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writing for godot

Beyond Trump and Nukes: Unmaking War, Remaking Men

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Written by Dr. Roger Kotila   
Wednesday, 20 September 2017 09:40

San Francisco -- When President Trump promises that the threats by North Korea's Kim Jong Un "will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” many of us believe that Trump is willing to order a nuclear attack.

A president who takes pride in making violent threats and appears willing to risk a nuclear war raises an important question as to the president’s psychiatric status, and further brings up the question of what is wrong with the world’s geopolitical system that allows this type of nightmarish endangerment?

While some pundits fret over a president who appears mentally unstable and willing to start a nuclear war, there are others who are thrilled that the president is being “strong.”

New York Times reporter Richard Fausset captures conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh’s excitement over finally having a “real man” as president. “We don’t have a pajama boy who wears mom jeans who can barely throw a baseball, a first pitch, at a Nationals game, as president," Rush gushes sarcastically. "We have somebody out there who's no-nonsense, who's not going to take this!"

Trump as a macho warrior standing up against North Korea and making America great again?  What’s wrong with this picture?

What if Trump’s "machismo" is a psychological trait which vastly increases the likelihood that he will impulsively order a nuclear strike to prove to a defiant opponent that he (the U.S.) is “the boss”?  Sociologist Kathleen Barry in “Unmaking War, Remaking Men” concludes that men, due to socialization, are susceptible to the "masculinity of war” which leads to psychopathic behaviors like some see in the Trump presidency.

Trump’s many threats to use military violence puts the psychology of boastful “machismo” on full display, a trait that, in combination with other psychiatric symptoms, could lead to new wars like his recent threats to use military force against Venezuela.

Psychiatric symptoms galore

A group of mental health experts in April told a conference at Yale University’s School of Medicine that they believe President Trump is paranoid and delusional, and suffers a “dangerous mental illness.”  Some pundits describe the president as narcissistic and lacking empathy, while others find him to be hostile, bigoted, emotionally unstable, a pathological liar, and “deranged.”

Could it get worse?  Yes.

Trump displays behaviors found in psychopaths, the most dangerous type of antisocial personality disorder known to psychiatry. A psychopathic personality disorder refers to an extreme lack of conscience.  Reporter Mehdi Hasan for The Intercept (8/9/17) quotes Trump’s strategy for defeating ISIS:  “Bomb the shit out of ‘em” and “take out their families.”

“Remorseless killing” is a hallmark of the ultimate psychopath.  While sociopaths may lie, cheat, steal, or even kill, extreme psychopaths are capable of the same and more, of remorseless mass murder.  What if the President becomes obsessed with the idea of using his nuclear arsenal to show the world he isn’t just empty talk (isn’t weak).

Lack of Global Conscience

Psychopaths may easily fool people as to their true nature since they can seem to be normal – just like everybody else, but sometimes a little over the top.  President Trump reveals a stunning lack of Global Conscience.

Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Environmental Accords illustrates his contempt for the world community, much as does his apparent willingness to commit genocide if he orders a nuclear first strike against North Korea. The radioactive victims would include American soldiers and millions living in Seoul only 30 miles from North Korea, not to mention the nearby people of Japan and on the eastern coasts of China and Russia.

A threat of genocide would suggest that emergency measures may be necessary to prevent the Trump and Kim confrontation from erupting into war. Can the world community rely on the military generals to refuse if Trump orders a surprise first strike nuclear attack?

Should Congress intervene and take the nuclear missile launch codes away from the President, or apply the 25th Amendment to remove an unfit President as suggested by John Cassidy in the New Yorker (8/14/17)?

Manhood gone awry

A key lesson to remember is that "leaders in the White House and around the world" become potentially "remorseless killers" because "Every society makes men's readiness to fight in combat a matter of their manhood."

Historian Alexander DeConde examines how “one U.S. president after another took the military into unnecessary wars,” and concludes in his study of Presidential Machismo that presidential power over the military allows leaders to prove their virility.  Few presidents, he concludes, have been able to resist the temptation to use the military machine at their disposal to exalt themselves in the role of warrior.

War will not be unmade without remaking masculinity.  “Core masculinity” is not biological, but is taught by society.  A boy learns to be tough, aggressive, and unfeeling. As a man the state is preparing him for potential combat, part of society’s expectation and requirements of manhood.

World peace will require abandoning traditional core masculinity with its violent standards of manhood.

Why a “new UN” is needed

We know that changing the macho culture alone will not be enough to stop war. We urgently need geopolitical change. At the global level there is no law and order, no global sheriff to insure the peace.  Leaders from powerful countries are above the law.

When the world is governed by unbounded psychopathy, it is a risk that America and the world community should not accept.  A mentally ill leader may distort reality, but a psychopath is willing to take down the whole world.

Psychopaths do not respond to reason, love, or conscience.

The United Nations is needed in the event that a country is held hostage by a psychopathic leader.  But the UN lacks the tools to intervene significantly, its hands tied by the flawed UN Charter.

The UN cannot remove Trump (or Kim) from office even if they represent an imminent danger. The UN cannot protect us from nuclear war. It is sidelined when it counts the most.

The UN’s deficiencies are being addressed by Democratic World Federalists in a strategy called THE SAN FRANCISCO PROMISE.  An initial step is a demand that the UN General Assembly review the UN Charter which opens the door for the possibility of a “new UN.”

The World Constitution and Parliament Association’s Constitution for the Federation of Earth can serve as the “gold standard” for a new Charter, transforming the UN into a democratic world federal union with enforceable world law, and given the tools needed to eliminate nuclear weapons and end war itself.

Roger Kotila, Ph.D.   www.earthfederation.info  Earth Federation News & Views

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