Thursday, September 4, 2014

President Obama in Wales!

Just as Jonah of old . . . No! Not whales. There is a real country called Wales in English and Cymru to the Welsh or Cymry. Wales is not England but like England is one of the four countries in the United Kingdom consisting of Wales, England, Scotland (at least 'til next week), and Northern Ireland. This should be known to most people in world, but you'd be surprised.

Anyway, I found this picture of the President with some Saxon lady.

President Barack Obama talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the NATO Summit at the
Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales, Sept. 4, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Interesting that the NATO Summit in Cardiff, Wales has its participants staying at a resort in Newport on the River Usk just below my ancestral lands.

And there was geopolitical news already in that the President and the rest of NATO seem united in standing up for its members, even those nervously next to Putin's Russia like Estonia. Ukraine is not in NATO but would like to be and Putin certainly doesn't want that. And there was cautious support for Ukraine with hope for a resolution of fighting in Eastern Ukraine with pro-Russian and probably actual Russian forces.

From a historical perspective, Russia does have reason to fear invasion from the West. Napoleon, nazis, even the Swedes at one point marched on the East. Napoleon even going as far as an abandoned Moscow before he was defeated by the land of Russia itself in its snow and ice of Slavic Winter. Russia, or Putin at least, still fails to understand voluntary international agreements for mutual protection as opposed to conquest for empire or forced alliances for control.

Newport is right next to Cardiff so the Summit may be close enough to the rift to recharge needed energy of time and space. Now that we're really rambling into TARDIS and Torchwood territory, we might as well bring in the Romans. They had enough respect for the Welsh to call them Cambrian rather than "foreign strangers" as the Saxons gave us the "welsh" word. And here's the big deal about Newport. It's where the Romans built Caerleon, a fortress city to house a Legion to keep down the Silurian Tribe. Those are my dark people from the Black Mountains.

And Caerleon serves in medieval Welsh tales as the location of Arthur's Camelot.
The Amphitheatre at Roman Caerleon, Newport, Wales.
Creative Commons License ((c) Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales) My non-commercial purpose is to promote Welsh tourism and culture.
I hope the obvious inspiration for the Round Table strikes you as well.

So there we have it. The Might-makes-Right of Imperial Rome failed. The noble idea that Right-makes-Might failed Arthur in fiction through his own tragic flaws. President Obama is smart enough to know it takes more than Pax Americana to "rule" the world. There is no special magic or will of higher powers to place US in charge of the earth. Collective security of Pax NATOna has a better chance, just as the birth of the United Nations out of the Allied Powers of WWII defeated the aggression of nazism and military imperialism.

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