We are the hollow men

Trump’s puppet finds a way to pull his own strings.

Quoting verses from the Old Testament, US Vice-President Mike Pence told Israeli lawmakers in the country’s Knesset that the United States would speed up plans to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, simultaneously rubbing salt into the wounds of the Israel-Palestine conflict while lauding Trump for righting “a 70-year wrong”.

In “Prospects of peace elusive as Pence wraps up visit to Israel” in The Washington Post (23 January 2018), Ruth Eglash and Jenna Johnson noted:

“Pence, an evangelical Christian, was a driving force behind the administration’s decision on Jerusalem and flanked Trump as he made the announcement. In his own past statements, he has gone further than Trump, describing Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital… The decision to speed up the embassy move is likely to further rankle Palestinians, who consider East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state and say that Trump’s presidency has been defined by threats to their side, but incentives and rewards for Israel.”

This kind of insane provocation is what we have come to expect from a presidency that has lost its moral bearings. Behind the public posturing, lies an attempt at self-aggrandisement by Trump, aided and abetted by Pence, who is blinded by a religious fervour based on an evangelical fundamentalism. Their hidden agenda is to keep the Middle East in turmoil by ramping up support for Israel and Arab leaders such as Egypt’s current President and the Saudi royal family, while disparaging any kind of rapprochement with Palestine or any peace plan for the region that does not meet Israel’s demands.

Trump’s other “cunning plan” is to install a former US military intelligence officer at the US State Department to oversee policy on both Iraq and Iran. The man in question, a political appointee replacing two civil servants, has no prior diplomatic experience and is not an expert on either country. Significantly, he does have years of experience in military intelligence.

T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Hollow Men” comes to mind:

“We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar.”

Unfortunately, these clowns are in positions of power that ominously could reverse the poem’s ending (described in Eliot’s obituary in The New York Times in 1965 as “probably the most quoted lines of any 20th-century poet writing in English”):

“This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.”



Published by

Philip Lee

Writer and musician who tries to join up the dots.

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