"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Friday, October 13, 2023

Fiddling While Israel Burns - A Clueless American President With Dreams Of Nero And Caligula

The Roman Emperor Nero killed his mother and two of his wives, cared only about his art, and had very little interest in ruling the empire.  Although he has been the subject of some historical revisionism and rehabilitation, he was never more than absorbed in his own venal and prurient interests and ruled with a callous indifference.  He has not surprisingly become the image of the derelict ruler - not a murderous tyrant or brutal dictator, but an arrogant, self-important heir to the throne but never worthy of it 

Joe Biden has none of Nero's perversity.  The President can only wish to have his charisma.  Who remembers the leaders of the world who lived and lost or were quickly forgotten and left on the curb of history?  No, people remember Caligula and Commodus, deviously corrupt, brutal emperors with appeal despite their misrule and bloody intentions.  No one remembers a good guy. 

The die has been cast, however, and Biden has long ago been consigned to the neuters of history, men who have done nothing, understood nothing, and for all their pretensions about doing good, have faded away as quickly as a morning fog. 

All well and good.  Not every leader can be a Caesar or Napoleon - nor a Richard III or Rasputin; and although Joe Biden tends to prefer these dark characters (conquering heroes are all battle scars and victories, a few statues and epic poems while the nasties are never forgotten), he could never be one. Nor a Casanova, remembered for his sexual conquests while the President frets over the status of women.  Oh, to be a serial lover, thought the President, or a tyrant rather than fettered by this embrace  of women and love of goodness.


Shakespeare understood the appeal of villains. We remember Goneril, Regan, Lady Macbeth, Edmund, Richard III, Iago and not poor Henry VI or Richard II - doubting, sensitive, ineffective characters of some poetry but no machismo.  

The Devil who appears to Ivan in The Brothers Karamazov says he is on earth to cause mischief.  How boring life would be if only the good existed; nothing like a big of evil to spice things up, stir the pot, spur one on to interesting things.  

All this, however, is irrelevant to the affairs of the current President a man out of his element, outclassed, intellectually outgunned, confused, lost, and puzzled; captive to the the shills and claques of his party who preach wholesomeness and purity while Israel goes up in flames.  'Stop the killing', they say.  Spare the poor, benighted, heroic Palestinians; while Israel, Nietzschean and Machiavellian to the core, intends to obliterate the Gaza Strip, annihilate the Jew-haters who shelter there, and let the world know that nothing which threatens the sovereignty of Israel will stand.  A fiery Armageddon if it comes to that. 

Meanwhile Joe Biden fiddles while Israel burns, floundering in pacifism, naive and believing in the essential goodness of all people - Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran in particular and in play during this latest Middle East episode of virulent anti-Semitic hatred.  

What was he thinking when he tried to re-set the clock with Iran, thank them for their nuclear restraint, and open the treasury for a gift of billions? 

Biden has unequivocally supported Israel in this, their latest fight against Islamic extremism; but only loudly and with the promise of financial and materiel support; but will American warplanes destroy Hezbollah? or join Israel in an eventual pre-emptive strike on Iran?  Doubtful in the extreme. Words, lighting up towers and bridges in blue and white, verbal militancy; and meanwhile Israel, as always, stands alone. 

Joe Biden never saw action in Vietnam; but always dreamed of being a fighter pilot, raining terror down on on Viet Cong villages, lighting up the jungle with waves of napalm, flying low over the treetops with guns blazing, terror from the skies, the Destroyer, the Avenger; but remained civilian; and so now the old dreams are being revived.  Joe the pilot of an Israeli fighter sending thunder and lightning down on Hamas, circling overhead then rising above the clouds in  funnel of smoke. 

Instead he sends his diplomatic envoy to test the waters.  Might there be a possibility of a peaceful settlement?  Shouldn't we give peace a chance? While the Israeli army amasses on the border ready to do justice, to incinerate the enemy once and for all.  Dithering, foundering in faux compassion, still buying the false fantasy of a reasonable Hamas. 

How has the American president not learned from history? How can he not have witnessed the endless, perennial violence or history? The Twentieth Century was among history's bloodiest, and the Twenty-First promises little better. Are not Ukraine and Israel reminders of Machiavelli and Nietzsche? Churchill, Shirer, and Tacitus?

His foreign and domestic policies are based on fantasy, idealism, and flawed assumptions of human nature.  In his foundering he has contributed more to world conflagration than to the peace he claims to value. 

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