By Con George-Kotzabasis
This is a question that I was to put to Clemons from another thread but at the time I was under the surgeon’s knife. Since my question, however, is not completely unrelated to the present thread, I’m posing it here.
The question is related to Clemons ‘sweet’ emotional rapprochement to the leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashal, in the face of the ‘bitter’ realities of the Middle East. Is the West including that outpost of Western civilization, Israel, and especially the U.S., currently engaged in a mortal fight with a hard core fanatical Islam which includes its terrorist satrapies Hamas and Hezbollah or not? If the answer to the question by the “hybrid” realist Clemons, to use his term, is in the affirmative, then the latter is the grand appeaser toward fanatical militant Islam. If he answers it in the negative, with all the expected equivocations that he is capable of, then he is afflicted by an incurable virus of political necrophilia.
But in my humble opinion, Clemons will go down in the chronicles of American history, if he ever makes its footnotes, as the mini American Chamberlain in contrast to Churchillian mettle and sagacity. Appease! Appease! Is the clamour of the prophet.
By Con George-Kotzabasis
I fail to see how my “syntax and phraseology” relates to your argument and your need to criticize it. But indeed I’m “touchy”, with your attempt to present yourself as a serious thinker on the complex issues of war and of history.
The incongruity of your argument to the quote from Thucydides is diaphanous, to use a Greek word, since you appear to be an aficionado of Greek words with your use of an AGONIST of the (mind?). At the end of your article you obviously compare the Athenian plague with the “general economic crisis” that has made America “a bankrupt nation” and then you ask President Obama how in such circumstances one can win the war in Afghanistan.
The Athenian plague occurred in the second year of the war yet the Athenians despite the dire consequences of the plague continued to fight the war for at least another fourteen years which by the 16th year they “had gained the upper hand”, and as you state, “they had a great golden opportunity to end the war there and then.” And then you correctly say that what brought ruin to Athens was their invasion of Sicily. Ergo, you admit yourself that it was a strategic error that brought Athens down and not because it continued to fight the Lacaedemonians during the plague (In the present case under a general economic crisis), which anyway it had brought Athens close to victory, according to your contention.
It’s all these contradictions of your argument to the quote from Thucydides that are bespattered at your agonist’s feet.
America can still win in Afghanistan once it corrects its errors, as it did in Iraq, and providing it does not lose its will and determination.