Diary

Obama at Agincourt

WESTMORELAND.

O that we now had here

But one ten thousand of those men in England

That do no work to-day!

KING.

What’s he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin.
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To step up security at our airports, to re-examine the effectiveness of our intelligence networks, and to be resolute in identifying the perpetrators of these heinous acts and dismantling their organizations of destruction; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires;
But if it be a sin to covet an understanding of the sources of such madness,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more, methinks, would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim, Westmoreland, through my host,
“The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity or suffering of others. Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion or ethnicity. It may find expression in a particular brand of violence, it may be channeled by particular demagogues or fanatics. Most often, though, it grows out a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.”
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say, “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.”
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his Che tattoo,
And say, “We made sure, despite our rage, that any military action took into account the lives of innocent civilians, and we were unwavering in opposing bigotry or discrimination directed against neighbors and friends of French descent.”
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words,
Barry the King, Sheehan, and Moulitsas,
Ayers and Rezko, and Jeremiah Wright,
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered,
We few, we happy few, we band of bolshies.
For he to-day that hems and haws with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That devoted with us far more attention to the monumental task of raising the hopes and prospects of embittered children across the globe—children not just in France, but also in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and within our own shores—
Upon Saint Crispin’s day.