It was a solution right up there with “Let them eat cake.” Addressing the issue of Jews fleeing Europe due to increasing Islamic terrorism and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for them to seek safety in Israel, Bill Nye “the Science Guy” had an interesting solution: “Get to know your neighbors.” The comment, made on Bill Maher’s show Real Time Feb. 20, was then followed by Nye’s interrogative, “What, does it take a century, something like that?”
This prompted some commentators, such as Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld, to say that Nye was blaming Jews for the Muslim threat. Get to know your neighbors? Yes, to pick up on a point Gutfeld made and run with it, perhaps a few dinner parties and other assorted soirees would inspire epiphanies such as, “You know, I was going to chop your head off, but you make a killer matzo ball soup.” The problem here, as Gutfeld said in so many words, is not Jews shooting up halal grocery stores. Nor are Muslims being taunted and spat upon while walking Paris streets as the Jewish man in this video was. But perhaps Nye is like those school administrators who punish a victimized child who tried physically defending himself just as harshly as his attacker in the thinking, “Hey, he was repeatedly punching the kid on top of him in the fist with his face, right?”
This commentary by Nye — who has invoked Holocaust terminology in branding climate-change realists “deniers” — caused Gutfeld to label him, “Bill Nye ‘the Denial Guy.’” It may be a more fitting moniker than one relating to science, too, as a real scientist is actually out there, you know, inventing stuff. Instead, Nye took his B.S. in mechanical engineering, cut his entertainment teeth on a Seattle sketch-comedy TV show, and then parlayed his credentials into his well-known children’s science program. Now he’s supposedly qualified to dismiss climate-change realism and pontificate as an Expert in the Area of Everything. But Nye has always been a left-wing guy; take Barney the dinosaur, put a bowtie around his neck, a beaker in his hand, starve him for two months and make him a quasi-Marxist — and you have Bill Nye.
In fairness to the Denial Guy, perhaps he would say that he’d counsel both Jews and Muslims, and everyone else, to get to know each other better. And maybe he meant that what takes a century is assimilation. Regardless, his commentary betrays a fundamental misunderstanding about man’s nature.
Nye reflects a common belief today: Just get people to know each other, and silly prejudices are dissolved by the solvent of reality. It’s easy for Americans to believe this not only because of Kumbaya-multiculturalism conditioning, but also because of the common impression that this has been our experience. After all, anti-Irish bigotry was once rife, but how much exists now?
And assimilation had worked to a great degree in America, but our relatively short, 239-year history is a mere snapshot of man’s story. In places such as Ruanda and the Balkans, there have been genocide and ethnic cleansing. Countless times in history peoples have been subsumed, as has largely happened to the Ainus in the Japanese islands. And in ancient Greece, the Spartans got to know their neighbors quite well — well enough to turn them into helots, a captive slave class. So, yes, sometimes it takes a century for assimilation.
And sometimes it takes a century to effect conquest.
There’s a funny joke that illustrates a common difficulty living up to the injunction “Love thy neighbor.” It goes: “You know, I basically love everyone in the whole world — everyone. I just have a problem with the 16 or 17 people who happen to be around me.” Sure, Abraham Lincoln once said, “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better,” but another saying to ponder is “Familiarity breeds contempt.” To know people is to love them? Sometimes it’s to hate them.
Of course, some interaction-induced irritation is inevitable. Being around people oftentimes means “bumping into them,” with their occupying the bathroom when you want it or slowing you down on the road; this is where tolerance, properly defined as abiding something you perceive as a negative, actually is a virtue. But then there’s the fact that getting to know people does dispel illusions — and that this includes illusions of goodness.
A family close to me once acquired a DVD of vintage cartoons, the kind they don’t show on TV anymore because, as the politically correct disclaimer stated at the disc’s opening (I’m paraphrasing), “WARNING: These cartoons contain stereotypes that may be offensive to some viewers.” They were referring to things such as depictions of turban-bedecked Arabs in traditional garb and Japanese speaking stereotypical pidgin English. They were the kinds of cartoons I watched Saturday mornings as a boy — and the politically correct critics have it all wrong. Far from inducing in me and my friends negative attitudes toward the groups in question, they instead were intriguing portrayals that might have piqued our interest in learning more about their cultures. What tends to happen, however, when a person from an “intriguing culture” moves in next door? Then you often find that in many ways he’s “just like us.”
“It’s the differences that kill you, though,” as least in certain cases, to quote Colonel Ralph Peters. It’s as when a man and woman marry and really get to know each other. While you usually have that normal bumping into each other, their deepening knowledge of one another can enrich their love. Then again, sometimes there are what many call irreconcilable differences. The husband may learn that his wife harbors a deep-seated hatred of men that sabotages their relationship, or the woman may find out that the man is a lecherous lout. And then there’s that occasional person who was unfailingly charming during courtship, and maintains a sterling public persona, but has a collection of shrunken heads in the attic.
A romantic may now say that love conquers all — and it does have transformative power — but sometimes being too softly loving can lead to being conquered. And, as someone I once knew put it, some people have to be loved from afar.
Speaking of which, why do liberals such as Nye judge situations and people (e.g., Muslim terrorism vis-à-vis the Jews) so wrongly? It’s because they deny the existence of Truth — the only thing that can reveal your emotions as wrong — and thus have deified their emotions, making them the ultimate arbiters of reality. And anyone governed by emotion, that irrational judge, will always fall sway to prejudice.
It takes a century? Sometimes the melting pot boileth over. For not everything melts. Some things just burn.
The edifice of world post-1991 order is collapsing right now before our eyes. President Putin’s decision to give a miss to the Auschwitz pilgrimage, right after his absence in Paris at the Charlie festival, gave it the last shove. It was good clean fun to troll Russia, as long as it stayed the course. Not anymore. Russia broke the rules.
Until now, Russia, like a country bumpkin in Eton, tried to belong. It attended the gathering of the grandees where it was shunned, paid its dues to European bodies that condemned it, patiently suffered ceaseless hectoring of the great powers and irritating baiting of East European small-timers alike. But something broke down. The lad does not want to belong anymore; he picked up his stuff and went home – just when they needed him to knee in Auschwitz.
Auschwitz gathering is an annual Canossa of Western leaders where they bewail their historic failure to protect the Jews and swear their perennial obedience to them. This is a more important religious rite of our times, the One Ring to rule them all, established in 2001, when the Judeo-American empire had reached the pinnacle of its power. The Russian leader had duly attended the events. This year, they will have to do without him. Israeli ministers already have expressed their deep dissatisfaction for this was Russia’s Red Army that saved the Jews in Auschwitz, after all. Russia’s absence will turn the Holocaust memorial day into a parochial, West-only, event. Worse, Russia’s place will be taken by Ukraine, ruled by unrepentant heirs to Hitler’s Bandera.
This comes after the French ‘Charlie’ demo, also spurned by Russia. The West hinted that Russia’s sins would be forgiven, up to a point, if she joined, first the demo, and later, the planned anti-terrorist coalition, but Russia did not take the bait. This was a visible change, for previously, Russian leaders eagerly participated in joint events and voted for West-sponsored resolutions. In 2001, Putin fully supported George Bush’s War on Terrorism in the UN and on the ground. As recently as 2011, Russia agreed with sanctions against North Korea and Iran. As for coming for a demonstration, the Russians could always be relied upon. This time, the Russians did not come, except for the token presence of the foreign minister Mr. Lavrov. This indomitable successor of Mr. Nyet left the event almost immediately and went – to pray in the Russian church, in a counter-demonstration, of sorts, against Charlie. By going to the church, he declared that he is not Charlie.
For the Charlie Hebdo magazine was (and probably is) explicitly anti-Christian as well as anti-Muslim. One finds on its pages some very obnoxious cartoons offending the Virgin and Christ, as well as the pope and the Church. (They never offend Jews, somehow).
A Russian blogger who’s been exposed to this magazine for the first time, wrote on his page: I am ashamed that the bastards were dealt with by Muslims, not by Christians. This was quite a common feeling in Moscow these days. The Russians could not believe that such smut could be published and defended as a right of free speech. People planned a demo against the Charlie, but City Hall forbade it.
Remember, a few years ago, the Pussy Riot have profaned the St Saviour of Moscow like Femen did in some great European cathedrals, from Notre Dame de Paris to Strasbourg. The Russian government did not wait for vigilante justice to be meted upon the viragos, but sent them for up to two years of prison. At the same time, the Russian criminal law has been changed to include ‘sacrilege’ among ordinary crimes, by general consent. The Russians do feel about their faith more strongly than the EC rulers prescribe.
In Charlie’s France, Hollande’s regime frogmarched the unwilling people into a quite unnecessary gay marriage law, notwithstanding one-million-strong protest demonstrations by Catholics. Femen despoiling the churches were never punished; but a church warden who tried to prevent that, was heavily fined. France has a long anti-Christian tradition, usually described as “laic”, and its grand anti-Church coalition of Atheists, Huguenots and Jews coalesced in Dreyfus Affair days. Thus Lavrov’s escape to the church was a counter-demonstration, saying: Russia is for Christ, and Russia is not against Muslims.
While the present western regime is anti-Christian and anti-Muslim, it is pro-Jewish to an extent that defies a rational explanation. France had sent thousands of soldiers and policemen to defend Jewish institutions, though this defence antagonises their neighbours. While Charlie are glorified for insulting Christians and Muslims, Dieudonné has been sent to jail (just for a day, but with great fanfare) for annoying Jews. Actually, Charlie Hebdo dismissed a journalist for one sentence allegedly disrespectful for Jews. This unfairness is a source of aggravation: Muslims were laughed out of court when they complained against particularly vile Charlie’s cartoons, but Jews almost always win when they go to the court against their denigrators. (Full disclosure: I was also sued by LICRA, the French Jewish body, while my French publisher was devastated by their legal attacks).
The Russians don’t comprehend the Western infatuation with Jews, for Russian Jews have been well assimilated and integrated in general society. The narrative of Holocaust is not popular in Russia for one simple reason: so many Russians from every ethnic background lost their lives in the war, that there is no reason to single out Jews as supreme victims. Millions died at the siege of Leningrad; Belarus lost a quarter of its population. More importantly, Russians feel no guilt regarding Jews: they treated them fairly and saved them from the Nazis. For them, the Holocaust is a Western narrative, as foreign as JeSuisCharlie. With drifting of Russia out of Western consensus, there is no reason to maintain it.
This does not mean the Jews are discriminated against. The Jews of Russia are doing very well, thank you, without Holocaust worship: they occupy the highest positions in the Forbes list of Russia’s rich, with a combined capital of $122 billion, while all rich ethnic Russians own only $165 billion, according to the Jewish-owned source. Jews run the most celebrated media shows in prime time on the state TV; they publish newspapers; they have full and unlimited access to Putin and his ministers; they usually have their way when they want to get a plot of land for their communal purposes. And anti-Semitic propaganda is punishable by law – like anti-Christian or anti-Muslim abuse, but even more severely. Still, it is impossible to imagine a Russian journalist getting sack like CNN anchor Jim Clancy or BBC’s Tim Willcox for upsetting a Jew or speaking against Israel.
Russia preserves its plurality, diversity and freedom of opinion. The pro-Western Russian media –Novaya Gazeta of oligarch Lebedev, the owner of the British newspaper Independent – carries the JeSuis slogan and speaks of the Holocaust, as well as demands to restore Crimea to the Ukraine. But the vast majority of Russians do support their President, and his civilizational choice. He expressed it when he went to midnight Christmas mass in a small village church in far-away province, together with orphans and refugees from the Ukraine. And he expressed it by refusing to go to Auschwitz.
Neither willingly nor easily did Russia break ranks. Putin tried to take Western baiting in his stride: be it Olympic games, Syria confrontation, gender politics, Georgian border, even Crimea-related sanctions. The open economic warfare was a game-changer. Russia felt attacked by falling oil prices, by rouble trouble, by credit downgrading. These developments are considered an act of hostility, rather than the result of “the hidden hand of the market”.
Russians love conspiracia, as James Bond used to say. They do not believe in chance, coincidence nor natural occurrences, and are likely to consider a falling meteorite or an earthquake – a result of hostile American action, let alone a fall in the rouble/dollar exchange rate. They could be right, too, though it is hard to prove.
Regarding oil price fall, the jury is out. Some say this action by Saudis is aimed at American fracking companies, or alternatively it’s a Saudi-American plot against Russia. However, the price of oil is not formed by supply-demand, but by financial instruments, futures and derivatives. This virtual demand-and-supply is much bigger than the real one. When hedge funds stopped to buy oil futures, price downturn became unavoidable, but were the funds directed by politicians, or did they act so as Quantitative Easing ended?
The steep fall of the rouble could be connected to oil price downturn, but not necessarily so. The rouble is not involved in oil price forming. It could be an action by a very big financial institution. Soros broke the back of British pound in 1991; Korean won, Thai bath and Malaysian ringgit suffered similar fate in 1998. In each case, the attacked country lost about 40% of its GDP. It is possible that Russia was attacked by financial weapons directed from New York.
The European punitive sanctions forbade long-term cheap credit to Russian companies. The Russian state does not need loans, but Russian companies do. Combination of these factors put a squeeze on Russian pockets. The rating agencies kept downgrading Russian rating to almost junk level, for political reasons, I was told. As they were deprived of credit, state companies began to hoard dollars to pay later their debts, and they refrained from converting their huge profits to roubles, as they did until now. The rouble fell drastically, probably much lower than it had to.
This is not pinpoint sanctions aimed at Putin’s friends. This is a full-blown war. If the initiators expected Russians to be mad at Putin, they miscalculated. The Russian public is angry with the American organisers of the economical warfare, not with its own government. The pro-Western opposition tried to demonstrate against Putin, but very few people joined them.
Ordinary Russians kept a stiff upper lip. They did not notice the sanctions until the rouble staggered, and even then they shopped like mad rather than protested. In the face of shrinking money, they did not buy salt and sugar, as their grandparents would have. Their battle cry against hogging was “Do not take more than two Lexus cars per family, leave something for others!”
Perhaps, the invisible financiers went too far. Instead of being cowed, the Russians are preparing for a real long war, as they and their ancestors have historically fought – and won. It is not like they have a choice: though Americans insist Russia should join their War-on-Terrorism-II, they do not intend to relinquish sanctions.
The Russians do not know how to deal with a financial attack. Without capital restrictions, Russia will be cleaned out. Russian Central bank and Treasury people are strict monetarists, capital restrictions are anathema for them. Putin, being a liberal himself, apparently trusts them. Capital flight has taken huge proportions. Unless Russia uses the measures successfully tried by Mohammad Mahathir of Malaysia, it will continue. At present, however, we do not see sign of change.
This could be the incentive for Putin to advance in Ukraine. If the Russians do not know how to shuffle futures and derivatives, they are expert in armour movements and tank battles. Kiev regime is also spoiling for a fight, apparently pushed by the American neocons. It is possible that the US will get more than what it bargained for in the Ukraine.
One can be certain that Russians will not support the Middle Eastern crusade of NATO, as this military action was prepared at the Charlie demo in Paris. It is far from clear who killed the cartoonists, but Paris and Washington intend to use it for reigniting war in the Middle East. This time, Russia will be in opposition, and probably will use it as an opportunity to change the uncomfortable standoff in the Ukraine. Thus supporters of peace in the Middle East have a good reason to back Russia.
It’s so often the case that the best thing a person can do to improve his reputation is die. John F. Kennedy is now a legendary president, but would he be estimated so highly if he’d been able to end his political career as a man and not a myth? Ah, the power of martyrdom.
And so it is with the editors and cartoonists of French magazine Charlie Hebdo (CH). In the wake of the Jan. 7 attack on its offices, millions are showing their support, heroicizing CH and saying “Je suisCharlie” (I am Charlie). On the other hand, there are a few lonely voices, such as Catholic League president Bill Donohue, who have some less than flattering things to say about the magazine. After unequivocally condemning the killings, Donohue called CH’s late publisher, Stephane Charbonnier, “narcissistic” and said that the journalist “didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death.”
While I usually agree with Donohue, I do part company with him here — somewhat. First, the tone of his statement is a bit too deferential toward Islamic sensitivities. Second, I’m not so sure Donohue himself truly understands the role Charbonnier played in his tragic death. As to this, make no mistake:
Charlie Hebdo was an enemy of Western civilization.
Question: Did the people at CH ever oppose the Muslim immigration into France that, ultimately, led to their deaths?
Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m willing to go out on a limb and guess they didn’t, that they were rather more inclined to call those who did inveigh against it “racists,” xenophobes and intolerant bigots. And this certainly was reflected in an interview CH cartoonist Bernard Holtrop gave to a Dutch newspaper Saturday. He didn’t say much, it seems, but amidst his few words he made sure to express his dissatisfaction with the fact that the CH attack will help Marine Le Pen’s National Front, the only prominent French party questioning the nation’s immigration model.
We might also note that the victims at CH were basically defenseless, save the one police officer guarding the journalists, because of the gun control that is part of their leftist agenda.
As for the material CH was disgorging, Town Hall’s John Ransom characterized it well, saying that the Charlie caricatures were “juvenile, loaded with bathroom humor, and not at all smart. There were many cartoons that I felt were just offensive — not just to Muslims, but to me as well” (hat tip: Jack Kemp). In other words, to reference that failed leftist radio effort, CH was the Air(head) America of print. In typical liberal style, its artists mistook profanity for profundity, cynicism for sagacity and insult for intellectualism. It’s reminiscent of the women who strip naked to protest; even if their causes were just — which they invariably aren’t — what does it prove? Could you imagine George Washington, or maybe wife Martha, having bared it all to protest the British? With that mentality, would there ever have been a positive and successful American Revolution?
But I’ll tell you what it proves: that we’ve had a successful Western devolution. It proves that Frankfurt School founder Willi Munzenberg wasn’t kidding when he said that to impose the dictatorship of the proletariat, they would “make the West so corrupt it stinks.” This putrefaction is now well advanced, and CH was part of this decay.
Of course, many would respect the fact that CH, unlike most leftists, didn’t spare Muslims the scorn it also heaped on Christians and anyone else didn’t like (which seems to have been everyone else). But while this isn’t as bad as a fifth column in your midst, a platoon that indiscriminately sprays bullets at everybody, its own side as well as the enemy, isn’t exactly helping. (In fact, were one of these leftists in a foxhole next to me, I’d have to frag him before dealing with the foe wearing a different uniform.)
Oh, but let me amend that. One might wonder if CH had a side except its own, and I suspect that such people don’t much like themselves, either (can you blame them on that score?); it seemed that everyone was its enemy. CH showed “nuns masturbating and popes wearing condoms,” as Donohue pointed out, and had also attacked the French government, which is pretty much socialist no matter who is in charge. And I know a fellow like this, by the way; he criticized G.W. Bush for being too conservative and then changed his tune when Obama took office.
He started criticizing Obama for being too conservative.
We might ask such people, is there any good in the world at all? Or are you the only good extant?
I know what their answer will be: “F*** ***, @#$%&!”
This typical leftist hatred was reflected by CH’s Holtrop, who responded to the outpouring of support for his mag rag by dismissively saying “We have a lot of new friends, like the pope, Queen Elizabeth and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. It really makes me laugh …We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends.”
But Holtrop and his comrades had been vomiting on Western civilization for years, which is why he doesn’t have to worry about me counting myself among his friends. Instead, I would remind you of British statesman Edmund Burke’s sage words, “It is written in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.” We’re not going to preserve legitimate liberties that would be robbed by men of intemperate minds by being men of different intemperate minds. And whom should we fear most? Who most imperils us? Muslim fundamentalists? Or the left-wing fundamentalists who, like dysfunctional cells attacking a body’s immune system, make us susceptible to harmful outside agencies? To paraphrase Roman philosopher Cicero, an enemy at the gates carrying his banner openly is less formidable than those within the gates who rot the soul of a nation, work secretly in the night to undermine the pillars of the society, and infect the body politic so that it can no longer resist.
We fought with the besieged Soviets to defeat Hitler, but we never said “I am Stalin.” I’m certainly as opposed to Muslim jihadists as anyone, but I’m proud to say je ne suis pas Charlie.
Author’s note: This is a satire. Sort of…
Don’t you just hate it when people get killed? Murdered? Decapitated? Have their bodies blown up? Why would anybody in their right mind even consider killing another fellow human being? Have you yourself killed anybody lately? Not me. I’ve never killed nothing. Cockroaches, maybe — back when I was living rough on the Lower East Side in 1965. But cockroaches don’t count. Or do they? Can you get PTSD from killing bugs? Probably not.
Yet last week 12 people were shot dead in the streets of Paris by unknown gunmen dressed in black and carrying AK-47s — and apparently even a rocket launcher. And yet nobody twigged to these odd Halloween costumes before it was too late? How did this happen? Apparently a deal had been struck.
Over the past decade or so, the American military-industrial complex in all its glory has moved into the Middle East and killed a million or so people. And it has handled, trained and armed Al Qaeda and ISIS, a pretty much documented fact. However. What goes on in the Middle East stays in the Middle East, right? Theoretically, yes.
But Pappy Bush said, “Let’s go invade Kuwait and kill us some Iraqis.” So he did. And then Baby Bush said, “I can do you one even better than that!” And he killed even more Iraqis — and, being in a generous mood, threw in some dead Afghans, Palestinians and Persians as well.
Then Obama came along and started bragging, “I went to Harvard. I can top that!” And by God he did. Libya, Syria, Palestine (again) and Ukraine (technically not the Middle East but it did include slaughtering a whole bunch of people — so that should count for something, right?)
And then apparently some Al Qaeda wannabes sent word to their handlers or whatever at the CIA, saying, “We’ve been your grunts since forever and, don’t get us wrong, we really do appreciate all the training and weapons you’ve given us and the chance to behead women and children left and right. Don’t get us wrong, Consigliere. We are not ungrateful. But could you kinda maybe send a bit of a tidbit or bone or reward our way too? We too want more of the action. War in the Middle East just isn’t enough. We’re bored of shelling Mosul and Damascus. Can we PLEEZE go shoot up Paris as well? Just a little bit? Please?”
Well, the CIA understood. Who can even think of resisting an all-expense-paid trip to Paris? Certainly not our homeys in ISIS. Paris being the City of Light and all that. “Sure, go on ahead with your bad selves,” the ISIS handlers replied. And a deal was struck.
“What do you got in mind?” asked the handlers. “A little R&R on the Champs-Élysées?”
“Nah. We just want to shoot up Charlie Dodo. Those guys said really really obscene things about the Prophet. Not, of course, the same really really obscene things we say about the Prophet — but definitely in the ballpark. Charlie Dodo has made a mockery of the Prophet. Not as much of a mockery as we have — but a mockery just the same.”
“Done!” cried the handlers — and then the paperwork began. And why not? This could definitely be in War Street’s best interests and get everyone in France hating Muslims (even more than they do already). Just look how well 9-11 turned out for Islamophobics! “Plus it’s always fun to stage a false-flag operation — and you know how we love to kill journalists.” It’s a twofer. This could work!
So their CIA handlers quickly dug up the requisite fake passports and the requisite phony ID cards to leave miraculously lying around at the scene And they even tried to get their new Qaeda-trash protégé thugs some free passes to Euro-Disney as well, but didn’t quite have the clout to pull that one off. But the stage was set. Journalists and police and French citizens were gonna be slaughtered and the whole world was gonna be shocked and go around saying “I am Charlie”. And it would be “Mission Accomplished” all over again, right? And, even more important, now France also has a carte blanche excuse to bomb Palestine or Russia or Vietnam or Walmart or whatever they please — just like Baby Bush had his excuse to bomb Afghanistan.
But I still really hate it when people get killed.
PS: I wrote this because I’m really and totally dubious about what actually happened at Charlie Hebdo the other day.
I’ve been to Iraq, North Korea, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Africa, Palestine, Dallas, etc. and I’ve seen with my own eyes what is actually going on in these places. But then I go back home to the States and read the MSM newspapers and watch the TV news — and it’s a whole different world they are describing, one filled with fantasies, wistful thinking, propaganda and lies.
I never believe anything I read in the MSM any more. So why should I suddenly start believing what they say about the bad guys who shot up the Charlie Hebdo offices in France?
I was a 16 year old pot head. I needed help and my parents decided I should be put in a program. When I mentioned this to a friend he said, “Don’t go Marcus, they’ll brainwash you in there!” I knew better though, there was no such thing as brainwashing. It only happened in cartoons, the cat would brainwash the mice, their eyes became turning spiral pinwheels and they held their little arms out in front of them like zombies. This was brainwashing, it was cartoon fiction and I wasn’t scared. I knew what would happen in there, I’d get help. I was going for therapy.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), all ethical therapy consists of proven, safe and effective practices that a client or client guardian has consented to. This is one reason that the practice of coercive persuasion and thought reform is officially non-therapeutic. The methods used have not been proven to be safe or effective, so why are they legal?
Verbal attack, isolation and forced exercise; food, water and sleep deprivations; communication and toilet restrictions; humiliation rituals, emotional abuse and manipulation are all practices currently employed on a daily basis, as “therapy” for troubled teens. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has acknowledged thousands of reported claims of abuse in today’s behavior modification programs, but no one has yet addressed the technology at work in these facilities. This technology is based on several forms of manipulation. These efforts to manipulate behavior through intentionally inducing stress, are inherently abusive, often violent and many teens have died while subjected to this type of “therapy.”
The APA does not officially acknowledge the existence of brainwashing. There are legal questions and implications that would be very difficult to address. There are also many crimes that could potentially be defended with a plea of “I’m innocent, I was brainwashed!” It’s a can of legal worms. But while focusing on brainwashing’s potential effects on the judicial system, the damaging effects of the process itself have been ignored. There is an overwhelming amount of personal testimony about the negative long-term side-effects that brainwashing can inflict. I personally believe there are also long-lasting physiological changes in the brain that occur when adolescents are subjected to thought reform and behavior modification in an institutional setting.
I believe that the underlying reason for the perpetual abuses in the troubled-teen industry is that the “theory of brainwashing” has not yet been officially “proven.” The technology cannot be banned until it is proven to exist. There is a system at work within the systematic abuses. Until the system itself is identified and dismantled, the tell-tale “symptoms” will persist.
Physical and psychological abuse is built into many of these programs by design. According to several different experts on the subject, the exhaustion and pressure that is induced by sleep deprivation, hunger, fatigue and emotional manipulation, “unfreezes” the psychological framework. Through this orchestrated crisis, a new identity is instilled by manipulating the environment and the emotions of the subject to an extreme degree until the “changed” mind of the subject has undergone “re-freezing.” This process requires varied amounts of time according to the individual character of each client, which is why there is no fixed length of time to “complete” this type of treatment.
Much of the power of this process relies on the secretiveness surrounding it. The methods work best if the intention behind them is not revealed to the subject. Understanding the principles and dynamics involved in this behavioral technology, reduces their effectiveness. Could you give an informed consent to treatment if it were described like this?… ” The process then is the abrupt dissolution of the structure of intentionality by an electrochemical discharge in the brain, leaving the brain in a state of malleability for the construction of a new belief structure by which to guide behavior.” (Walter J. Freeman, Chaotic State Transitions in Brains As a Basis For the Formation of Social Groups, 1995) While these underlying principles and dynamics are not revealed to the client or the legal guardian, a consent to treatment is impossible.
The effectiveness of coercive thought reform upon teens has not been proven and the ethical questions have been quietly ignored. The debate within the APA has centered around various legal implications but questions about the potential for harm have been avoided. By ignoring the unproven “theory of brainwashing,” the APA has been ignoring the damage done by the practice of brainwashing.
These practices have never been proven safe and as an unproven treatment, are technically experimental. Also, according to several prominent experts that I’ve spoken with, there has not been any research on the long-term side-effects of this type of treatment upon adolescents. Perhaps the most relevant research is a European study that was recently conducted, which showed that 80% of adult survivors of institutional child abuse in Ireland, still suffer from psychological damage.
Adolescents who have been subjected to “brainwashing” were often witness to a heartbreaking cruelty. These stories combined tell the larger story of an invisible monster, sold to parents and the public as therapeutic growth. “Brainwashing” is not therapy, it’s refined torture. Merely addressing the symptoms of the process has enabled the abuses to continue.
(please write and call the APA if you have any questions or if you would like to share your brainwashing experiences with them.)
For westerners, and particularly Americans who have watched Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad up fairly close as he delivers speeches in the US and elsewhere including during last year’s visit to Lebanon, his charisma and populist connection with the public are evident and often powerful.
And President Barack Obama is normally no slough either on the stump when he woes voters and inspires them to support his point of view. But last week’s UN appearance by the two leaders left a Matthew 13:24-30 type image of the wheat being separated from the chaff. Both countries are juxtaposed menacingly in the Middle East, one pressuring the region in an all-out sustained NATO utilized effort to maintain its hegemony and the other actively trying to lead the region in a very different direction. Consequently the public was presented with an interesting contrast in styles and substance.
The two appearances could be handicapped along the lines that Obama’s tough job was to try to shore up Israel whose days as a dominate force in the Levant rapidly grow fewer as history corrects the nearly incalculable injustice that resulted from the West’s implantation of the racist state and as history inexorably deconstructs the world’s last 19th Century colonial enterprise.
From the UN podium, Ahmadinejad knew in advance that approximately 15 minutes into his speech began AIPAC would signal the launch of its churlish and infantile 30 country walkout and most of the delegations in the audience knew that the White House had given its ok. The Iranian President also knew that there would be the pro-Zionist tabloid media blitz against him complete with the now expected degrading and offensive cartoons and the Persian visitor being labeled in the US media, what else, but an “anti-Semite”, “a clown”, “weirdo”, “crackpot”. “the new Hitler” and the usual moronic libels. It is hard to imagine that the New York Times editors actually read his speech since they not only failed it analyze it but simply dismissed it as a “tirade” the same description they applied last year.
But this year, the AIPAC/White House walk-out backfired and it was roundly condemned not only among the American public but among the publics of each of the countries that agreed to rudely interrupt the proceedings. The Zionist controlled US government failed to realize that the international public, like most Americans, by and large retain respect for the values of open dialogue, common hospitality and respect for leaders from other countries. Moreover, they understand that the raison d’etre of the United Nations is to provide its members with an open forum. This includes Iran and each of the 192 other UN Member States. When Obama spoke the Iranian delegation listened respectfully.
OBAMA the complete politician?
President Obama, embarrassingly for the American public proved once more his habit of assuming the role of the groveling US politician for the pariah Israeli UN Member. This latest speech was no exception and once more Obama made plain that he will support Israel’s continuing occupation of Palestine as a quid pro quo for the Israeli lobby funding and supporting his 2012 Presidential re-election bid.
Birzeit University Professor Hanan Ashrawi, spoke for many in the audience and across America after Obama finished: “I did not believe what I heard. It sounded as if the Palestinians were occupying Israel. There was no empathy for the Palestinians; he only spoke of the Israeli problems. He told us that it isn’t easy to achieve peace, thanks, we know this. He spoke about universal rights, Good; those same rights apply to Palestinians. The White House is applying enormous pressure on everybody at the UN and they are using threats and coercion. I wish they would invest the same energy in an attempt to promote peace, not threats.”
Has Iran produced a Statesman or a sycophant?
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is at his best when he is engaged in dialogue and debate according to people in Lebanon and Iran who know him well. But he gets to the point quickly and it sometimes catches his interlocutors off-guard if they aren’t prepared.
Devoutly religious, Iran’s President is unerringly polite and respectful, and never fails to mention the positive and the necessity of dialogue and seeking common ground.
But he speaks frankly and also noted that President Obama never made good on a pledge to try to improve US-Iranian relations and to open a dialogue with Iran, and said he still hopes for a face-to-face meeting. “I don’t believe that this is a chance that has been completely lost,” Ahmadinejad said.
He told Iran’s fellow UN Members “You all know that the nuclear issue has been turned and manipulated into a political issue,” and he added that Iran remains ready to negotiate over its disputed nuclear program, and repeated the country’s position that the program is for the peaceful production of energy
Following the 2009 disputed Iranian elections, he stated “We were very much in support of change. I sent a personal message to President Obama, but we never received a response.
His UN speech theme was that most nations of the world are unhappy with the current international circumstances. “And despite the general longing and aspiration to promote peace, progress, and fraternity, wars, mass-murder, widespread poverty, and socioeconomic and political crises continue to infringe upon the rights and sovereignty of nations, leaving behind irreparable damage worldwide.” He continued, “Approximately, three billion people of the world live on less than 2.5 dollars a day, and over a billion people live without having even one sufficient meal on a daily basis. Forty-percent of the poorest world populations only share five percent of the global income, while twenty percent of the richest people share seventy-five percent of the total global income. More than twenty thousand innocent and destitute children die every day in the world because of poverty.”
He challenged the United Nations to reform itself and he urged honest debate on the vital issues confronting the world community. He asked the UN to bear in mind who imposed colonialism for over four centuries, who occupied lands and massively plundered resources of other nations, destroyed talents, and alienated languages, cultures and identities of nations?
He asked the UN members to join in solutions to the World’s problems but asked that we not hide the facts of:
• Who triggered the first and second world wars, that left seventy millions killed and hundreds of millions injured or homeless. Who created the wars in Korean peninsula and in Vietnam?
• Who imposed through Zionism and over sixty years of war, homelessness, terror and mass murder on the Palestinian people and on countries of the region?
• Who imposed and supported for decades military dictatorship and totalitarian regimes on Asian, African, and Latin American nations?
• Who used nuclear bomb against defenseless people, and stockpiled thousands of warheads in their arsenals?
• Whose economies rely on waging wars and selling arms?
• Who provoked and encouraged Saddam Hussein to invade and impose an eight-year war on Iran, and who assisted and equipped him to deploy chemical weapons against our cities and our people?
• Who used the mysterious September 11 incident as a pretext to attack Afghanistan and Iraq, killing, injuring, and displacing millions in two countries with the ultimate goal of bringing into its domination the Middle East and its oil resources?
• Who nullified the Breton Woods system by printing trillions of dollars without the backing of gold reserves or equivalent currency? A move that triggered inflation worldwide and was intended to prey on the economic gains of other nations?
• Which country’s military spending exceeds annually a thousand billion dollars, more than the military budgets of all countries of the world combined?
• Who dominates the policy-making establishments of the world economy?
• Who are responsible for the world economic recession, and are imposing the consequences on America, Europe and the world in general?
• Who are the ones dominating the Security Council which is ostensibly responsible for safeguarding the international security?
This month’s Iran-U.S Presidential addresses at the United Nations have given its members a clear choice for the challenges quickly engulfing the Middle East. Ultimately, as the popular awakenings in this region teach us, it is the citizens of each country who have the power to decide how to deal with these crises.
Iran’s President demonstrated at Turtle Bay this month that he understands the problems, offers rational solutions and is ready for constructive dialogue. The next move is up to President Obama to extricate him and his country from the jaws of Zionism and to join with Iran and the community of nations with constructive proposals to help alleviate the challenges Iran’s President enumerated.