While Rome Burned, Nero Played the Fiddle?

Technically this would have been impossible since Nero lived about 1,500 years prior to the “fiddle” being invented. He did consider himself a musician and played another type of string instrument which might have contributed to the saying. Rome did indeed burn while Nero was Emperor, but he wasn’t playing the fiddle. He might have been “fiddling” i.e. not paying attention to his city or the needs of his citizens. The rumor though persisted even when he tried to blame the fire on the Christians and persecuted them horribly.

President Obama meets with Benjamin Netanyahu in 2009. / Wikipedia

President Obama meets with Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu in 2009. / Wikipedia

I am wondering if something similar is happening today in the world with regards to the criticism of the U.S. President. He is being blamed for all sorts of things – even intentionally stopping flights to Israel for political reasons. As you know, if you’ve read some of my past posts, I have leveled a great deal of criticism on Obama for various and sundry foreign affairs policies – or lack thereof. Calling the FAA’s halt of American carriers to Israel a political move by the White House has taken partisan politics to a new high.

Let’s review the past month’s history regarding passenger flights:

We just lost 298 people from a plane flying over a war zone. That seems reason enough to cancel flights into a war zone. And a flight was just shot down over Mali – another war zone. Why would anyone think it unreasonable to be very leery of war zones even if Israel has an amazing defensive system?

Also, what would the political reason be? The accusation was that the White House wanted to hurt Israel financially by affecting its tourism. If the U.S. wanted to financially hurt Israel, just cut off the over $3 billion a year we give Israel in aid. That would be very effective.

Obama might have made some very grave mistakes, in my opinion, but this is one I find totally absurd. The flights have now resumed (even though more people were killed the day after the flights resumed than the day before they were prohibited) so the pressure against the FAA seemed to have worked. I hope no U.S. carrier gets hit either intentionally by Hamas missiles or mistakenly hit by an Israeli missile. I do know that I will make certain I don’t fly on carriers that fly over war zones just in case. And I certainly hope all of you do the same!

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