3 thoughts on “Zooming in and out of the inauguration

  1. While on tour in Italy promoting his new film, Vin Diesel recently stated that Hannibal was the original Barack Obama. Does anyone agree with him and why?

    • I’d have to hear that in context, Ugo. But at first blush, it strikes me as nonsense:
      Usually, statements like that refer to Obama’s “post-racial” quality. Nothing about Hannibal was post-racial. He was pre-racial: ie, all the peoples around the Mediterranean–Romans, Greeks, Phoenicians-Carthaginians, Numidians, Libyans, etc–looked similar enough that they themselves saw no noteworthy differences in looks. Hannibal, as I said in a different post, was not “black”. The Carthaginians were Phoenicians–in effect, Lebanese.
      On the other hand, Hannibal was something of a “uniter”–as Obama wants to be. He led, for two decades, a multinational and multilingual army (Iberians, Gauls, Numidians, Libyans, etc).
      But he did so to wage war. Obama, so far, is not.
      After his defeat, Hannibal also tried to clean up the corruption in Carthage itself. Obama? More McCain, perhaps. But Hannibal ultimately failed in that attempt.
      In any event, the analogy is dangerous: After all, hannibal ended up committing suicide and his country was erased from history. Obama will want to avoid that fate.

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