Saturday, August 28, 2004
Coalition of the Coerced
By: Eric S. Margolis on: 28.08.2004 [04:31 ] (143 reads)
America’s allies rethink their Iraq commitment.
The Persian king Xerxes summoned his vassals to war against Athens in 426 B.C. thus: “… we shall bring all mankind under our yoke, alike those who are guilty and those who are innocent of doing us wrong. If you wish to please me, do as follows: when I announce the time for the army to meet together, hasten to the muster with a good will, every one of you; and know that to the man who brings with him the most gallant array I will give great gifts …”
Xerxes did a splendid job of browbeating scores of satraps and vassal kingdoms into sending troops to join his expedition against Athens, which the Persian emperor warned was a dangerous, lawless, insolent state that threatened the civilized world. Unfortunately for Xerxes, his invasion of Greece proved a military disaster.
President George W. Bush’s crusade against Iraq was just the opposite: it managed to convoke only an embarrassingly skimpy assemblage of vassal states, but the invasion proved a smashing military success, if a subsequent disaster.
Now, over a year later, many of America’s 32 allies, tributaries, supplicants, and camp followers that sent a total of 22,000 troops to Iraq are wishing they had never become involved and are seeking escape or giving thanks they are well out of the growing carnage in Mesopotamia.
Full article here.