Once more on you know what...

Henry C.K. Liu hliu at SPAMmindspring.com
Fri Dec 15 08:56:37 MST 2000


Lou,

There is logic to my statement.  You are correct that urban minorities in other
states did not prevail and thus lost out on their electoral vote, but the cause
of that lies elsewhere, not with the electoral system.  Nationally, with
minorities totally less than 20% of the population, direct election will always
discount their political will and effect.  I do not mean to suggest that the
electoral system sloves any problem.  I merely point out that the issue is not
simplistic.

For Americans, regardless of their political spectrum, there is no justification
for not participating in elections.  Revolutionary politics is not merely
waiting for the final battle.  The revolutinary war is continuous, and every
struggle is only a battle, some major, some minor.  Minor battles are also
important because they keep people reminded that the war is still on.  In war,
one has to go where the shooting is at the moment.

Napoleon made one basic error and two minors ones at Waterloo.
Returning to Paris on March 20, 1815 from exile on Elba, the Emperor of the
French managed to quickly assemble a formidable army to regain his abdicated
throne.  Yet on his way toward Belgium to meet Wellington, Napoleon dispatched
Marechal Emmanuel, Marquis de Grouchy, with some 33,000 of the Emperor's total
of 125,000 troops, including part of the imperial cavalry, to track the Prussian
army under Field Marshal Gebhard Lebrecht von Blucher, whom Napoleon had
defeated at Ligny on June 16, but whose army Napoleon had failed to destroy.
The aim was to prevent the 116,000 Prussian troops from joining up with Duke
Wellington's British army of 140,000 at Waterloo.  Napoleon thus weakened his
otherwise superior French main force and forfeited a chance to decisively rout
the British under Wellington before Blucher's delayed arrival in early evening
at 7 p.m. on June 18, 1815.

The Marquis de Grouchy, by literally following Napoleon's precautionary order in
the face of clear necessity for battlefield flexibility, would fail to intercept
Blucher or to join the battle at Waterloo in time with his much-needed troops,
despite the fact they he heard clearly the sound of artillery.  As a result,
Napoleon's 95,000 men, having failed to rout the British after a full day's
fighting, did not stand a chance against the combined Allied force of 256,000
after the arrival of Blucher.

Despite being slightly out-numbered by the British, if Napoleon would start his
attack earlier in the morning, instead of waiting until eleven a.m. for soggy
grounds to dry sufficiently to effectively deploy his cherished artillery, or if
he would release his beloved and loyal Guards at 6:30 p.m. when Marechal
Michel Ney's division finally managed to dislodge the battered English and
Hanoverians from La Haie Sainte, thus bridging Wellington's line at Mont St
Jean, the French might have won the battle before the delayed arrival of fresh
Prussian troops under Blucher at dusk, the course of modern European history
would have been different.

Henry






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