Our Little Nero
by Karen Kwiatkowski
Young George has been bravely flaunting his incompetence and native ability to be confused in a series of unscripted press conferences. It's been mostly friendly audiences, but even friends ask hard questions.
Like "Why exactly did you launch the invasion of Iraq three years ago?" and, "Why are we still there?" and "Do you like living in the White House?"
Many of his critics believe young George can't answer a single question directly. But that's not true. When asked if he liked living in the White House, he said the food was good and "I've enjoyed every second of the presidency."
Like Nero fiddling while Rome burned in the summer of 64, the Bush story is often exaggerated. Nero wasn't fiddling; they didn't have fiddles. Nero was watching the fiery show from a rooftop, singing a war song.
That's our Nero, er, George, in a nutshell. Our great leader is indeed capable of giving a straight answer to a straight question, when he wants to. He is not fiddling while our country slogs and smolders through the "long war" on the shoulders of Japanese, Korean and Chinese savers. Instead, he is singing.
He is singing a song of endless, glorious war, because war is the health of the state George loves. And for him, his wife and daughters, and his nieces and nephews, the wars are safe, affordable and comfortable. Kind of like wars have always been for Bush and Cheney. Just like they are ‘spozed to be, I'm sure.
George W. Bush understands that a successful presidency means being seen as a great leader, and that naturally requires a crisis or two, and a good war or two, or three…
Our little Nero. God knows his mother Barbara loved her mischievous little son, and would defend him even if it killed her. Nero, in the end, did just that. Nero thought big, too, just like George Jr.
When George W. Bush is finally unseated, through an electoral process, or a revolution, or a coup, or perhaps impeachment or national economic collapse that drives him panicked back to wherever he came from, he will insist to his drinking buddies that he could have been somebody. A real hero. A real leader. A real commander-in-chief in a real war. Like Nero in his final suicidal moment, young George will say, "What an artist the world loses in me."
It will be a tragic moment, no doubt. His Jacobin painters, busy spilling blood upon a canvas wiped clean of what they see as useless and unworthy historical, cultural, religious and human influences in the Middle East and back here in America, will have lost their artistic muse, and their sugar daddy.
Ah, poor Nero. He believed he would build the greatest empire, the most beautiful Rome, and be lauded by all who followed. Instead, Roman leaders destroyed his man-made lake and filled in his palaces with dirt and rock. We remember Nero as a crazed megalomaniac, an evil and incompetent emperor who fiddled as Rome burned and committed murder, matricide and finally, suicide.
Our little Nero will suffer the same fate. The paranoia of George W. Bush may grow such that, like Nero, he will eventually destroy those closest to him, and those who gave him succor. May the neoconservatives who demanded U.S. funding and fighting of wars of empire and obliteration — in the name of oil field management and the political and business interests of a small group of Israeli hawks — precede him in his inevitable fall.
Of course, I may be wrong. George W. Bush, like the wily Nero, did not celebrate the fiery destruction of the greatest city in the world because he didn't understand what was happening.
He celebrated it because he understood exactly what was happening, and he had big plans for the vacant smoking ashheap. For Nero, the destruction was a handy precursor to the construction of the grandest palace ever built. Do we have any idea what our current President wants to build, as he sings while watching the destruction of American rule of law, tramples the constitution, prints fiat money with abandon and makes global war?
After George W. Bush signed the constitution-killing Patriot Act and praised it publicly, he privately issued a "signing statement," saying, "…he did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite the law's requirements, he could withhold the information" as he wishes.
Like Nero in Rome, our little Nero in Washington is not bound by tradition, law, the Constitution, or anything else. His powers are as limitless as his insane imagination, and he really likes living in the White House. Can anyone imagine little Nero as an ex-POTUS? Does anyone see him as a valued future advisor, or a statesmen, or a humanitarian, or even a golfer who happily rounds out the team, like Gerry Ford?
Now, dear readers, don't be dismayed. Our little Nero is at least giving press conferences, and trying to reach out to the masses. His second in command, neoconservative destroyer of anything that was ever good in the Republican Party, hater of constitutional republics, and the most powerful vice-president in our nation's history, not only can't shoot straight but is apparently afraid of the dark. Thanks to Huffpo blogger RJ Eskow for pointing this out.
The answer? Our little Nero isn't listening, and the little Nero chorus over at FoxNews and talk radio is becoming shrill and boring and silly.
Such is the way of the asylum. The rest of us — the self-admitted — should proceed quietly to the front desk and check ourselves out. Our little Nero imagines he is the state, that he speaks for America, and that he defends our freedoms. Frankly, it's become tiresome and ludicrous.
We, the people, know better. It is time to walk out, and turn our backs on this administration in the myriad of individual ways that we can turn our backs. The punishment of shunning is just what the doctor ordered. Where we go, Congress will follow. It's our country, our Republic. It's not too late to try and keep it.
March 25, 2006
Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. [send her mail], a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, has written on defense issues with a libertarian perspective for militaryweek.com, hosts the call-in radio show American Forum on Saturday nights, and blogs occasionally for Huffingtonpost.com. To receive automatic announcements of new articles and upcoming guests on her American Forum radio program, click here.
Copyright © 2006 LewRockwell.com