By Con George-Kotzabasis
The following is a comment of mine in a Seminar held at the Greek Community Centre in Melbourne, on the 16 of March, 2017, whose theme was, “Thucydides as Philosopher-Historian.”
The teachings of the philosopher-historian Thucydides are taught assiduously and meticulously in the military academies of the Western world, especially in the United States and Russia.
Thus, these academies are churning out—like Plato’s academy generating philosopher-kings—philosopher-warriors. One such military savant is general Petraeus, the vanquisher of al-Qaeda in Iraq; another two, are generals McMaster and Mattis, the present occupiers respectively of the posts of National Security Adviser and of Defence, in the Trump administration. And it is not an aleatory action or chance event but a deliberate choice, on the part of Trump, that he has appointed high military personnel in key positions of his administration: In anticipatory awareness that America could be attacked with bio-chemical, and, indeed, with nuclear weapons, once the terrorists of Islam acquire them. Such an attack would overturn the USA in an instance from democracy into a military dictatorship, as only the latter could protect America and the rest of the West from this sinister existential threat that is posed by these fanatics.
Two Thucydidean fundamental principles in warfare were, “Know thy Enemy” and “Pre-emptive Attack.” Thus Thucydides in the twentieth-first century, will be the saviour of Western civilization.