Throughout history, the human civilization has been engaged in warfare against each other. The reasons for war have ranged from ideological differences, territory expansion and competition for resources to name but a few. In most of these wars there exist different views concerning the war among the common citizens and the politicians.
In the recent past, the U.S government has waged war against the Iraqi nation and subsequently occupied the land. There has been as much support as there has been opposition for this U.S. led invasion on Iraq. In the 1790s, one of the famous French leaders Maximilien Robespierre faced similar circumstances following the historical French Revolution and the following calls for war against Austria by the new French government.
Robespierre took a stand against the war and it is in my opinion that he would have opposed America’s war against Iraq as well. An in depth analysis of the reasons for Robespierre’s opposition to the war against Austria will demonstrate that he would not have supported America’s war with Iraq.
While Robespierre was no stranger to violence as can be demonstrated by his horrific reign of terror, he feared that an attack on Austria would result to the militarization of the country and this could turn to be advantageous to the enemies of the newly formed republic. Following the great French Revolution, the then French king Louis the XVI was ousted and subsequently forced to flee with his household.
Later on, Louis was captured and executed by the radical revolutionaries sparking widespread fear and panic among the nobles. These monarchs and nobles who were viewed as “enemies of the republic” were persecuted by the radical Jacobins and many of them had fled the country in fear for their lives. A war with Austria which was ruled by a monarch could result in the neighboring countries trying to restore the monarch in France with the help of Frenchmen who were sympathetic to the monarchy.
A state of war with Austria would help the sympathizers amass weapons with which to fight the revolutionary forces. Robespierre therefore saw the risk of insurgency that war with Austria presented to the new French republic. The America war with Iraq also presented an opportunity for sympathizers of Hussein to amass weapons and stage terror attacks.
Robespierre was doubtful of the local Austrian population supporting France’s war efforts and therefore advised against the confrontation. In Robespierre’s time the members of the radical Jacobin government who were advocating war with Austria were banking on the local population’s support of their war efforts.
The war with Austria was sparked by ideological differences since Austria was still ruled by a monarch while France had done away with this system by use of a revolution. The Jacobin’s were convinced that if they waged war against Austria, they would advance their revolutionary ideologies beyond France’s borders thus toppling the traditional Austrian monarchy and replacing it with a democratic government.
Robespierre argued that the ideology they sort to advance would not necessarily be embraced by the masses as it had been in France. True to Robespierre’s claims, France lost the war to Austria. As such, Robespierre would have rejected going to war with Iraq since he would have argued that banking on the local population’s support would have been a miscalculation.
Another consideration by Robespierre concerning going to war with Austria was that this would lead to the destabilization of the country. According to him, maintaining internal stability was more important than any other benefit that might have been achieved by the war. After the French Revolution, the life of the general population can be described as relatively stable.
The revolution had witnessed the open rebellion by French citizens against the king’s troops and in some cases fully fledged violence. Following the success of the revolution, a new assembly was formed and this tried to restore some semblance of order to France. Robespierre felt that these efforts at stabilization would be negated by going to war since reprisal would follow and the country would probably go back to its turbulent past.
Before the invasion by the allied forces, Iraq was a stable and somewhat affluent country despite the multiple allegations of human rights abuses and atrocities perpetuated by the president. On being invaded, the country became turbulent with numerous incidents of suicide bombers and random attacks. Robespierre would therefore have foreseen such destabilizing effects of war and advised against the American led war against Iraq.
This paper set out to argue that the French politician, Maximilien de Robespierre would not have supported America’s war with Iraq. To reinforce this assertion, the paper has demonstrated the reasoning behind Robespierre’s opposition to France going to war with Austria. An analysis has been made of the various reasons for Robespierre’s opposition and a deduction on how Robespierre would have reacted in light of the Iraqi war has been made.
From the discussions presented in this paper, there is overwhelming evidence that the French politician Maximilien de Robespierre would not have supported the American war with Iraq. While it is plausible that Robespierre would have agreed with the need for violence as is evident from his reign of terror, he would have objected to the actual implementation of a war owing to the multiple pitfalls that the mission presented.