Some thoughts on the cowardice of America’s leadership
By James Hickman - April 15, 2024

via Schiff Sovereign

When the barbarian king Rugila died in the year 434 AD, Roman Emperor Theodosius II likely rejoiced that his mortal enemy was no more.

Rugila (and his father Uldin) had been invading and terrorizing Roman territory for decades; but the Empire was so weak at that point that Theodosius was powerless to stop them.

By the early 400s, Rome was an almost unrecognizable shell of its former greatness. Nearly two centuries civil war, plague, inflation, invasion, and economic malaise had sapped the empire of its strength and reputation… and foreign kingdoms didn’t hesitate to take advantage.

In the early 420s, Theodosius finally resorted to paying off King Rugila, essentially bribing him with an offer of 350 pounds of gold ANNUALLY.

Rugila took the money… probably bewildered at how easily he was able to bend the supposedly powerful Roman Empire to his will.

Theodosius subserviently made the payments year after year, and managed to pretend that the deal was a win for Rome.

The Emperor acted as if he was still powerful and in charge of the situation. He even tried to convince his subjects that the annual tribute was payment for some bogus service that the barbarians were supposedly providing, rather than the ransom money it really was.

And that’s why King Rugila’s death was probably such welcome news to the Emperor. Finally, the menace was gone.

But unfortunately for Theodosius, Rugila’s successor would prove to be a far greater threat.

His name was Attila, known to history of course as Attila the Hun. And he wasted no time picking up where his father and grandfather left off: capitalizing on the Roman leadership’s weakness and cowardice.

Attila’s first order of business was to renegotiate the peace deal and make even more demands of the Roman Empire. Theodosius caved almost immediately.

It became known as the Treaty of Margus; Attila walked away with DOUBLE the annual tribute (an increase from 350 to 700 pounds of gold). Plus, he forced the Emperor to eliminate trade sanctions against the Huns and open up Rome’s vast markets to Hun merchants.

Lastly, Attila negotiated a prisoner swap, receiving some very high value Hun nobles who had taken refuge in the Roman Empire. In exchange, Theodosius received a few low-level soldiers… and the Emperor had to pay an additional ransom for each one of them.

Like his father Rugila, Attila was probably astonished that the ruler of the supposedly most powerful empire in the world had no backbone, no confidence, no will to stand and fight.

So naturally Attila’s demands did not end with the Treaty of Margus. He knew an obvious advantage when he saw one, and he continued to exploit Roman weakness until the end of his life.

Despite promises of peace, for example, Attila constantly found new excuses to set aside the treaty and make incursions into Roman territory.

He crossed the Danube and laid waste to Rome’s provinces in the Balkans, forcing Theodosius to renegotiate the peace treaty once again. This time the annual tribute was tripled to 2,100 pounds of gold.

A few years later, Attila demanded to marry the sister of Valentinian, the ruler of the western portion of the Roman Empire. Valentinian refused the proposal (as well as Attila’s demand for half of the western lands), so Attila invaded Italy, plundering and pillaging along the way.

Attila finally died in 453 AD before he had the chance to completely destroy the empire. But other barbarian kings also saw the ineptitude and weakness of Roman leadership, and they followed in Attila’s footsteps.

That’s the thing about cowardice and weakness: adversaries tend to notice and take advantage. It’s no different today.

Iran, Russia, and China have all paid close attention to the weakness and cowardice of the Biden administration. They see the social and financial decay of the United States. The political instability. The woke priorities of the Defense Department. And they can barely believe their eyes.

They know that the guy with five decades of experience has no backbone… that he’s a corrupt, brainless stooge who bends to the most radical wing of his party. He stands for nothing, abandons his allies, and gives away the farm for absolutely nothing in return.

He traded away the most valuable Russian prisoner in US custody for a WNBA player. He freed up potentially tens of billions of dollars for Iran in exchange for little more than a phony promise that they won’t develop nuclear weapons. (But it seems the Ayatollah pinky swore, so it’s all good.)

He allows invasions and incursions of US territory… and not only does nothing but sues state governments to prevent them from securing the border.

He tries to prevent allies from defending themselves. He pathetically attempts to use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to boost his sagging approval rating. And he caves anytime a belligerent nation threatens violence.

These are all signs of obvious weakness that adversaries are all too happy to exploit. Iran is just the most recent example.

After this weekend’s attack against Israel, Iran specifically warned the US against responding. Biden immediately wilted. It’s pretty clear who wears the pants in the relationship.

And just like the case of Attila, it never ends. Any treaty that is signed, any agreement that is reached, is simply a lie. They’ll never keep their word, and they’ll continue milking the obvious cowardice that is on display for the world to see.

Now, this story of weakness isn’t just about Joe Biden.  Congress is also weak and ineffective. Many courts and judges now ignore the rule of law and are simply activists in robes. The military is suffering a very public recruiting crisis, along with outdated weapons systems and critically low mission readiness.

It goes beyond government too. Big Media is a left-wing propaganda machine. Premier universities cultivate radicalism. Even Boeing can’t seem to build a quality aircraft anymore.

Optics matter, and the end result is undeniable: America appears far, far weaker from even just a few years ago. And adversaries have no intention of letting up.

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