Richard Fernandez, at the Belmont Club, writes of the Obama administration’s failed policy in Iran in terms of Shakespeare. He wonders which Shakespeare we will get when it becomes painfully obvious, even to the Obama administration, that the policy of appeasement and engagement has failed, and Iran is on the verge of becoming a nuclear power intent on destroying Israel and commanding obeisance from her neighbors. Will it be the Shakespeare of Julius Caesar?
There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, lead on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries;
On such a full sea are we now afloat
And we must take the current when it serves
Or lose our ventures.
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death
Which will it be? To stand firm in the face of Iranian aggression or meekly submit, telling ourselves it will all work out in the end? Caesar or MacBeth?
Out damn spot! he cried in rage
And kicked the dogcan down the road
He reckoned not the Stratford sage
Had long ago those words bestrode
How had he failed, this wondrous tongue?
Had he not the beaming smile?
Had he not the welkin rung
With words that sang to God the while
He humbly asked for guidance from
Assembled potentates from lands
That altogether made the sum
Of feudal tribes and wand’ring bands?
True I talk of idle dreams
Which are the children of an idle brain
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy
And yet I hear the muted screams
Of those who are beset by pain
Who look to me to bring some sanity
To this cruel world of sticks and stones
And hidden meanings in their eyes
It may be that no man atones
For pain with wringing hands and sighs
We shall not stay our hand or will
We shall prevail and save the world
From all who wish us well or ill
We’ll leave no oyster yet unpearled
Adrift my policy doth swell
That I could change it with a wand
They say I love myself too well
In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond