June 25, 2010
Commodus Castigates a CenturionBy Jeannie DeAngelis
Emperor Lucius Aurelius Commodus, son of Marcus Aurelius, the last of the "five good emperors," ruled Rome from AD 177 to AD 192. History tells us that Commodus "proved to be a self-indulgent, disconnected leader." In fact, Commodus' "accession to power ended a spell of 80 years in Roman history which had brought men to the throne by merit rather than birth."
Supposedly, Imperator Caesar Lucius Aurelius Commodus Augustus was filled with "cruelty, vanity, power and fear," which "formed into a terrifyingly dangerous mix of bloodlust, suspicion and megalomania."
Thousands of years have passed, and presently, America is being ruled by Barack Obama. Obama also maneuvers his way through the political empire like a Roman emperor whose objective is retention of power by way of wile, stealth, and intimidation.
Defy or disparage Obama, and a suspicious president adopts dealing with the offender as his top priority and behaves like an obsessed Commodus, pursuing enemies who are armed only with blunted weapons. In fact, Obama's ancient predecessor Commodus "is said to have feigned a plot against his own life, in order that he might have an excuse for putting many to death."
Take for example Arizona daring to enact immigration law as a means of self-preservation. Obama views the state as under siege, defending itself from mutiny against the empire, and intends to drag the Grand Canyon state into the coliseum to spank the living daylights out of defiant politicians and policy.
Top commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal also did the inexcusable. In a Rolling Stone article entitled "The Runaway General," McChrystal candidly described an encounter with Commodus-in-Chief.
McChrystal thought Obama looked "uncomfortable and intimidated" by the roomful of military brass. Their first one-on-one meeting took place in the Oval Office four months later, after McChrystal got the Afghanistan job, and it didn't go much better. "It was a 10-minute photo op," says an adviser to McChrystal. "Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was. Here's the guy who's going to run his [expletive] war, but he didn't seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed."
A highly trained general at the pinnacle of his military career certainly has experience enough to recognize "unpreparedness" when he sees it. Yet the observant general found that one dare not defy Obama, because harsh recompense can befall the mighty at the hand of the weak. Remember, "Whosoever ridiculed [Commodus] he cast to the wild beasts."
The president, like a power-hungry Roman emperor, seems driven by insecurity and exhibits disdain for disagreement. McChrystal's comments were defined as flippant insubordination by the "furious" Obama. Thus, America's highest-ranking legate was summoned from the heat of battle for a face-to-face reproof in Washington, D.C.
If McChrystal thought fighting the Taliban was rough, the Afghan war is nothing compared to being dressed down by a Chicago community organizer whom McChrystal all but called a "wimp in the White House."
Although imprudent, General McChrystal and his aides spoke with unadulterated veracity about Obama's inexperience and ineptness. Obama chastising a "Spartan commander" of McChrystal's caliber can be likened to a Roman emperor throwing an unarmed centurion to the lions.
Though reported as a resignation, truth is President Barack Obama "ousted Gen. Stanley McChrystal" as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan for contemptuous remarks about administration officials, which Obama contends "undermined civilian control of the military and eroded trust on the president's war team."
Ironically, Obama's irresponsible international diplomacy and "poor judgment" have compromised the safety of our troops numerous times. For an amateur like Barack to intimate that McChrystal's personal statement compromises the safety of the military in Afghanistan encapsulates the paranoid character of a current-day Commodus.
The comparisons between Barack Obama and Commodus are unsettling. According to historical texts, Commodus was a weak, inexperienced leader who came to power with great pomp and ceremony and fancied himself the god Hercules. Yet Commodus' reign is credited with "ending years of Roman stability and prosperity."
Like Barack Obama, Commodus entered Rome "in a triumphal procession, receiving a hero's welcome." To the young, "Commodus [was] an icon of new, happier days to come; his arrival sparked the highest hopes in the Roman people."
In the name of peace, Commodus relinquished military advances the Roman Empire celebrated under Marcus Aurelius. Militarily, the Roman emperor "surrendered all his father had achieved" and retreated from "direly contested territories." Emperor Commodus' retreat was viewed as "an utter betrayal of everything the beloved Marcus Aurelius had stood for."
Similar retreats from hard-won military advances may be at the crux of General McChrystal's beef with Obama.
Like Obama, Commodus was "loved by the lower classes" because "generosity was indeed a part of his imperial program ... the emperor obtained some of this funding by taxing members of the senatorial class." The emperor "nearly bankrupted the imperial treasury with his expensive lifestyle" and then "replenished it by accusing senators of treason and having their property seized."
Can anybody say $13-trillion deficit, "BP shakedown," or tax the rich and "redistribute the wealth?"
Commodus identified with Roman gladiators who were drawn from the dregs of society. Commodus "played gladiator" while "the empire itself faced hard times." Two thousand years later, Obama plays golf while Americans experience hard times.
According to Roman historian Herodian (1.15-17), "In his gladiatorial combats, [Commodus] defeated his opponents with ease, and he did no more than wound them, since they all submitted to him only because they knew he was the emperor, not because he was truly a gladiator."
Even today, Emperor Obama nibbles clusters of grapes while terrorists sneak over the border, the economy falters, Ahmedinejad is in the process of starting a nuclear friction fire by rubbing a bomb between Iran's Israel-hating hands, and oil hemorrhages like a severed artery into the Gulf of Mexico, smothering the American coastline.
At a sensitive time in the Afghan conflict, retribution for impertinence toward the Imperious One takes precedence over both strategy and security. General Stanley McChrystal's resignation is merely additional collateral damage delivered by a disgraceful administration that makes sport of "degrad[ing] the most honorable either by insulting them directly or giving them offices far below their deserts."
"Commodus' reign was filled with bad decisions, causing the people of Rome to suffer." Truth be known, Obama is nothing more than a high-handed modern-day Commodus whose disproportionate focus is on dealing harshly with critics while Rome burns.
Author's content: www.jeannie-ology.com