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.