Mangala God of War & Empire



Although not omniscient, Mangala saw broadly. He had escaped the small mindedness that often afflicts both cable-news commentators and the pickier sort of god. ("Rules, rules, rules. Jehovah, enough with the rules!" Mangala would sometimes say to his colleague.)

Still standing with one toe in the Euphrates and another in the Tigris, Mangala surveyed the field of battle, a week into the war.

Mangala spoke:

You have accomplished much. The pattern of battle is thus:

The Americans have thrust strongly up the west bank of the Euphrates and crossed over, and have begun a second thrust up the east bank of the river. Having thrust, they pause to consolidate, as is the usual practice in battle when lines are extended and hostile positions passed by.

The British besiege Basra, but barely budge from their badly battle-battered bunkers.

(This, while not strictly true in a mortal, does make an immortally interesting sentence.)

More Americans have landed in the north, either to prepare for a thrust down toward Baghdad or to mimic the proxy war of Afghanistan.

The Iraqis so far forego mass engagements, instead harrassing through guerrilla attacks, a tactic practiced with great success when the British invaded Massachussetts a short time back.

The campaign has been costly in treasure but cheap in lives. When in history has an army moved so far, so fast, with so few casualties on either side?

This is war as it should be practiced, an exercise in logic rather than video-game reflex.

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