The deep divide between reality and insanity grows ever deeper. We want to pick up where we left off.
Liberal pundits, having failed to depose George Bush, have set their sights on a lesser and easier target- Mel Gibson. His moronic, drunken anti Semitic tirade is apparently the cause for much concern and chest beating. Never mind that Gibson was drunk- and like most drunks, who at one time or another, say things they regret. Never mind that even in his drunken stupor, Mr Gibson never threatened anyone- unlike the hordes that have threatened the President and others who disagree with them, with death when sober, and never mind that the Liberal pundits ignore and are less concerned with blatant and deliberate anti Semitism that has become mainstream in much of the European and American academic and media community.
The real problem is Mel Gibson.
Never mind the blatant anti Semitism that emanates from the Arab world. We are told to believe that represents nothing more than a ‘differing worldview.’
Well, listen up. The societies in which 100 million women have suffered FGM, abuse women and children, and continue to engage in behavior that is nothing short of murderous and barbaric (acid attacks on women, gang rape, honor killings, violence directed at religious minorities), is a failed and dysfunctional society. A culture and society that has those done nothing or little to eradicate those behaviors, has no credibility or ‘differing world views’ when it comes to Jews and Israel.
Arab opinions on civilized society, Jews or Israel are like opinions on what is pornography, culled from a society of sexual deviants.
If Mel Gibson’s stupid, drunken anti Semitic remarks are of such concern, why aren’t the vile and repugnant anti Semitic ideologies and theologies of the Arab world aren’t addressed? What makes rabid and vicious anti Semitism from the Arab world, so much more acceptable? Is it because that kind of anti Semitism is deliberate?
Here’s another thought: There was a time when if a child misbehaved, an entire neighborhood would keep that child in line. How a child behaved was the neighborhood’s business, because it reflected on the neighborhood. We wrote,
…most immigrants have always been ashamed of their criminal classes- and in fact, went out of their way to be better than average. They had something to prove. That’s why Irish beat cops beat the crap out of little red headed boys that stole apples. The cop didn’t really care about the kids. He cared that the kid’s mother and family would be ashamed. The Irish weren’t all shanty, you know. Italian family females were more formidable than most weapons of mass destruction. There was a mother, grandmother, aunt or cousin to keep you in line- and they didn’t have to be related to you. Success in Little Italy was a community event. Jewish immigrant parents made sure it was understood that primary education ended with a Bachelor’s degree. A graduate degree was OK, but a doctorate was preferable. If you weren’t so inclined, that was OK, too. It didn’t matter if mama died a few years early, of grief.
Every success was a neighborhood and community success and every failure was a neighborhood and community failure. Why? Because we cared about each other and we knew the difference between right and wrong.
Can anyone imagine an Italian or Polish kid that might bring rockets or weapons into the neighborhood, with the deliberate intent of hurting innocents? Every Mama, Babcha and every male would drop what they were doing to beat the living hell out of that kid.
Well, not so in the Arab world. It is clear they are proud of their criminal class. If the Arab world is willing to stand by, shield and support their criminal classes, they ought not be surprised if they get caught in the the crossfire.
It not ‘collective punishment’ when communities that have offered criminals safe shelter and passage are targeted for their complicity, any more than the get away driver is not guilty of bank robbery. That get away driver is as guilty as the gang member that pointed the gun in the tellers face. There are no special rules for those who commit crimes in the name of ‘slaughtering Jews.’
Mel Gibson isn’t the problem. In fact, every Jew, Israeli, American and citizen of every civilized country, wish he were the problem. The liberal pundits and MSM however, don’t want you to see that.
August 2, 2006
Most Americans know that Al Qaeda and its franchises are willing to sink to any depth to destroy the United States. But few people realize just how deep those depths are.
The public’s knowledge of the terror group’s goals and motives is largely confined to the English translations of Osama Bin Laden’s and Ayman al-Zawahiri’s propaganda. Consequently, Al Qaeda and like-minded groups, or “jihadis,” are viewed either as unthinking zealots or misguided freedom fighters.
“The Management of Savagery” – a book written in 2004 by Abu Bakr Naji, a high-level Al Qaeda strategist – suggests that both perspectives are off the mark.
Most jihadi writings in Arabic are similar to those already available in English. These are lengthy exposés on the Western plot to destroy Islam, dense with religious references meant to justify a violent response to this plot. Naji’s book is different. Unlike typical jihadi tracts, this genre eschews religious propaganda in favor of scientific analysis, drawing on close readings of Western political theories.
In “The Management of Savagery,” Naji argues that the jihadis failed in the past to establish an Islamic state because they were focused on toppling local regimes. These efforts were fruitless, he argues, because jihadis were seen as fighting their own people, which alienated the masses. Moreover, the local governments proved impervious to revolution as long as they were supported by the U.S. Based on his understanding of power politics, Naji says that the jihadis had to provoke the United States to invade a country in the Middle East.
This would 1.) turn the Muslims against local governments allied with the U.S.; 2.) destroy the U.S. aura of invincibility, which it maintains through the media, and 3.) create sympathy for the jihadis, who would be viewed as standing up to Crusader aggression. Moreover, the invasion would bleed the U.S. economy and sap its military power, leading to social unrest at home and its ultimate withdrawal from the Middle East.
Naji had hoped that Afghanistan would play out in this manner for the U.S., as it did for the Soviets. Now, Naji places his hopes on Iraq. Once the U.S. withdraws from Iraq, he contends, the jihadis must quickly move to invade neighboring countries.
Some countries are particularly ripe for jihadi incursion: Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Yemen, as well as North West Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. These areas were selected by Al Qaeda because of each region’s geographic features, weak central governments, the receptivity of the people and the proliferation of weapons and jihadi propaganda. The plan, according to Naji, is to conduct small- to medium-scale attacks on crucial infrastructure (like oil or tourism), which will cause the government to draw in its security forces. Chaos or “savagery” will erupt in the unpoliced areas.
Then, the jihadis will move into these security vacuums and provide basic services to people, who will welcome an end to the instability. The final goal is to establish a single global state ruled by a pious Muslim dictator, the caliph, who will implement a strict interpretation of Islamic law.
Drawing on the experience of jihadis in Egypt and Algeria, Naji cautions his readers that no plan will succeed unless the jihadis learn how to respond to public opinion and manipulate the media.
Many Westerners underestimate just how sophisticated and ruthless our enemy is. Reading Naji is a start to better understand our foes’ mind-set, particularly because his text has Al Qaeda’s seal of approval. The manual is available at http://www.ctc.usma.edu/naji.asp. Without this kind of information, the American people and our lawmakers and judges will never fully understand the awful magnitude of what we face.
This understanding is crucial for generating the bipartisan support and action so badly needed to effectively wage the long-term battle against those who would threaten our way of life. Only by knowing the depths to which the enemy will sink to defeat us will we be able to have a meaningful discussion of how far we should go to destroy them.
McCants translated “The Management of Savagery.” He is a fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.
Just over a week ago, on the night of Tuesday July 18, the military leadership of Hamas met in an apartment building filled with families to plan the latest round of attacks on Israel. Among them was Mohammed Def, a master terrorist who has for years planned attacks on civilians using the cover of innocent Palestinians as protection.
Today I received an email from the leadership of Oxfam drawing my attention to a press release . The Oxfam press release calls upon Tony Blair to demand an Israeli military police investigation into an allegation that on Monday July 17 Israeli soldiers used six civilians as human shields during a gunfight with armed Palestinians in northern Gaza.
In fact, Oxfam’s source is an Israeli group called B’Tselem (B’Tselem is the Hebrew for “in the image of” God). The allegation must be investigated and, if proven, the perpetrators should be punished with the full rigour of the law, backed by public disapproval of this disgusting behaviour.
Disgusting though it is, however, I suppose one should not be totally surprised. After all, even British and US soldiers are capable of appalling acts – as we know from Iraq.
I have no quarrel with Oxfam’s press release and would not wish to offer either justification or mitigation. What concerns me, however, is that Oxfam has not drawn my attention to press releases about Mohammed Def, about years of cynical Hamas exploitation of their fellow Palestinians by hiding their activities in the houses and apartment blocks of their fellow countrymen. Nor have I seen press releases linking many of the quite unacceptable civilian casualties in Lebanon to the tactic of hiding lethal missiles in basements and garages and turning a whole area of residential Beirut into terrorist headquarters.
I confess to not understanding much of the reaction in Britain to what is going on in Lebanon. I don’t understand why Anthony Howard (on Any Questions) compared what he asserted was collective punishment being inflicted by Israel to “the behaviour of the Nazis towards it [sic] in world war two”. I didn’t understand the contributor on the same programme who suggested that Israel’s bombing of Hizbullah bunkers in Lebanon would have been the equivalent of Britain bombing Dublin during the IRA terrorist campaign. The analogies are both silly and obscene.
How can I explain to myself this avalanche of criticism of Israel? Is it, perhaps, rooted in a feeling that Israel should behave according to different, higher standards than its enemies? I must confess that I expect Israel to behave according to the highest Judaeo-Christian ethical standards. But the inference that Islam does not share those values is patronising and offensive.
Is it perhaps that western intellectuals like Jews best when they are victims but cannot cope when they assert their rights to be free from terror in their own land? Is there something about the Jew – perhaps the way we have been treated by western Christian society over 2,000 years – that still makes others uncomfortable and determined to take every opportunity to point out that we are no better than anybody else. Believe me, we know we’re not, and we don’t want to be a permanent reproach.
Whatever the explanation for this latest outpouring of criticism, fair-minded liberals, those committed to justice and the values of western society, need to face up to what is really going on “out there”.
We have witnessed the rise of a perversion of Islam, a fanatical Shia fundamentalism that does not share our values – yours, mine or Islam’s. Whether in London or New York, Kabul or Bali, Beirut or Haifa, it claims a truth that permits any act of barbarity, however savage. At this time, one of its key bastions is Iran, and it is quite clear that Iran – in arming Hizbullah, in supporting other Islamic fundamentalist groups, in endorsing Osama bin Laden and in developing nuclear weapons – rejects out of hand everything that you and I stand for.
It is true that there is a virulent anti-semitism associated with the regime in Tehran. That’s why the president has just said that he would be happy for all Jews to come to Israel, so that he can wipe out the Jewish people in one fell swoop without having to pursue diaspora Jewry to the four corners of the earth. But if you think that only Jews and Israel are on the Iranian agenda, you must be completely daft. For Jews and Israel are simply on the frontline, at the point where the tectonic plates of the west and Islamic fundamentalism meet.
You may well argue that western foreign policy – globalisation, exploitation – is to blame. But I think what we are witnessing is an episode in a long history of conflict between the Muslim and western worlds that goes back to the very birth of Islam and for which both the (Christian) west and the Muslim world must take responsibility.
You may even think that the existence of Israel complicates the situation, and it would have been better had the United Nations not taken its fateful decision in May 1948. We Jews are used to being a complication and a nuisance.
However, what you must not dispute is the danger in which we all stand. There is a fanatical, implacable enemy out there, and it rejects the fundamental values by which we try to live and on which we stand. It is an enemy bent on reshaping the Middle East; an enemy that could, ultimately, hasten the decline of the west and the rise of China.
It is also a very astute opponent. I have no doubt that Hizbullah/Iran suckered the inexperienced Israeli government into its response in order to deflect G8 discussions of Tehran’s nuclear plans. I have no doubt that Syria and Iran knew that Israel’s response would bring about civilian casualties, a humanitarian disaster in Lebanon and the wave of international concern and criticism of Israel.
Let me repeat: people are absolutely right to point to Israel’s failures to abide by the highest values. But to allow the western conscience to be manipulated and to avoid seeing what is really going on – that would be a failure of gigantic proportions with consequences not just for Israel but for the long-term future of western civilisation, which with all its many faults is infinitely preferable to anything else currently on offer.
Now, see Shrinkwrapped’s Guilt Vs Shame, an absolutely necessary read.
The most powerful weapon the Islamists have is the guilt of the West. Actually, I would amend that a bit. There is a strain of shame in the West that must be taken into account, since it is so instrumental in aiding the enemy.
Europe has a thousand year history of tormenting the Jews. Anti-Semitism in Europe survives even in the relative absence of Jews. Europeans are tormented by their own shameful complicity in the Holocaust (as has been said, Germany will never forgive the Jews for the Holocaust.) Shame is such a horrendous emotion that people will do almost anything to avoid the feeling. This can include honor killing of a female relative after she has been raped. Remove the source of the shame and you no longer feel the shame. Europe has gone far toward ethnically cleansing themselves of Jews; they very easily fall back into the comfortable position of blaming the Jews for their shame and using the Jews’ guilt to rationalize their own shameful behavior. Thus, a “distinguished” back bencher in England can find the moral equivalence between the Israeli behavior in Lebanon and the German atrocities in the Warsaw Ghetto…
Beyond the evidence of the victory of left-wing deconstruction to thoroughly deconstruct all reason, this shows the loss of moral compass of so many Europeans when the Jews enter the picture.[emp-SC&A] (We also need to factor in the very real fear the Europeans feel from the millions of angry, unassimilated Muslims in their midst, and their dependence on Muslim oil as motivators.)…
Compound traditional anti-Semitism with residual Shame (and hatred of the cause of the shame, the Jews) and add residual Guilt (Europe, having given up on religion, are left with secular guilt instead devoid of a loving and forgiving G-d, a poor trade in any reckoning) and there are potent forces, expressed through the media and elites, which believe their safety and security lie within allying themselves with those who would kill them. [emp-SC&A]
Shrinkwrapped’s logic and conclusions do not require any kind of intellectual gymnastics. To comprehend what is a clear reality, he asks for nothing more than mild awareness. His remarks are unequivocal and unimpeachable. Europe and much of the left have made deliberate choices. They are setting the stage for history to repeat itself- once more they wil be ‘passive’ participants in the attack on Jews. Like drug addicts, they are self medicating with ever increasing doses of deceit and self deception. Once more they believe that they. ‘civilized Europeans,’ have a monopoly on morality- and that morality is defined by their needs du jour. Read Shrinkwrapped’s post, in it’s entirety.
With that in mind, recall Gagdad Bob’s words.
In my opinion, it can surely be no coincidence that the most humane place in all of the Middle East is surrounded by barbarians who wish to extinguish it in the exact degree to which they systematically abuse their own children.
It is also no coincidence that Europe looks the other way.
August 2, 2006
This morning, Gagdad Bob discusses sacrifices, including the human kind. He also notes that- in a remarkbale insight- that child abuse ‘is the default setting’ for human beings and that it is our understanding and relationship with God that has changed that. He also notes that it is the type of relationship with God that counts. In much of the Islamic world, child abuse is endemic. For example, the rumblings concerning the events that occured at Qana- human sacrifices, in fact, are disturbing, to say the least. That handicapped children may have been sacrifriced to further Hizbollah’s agenda is beyond western sensibilities. The possibility has been noted by Israeli, French and Lebanese sources.
Gagdad asks. “Will we survive the religiously cracked and the secular crock?”
That we seem to tolerate the sacrifice of children, to hate and possibly worse, does not leave one hopeful.
Q: You said, “The default religion of human beings is the practice of human sacrifice. This pathological virus planted deep in the heart of the human species has been given insufficient attention by scholars. Virtually all primitive cultures and ancient civilizations engaged in it.” You state further, “Obviously, the foundation stone of Judaism is the injunction against human sacrifice, when God tells Abraham not to kill him a son out on highway 61. Superficially, Christianity may be seen as a resuscitation of the sacrificial motif, with the murder of the innocent Jesus, but in reality, this is clearly intended to convey the idea that when we murder innocence, we murder God. The crucifixion of Jesus is meant to be the last human sacrifice, with Jesus standing in for our own murdered innocence (and our own murderous selves).”
Was Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to the one God, a shortcoming? Did Abraham “pass the test” or did he fail? Does God have a sense of humor?
A: First of all, I should say that this particular view of the sacrificial motif in Christianity is not original to me, but is outlined in a wonderful book entitled Violence Unveiled, by Gil Bailie. A number of readers actually contacted me for clarification of my view, because I didn’t make it clear that Bailie (who is Catholic) is not talking about Christian theology per se, but about the unconscious anthropological implications of Christian theology, as it seeps into the culture at large. In short, Christian cultures are going to have a much greater capacity to identify with the victim, which has both a positive side (empathy for true victims) and a negative side (the whole dysfunctional leftist victim culture that shadows and parasitizes Christianity).
Now, “was Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to the one God, a shortcoming?” And “did Abraham ‘pass the test’ or did he fail?”
Like all biblical stories, this one operates on no less than four levels–the literal, moral, symbolic, and mystical–but actually several more than that, including psychological, metaphysical, meta-historical, and cosmological. These stories are like multifaceted little holographic jewels–turn it just a bit, and you can unlock an entirely new dimension. But the main idea is that scripture embodies both an exterior/horizontal and an interior/vertical dimension.
So what is this story telling us? What is its point? I’m not sure if what follows is a kosher exegesis, but it is my own attempt to square the story with psychological truth.
The first question we must ask is, who was that voice in Abraham’s head telling him to murder his son? Was it really God? Or was it something else? In his book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, Julian Jaynes put forth the intriguing idea that ancient man lived in a state of psychological fragmentation, almost like what we would now regard as a multiple personality, or perhaps like Mel Gibson after a night out with the goys. He deduces this from a great deal of data, but concludes, for example, that what modern people experience as a relatively integrated conscience, or superego, ancient man experienced as a sort of command hallucination.
Child abuse has always existed. As a matter of fact, the further back in history you go, the more child abuse you discover. Except that it goes unnoticed, because it is simply embedded in the culture, just as it is today in the Islamic world. I would go so far as to say that mistreating, rather than loving, children is the “default” setting of human beings. As a psychoanalytically informed psychologist, I have no hesitation whatsoever in making this statement. Childhood is filled with trauma that is internalized, only to be acted out later in life in various relationships–including with one’s own children.
Nowadays a person just lashes out at their children without the verbal middleman. They don’t generally hear a voice telling them to do it, as did, for example, Andrea Yates. But the internalized unconscious entity that compels the abuse is still there. If we could put the abuser on the couch, have them free associate, and take the deposition of this split-off sub-personality, we might well be able to give voice to the entity that wishes to harm the child. It is very likely an internalized sadistic object lashing out at a projected, devalued, masochistic part of the abuser’s own self. In other words, it is an entirely internal psychological drama into which the child has been inducted to play a role.
I have seen this dynamic play out in dozens, probably hundreds of clinical histories. I remember one case of a woman who was sadistically and arbitrarily abused by her mother. She remembers asking her mother why she beat her, to which her mother responded with words to the effect of, “when I was a little girl, my mother beat me. When you grow up it will be your turn.”
So breaking the cycle of acting out our “mind parasites” on children is one of the keys to both individual and collective psychohistorical evolution. It is well understood by historians of antiquity that the Jews were exceptional in this regard. (I had a recent series of posts on this topic.) One of the things that set the ancient Jews apart from their contemporaries was their more humane treatment of both women and children, in particular, female children (who were greatly devalued in the ancient world). It is not so much that their standards were higher as compared with the modern West, but by the incredibly cruel standards of the day. I believe that this is one of the factors that allowed the Jews as a group to vault ahead of others despite the constant vilification and scapegoating that has dogged them right up to the vile editorial pages of this (or most any) morning’s New York Times.
In my opinion, it can surely be no coincidence that the most humane place in all of the Middle East is surrounded by barbarians who wish to extinguish it in the exact degree to which they systematically abuse their own children.
As a matter of fact, a couple of days ago a reader sent me this link to a piece in the Claremont Review on child sacrifice. In it, the author recalls Golda Meir’s famous remark about how “peace with the Palestinians will be possible when they love their own children more than they hate the Israelis. In saying so, she touched upon a fundamental difference between pagan and biblical religion: the presence or absence of child sacrifice…. Many ancient peoples believed in sacrificing a child to an angry god like Moloch or Baal in order to avert misfortune. Today, thousands of Muslims believe that sacrificing their children as ‘suicide’ bombers in a crowd of people pleases their God Allah. More, Islamic terrorists invite the death of children by placing their military and political headquarters in residential areas which they know their enemies will strike.”
Folks, is this not an obvious, if horrid–and therefore denied–truth about mankind in general and the Islamic world in particular? The author concludes his piece on a pessimistic note, speculating that “if the current intellectuals’ project of undermining the Biblical traditions of the Western world continues unabated…, rather than embracing some new, ‘enlightened’ philosophy which previous generations were supposedly too dull to conceive or practice, likely we will wind up with ancient paganism instead.”
This is exactly what I have stated in the past. Naive secularists believe that if we can only eliminate religion, then we will end up with a scientific and rational worldview. Not so. Eliminate religion–specifically, Judeo-Christian religion–and pagan magic rushes in to fill the breach. If your three eyes are opened, you only see it everywhere.
As the writer puts it, “Paganism has the advantage of being older than Christianity, the faith which arouses most of the hatred of the pseudo-intellectuals of our time…. Much of Islam today seems to have more in common with the pagan religions which preceded its founding in the seventh century. No clearer case of child sacrifice exists now than radical Islam’s cult of suicide bombings…” Who is that voice telling Muslims to murder children–both their own and others’? Could it be the same voice that told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac? No: could it possibly not be the same voice?
As a psychologist, I see the story of Abraham and Isaac as a primordial, archetypal tale of how barbarous pagans stopped listening to their psychotic, child-hating “god,” and instead took a right turn in history, discovered the God of Love, and became the Jews that we know and love. That little crack of light that opened up in antiquity runs in a straight line to us. Another line leads to contemporary Islam and its allies among the international Left. It is so obvious, and yet people do not see. This occasionally causes me real despair, as if the foundations of the West are being eroded in plain sight, on one side by Islamic do-badders, on the other side by leftist do-gooders.
Oh, by the way. You asked if God has a sense of humor. I don’t know how that question got mixed in with this one, but the answer is yes, which is one of the things I try to bring out in my blog. Speaking of which, we all know that Jews are staggeringly over-represented among the greatest comedians of all time. Likewise, this whole global jihad nightmare would be over in a second if Muslims could just laugh at how silly they are, instead of killing people. But the god of jihad and child sacrifice is not the God of Groucho Marx or Rodney Dangerfield. Well, maybe Rodney Dangerfield, in that they are obsessed with being granted the respect that they haven’t earned–probably because it was never given to them by mullah and fatwa when they were infatoddlers.
There is an old joke: “It doesn’t matter what faith you are, so long as you’re ashamed of it.” Islam is supposed to be a “shame culture.” If so, one wonders why they always act so shamelessly. Perhaps because they are angry victims of their own childhood shame–projected into the West that “shames” them–and the Left is always willing to assist a fellow self-made victim.
Will we survive the religiously cracked and the secular crock? As has always been the case at every point in the traveling catastrophe known as history, it will be a nail-biter.