If Escher and Dali were masters of illusion in their art, their deception had impermanence. Back and forth the image would change as one stared at one of their paintings. From fish dissolving as birds appear (Sky and Water I, 1958, M. C. Escher) to a disappearing bust of Voltaire (1941, Salvador Dali) the transformations are temporary.
Not so, unfortunately, are the consequences of political deception -- Condoleezza Rice and the Iraq war come to mind. Remember when the metaphor of a smoking gun was turned into a "mushroom cloud." It scared the daylights out of the populace and eased the way to the Iraq misadventure.
consequences continue with a Shi'a government in Iraq tied closely to
Iran and both beginning to shelter in the political ambit of Iran.
Waning U.S. influence in the area in general could be linked to the
gradual shift away from fossil fuels to renewable energy (because of
greenhouse gases and their effect on global warming).
political deception (and bluff) are also daily currency. Putin, for
example, has drawn the line at Ukraine for NATO. With an economy about
the size of Italy's, there is not much he can do in that sphere. Europe
does rely on Russia for 35 percent of its natural gas but if
reliability of the source is threatened by politics, it is likely to
look elsewhere and modify its needs. The U.S. is the world's largest
exporter and three new terminals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels
have been built in Houston. It would welcome Europe as a customer.
the political deception prize, the U.S. presidential election is a
strong contender. There is already talk of the next one, and given
Biden's age, the Democratic Party candidate being touted is
Vice-President Kamala Harris. Now there's a lady who can be black when
she wants to be and Indian when she has to be, drawing in ethnic and
selection may not be a certainty, however, because, as of December 14,
in a Los Angeles Times poll of registered voters, while 41 percent had a
favorable opinion as many as 52 percent viewed her unfavorably. And in
comparison with past vice-presidents, she is 18.1, 53.6 and 40.6 points
behind Joe Biden, Dick Cheney and Al Gore respectively at the same
point in their tenures.
course on the question of political deception and bluff, there is a
master practitioner in India, the prime minister, Narendra Modi. With
an ever-growing beard, his visage resembles a Hindu holy man (Sadhu) and
he has in actual fact a self-professed mystic, Yogi Adityanath, as
Chief Minister of India's most populous state . The CAA (Citizenship
Amendment Act) sold by Modi as easing the path to citizenship does so
but does not include Muslims and Jews in its provisions. Thus for the
first time in the country's history discrimination against Islam and
Judaism is official policy.
NRC (National Register of Citizens) then becomes a threat to Muslims;
excluded from the CAA, they may be required to prove their citizenship.
However, the poor rarely register births, and documents are meaningless
to the illiterate -- currently about a quarter of the population and a
figure much higher among the poorest.
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