Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Peloponnesian War

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The following is a reply of mine to a professor of Greek history from Brisbane University.

An excellent analysis of the Peloponnesian War and its effects on the future polities of the Greek Poleis. I would like, if you allow me, to associate the Peloponnesian War with our contemporary times by underlining the strategic relationship of the two Thallasian Empires, that of the Athenian and that of the United States, that each had with the other.

Thucydides, in his inimitable history of the Peloponnesian War, identified the cause of the war of Spartan fear of Athenian power. And he stated clearly that the Athenian war, under the statesmanship of Pericles, was a pre-emptive war against Sparta, without reproaching or condemning Pericles for such kind of war. Indeed, Thucydides praised it on the principle, to quote him, “it was praiseworthy to get one’s blow in first against someone who was going to do wrong.”  The USA, under the leadership, of George W. Bush, replicating the Athenian strategy, was also engaged in a pre-emptive war in Afghanistan against the fanatical hordes of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda for which some contemporary historians condemned Bush unremittingly.

I would like to ask you to comment, whom of the historians were right, Thucydides who praised pre-emptive war or those who condemned it.