Posted by: graemebird | May 6, 2006

Spring-Loaded All-Enemies Retaliation: The Machiavelli, Corleone, Codevilla Road To Peace And Security.

Or at least my version of it. One doesn’t want to put words in peoples mouths.


Never allow for others to fight proxy war against your lads. Easier said then done. There are two features of trying to acheive this.

This one cribbed and further edited from Prodeo:

Steve Edwards Sez:

“Partly, but my road-to-Damascus conversion on the question of foreign intervention came when I did my Honours thesis in 2004 on the very subject of Sudan (except I covered the North-South conflict and the US attempts to mediate). It was the gradual realisation of the usefulness of diplomacy and mediation, and the lack of utility of force except in self-defence, that forced me to revise my attitudes to virtually every single conflict since the Boer War, and even before.”

Its not the whole story Steve that you have here. The way the puny humans work in the millions and billions. They work to shower prestige, tribute, legitimacy, bribes and intellectual cover on those responsible for unmet aggression.

So that the Soviet Union gets whipped by little Finland but the Western left conspires to make it a superpower. It had some geographical advantages but besides this they made a superpower out of a basket case since its slaughter and the exercise of its raw power made it gather supporters to itself.

You cannot stay out of a rumble forever. If there are willing proxies you should help them.

But the smart road to frequent peace and success in war lies in never allowing others to fight proxy war against your own soldiers.


You stay at home. Or rather you don’t stay at home but keep your men off the most risky parts of the battlefields. You assist proxies where possible. And you build an immense amount of whoopass TO SETTLE ALL FAMILY BUSINESS IN ONE DAY ALA GODFATHER.

You blow that Whoop-Ass balloon up so big, so large and leaking steam. And if you do so you may be fortunate enough to keep things this way for a long time.

The Romans, starting out as a small town, defeated all before them and became a great empire by making their wars BIG and SHORT……………….. BIG BUT SHORT.

Island nations need not crave Empire and should concentrate on making their own country a better place. Their focus should be inward and they should not exhaust their crediblility on haranguing foreigners to do this or that. Better to be more laconic. Take your actions and let them come to you to see how it is they’ve displeased you and to further stress their loyalty.

The example of Vito Corleone is the most instructive example of Statemanship in the movies. Which isn’t surprising if I’m right that the writers (Puzo and Coppola) based it on Machiavelli and they made the crime familes to be like the Italian principalities.

Proxy war cannot be waged against you if you do one of two things.

1. Wage war by proxy yourself.

2. Concentrate on your own country but always be building up for a Godfather-like settling of accounts.

We can harangue the Saud family for giving money to Jamah Islahmia. But it would be more effective if we didn’t bother with such displays of impotence and instead were secretly planning that the Saud family palaces be filled with blood should another Bali-like incident occur.

That the Saud family Palaces be filled with blood WITHIN THE HOUR of another Bali-like occurence. That the retaliation will occur well before we can possibly have an inkling as to who the culprits are.

And if their intelligence doesn’t penetrate our plans this is the best since the incredible shock of being attacked above the neck and so comprehensively, would keep all other potential aggressors dumfounded as we quickly brought our people back home (within the week) and got back to an internal focus and yet built up the former level of springloaded whoop-ass and then some………………

Of course this might be physically and financially impossible for Australia to pull this off. Which doesn’t mean we ought not have been trying to put this sort of capability together.

The nature of human group psycology cannot lead to the position you are taking. It can lead to it 95%. But its that other 5% I would worry about. To blanket deny and forward defence at all would have these asswipes stationing nukes pointed at us from Papua. Having nuke-armed ships sail with impunity just outside our 200 mile limit until they could see that the Stockholm Syndrome left had neutralised anyone who might stop the takeover of Australias truly awesome energy resources.

I’m with you on your general attitude. And I’m with you on your reluctance to put our own boys in the front lines. So I’m in no way faulting your reasoning here. This is a funny and terrible in-built feature of the homo-sapien that I’m talking about. The tendency of people to become admirers of the really loathsome.

I used to hold your point of view and would call anzac day …….”DON’T DO IT AGAIN DAY.”



  1. the area is nice but death is bad

  2. Yes death is bad.

    And war is bad.

    And we want to figure out how to avoid our guys getting killed. And to avoid catastrophic war.

  3. jeez Bird you sound like a teenage groupie when you talk about Richard

  4. Yeah I’ll have to wipe that. Thanks for bringing it to my attention

    I must have patched it over from the main article when I was on the hard hooch or something.

    It wasn’t so bad for the main article Jason. Because he had died so unecessarily pushing for a story and to set things right one supposes when you could see how sick he was on 60 minutes.

    So we were all very shocked.

    But you don’t get that context if I’m just going to get plastered and arbitrarily cut and paste half the article over for no good reason. Probably because I’m sort of maudlin drunk.

    Even now reading that article in its entirety it does seem inappropriate.

    But I think it made an impression on people when they read it just after those two boys came out of the ground.

    Man you don’t remember Richard beating up on goons with his umbrella and just staring all these ex-Mongrel Mob guys down.

    He was really something.

    But yeah I’ll wipe the above cut and paste.

    Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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