Obama has placed the American forces in Afghanistan at great risk by putting them in a landlocked country with no way out. We will soon begin withdrawing our troops, at which point they will likely have to fight their way out. This will not be the first time. You will recall the great early Greek work Anabasis, by Xenophon, who led his ten thousand troops out of Persia, across deserts and through mountain passes, fighting all the way, at great length reaching the Black Sea, where they were finally safe. It is about to happen again. Late one evening, wandering the darkened White House hallways, sneering at the portraits of past presidents, Obama was startled to see a faint apparition standing in a doorway. When Obama asked who he was, the apparition replied his name was Xenophon, and he had come to give some advice to the president of the United States.


I too once marched in from the sea

The ghostly wraith began

Ten thousand men with arms alight

And how the Persians ran

Victorious we were but then

Good Cyrus fell in death

And then the ones we came to aid

Turned on us in a breath

Betrayed we were by one time friends

Clearchus cruelly slain

And so beset on every hand

We set out for the plain

That stretched to northward many leagues

Dry deserts, mountains passed

We fought our way out every step

Until we saw, at last

The sea, and “Thalatta!” we cried

And lay our weary bones

And prayed to god who answered all

Our laments and our moans

Take heed, my friend, of this our tale

Your army is in peril

Your friends will kill you like as not

And on your bones will hurl

The spit and venom that they feel

For all the likes of you

They smile but once you try to leave

The sky will not be blue

But black as storm tossed ocean with

But treachery in store

With ravens picking at your eyes

And death at every door

Oh yes, your men will reach the sea

“Thalatta!” they will cry

But many will lay in the dust

Yes many men will die

The lesson sir, is plain as day

Too late as you well know

Place not your men far from the sea

Surrounded by the foe


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