Visions of the Ghost Fleet will prove to be one of the most literary importance. There is a love story here, between myself and Rena Easton. The Crusade of the Radical Christian-right, ended yesterday in front of our Capitol. The armed fake patriots I perceived that were behind Rena having Deputy Dan Mayland call me – had their day! It is over for them. Turn out the lights!
Now, it is Frances turn. A naval celebration is canceled over Uncle Sam putting his long arm around the Britannia of Australia. Does that work? I found a new Goddess of War, Bellona, that should replace the Statue of Liberty that France gave us. We need a more aggressive goddess, one that has to be kept on a leash, a chain, so eager is she to shred China.
Bellona was originally an ancient Sabine goddess of war identified with Nerio, the consort of the war god Mars, and later with the Greek war goddess Enyo. Her temple in Rome was dedicated in 296 BCE near the Circus Flaminius by Appius Claudius Caecus, during the war with the Etruscans and Samnites.
Her festival was celebrated on 3 June, and her priests were known as Bellonarii and used to wound their own arms or legs as a blood sacrifice to her. These rites took place on 24 March, called the day of blood (dies sanguinis), after the ceremony. In consequence of this practice, which approximated to the rites dedicated to Cybele in Asia Minor, both Enyo and Bellona became identified with her Cappadocian aspect, Ma.
Often in poetry the name Bellona is used simply as a synonym for war, although in the Thebaid of Statius the goddess appears as a character, representing the destructive and belligerent aspect of war. There she is described as carrying a spear and a flaming torch or riding in a chariot and waving a blood-stained sword. Classical allusions to Bellona later appear in Shakespeare‘s plays in the appropriate context of warrior characters: Hotspur describes the goddess as “the fire-eyed maid of smoky war”, for example, and Macbeth is referred to as “Bellona’s bridegroom”, that is to say, the equivalent of Mars.
Marianne (pronounced [maʁjan]) has been the national personification of the French Republic since the French Revolution, as a personification of liberty, equality, fraternity and reason, and a portrayal of the Goddess of Liberty.
Marianne is displayed in many places in France and holds a place of honour in town halls and law courts. She is depicted in the Triumph of the Republic, a bronze sculpture overlooking the Place de la Nation in Paris, and is represented with another Parisian statue in the Place de la République. Her profile stands out on the official government logo of the country, appears on French euro coins and on French postage stamps. It was also featured on the former franc currency. Marianne is one of the most prominent symbols of the French Republic, and is officially used on most government documents.
By Alex Marquardt, Jennifer Hansler and Kylie Atwood, CNN
Amid a rift over a new security agreement between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom, the French Embassy in Washington has canceled a Washington reception and toned down celebrations commemorating a Revolutionary War naval victory by the French that helped the US to win its independence.
The embassy said the celebrations have been made “more sober” and the reception planned for Friday at the ambassador’s residence to mark the 240th anniversary of the Battle of the Capes has been called off. A reception on a frigate in Baltimore has also been downsized, a senior French official told CNN, who said the changes were “to make the people more comfortable.”
“It’s not anger. We are not happy but it’s the practical way of adapting ourselves,” the official said. “In the context we have taken some things from the program, kept some others so that we kept the celebrations but don’t want to have people to be obliged to be together.”
Other parts of the celebration will continue, including a wreath laying in Annapolis on Saturday and a visit by a French destroyer to Baltimore Harbor on Monday.
The move comes a day after the United States announced a trilateral security arrangement with the Australians and British focusing on the Indo-Pacific region. Under that agreement, the US will help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines, costing Paris a multi-billion dollar submarine deal.
In a tweet Wednesday, French Ambassador to the US Philippe Etienne noted, “Interestingly, exactly 240 years ago the French Navy defeated the British Navy in Chesapeake Bay, paving the way for the victory at Yorktown and the independence of the United States.”
The French must see there is no point in wailing about having been shoddily treated. They were.
But who ever heard of a nation short-changing its defence priorities out of not wanting to give offence? The fact is that the Australians calculated they had underestimated the Chinese threat and so needed to boost their level of deterrence.
They acted with steely disregard for French concerns but, when it comes to the crunch, that is what nations do. It is almost the definition of a nation: a group of people who have come together to defend their own interests. Their own, not others’.
Of course, sometimes nations decide their interests are best served by joining alliances. That’s what the US did in suppressing its isolationist instincts in the last century.
- France: US and Australia ‘lying’ over defence deal
- Aukus pact could signal power shift in Asia-Pacific
But the second painful truth exposed by the Aukus affair is that the US no longer has any great interest in the outdated behemoth that is Nato. Nor does it harbour any particular loyalty to those who have stood by its side.