Monday, February 26, 2007

The Left's identification with murderous aggressors

Post lifted from The American Thinker. I generally put up excerpts here but this post is so spot-on that I am putting up the whole lot

Psychiatry is familiar with an odd syndrome called "identification with the aggressor." It's sometimes called the Stockholm Syndrome, after the behavior of Stockholm bank employees taken hostage by bank robbers, who, when they were rescued,  came out singing the praises of their captors.

Recently we saw the same human oddity when two Fox News reporters were kidnapped in Gaza, and forced to convert to Islam at the point of a gun. After his freedom was bought (at a reported cost of millions of dollars), reporter Steve Centanni told the world that:
"I hope that this never scares a single journalist away from coming to Gaza to cover the story because the Palestinian people are very beautiful and kind hearted. The world needs to know more about them. Don't be discouraged."
"Kind-hearted" and "beautiful" are not the first words that come to mind to describe kidnappers who were quite ready to murder Steve Centanni only a day before.  In psychiatric thinking the reporters "identified with the aggressors" --- the terrorist kidnappers --- in a mental flip that allowed them to push away their realistic fear of dying to a distant imaginary cause. They no longer thought of themselves as helpless victims, having adopted the kidnappers' point of view.

The most infamous examples come from World War II Nazi concentration camps, where some prisoners were placed in charge of others. According to witnesses like psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, these "Kapos" would wear discarded pieces of Nazi uniforms and often abuse their fellow victims. Unconsciously they were identifying with the aggressors, to ward off the awful awareness of their own vulnerability. People do things like that in extremis.

Now look at the behavior of the Left since 9/11, both in this country, Europe, and even Israel. Rather than feel righteously angered by the terrorist mass murder of 3,000 innocent people, large parts of the Left have adopted the aggressors' point of view. They keep telling us that the Islamic fascists were right to blow up innocent people who had done them no harm; some of them have taken on conspiracy theories, claiming that Bush or Israel really committed the atrocities.  At the same time they are in deep denial about the danger of future terrorist attacks on American soil, and blindly refuse to see the rising threat of nuclear proliferation by stateless terror groups. Instead, they "displace" their fear and anger on George W. Bush. To the Left, once Bush is gone, the terror problem will simply and magically go away.

Yet we know that small amounts of radioactive materials --- like the Polonium 210 that was used just two months ago to poison Alexander Litvinenko in London --- could be turned into a "dirty bomb" in anybody's garage. It wouldn't take any more technical skill than was used in 1995 to blow up the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City.

Terrorists with dirty bombs are a murderous threat to all of us, but the Left denies it. Twisting reality is the hallmark of mental pathology.

The Left's behavior looks just like identification with the Islamofascist aggressor. Just as the concentration camp Kapos wore pieces of Nazi uniforms to magically assume the power of their killers-to-be, the radical Left adopts the symbols and slogans of Hezbollah and Al Qaida. Strikingly, their intellectual leader Noam Chomsky is the son of a Hebrew scholar --- a man who devoted his life to the study and teaching of Hebrew, and who would therefore be a ready target for today's fascists. Chomsky must have grown up as a child in a most devout household. No doubt many of his family members were murdered in the Nazi Holocaust. Yet last year Chomsky flew to Lebanon to be publicly photographed shaking hands with Hassan Nasrallah, who was even then preparing to launch many hundreds of short-range missiles at Jewish civilians in Israel --- including, no doubt, Talmudic scholars. Chomsky has been a radical Leftist all his life, even before he became famous as a linguist.  Identification with the aggressor? It certainly would explain his very odd life course.

In London, during the Hezbollah war in Lebanon, demonstrators from George Galloway's Respect Party (an offshoot of the Socialist Workers' Party) carried signs reading "We are all Hezbollah now." They literally adopted the aggressors' point of view. This has been happening all over Europe, where the Left still reigns supreme, and on American university campuses as well --- probably for the same psychological reason.

The rise of anti-Zionism (and of course anti-Semitism) in Europe can also be seen in this light. If only those six million Jews in Israel were to disappear like magic, goes the wishful thought, all the danger and trouble would go away. Europe's Muslims would become as peaceful as lambs, and Iran's zealots would learn to love us. It is a childlike surrender to fear.

Notice that this is exactly what the Left did during the Cold War. I do not remember a single passionate demonstration against the Soviet Union, which had nuclear-armed missiles aimed directly at Europe and the US. Instead, the most extreme and feverish passions were aimed straight at the United States, the country that led and protected the West from Soviet aggression.

The other side of "identification with the aggressor" is "blaming the victim." In Nazi concentration camps the Kapos would act out sadistically to other victims, blaming them for Nazi crimes. A decade ago the phrase "blaming the victim" was on everybody's lips, when feminists loudly accused all men of blaming rape victims for being raped. That seemed to disappear along with the Bill Clinton saga and his blatant sexual abuse of a young intern, to the deafening silence of the feminist Left. Today we can plainly see "blaming the victim" among Islamic fascists, who often accuse young girls of being sluts if they are gang-raped by men. Islamic radicals always blame their victims. That is what makes them incapable of guilt toward their victims.

The real oddity is that the Left has enthusiastically joined the new fascists. We no longer hear the old trope of "blaming the victim" from feminists. Rather, feminists on the Left have joined Islamofascists in blaming the United States --- for being the fire brigade that is trying to put out the fire. The Left even defends women being pressured to wear the burqa, the ancient sign of women's submission and sexual slavery in the most retrogressive kind of tribal Islam. Shari'a law prescribes exactly how women are to be physically slapped for failing to obey fathers and husbands.  Feminists are silent.

The Left claims to value "peace" above all things; but that means that self-defense ranks nowhere. It's not an option --- at least not when Republicans are in office. If we leave out self-defense against Iranian nukes or El Qaida truck bombs, there is no option except submission. That is what "identification with the aggressor" comes down to. It is a Stockholm Syndrome for millions of people --- most of the readers of the New York Times and the UK Guardian, just for starters.

To make things worse, the Left itself is ruthlessly aggressive against conservatives, democratic individuals who happen to disagree with them. There is a true persecutorial viciousness in the Left's attacks on Republican presidents, from Herbert Hoover to Dwight D. Eisenhower and George W. Bush. Emotionally, these people want to destroy those who defy their demands. Almost all the assassins and would-be assassins of American Presidents since JFK have been Leftists, starting with Lee Harvey Oswald. So their rage is not exactly harmless.

Most of the time the Left just aims at destroying conservatives' careers and public reputations - as they have tried to do with ferocious fury in the cases of Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Ann Coulter, Tom Delay, Rush Limbaugh, and numerous others. And it's not just national politics. Harvard University feminists just formed a lynch mob that drove Larry Summer's out of the Presidency and appear to have succeeded in replacing him with one of their own. They have succeeded in placing their own radical leaders in the top power positions at the most prestigious university in the United States.

They are driven by paranoid rage: They are in fact the aggressors.

But when it comes to assaults on their country, the Left blames the victims. The most militant Leftists seem severely damaged psychologically. The recent suicide by the militant lesbian President of UC Santa Cruz may be only the tip of the pathological iceberg.

Many radical Leftists seem to suffer from a basic twist in character. They constantly confuse aggressive and defensive actions by their own country, on whose freedom and protection they depend every hour of the day. They constantly indulge sworn enemies of our freedom and well-being. They constantly push for government actions that seem plausible on the surface, but which inevitably hurt the very people they are supposed to help. It happens over and over again.

When I was young I thought the Left was just confused, but now I'm increasingly drawn to the idea that there is a deep, if unconscious, malevolence at the bottom of the history of disasters inflicted by those people. They are dangerous.


There were a couple of factual errors regarding the Stockholm syndrome and Noam Chomsky's father (who was in fact a Communist as well as being a Hebrew scholar) in the article above which I have corrected.



There is a good comment here on so-called American "arrogance". Excerpt: "Bush has been steadfast in his belief that the safety of American citizens takes precedence over the good opinion of the world's chattering classes. After all, he was not elected by world citizens, but by American citizens. In the end, our president is only accountable to us. Not to the French politician who considers the atrocity of 9/11 to be a mere "incident" in history. Not to the U.N., a bloated bureaucracy that has no problem giving Cuba a seat on its Human Rights Council.... It is amazing how all discussion of American arrogance ceases when some kind of disaster occurs somewhere in the world. Then, instead of berating us, the world entreats us to send money, troops, and other types of humanitarian aid to victims of tsunamis, earthquakes, and so on"

Bloggers raised this matter ages ago -- action at last: "Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday that those found to have been responsible for allowing substandard living conditions for soldier outpatients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center will be "held accountable." However, no one in the Army chain of command has so far offered to resign. Gates spoke to reporters after visiting the medical compound, whose reputation as a premier caregiver for soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan has taken a hit following a Washington Post series of reports last weekend that documented problems in soldiers' housing and in the medical bureaucracy at Walter Reed." [An insightful blogger comment here]

What fun!: "I have written previously about the Danish organization SIAD, "Stop the Islamification of Denmark". SIAD's latest tactic against the encroachment of Islam in Denmark is is to demand that parts of the Koran be banned, in accordance with Danish law: "The Danish party, SIAD, demands parts of the Koran be forbidden in Denmark in accordance with the Danish Constitution. SIAD hereby draws attention to the fact that the Koran is in violation of the Danish Constitution's paragraphs 67 and 69. SIAD further claims that mosques should be forbidden in consonance with paragraph 78, clause 2. SIAD also demands that all Koran verses incompatible with Danish customs and traditional values should be banned in accordance with the Danish Constitution's paragraphs 67 and 69, which state that "Citizens have the right to form communities with a view to practising religion in accordance with their faith, but on condition that nothing is taught or done that is at odds with morality or public order"."



"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".

The kneejerk response of the Green/Left to people who challenge them is to say that the challenger is in the pay of "Big Oil", "Big Business", "Big Pharma", "Exxon-Mobil", "The Pioneer Fund" or some other entity that they see, in their childish way, as a boogeyman. So I think it might be useful for me to point out that I have NEVER received one cent from anybody by way of support for what I write. As a retired person, I live entirely on my own investments. I do not work for anybody and I am not beholden to anybody.

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