Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

Zugzwang.

In addition to Trump’s petty need to stomp on everything with Obama’s name on it, the exit from the Iran deal represents a new nadir in our leadership being played for fools by those with larger ambitions and greater cunning.

Trump has been whispered to by men like John Bolton, who has long pressed for a war with Iran; and Benjamin Netanyahu, who is at the very least eager for an opportunity to distract from his impending corruption charges. Note that Netanyahu’s televised presentation on how Iran had acted in bad faith was rubbish, speaking primarily of transgressions made before the JCPOA was enacted in order to claim that Iran is, by nature, a malevolent force. Its purpose was to be delivered to an audience of one man, Donald John Trump, famously unwilling to investigate what he’s been told when it gives him a justification to engage his worst aggressions.

Hassan Rouhani has been a moderate Iranian leader, and is at this moment attempting to negotiate with European powers in order to remain compliant with the terms of the agreement. The concern now is similar to what happened in Iran in 2002, when several American declarations of Iran as a member of an “axis of evil” energized the country’s more radical right-wing, vaulting Mahmoud Ahmedinajad to power and halting attempts at reform for a decade. The insults and sanctions laid at Iran’s doorstep represent a new opportunity for this faction to empower their base, reminding them that America can never be trusted, a narrative that we have yet again written ourselves.

zugzwang-chess-academyShould Iran decide to transform their government again into a regime more willing to rattle sabers with America, they will demand weapons, and Russia will be only too happy to sell them as many as they need. The buildup of arsenal then allows Bolton and his cabal to re-ignite the implication that this rogue nation must surely be stockpiling weapons of mass destruction as well — why wouldn’t they, it’s not like there’s any deal in place to stop them — that they intend to use against our allies and interests in the Middle East, and must therefore be stopped with extreme measures. The goal for men like Bolton and Putin is hegemony and malleability within a region flush with resources, as well as the self-serving belief that they may flex military might without fear of accountability.

And there may, indeed, be no accountability for them, insulated as they are within political systems they have gradually renovated with bulwarks to deflect attack and escape rafts laden with what they need to be free of want for the remainder of their soulless lives. The bill will instead be settled with the misery of civilians caught in the chaos, of families whose sons and daughters are sold a lie that such a war was both necessary and inevitable.

Meanwhile, Trump will continue his decline towards whatever illogical aphasia his mind has been skulking towards for his entire life. There may be multidimensional chess being played here, but the American president is not one of the people sitting on the edges of the board. He is a pawn who has been told he is a king, who believes he must be a king because he has been told he moves like a king, yet who lacks the perspective or curiosity to have learned how at this stage of the game both pawns and kings only move one space at a time.

This delusional pawn is stuck on its singular path forward, and can be blocked or taken at the whim of the actual players. When at last he is swept from the board, he may wonder for a moment if the game has ended, then be dismayed for another moment to learn it continues without him, and finally be content to return to the box from whence he came, believing as the lid is shut and the darkness envelops him that he was ever an entity of lasting grandeur, unaware that he was instead a tiny, dispensable being, briefly utilized to perpetrate lasting damage.

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This entry was posted on May 8, 2018 by in Essay, Politics, Uncategorized.
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