If I could sum up the Spartans and the Athenians during the Peloponnesian War...

     The Athenians were a commercial empire which demanded men or taxes from its allies, whom it would ruthlessly attack if they tried to secede.  The Spartans led a confederacy and demanded little from it, but instead from their countless slaves.  This reminds me of the U.S. Civil War.

     During this Greek civil war, which lasted decades, the Spartans took a large army and stood outside the walls of a city.  The leader of the Army, Brasidas, probably the General most respected by non-Spartans during the entire war, allegedly spoke these words:

Some of you may hang back because they have private enemies, and fear that I may put the city into the hands of a party: none need be more tranquil than they. I am not come here to help this party or that; and I do not consider that I should be bringing you freedom in any real sense, if I should disregard your constitution, and enslave the many to the few or the few to the many. This would be heavier than a foreign yoke; and we Lacedaemonians, instead of being thanked for our pains, should get neither honour nor glory, but, contrariwise, reproaches.

     This, perhaps, reminds you of Iraq.

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