Did President Donald Trump go soft at the last minute and decide the 150 Iranian souls expected to die in an attack that was "10 minutes away" should live? We're told the planes were in the air when he had his magnanimous, humanitarian moment. It reminds me of the story told by Fyodor Dostoevsky about being in front of a firing squad as a young man, ready to die – when at the very last moment, a messenger arrives: "The Czar has commuted your sentence and given you life. All praise to the Czar! Say thank you and get on the cattle train for Siberia."
It may be an odd analogy, but what connects these two stories is the inner life of Donald Trump, a mind-space we're doomed to imagine, a space where the man is in a toga seated on a golden throne just loving his power to give a thumbs up or a thumbs down on the lives of others. Nero was also a celebrity emperor; his talent was poetry and playing the lyre, not strutting around for the cameras and acting mean, firing people.