Ancient Democracy

Do you know the true beginning of Democracy? It began in a narrow pass on the northern shores of Greece and it began in death. I know there were a few earlier examples of democracy in India and Sumar, but it was in this narrow passage that it began in earnest. If you believe in democracy and its value and contribution to freedom, than you must give thanks to the military for without them, it would not be possible.

The year was 480 BC, yes a long time ago, and the place was Thermopylae. You may have heard of it, you may not if you live in a cave. It was here that democracy was born and never looked back. It was here that 300 soldiers fought and died. They fought thousands, a 100 thousand or more, some say more than 2 million. They knew they had no chance to win the fight, yet they fought to the last and they fought bravely. Whatever the number, it was more than 300 could ever stand against, yet stand they did.

The King was Leonidas and the soldiers were Spartans. Men born to fight and bred to fight. They stood as some of their own countrymen took the side of the enemy, as today, the cowards never learn. Today many take the side of our enemy either on the field of battle or in spirit just as over 300,000 Greeks took the side of the Persian Empire against their own.

Even than there were many that supported the troops, but were against the mission. You can not do this and support the troops, for the troops are the mission and they will die for you whether you ask or not.

There were others with the Spartans, Thespians some say 700, but it was the 300 we remember. 300 Spartans stood against the minions of Xerxes empire. For three days they fought before they finally fell to deceit and treachery. What could 300 hope to gain? Fame, immortality – no. Why would they do this? Duty, honor, orders – no.

They did it to purchase time. They did it to save the world. For in those days of their battle and death they gave time for the rest of their fledgling nation to assemble and assault and defeat the Persian empire on their own soil.

What if the 300 had fled? What if they had truly lost the battle. It is difficult to tell what ifs in history, but the Persian Empire surely would have taken Greece and pushed even further into Europe. An idea would have been smashed and perhaps never return. The idea was democracy. Today Persia is Iran, today Xerxes is islam, today Sparta is a city within Greece. Today the 300 are in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Do the 300 today fight for duty, for orders, for fame or for immortality – No. They fight for the same reason, an idea. Democracy. Should they not fight to give us time, this terror would be on your doorstep and democracy would die and so would all your rights to complain.

Think of the 300 next time you foolishly say you support the troops but not the war. Think of Thermopylae. Think of that narrow pass between Persia and us called Iraq.


Perhaps I need to be me

There are times I feel so high on life, those are the times she is there. Lately I have been feeling a bit neglected, no that's not right, purposely neglected for reasons unclear, nor do I purpuse them, it wouldn't be right. So until I learn perhaps I need to be me.