Monday, April 17, 2006

Iran and Syracuse

There's a meme forming about Syracuse/Athens and why it shows the need to invade Iran. Response is thus, originally posted on Crooked Timber:

... from “The 48 Laws of Power”, by Robert Greene, page 305:

“If choosing to ignore enhances your power, it follows that the opposite approach—commitment and engagement—often weakens you. By paying undue attention to a puny enemy, you look puny, and the longer it takes you to crush such an enemy, the larger the enemy seems. When Athens set out to conquer the island of Sicily, in 45 B.C., a giant power was attacking a tiny one. yet, by entangling Athens in a long drawn out conflict, Syracuse…was able to grow in stature and confidence. Finally defeating Athens, it made itself famous for centuries to come.”

Feel free to substitute any superpowers above with current ones, and also feel free to substitute any smaller countries led by demagogues-looking-for-a-fight-with-a-giant-to-enhance-their-own-stature with any modern-day equivalents.

By engaging Iran in the manner in which we have, we have lost the initiative and shored-up a regime once threatened by reformers. Iran’s leadership knew this would happen, and they played us, and if we invade, we bring their plans, not ours, to fruition.


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