FRIDAY GREEK QUOTING… In his latest Salon piece on how the Bush administration is silently signaling defeat by dropping the slogan “global war on terrorism” in favor of “global struggle against violent extremism,” the eminent Hellenist Sid Blumenthal reminds me of this passage from Thucydides’ “History of the Peloponnesian War”:

The meaning of words had no longer the same relation to things, but was changed by them as they thought proper. Reckless daring was held to be loyal courage; prudent delay was the excuse of a coward; moderation was the disguise of unmanly weakness; to know everything was to do nothing. Frantic energy was the true quality of a man.

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Paul Glastris is the editor in chief of the Washington Monthly. A former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, he is writing a book on America’s involvement in the Greek War of Independence.