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Liberal calls Obama to study Hadrian

This is downright creepy.  The Roman Emperor Hadrian (ruled c. 117-138 AD) was first thought to be an illegal alien before taking power, then dealt with (an inherited) war in Mesopotamia (Iraq) – from which he withdrew Roman forces – and later gained the favor of the world by building up nationalism in various provinces (i.e., globalism).  Hadrian was a suave politician, a humanist, a member of the “glitterati,” and an advocate of the arts.  He took care of massive debt and unemployment within the Empire through various public works programs, etc. 

Unfortunately, Emperor Hadrian was also a cruel anti-Semite, a hater of Jews, a megolomaniacal blasphemer, a defiler of the Jewish Temple, and was perhaps the singlemost person responsible for the Diaspora of the Jewish people from the Promised Land…. He has the blood of millions of souls on his hands.

From Wikipedia (on Hadrian):

In 130, Hadrian visited the ruins of Jerusalem, in Judaea, left after the First Roman-Jewish War of 66–73. He promised to rebuild the city, but in doing so renamed it Aelia Capitolina after both himself and Jupiter Capitolinus, the chief Roman deity. A new temple dedicated to the worship of Jupiter was also built on the ruins of the old Jewish Second Temple, which had been destroyed in 70. In addition, Hadrian abolished circumcision, which was considered by Romans and Greeks as a form of bodily mutilation and hence “barbaric”.

These anti-Jewish policies of Hadrian triggered in Judaea a massive Jewish uprising, led by Simon bar Kokhba and Akiba ben Joseph. Following the outbreak of the revolt, Hadrian called his general Sextus Julius Severus from Britain, and troops were brought from as far as the Danube. Roman losses were very heavy… however, Hadrian’s army eventually put down the rebellion in 135, after three years of fighting. According to Cassius Dio, during the war 580,000 Jews were killed, 50 fortified towns and 985 villages razed. According to the Babylonian Talmud, after the war Hadrian continued the persecution of Jews. He attempted to root out Judaism, which he saw as the cause of continuous rebellions, prohibited the Torah law, the Hebrew calendar and executed Judaic scholars. The sacred scroll was ceremonially burned on the Temple Mount. In an attempt to erase the memory of Judaea, he renamed the province Syria Palaestina (after the Philistines), and Jews were forbidden from entering its rededicated capital.

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What Hadrian can teach Obama

Senator, a trip to the British Museum’s exhibition will be of far more benefit than hanging out with gloomy Gordon Brown

by Martin Kettle, UK

As you know, senator, there are two main objects of your day in London. One is to gladhand some of those big campaign donors who are allowed to live in the UK tax-free and so still have serious money in the bank to offer you. The second, of course, is to be seen by Americans in a setting that tells them you are already a leader on the world stage.

Unfortunately, no one Stateside can recognise this new gloomy Gordon Brown guy or that preppy David Cameron fellow who is lining up to succeed him. That’s why we’ve fixed the session with Tony Blair, since most Americans think he’s still the man in charge there anyway. And it’s why we want you to do that press availability in front of the No 10 door as well. That should send all the right messages for the weekend talkshows.

However, senator, we also now advise a late change to your London schedule. The truth is that you have a lot more to offer the UK politicians than they have to offer you. So we propose cutting back your facetime with Brown and the rest in favour of something much more photogenic that we think would benefit you more. That something is a visit to the British Museum’s brand new exhibition about the Emperor Hadrian. This may seem a bit left-field but here’s the reason why it couldn’t be more relevant to you today.

You see, senator, Hadrian’s predecessor Trajan had staked everything on conquering Mesopotamia, which of course is the modern Iraq. At first Trajan successfully persuaded Romans that the war was going well, but in fact the mission was overstretched and gradually his campaign was undermined by a widespread local insurgency. So when Hadrian became emperor of Rome in 117 AD, just about the first thing he did after his inauguration was to withdraw the Roman legions from Mesopotamia, Assyria and Greater Armenia. All this came as a shock to the Roman psyche, which had been nurtured on endless tales of triumph, but in the end it made much better sense to bring the boys home. It meant Hadrian was able to consolidate Rome’s boundaries and concentrate on the military campaigns that truly threatened Rome’s security.

Senator, you should know that not everything about Hadrian was as inspired and successful as the withdrawal from Mesopotamia. There are some sections of the British Museum exhibition that you should definitely avoid visiting until after election day. In particular there is a searing section which describes how he was responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of Jews during a revolt against Roman rule starting in 132 AD. So be certain to say very publicly that Hadrian offers eternal lessons both for good and for evil. Apart from that, the Hadrian visit will be all gain. It will show you understand the world better than President Bush. And in the end, that’s what this campaign is all about anyway, senator.

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