Who And What Is Tearing The US Apart?

14 09 2021

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written a sobering article that asks this ominous question, as follows:  

In Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, former President George W. Bush’s theme was national unity — and how it has been lost over these past 20 years.

“In the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks,” said Bush, “I was proud to lead an amazing, resilient, united people. When it comes to the unity of America, those days seem distant from our own. A malign force seems at work in our common life that turns every disagreement into an argument, and every argument into a clash of cultures.”

Though he surely did not realize it, Bush had himself, moments before, given us an example of how that unity was destroyed when he drew a parallel between the terrorists of 9/11 and the Trump protesters of Jan 6. Said Bush:

“There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit.”

What is Bush saying here?

That Ashli Babbitt, the Air Force veteran shot to death trying to enter the House chamber on Jan. 6, and Mohamed Atta, who drove an airliner into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in a massacre of close to 3,000 people, are “children of the same foul spirit.”

Query: Was not Bush himself here giving us an example of the “malign force” that “turns every disagreement … into a clash of cultures”?

Bush did not mention his own contribution to our national divide: his invasion of a country, Iraq, that did not threaten us, did not attack us, and did not want war with us — to disarm it of weapons it did not even have.

Which contributed more to the loss of America’s national unity?

The four hours of mob violence in the Capitol the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2021, or the 18-year war in Iraq that Bush launched in 2003?

“In those fateful hours” after 9/11, said Bush, “Many Americans struggled to understand why an enemy would hate us with such zeal.”

Yet, well before 9/11, Osama bin Laden, in his declaration of war on us, listed his grievances. Our sanctions were starving the children of Iraq. Our military presence on the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia, home to Mecca, was a national insult and a blasphemous outrage to Islam.

After 9/11, Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. President Barack Obama attacked Libya and plunged us into the Syrian and Yemeni civil wars.

Thus, over 20 years, we have been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands — Afghans, Iraqis, Syrians, Yemenis, soldiers and civilians alike — and driven hundreds of thousands more from their homes and their countries.

Are Americans really as oblivious, as Bush suggests, as to why it was that our enemies “hate us with such zeal”?

Many of these peoples want us out of their countries for the same reason that 18th- and 19th-century Americans wanted the French, British and Spanish out of our country and out of our hemisphere.

Yet, it is not only the Bush and Obama wars that have made us so many enemies abroad and so deeply divided us at home.

Our southern border is being overrun by illegal immigrants whose number, since President Joe Biden took office, has been running at close to 2 million a year, with 30,000 “get-aways” a month. These last are mostly males who never make contact with the Border Patrol as they move on to their chosen destinations. They are coming now not only from Mexico and the northern tier countries of Central America but also from some 100 countries around the world.

Americans fear they are losing their country to the uninvited and invading millions of the Global South coming to dispossess them of their patrimony. They never voted for this invasion and have wanted their chosen leaders to stop it.

Former President Donald Trump earned their trust because he tried and, to a great degree, succeeded.

Unlike previous generations, our 21st-century divisions are far broader — not just economic and political, but social, moral, cultural and racial.

Abortion, same-sex marriage and transgender rights divide us. Socialism and capitalism divide us. Affirmative action, Black Lives Matter, urban crime, gun violence and critical race theory divide us. Allegations of white privilege and white supremacy, and demands that equality of opportunity give way to equity of rewards, divide us. In the COVID-19 pandemic, the wearing of masks and vaccine mandates divide us.

Demands to tear down monuments and memorials to those who were, until lately, America’s greats — from Christopher Columbus to George Washington to Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, from Abraham Lincoln to Robert E. Lee to Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson — divide us.

We are even divided today on the most fundamental of questions:

Is America now, and has it always been, a good and great country, worthy of the loyalty and love of all its children, of all its citizens?

And are we Americans proceeding toward that “more perfect union” or heading for a reenactment of our previous violent disunion?[2]  

Everything that Pat Buchanan has said in this article is true.  I have written about these and similar issues, over and over again; and about the corruption of our organs of government, and the traitors within.[3]. What is our fate, and the fate of the great American experiment of which each of us is a part?  Is it inevitable that our nation will be torn asunder, and spin off like whirling dervishes into the great unknown? 

The 20th anniversary of 9/11 has come and gone, with remembrances of that tragic day in our history and those who suffered so—and our heroes—taking place across our land and abroad.[4].  One thing is certain: we are all Americans, regardless of our skin colors, faiths or backgrounds.  Indeed, almost 12 years ago, I concluded:

I believe in this country, and I believe in Americans of all colors, faiths and backgrounds. The United States is the only true melting pot in the world, with its populace representing a United Nations of the world’s peoples. Yes, we fight and we even discriminate, but when times are tough—like after 9/11—we come together as one nation, which makes this country so great and special. Also, all of us or our ancestors came here from somewhere else. Even the American Indians are descended from those who crossed the Bering Strait—or the “Bering land bridge”—according to anthropologists.[5] 

I have not changed that conclusion.  

 

 

© 2021, Timothy D. Naegele

_____

 

[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  See, e.g., Timothy D. Naegele Resume-21-8-6  and https://naegeleknol.wordpress.com/accomplishments/  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/articles/ and https://naegeleknol.wordpress.com/articles/), and studied photography with Ansel Adams; and he can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com   

[2] See https://buchanan.org/blog/who-and-what-is-tearing-the-us-apart-158535 (“Who and What Is Tearing the US Apart?”)

[3] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2021/08/30/the-taliban-are-victorious/ (“The Taliban Are Victorious”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2021/08/27/censorship-at-dia-no-wonder-we-lost-afghanistan/ (“Censorship At DIA, No Wonder We Lost Afghanistan”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2021/08/20/afghanistan-the-future-looks-grim-for-those-left-behind/ (“Afghanistan, The Future Looks Grim For Those Left Behind”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2021/08/15/the-tragedy-of-afghanistan/ (“The Tragedy Of Afghanistan”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2021/08/12/is-america-becoming-a-failed-state/ (“Is America Becoming a Failed State?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2021/07/26/will-the-coronavirus-mutations-cripple-america-when-it-is-becoming-clear-to-the-world-that-joe-biden-is-not-fit-to-serve-as-president/ (“Will The Coronavirus’ Mutations Cripple America When It Is Becoming Clear To The World That Joe Biden Is Not Fit To Serve As President?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2021/03/12/war-with-china/ (“War With China?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2021/01/13/the-day-america-died/ (“The Day America Died?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/12/22/2020-annus-horribilis/ (“2020 Annus Horribilis”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/08/08/biden-is-brain-dead/ (“Biden Is Brain Dead”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/08/04/chinas-goal-is-global-domination-and-it-must-suffer-the-soviet-unions-fate/ (“China’s Goal Is Global Domination, And It Must Suffer The Soviet Union’s Fate”) (see also the comments beneath each of these articles)

[4] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2021/09/13/9-11-every-american-should-read-this/ (“9/11—Every American Should Read This”)

[5] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life/ (“America: A Rich Tapestry Of Life”); see also https://www.philstockworld.com/2009/10/11/greenspan%E2%80%99s-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/ (“Greenspan’s legacy: more suffering to come”—Interview with Timothy D. Naegele)





The Taliban Are Victorious

30 08 2021

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Victor Davis Hanson—a Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution—has written a sobering and lengthy article that discusses this obvious and ominous conclusion and its ramifications for all of us, as follows:  

Joe Biden’s scripted or no-questions press conferences, and the clean-up afterward by Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan, and Jen Psaki, have been some of the most misleading episodes in modern presidential history—mostly in what was not said rather than was exaggerated, warped, and misrepresented.  

Biden as Commander-in-Chief

The more Joe Biden mutters “The buck stops here” or “I take full responsibility,” the more we know he will not—and not just because of his now reduced mental state, but because 1) he repeats the same opportunist messaging that he has for the last 50 years of his political career, and 2) the only true thing he could say was “I ordered a withdrawal in the most reckless manner in U.S. military history.”

When Biden then blames Donald Trump, it raises the immediate questions:

1) If the Afghanistan deal was so flawed, why did Biden stick with it, given his other radical departures from what he inherited on the border, on fossil fuels, on the Middle East—on just about everything before January 20, 2021?

2) So, was it good or bad to withdraw all U.S. troops? Was Trump wrong to have bequeathed him a policy of graduated withdrawal, but Biden was right to have continued it for a while—only to have accelerated it into surrender and flight?

3) Why did the violence erupt on Biden’s rather than on Trump’s watch? And was his order for a hasty flight in the dead of night from Bagram Air Base also the inherited Trump departure plan?

When Joe Biden now threatens al-Qaeda, ISIS-K, and others with revenge, he sounds, unfortunately, more like the ridiculous Joe of “Corn Pop” braggadocio with his weaponized chain, or Joe taking Trump behind the gym to womp on him, or young Joe Biden slamming the mouthy kid’s head on the lunch counter. Speaking softly with a club is preferable to being loud with a twig.

We have all heard, ad nauseam, too many of Biden’s He-Man stories. The latest rhetoric does not hide the fact that Biden had opposed the Osama bin Laden raid, criticized the termination of Qasem Soleimani, left Afghanistan in the most shameful retreat in U.S. history, and is now begging the Saudis to pump more oil after cutting back on our ample supplies and trashing Riyadh as part of his return to the Obama pivot to Iran. 

Biden loves appeasement lists. He provided the Taliban with a list of whom we wished to evacuate. (When the Taliban soon knock on the door of an American in Kabul who thinks their message will be, “We’re here to escort you to your flight”?) In the same manner, Biden provided Putin with a helpful list of institutions he wanted Putin’s satellite cyber-criminals to exempt from hacking. 

The blame for this sordid mess is threefold: 

1) The media that knew Biden was debilitated and so covered up that fact to carry the candidate across the finish line in November. 

2) The Democratic apparat that envisioned Biden lasting just long enough (the country be damned) to provide the needed cover of a sharply left-wing agenda. 

3) The Pentagon’s top brass, active and retired, who for years leaked about and obstructed Trump, sought to toady up to the press in its “wokeness,” and posed as speaking truth to power, but have now gone strangely silent when we need public voices to oppose the present Afghanistan nihilism of the administration.

Partnering With the Taliban

The Taliban are to al-Qaeda and ISIS as the Nazis in World War II were to fellow fascists of the Spanish Blue Division, the Hungarian Arrow Cross, and the Romanian Iron Guard—ethnic and ideological variants of the same radical nihilist cause. No act of terror goes on in Afghanistan without someone in the Taliban ordering or allowing it. Their “ring” around the airport is only an obstruction for whom they choose: Americans and their allies. 

The Taliban may for a moment seek plausible deniability of suicide bombings to hasten the U.S. departure in shame, temporarily disavowing credit for slaughtering Americans as they leave. But as soon as U.S. soldiers are gone, the Taliban will give free rein to its hounds al-Qaeda and ISIS, brag that they drove out the United States, and then resume their accustomed murdering and raping of civilians. We should expect lots of silent, under-the-table Bowe Bergdahl-type swaps, trades, and humiliations for the next year or so. We will likely sell out our former friends in the Northern Alliance, pay cash under the table per hostage head, and lie about a “new” Taliban. 

So, should we laugh or cry when General Kenneth McKenzie assures us that the Taliban and the U.S. military have the same agenda: Americans exiting Afghanistan as soon as possible? 

Yes, their agenda is the Pentagon exiting Afghanistan as soon as possible—but with the greatest global humiliation, loss of life, and general sense of defeat. In contrast, our agenda is to leave Afghanistan soberly and methodically, even if that means regaining Bagram for as long as necessary to achieve our own strategic goals.

The Abandoned Arsenal

The administration never mentions the vast horde of U.S. weaponry that was simply abandoned to the Taliban. Why? Is it to be “$80 billion here, thousands of machine guns there—no big deal”?

Estimates of the trove’s value range from $70 billion to $90 billion. The stockpile likely includes 80,000 vehicles, including 4,700 late-model Humvees, 600,000 weapons of various sorts, 162,643 pieces of communications equipment, more than 200 aircraft, and 16,000 pieces of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance equipment, including late-model drones. Especially worrisome are the loss of night-vision equipment, 20,000-plus grenades, and 1,400 grenade launchers, as well as more than 7,000 machine guns—the perfect equipment for jihadist terror operations and asymmetrical street fighting. 

We can look at this disaster in a number of depressing ways. One would be to compare this giveaway to military aid given to Israel over the last 70 years, which more or less has amounted to about an aggregate $100 billion. In other words, in one fell swoop, the Pentagon deposited into Taliban hands about 80 percent of all the military aid that we’ve ever given to Israelsince the founding of the Jewish state. In terms of tactical and operational capability, the Taliban may now be the best-equipped terrorist force in Asia and the Middle East.

Assume that for the next quarter-century, Afghanistan will become not just the world’s training haven for Islamic terrorists, but an international, no-questions-asked, cash-on-the-barrel arms market for anti-Western terrorist cliques. 

Or we can assess the damage psychologically. For the immediate future (possibly over the next few days or weeks), American soldiers could face the prospect of being attacked or killed by those who are outfitted in their own mirror image, and they might be blown up by their own former weapons. 

Yet the media never asked for, nor did the Pentagon volunteer, any explanation of why such stocks were simply abandoned, or at least not destroyed before fleeing, or not later bombed. Since nothing makes sense, we must strain the imagination: was the $80 billion in arms given as de facto bribe money to get our own out? 

In addition, the beefed-up U.S. embassy in Kabul reportedly cost nearly $1 billion, comparable to America’s most expensive embassy in London. It will now become a Taliban stronghold. Bagram Air Base—originally built with U.S. help and money during the Eisenhower Administration—has been updated with hundreds of millions of dollars of American investment in the last 20 years, in buildings, a new runway, personnel accommodations, detention facilities, and infrastructure. 

Although it had been the target of several Taliban attacks, Bagram was largely considered defensible. It allowed coalition and Afghan forces to enjoy 100 percent air superiority over the entire country. Biden talks endlessly of the “over the horizon” capability of distant bases and ships, while omitting that he destroyed “right over the target” current capability. Why these vital American investments were simply surrendered in the dead of night to looters first, and Taliban second, will be an object of controversy and investigation for decades to come. To think of anything similar, imagine the British surrender of Singapore in 1942 or a combination of Fort Sumter, the burning of Washington in 1814, and Wake Island, December 1941.

The End of American Stature

Regional countries will no longer wish to join the United States in any war on terror because they know they are always just one election from a radical flip-flop in American foreign policy. There is no such thing anymore as bipartisan foreign affairs, since policy is seen as an extension of the revolutionary agendas here at home. Our allies are concluding that the United States is not a bastion of sobriety and careful deliberation that takes its leadership of the free world seriously, but a mercurial, radical leftist country that in a second may self-immolate, as we did in the woke summer of 2020. 

Donald Trump reportedly offended NATO members and weakened the alliance by his bombast. Perhaps, but the record shows a funny type of allied enervation, because his jawboning resulted in a much larger NATO budget, marked gains in military expenditures on the part of NATO members, and a dramatic increase in those nations finally meeting or nearly meeting their two percent of GDP military investment promises. 

And during the Trump Administration, NATO nations could claim that they destroyed ISIS in Syria under U.S. leadership, kept Afghanistan safe while reducing troops, frightened Iran, and taught Russians in Syria not to assault U.S. garrisons. For all the graduated withdrawals of the United States from Afghanistan in 2010-2020, not a single U.S. soldier had died in the 12 months prior to the inauguration of Joe Biden.  

But now? Most of the major NATO nations have condemned the U.S. skedaddle from Afghanistan. They are angry that they were not consulted, and not synchronized in the complex airlift and withdrawal. And they resent the “every man for himself” unilateralism on the part of the United States.

We cannot expect the European NATO members to stand with the United States in trying to check Chinese aggression. The alliance will no longer badger Germany to cease its new de facto economic alliance with Russia or to stand firm against Russian bullying of frontline NATO states, or to present a unified skeptical front about reentering the flawed Iran deal. Differing views about assistance to Israel will only acerbate. NATO members, rightly or wrongly, feel they were bullied into Afghanistan by the United States, and 20 years later outnumbered the U.S. contingent by nearly fourfold—only to be left stunned as their supposed spiritual and military leader fled first for the exits, after itself surrendering the country to NATO enemies. 

The Future

In an ideal world, Biden would order a nocturnal retaking of Bagram, shift all U.S. evacuation efforts there, and provide air cover for incoming and outcoming flights as well as retaliatory strikes on terrorist enclaves as necessary. He would tell the Taliban that $80 billion of free military stuff was enough of bribes and that any more obstructive efforts will be met with bombs, not more cash and weapons.  

Joe Biden thinks August 31, 2021, is the “end” of Afghanistan. In fact, it is a new beginning of yet another chapter in the much despised “war on terror.” But this time around, the Taliban are victorious. They have been reinvented as the best-equipped jihadist nation in the world, basking in the prestige of humiliating the world’s superpower, and will take ownership of hundreds of billions of dollars of Western investment in infrastructure in Afghanistan’s major cities. 

This disaster can be attributed to Biden’s apparent desire for a 9/11 “no more Afghanistan” anniversary parade—itself to be staged to hide his multifaceted border, economy, energy, and foreign policy failures.

The Chinese are debating now whether to ramp up the assault rhetoric against Taiwan, as more Chinese voices conclude that Biden would support the Taiwanese in meager fashion, as he did U.S. contractors and Afghan interpreters. The Russians are pondering which exposed NATO country or which former Soviet republic might be probed and dissected—in expectation of a tough-guy Biden Corn-Pop lecture but not much else. Kim Jong-un is considering replaying his old role of rocket man, as he calibrates the Biden responses to more missiles launched in Japanese air or water space.

Watch Iran especially. The theocracy believes this is the most opportune time in 20 years to announce that it is or will soon be nuclear, to unleash Hezbollah, and to step up global terrorist operations on the assumption that Biden will bow his head and declare “We do not forgive; we do not forget” and then retire for an early nap.[2]  

This article echoes what I have written here:

(1) [O]ur trillion-dollar project to plant Western democracy in a Muslim nation has failed dramatically; (2) our final departure from Kabul may become, like JFK’s Bay of Pigs, a synonym for American failure; (3) NATO may collapse, for all intents and purposes; (4) a few mortar shells landing on the tarmac of the lone runway in Kabul, and no plane can fly in or out . . . ; (5) our Afghan allies face murderous reprisals and retribution; (6) the Americans left in Kabul and other cities may become hostages to the Taliban; (7) the future looks grim for those left behind; (8) Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin [should] be sacked; (9) our intelligence agencies have failed us; [(10) the world is watching with horror or glee, depending on whether one is a friend or foe; (11) China may move on Taiwan, while Russia moves on Ukraine; (12) the possibilities of 9/11-like attacks on the American mainland are not beyond the pale of reason; and (13) we have Brain Dead Joe Biden in the White House, with Willie Brown’s ho Kamala Harris standing in the wings to succede him.][3]

These are disturbing conclusions for all of us, certainly in the midst of so many American deaths and so much suffering from China’s Coronavirus and its mutations, physically, psychologically and economically—with more to come.[4]

 

 

© 2021, Timothy D. Naegele

_____

 

[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  See, e.g., Timothy D. Naegele Resume-21-8-6  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/articles/), and studied photography with Ansel Adams; and he can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com   

[2] See https://amgreatness.com/2021/08/29/our-afghan-nightmare-tanks-for-nothing/

[3] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2021/08/20/afghanistan-the-future-looks-grim-for-those-left-behind/ 

[4] See https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/last-plane-carrying-americans-afghanistan-departs-nation-s-longest-war-n1278012 (“Last plane carrying Americans from Afghanistan departs as longest U.S. war concludes”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9941147/Pentagon-says-troops-left-Afghanistan-just-midnight-Kabul.html (“Pentagon confirms the LAST US troops and evacuation flights have left Afghanistan just after midnight in Kabul: Taliban ‘takes control of airport and celebrates with gunfire’ as 20-year war ends”) 





Censorship At DIA, No Wonder We Lost Afghanistan

27 08 2021

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

I spent two years working in the Pentagon, where I served as an Army officer assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).  When I finished my service there—as a Captain—I received the distinguished Joint Service Commendation Medal, before going to work in the U.S. Senate.[2]

Like many organizations, DIA has an alumni group, which ostensibly posts comments about timely issues.  None is more important today than the collapse of our great nation’s presence in Afghanistan, and the loss of American, allied and Afghan lives.  It is front and center globally.  Yet, a former DIA employee, James Beirne—who presumably was a civilian when he worked there—has decided to ban my comments, which constitutes gross and unconscionable censorship.  Americans have fought and died for our freedoms; and they are dying in Afghanistan today, to preserve them.[3]

No wonder Afghanistan constitutes a colossal defeat for the United States, which may surpass the fall of Saigon and Vietnam, and the Bay of Pigs fiasco, in terms of its national gravity.  Presumably Beirne is part of the reckless “cancel culture,” which has no place in America today.  He is a stain on the DIA where I worked before him, with outstanding co-workers who contributed greatly to our national security.

Beirne should resign in disgrace.  Our nation is not well served by the likes of him.  Indeed, the association’s motto is “Still Serving in Defense of the Nation.”  Clearly, Beirne is not doing this, especially in crucial times like this when China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin—and our other adversaries globally—are watching every move that we make, and gauging their responses accordingly.[4] 

America does not need traitors at this critical juncture in our history. 

 

© 2021, Timothy D. Naegele

_____

 

[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  See, e.g., Timothy D. Naegele Resume-21-8-6, https://naegeleblog.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/timothy-d.-naegele-resume-21-8-6.pdf

He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service).

Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/articles/), and studied photography with Ansel Adams; and he can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com   

[2] See, e.g., Timothy D. Naegele Resume-21-8-6, https://naegeleblog.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/timothy-d.-naegele-resume-21-8-6.pdf

[3] See, e.g., https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9931085/Joe-Biden-tense-forth-interesting-guy-Steve-Doocy-Fox-News.html (“Nowhere to hide, Joe: President adopts fetal position pose as he crumbles under questioning from Fox News reporter Peter Doocy and tries to blame Trump for the catastrophe in Afghanistan”)

On August 26, 2021, Beirne posted the following notice:

“You can’t post or comment in this group.
“The admin has temporarily turned off your ability to post or comment in the group until September 23, 2021, 2:07 PM.”

Needless to say, by late September, the world will know in meticulous detail what an unmitigated disaster Afghanistan has become for the United States, our friends in Afghanistan, and our allies globally.

See also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2021/08/26/the-biden-harris-presidency-has-ended/ (“The Biden-Harris Presidency Has Ended”)

[4]  See, e.g., https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9905015/China-vows-crush-troops-Taiwan-force-Biden-abandoned-Afghanistan.html (“China vows to ‘crush’ any US troops on Taiwan ‘by force’ and conducts live fire naval exercises in South China Sea after Biden abandoned Afghanistan”)





The Biden-Harris Presidency Has Ended

26 08 2021

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Yes, it hasn’t come to an end officially, yet.  But for all intents and purposes, it is done.  Lyndon Johnson’s presidency was finished after the fall of Saigon and Vietnam.  He was hated, and could not run for reelection.[2]

The tragedy of epic proportions that is emerging in Afghanistan and the fall of its capital Kabul, and America’s humiliation at the hands of the Taliban, has trumpeted the end of the Biden-Harris presidency to the world—to friends and foes alike.[3]

Is Joe Biden “Brain Dead”?  All indications are that this is true.[4]  But in a sense, it is irrelevant.  The world has watched the only true superpower disgraced like perhaps never before.[5]  And the ripple effects will spread far and wide.[6]

The rise of Coronavirus hospitalizations in the United States adds an exclamation point to this.[7]  Needless to say, China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin are watching these developments closely.  As “chess masters,” they will be calibrating their moves accordingly; and they are observing America mired down, like Gulliver and the Lilliputians.[8]

 

 

© 2021, Timothy D. Naegele

_____

 

[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  See, e.g., Timothy D. Naegele Resume-21-8-6  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/articles/), and studied photography with Ansel Adams; and he can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com   

[2] See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyndon_B._Johnson#1968_presidential_election

[3] See, e.g., https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/08/25/world/asia/afghanistan-evacuations-estimates.html (“At Least 250,000 Afghans Who Worked With U.S. Haven’t Been Evacuated, Estimates Say”)

[4] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/08/08/biden-is-brain-dead/ (“Biden Is Brain Dead”) 

[5]  See, e.g., https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9905015/China-vows-crush-troops-Taiwan-force-Biden-abandoned-Afghanistan.html (“China vows to ‘crush’ any US troops on Taiwan ‘by force’ and conducts live fire naval exercises in South China Sea after Biden abandoned Afghanistan”) 

[6]  See, e.g., https://www.economist.com/leaders/2021/08/28/after-afghanistan-where-next-for-global-jihad (“After Afghanistan, where next for global jihad?”)

[7]  See, e.g., https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-9929493/More-100-000-Americans-hospitalized-COVID-19-time-January.html (“More than 100,000 Americans are hospitalized with COVID-19 for the first time since January: Doctors say they’ve had to turn away patients as virus cases rise 138% over the last month”)

[8] See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulliver%27s_Travels





Afghanistan, The Future Looks Grim For Those Left Behind

20 08 2021

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written a sobering article that discusses this obvious and ominous conclusion and its ramifications for all of us, as follows:

In Afghanistan, the mission failure appears complete.

The trillion-dollar project to plant Western democracy in a Muslim nation historically fabled for driving out imperial intruders has crashed and burned after 20 years, and the Taliban are suddenly back in power.

After investing scores of billions in training and arming a force of 350,000 Afghani troops, the U.S. could not stand up an army and a government that could survive our departure.

And the final U.S. departure from Hamid Karzai International Airport may become, like JFK’s Bay of Pigs, a synonym for American debacle.

Nor is the failure ours alone. Many of our principal allies were heavily invested. The British are now attempting to bring their people out of Kabul under the same conditions as ours.

The leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party and possibly the next chancellor of Germany, Armin Laschet, calls the withdrawal “the biggest debacle that NATO has suffered since its founding.”

Three decades ago, after the breakup of the USSR and the end of the Cold War, Republican Sen. Richard Lugar said that NATO, having lost the rationale for its existence — containment of the Soviet Union — would now have “to go out of area or go out of business.”

Cynics might say that, in Afghanistan, NATO did both.

After 9/11, “the most successful alliance in history” invoked Article 5 and backed the U.S. war to oust the Taliban and annihilate the Al Qaeda terrorists who had carried out 9/11. Many sent troops.

But there could be worse to come.

While there are about 4,000 U.S. troops at the Kabul airport, U.S. control does not extend beyond the airport perimeter.

When asked if U.S. troops could enter Kabul and extract American citizens, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin replied, “I don’t have the capability to go out and extend operations currently into Kabul.” Americans in Kabul and other cities must make their own way to the Kabul airport.

The U.S. thus depends today upon the sufferance of the Taliban to let the Americans through the gridlocked highway. Many Afghan allies are being impeded and turned back. Having aided our troops during the war, these Afghan allies face murderous reprisals and retribution.

There are other present perils.

A few mortar shells landing on the tarmac of the lone runway at HKIA, and no plane can fly in or out until the runway is repaired. The arrival of troops and supplies, and any daily departure of 5,000 to 9,000 people, would be halted.

If fighting is renewed, the Americans left in Kabul and other cities become hostages to the Taliban. And there are many more out there than the 52 Americans held by Iran in the hostage crisis that ended the presidency of Jimmy Carter.

The U.S. does, however, retain leverage. U.S. airpower can still do damage to the Taliban, and the U.S. can veto any International Monetary Fund money and cut the Taliban’s access to Afghanistan’s financial reserves in U.S. banks.

Without cash, the Taliban will have a hellish time providing for the necessities the country needs to stay viable.

Right now, the Americans and the Taliban need each other. The Taliban need time to consider their control, and the Americans need time to get their people and their Afghan allies out.

Thus, the Taliban are putting on a moderate face at the top level.

Yet, given the character of the Taliban, as revealed in its previous tenure, and the desire for revenge against those who have been killing Taliban comrades, the future looks grim for those left behind.

When Saigon fell in 1975, its armed forces went into re-education camps — concentration camps. Hundreds of thousands of civilians fled on rafts, many to their deaths in the South China Sea. The Cambodians who backed us underwent a genocide, with a fraction of the entire population annihilated by the Khmer Rouge of Pol Pot.

As for the damage done to Joe Biden’s presidency, it is significant and permanent. The collapse of the regime, and the botched withdrawal of U.S. troops, U.S. citizens and Afghan friends and allies, have tarnished any reputation for competence Biden had.

As for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley and Austin, it is hard to see either surviving long in their positions after learning they did not see coming the imminent and worst foreign policy debacle since the fall of Saigon.

Did the U.S. intelligence agencies see it coming? Did they fail to inform the Pentagon or White House?

After the Bay of Pigs in April 1961, former CIA Director Allen Dulles, who had a role in the failed invasion, was, after a decent interval of six months, cashiered.

One imagines that senior Biden officials’ heads will roll well before that date in the Biden administration. For in this disaster, it seems, no one saw it coming so soon, or becoming so sweeping.[2]

What Pat Buchanan is saying emphatically is that (1) our trillion-dollar project to plant Western democracy in a Muslim nation has failed dramatically; (2) our final departure from Kabul may become, like JFK’s Bay of Pigs, a synonym for American failure; (3) NATO may collapse, for all intents and purposes; (4) a few mortar shells landing on the tarmac of the lone runway in Kabul, and no plane can fly in or out, and the arrival of troops and supplies and any daily departure of American citizens and others would be halted; (5) our Afghan allies face murderous reprisals and retribution; (6) the Americans left in Kabul and other cities may become hostages to the Taliban; (7) the future looks grim for those left behind; (8) Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will be sacked; and (9) our intelligence agencies have failed us.

Obviously, the world is watching with horror or glee, depending on whether one is a friend or foe.  China may move on Taiwan, while Russia moves on Ukraine.  And the possibilities of 9/11-like attacks on the American mainland are not beyond the pale of reason, while Americans remain traumatized by the Coronavirus’ effects, physically, psychologically and economically—which China launched, and whether the vaccines are really effective.  Meanwhile, we have Brain Dead Joe Biden in the White House, with Willie Brown’s ho Kamala Harris standing in the wings to succede him.[3]

 

 

© 2021, Timothy D. Naegele

_____

 

[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  See, e.g., Timothy D. Naegele Resume-21-8-6  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/articles/), and studied photography with Ansel Adams; and he can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com   

[2] See https://buchanan.org/blog/aftermath-of-an-afghanistan-debacle-149926%22

[3] See also https://www.gingrich360.com/2021/08/18/with-the-talibans-victory-a-caliphate-rises-from-the-ashes/ (“With the Taliban’s Victory, a Caliphate Rises from the Ashes”) (“[A]fter President Biden announced his decision in April to withdraw all American forces from Afghanistan, the U.S. pulled its air support and intelligence for the Afghan military. As a result, the Afghans couldn’t operate. . . . The Biden administration even refused to allow private contractors from entering Afghanistan to service Afghan aircraft. . . . America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan is about to unleash hell on the Afghan people. That’s undeniable. Whether the withdrawal leads to disaster elsewhere in the world remains to be seen”)





The Tragedy Of Afghanistan

15 08 2021

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

The photo below is of a young Afghan woman who was disfigured years ago.  Her turmoil was discussed here[2]; and her plight is cited again, because what happened to her may be illustrative of what happens to so many Afghan women and young girls in the days and months to come.  They will be raped, disfigured and become sexual slaves of the Taliban.  It will be as if the gates of Hell have been opened wide to them, and there is no mercy or kindness in this world.

The same thing happened in Syria and in the countries of Africa; and human trafficking is a fact of life in the United States and globally.[3]  Also, the harvesting of human body parts is real and happens every day in Mexico and elsewhere.[4]  Some of us are so repulsed by such thoughts that we say prayers for the victims, but turn our attentions elsewhere.  We need to stay as positive as possible in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic that has claimed so many lives, and hurt others physically, psychologically and economically.[5]

Historically, Mujahideen fighters helped the United States drive the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan, which led to the collapse of the “Evil Empire” ultimately.  Instead of helping them, Congress turned its back, just like it abandoned our allies in Vietnam.  The Mujahideen fighters morphed into today’s Taliban, who quite naturally have hated Americans ever since, after being betrayed.[6]

Seared into the memories of some of us are the images of people being airlifted from the roof of our embassy in Saigon, before Vietnam fell, which has been occurring in Kabul as America abandons that doomed capital too.[7]  And then there was the day when we turned on our TVs to watch the twin towers collapsing in New York City on 9/11, as well as the Pentagon—where I had worked—being attacked, and the passenger jet crashing in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.[8]

It has been written that the fall of Afghanistan and the slaughter there, and the raping and enslavement of Afghan women and young girls, will haunt the Democrats for a generation.  Surely, it is the defining moment of the failed Biden-Harris presidency, just as Lyndon Johnson could not run for reelection in the wake of the Vietnam tragedy.[9]  Like the image below, at the very least the fall of Afghanistan may produce scenes that are never forgotten by Americans or others globally.

Lastly, the open question is whether the fall of Afghanistan and America’s humiliation will create or trigger a “domino effect,” whereby other countries in the region (or globally) fall, which have been our allies?  Obituaries will be written for decades to come, and the victors will write theirs.[10] But right now our prayers are with our friends in Afghanistan who will suffer terribly.  Some will wonder where a loving God is, in the midst of so much madness.

 

 

 

© 2021, Timothy D. Naegele

_____

 

[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  See, e.g., Timothy D. Naegele Resume-21-8-6  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/articles/), and studied photography with Ansel Adams; and he can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/ (“Obama In Afghanistan: Doomed From The Start?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/are-afghanistan-iraq-and-pakistan-hopeless-and-is-the-spread-of-radical-islam-inevitable-and-is-barack-obama-finished-as-americas-president/ (“Are Afghanistan, Iraq And Pakistan Hopeless, And Is The Spread Of Radical Islam Inevitable, And Is Barack Obama Finished As America’s President?”) (see also the comments beneath these articles)

[3]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/25/remembering-the-comfort-women-victims-of-human-trafficking-and-slavery/ (“Remembering The Comfort Women, Victims Of Human Trafficking And Slavery”) (see also the comments beneath this article)

[4]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/who-is-next-the-murder-of-a-young-american-and-the-harvesting-of-his-body-parts-in-mexico/ (“Who Is Next? The Murder Of A Young American And The Harvesting Of His Body Parts In Mexico”) (see also the comments beneath this article)

[5] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/timothy-d.-naegele.pdf (“The Coronavirus and Similar Global Issues: How to Address Them”)

[6]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_mujahideen (“Afghan mujahideen”) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_mujahideen#Relationship_with_the_Taliban

[7]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fall_of_Saigon (“Fall of Saigon”)

[8] See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11_attacks (“September 11 attacks”); and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanksville,_Pennsylvania#September_11,_2001

[9] See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyndon_B._Johnson#1968_presidential_election

[10]  See, e.g., https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9896007/Taliban-commander-gives-press-conference-INSIDE-Kabuls-Presidential-Palace.html (“Taliban leader claims he ‘spent eight years in Guantanamo Bay’ in triumphant speech from Kabul palace as Islamists seize Afghanistan – while thousands fight to flee country out chaotic scenes at airport”)





Alexander the Great

17 01 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

In the pantheon of the greatest human beings who ever lived, in terms of influencing the history of the world, Jesus Christ “ranks” number one and Alexander the Great ranks number two, for similar albeit different reasons.  Both influenced history more than others, and died at essentially the same age, 33.  Jesus changed Man’s perception of his relationship to God and thereby “conquered” much of the world, while Alexander’s territorial conquests spread democracy and the assimilation of disparate cultures.  Both were remarkable leaders who possessed super-human qualities, including wisdom and fearlessness.

In a sense their lives were intertwined, for without the common language of Greek, Christianity might not have spread beyond Judea to become a world religion.  The Roman Empire and the long centuries of Byzantium are all said to be the fruits of Alexander’s achievements too.  In his short life, this young king and student of Aristotle conquered the known world as far as India to the east—”at the farthest end of Earth”—and changed the course of history.  Among the ages, he is a giant; a man who became a mythic god.

As a general, Alexander (or Alexander III of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.) is considered to be among the greatest the world has ever known.  His conquests dwarf those of other conquerors, such as Julius Caesar, Napoleon and Hitler.  He was recognized as pharaoh (or god incarnate) of Egypt; and his general Ptolemy founded the fabled Egyptian dynasty that ended with the death of Cleopatra (who was named for Alexander’s full sister[2]), the last of the Ptolemies.  Alexander’s wife, Roxane, is a story of love and alliances—and of their son, born posthumously, who succeeded him.

Even the taming of his great black stallion, Bucephalas—which his father Philip had proclaimed unmanageable to the youth of 12, and which became Alexander’s loyal companion during his campaigns on three continents, as far as India—has been immortalized in history and legend, and in movies such as Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Black Stallion.”  According to tradition, Alexander also solved the riddle of the “Gordian knot”—a rope knotted so intricately that whoever could undo it was to rule Asia—by cutting it with his sword.

Alexander’s numerous acts of both savagery and gallantry in war have been chronicled throughout recorded history, such that 2,300 years after his death he often appears more like a mythic figure than a man of flesh and blood.  His conquests ushered in what has been called the Hellenistic Age—or the “Golden Age”—dating from his death in 323 B.C. to 31 B.C. when Ptolemaic Egypt fell to Rome, a period in which the Greek culture and language spread through northern Africa and southwestern Asia, creating an era that has been described as the first giant step toward the establishment of an international culture.

At the time of his death, his empire stretched from Albania, the former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, the Danube and the Black Sea in the north, through Asia Minor, Mesopotamia and what was the Persian Empire, to Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Punjab of India in the east, and encompassing strategic parts of present-day Libya, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

Born around July 20, 356, at Pella in Macedonia[3], west of what is now Thessaloniki in the rugged northern reaches of Greece—in the shadow of Mount Olympus, the home of the gods—he was the son of Philip II, king of Macedonia, and Olympias, daughter of the king of Epirus.  Philip was considered one of the most brilliant generals of his day[4], whose family had ruled Macedonia for more than 300 years.  Alexander is said to have owed much of his tactical genius to his father, although emotionally he is considered to have been closer to his strong-willed, proud and ruthless mother.  Philip was married at least seven times; and after his death, it is said that Olympias roasted his last and youngest wife alive.

From his mother, Alexander acquired a belief that he was a descendant of Achilles, the legendary hero of his beloved Iliad by Homer, whose code was upheld by warriors: Glory in war was life’s highest honor.  Plutarch, who wrote a biography of Alexander in the first century A.D., noted that “[h]e regarded the Iliad as a handbook of the art of war and took with him on his campaigns a text annotated by Aristotle which he always kept under his pillow together with a dagger.”  Alexander was groomed by Philip to inherit his kingdom; and Philip acquired Aristotle, a former student of Plato, who became Alexander’s tutor and taught him philosophy, medicine, and scientific investigation from age 13 to 16.  Also, Alexander was reared among his father’s hard-drinking professional soldiers, and hunters.

In 340, during his father’s attack on Byzantium, he was left in charge of Macedonia.  He defeated the Maedi, a Thracian people; and two years later, at the age of 18, he commanded the Companion Cavalry, Macedonia’s elite mounted unit, at the Battle of Chaeronea in which Philip decisively defeated an alliance of Athenian, Theban and other Greek forces.  Taking advantage of a break in the enemy line, Alexander is said to have displayed personal courage in leading the attack against Thebes’ legendary crack unit, the Sacred Band.[5]

A year later Philip divorced Olympias; and after a quarrel at a feast held to celebrate his father’s new marriage, Alexander and his mother fled to Epirus, and he subsequently went to Illyria. Shortly afterward, father and son were reconciled and Alexander returned to Macedonia, where he spent all but 11 years of his short life.  In 336, however, on Philip’s assassination by a bodyguard[6], Alexander at 20—supported by the army—installed himself on his father’s throne.

He at once executed those who were alleged to be behind Philip’s murder, along with all possible rivals and the faction that was opposed to him. He then marched south, recovered a wavering Thessaly, and at an assembly of the Greek League at Corinth was appointed generalissimo for the forthcoming invasion of Asia, already planned and initiated by Philip whose ultimate goal was to attack Persia, Greece’s old enemy across the Aegean Sea.

Before turning to Persia, whose wealth was needed if he was to maintain the army that Philip had built and pay off 500 talents that he owed—and following a rumor of his death that precipitated a revolt of Theban democrats—Alexander marched 240 miles in 14 days from Pelion (near modern Korçë, Albania) in Illyria to Thebes.  When the Thebans refused to surrender, he entered and razed their city to the ground; 6,000 were killed, and all survivors were sold into slavery; and the other Greek states were cowed by this savagery.

The Persian expedition and the Battle of Issus

In 334 B.C., Alexander crossed the Hellespont—the strait known today as the Dardanelles—to Asia Minor and set out for Troy, leaving Antipater, who had faithfully served his father, as his deputy in Europe with more than 13,000 men.  Alexander himself commanded more than 5,000 cavalry and 30,000 infantry, as he began his campaign against Persia whose empire extended from modern Turkey to Pakistan.

At the fall of Troy, Alexander and his closest companion, Hephaestion, paid tribute to the great Homeric warrior Achilles, by anointing altars at his alleged tomb with oil and offering sacrifices.  Indeed, it has been said that blood was the characteristic of Alexander’s whole campaign, and that there is nothing comparable in ancient history except Julius Caesar in Gaul.

He confronted the Persians first at the Granicus River (now the Kocabas), northeast of Troy, in May of 334.  The Persians were arrayed on high ground with approximately 15,000 cavalry and 16,000 infantry, a third of them Greek mercenaries.  The Persian plan to tempt Alexander across the river and kill him almost succeeded.  Alexander, ignoring the advice of his father’s general Parmenion to delay the attack, forged into the river and up the steep opposing bank to where the Persians waited.  However, in hand-to-hand combat, he and his men were able to break the enemy lines and surround the mercenaries of the Persian king, Darius III, and Alexander’s victory was complete.  The mercenaries were largely massacred, except for 2,000 survivors who were sent back to Macedonia in chains.

In addition to having his father’s Companion Cavalry, Alexander had the Macedonian phalanx that had been refined by Philip into a highly mobile unit of foot soldiers armed with wooden thrusting pikes up to 16 feet long.  It was the length of these pikes—as much as nine feet longer than the average spear—that protected Alexander’s men as they climbed the river bank from their vulnerable position below the Persians, according to one account.  This victory at Granicus exposed western Asia Minor to the Macedonians; most cities opened their gates; and in contrast to Macedonian policy in Greece, democracies were installed—on the condition that they were obedient to Alexander.

While the Persian forces fled inland, Alexander and his army marched triumphantly along the coast, liberating the region’s Greek cities from their Persian rulers.  By the winter of 334-333, Alexander conquered western Asia Minor.  Darius and his Persian army advanced northward, and intelligence on both sides was faulty.  Alexander was already encamped near modern Iskenderun, Turkey, when he learned in the fall of 333 that Darius was at Issus, north of Alexander’s position, near the present-day Turkish-Syrian border.  Turning, Alexander found Darius drawn up along the Pinarus River; and in the battle that followed, Alexander won a decisive victory.

Exhausted from a two-day march, Alexander’s men were outnumbered: a Macedonian force of about 50,000, to as many as 70,000 Persians.  Nonetheless, Alexander rallied his troops and led the charge into the Persian lines.  It is said that amidst the dust and savagery of battle, Alexander spotted Darius in his war chariot and made straight for him, followed by his cavalry.  Darius fled; the struggle turned into a Persian rout, leaving Darius’ family in Alexander’s hands; and on Alexander’s orders, the Persian king’s wife and daughters were not harmed.  Yet, at 23, Alexander had met the great King of Persia and defeated him.

Conquest of the Mediterranean coast and Egypt

From Issus, Alexander marched south along the Mediterranean coast, into Syria and Phoenicia, his object being to isolate the Persian fleet from its bases and destroy it as an effective fighting force.  City after city allied to Persia surrendered to him; and Alexander’s second in command, Parmenion, who had secured a foothold in Asia Minor during Philip’s lifetime, was sent ahead to secure Damascus and its rich booty including Darius’ war chest.  In response to a letter from Darius offering peace, Alexander replied arrogantly, recapitulating the historic wrongs of Greece by Persia and demanding unconditional surrender to himself as lord of Asia.

He met his first resistance at Tyre, an island city located a mile offshore, which was a strategic site because of its fabled sea power.  Alexander’s forces included a special engineering unit similar to the modern American Seabees, and they began constructing a causeway to the island.  While his siege of Tyre was in progress, Darius sent a new offer: he would pay a huge ransom of 10,000 talents for his family and cede all his lands west of the Euphrates.  “I would accept,” Parmenion is reported to have said, “were I Alexander”—”I too,” was the famous retort, “were I Parmenion.”

The storming of Tyre in July of 332 is considered to be Alexander’s greatest military achievement; however, it was attended with great carnage and the sale of the women and children into slavery.  It took Alexander seven months to conquer the city; and when his Macedonians triumphed, it is said of Tyre that 7,000 were slain outright, 2,000 young men were crucified, and 30,000 sold into slavery.  Leaving Parmenion in Syria, Alexander advanced south without opposition until he reached Gaza.  There, bitter resistance halted him for two months, and he sustained a serious shoulder wound during a sortie.[7]

In November of 332, after neutralizing Persian allies along the way, Alexander reached Egypt where the people welcomed him as their deliverer, and the Persian satrap wisely surrendered.  At Memphis, Alexander was crowned with the traditional double crown of the pharaohs; the native priests were placated, and their religion was encouraged.  He spent the winter organizing Egypt, where he employed Egyptian governors, keeping the army under a separate Macedonian command.  He founded Alexandria, one of the greatest cities of its time, near the western arm of the Nile on a site between the sea and Lake Mareotis, protected by the island of Pharos, and had it laid out by a Rhodian architect.  He is also said to have sent an expedition to discover the causes of the flooding of the Nile.

From Alexandria, he trekked inland to visit the famed Oracle of the god Ammon, in its lush oasis at Siwah.  Hoping to confirm his divine status and secure favorable omens for his invasion of Asia, the priest gave him the traditional salutation of a pharaoh, as the son of Ammon, a title that fueled his growing sense of invincibility.  It is said that throughout his campaigns, he made daily sacrifices to sway the gods.

His conquest of Egypt had completed his control of the whole eastern Mediterranean coast; and in July of 331, Alexander was on the Euphrates.  Instead of taking the direct route down the river to Babylon, he traveled across northern Mesopotamia toward the Tigris; and Darius, learning of this move from an advance force, marched up the Tigris to oppose him.  The decisive battle of the war was fought on the plain of Gaugamela, between Nineveh and Arbela.  Alexander pursued the defeated Persian forces for 35 miles to Arbela, but Darius escaped with his cavalry and Greek mercenaries into Media.

Alexander now occupied Babylon, city and province. Susa, the capital, also surrendered, releasing huge treasures amounting to 50,000 gold talents.  Here, Alexander established Darius’ family in comfort; and he pressed on into Persia proper.  At Persepolis, he ceremonially burned down the palace of Xerxes, as a symbol that the Panhellenic war of revenge was at an end.  In the spring of 330, Alexander marched north into Media and occupied its capital.  The Thessalians and Greek allies were sent home; and henceforth, it is said that he was waging a purely personal war.

Alexander’s views on the empire were changing.  He had come to envisage a joint ruling class consisting of Macedonians and Persians, and this served to augment the misunderstanding that now arose between his Macedonians and him.  Before continuing his pursuit of Darius, who had retreated into Bactria, he assembled all the Persian treasure and entrusted it to Harpalus; and Parmenion was also left behind in Media to control communications.   In midsummer 330, Alexander set out for the eastern provinces “at a high speed” via modern Rayy (near Tehran) and the Caspian Gates, where he learned that Bessus, the satrap of Bactria, had Darius stabbed and left him to die.  Alexander sent his body for burial with honors in the royal tombs at Persepolis.

Campaign eastward, to Central Asia

Darius’ death left no obstacle to Alexander’s claim to be “lord of Asia”—of the Persian Empire.  He also accepted the surrender of Darius’ Greek mercenaries.  His advance eastward was now rapid, and he founded Alexandria of the Arians (modern Herat).  At Phrada, he took steps to destroy Parmenion and his family as well.  Parmenion’s son, commander of the elite Companion Cavalry that Alexander had once commanded, was implicated in an alleged plot against Alexander’s life; he was condemned by the army, and executed; and a secret message was sent to Parmenion’s second in command, who obediently assassinated him.  This ruthless action excited widespread horror but strengthened Alexander’s position relative to his critics and those whom he regarded as his father’s men.  All of Parmenion’s adherents were now eliminated, and men close to Alexander were promoted.

From Phrada, Alexander pressed on during the winter of 330-329, over the mountains past the site of modern Kabul, Afghanistan, into the country of the Paropamisadae, where he founded Alexandria by the Caucasus.  Bessus was now in Bactria raising a national revolt with the usurped title of Great King.  Crossing the Hindu Kush northward over the Khawak Pass (11,650 feet), Alexander brought his army, despite food shortages, to Drapsaca.  Outflanked, Bessus fled and Alexander sent his general Ptolemy in pursuit; Bessus was captured, flogged, and sent to Balkh[8], where he was mutilated after the Persian manner (losing his nose and ears); and in due course he was publicly executed.

From modern Samarkand, Alexander advanced to the Jaxartes, the boundary of the Persian Empire.  There he broke the opposition of Scythian nomads by his use of catapults and, after defeating them in a battle on the north bank of the river, pursued them into the interior.  On the site of modern Leninabad (Khojent) on the Jaxartes, he founded a city, Alexandria Eschate, “the farthest.”  It took Alexander until the autumn of 328 to crush the most determined opponent he encountered in his campaigns.

Later in the same year, he attacked Oxyartes and the remaining barons who held out in the hills of modern Tadzhikistan.  Volunteers seized the crag on which Oxyartes had his stronghold, and among the captives was his daughter, Roxane.  In reconciliation Alexander married her, and the rest of his opponents were either won over or crushed.

At Maracanda (or modern Samarkand), an incident occurred that widened the breach between Alexander and many of his Macedonians.  He murdered Cleitus, one of his most trusted commanders, in a drunken quarrel, but his excessive display of remorse led the army to pass a decree convicting Cleitus posthumously of treason. The event marked a step in Alexander’s progress toward Eastern absolutism, and this growing attitude found its outward expression in his use of Persian royal dress.

Shortly afterward, at Balkh, he attempted to impose the Persian court ceremonial—involving prostration (or what has been described as a “courtly kiss”)—on the Greeks and Macedonians too; however, to them this custom, habitual for Persians entering the king’s presence, implied an act of worship toward a god and was intolerable before a man.  Even Callisthenes, historian and nephew of Aristotle, whose ostentatious flattery had perhaps encouraged Alexander to see himself in the role of a god, refused to abase himself.  Macedonian laughter caused the experiment to founder, and Alexander abandoned it.  Shortly afterward, however, Callisthenes was held to be privy to a conspiracy among the royal pages and was executed (or died in prison).

Invasion of India

In early summer of 327, Alexander left Bactria with a reinforced army under a reorganized command.  If Plutarch’s figure of 120,000 men has any reality, however, it must have included all kinds of auxiliary services, together with muleteers, camel drivers, medical corps, peddlers, entertainers, women, and children—the fighting strength perhaps stood at about 35,000.  Recrossing the Hindu Kush, Alexander divided his forces.  Half the army with the baggage, under Hephaestion and another Cavalry commander, was sent through the Khyber Pass, while Alexander himself led the rest through the hills to the north.  His advance was marked by the storming of the almost impregnable pinnacle of the modern Pir-Sar, a few miles west of the Indus and north of the Buner River, an impressive feat of siegecraft.

In the spring of 326, crossing the Indus, Alexander entered Taxila, whose ruler, Taxiles, furnished elephants and troops in return for aid against his rival Porus, who ruled the lands between the Hydaspes (modern Jhelum) and the modern Chenab.  In June, Alexander fought his last great battle on the left bank of the Hydaspes.  He founded two cities there, one of which was named Alexandria Nicaea, to celebrate his victory; and Porus became his ally.

Although Alexander gained a rajah and a new troop of elephants, he also lost a life-long friend.  It is said that Bucephalas was a man-eater and a unicorn, and that he was born of the same seed as his master, and that he whinnied and fawned with his front legs at the sight of the only man he ever trusted.  What we do know for certain is that not far from the defeat of Porus and the site of Bucephalas’ last river crossing, Alexander founded a second city and named it Bucephala, in memory of his beloved horse that died there about the age of 30.  The great black stallion had carried his master to the “eastern edge of the world,” and a funeral procession was organized, which Alexander led in person.

How much Alexander knew of India beyond the Hyphasis (probably the modern Beas) is uncertain; there is no conclusive proof that he had heard of the Ganges.  While he was anxious to press on, he had advanced to the Hyphasis when his army mutinied, refusing to go farther in the tropical rain; they were weary in body and spirit, and Coenus, one of Alexander’s four chief marshals, acted as their spokesman. On finding the army adamant, Alexander agreed to turn back.

On the Hyphasis, Alexander built a fleet of 800 to 1,000 ships.  Leaving Porus, he then proceeded down the river and into the Indus, with half his forces on shipboard and half marching in three columns down the two banks. Nearchus commanded the fleet; and the march was attended with much fighting and heavy, pitiless slaughter.  At the storming of one town near what is now called the Ravi River, Alexander received a severe wound that left him weakened.

On reaching the head of the Indus delta, he built a harbor and docks and explored both arms of the Indus.  He planned to lead part of his forces back by land, while the rest in perhaps 100 to 150 ships under the command of Nearchus made a voyage of exploration along the Persian Gulf.  Local opposition led the ships to set sail in September of 325, and they were held up for three weeks until they could pick up the northeast monsoon in late October.  In September, Alexander too set out along the coast through Gedrosia (modern Baluchistan), but he was soon compelled by mountainous country to turn inland, thus failing in his project to establish food depots for the fleet.

Craterus, a high-ranking officer, already had been sent off with the baggage and siege train, to rejoin the main army on the Amanis (modern Minab) River in Carmania. Alexander’s march through Gedrosia proved disastrous; waterless desert and shortage of food and fuel caused great suffering; and many, especially women and children, perished in a sudden monsoon flood while encamped.  At the Amanis, Alexander was rejoined by the fleet, which also had suffered losses.

Consolidation of the empire

Alexander now proceeded farther with the policy of replacing senior officials and executing defaulting governors, upon which he had already embarked before leaving India. Between 326 and 324, more than a third of his satraps were superseded and six were put to death; three generals in Media were accused of extortion, arrested, tried, and executed.  Whether the conduct that Alexander displayed against his governors represented exemplary punishment for gross maladministration during his absence, or merely the elimination of men he had come to distrust (as in the case of Parmenion), is debatable; however, ancient sources generally favorable to Alexander comment adversely on his savagery.

In the spring of 324, he was back in Susa, administrative center of the Persian Empire.  He found that his treasurer, Harpalus, had absconded with 6,000 mercenaries and 5,000 talents to Greece.  Arrested in Athens, he escaped and later was murdered in Crete.  At Susa, Alexander held a feast to celebrate his conquest of the Persian Empire, at which, in furtherance of his policy of fusing Macedonians and Persians into one master race, he and 80 of his officers took Persian wives.  He and Hephaestion married Darius’ daughters Barsine (also called Stateira) and Drypetis, respectively; and 10,000 of his soldiers with native wives were given generous dowries.

This policy of racial fusion brought increasing friction to Alexander’s relations with his Macedonians, who had no sympathy for his changed concept of the empire.  His determination to incorporate Persians on equal terms in the army and the administration of the provinces was bitterly resented.  This discontent was now fanned by the arrival of 30,000 native youths who had received Macedonian military training, and by the introduction of Orientals from various parts of the empire into the Companion Cavalry.  The issue came to a head when Alexander’s decision to send home Macedonian veterans under Craterus was interpreted as a move toward transferring the seat of power to Asia.

There was an open mutiny involving all but the royal bodyguard; however, when Alexander dismissed his whole army and enrolled Persians instead, the opposition broke down.  An emotional scene of reconciliation was followed by a vast banquet with 9,000 guests to celebrate the ending of the misunderstanding and the partnership in government of Macedonians and Persians—but not, as has been argued by some, the incorporation of all the subject peoples as partners in the commonwealth.  Ten thousand veterans were now sent back to Macedonia with gifts, and the crisis was ended.

In the autumn of 324, Hephaestion died and Alexander indulged in extravagant mourning for his closest friend.  He was given a royal funeral in Babylon with a pyre costing 10,000 talents.  It was probably in connection with a general order sent out to the Greeks, to honor Hephaestion as a hero, that Alexander linked the demand that he himself should be accorded divine honors.  Legend offered more than one example of men who, by their achievements, acquired divine status.

Alexander had on several occasions encouraged favorable comparison of his own accomplishments with those of Dionysus or Heracles.  He seemed to have become convinced of the reality of his own divinity and to have required its acceptance by others.  There is no reason to assume that his demand had any political background (divine status gave its possessor no particular rights in a Greek city); rather it has been said to be a symptom of his growing megalomania and emotional instability.  The cities complied, but often ironically—the Spartan decree read, “Since Alexander wishes to be a god, let him be a god.”

In the spring of 323, at Babylon, he received complimentary embassies from the Libyans and from the Bruttians, Etruscans, and Lucanians of Italy.  Representatives of the cities of Greece also came, garlanded as befitted Alexander’s divine status.  Following up Nearchus’ voyage, he now founded an Alexandria at the mouth of the Tigris and made plans to develop sea communications with India, for which an expedition along the Arabian coast was to be a preliminary.  He also dispatched an officer to explore the Caspian Sea.

Suddenly, in Babylon, while busy with plans to improve the irrigation of the Euphrates and to settle the coast of the Persian Gulf, Alexander was taken ill after a prolonged banquet and drinking bout.  Ten days later, on June 10 or 13, 323, he died before reaching the age of 33.  He had reigned for 12 years and eight months.  His body, diverted to Egypt by Ptolemy, its later king, was eventually placed in a golden coffin in Alexandria.  Both in Egypt and elsewhere in the Greek cities, he received divine honors.

No heir had been appointed to the throne, and his generals adopted his father’s half-witted illegitimate son, Philip Arrhidaeus, and Alexander’s posthumous son by Roxane, Alexander IV, as kings, sharing out the satrapies among themselves, after much bargaining.  Both kings were murdered, Arrhidaeus in 317 and Alexander IV in 310/309.  The provinces became independent kingdoms; and the generals, following Antigonus’ lead in 306, took the title of king.

Who was Alexander?

Like Napoleon, in physical terms, Alexander is said to have been short, perhaps not more than five feet tall; stockily built; and apparently unable to grow a full beard, thus setting a fashion of being clean-shaven.  He was said to be famously good-looking, with long curling hair and fair skin that, according to Plutarch, had “a ruddy tinge . . . especially upon his face and chest.”[9]

In his later years, Alexander’s aims seem to have been directed toward exploration, in particular of Arabia and the Caspian.  In the organization of his empire, he had been content in many spheres to improvise and adapt what he found.  His financial policy is an exception; it is clear that he set up a central organization with collectors perhaps independent of the local satraps.  That this proved a failure was partly due to weaknesses in the character of Harpalus, his chief treasurer.  But the establishment of a new coinage with a silver standard based on that of Athens in place of the old bimetallic system current both in Macedonia and in Persia helped trade everywhere and, combined with the release of vast amounts of bullion from the Persian treasuries, gave much-needed stimulation to the economy of the whole Mediterranean area.

Alexander’s founding of new cities—Plutarch writes of more than seventy—initiated a new chapter in Greek expansion.  No doubt many of the colonists, by no means volunteers, deserted these cities, and marriages with native women led to some dilution of Greek ways; however, the Greek (rather than Macedonian) influence remained strong in most of them.  Since the process was carried further by Alexander’s successors, the spread of Hellenic thought and customs over much of Asia as far as Bactria and India was one of the more striking effects of Alexander’s conquests.

His plans for racial fusion, on the other hand, were considered a failure. The Macedonians, leaders and men alike, rejected the idea; and in the later Seleucid Empire, the Greek and Macedonian element was clearly dominant.  How far Alexander would have succeeded in the difficult task of coordinating his vast dominions, had he lived, is hard to determine.  The only link between the many units that went to make up an empire more disparate than that of the Habsburgs, and far larger, was his own person; and his death came before he could tackle this problem.

What had held it all together was his own dynamic personality.  He combined an iron will, and ability to drive himself and his men to the utmost, with a supple and flexible mind.  He knew when to draw back and change his policy, though it is said that he did this reluctantly.  He was imaginative and not without romantic impulses—figures like Achilles, Heracles, and Dionysus were often on his mind.  He was swift in anger; and under the strain of his long campaigns, this side of his character grew more pronounced.

Ruthless, he had increasing recourse to terror, showing no hesitation in eliminating men whom he had ceased to trust, either with or without the pretense of a fair trial.  Years after his death, it is said that Cassander, son of Antipater, a regent of the Macedonian Empire under Alexander, could not pass his statue at Delphi without shuddering.  Yet he maintained the loyalty of his men, who followed him to the Hyphasis without complaining and continued to believe in him throughout all hardships.  Only when his whim would have taken them still farther into unknown India did he fail to get his way.

His military genius is undisputed, and he was blessed with the gift of leadership.  When he gave the command to attack, it is said that he knew his men would confidently do so.  Alexander himself led the cavalry charge at the Granicus, in a white-plumed helmet; and empathy for his men was part of the Macedonian warrior code.  Arrian, a Greek historian of the second-century A.D. whose account of Alexander’s campaigns is considered one of the best of ancient sources, wrote: “For the wounded he showed deep concern.  He visited them all and examined their wounds, asking each man how and in what circumstances his wound was received, and allowing him to tell his story and exaggerate as much as he pleased.”

In addition, Alexander showed unusual versatility both in the combination of different arms and in adapting his tactics to the challenge of enemies who commanded novel forms of warfare—the nomads, the Indian hill tribes, or Porus with his elephants. His strategy was skillful and imaginative, and he knew how to exploit the chances that arose in every battle and that might be decisive for victory or defeat.  He also drew the last advantage from victory by relentless pursuit.  His use of cavalry was so effective that it is said he rarely had to fall back upon his infantry to deliver a crushing blow.

Alexander’s short reign marks a decisive moment in the history of Europe and Asia.  His campaigns and his own personal interest in scientific investigation brought many advances in the knowledge of geography and natural history.  His career led to the moving of the great centers of civilization eastward, and initiated the new age of the Greek territorial monarchies.  It spread Hellenism in a vast colonizing wave throughout the Middle East and created, if not politically at least economically and culturally, a single world stretching from Gibraltar to the Punjab, open to trade and social intercourse and with a considerable overlay of common civilization.

. . .

Two thousand three hundred years ago, Alexander and his army began a 22,000-mile expedition from Greece to India, and conquered most of the known world before he was 30.  It was a turning point in history.  It is said that there was never a king before or since with exploits as vast as those of Alexander.  He was the world’s first authentic hero—a worldly genius who succeeded, whereas others before and after him failed.

He is one of a handful of men who, in striding across the pages of history, left the world marked forever by their presence.

This was the Age of Alexander . . . Alexander the Great!

____________

ALEXANDER THE GREAT

Timeline/Chronology

356 B.C. Birth of Alexander the Great (Alexander III) in Macedonia to Philip II, king of Macedonia, and his wife, Olympias

344 B.C. Alexander tames the giant horse Bucephalas (age 12)

343-340 B.C. Alexander is taught by Aristotle (ages 13-16)

340 B.C. Philip attacks Byzantium; Alexander is left in charge of Macedonia, and defeats the Maedi (age 16)

338 B.C. Philip II defeats combined Greek armies (consisting of Athenian, Theban and other Greek forces) at Chaironeia (or Chaeronea); Alexander commands the Companion Cavalry, Macedonia’s elite mounted unit, and displays personal courage in leading the attack against Thebes’ legendary crack unit, the Sacred Band (age 18)

336 B.C. First invasion of Asia; King Philip assassinated at Aigai; accession of Alexander to the Macedonian throne (age 20)

335 B.C. Alexander’s campaigns in Thrace and Illyria; the destruction of Thebes (age 21)

334 B.C. Alexander begins his invasion of the Persian Empire; the Battle of the Granicus River; the sieges of Miletus and Halicarnassus (age 22)

334-333 B.C. Conquest of southern Asia Minor; visit to Gordion near Ankara

333 B.C. The Battle of Issus (age 23)

332 B.C. The siege and capture of Tyre and Gaza (age 24)

332-1 B.C. Alexander conquers Egypt, founds Alexandria, and visits the Oracle of Ammon at the Siwah Oasis

331 B.C. The Battle of Gaugamela (age 25)

330 B.C. The burning of Persepolis; death of the Persian Great King Darius III; murders of Philotas and Parmenion (or Parmenio); the Hindu Kush and the “eastern edge of the world,” according to Aristotle; the pursuit of Bessus (age 26)

329-8 B.C. Campaigns in Bactria and Sogdia (or Sogdiana); the capture of Bessus; the murder of Cleitus; the Royal Pages’ Conspiracy, and the arrest and death of Callisthenes; the revolt and death of Spitamenes

327 B.C. Alexander marries Roxane (or Rhoxane); the invasion of India (age 29)

326-5 B.C. The Battle of the Hydaspes against Porus, during which Bucephalas is gravely wounded and dies (at about 30 years); the mutiny on the Hyphasis river; the voyage down the Indus; the campaign against the Malli (or Malloi), and the fortress of Multan

325 B.C. The march across the Gedrosian desert (age 31)

324 B.C. The mass marriage at Susa; the mutiny at Opis; the death of Hephaestion (or Hephaistion) (age 32)

June 10 or 13, 323 B.C. The death of Alexander the Great at Babylon (before the age of 33)

31 B.C. Rome overcomes the last of Alexander’s successor kingdoms with the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra

© 2010-2015, Timothy D. Naegele

Alexander


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass), the first black senator since Reconstruction after the U.S. Civil War.  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates (www.naegele.com).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years.  See, e.g.www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles

This article was written as the basis for a movie script and film.

[2] Also, the last wife of Alexander’s father, King Philip II, was named Cleopatra.

[3] Macedonia was a large region of northern Greece, not to be confused with the former Yugoslavia, or the province of that name in present-day Greece.  In the Fourth Century B.C., it stretched to the north and covered much of the former Yugoslavia and parts of Bulgaria, to the east as far as Thrace and the Black Sea, in the south as far as Thessaly, and to the west across the Pindus mountains into modern Albania.

[4] He was considered to be an insightful leader, unrivaled by any except his famous son, Alexander.  In 359 B.C., at about the age of 23, Philip became king of Macedonia, which consisted of many clans.  He consolidated the kingdom, increased its wealth and status, and built a mighty army.  With shrewd diplomacy, alliances and brute force, he conquered much of Greece and headed the Greek League that was formed to invade Asia Minor; however, in 336, an assassin’s sword ended his life, leaving the invasion to his ambitious son, Alexander.

[5] As promising as his performance was, few would have guessed that he would conquer the known world to the east and change the course of history in the next 14 or so years.

[6] It has been written that the bodyguard might have been a former lover of Philip since—like most Greek upper-class men—Philip was considered to be bisexual.

[7] It is said that there is no basis for the tradition that he turned aside to visit Jerusalem.

[8] Also, this appears to be referred to as Bactra.

[9] It is also said that he held his head slightly to the left and had a “melting look” in his eyes, traits that have led some modern doctors to suggest that he suffered from a rare eye condition known as Brown’s syndrome.  If this diagnosis is accurate, the characteristic tilt of his head may have enabled him to see straight.








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