God of tough things, a compensation tale

Even gentle souls don’t like it when they’re called ‘weak’. As a natural reaction, they make gestures to prove their toughness. For individuals, this can come out as ‘out of character’ behaviour. For states, it can be taking an old rabbit out of an old hat and then showing the audience it has bravely tackled a pest. For this purpose, some ‘unlawful activities’ are first defined, then identified, and used to reel in characters who come in handy to ensure that people don’t think that the old mojo of ‘tough love‘ has gone.

The role model for this kind of show is, of course, America. ‘National security‘ becomes the raison d’etre for hunkering down on anything that smells of dissent – to differ in opinion – while showcasing its democratic credentials. More than 200 arrests have been made in four American colleges – Washington, Northeastern, Arizona and Indiana Universities – for pro-Palestine/anti-Israel demonstrations.

These arrests and detentions are not dangerous for the existence of the American state. Far from it. But Washington’s inability to show that it’s still cock of the walk, especially when it comes to restraining ally Israel from genuine bad boy behaviour in Gaza, drives the US state to act tough – in its own backyard by first making a mountain out of a molehill, and then climbing that hill. Weakness has a way of showing this way.


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