Most of us have heard of The Theater of the Absurd. The term was coined by critic Martin Esslin to describe the works of such playwrights as Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, Jean Genet, Harold Pinter and Edward Albee and their relationship to the absurdist existentialist philosophy of Albert Camus.
According to Wikipedia, “Their [the playwrights'] work expressed the belief that human existence has no meaning or purpose and therefore all communication breaks down. Logical construction and argument gives way to irrational and illogical speech and to its ultimate conclusion, silence…. The Absurd in these plays takes the form of man’s reaction to a world apparently without meaning, and/or man as a puppet controlled or menaced by invisible outside forces.”
Little did Esslin know that, back in 1960, he would be describing the foreign policy of Barack Obama. Our president has, quite literally, developed a Foreign Policy of the Absurd — alienated, pointless, nihilistic and indescribable.
It also has a certain black comic quality, an irony, akin to the plays of Luigi Pirandello, the great Italian writer who prefigured the absurdists and whose most famous work is Right You Are, If You Think You Are, often translated as It Is So, If You Think So.