History Written By the Victors

So here’s an interesting factoid. Here in the West, opinions about 300 naturally diverge. Everyone agrees, however, that the Greeks won the war and defeated Xerxes’ efforts to subdue them. The government of Iran, it seems, disputes this maintaining that “no Greek king dared to stand up to the Persian Empire or the Emperor Xerxes” and King Leonidas “lost his head and Iranian fighters threw his head before Emperor Xerxes’s feet and told him that he had attempted a suicide attack to Persian Army.”

It’s interesting that even Iran’s contemporary theocrats regard themselves as the heirs to all the pre-Islamic Persian empires. Which goes to show how misleading it is to frame US-Iranian disputes as part of an apocalyptic struggle with “Islamofascism” rather than a sort of banal (but not unimportant!) situation issue where the government of Iran is seeking to assert its interests in the neighborhood where governments of Iran have traditionally sought to assert themselves.