact that you are a kafir/infidel - and your friends are supposed “Muslims” anyhow. An actual Muslim could not be friends with you - since Islam does not permit that - and basically “reward” those that ignore this with hellfire… See sura 3:28, 5.51, 5:80. Meaning that these guys are not actual Muslims if they are also your friends. In which case they are hardly representative for actual Muslims at any level, or in regards to what goes for Islam for that matter. If anything, it would rather disqualify them for such a task…
    You're defining Muslims as bogeymen and claiming that any Muslim who doesn't fit this image isn't a real Muslim.

    Quote Originally Posted by Axalon View Post
    That said, many supposed “Muslims“ whenever discussing Islam in public discourse have a habit of being hopelessly biased, irrational, and dishonest. We can hardly expect Muslims (in general) to be rational, neutral and sober in regards to Islam - they will not be - usually it is very emotional for them, and anything they say must be treated accordingly. There are lots of clips of this at Youtube, check it out at your discretion.
    The Muslims I know are rational and sober in relation to Islam. They're not "neutral", nor would I expect anyone to be, if they're discussing their own beliefs. You seem to dismiss any Muslim expressing reasonable views as "biased, irrational and dishonest", so you don't have to accept the fact that many Muslims don't fit the bogeyman image.

    Quote Originally Posted by Axalon View Post
    Furthermore, many “Muslims” don’t really seem to know much about Islam to begin with (just like your friends here), they are essentially ignorant of it and its actual practices and many doctrines. They simply rely on the opinions of local (or preferred) “scholars” but not the actual source-material that do make up Islam. This of course, worsen things as these “scholars” typically only convey things that they deem suitable and not much else. As a result many “Muslims” understanding of Islam tend to be skewed and insufficient (or worse). One should always keep these things in mind whenever public discourse about Islam is initiated.
    You claim to know more about Islam than Muslims. The Muslims I know don't interpret Islamic writings in the same way that Islamic extremists - and you - do. The "actual practices and doctrines" of Muslims are what actual Muslims do and believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Axalon View Post
    No one has ever doubted that Islam can be interpreted in more ways then one… I have never suggested otherwise, anywhere...
    You said that:

    Quote Originally Posted by Axalon View Post
    What I have argued is that Islam is incompatible with western culture and society at large - due to the fact that it have its own set of principles, ideas and priorities. And these stand in conflict with the established cornerstones of western civilization, its philosophy, culture and values - stuff like freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of religion etc.
    You didn't say that the views of 'Islamic extremists' are incompatible with freedom of expression, you said that 'Islam' is incompatible. I said that, for the Muslims I know, this isn't true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Axalon View Post
    Nope, not true… I define Islam according to how I understand the written source-material that actually make up Islam (the quran and the hadiths). I define Islam, on the terms of Islam - the written source material as such - not what any propagandist, advocate or supposed authority-scholar tells me to think of it. As in, I let Islam, speak for itself. You and others really should do too…
    I define Islam according to what Muslims tell me they believe, not the interpretations of old texts which extremists - and you - prefer. When Muslims tell me what they believe, I listen and don't try to tell them that I know better than them about what their faith means. You could do this too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Axalon View Post
    Furthermore, there are no "Islamic extremists" within the framework of Islam - not really. Much in the same way there have never been any “Nazi extremists” for instance. It is the movement as such that is extreme.
    The Muslims I know oppose extremism and many Muslim organisations condemn terrorism by Islamic extremists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Axalon View Post
    It is Islamic doctrine and principles that is inherently and repeatedly extreme - and the devout (the “extremists”) are merely trying to follow these to their best ability. I seriously doubt that they would ever correspond to the skewed, tailored and dishonest concept of "Muslim" that have been sold to us in the west. The “moderate Muslim” is merely a heretic, and “moderate Islam” is just (a watered down) heresy - a construct that has little to do with actual Islam as conveyed in the sources that makes up Islam as we know it (the quran and sahih bukari, basically).
    It sounds like you agree with Islamic extremists that Islam should be defined according to their views, not the beliefs of moderate Muslims. You seem determined to insist that the bogeyman is the real Muslim.

    Quote Originally Posted by Axalon View Post
    One last thing… There is only one movement that are consistently and repeatedly attacking the freedoms we have established in Europe (and the west) today. And "freedom of speech" is at the very heart of this repeated assault - and the aggressor is consistently spelled "Islam". Again, and again and again. Not Christianity, not Hinduism, not Sikhism, not Judaism, not Buddhism, not Shintoism, not Daoism, not Atheism but Islam… And only Islam. In light of this reality, I find the notion that supposed "Muslims" - as professed and explicit servants of Islam - would somehow also support something like "freedom of speech" as totally ludicrous. After all, they are the ones who are obsessively and obstinately trying to regulate and dismantle it - again, and again and again... You can not (repeatedly) eat the cake, and still have it at the same time. You can't have it both ways - one excludes the other...
    I'm not trying to have it both ways. The Muslims I know support freedom of speech, they don't agree with you that extremists get to define the 'real Islam'. You claim to let Islam speak for itself but you dismiss the actions and beliefs of ordinary Muslims. Threats to freedom of speech don't come from "Islam and only Islam" (or more accurately from Islamic extremists), they come from various sources.
    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    ...In terms of hellish, endless, resource-draining guerrilla warfare, that is.
    Napoleon Bonaparte once called the Peninsular War his "Spanish ulcer".

    PROLOGUE: Yep, probably Vietnam
    The Archaic Greeks who settled the eastern shores of Spain didn't bother to quell the interior too far beyond their major poleis such as Emporion, but they probably would have run into lots of headaches doing so. Let's take a look at a long list of reasons why invading and attempting to occupy Spain is a royal pain in the rear. It's honestly comparable to the situation the ancient and medieval Chinese often faced when attempting to conquer and hold northern Vietnam from the 2nd century BC onward, plus their failed attempts to take the Kingdom of Champa in southern Vietnam, or the colonial French and Cold War era Americans who came long after them.

    For a quick summary of the Chinese domination of Vietnam, the Qin Chinese military officer Zhao Tuo established his own Kingdom of Nanyue (Nam Viet) in 214 BC over parts of southern China and northern Vietnam. China's Emperor Wu of Western Han conquered this vassal kingdom in 111 BC, but all was not well. The grueling guerrilla warfare there against the Chinese all started with the rebellion of the Trưng Sisters from 40 to 43 AD during the Eastern Han dynasty. This was followed by several rebellions over the next millennia that established native dynasties like the Early Ly (conquered by China's Sui dynasty in 602 AD) and finally the Ngo dynasty that managed to defeat the Southern Han Chinese at the Battle of Bach Dang in 938 AD. The Vietnamese won their independence! Or so they thought... The Chinese would be back for round four of their attempt to dominate Vietnam with the Ming conquest of the Ho dynasty in 1406, but true to character, the Vietnamese would use guerrilla tactics to drive out Ming dynasty Chinese troops by 1427, leading to the formation of the Later Le dynasty.

    Perhaps the Chinese learned their lesson from the previous four rounds when they decided to keep it brief in the Sino-Vietnamese War of 1979, taking a few cities in the north in a punitive expedition before withdrawing and declaring victory in defense of their ally Cambodia (which Vietnam was then occupying). The French were certainly determined to hold onto Vietnam despite the natives' successful use of guerrilla warfare, which the Americans would soon discover in the Vietnam War, but for the sake or brevity I'm just going to assume you know about all of that already. Now, on to the Iberian Peninsula we go!

    CARTHAGINIANS, ROMANS, CELTIBERIANS, AND LUSITANIANS:
    Okay, really starting to look like Vietnam, you guys

    * The Carthaginians expanded their control over large parts of the Iberian peninsula under Hamilcar Barca, the father of the famous Hannibal. However, Hamilcar died in 228 BC fighting the Vettoni tribes, drowning in a river perhaps after an ambush by a false friend and erstwhile ally of the Oretani tribe. That would be somewhat of a harbinger of things to come.

    * In the Second Punic War (218 - 201 BC), Carthaginian troops and authorities were chased out of Spain by victorious Romans such as Publius Cornelius Scipio, later Scipio Africanus. However, the Roman Republic would have a hell of a time trying to hold let alone conquer the rest of the peninsula. The Celtiberian Wars (181 - 151 BC) were incredibly brutal and the natives terrorized the Romans with hit-and-run tactics. Meanwhile, the Lusitanians in what is now southern Spain and Portugal were led by a famous guerrilla leader Viriathus, who defied Roman rule in Hispania Ulterior. He was only felled after being betrayed and murdered by a few so-called companions in 139 BC.

    * The Numantine War (143 - 133 BC) was again another bloody insurrection against Roman rule in Hispania Citerior, but after the people of the city of Numantia committed mass suicide to avoid slaughter or enslavement after a long siege, the peninsula was rather quiet for several decades...until the Sertorian War (80 - 72 BC). The Roman statesman Quintus Sertorius carried out a civil war against his political rival Sulla and became famous for his guerrilla tactics, relying on fellow Romans as well as Iberian natives to continue the fight. Much like Viriathus, he was largely unbeatable in the field and only taken down when assassinated by Marcus Perperna Vento, who in turn was defeated by Pompey the Great.

    * A few decades after the dictatorship of Sulla came that of Julius Caesar, when Roman Hispania became the last of several staging grounds for a civil war against him after he crossed the Rubicon in 49 BC. Caesar dealt with Optimates in North Africa at the Battle of Thapsus in 46 BC, but he would still have to face Titus Labienus, one of his famous officers in Gaul, and Gnaeus Pompeius, son of Pompey the Great, who were leading the insurrection against him in Spain. At The Battle of Munda in 45 BC Caesar finally defeated their forces and returned to Rome in triumph.

    * It's important to note that the Romans didn't even control all of Spain at this point, either. It wasn't until the reign of Augustus (27 BC - 14 AD) that a large northern chunk of the Iberian peninsula was finally militarily subdued and slowly assimilated into Roman culture. This occurred only after marshaling together a conquering force of eight legions and auxiliaries in the decade-long Cantabrian Wars (29 - 19 BC), and afterwards two Roman legions had to be permanently stationed there to ensure the peace. This mountainous northern region that was home to the Celtic Cantabri and Astures tribes will become relevant later as we enter the Middle Ages.

    SUEBI, VISIGOTHS, EASTERN ROMANS/BYZANTINES, BASQUES, ARABS/MOORS, FRANKS, AND A FOOLISH CRUSADE AGAINST ARAGON:
    Okay, is Spain located somewhere in Southeast Asia, like next to Vietnam?

    * The Visigoths, foederati allies of the Romans in late antiquity, fought the Suebi for control of the Iberian peninsula. Under their king Euric the Visigoths also defeated the Romans at the Battle of Arles in 471 AD. Euric, previously considered a Roman legate, was recognized as an independent king by Western Emperor Julius Nepos in 475 AD, just a year before the Fall of the Western Roman Empire.

    * In his civil war against king Agila I beginning in 549, the Visigothic usurper Athanagild invited the Eastern Romans (Byzantines) under Justinian I the Great to assist him. Unsurprisingly, Justinian's reinforcements took over much of southern Spain and planned to stay there, doing so for the next several decades but ultimately unable to maintain their toehold for very long (what a surprise). Meanwhile, in 585 the Visigoths under Athanagild's brother Liuvigild conquered the Kingdom of the Suebi in Portugal and led campaigns against the rebellious Basques up north in the Pyrenees. The Basques were a non-Indo European people who would remain a perennial problem for various generations of Spanish authorities into the modern age.

    * The Umayyad Caliphate conquered the Visigothic Kingdom of Spain in 711, introducing Arab Islamic rule for the first time and leading to things like the Mozarabic Romance language spoken by Christians under Muslim rulers. However, the Arabs/Berbers/Moors made the mistake of trying to focus on Frankish Gaul instead of dealing with the last remnants of rebellious Christian forces gathering in that rocky region of the north we talked about earlier. In 718, the Visigothic nobleman Pelagius of Asturias founded the defiant Christian Kingdom of Asturias in that precise region where Augustus had finally squashed the Cantabri and Astures centuries before. Almost from the very onset of Islamic rule, the Spanish Reconquista had begun.

    * The Franks under Charles Martel defeated the Umayyad governor of al-Andalus, al-Ghafiqi, at the Battle of Tours in 732, while his successor Pepin the Short secured Septimania and Aquitaine in southern Gaul. This allowed the Frankish ruler Charlemagne (crowned emperor of Romans by the pope in 800 AD and founder of the Carolingian Empire) to move his forces south of the Pyrenees to establish the March of Barcelona, or the Marca Hispanica, in 795. The regions of Catalonia and Aragon were subdued, with the county of Barcelona being completely taken by 801. Charlemagne also developed a political, religious, and military alliance with Alfonso II of Asturias in their attacks on the Moors of Andalusia, now under the Umayyad Emirate of Cordoba established by Abd al-Rahman I in 756 after the fall of the Umayyads to the Abbasid Caliphate.

    * After Al-Hakam I scored a victory for the Emirate of Cordoba at Pancorbo in 816, defeating the pro-Frankish forces of Asturias, the wily Basque freedom fighter igo Arista of Pamplona saw his chance to rise and became the first King of Pamplona, allying with the Banu Qasi dynasty of Muladi Muslim rulers along the Ebro river. They defeated the Carolingian Franks at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 824, the same place where they had once defeated Charlemagne in 778, and secured an independent Kingdom of Pamplona in the process.

    * I could go into lengthy detail about the Reconquista slogging match between Asturias' Christian successors Leon and Castile against the Emirate of Cordoba, the Almoravid dynasty, the Almohad Caliphate, the Taifa kingdoms and Emirate of Granada, with complicated figures along the way like the 11th-century warrior El Cid who fought for both Muslim and Christian rulers, but I think you get the point, this post is getting way too long, and we need to cover Napoleon, goddamn it.

    * Before that, however, I will mention the Aragonese Crusade (1284 - 1285) called by Pope Martin IV against Peter III of Aragon, part of the larger War of the Sicilian Vespers. The pope guaranteed Philip III of France that his son Charles, Count of Valois, would be bestowed with the Aragonese throne, but this would not come to pass, even as Philip took Girona and Charles was crowned there without an official crown of Aragon. The French naval fleet was wrecked at the Battle of Les Formigues by the Aragonese admiral Roger of Lauria and the French army suffered dysentery, which I would love to link to invaders of Vietnam suffering from malaria, but not the same thing. The French king died of dysentery just after reentering French territory, but his withdrawing troops traveling behind him were destroyed at the Battle of the Col de Panissars. On that note, the treacherous mountain range of the Pyrenees are basically the jungles of Vietnam, aren't they? Eventually, by 1291 the pope acquiesced, relinquished claims to Aragon as a fief, and acknowledged Peter's successor Alfonso III of Aragon as rightful ruler of his kingdom in the Treaty of Tarascon.

    * Again, this post is already absurdly long, so I'm going to ignore conflicts like the War of the Spanish Succession, assume you know enough, and jump right into the Napoleonic period, which I know Oda Nobunaga (the 16th-century Japanese ghost turned Venezuelan Jew who haunts these forums) is going to criticize and I actually would like to see his input and comparison to Vietnam.

    NAPOLEON BONAPARTE, HIS DOTING BROTHER JOSEPH BONAPARTE, AND THE DREADFUL PENINSULAR WAR
    So, should we rename Vietnam as Spain or Espaa as Vietnam? Maybe a unified country called Vietespaam?


    * FINALLY! The part that I know all of you have been waiting for. By the love of Jess H. Cristo de Nazaret, where do we begin with this cluster? If Vietnam is where the presidencies of Johnson and Nixon went to die, I guess the same could be said for Napoleon Bonaparte in Spain (or Russia, take your pick). More importantly, the Peninsular War (1808 - 1814) was a conflict that truly defined guerrilla warfare and hit-and-run tactics that would be mirrored by Spanish rebels against Franco more than a century later. Woe unto the French messengers or soldiers who became captives of the ragtag bandits/militias/guerrilla fighters of Spain, because oftentimes they didn't stay captives for very long and were just tortured to death instead. The French returned the favor with their own brutal methods of suppression (encapsulated by that famous painting The Third of May 1808 by Francisco Goya). The French got to practice plenty of that before facing guerrillas in French Indo-China!

    * To quickly summarize the beginning of the conflict, France and Spain were allies, they invaded Portugal together in 1807, but France turned on Spain, toppled their monarchy under Ferdinand VII of Spain in 1808 and replaced it with the rule of Joseph Bonaparte ("Jos I of Spain"), the older brother of Napoleon Bonaparte who had already been made King of Naples and Sicily (replaced by Joachim Murat). At least half of all Spaniards did not accept his monarchy and many would die fighting to restore the Spanish monarchy, while others would be temporarily forced or persuaded to acknowledge him as their king following fleeting victories pushing French control south into Andalusia. This threatened British Gibraltar, held since the 1704 Anglo-Dutch capture on behalf of the Habsburgs during the War of the Spanish Succession and the British were already keen on defending their centuries-long ally of Portugal if not stabbing Napoleon in his Achilles heel in southwestern Europe.

    * In 1810 Andr Massna, the French champion against Naples and Austria, was able to score decisive victories in Spain such as the erstwhile capture of Almeida. However, in Portugal he ran into a brick wall, or literally one of forts and trenches, with the Lines of Torres Vedras constructed outside Lisbon by the Portuguese under their British supervisor Sir Richard Fletcher, 1st Baronet. Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington eventually bested this Prince of Essling, who fled with starving troops after failing to penetrate this immense barrier and lost all of his previous gains. This earned him the ire of Napoleon, who would never again allow him to take up command of French forces.

    * Massna's reputation would hardly be the last one to die a horrible death in the Peninsular War, as various Spanish generals were humiliated by the French and their government in exile, the Cortes of Cdiz, remained under siege while the French held Madrid. However, the French failure to take Portugal or to dislodge the British meant a stalemate would last for years on the Iberian peninsula, with the French never quite being able to secure all of Spain. To make matters worse for Napoleon during his disastrous retreat from Russia in 1812, Wellington's forces, including British and British-trained Portuguese regulars, pushed deep into Spain, retaking Salamanca and Madrid. French Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jourdan was decisively defeated by Wellington and his British, Portuguese, and Spanish troops at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813.

    * Remember those Pyrenees we talked about? Well goddamn it, much like the army of the French king Philip III during the Aragonese Crusade centuries before, in the early winter of 1814 Napoleon's Marshal Jean-de-Dieu Soult had to fight his way through a hail of bullets and harassment by the Brits/Portuguese/Spanish as he tried to withdraw back to France via this most treacherous of mountain ranges. Broken, tattered, lacking resources, suffering from exhaustion and starvation, the French troops finally made it back home. The French are gluttons for punishment, though, so they'd search for more of that in Vietnam more than a century later, followed by the Americans who were convinced that they would always be the punishers, not the punishees.

    FERDINAND VII OF SPAIN, THE CARLIST CIVIL WARS, FRANCO AND THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR
    Just when you thought I was done, huh? The colonists in French Indo-China/Vietnam could relate to this one.


    * Remember Ferdinand VII of Spain above, the guy who got rekt and toppled by Napoleon? Well, he was restored to power as an absolute monarch, pleasing his right wing royalists by renouncing the liberal constitution of 1812 that angered the leftists, but was forced in 1820 by a revolt led by Rafael del Riego to accept the liberal constitution. This was again reversed in 1823 thanks to the intervention of the Congress of Vienna, allowing him to clamp down on the free press and liberal elements until his death in 1833, after which another civil war broke out, the First Carlist War (1833 - 1840). In that conflict, Infante Carlos, Count of Molina ("Carlos V"), the contender for continuing absolute monarchy, was pitted against Maria Christina of the Two Sicilies, the regent over the young Isabella II of Spain, who the Carlists didn't like because she had a vagina.

    * Just to make things even screwier, in comes Portugal, France, and the UK to sway the conflict in favor of the liberal side led by the regent Maria, not just sending her supplies but actually dispatching volunteers and then regular troops to confront the Carlist forces in Spain. Apparently the Carlists were a bitter bunch who just didn't take no for an answer, as evidenced by the sad, meager Second Carlist War (1846–1849) limited to Catalonia that attempted to put Infante Carlos, Count of Montemolin ("Carlos VI") on the throne and the far more serious Third Carlist War (1872–1876).

    * While Amadeo I of Spain was still on the throne following the abdication of Isabella II in 1868, the Spanish elections of 1872 led to violence against Carlist candidates, leading Carlos, Duke of Madrid ("Carlos VII") to declare his rival kingship and start of a new civil war in favor of Legitimism and Catholicism as usual. Naturally, the Basque country that we mentioned earlier served as the breeding grounds for this uprising and rival state to form (of course). In the ensuing chaos, Amadeo I abdicated and in 1873 the First Spanish Republic was formed. However, a year later the Republic was overthrown as Alfonso XII was placed on the throne in a Bourbon monarchical restoration. By 1876 his rival "Carlos VII" was driven into exile in France and the Basque charters (fueros) were abolished, which the Basques obviously did not like.

    * Oh boy, talk about a bunch of horrific precedents for Francisco Franco Bahamonde. Franco would rule Spain as its caudillo dictator from 1936 to 1975, during and after the brutal Spanish Civil War that lasted into 1939. The latter conflict pitted the Republicans (and communists) supported by the Soviet Union against the Nationalists of Franco supported by Nazi Germany and Portugal's dictator Salazar, ending the Second Spanish Republic and leading to the personal rule of Franco. I guess by that point guerrilla warfare was just imprinted into the Spanish (and Portuguese) DNA, or perhaps it was always that way, going back to the Celtiberians and Lusitanians. Persecutions and extrajudicial killings were carried out by both sides, but of course the greatest purge came from Franco after he took control. The remaining Spanish leftists were driven into exile in France, conveniently steamrolled by Nazi Germany a year later! Some people just can't catch a break.

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