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.

American Uses Peloponnesian War to Prove Unwinnable War in Afghanistan

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.

A Reply to an American who Blames U.S. Policies for Irruption of Terror

By Con George-Kotzabasis

This is no time for populist politicians like Obama, nor, could I say, for “aureole” New York Times commentators like Paul Krugman, who are attempting to bait the electorate’s hate of the Republicans. But for politicians with mettle, sagacity, and visual clarity and imagination to deal with the stupendous issues that America faces in a very dangerous world that emanates from the great Islamist threat. It’s for this reason that John McCaine is Napoleon’s “voila une homme”.

It’s an easy intellectual escape, when one is devoid of arguments, or should I say when one is replete with hackneyed arguments, to dub one’s interlocutor’s points as being a “straw man”. You still see war and great dangers emanating solely from states, and you cannot see, due to lack of imagination and historical perspective, those “stateless” invisible enemies who operate both from within and from outside the countries they are attacking are even more dangerous, especially when, the rapid technological development accelerates and consummates their possibility of acquiring weapons of mass destruction, and indeed, nuclear ones, and which they will use with fanatic glee against the infidels of the West and the “Great Satan” America.

Further, your contention that Republican policies created terror is your own real straw man. It’s America’s unprecedented success in the history of mankind in the fields of the economy, science, technology, and cultural and political power and its status as the sole superpower that has created the envy and also the hate of many people of the world against it, especially of people with retarded cultures and chiliastic religious beliefs. Residing in countries of corrupt and authoritarian governments, and as a result of this they have been left behind in the race of economic development and tend to scapegoat America for all their ills.

Policies are objectively evaluated geopolitically and morally only within the context they are made. Hopping in bed with ugly and murderous regimes was an unenviable choise that the U.S. perforce had to make during its cofrontation with a powerful planetary enemy, such as the Soviet Union had been. Sure enough, some of these policies alienated many people, but the end result was to save the world from the most brutal of all regimes in the history of mankind, Communism.

There is no costless freedom. And often one has to pay a high price for its keep, politically and morally, not to say bloodily. Thucydides tour de force History of the Peloponnesian War, clearly depicts the intricacies of geopolitics and the unholy alliances nations have to make to prevent their downfall.

Your Opinion on this issue…