Whence go distracted minds?

A late 19th or early 20th century print of Act IV, Scene iii: Hal with King Henry in his sickbed. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection http://luna.folger.edu/luna/servlet/s/05f16.

by Kathie MM

To avoid [losing the throne], I defeated  [my enemies’] rebellion, and planned to lead an army to the Holy Land….Therefore, my Harry, make it your policy to focus the distracted minds of the people with foreign wars. Military actions abroad will make people forget about troubling matters….”

Shakespeare Henry IV,  Part 2,  Act 4, Scene 3, p.13, modern text version.

Maybe Donald Trump’s escalation of military involvement in Syria is not an effort to distract the minds of the American public from troubling matters like his cabal’s connections with shady Russians and Ukrainians, or his claim that Obamacare will “explode,”  or his racist immigration policy, or his plans to tax and seize land to wall off Mexico.

Maybe, like Richard Nixon, he believes that by simultaneously blowing the trumpets of threat and patriotism, he can redeem himself from an historically low approval rating.

Maybe he is merely trying to increase the fortunes of his billionaire buddies in the military-industrial complex.

Or maybe he wants to assure Americans that even if he spends every spare moment playing golf or tweeting, he can still wage a war and kill as many civilians as the next guy—certainly more than Obama, whom he accused of being “weak” on Syria.

But whatever his rationale, we had better start paying attention.

Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat from Connecticut, gives us fair warning: “Trump Is Dragging Us Into Another War… And No One Is Talking About It.”

Concerned that Trump’s increase in American ground forces in Syria could mire us in another divisive and deadly combat akin to or worse than the  Iraq War, Murphy asks: “First, what is our mission and what is our exit strategy?… Second, do we have a political strategy or just a military strategy?”

I have my own questions: When will we RESIST government policies of killing civilians and spreading hate through imperialistic military aggression that benefits the few and harms the many—in the US itself as well as the people in the lands we attack?



This entry was posted in Armed conflict, Donald Trump, imperialism, militarization, Military-industrial complex, Patriotism, politics, racism, resistance, Understanding violence, War tax and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Whence go distracted minds?

  1. Barbara says:

    The last paragraph of Senator Murphy’s essay sums up the alarmingly fragile situation with Iraq. The Senator, like any Intelligent American, wants to see the end of Isis but not at the cost of a tragic number of fatalities, billions of squandered dollars, and another decimated land. Congress does indeed need to ask some questions about this looming peril and insist on answers that will deflect Isis from its murderous rampage without assuming that only violence can stop violence. Will there ever be a leader who can understand that violence breeds violence and it’s time to try some other ways to deal with the threats that our country has helped to create?

  2. Isha93 says:

    Excellent comment, Barbara. It brings to mind another “ism,” Resistism. For the American people to thwart militaristic plans, we need desperately to pay attention to warnings like the one voiced by Senator Murphy. We must resist by taking our heads out of the sand and talking about what President Trump is advocating: The Killing Game.

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