Discover more from Christopher Titmuss - The Buddha Wallah
The US President does not live in the real world. Have compassion for him and for those who suffer the consquences
There is something utterly distasteful when elected leaders, such as President Barack Obomber, expouse a major policy and you know he does not mean a word of what he says.
He might be reading from his prepared text on US foreign policy, corruption in Wall Street, exhorbitant executive pay and payoffs, poverty in the USA, corporate tax avoidance, the plight of people in Africa, Asia, Middle East, hellish working conditions worldwide, environmental destruction, climate change and so on.
He delivers his speech. Millions dutifullly nod with approval even those elites he criticises. They nod with approval as well because they know he is a spineless president who will not act decisively on his words. We are left with meaningless words empty of any significance.
The Buddha referred to this state of mind as delusion, a mind state out of touch with the suffering in the real world, out of touch with the causes and out of touch with the resolution and the way to the resolution.
One example: Take his recent speech on terror. The US President said:
“For me, and those in my chain of command, those [civilian] deaths will haunt us as long as we live. Drones and other new weapons technologies raise profound questions – about who is targeted, and why; about civilian casualties, and the risk of creating new enemies; about the legality of such strikes under US and international law; about accountability and morality.”
It is not possibe for a human being to continue to sanction weekly State murder and State torture and be haunted. A human being haunted by his support for gross violations of human rights could not continue to inflict such terror on the poor in villagers of northern Pakistan, Afghanisation, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and elsewhere. This kind of delusion expresses itself as the utter absence of empathy, of compassion, of deep values. If he was haunted, he would stop immediately. He would have no choice. Or he would go completely mad.
The poor president is totally cut off from reality. He lives in unexamined empty rhetoric. His domestic policies continue to allow the obscenely rich in the US make the poor pay, men, women and children, for the utter ineptitude and greed of the rich and shameless. (We have similar issues in the UK and much of the EU). Pity the Presedent. He dances to the tune of his paymasters.
Take the example of the use of drone missiles. Every Tuesday, he dutifully signs a piece of paper that gives official sanction for these repugnant drone attacks on various Muslims , including a handful of US citizens, in several Muslim countries. The CIA places on his desk the names of the targetted people, (the attacks frequently slalughter and maim the family, neighbours and friends of the target) and the President places his thumbprint on the paper. For the White House, the rule of law, evidence, arrest, and trial before judge and jury, is meaningless. Guantanamo Bay, rendition, centres for torture, executions and much more we do not even know about.
Words need action. In this case, the action is obvious. Don’t put your thumbprint on the pages with the names of the targets.
Stand up. Say “NO.” Don’t be such a wimp.
The Guardian correspondent, Glenn Greenwald wrote this week in the British newspaper:
As predicted that Obama’s election would stem the tide of growing antiwar sentiment in western Europe by becoming the new, more attractive face of war, thereby converting hordes of his admirers from war opponents into war supporters
This dynamic has repeated itself over and over in other contexts, and has indeed been of great value to the guardians of the status quo in placating growing public discontent about their economic insecurity and increasingly unequal distribution of power and wealth.
We have a word for it in English. It is called hypocrisy. Sadly, the mental health of the US President and his advisors is far more problematic than that.
May all beings live with compassion