September 18, 2007

The Iraq War in Context

Being a student of history definitely has its downside. The parallels I'm seeing are truly terrifying.
Here are three civilizations that met brutal ends. We've managed to follow all three of their tragic examples simultaneously.

Sparta built up a huge military presence. So long as it concentrated on sabre rattling it was perceived as unbeatable-- and it thrived. It was finally seduced into actually fighting a major war. It lost and Athens became the sole super-power in Attica.

Athens overreached in the Syracuse wars [unprovoked invasions designed to bring treasure home] and Rome filled the void it left behind.

Rome never met a war it didn't like, eventually over-taxing its citizens to pay for them and over-stretching its troops. The Vandals, the Gauls and, finally, the Franks took over.

Who will fill the void we leave in our wake?


Mary Ellen said...

History does repeat itself, I have no doubt. Like you said, those who really study history and pay attention to the signs, see the inevitable-as many others (28% of Bush voters) sit in their joyful bliss of ignorance. What scares me the most is the military leaders who want to ignore history and think that somehow, if they lead the country to war, this time it will be successful. There's no greater danger than having someone in charge who is ignorant and power hungry.

two crows said...

hey, M E--
even more terrifying is the fact that far more recent history was staring us in the face before the first soldier was deployed to Iraq.

before the debacle began, people were pointing at Vietnam and were being shouted down as alarmists, anti-patriotic, rooting for the terrorists, etc. etc.

being Cassandra is hard. and it's scant comfort being correct after the fact.

TomCat said...

That's a hard question: China or Japan.

two crows said...

agreed, TC--
one or both are poised to take over.

given our track record, even before all this began-- they're welcome to the top slot as far as I'm concerned. maybe then we'll abandon our hubristic position.

TomCat said...

As long as one single neocon or theocon in power, there will be someone telling lies that we are still number one.