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.

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Recruiting Muslims to Team Australia Harder than Recruiting them to Terrorism

By Con George-Kotzabasis August 10, 2014

Reply to ‘Recruiting Muslims to Team Australia’ by Waleed Aly

The Age, August 8, 2014

 

Waleed Aly, since his acquisition of celebrity status by his prominence, but not cerebral preeminence, on the screens of the ABC and the pages of The Age, has prudently hidden his past implicit, if not explicit, support and justification of Muslim terrorism, although in his above piece on the Fairfax press could not as prudently conceal his crypto justification of the holy warriors of Jihad. In his attempt to turn the “short bow” of the government’s new counter-terror laws into a ‘long bow’ of the connection between section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act and counter-terrorism—despite the fact that the government ultimately dropped its amendments, unwisely in my opinion, to section 18C on the false assumption that they would be communally and nationally divisive—he exposed himself, not only to a fallacious argument by not taking in consideration that in the long fight against terror one also has to be able freely to criticize the religion, as interpreted by its radical imams, from which the ideology of jihadism emanates, but also revealed himself as an insidious furtive espouser of Jihad by trying to conceal the connection of 18C and counter-terrorism.

The defeat of terrorism is ineluctably twofold, since it is an engagement both in the field of battle and in the realm of ideas, of criticism and counter-criticism. Hence, free expression is an indispensable and necessary ‘weapon” against the devotees of terror. The dumping, therefore, by the Abbot government, of the amendments to section 18C of the Act in the name of the interests of ‘national unity’, is an action of shallow thinking whose unwitting egregious constrain of free expression is a serious error that will gravely weaken the government’s fight against terrorism.

Waleed Aly with his tinsel pop idol status is not squeamish and has no reservations in entering and delving in the abstruse rarefied affairs of philosophy. He insists, that ‘to draw a…connection between 18C and counter-terrorism requires a long bow. But the…attempt to do so (by the government) has intriguing philosophical consequences’ (M.E.). He claims that by this connection, ‘the government is implicitly accepting the social dimensions of terrorism.’ The latter, ‘gathers around feelings of alienation and social exclusion; that intelligence flows best from communities that feel valued and included rather than surveilled and interrogated. This…accords with the best research we have on the psychology of radicalisation and effective counter-terrorism policing.’ But what are these real ‘social dimensions,’ and not the fabricated ones, of Waleed Aly, that are endeavouring to put the blame for terrorism on Western societies whose discriminatory conduct toward Muslims is the cause of their alienation and exclusion, according to Aly? Why this same “discriminatory conduct” to other migrants, such as Chinese, Hindus, and southern Europeans, has not alienated them to the same degree and induced them to become terrorists? Aly in his studious endeavour to shift the blame oddly disregards, or rather hides, the fact, that this ‘alienation’ and ‘social exclusion’ on the part of most Muslims is voluntary and is an outcome of their culture and religion, which according to them is by far superior to Western culture and Christianity, and therefore makes them repugnant to adopt the principles of Western culture or integrate into it; as such assimilation would entail for them the replacement of their superior culture with an inferior one. He also ignores and overlooks the fact that a great number of the perpetrators of terror come from well-to-do families and are mostly well educated. The leader of the suicidal squad of 9/11 was the son of an Egyptian teacher and was educated in a Western university, and the terrorist, who had failed to blow-up Heathrow airport in London, was a medical doctor, who, when he was arrested called Allahu Akbar, God is Great, not to mention others. These people were hardly alienated and excluded by Western societies as all of them received their degrees from western universities. What recruited them to terrorism was their deep hate of Western societies and its Great Devil, America, a hate that was incubated in Mosques and Muslim schools by fanatical imams and teachers, respectively. These are the roots of terrorism, and not the specious psychology of Waleed Aly that connects the “radicalisation’ of Muslims to discriminatory exclusion and alienation by Western societies, as a result of his poverty of thought or his sinister and clandestine espousing of terrorism.

It is also erroneous on his part to believe ‘that intelligence flows best from communities that feel valued and included rather than surveilled, suspected and interrogated.’ The truth is that in free societies all communities are ‘valued and included,’ and Muslims are no exception to this principle and there is hardly any evidence of discrimination against them. The surveillance and interrogation is an outcome of past and imminent terrorist actions as broadcasted by terrorists themselves. It would be gigantically foolish to take these ominous threats not seriously. The government has a huge responsibility to protect its citizens from the fanatical death squads of Islamist terror. It must take relentless and most severe measures to protect Australians from future actions of terror that could kill thousands of them in shopping malls and football grounds. The threat of Muslim fanatics to kill in the future thousands of Australians is an act of war. It is therefore incumbent on the government to enact emergency legislation, as in war, to deprive the right of all Australian jihadists, who had fought in Syria and Northern Iraq to establish a caliphate, to return back to Australia by annulling their passports. As a return of these fanatics back to Australia will incalculably pose a menacing threat to the country and to the lives of its citizens. It would be fanciful and inane to think that once these fanatics return to Australia they will be remorseful and repent about the atrocities they committed on their adversaries in Syria and Iraq and declare their mea culpas for the beheadings on which their rudimentary Caliphate was established.

The Abbot government is beholden therefore to reconsider its withdrawal of the amendments to section 18C if it is prepared to seriously confront the future threats of terror on its soil, because, as I have argued above, free expression is a decisive weapon in the government’s arsenal against terror. This it must do even if the chances of these amendments to pass the Senate are slight. And if the Greens and the Labour Opposition chose to oppose these amendments they will reveal themselves as being derelicts of their duty to protect Australia and playing havoc with the security of the country and the lives of its citizens. The palmy days of Team Australia and its complacency are rapidly ending, as Islamist fanatics are recruiting to terrorism.

I rest on my oars: Your turn now.

 

 

Reply to American who Blames US Policies for Irruption of Terror

I’m republishing this article that was written on March 2008 for the readers of this blog hoping to find it of some interest.
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…geopolitics

Australian Leader in Favour of Preemptive Attack against Irreconcilable Enemies

The following article was written on September 2010. It is republished here for the readers of this blog hoping they will find to be of some interest.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The ‘unanimous rejection and repudiation of terrorism… and commitment to work within the laws of Australia’, by the Muslim leaders who attended the Meeting on 23 of August 2010 in Canberra, must now be used by the Howard government as a “jump-start”, to a “summit” of hard, but not foolhardy, action, that would effectively protect Australia from those fundamentalist Muslims and their followers in our midst, who pose an ominous and a grave threat to the security of our country.

Notwithstanding the support of the six principles, drafted at the Meeting, by the Muslim leaders, the government must not “manure” and water any illusions that these leaders will be able to do anything ‘effective’ against those fundamentalist imams and deflect them from continuing to push their radical-fanatic agenda among their followers, albeit this time, cautiously and stealthily, so they can avoid from being seized by the arm of the law. Fanaticism has the spots of the leopard on its back. And as one cannot change the spots of the latter, it would be the “summit” of folly to believe that the Muslim “summiteers”, by exercising reason and persuasion, could change the nature of fanaticism embodied in these imams. This much was conceded by the Prime Minister himself, who in his riposte to the journalists as to why he had not invited radical Muslims to the Meeting, said that it would be impossible to change the views of fanatics by persuasion. And the evidence is overwhelming that no amount of reasonable arguments can persuade these fanatics to change their views, as despite the flood of concrete evidence to the contrary, they still believe that Osama bin Laden was not behind the attack on 9/11. Even some moderate Muslims believe that bin Laden was not the culprit. And, like the fanatics, they believe in all kinds of Americano-Jewish “twin” conspiracies, such as for example, that the Jews had foreknowledge of the attack, and that was the reason why they had not turned up for work on the day of the attack on the twin towers.

It is on this principle alone, ‘once a fanatic always a fanatic’, that the government must now enact the no “legal niceties” foolproof no loopholes legislation that would prevent, effectively, fundamentalist imams and teachers in Islamic schools, from teaching their doctrine of hate against America and Western nations, and from propagating – by craftier and more devious means, instead of doing this openly and with tongue in cheek as they have done in the past – a holy war against those nations and their peoples, who are fighting global terror in Afghanistan and in Iraq. (And it is precisely for this reason-the fighting of global terror- that countries engaged in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan have become targets of terrorists. And not as second rate and rationally shallow commentators, a la Kerry O’Brien and Tony Jones of the ABC, to mention only the most prominent ones in this country, who assert that these countries, and Australia in our case, have become terrorist targets because of their alliance with the U.S. and because of being co-occupiers with the latter in Iraq. These countries and America would not have been in Iraq, if the latter had not been an integral part of global terror, and especially now, when it has become the front-line of global terror. It is the ultimate contradiction on the one hand to agree, as most of these pundits do, that the countries of the free world have no other alternative but to fight global terror, which is a war sans borders and unlocalised, and then to refuse to fight it in the crucible of terror that Iraq has now morphed into.)

The government must realize, that only by legislating a “Sword of Damocles” over the heads of these dangerous fanatics that would deport them to the countries of their origin –if not jail them in this country for treason, if they happen to be Australian citizens–even by stripping them of their Australian citizenship, in the case that they are officially Australians. This can be done by retrospective legislation, in order to carry out their deportation, if they blatantly violated or violate the pledge they have made to their Australian citizenship. Thus, will it be able to protect Australia, to the highest degree possible, from home-grown terrorism.

In the enactment of this legislation protecting Australia, the Howard government must be consistent with the logical position of its foreign policy, as expounded by the Prime Minister himself. He made it crystal-clear, that if a country’s terrorists in our region threatened the security of Australia by weapons of mass destruction, and the government of such a country was unwilling or impotent to prevent such an attack, then Australia would be forced to launch a pre-emptive raid to stop such an attack upon Australia. The Prime Minister cannot do less in regards to the internal enemy that also poses an imminent and lethal threat to the security of our country. The anti-terrorist legislation therefore, that the government is preparing to take, must also comprise the pre-emptive wherewithal, that would abort an attack on our country by home-grown terrorists. If the Prime Minister is willing and prepared to take the greater risk of invading and violating the borders of a sovereign nation to protect Australia, why then cannot he take the lesser risk, of uprooting and “destroying” the enemy within, which is the inalienable sovereign right of Australia, as it would be equally the right of any other nation in the same situation, to protect its people from an enemy attack?

Australia is at war! It has committed its brave soldiers, its sons and daughters, to fight a treacherous fanatical enemy in Afghanistan and in Iraq who is engaged in global terror, and whose goal is no less than the establishment of a block of Islamo-fascist states in the region, that would ultimately threaten the existence of Western civilization. It would be the acme of folly, of historic dimensions, that while Australia is engaged with its allies in such an existential war, that its government would allow a more than possibly operational fifth column of treacherous fanatics in the meantime, to stab Australia in the back. Such a folly, if it were to happen, would be registered in the annals of history as unforgivable and as inexcusable. It would irremediably demean all the sacrifices that our soldiers had made in fighting this war, and it would put an inerasable stain of moral feebleness and political incompetence, upon the up- to- now admirable leadership of the government on the war on global terror.

The Prime Minister, being fully aware of the real stakes of this war against global terror, who, with historical insight, moral fortitude, and political acumen, decided to commit Australian troops to fight it, must not now be squeamish about the necessary force of the legislative measures that must be commensurate to the great threat that is posed by home-grown terrorism. The political leadership of the free world is now at the crossroads of leading from the front or leading from behind. If, as some leaders of the West, such as Chirac, Schroeder, and Beazley – not to leave out our own crop – have decided to lead from behind, pushed by the stream of populism, these leaders will be everlastingly condemned by history, for their intellectual dishonesty, and political opportunism. Those leaders, such as Bush, Blair and Howard, who have decided to lead from the front, against the stream of populism, will be for ever and ever renowned by future ages for their indomitable spirit, that saved Western civilization from these terrorist barbarians.

ECRASEZ L’INFAME DE TERORRISME

Abandoning the Field of Battle for Diplomacy is to Admit Defeat

I’m republishing the following for the readers of  this blog.

The Smart Way Out of a Foolish War

By Zbigniew Brzezinski  Washington Post, March 30, 2008

A short reply by Con George-Kotzabasis

This is old fogy strategic thinking on the part of a former National Security advisor. For any nation that is already fighting its enemy by means of military operations to abandon the latter and open instead the door of negotiations and diplomacy, as Brzezinski proposes, is to admit defeat, as one would have to negotiate now with a more emboldened and confident enemy from a position of weakness. In such conditions of military “surrendering”, especially to a religiously inspired fanatic enemy, it would be utterly foolish to consider and believe that such a nation, in this case America, could achieve any of its initial goals through diplomacy, other than its conditions of “surrender”, is to make a mockery of the art of Talleyrand

And to accuse McCaine that he proposes for Iraq 100 years of war “until victory”, is a blatant and shameful lie and stains indelibly the intellectual integrity of Brzezinski.

The Presidency of Cool Envoys in Hot Spots

I’m republishing this paper for the readers of this website.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana

“Within reality there is a senseless craving for unreality.” Robert Musil

In the dangerous times Western civilization and its people face by the present and looming attacks of the irreconcilable implacable holy warriors of Islam, President Obama true to his campaign promise is, at least initially, replacing the hard power of the previous administration that kept the terrorists at bay from attacking America again with the soft power of diplomacy. The president has decided in his wisdom to sheath the sword of former President Bush, which he considers to be a blunt instrument of foreign policy, and unsheathe the paper knife of diplomacy to deal with the prolonged Israeli Palestinian conflict and the new drawn-out conflict of the U.S. and its allies with the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan which is spilling over the borders of Pakistan. His appointment of two high-powered envoys—and more to come in other regions of raging or impending conflict—for the Middle East and Pakistan-Afghanistan, former senator George Mitchell and Richard Holbrooke respectively, puts flesh on this ‘skeleton’ of diplomacy which the new president hopes will resolve these up till now intractable issues in the above regions. And simultaneously restore the love and respect of the world for the United States that were lost during the Bush administration with its horrendous, immoral, and unilateral undiplomatic actions in its foreign policy, embodied  in the illegal and foolish war in Iraq, that tarnished the reputation of the U.S. so badly as a prudent temperate peace loving nation.  

President Obama strongly believes, as he made it clear during his campaign, that America by living on its principles and values and exemplifying these in its actions is the way to mollify a recalcitrant world that believes wrongly that the U.S. is a brutal power, as an outcome of the lawless and immoral misdeeds of the Bush administration. Hence Obama in his cum-sacerdotal role by cleansing America’s Soul from the wicked ‘footprints’ that the heavy boots and missteps of the Texan left in so many parts of the world will be reviving the moral and material strength of America at which the rest of the world will gape with awe at this miraculous transformation, with the corollary, that the latter once again will graciously accept American leadership. All of them, needless to say, laudable aims in the moral sphere of politics but the question remains to what extent, if any, these aims will impact and affect the sphere of realpolitik.

This expansion of diplomacy and its more direct engagement in the hot spots of the world by the new administration is widely acclaimed by the liberal ‘smart set’ in the U.S. and their no less smart cousins in Europe. To them Obama’s initiative brings the “right balance between diplomacy and war” and wisely distances himself from the brazen and grossly stupid policies of the Bush-Cheney administration. In their spiritual euphoria however they miss the cognitive fact that an abstraction such as “the right balance between diplomacy and war,” cannot impact upon the concreteness of a particular situation and on the kind of enemies one is dealing with. One cannot weigh geopolitical issues on a grocer’s scale by putting in one side of the scale diplomacy and in the other war. On such issues the scale is never at a balance and is ever in a state of continuous disequilibrium. It depends on the political principles the military strength and the character of one’s enemy whether one might use more effectively either diplomacy or war or a combination of both to achieve peace with one’s foe. Therefore the liberal nostrum of the “right balance…” is an abstract entity with no effectiveness in the realm of geopolitics.

Furthermore, it’s prerequisite in all conflict situations, especially prolonged ones, for a commander-in-chief to know thy enemy if one would have a chance to defeat him, as the famous Chinese military strategist Sun Zi stated. The deep knowing of one’s enemy is a ‘unilateral’ knowledge that regrettably does not spread in too many heads of States. Only on those leaders and their close advisors who are aware of the kind of enemy they are confronting falls the absolute responsibility and burden to deal expeditiously and decisively with such an enemy. This is why diplomacy in so many cases in the past has failed to pull together a set of allies to confront a common enemy. As most of these purported allies lack the insight to see the future dangers that will be surrounding their nations from this common irreconcilable foe. Hence, predictably, the responsibility of taking military action, when all diplomatic overtures have failed, against a dangerous opponent falls on the shoulders of those leaders who are endowed with political and strategic insight, and ironically these leaders with the knack of statesmanship in their swift decisions and unilateral and preemptive actions, who are the real defenders of their nations, are slanderously condemned as warmongers as a result of the lack of strategic depth of other leaders and the deeper lack of knowledge and understanding of the masses of the responsibilities of statecraft.

The principle of the force of knowledge and its irreplaceable value in politics can be illustrated by Newton’s law of gravity: The force of gravity is proportional to the mass of a planet and inversely proportional to the square of the distance from its centre, which is the Sun. Likewise, the force of knowledge is proportional to the mass of the intelligence of a political leadership and inversely proportional to the square of the distance from its centre, which is geopolitics. Therefore the closer a leadership is to the ‘Sun’ of geopolitics the greater its knowledge to identify correctly a menacing enemy and the kind of enemy one is fighting. And let us not be misunderstood! We are not talking about infallible absolute knowledge which is not within the grasp of human beings, but relative knowledge, which is applicable to a particular political and strategic situation, not however with absolute certainty.

A concrete demonstration of the above argument was the situation with Iraq prior, during, and after the war. The Bush administration used and exhausted all avenues of diplomacy in the UN with its European allies Russia and China to take hard effective diplomatic action against Saddam Hussein, since all of their intelligences unshakably believed that the latter was in possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and had the scientific infrastructure in place to develop nuclear ones, yet it was unable to persuade them in taking this action forcing thus the U.S. and its willing allies the UK,  Australia, and some smaller European nations in invading Iraq. And one must not be maliciously forgetful that when Bush started the war he had the support of more than 80 per cent of Americans behind him as he was able to persuade them in the aftermath of 9/11 that the invasion was interrelated to the war against global terror and the latter could not be defeated without either the diplomatic or military defeat of its state sponsors. As we well know this support was dissipated as a result of not finding WMD which the liberal media ignominiously presented that the war was a product of lies when it well knew that the misinformation on the weapons issued from faulty intelligence. And it would not be long before these ‘lies’ were connected to the hated Watergate lies of Nixon and soon embedded into the contemporaneous American psyche as Iraqgate. Moreover the grave error of the Bush administration of ‘shifting’ the ground of the war from its original position of being part and parcel of the war against global terror onto the ‘idealistic’ ground of bringing and building democracy in Iraq further eroded public support for the war. It was obvious that Americans were not prepared to support a war whose aims had changed from the security of their homeland from future deadly terrorist attacks to the idealistic goal of building democracy in Iraq, especially when the war took a bad turn with heavy American casualties with no victory sign at the end of the road—although this was to change with the new strategy of the Surge and its savvy implementation by General Petraeus—and a most expensive war to boot.

Saddam of course was not connected to the attack of 9/11. But he had a strategic interest, seeing the rise of al-Qaeda, to win over its adherents and use them as proxies, as Iran presently does with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine, for his political ambitions and in his irreversible confrontation with the United States. That is why his intelligence agents from early on during the domicile of al-Qaeda in Sudan had contact with its higher echelons and provided training to some of its foot-soldiers in Iraq itself. Al Zarqawi himself, the future leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, in the aftermath of the defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan was domiciled in Iraq before the ousting of Saddam and was hospitalized and treated for his injuries sustained in Afghanistan. On the issue of the WMD Saddam might have had them destroyed but it would be foolish to believe that he had not in place the scientific apparatus and the scientists to develop them rapidly once the sanctions of the UN were lifted. Saddam was too focused in his ambition to be the leader of the Arab world to have given up the acquisition of WMD and indeed nuclear ones that were a prerequisite to consummate his ambition. Moreover, knowing that his arch enemy and competitor in the region Shiite Iran was in the process of developing nuclear weapons, he himself would have given them up. To have believed in the latter would have been to believe that the brutal dictator by a miraculous saintly intervention was transformed into a disciple of the Dalai Lama.

 For all the above reasons the ousting of Saddam was fully justified despite all the mistakes of the Bush administration in the prosecution of the war during the insurgency which once they were promptly corrected by the new strategy of the Surge they reversed a coming defeat of the Americans into a surprising  impending victory. A victory that the liberal smart set still blindly denies. But more importantly, the defeat of al Qaeda and its sundry jihadists in Iraq could be the pronunciamento of the forthcoming defeat of global terror, providing the present administration of Obama does not step-down from the strong resolve and determination of the previous administration to prosecute the war against this deadly irreconcilable enemy until total victory.

 

Will Obama Deflate America’s Pragmatic Victory in Iraq by inflating The Moral Standing of his Administration?

After this rather long but necessary digression we must return back to President Obama, as his policies in the realm of foreign affairs will be critical and decisive in strengthening or weakening the United States as the sole superpower and its ability in dealing both with its deadly enemies and its full of reservations and often recalcitrant allies for the reasons we mentioned above. His first actions however of closing Guantanamo Bay and the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq in sixteen months are the first blurred signs that his presidency will be enfeebling America’s power in handling the great and inexorable dangers rising from the irreconcilable apocalyptic forces of Islam. The Commander-in-Chief who met his CENTCOM commander on the ground General David Petraeus supported by Defence Secretary Robert Gates at an Oval Office meeting on January 21 was not persuaded by the argument of Petraeus and Gates, to the chagrin of the latter, that Obama would have to back down from his campaign pledge to pull out all combat troops from Iraq within 18 months or risk “an eventual collapse in Iraq” with his withdrawal policy. Thus President Obama on the dogmatic moral precept about the wrongness of the war in Iraq is rejecting the advice of his general on the ground and is willing to squander and jeopardize the great pragmatic victory US forces achieved in Iraq over al-Qaeda and the al-Sadrist militias. And to his everlasting ignominy he will be known in history as the only commander-in-chief who withdrew his troops from a crucial battle against global terror when these same troops under their capable Generals Petraeus and Odierno were winning the war against it and solidifying their victory; a victory moreover that shows the way and heralds the defeat of all other jihadists in this borderless war on terror. That President Obama would be willing to sacrifice this great strategic victory of jihadists in Iraq on the altar of his morals is breathtaking.

If you have a president whose guiding principles about war and peace are emanating from moral precepts then such president does not deserve to be the leader of a great nation whose paramountcy of strategic military power is pivotal to the order of the world. In a Hobbesian world of bellum omniun contra omnes, unless President Obama has the wisdom and the strength of character to be at times like the “Feudal Knights” in full armour “who made literal mincemeat of their enemies, leaving the clergy to handle the morals,” to quote the great Austrian writer Robert Musil, he will weaken America’s will and power to confront and defeat its implacable enemies.

But his predilection to appoint envoys in the hot spots of the world, where in most cases the arbiter is military force, in the hope that diplomacy and the use of ‘soft power’ will reconcile irreconcilable foes, reveal that President Obama will be neither a wise nor strong leader but the embodiment of Jimmy Carter who will have just enough strength to break the peanuts that the latter was farming. And despite the fact that as president he will be orbiting close to the Sun of geopolitics he will be unable to “know thy enemy” and see his ferocious visage as an outcome of his lack of nerve and debilitating politically moral passions.

For the sake of America and Western civilization and its out posts, one can only hope that his top close advisors have greater insight more mettle and less moral fervour than President Obama and will imbue his administration with these qualities that are the sine qua non of statecraft. As the danger to civilized societies will not be eliminated until the ‘serpent’ of statesmanship has terror in its belly.

I rest on my oars:your turn now…    

 

 

 

Arianna Huffington’s Aristophanean Wit Against The War

I’m republishing the following piece for the browsers  of this new website.                  

 A retort: By Con George-Kotzabasis to

Bush and the Truthiness Taliban By Arianna Huffington 

 Huffington Post-February 27, 2006

Arianna, coming long ago from an ancient philosophical stock, always presents her arguments with cogency and “tinsel town” wit. But whilst her Aristophanean wit has the power to lift even a great philosopher, the basket – laid Socrates into the clouds, she is no Athena, and lacks wisdom to bring the great philosopher down to earth from her politically idealistic clouds. . She argues that the Bush administration “sold us the invasion of Iraq” with false claims and half-truths, which she satirizes as “truthiness”, and she jeeringly says that the  “’Saddam unleashed mushroom clouds’ could be the logo for the truthiness society”, i.e., the Bush administration. But after the lethal attacks on New York and Washington, the Bush administration, or any administration, would hardly need to sell the war to Americans by sleek and crafty Madison Avenue techniques, as a majority of Americans would have bought the war, and did, at any price.

The fact is, that Bush invaded Iraq not because Saddam had a link to the 9/11 attack but because of the high probability of his link with a future 9/11, that would have been more devastating than the first one. No responsible and insightful political leadership could disregard and discount this probability of a connection between terrorists and rogue states in the near future, and do nothing about it. The war in Iraq had as its primary aim the prevention of this ominous coupling of suicidal fanatic terrorists with rogue states, the latter being willing and able to furnish the former with the lethal weapons that would mortally endanger America and the rest of the West. Only someone who was living in a state of pathological complacency and moral and intellectual indifference, enjoying the stupefying and ephemeral glittering comforts of ones narrow and egotistical existence could have mocked and lampooned the above “truthick” threat as “truthiness”. In times of danger, it’s utter foolishness to indulge in the rambling diversions of witty political satire or in gloomy broodings instead of taking firm action. 

Moreover, to bring in Halliburton’s corporate shenanigans, which for many Americans is justifiably an emotional issue, is to bring into the debate of the war the American public “roaring like an oak on fire”, to quote Aristophanes, when more than ever, in face of some US strategic errors, cool deliberation is needed.  Especially when, the question as to whether the US should stay the course in Iraq or should cut and run, must be answered by the public and its leaders from the Congress and the House, soberly and wisely. Probing to the highest possible degree whether a premature withdrawal from Iraq would bring in its wake dire and catastrophic consequences for the people of Iraq and of the region in general, and whether it would also embolden the terrorists to perpetrate even more deadly attacks against the US and the West in general. With such high stakes in place, Arianna’s insinuation that corporate greed is a major cause of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq is ethically and intellectually irresponsible. It’s also, historically and economically benighted. In all economic systems of demand and supply economic units prosper. In war when the demand reaches astronomical heights only the biggest and the most possibly efficient corporations can supply these huge demands. And by the irreversible laws of economics they are the biggest beneficiaries. But does this economic reality in any way impugn a just war? If I’m allowed to remind Arianna, Themistocles (I’m using this historical event as an illustration not as a comparison in respect to the personal merits of Bush or Cheney to those of the great Athenian), the victor of Xerxes invasion of Greece that saved the latter from despotism and slavery, was subsequently accused of peculation and was banished from Athens. Did this accusation in any way diminish Themistocles’s illustrious standing as one of the greatest generals of his era of whom Thucydides so admirably had written about?  

It maybe, that all the above examples are for Arianna seeds sown in a barren intellectual soil and she will never reap their invaluable lessons. It seems she is more concerned in vying with comedian Stephen Colbert – whom she calls the “godfather of truthiness” – for the first prize of truthiness, and it’s more likely than not that she will win the Dionysian Oscar for truthiness in this contest of wits.                

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