More than a hundred and fifty years ago, a very hairy European, a German Jew-ish man, opined succinctly that “Religion……. is the Opiate of the People (Masses)“
No, Marx was not thinking of ISIS or the Arab Wahhabi version of Islam. They say he was critiquing some thoughts of Hegel. He was not even a Zionist. Hardly anybody thought of our native Middle East region in those days, although Napoleon Bonaparte paid a very long visit and the crafty British trolled him across the Mediterranean, just to make sure he wasn’t having too much fun. He wasn’t, knowing that Josephine was otherwise occupied in Paris.
In those days, nobody from outside even wanted Holy Jerusalem anymore, except maybe some insecure Jews huddled in their Russian or Polish shtetls.
Now, with religion waning everywhere except in the Middle East and in the Red Flyover States of the United States, we can ask: “What is the new opiate of the people?“
Are foreign wars the new opiate of the masses now? I mean officially and with widespread general acceptance? I mean as a political tool of any administration that fails to achieve progress in its domestic agenda? I mean in the United States over the past few years and especially from this year on? I mean especially for this new Trump administration that seems lost in the translation between conflicting domestic economic promises and the availability and expediency of foreign adventurism?
Are Arab and Muslim lands now the silent unspoken scapegoat and the excuse for domestic economic and other failures of any American administration?
At least this seems to be the case…..
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
“Have you heard? Kim Jong Un is missing. Which can only mean one thing: He has been overthrown! His little sister, Kim Yo Jong, now runs the showin the most isolated nation on Earth. Or is it that the entire Kim dynasty, steward of North Korea for decades, is now out? It was a coup! The North Korean grand poobah finally got too big for his britches, what with ordering men to mimic his haircut and feeding his uncle to wild dogs, and was deposed. Boom. Wait a minute. Kim Jong Un is sick! It’s true, he has been “getting fatter lately”…………….”
Of all this speculation one thing is true for certain: Un has been getting fatter in recent months. Or maybe I should say “he HAD been getting fatter”. The Cute Leader probably easily outweighs (outweighed?) his father and grandfather, the Great Leader and the Dear Leader, combined. I doubt that even Dennis Rodman knows anything about his whereabouts. Certainly South Korean media rumor-mongers don’t know jack about this.
Once some years ago when Osama Bin Laden went AWOL I speculated that he could be in Las Vegas, dealing or just hitting the tables. Un could be in Macao right now, living it up within a different life-style, with pierced lips and nose and eyebrows. I shall not speculate about other possible pierced, er, extremities.
It is not too far-fetched to expect that a socialist revolution in Pyongyang may have overthrown him. It happens all the time to absolute ruling dynasties. Think Charles I, Louis XVI, Nicholas II, Shakhbout I, Saud I, Haile Selassie, the Pahlavis, among others. Some North Korean generals and functionaries may have gone back to Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and discovered that these dead Communist worthies never advocated or started absolute hereditary family dynasties. Nor were they fond of exotic expensive imported Swiss cheese.
Or maybe he has discreetly sought asylum with another notorious absolute ruling dynasty: the Al Saud. Un could be ensconced in a secluded villa in Jeddah, across the road from some other former Arab or African despots.
Maybe in Pyongyang the jig is finally up.
Or, Un could be in seclusion, playing Halo with Waldo. He could be laughing his head off at the frantic search mounted by the international media. The Cute Leader may be a prankster at heart.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum