Thursday, June 13, 2024

Myths are Dangerous

TEGWAR: the exciting game without any rules.
Donald John Trump has played that game for most of his life. No rules but one goal, make sure the other guy loses. Winning, however defined, has no value unless the other guy loses utterly and completely.
He grew up in a home where everyone but Fred was a loser. The one lesson he seems to have learned was to attack everything, everyone, in order to create losers.

If the creature weren’t so dangerous, the fact that he is so utterly pathetic would render him an object of pity. He has to be the best, the most, or he’ll remember what it was like to be what Fred said he was. Destruction is the only game in his repertoire.

The Trump mythology tells the story of the smartest, richest, best in every way, man in the world. Anything that challenges that myth must go. The Constitution goes. The rule of law goes. Reality goes. All that’s left is a guy with gallons of hallucinogenic Kool-Aid for any who will drink. The very public questioning of his wealth and business acumen is a direct attack on the core mythology. Poking holes in part of a myth is the beginning of the end of the illusion, and the sobering up process is long and painful.

COLD WAR: political philosophy that creates enemies that have to be beaten without the use of hot things like bombs and bullets.

Joe Biden plays that game. Like so many other boomers, the enemies were defined in an us or them framework. Pick a team and stay with it. Pick a side. Refuse to choose between America and Russia, and the choice will be made for you. Either actively support America’s interests or be an enemy. There are decades of overthrowing governments to replace them with someone who will toady to the US. We did that in Iran. Then, in an outrageous display of self-interest, the Iranians tossed out our guy.

They are now enemies. Cuba. South America. We chose Israel over Palestine. We still choose Israel over every other country. We chose Saudi Arabia because they had a lot of oil. We still choose Saudi Arabia because, so far, they haven’t kicked enough sand in our face.

Thus, no matter what atrocities either of those places commit, they need to be right because they pretend to be on our side. The reality of that doesn’t matter. It’s the illusion, the mythology.

The myth is that America is always on the side of good against evil, so it makes sense to say that one day of rampage justifies a month and counting of massive carnage and destruction. That one day out of decades of repression justifies any and everything. The mythology is cracking, and the Arab/Islamic world seems unwilling to keep up the pretense.

Biden seems unable to break loose from the Us or them paradigm, as do, at least publicly, most of our illustrious leaders. Blinken travels about trying to persuade various Arab leaders to stay out of the quagmire, but their citizenry is extremely restive.

The situation is so tenuous that Rasheda Tlaib was censured for speaking in defense of the people of Gaza. “From the river to the sea” may have been aspirational for those who formerly lived in Palestine, but it is strategic for Israel. Total destruction of Gaza, actively and strategically razing it, makes return impossible as there is nowhere to return.

Herding millions of people into smaller places is displacement. Once Gaza is cleansed of Hamas, it will also be cleansed of Gazans.

Where can those millions go? Not one country has offered refuge. There are “refugee” camps in countries surrounding Israel where former Palestinians have lived since the founding war of modern Israel, but those countries are still unwilling to assimilate them. Will we see gorgeous beachfront resorts on the Mediterranean built by Israelis for Israelis? The Gaza Strip will be Israel’s front, and those who used to live there will be in ever smaller enclaves. That is a very probable outcome.

The American myth of eternal rectitude is showing cracks.

Author profile
M.A. Callahan
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