By Martin Love

At bottom, what ails the U.S. looks like mental illness

December 21, 2018 - 15:16

NORTH CAROLINA - Frequently, if a person in America has friends in Iran, one must address those friends with empathy when they write directly or on social media about their dismay and even fear of U.S. policies and actions in the Middle East. It hardly warrants repeating what the dismay consists of and why it exists because almost everyone knows already. It’s been obvious for years, especially after Bush invaded Iraq. 

One response that ought to provide some balm, if not real relief, for Iranians is the fact that while Iran has been the prime focus of U.S. hostility under Trump (so far in Iran’s case the hostilities have been mostly economic) is that it seems NO country, not even European ones that want to continue trade with Iran and some other countries, and augment trade with Russia, have escaped threats of sanctions or some other kind of attack by the U.S. The U.S. is throwing “sanctions” around like confetti at a wedding. An estimated 30 percent of the world’s population is operating under some kind of harmful U.S. sanction.

No country but a few exceptionally unpleasant exceptions such as Israel and Saudi Arabia have managed to evade the ire of the U.S. government as it is currently composed. This almost beggars belief, that this could be. But it also suggests that no Iranian or Russian or citizen of any other country disapproved of by the U.S. government should imagine that this ire necessarily rests upon any fault of theirs or of their own government. Anyone knows that there is no “perfect” government anywhere, but the primary U.S. complaint of sanctioned countries is simply, and incredibly, that they won’t be U.S. subjects or pawns, as Iran was from 1953 to 1979 under the ridiculous, almost buffoonish Pahlavi “Shah”. 

The fact is that the U.S. is a sick country or the majority of its “leaders” are sick and have managed to influence too many Americans, or the government has not yet literally repelled or disgusted enough Americans to foment some kind of revolution. But this is interesting because if one reads social media and reactions to various news reports about any sort of conflict with countries outside the U.S., it is those countries like Iran and Russia, and leaders like Vladimir Putin, who often seem to be more respected and believed than American “leaders” despite media propaganda to the contrary.

Anyway, one can say that the U.S. is a “sick” country because either its “leaders” are especially obtuse and ignorant and know no better, or it is “sick” in the exact same manner that individuals can be “sick” with an intractable mental illness that makes them virtually impossible to deal with, frightful and possibly dangerous to others.

For example, a friend was once under attack by a family member of his, and this person could have gone to prison for the unwarranted charges. He consulted an attorney for help and was asked to describe the threatening relative. He so described and the attorney asked him to pull a nearby book from his office shelf. The book was titled “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”, an internationally recognized and compiled tome of various mental ailments and their descriptions. The attorney opened the book immediately and found the page he wanted and showing it to his client, asking: “Is this the person and disorder you described?” It was, exactly. Thus, it was suddenly clear to client and attorney just what they were going to have to deal with – a severe mental illness.

Now it’s debatable whether entire countries like individuals can be infected with some dominating mental illness, but one can imagine so leafing through history and reading about insane “leaders”. So, what is the U.S. illness? It’s hard to say exactly, but extreme, Grandiose Narcissism might be the best description. The next question: how does one deal with a Narcissistic aggressor who derives pleasure from the suffering of others? Perhaps by not acting ruffled, by remaining self-assured and confident. (Leaders like Zarif have shown these traits.) And perhaps one should suggest that not being threatening back may win the moral high ground.

Most would agree that Donald Trump is an immoral man and “leader”. He is grotesquely immoral and without real substance as a human being. So are many of the people he has chosen for his administration, particularly people like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo. The supreme irony, or the ultimate absurdity, is that these people and the bulk of their fans amid the general U.S. public like to think of themselves as good “Christians” – “People of the Book” to Muslims – Ahl al_Kitaab -- when in fact they are irresponsible losers and imposters who have latched on to evangelism and magical thinking that absolves them from ever taking responsibility for the outcomes of U.S. policies. And to make matters worse, Trump and minions don’t even care about these losers except to extract support from them. But they don’t know this. They are deluded.

In any case, the U.S. financial markets are beginning to unravel. Trump claimed his policies in September had resulted in record equity market prices and a relatively strong economy. Now, he is looking like a fool and is literally pleading with the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates this week by 25 basis points. Also, U.S. debt and fiscal deficits continue to explode higher. It’s just a matter of time before Trump and his mentally deranged minions are vanquished, and the only worrying question is what more damage to other countries they and the apartheid loving Israelis and corrupted, bloody, medieval Saudis will do before they are gone.

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