Seeing that Trump fired New York Southern District¹ prosecutor Bharara today, it reminded me of the campaigns of Xenophon and one incident in particular.
Round about the year five double ought B.C., a Greek general named Xenophon was engaged in a mercenary campaign in the service of Cyrus the Great against neerdowells of both Persia and Greece. Xen had occasion to march by a farmhouse where a strapping young lad was working in the field. He stopped, got off his horse, and called the owner.
That man. I want him for my army. The farmer looked at his son and demurred.
General that is my only son. I am afraid that if you take him to war he may be killed in battle, and then I would have no one to tend my fields.
I understand. Bring him to me. The farmer brought his son to Xenophon who promptly produced a broadsword and cleaved the young man in two. There. Now you don't have to worry about him dying in battle. Xenophon resat his mount and his army marched on.
Is there a moral to this tale? I suppose there is. When a leader is trying to achieve a specific goal those whose objectives stand in the way of that goal are a nuisance. When you are trying to lead a great state you can't have that.
1. I confess to having a special fondness for the Southern District Prosecutor's Office. It's where Giuliani came from. These guys are like pit bulls. Once they sink their teeth into a case, they don't turn loose until they get a conviction. Must be something in the water.