By Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, III
“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; All the king’s horses and all the king’s men, couldn’t put Humpty together again.” The Dorling Kindersley Book of Nursery Rhymes (2000)
Some people dismiss children’s stories and nursery rhymes as just foolish tales or clever verse. Many of these tales are also allegories – stories or poems with deeper moral or political meaning. Baum’s Wizard of Oz can be interpreted as a metaphor for the political, economic, and social events of America in the 1890s or Orwell’s Animal Farm as describing the overthrow of the Russian Tsar Nicholas II and the Communist Revolution of Russia before WW I.
So, it is with the children’s poem Humpty Dumpty. The tale of this human-like egg figure has been interpreted by some as the story of King Charles I of England, Ireland, and Scotland. He reigned from 1625-1649. Charles I, believed King his power was absolute. He ignored the will of Parliament and governed based upon his own conscience (or lack thereof). A number of his subjects perceived him as a bully and a tyrant. After a lengthy battle with English and Scottish Parliaments over the idea of a constitutional monarchy Charles I was captured (the great fall) and imprisoned. His army (the King’s horses and men) was unable to return him to the throne.
As Americans are now subjected to the indictment of President Trump’s former campaign manager Paul J. Manafort Jr. and Manafort’s business partner Rick Gates, the guilty plea of the former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign George Papadopoulos and the possible perjury of Attorney General Sessions; the similarities between President Trump, the ignorant, narcissistic, misogynist president and Humpty Dumpty (Charles I) are unavoidable. Are the indictments brought by special counsel Robert S. Mueller, III and those still pending, the beginning of President Humpty’s fall?
As important as the Mueller investigation is to the protection of the American democratic process; Americans cannot allow themselves to be distracted by Humpty Trump’s tweets, antics and mainstream medias singular focus on his ignorance and foolishness. There are a number of important issues that are being ignored or not being given the in-depth coverage and analysis they deserve.
As Americans mourned the loss of Sgt. La David Johnson and his comrades in Niger and fume over Trump’s insulting Sgt. Johnson’s family, there has been very little discussion about why American soldiers are in Niger. Reporting by Vijay Prashad indicates that Tongo Tongo, the village near Niger’s border with Mali where the US soldiers were killed is in the middle of an area that is ground zero for the illicit trade that defines the Sahara, cocaine, guns and refugees. The assassination of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya has created a power vacuum in this region and previously closed routes for illicit trading have reopened. It might have been narco-terrorists not Boko Haram who killed the soldiers.
As the United States has claimed victory over ISIS in Raqqa the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) recently launched airstrikes against ISIS in northeastern Somalia. According to Al Jazeera, “From the Horn of Africa in the east to the Sahel, encompassing Central and West Africa, security forces backed by Western troops have been stepping up efforts to counter armed groups such as ISIL, Boko Haram, al-Shabab and al-Qaeda.” It’s not that the US is winning; it’s that the war is morphing into a different landscape.
Another issue that has received very little coverage is the request by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis to continue the current war powers authorization. According to NPR, the Trump administration is pushing back against the growing call to examine the current authorization to use force to combat ISIS and other terrorist organizations. It is a growing concern in Congress that the existing authorization, put in place in 2001 in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks no longer holds merit and should be re-examined. Virginia Congressman Tim Kane asked, “If a new authorization isn’t needed 17 years into a war, would it be required “in year 30? In year 40? In year 50?”
The United States is not winning anything with these ongoing military exploits. It is the same game being shifted to different battlefields for the same hegemonic, racist and imperialistic motivations. A lot, if not most of the resources that are needed to continually feed the insatiable diet of European and Western powers lie beneath the soil of countries inhabited by people of color.
These former imperial powers will expend any cost to extract uranium from Niger, coltan for cell phones from Congo and diamonds from South Africa. According to Global Security.org, “Since World War II the United States has become increasingly dependent on imported strategic minerals… Of the 24 major nonfuel minerals consumed by industrial nations, the United States is substantially dependent on imports for 21 of them…A major source for many of these minerals is Africa. This is a volatile region in which there is a distinct possibility of major disruption of U.S. supplies of strategic minerals.” When you connect the dots between the unquenchable thirst for natural resources, AFRICOM and the Trump administration’s request for a virtually unlimited power to engage in war; we have entered into a cycle of neo-colonialism and devastation previously unknown in modern history. We are in for a 50-year war.
Mainstream American media continues to focus on the incessant tweeting, lying and rants of a 71-year-old petulant child while the continent of Africa is being recolonized. The Trump administration is attempting to deconstruct the American administrative state while the police state is being ushered in. The right to vote is under attack with gerrymandering and voter suppression tactics becoming more prevalent and more difficult to challenge. As Dr. Gerald Horn has stated, the American judiciary is being cast in the likeness of the reactionary, anti-affirmative action, anti-reproductive rights for women and anti-union Justice Neil Gorsuch. Sixteen Trump nominees are being considered for the federal bench. Are these nominees more or less likely to support Trump’s myopic, neo-liberal, anti-civil liberty approach to the Constitution? It’s frightening that Trump and Senator McConnell are in lockstep with this process.
These are just a few examples of how America is being distracted. As Toto, Dorthey’s dog in The Wizard of Oz pulled back the curtain; Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow were all told by “The Wizard” to, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” Well, as Trump tweets, tweets and labels the US justice system a “laughing stock”; we need Toto today. Focus on the man behind the curtain because Donald “Humpty” Trump is teetering on the edge but be careful what you pray for. As Jane Mayer writes in The New Yorker as Trump’s critics yearn for his exit, Pence, “the corporate right’s inside man, poses his own risks.”
Dr. Wilmer Leon is the author of Politics Another Perspective, Producer/ Host of the nationally broadcast call-in talk radio program “Inside the Issues with Wilmer Leon,” on SiriusXM Satellite radio channel 126. Go to www.wilmerleon.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.twitter.com/drwleon and Dr. Leon’s Prescription at Facebook.com
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