Near the end of Shakespeare’s two-part play King Henry IV, the dying monarch offers some advice to his son Prince Harry, the future King Henry V: “Be it thy course to busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels, that action, hence borne out, may waste the memory of the former days.”
Prince Harry, an infamous party animal, had been dismissed by many as a bumbling light-weight. As King Henry lay dying he was tormented by the thought of what his undisciplined, wastrel son would do to his kingdom, once he “from curb’d license plucks the muzzle of restraint.”
“When that my care could not withhold thy riots what wilt thou do when riot is thy care?” asked the King of his heir. Henry IV found an elegant solution in a course of action favored by absolute rulers since time immemorial: Entangle the kingdom in a foreign war.
This is exactly the same advice given to President Obama by National Review commentator Daniel Pipes, an ophidian neo-conservative who — if the word retains any meaning — can accurately be described as a fascist.
By bombing Iran – that is, waging an aggressive war against a country that has neither harmed nor threatened us — Obama would “salvage his tottering administration” and “re-set his presidency,” in the same way that “9-11 caused voters to forget George W. Bush’s meandering early months,” Pipes writes in words that practically slither from the page. “Not only does a strong majority … already favor using force [against Iran], but after a strike Americans will presumably rally around the flag, sending that number much higher.”
Bear in mind that Pipes, by his own admission, is not a supporter of Obama, “whose election I opposed, whose goals I fear, and whose policies I work against.” But while he’s in the Oval Office, Pipes apparently concludes, Obama might as well use the dictatorial powers of the presidency to accomplish something “useful,” such as murdering Persians by the thousands.
The economic consequences of such an act would be catastrophic, of course, and that means any short-term political gain for Obama would quickly evaporate. But that probably suits Pipes just fine, since it would probably lead to Obama’s replacement by an elected dictator even more amenable to the War Party’s agenda (although it shouldn’t be thought that Obama has put up any noticeable resistance).
Oh, by the way: In a twist Shakespeare couldn’t have imagined but George Orwell would appreciate, Pipes was appointed by George W. Bush to the U.S. Institute of Peace.11:26 am on February 4, 2010 Email William Norman Grigg