“The triple pillar of the world transformed into a strumpet’s fool: come and see.”
Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, 1.1
Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra opens with a line from Philo who is lamenting the transformation of Rome’s greatest general, Marc Antony, into a fool because of the allure of Cleopatra and the opiate she had become to him.
Thus ended the constitutional Rome through failed leadership, conspiring generals, sex for power, and finally bloodshed before it arose again as an empire consolidated under the dictatorial Caesars.
But Cleopatra did not intoxicate Antony alone. Through intrigue and sexual beguilement of both Julius Caesar — recently assassinated by Brutus — and then Marcus Antony she did more damage to Rome than her Egyptian armies could ever have hoped to accomplish.
The wedge she created between Antony and Octavianus, Caesar’s nephew and adopted son, contributed to the bringing down of the triumviri; the three-man ruling body of Generals Antony, Ocatavianus and Marcus Lepidus, and Roman soldiers died.
When a woman used her cunning to ensnare Antony, the triumviri was up for grabs. In the end Cleopatra got all which was coming to her; loss of country, life and crown.
But she left the iron hand of the ruler Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus stronger, and the world and Rome would never be the same.
Such is the state of America today. One week ago an honorable and able leader, Mitt Romney, offered himself to sort out the chaos all reasonable thinkers know Obama’s “rule” has become.
Americans chose, by a slender margin, to accept a track record of empty promises, narcissism, and vacuousness in policy for another four years instead of proven talent and capacity.
Now — within two days of re-election, we learn that a distinguished former military general and head of the CIA resigns in ruins by admissions to infidelity in marriage and consequently to oath of his high office.
As America’s chief intelligence officer, former General David Petraeus was compromised by a scheming paramour, who in turn may have had access to classified details of secret operations.
How he conveniently kept such knowledge quiet before the election to President Obama’s benefit requires answering.
As a daily deluge of new information offering lies, sex, and betrayal — with links to the Benghazi tragedy — shows our enemies the raw weak-kneed leadership infecting Washington DC today, it begs the questions from the citizen’s representatives to ask what the President knew, and if a cover-up involving four dead Americans was in play for re-election posturing.
The Unraveling Leadership and National Security
Could an enemy attack have done more damage to the leadership structure of our top intelligence officer and to the credibility of White House itself?
The triumviri of the White House, national security, and military leadership has been permanently affected as the shadow of deceit and conspiracy is now cast over a suspect administration built upon shifting sands of inconvenient truths.
And… America must live with this for exactly 48 months while our enemies gloat at the weakening.
Cleopatra knew what she was doing. Did the scheming woman — now one of two involved in the Petraeus scandal — know what she was doing?
And which of the modern triumviri is most benefited by the ruin of General Petraeus and others? Perhaps none.
Certainly the White House is under pressure from the scandal, but the President has been, and will be, teflon protected by an adoring press who will resist real investigative journalism.
Just today Obama offered us a glimpse of his transparent administration by answering exactly nothing from the softball questions the White House Press pool asked at the first Presidential Press Conference held in eight months.
The words were many but the clarity was somewhat thicker than the perennial muddy water of the Mississippi River.
After all, an Executive Order writing President feels no need to answer to the press or Congress for that matter. Doing so only causes more questions to be asked and messes with his golf schedule.
Corruption, Decline and the Graveyard of Rome
How cruel is irony, and how maddening to those who seek to cover up ineptitude at the highest political levels. One year after Qaddafi’s death (October 2011) the ghost of the Libyan strongman comes back to haunt the US President with the curse from the graveyard of ancient Rome itself.
Libyan intrigue betrays a seeming complicit former general, David Petraeus, who will begin to testify under oath this week in Congressional hearings about what he knew, and what the President knew when our Ambassador and three other Americans were killed on 9/11/12.
Alas, information one week too late for American’s to use in helping them determine who the next Commander in Chief should be.
Et tu Brute
Cicero said something in a way only a diplomat could: “Politicians aren’t born, they are excreted.” But then Caesar soon had him killed.
So I apologize in advance to America’s leaders should this missive overly accuse of conspiracy to weaken our country by ineptitude or with actual malevolence.
After all, perhaps we are simply watching a soap opera or thriller novel in the making. As a thriller writer I certainly am benefited by the real life dramas in a way I never could have imagined.
I merely point out what fears the average thinking American possesses upon witnessing the circus that DC is becoming day by day.
Cicero’s warnings of intrigue in his day foreshadowed the fall of the constitutional Rome, and are hauntingly clear to us now:
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero
James Michael Pratt is a New York Times bestselling author editor and owner of Jerusalem Reports, and frequent contributor to Red State and other conservative sites. He is author of RIGHT and WRONG Not Left and Right – The Third Option, Book 1 for 2013 release. His personal website includes biographical and other information regarding his work. He can also be found on FACEBOOK and Twitter.