Monday, January 08, 2007

Bush and the Kings of Persia

We were watching the episode of Engineering an Empire with Peter Weller on the History Channel that dealt with Xerxes I, and were floored by the similarities between the actions of Xerxes and our own Misleader. I was going to do a post on this (and technically I just did it), but Steve Horowitz did a much better job than I could. Here are some excerpts from his post, and links to the whole article on Smirking Chimp or LoveAmericaHateBush (they are the same article, the latter is Steve's blog):
The ancient failings of George W. Bush
by Steve Horowitz

It was early in the 5th Century B.C., and King Xerxes, leader of the most powerful nation in the world, held a grudge. Ten years earlier, the city-state of Athens had actively aided rebellions against Persian rule by communities on Aegean islands and the west coast of present-day Turkey. The rebels were thwarted by Darius, Xerxes' father, who then attacked Greece. But Dad hadn't quite finished the job. Now the time had come to settle scores. "You ought to march against Greece," one of Xerxes' advisers urged. "It will enhance your reputation, and also make people think twice in the future before attacking your territory."
King Xerxes, as it happens, feared he might not be the leader his father was. So proving himself the equal of Darius and previous Persian conquerers was always on his mind. "When I became the king of Persia," he told the men he'd gathered to announce his invasion plans, "I began to wonder how to avoid being left behind by those who preceded me in this position of honor."
The neocons in Xerxes' administration very much liked the idea of a Greek invasion. "Who is going to oppose you?" asked Mardonius, Xerxes' Rumsfeld. "When it comes to military matters there is no one in the world to match us."

Xerxes was warned by his uncle Artabanus not to be hasty, but he didn't listen, not wanting to "talk about bad things" and refused to fully evaluate the situation before acting. Steve also points out the irony of Dubya majoring in history.


BBC said...

We can always find something in the past that relates to today. And as always it's just a bunch of monkeys fucking around.

Keep looking forward.

Blueberry said...

Looking back can't hurt sometimes either. Thankfully there are term limits on the presidency.

MichaelBains said...

I don't doubt the Shrub's understanding of History. It's his hubris and misapprehensions about the present which cause him to make the wrong parallels between what was and what is.

Same goes for Newt. Smarter than Dub, to be sure. He's still delusional because he doesn't understand that, in the fading shadow of the Cold War, America needs to return to partner status with the powers of the Globe. They're both too arrogant and pompous to let go of a once deathly important need to politically dominate the conversations on our species' future.

I'm really hoping (and yeah, bloggin') that they don't get us all killed in the process of learning just how Historically inaccurate their "visions" shall be proven.