Thucydides Engendering Philosopher-Warriors is Saviour of Western Civilization

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The following is a comment of mine in a Seminar held at the Greek Community Centre in Melbourne, on the 16 of March, 2017, whose theme was, “Thucydides as Philosopher-Historian.” 

The teachings of the philosopher-historian Thucydides are taught assiduously and meticulously in the military academies of the Western world, especially in the United States and Russia.

Thus, these academies are churning out—like Plato’s academy generating philosopher-kings—philosopher-warriors. One such military savant is general Petraeus, the vanquisher of al-Qaeda in Iraq; another two, are generals McMaster and Mattis, the present occupiers respectively of the posts of National Security Adviser and of Defence, in the Trump administration. And it is not an aleatory action or chance event but a deliberate choice, on the part of Trump, that he has appointed high military personnel in key positions of his administration: In anticipatory awareness that America could be attacked with bio-chemical, and, indeed, with nuclear weapons, once the terrorists of Islam acquire them. Such an attack would overturn the USA in an instance from democracy into a military dictatorship, as only the latter could protect America and the rest of the West from this sinister existential threat that is posed by these fanatics.

Two Thucydidean fundamental principles in warfare were, “Know thy Enemy” and “Pre-emptive Attack.” Thus Thucydides in the twentieth-first century, will be the saviour of Western civilization.

Left is Wrong: Deterrence Will Not Work

By Con George-Kotzabasis April 3, 2012

A reply to: Right is Wrong: Deterrence Will Work by Fareed Zakaria

The Australian March 20, 2012

The American political commentator, Fareed Zakaria argues in the above titled article in The Australian that even if sanctions against Iran fail to prevent the latter from acquiring a nuclear arsenal, it can be deterred from using it by the preponderance of the U.S.A. in the firepower of its own nuclear weapons. Therefore, such a policy, according to Zakaria is better and safer than a policy of preventative military action with all the imponderable dangers that would stem from it. And he ridicules and is scornful of the conservative right, such as The Heritage Foundation and The American Enterprise Institute, for arguing of the ineffectiveness and futility of deterrence against the regime of the Mullahs, and, therefore, proposes a major military strike to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. In support of his policy of deterrence he quotes the conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, from an article the latter wrote in The New Republic in the eighties—while making fun of him since Krauthammer now is in favour of a military strike–that “deterrence, like old age, is intolerable until one considers the alternative.” Topping up his argument or should I rather say bottoming it down, Zakaria alleges that a strike against Iran would only delay its nuclear programme by only “a few years while driving up domestic support for the government in Tehran.” And he sedately poses the question that “if deterrence does not work then why are we not preparing preventative war against Russia which still has a fearsome arsenal of nuclear weapons?”

Zakaria completely disregards the fact that Russia today is not a deadly enemy of the West as it was in the past, unlike the Theocracy of Iran which clearly is. Further, as a serious commentator surprisingly he does not make a distinction between attacking a country that is fully armed with nuclear weapons that would open the doors of the MAD house to both combatants as such attack would lead to their Mutual Assured Destruction, and a country that lacks a nuclear stockpile as Iran at this stage is. It was precisely this mutual annihilation hovering like a Damocles Sword over the heads of the two rational superpowers that prevented them from attacking each other during the cold war. And the Cuban crisis was a limpid illustration of how both superpowers withdrew from the brink of this mutual destruction. But in the case of a nuclear armed Iran, one would have to be highly optimistic against the grim fact that the animus of a religious fanatic leadership, whose aim is to set up the new Caliphate of the twelfth imam Mahdi, would be supplanted by the dictates of reason and would desist, either directly or through its terrorist proxies, to launch a nuclear attack.

Moreover, Zakaria is oblivious of two substantial factors that make incomparable the situation existing during the cold war and the present situation of the hot war of multi-franchised ‘anarchic’ terror, in regards to deterrence. One of them is technological and the other is the strategically unidentifiable non-recognizable enemy until the moment he acts. Advanced technological knowhow is being easily accessed through the internet by the masses giving any individual with rudimentary knowledge the ability to construct lethal weapons, and, indeed, nuclear ones once their components are provided by rogue states, and has at the same time opened variable avenues to their portability to the countries against which they can be used. The second factor is the ample supply of Islamist mujahedin martyrs, in their ardent chase of the seventy-two virgins, camouflaged in civilian clothes, has also opened innumerable strategically invisible conduits for the delivery of these lethal weapons that can be used by any Islamist regime against the ‘Great Satan’, America, and its offspring in the West. Iran therefore can use stealthily these terrorists as ‘rocket launchers’ laden with nuclear weapons against any Western country it wishes to attack without identifying itself as the culprit that would immediately trigger a counterattack by the West. In such a situation therefore deterrence is totally a futile and ineffective strategy, and most dangerous to boot, in preventing an Islamist regime to launch a nuclear attack on America or on any other Western country. How can anyone deter fanatics from becoming nuclear weapon carriers in their pursuit of God-given paradisiac boudoirs? How can anyone deter the Islamist theocracy of Iran, with its virile libido dominandi to be the dominant power in the region and the paramount leader of Islam, from recruiting terrorists, with the cult of death as their banner, and ‘donning’ them with a panoply of nuclear weapons to be used against the infidels of the West? Or use them directly against Israel and thus fulfil its Godly agenda in annihilating the Jews? Zakaria by not seeing, and even not contemplating, this changed war milieu that exists presently in comparison to the cold war, makes his strategy of deterrence against Iran a folly of unprecedented magnitude in the annals of strategic thinking.

As to his comment, that a strike against Iran would only delay its nuclear programme while lending support to the Mullahcratic regime, he is blind to the great potential that such a surgical strike, whose target will not only be its nuclear facilities but also will have in its scope to effectively destroy the hated leadership of Tehran and the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, the Quds Force, contrary to his dire prediction, could bring on its heel a regime change by ushering the Opposition in power that would be friendly and amicable to the West and would accept and conform to the requests of the latter to stop all Iran’s activities toward developing nuclear weapons in the future. Another great danger, of which Zakaria appears to be unconcerned, is that the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran would start a nuclear race by other nations in the region to acquire them too and hence would augment the probability of a nuclear war either by deliberation or by accident. No deterrence could nullify the calculus of probability based on increasing numbers. The acquisition of nuclear weapons by a greater number of nations would lead with mathematical precision to a first strike by a nuclear device. Zakaria’s proposal of deterrence as an effective strategic instrument against Iran is not worthy of consideration by serious policymakers.

I rest on my oars: your turn now…

 

Obama Plays the Rich Pay Tax Card amidst the Poorness of his Stewardship

By Con George-Kotzabasis—February 18, 2012 campaign, obama,

In his State of the Union address President Obama has abandoned the “hope and change” of his past presidential campaign and replaced it with “equality and fairness” for his future one. How is he going to accomplish the noble values of equality and fairness, by changing the tax code that would severely tax the incomes of the rich; by organizing watchdog agencies that would round-up Wall Street miscreants; by sending the seals to capture Chinese DVD pirates; and by compelling students to stay in high school until the age of 18? The former community organizer-enforcer that threatened bankers in his Chicago days with law suits if they were unwilling to provide loans to non-creditworthy borrowers, is now to enforce the rich to put their pound of flesh on the tax scale weighing at least 30% of their income, according to the “Warren Buffett Rule.” It is by such measures that the physically sprightly moving president will bring with Mercurial speed to the door of every ordinary American the goodies of “equality and fairness.”

Obama cannot run on his record—he barely mentioned in his Union address Obamacare and the stimulus, his major but questionable legislative achievements-but only on a re-run of new false promises. Equality and fairness cannot be achieved by minor legislative measures that he proposes but only by major ones, such as tax reform and entitlement reform, the core measures that would spawn the seeds for the growing of those noble values. The first generates social equity plus economic efficiency, and the second generates social justice plus debt reduction. It is by economic efficiency and debt reduction that the vital spirits of capitalist entrepreneurship will be incentivized and in turn set in motion the productive process that will increase the wealth of society and by spreading it to a greater number of people will reduce inequality and unfairness among Americans.

The taxing of the rich will bring negligible revenue for Obama to accomplish his grandiose scheme of equality and fairness. On the contrary it will sterilize the vital spirits of entrepreneurs and stifle capital investment, especially in conditions of recession, hence retarding economic growth, and indeed, deepening the slump, as Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels said in his rebuttal of Obama’s State of the Union address.  Therefore Obama’s proposal to tax the rich is another seductive but false promise, like his past promises, by which he is attempting once again to mislead and delude Americans that by taxing those who earn more than a million and by ‘barking’ against Wall Street greed he will create a socially fairer America.

Another central feature of his Union address was the praising of the armed forces for their solidarity and discipline, with which they achieve their great missions, and using them as a template to be adopted and imitated by all Americans, so they too can accomplish their aims in their pursuance of building a more prosperous and equal America. It is good to see the anti-war Obama extolling the virtues of the military and making them a model for the United States. But he overlooks the fact that the virtues of war are not applicable to, and are not, the virtues of civil peace. The qualities of solidarity and discipline are a prerequisite in war for defeating an enemy; but are an obstruction in search of knowledge that enhances techno-scientific economic development. Copernicus and Galileo had to break the disciplinarian regimen of the Catholic Church to make their breakthrough to their great scientific discovery. Great minds and their discoveries do not flourish in the restricted practices of solidarity and discipline but in the spiritual freedom that has no constraints.

One can hardly think that Obama is ignorant or unaware of this distinction. Therefore one must deduce that the admiration of Obama for the military virtues is only a post sop to the warriors of Iraq and Afghanistan, whom before he became president and in the initial stages of his presidency, consider them to be inept and useless in their fight against Islamic terror, and whom he would replace with his soft power policy and highfalutin diplomacy which completely failed to entice either al Qaeda or the Taliban, as well as the regime of terrorist sponsoring Iran, to come to the negotiating table. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The respect of President Obama for the military is shown in his latest proposal of cutting the army by 100,000; by the delayed production of helicopters and stealth jets; and by the elimination of one-tenth of the Air Force’s tactical fighter squadrons. And the savings of these cuts in a budget of over a trillion dollars will be for this year 4.5 billion dollars. It is by such tricks that Obama proposes to reduce the budget spending of the government while at the same time truly reducing the hard power of America that is the sine qua non  in its security and stability, and, indeed, of the rest of the world in our very dangerous times. As for being praised for killing bin Laden what else could he do, once he was informed by the CIA that a highly placed al Qaeda subject was living in the compound with the possibility that this subject might be bin Laden himself, other than sending the seals to kill him? The American electorate would have never forgiven him if, having this knowledge, he had done nothing.

Obama failed in his stewardship as president, due to his wont to imitate the social democratic policies of Europe—Obamacare was his top example—internally to improve the economy and reduce markedly unemployment, and externally in his foreign policy to effectively constrain the rogue states of N. Korea and Iran from continuing their belligerent threats toward the U.S. and the rest of the West, and in particular preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The latest proposal by Iran to participate in negotiations to discuss its nuclear programme is a ruse on its part with the purpose to check Israel from attacking its nuclear facilities and thus saving its nuclear bomb that is rocked in its cradle. And the Americans according to the statement of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have accepted with alacrity this Iranian proposal without any preconditions. Thus the Iranians have rolled out the Persian carpet of diplomatic deception and subterfuge for the Obama Administration to walk on.   Further, Obama in his attempt to “reset the button” with Russia has been effectively aborted, as exemplified by his inability to persuade the latter either in the case of Libya or Syria not to use its veto in the Security Council. It is for the purpose of covering all the above failures that Obama plays the rich pay tax card amidst the poorness of his stewardship, and in his goal to win a second term by cunningly deceiving Americans once again.

I rest on my oars: your turn now…

The Incurable Negativity of Liberals

By Con George-Kotzabasis

It’s mind “doodling” to see people with apparently political nous and historical knowledge to make Iraq into a negative in this argument. A lost cause prior to the Surge that was “miraculously” turned into victory, is considered to be a negative?

The strength of a nation, as of a person, lies not in being immune from making mistakes but in promptly correcting these mistakes and replacing them with correct policies. And this is exactly what the Bush administration did with the new strategy of the Surge in Iraq that won the war. What kind of alchemy, what intellectual legerdemain could turn this positive fact into a negative one?

Letter Sent to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

July 13 2004

Donald H. Rumsfeld
Secretary of Defence
1000 Defence Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000

Dear Mr Secretary,

The enclosed document has been sent by e-mail both to the President and vice-President, as well as to the American Embassy in Australia, in late August 2003. For obvious reasons, it has not been sent to any of the media outlets for publication. Now however, it will be publicised in a book of mine titled, ‘Unveiling The War Against Terror’ and its subtitle, ‘Fight Right War Or Lose The Right To Exist’ in the middle of next August in Melbourne.

As you can see, the axiom of my proposal is that the Iraqi people should be the major equity holders in the profits of oil. In my humble opinion, this will engender three strategic outcomes favourable to your position. A. It will confer unassailable legitimacy to the Interim Government in Iraq. B. It will lead to the total isolation of the terrorist insurgents, and hence facilitate their complete defeat, which will have devastating effects on the global terrorists. And C., it will provide a historical paradigm to all the countries, and their peoples, in the Middle East and Africa which are endowed with resources of oil, to imitate the Iraqi Government.

Furthermore, it will implant the democratic ethos among their peoples, as the latter will witness that it was a democratic government in Iraq which has made its people the major owners of its primary wealth.
Hence, with one strategic fell swoop you will augment your chances of achieving your strategic goals in the region, as well as expediting the defeat of global terror.

For sure, there are some risks involved in this paradigm, especially for Saudi Arabia, as it may lead to the destabilization of the current regime there due to the political turmoil it could generate, and the exploitation of the latter by Muslim fundamentalists. But the U.S. government could take the necessary and preventive measures for all kinds of inimical eventualities foreseeable that could emanate from the implementation of this democratic paradigm.

Yours respectfully,

Con George-Kotzabasis

Reply to American Diehard Pacifist who is against Intervention in Libya

I’m republishing this short piece that was written at the earliest stages of the “Intervention” by NATO and the U.S. in Libya, illustrating how wrong the Liberal-Pacifists were about the outcome of the intervention that led to the collapse of the Gaddafi dictatorship.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Distortion and lack of imagination are not a good way to make your case. On your first point, where in the world has there been even a blip of demonstrable opposition to the Coalition’s intervention in Libya? On your second point, only one bereft of a modicum of imagination cannot see that despite the fact that the “goal of the coalition” is not the “defeat of the dictator,” nonetheless the implementation of the no-fly zone by the Coalition nolens volens enervates the loyalist forces and invigorates the Opposition forces with the great potential to overthrow the dictator. On your third, isn’t a fact that Gaddafi and his military personnel fled the compound which was a command and military control centre just before it was hit by a tomahawk missile? And on your fourth and last point that Obama breached the constitution and should therefore be impeached, is a fiction and should be rejected as such. You deliberately and misleadingly leave out the sentence of the War Powers Act, 1973, which is relevant to the current military engagement of the U.S. in Libya. “The War Powers Resolution of 1973 requires the president to notify (M.E.) Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days…without an authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war.” Only at the passing of 60 days, and if he did not seek an authorized extension for the military deployment would Obama be in breach of the War Powers Act. It seems therefore to me that your ditty about Obama breaching the constitution and should be impeached, is out of tune with the reality of the situation.

You have said to me before that you are some sort of a musician playing the mandolin. It amuses me therefore to see why you switch your talent from ditties to war and strategy that are beyond the depth of a mandolin player.

Further, you will find out at your cost that the land of Australia is not only the land of the kangaroos but also the land of the boomerang that just struck you.

Remembrance of Things Past Thought Wrongly

I’m republishing the following riposte that shows how wrong Liberals have been in regard to the outcome of the war in Iraq.

By Con George-Kotzabasis—a retort to:

State of the Union Address

Arguing with Bush–By Professor Juan Cole

INFORMED COMMENT– January 1, 2006 http://www.juancole.com

Professor Cole’s piece is contaminated with incurable negativity. It shows him to be a sturdy contestant for the Bush hate trophy from which so many academics of the Left “rake” their inspiration to make their comments about the grave political issues au courant. He argues that for Bush to state, that the elections in Afghanistan and in Iraq are an achievement of self- government, “is the height of hubris” as such “self-government” is laughable and cannot be constructed under an American military occupation. However, only by distorting the context within which Bush made his statement, can he cogently vindicate his contention against the President. And this is exactly what he is doing. Both in Afghanistan and in Iraq the elections were a massive demonstration of their people of their unquenchable desire for “self-government”, within the context of recently toppled dictatorial regimes. And it’s precisely within such a context that one who is intellectually objective should interpret Bush’s statement.

He claims furthermore, that the invasion of these two countries, especially of Iraq, were not legal. But who defines the legality of the invasion? The UN, which for many years now had lost the plot and resolve to deal effectively with the crises of the world, e.g. Ruwanda, the Congo, and presently Darfur in Sudan, not to mention others, and which was steeped in the corruption that Saddam had set up with the food-for-oil scandal? Or would it be the French, the Russians, and the Germans, who were in cahoots with Saddam, whose ingrained envy as politically miniscule and morally petty rivals of the US hegemon induced them to obstruct all the reasonable defensive actions the latter was forced to take, in the aftermath of 9/11, against the two rogue states that sponsored global terror?

But this chapter of history is not yet closed, and the academics that cannot see anything positive emanating from this “illegal invasion” might eventually have a lot of egg on their face.