Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Yes, yes, and yes. Nothing is a better metaphor than what we did in Iraq. we bombed looted and destroyed a civilization and its history, never to be recovered. When we grind civilizations and the educated under our boots of war we diminish ourselves and speak to the least common denominator. We have created at least two generations of hate.

James Pinette

Caribou, ME

Jul 31 2008 - 12:15pm

Web Letter

If this article is about the relationship between Athens and Sparta, maybe Thucydides and The Peloponnesian War provides a more cautionary historical perspective.

The far greater economic, cultural and naval-dominant power within Greece, imperial and democratic Athens was decisively defeated by the more purposeful, militarized Spartans which in part played on the resentment and fear of other Greek city states against the self-involved Athenians and the aggressive expansionism they took as their right and purpose.

It was Athens that found itself after thirty years or so of a series of wars, destroyed, its democracy gone and its influence over Greece forever gone.

Whether Thucydides or Herodotus, the moral of their histories, as customary for Greek, is about the delusions of great power, the reliance on wealth and might, brought down hard, whether Persia or Athens.

Maybe there is something here for the US and its attachment to its own exclusivity and the relevance of its leadership and power.

By the way, Corinth, which is mentioned in the article, was the ally of Sparta.

Charles Martinez-Pita

Albuquerque, NM

Jul 30 2008 - 5:51pm