Mangala God of War & Empire



Mangala judged the war was well winding down and decided to leave for a time the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates. He launched himself up into the realm known only to gods and goddesses and flew to the west, to another capital city, much smaller and quieter than that of the land he had left.

Mangala aimed at a building designed in the shape of a mystic pentagram and entered a well-appointed office, where he found himself face to face with a gray-haired man declaiming into the phone in a voice wound so tight even the god of war and empire feared that it would snap.

"Friend Donald, friend Donald," Mangala said soothingly. "Calm yourself my friend! Hang up the phone and put your cares aside."

Mangala smiled as Donald Rumsfeld hung up the phone, gaped in disbelief, and exclaimed in a voice replete with disgust, "My goodness."

"Friend Donald, thee and thy troops have done well. Think of what thee and thine have accomplished! If I am the god of war and empire, as surely I am, then ye most certainly deserve to be known as the secretary of war and empire. A step up from defense, is it not?"

Rumsfeld continued to gape.

"I have come from the valleys of the Tigris and the Euphrates, my friend, where the people are going through an orgy of looting and reprisals. What thinkest though?"

Rumsfeld made a sound of disgust before the question had been fairly asked. "Well, I think the way to think about that is that if you go from a repressive regime that has -- it's a police state, where people are murdered and imprisoned by the tens of thousands -- and then you go to something other than that -- a liberated Iraq -- that you go through a transition period. And in every country, in my adult lifetime, that's had the wonderful opportunity to do that, to move from a repressed dictatorial regime to something that's freer, we've seen in that transition period there is untidiness, and there's no question but that that's not anyone's choice."

"But friend," Mangala countered."It seemeth thou wouldst defend the acts of criminals. No rule says a people must fall to looting if the police are removed. No law in thine world or mine demands revenge and reprisals for evil done by others. My colleagues and I tossed out an eye for an eye ages ago." Mangala paused. "And what is happening looks very, very bad, akin to anarchy and lawlessness."

Another snort of disgust from Rumsfeld. "I picked up a newspaper today and I couldn't believe it. I read eight headlines that talked about chaos, violence, unrest. And it just was Henny Penny -- The sky is falling. I've never seen anything like it! And here is a country that's being liberated, here are people who are going from being repressed and held under the thumb of a vicious dictator, and they're free. And all this newspaper could do, with eight or 10 headlines, they showed a man bleeding, a civilian, who they claimed we had shot -- one thing after another. It's just unbelievable how people can take that away from what is happening in that country!"

"A narrow view, Mr. Secretary, unworthy of one who would govern others," Mangala said sadly. "With power comes responsibility and the need for wisdom. This is the first law of empire."

Turning away sadly, Mangala left the office of the gray-haired man, who was snorting and gaping still.

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