Justin Raimondo notices a troubling military development and writes one of his best columns on it:
“U.S. soldiers and Marines filed into the marble hall of Saddam Hussein’s former Al Faw Palace on Independence Day as foreigners at home as well as here. But they left the room as American citizens.
“Standing under a glittering chandelier, 161 service members took the oath of citizenship Wednesday, the largest group to be naturalized at once in Iraq since the conflict began in March 2003. The mostly young, mostly male troops with last names such as Toledo and Serrano stitched across the back of their caps vowed to ‘support and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America against all enemies,’ an abstract promise with a deeper meaning here.”
The Romans, unable or unwilling to defend their empire any longer, soon gave in to the temptation to farm out the task – outsource would be the current buzzword – to the tribes that ranged across what is now Germany and France. Fierce, untamed, and looking for a gig, these barbarians soon found that fighting the Romans was less profitable than working for them. The indolent, perfumed Romans, more concerned with fighting and winning intra-Roman civil wars than guarding the outer frontiers of their empire, were more than willing to leave this dirty job to those they regarded as their inferiors. It wasn’t long before the barbarians had taken over the military defense of Rome itself – and the sack of that once-proud city by successive waves of Goths and Vandals was the inevitable result.
It is pretty funny hearing President Bush attempt to equate our army of occupation in Iraq with the Continental Army. I mean, the metaphor dictates that we’re the redcoats in this one, we even have the requisite King George.
For another eighteen months, anyhow.
The dangerous thing is that while politicians prefer a professional military force to a militia due to its offensive capabilities, they like a mercenary force best of all because it removes pretty much all pressure to convince the citizenry to go along with its goals. Of course, as Raimondo accurately points out, recruiting your mercs from nations known for military coups isn’t necessarily the wisest thing to do in the long term.