Velké země, malé války

LONDÝN – Americký prezident Barack Obama přísahal, že se pomstí za vraždu J. Christophera Stevense, bývalého amerického velvyslance v Libyi. Jak to navrhuje udělat, není jasné – dějinný precedent tu příliš nepomůže.

V roce 1864 se britský konzul společně s několika misionáři stal rukojmím habešského císaře v tehdejším hlavním sídle země, Magdale. Tři roky nato je císař Tewodros stále odmítal propustit, a tak Britové vyslali expediční jednotku složenou z 13 000 vojáků, 26 000 civilistů v týle a 44 slonů.

Alan Moorehead ve své knize Modrý Nil popsal expedici takto: „Od prvního k poslednímu postupuje s dekorem a hutnou nevyhnutelností viktoriánské státní recepce, provázena zdlouhavými projevy.“ Nicméně šlo o podnik nahánějící strach. Po tříměsíční cestě přes hory se Britové dostali do Magdaly, osvobodili rukojmí a město do základů vypálili. Císař Tewodros spáchal sebevraždu, Britové se stáhli a jejich velitel, generálporučík sir Robert Napier, byl povýšen na barona Napiera z Magdaly.

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