About the personalization and the externalization of evil.

Remember those claims that the only obstacle between Irak and Peace and Democracy was Saddham Hussein?
Do you still believe this?

Here's another myth: Yasser Arafat as troublemaker.

Clinton underwrote then Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak's portrayal of Arafat as a terrorist and an obstacle to peace in order that Barak could be re-elected. The myth instead gave rise to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, as the Israeli public felt only a Sharon could deal with that mythical monster Arafat. (...)

Instead, they watched, some cheering, while a democratically elected leader was imprisoned for years and slowly killed, without apparently feeling any moral queasiness or shame. This myth made all that possible. Arafat the obstacle.

A year after his death, the claim that his removal would positively alter the political landscape and give the chance to Israel, the Palestinians and the international community to negotiate a settlement has proven false. And being false, it allowed an even more destructive reality to take hold.

Now that I think about it, I realize that my previous ticket is closely related:
I'm sure that some many would blame the unruly youth for disrupting law and order during many nights of riots, when we should actually blame ourselves for our failure to listen when they were not violent but telling us quietly what their problems were.

This could be part of a series: blaming individuals when the real evil is within each one of us. But instead of recognizing our own shortcomings, we blame our problems on some other individuals. We are truly convinced that should those individuals just "go away" or at least mend their ways, then we'd have peace. The thing is "monsters" like Hussein, Arafat, our former colleague or our neighbor do get arrested by US soldiers, or die from a cancer that spread while being captive in their own country, or are fired, or move to another city. Still, strangely enough, in every case the problems seem to remain the same (often enough, but not always: sometimes, someone's departure do solve some problems).

We should realize that we are too quick to blame our problems on other people. Probably, we would gain a lot by looking within ourselves, and understand our faults: even if the people we dislike were to cease bothering us, our own shortcomings, the real reasons for our problems, would carry on bringing us troubles.

Let's not try to change others, may they be country leaders, or our in-laws. Let's change ourselves.