The vi­sion­ary

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY COSTAS IORDANIDIS

ed by the site’s chief ar­chae­ol­o­gist, who walked by his side and pro­vided him with all the in­for­ma­tion he needed and an­swered all of his ques­tions. What the news direc­tors were try­ing to do was cap­ture a hidden mo­ment, be­cause while a cam­era crew would ob­vi­ously not have posed a threat to Obama’s safety, it would have broad­cast pic­ture post­card im­ages of the Amer­i­can pres­i­dent, as though he were just one among the mil­lions of tourists who visit this sym­bol of Western civ­i­liza­tion – some­thing his hosts ob­vi­ously didn’t want. The US pres­i­dent spoke at length about the Athe­nian democ­racy and made ref­er­ence to Leonidas of Rhodes, the leg­endary run­ner of the Olympic Games in the 2nd cen­tury BC. Hear­ing Obama talk about an­cient Athens, I was un­wit­tingly re­minded of Al­cib­i­ades, the gen­eral who de­fected to the Spar­tans when his fel­low Athe­ni­ans charged him with trea­son. This, of course, has noth­ing to do with Obama, who in no way suf­fers from the Al­cib­i­ades syn­drome. Barack Obama is a bril­liant grad­u­ate of Har­vard Univer­sity, yet this was not the qual­ity that got him elected to power. What got him elected was his hu­man­ism, his ide­o­log­i­cal core, which was not shaped by the thinkers of clas­si­cal Athens, but by Martin Luther King Jr

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