Wednesday, January 31, 2007

QUOTE OF THE DAY

From The Belmont Club in a post discussing Caroline Glick's article "Welcome to Palestine":

"The collateral damage inflicted upon the people of the Third World by the Left in pursuit of their fantasies will someday rank with the Slave Trade and the Holocaust in the annals of historical outrage. It is the last form of imperialism. And the worst."

I have commented many times before on this blog that the fundamental problem of today's left is their unparalleled conceit that they know what is best for everyone else; and beneath implied superiority of that conceit is a breathtaking moral and intellectual bankruptcy.

Someday they will be held to account for the enormous damage they do in the world. They prattle on and on about their "noble" causes and wonderful utopias, even as they support dysfunctional, toxic, oppressive and murderous regimes. As Wretchard suggests, they themselves are the true imperialists; and they have become the very fascists they supposedly stand against.

A fascinating psychological dynamic, isn't it?

THE SANITY SQUAD Discuss Equal Opportunity Victims and Nitwits

Political Correctness and Multiculturalism versus Holocaust remembrance; John Kerry versus intelligent thought (that's him conducting foreign policy in the photo); the left and Israel ---all this and more in the latest podcast from The Sanity Squad on Pajamas Media Politics Central !

You probably didn't know it, but there’s a movement afoot to make Holocaust remembrances more “inclusive;” especially in Britain, where the Muslim Council has been campaigning to replace “Holocaust Memorial Day” with “Genocide Day,” and proposing that the latter should include the so-called Israeli genocide against the Palestinians.

It's not too different from the campaign by some to be more "inclusive" in the 9/11 World Trade Center victim memorial, and it's all about laying claim the exalted state of victimhood (the only state the Palestinians apparently aspire to). It is also a blatant attempt to rewrite history, deny the Holocaust, and make it that much more acceptable to "wipe Israel off the map."

The Squad discusses the perks of victimhood, Kerry’s dissing of the US--a repeat performance from his Vietnam days; Carter’s attitude towards history, and the only cause the political left ever championed and then abandoned. For me, the highlight of our discussions was when Siggy-- responding to Carter's concern that the Holocaust Memorial Council had "too many Jews" on it--suggested somewhat sarcastically that, obviously to be completely "fair and inclusive" (i.e., politically correct), the Council should probably be composed of 50% Jews and 50% Nazis.

Join Neo-neocon, Siggy , Shrinkwrapped and me as we let it all hang loose, and say what we really think about the insanities of today's world. Check it out! We are equal-opportunity behavioral analysts--all insanity is a target in our podcasts!

Previous podcasts of The Sanity Squad can be found here; and you can also download them from iTunes. (search for Pajamas Media)

(The Sanity Squad cartoon at the right is drawn by Eric Allie, whose collection of political cartoons can be found here and here).

And I really must admit in the spirit of full disclosure that we really do NOT look like the people in the picture. ShrinkWrapped generally does NOT have his head encased in plastic wrap and Siggy does NOT smoke cigars (at least not when he is naked).

Sorry to shatter anyone's illusions. IT'S JUST A CARTOON, PEOPLE. And, sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

THE DEMOCRAT'S UNDER-REACTION TO 9/11 AND ISLAMOFASCISM



Eric Allie's cartoon is as good a rebuttal to this kind of nonsense as you will find.

Think about it.

SOCIALISTS IN AMBER

Commenting on the geriatric nature of the crowd at the recent antiwarfest, Jack Langer writes:
Dominated by the '60s generation as it was, it was unsurprising to see a galaxy of signs and booths invoking the sacred cure-all of nearly every 1960s radical -- socialism. “Bush is the symptom, Capitalism is the disease, Socialism is the cure” blared one giant banner. “Defeat US Imperialism. Socialist revolution is the only solution” intoned a pennant by the League for the Revolutionary Party. “Defend China, North Korea, and Vietnam Against Imperialism and Capitalist Counter-Revolution!” was the motto of the Sparticist League. That last slogan I found to be one of the most offensive statements of the day -- right up there with one speaker’s invocation of Maureen Dowd as an authoritative social analyst.

It is sad that in thirty years, the U.S. Left hasn’t come up with a better idea than socialism. Dejected, I wandered away from the workers’ champions and approached a drum circle. Even this was dominated by superannuated radicals who couldn’t seem to play anything other than quarter notes. I struck up a conversation with one of the few college-aged girls in the vicinity, who asked me how I liked the music. As a drummer myself, I told her that I’d like to see the musicians venture outside of a 4/4 time signature. Perplexed, she picked up her “Buck Fush” sign and walked away.

What do the old radicals have left to offer the youth? Socialism. One can understand the attraction of this credo back in the 1960s, when its American adherents only had the millions of victims of the Soviet regime to contradict their assertion that socialism would provide a positive alternative to capitalism.

But now, we know of the atrocities of a whole new set of postwar socialist regimes in China, Cambodia, Romania, and countless other places -- including Vietnam -- as well as the final collapse of most socialist governments and the turn toward capitalism of nearly all the remaining socialist regimes. Younger activists may have the Iraq War to fight against, but they need something to fight for -- and with socialism, their older role models are not offering them anything appealing.


Langer's talkin' 'bout my generation, sadly, and he's absolutely spot on. These old coots--Fonda included--are like insects trapped in amber; forever destined to to remain fixated and unmoving as time passes them by.

How is it possible, you may ask, that they were unable to see the degreee of human misery and death that socialism and communism caused in the last century? How is it possible, you may wonder, that they can't even look around now and observe the horrors that this ideology is continuing to inflict on the world? You would think that, even if they don't give a shit about the human toll their ideas have brought about, these green champions of the environment might have noticed the environmental devastation wreaked by all the people's republics they support.

But they are far too psychologically presbyopic and intellectually stunted to be able to appreciate that reality. Age has not brought wisdom, nor has it brought them the long-desired socialist utopia. Instead they have maintained their finely-honed envy and thirst for power over others. How else to explain their enthusiasm for all the despotic, tyrannical and anti-human regimes on the planet.

If I may paraphrase Emerson: foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little socialist minds

When you think about it, denial is actually an amazing psychological defense. It may cause blindness, unrelenting stupidity, and unbelivably insane behavior--but golly it sure has worked magic for these losers antiwar geezers.

Once upon a time they were merely young, stupid and quaintly pathetic. Adults could benignly observe and even tolerate their silly antics, foolish utopian fantasies, and mind-numbing mantras, anticipating that eventually children grow up, mature, and face reality.

But the thick, lethargic amber moved far too rapidly for those socialist insects, and so they are preserved forever in all their pristine pathos. Perhaps their sad fate will serve as a chilling example for the most recent crop of young larvae, before they hatch and mindlessly morph into 21st century neo-socialist drones.

Monday, January 29, 2007

THE MYTHS THAT FUEL THE LEFT'S DENIAL

***UPDATE***: Someone on the left let's the mask slip for a moment and all can view the unrelenting hatred within. This is a perfect example of the kind of psychological denial and self-delusion that is necessary to be on the political left these days. For more of the same kind of hate, you can also check out some of the comments to this post by those who only want an outlet for that hate coming via links from Daou Report and some blog called The Carpetbagger. Real classy, some of them.
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Here are the "Top 10 Myths of the Iraq War" developed by Strategy Page (I've just listed them, go to the link for a discussion of each) :

1-No Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).
2-The 2003 Invasion was Illegal.
3-Sanctions were working.
4-Overthrowing Saddam Only Helped Iran.
5-The Invasion Was a Failure.
6-The Invasion Helped Al Qaeda.
7-Iraq Is In A State of Civil War.
8-Iraqis Were Better Off Under Saddam.
9-The Iraq War Caused Islamic Terrorism to Increase in Europe.
10- The War in Iraq is Lost.


Anna Freud once wrote that the ego of a child in denial "refuses to become aware of some disagreeable reality.... It turns its back on it, and in imagination reverses the unwelcome facts."

The essence of psychologica denial is a refusal to look at or acknowledge reality.

Fortunately, reality exists outside of one's head and is objective and verifiable. It is not altered by whim, desire, lies or myth. This is not to say that people might not believe ideas that do not conform to reality--in fact, they do so all the time. Just like Anna's description of the child's ego, the ego of an otherwise normal adult may also resort to childish, immature and primitive mechanisms when it feels threatened.

You would think it would be a simple matter to be "in touch" with reality. But it isn't. It requires a great deal of cognitive effort--i.e., thinking--and often that effort must assert itself over powerful emotions that draw the person away from the real world to a place more comfortable and unchallenging to their inner reality.

So, how does a rational person determine what is true and what is delusion? How do you decide if something is a myth or is real?

In the case of the Strategy Page list above, people of the left will assert that it is those of us who don't subscribe to those assertions who are in living in the land of psychological denial. As I already mentioned (and it can't be repeated too often these days) reality objectively exists outside of any one person's or group's beliefs.

Psychological denial and the avoidance of an unpleasant reality are certainly not confined to one side of the political spectrum or the other. But what I find endlessly fascinating is how the political left has created and fully integrated specific ideological tools that facilitate ongoing psychological denial.

It reminds me of all the paranoid patients I have observed over the years, who effortlessly are able to dismiss or explain away those facts that don't fit in with their carefully constructed conspiracy theories. If you get too assertive in pointing out those uncomfortable facts, you find yourself in no time fully integrated into the theory. For the paranoid, the case is closed and the argument is finished.

The political left has been utilizing the same psychological strategies inherent in the paranoid style since the end of the cold war and the 20th century. The rise of politically correct speech and the dogma of multiculturalism; the insistence on cultural diversity while enforcing a profound homogeneity of ideas and lack of intellectual diversity in academia; as well as the distortions and rationalizations that are currently the hallmark of intellectual debate within our institutions of higher learning and politics-- have all combined to dissuade those on the political left from pursuing a course of intellectual honesty and/or emotional insight.

This is what makes it so frustrating to debate or argue with today's typical postmodern leftist. Some are willing to engage in discussion, but you can always count on their complete dismissal of any fact that does not conform to their ideological perspective. No matter how many times you debunk their position (e.g., no matter how many times evidence of Saddam's WMD's are found and documented; that evidence has been either ignored or poo-pooed using a variety of rationalizations--and the goalposts are then changed to ensure the safety of the denial).

When it suits their purposes (i.e., when they are losing the argument), they will resort to the claim that reality and truth are merely subjective constructs anyway, and that any evidence you present is only someone's "opinion" and that their opinions are as good as anyone else's.

Such a position should logically disqualify their position to begin with, but of course, it doesn't.

Generally they use this as their argument of last resort--when they cannot bring any facts or logic to support their position. After a brief escape into the relativism noted above, they will then usually proceed directly to the usual ad hominem attacks. Q.E.D.

The essential problem of the left in acknowledging the truth about Saddam's WMD's or any of their other myths about the Iraq war, is that these myths have become inextricably entwined and inseparable from their most sacred ideological beliefs. These are the myths that are the cornerstone of their faith in the evil of George Bush, Republicans and America.

To acknowledge even the slightest possibility that these keystones of their religious political faith are warped would threaten their entire ideology--and thus, their image of themselves. They need to see themselves as caring and compassionate; always standing for peace and brotherhood--and oh, and by the way, did you know that they are a community of "reality-based" people? Get that?

How could you not? They obsessively and repeatedly make sure you understand how loving and good they--always in contrast to the members of the political right who are always described as "hate-filled" (the right "hate" blacks; "hate" hispanics, "hate" women, "hate" gays, "hate" the poor etc. etc.). Academics of the left are desperate to "prove" these assertions and give them a scientific seal of approval (see here, for a discussion about one example of this tendency).

By itself, this rather compulsive behavior on their part should give any thinking person pause, because it is not typically the behavior of a people who are entirely comfortable with who they are. Rather, from a psychological perspective, their behavior and the almost desperate need they exhibit to prove both you and to themselves that they ARE more caring, more sensitive, and more reality-based, suggests that they are trying to hide quite the opposite reality from themselves.

At the center of all psychological denial is a hidden agenda. That agenda is usually not completely conscious--meaning that the denier has not thought through the issues surrounding his denial; and may not even be aware of what his motivation is in asserting something is true when it isn't; or false when it isn't.

The hidden agenda or underlying motivation behind the denial is very frequently related to the potential adverse consequences that could ensue if the denial were eliminated and reality acknowledged. And this is where unnacceptable feelings, needs, and thoughts come in. The denier (or part of him) has made an unconscious decision that awareness of certain feelings, needs, or thoughts is more threatening to his sense of self than the act of denial.

Thus, any person genuinely trying to determine which side of an argument conforms to reality and truth, needs to assess the personal, i.e., the psychological, stakes or conflicts of interest (as those stakes are sometimes referred to) for both sides of the argument.

Of course, both sides in this argument have a conflicts of interest because this is politics and both sides want to win. So, it is entirely possible that both sides are deluding themselves and in denial.
In that case, a rational observer would either wash his hands of both sides; or, accept the reality that one side or the other is going to be in power and go with the side that is at least closest to reality.

When it comes to deciding between Democrats and Republicans; the political left or the neocons; I'm going to have to go with the only partially deluded Republicans and the neocons all the way.

They at least have not completely abandoned the real world for the bubble of self-delusion. They have not regularly retreated into moral relativism and the nihilism of postmodern rhetoric to justify their denial and delusion. They have not embraced national defeat and humiliation as a path to power and control over others. They do not constantly whine, scream, and behave like immature children when they don't get their way (at least not a a matter of course). They do not say one thing and then do another, at least not with the frequency and enthusiasm of the Democrats and the left. They at least put forth new ideas and plans to deal with the situation in Iraq and in the real world in general; the Democrats and the left apparently aren't capable of generating an idea or plan and simply want to retreat and capitulate. The Republicans and neocons are able to adapt to reality and change tactics to produce a desired outcome. The Democrats and the left use the same tired old tactics over and over.

George Bush wants to see America win the war in Iraq; John Kerry can only heap scorn on America and Americans as he panders to the likes of Khatami and other despots. George Bush is trying to prevent America from being attacked again by Islamic terrorists as we were on 9/11; the Democrats and the left pretend that 9/11 never happened or that it was even historically important (just like Pearl Harbor wasn't, I guess); don't want to acknowledge that we are in a war at all; but yet fervently believe at the same time that we are to blame for bringing 9/11 on ourselves.

For 5 years now, America has had to listen to the Democrats' and the left's constant carping; we have had to withstand their contempt for American values and our military had to bear the brunt of their incoherent rage and careless enabling of the enemy we fight. We have listened to the endless repetition of their mantras and slogans; the unrivaled self-righteousness of their superior intellects; and seen firsthand the intensity of the hatred that motivates them.

In all that time there have been very very few able to summon up an iota of insight; or a moment of self-reflection about their own behavior. Having won back a few seats to regain the majority in Congress pretty much ensure that they won't be able to do that in the immediate future either.

Don't dare question their patriotism, they scream. But look at their behavior. Listen to John Kerry , for example (he was, after all their last nominee for POTUS) and then tell me that his behavior is patriotic; that he is not just treasonous scum, out to advance the wonderfulness of John Kerry at the expense of his own country (I seem to recall he did exactly the same thing a number of years ago, too).

One of the most serious psychological challenges that any human being must face is to face reality, particularly when the consequences of confronting truth are personally unpleasant and very painful. That is exactly what psychological denial seeks to avoid doing.

For the Democrats and their increasingly histrionic leftist base, denial--not America-- has been their country of residence since September 11, 2001. Generally, it has been a safe and happy place for them to be; because as long as they can hate and vilify George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice and all those evil Republicans and Lieberman Democrats out there; and as long as they can pretend that the objects of their hate are the real cause of any problem; then they don't have to deal with the external reality of Islamofascist terror, or face the truth about their own unacknowledged and pathological internal reality. They can continue to cling to the holy, neo socialist faith, newly risen from the ashes of the 20th century; and delude themselves into thinking that they are wonderful, caring, loving and reality-based people.

Interestingly, Andrew Klavan in the LA Times yesterday touches on this as it relates to our brave and fearless Hollywood types:
I RECENTLY attended "FBI 101," a G-man seminar for Hollywood writers....
But if they're hoping that their seminar will win them props from filmmakers in general — a picture or two celebrating their courageous work in the war on terror — I suspect they are going to be disappointed. In the history of our time as told by the movies, the war on terror largely does not exist.

Which is passing strange, you know. Because the war on terror is the history of our time. The outcome of our battle against the demographic, political and military upsurge of a hateful theology and its oppressive political vision will determine the fate of freedom in this century.

Television — more populist, hungrier for content and less dependent on foreign audiences — reflects this fact with shows such as "24" and "The Unit." But at the movies, all we're getting is home-front angst and the occasional "Syriana," in which "moderate" Islam is thwarted by evil American interests. But the notion that this war is about our moral failings is comfort fantasy, pure and simple. It soothes us with the false idea that, if we but mend ourselves, the scary people will leave us alone.

The real world is both darker than that and lighted brighter in places by surprising fires of nobility. It's darker because our enemies were not created by the peccadilloes of free people and will not melt away before a moral perfection that we, in any case, can never achieve.
Klavan comments, "...we can't bring ourselves to fictionalize the larger idea: Islamo-fascism is an evil and American liberty a good. But somehow today's Democrats and the political left has no difficulty in fictionalizing the reverse.

Let's face it, the myths that fuel the left's denial are designed to make sure that they--not America--come out the winners.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

UNBELIEVABLE.. An Addendum to this Week's CARNIVAL

But it deserves a post all of its own.

ISLAM = IDIOCY

You have to ask what kind of a parent would listen to this advice:
A MUSLIM doctors’ leader has provoked an outcry by urging British Muslims not to vaccinate their children against diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella because it is “un-Islamic”.
Dr Abdul Majid Katme, head of the Islamic Medical Association, is telling Muslims that almost all vaccines contain products derived from animal and human tissue, which make them “haram”, or unlawful for Muslims to take.


And this is MODERATE Islam. This is a DOCTOR saying this. This is true INSANITY.

The only good thing about this sort of insanity is that it leads to well-deserved extinction (in the best Darwinian sense). Faster, please.

CARNIVAL OF THE INSANITIES

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Time for the weekly insanity update, where the insane, the bizarre, the ridiculous, and the completely absurd are highlighted for all to see! This has been a week of rare idiocy (as always!). So, if you want to remain sane, the best thing is to poke some fun at the more egregious absurdities.

Send all entries for next week's carnival to Dr. Sanity by 8 pm ET on Saturday for Sunday's Carnival. Only one post entry weekly per blogger, please. And you might read this before submitting an entry.

Thanks for all the submissions. I try to use as many as possible! SO MANY INSANITIES! SO LITTLE TIME!!!

1. You know you're in bad shape when you hope you are simply dumb and not perverse. And, speaking of perverse... anyone for a little cognitive dissonance?

2. You might be a blueneck...I mean a patriotic terrorist if....(fill in the blanks)

3. Is this how Howard Dean got his start?

4. Oh the humanity!! Sadly, this sentiment was a bit premature. He remains a completely self-serving idiot who has always stood with America's enemies. But, Republicans hope it's not too late for him to change his mind

5. Bottoms up! Undoubtedly this is a gesture of respect in Iran. He's clearly a guy who knows how to win friends and influence terrorize people. Have the people have spoken?

6. How men are different from women.

7. Men! It's never too early to prepare for Valentine's Day! Criteria to use when voting; and criteria to use when selecting a wife. Then there's child rearing tips.

8. Make sure your love life complies with state regulations and don't date that dental hygienist! And, keep those priorities straight!

10. A shark that looks like a penis. A guy who acted like a dickhead. And a blog that knows what it takes to get those search engine hits!

11. NASA's dream: to establish colonies on planet earth. Intelligent colonies.

12. Getting to snow you.... Global warming update!

13. Unmitigated paranoia -- Just what the Israelis don't need.

14. Perhaps we could interest the Jihadis in setting up shop in this paradise? They are very supportive of Islamic sensibilities. I wonder why they don't also ban the letter "X" ?

15. Yeah, well try telling the envious Marxists that. And, the French are beginning to realize that the economy of Iraq is better--much better--than their own. In fact, they have returned to the dark ages

16. Finally! American Auto manufacturers are ahead of the curve.

17. Fluffy and the Nigerian tuna scam.

18. Let us hope that in her verbal skills at least, she takes after her mother!

19. No whites need apply to the Congressional Black Caucus. Perhaps they need affirmative action? And don't question these guys' credentials, or else!

20. The "fish 'n flush" toilet. How to flush $299!

21. Nah...it couldn't be the cure. Live longer....go to prison!

22. Hollywood's latest blockbuster -- "Kill Hill"

23. Now I understand! It was Morse Code! Round 4 is about to begin in this boxing match.

24. Strangely uninteresting.


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Carnival of the Insanities can also be found at The Truth Laid Bear's √úberCarnival and at the BlogCarnival.

If you would like to Join the insanity, and add the Carnival of the Insanities button to your sidebar (clicking on it will always take you to the latest update of the Carnival), click on "Word of Blog" below the button to obtain the html code:




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Saturday, January 27, 2007

SELF DELUSION AND ENBOLDENING THE ENEMY

A frequent lefty commenter on this blog had the following to say on this thread:


No, she clearly doesn't...she will take anything some random blogger says and run with it...I assure you Jim Webb knows his history...and I also assure you I respect his son as I do anyone in the military...but with all this "Democrats want troops to be killed!" nonsense please understand you are saying that the senator wants to put his own son at risk...that's nonsense...especially since no one wants more troops to die...we want them HOME...or somewhere where they would do good...not fuel anti-terrorism and set up an Iraq that will immediately stab us in the back...trust me, I am not blaming our troops, they are the finest in the world...their commanders are all wet though... (emphasis mine)

Her response--stating that I'm saying Democrats want the troops killed--put me in mind of a patient--I'll call her Petunia.

Petunia was a young woman with many problems, but she was particularly upset one day because this boyfriend that she had broken up with just wouldn't leave her alone. On closer inquiry, I discovered that in the past week she had phoned him 4 times; picked him up from work every evening; and let him spend the night at her apartment twice.

"I thought you said you were upset because he's not acting like the two of you are broken up?" I asked in some surprise.

She looked at me in astonishment. "He isn't! He seems to think we are going to get back together."

"But aren't you giving him that impression by initiating phone calls to him and picking him up and especially by letting him spend the night at your house," I countered?

Petunia did not understand my confusion. "So? That doesn't mean I want to get back together with him. I'm just being kind." She smiled then--contemplating, I suppose, what a nice person she was.

She truly couldn't understand how her behavior might lead him to think she really didn't mean exactly what she said.

Like Petunia, the commenter above--as well as most of the Democrats (e.g. like Nancy Pelosi in Baghdad proclaiming she "supports the troops") and the clueless antiwar crowd (who never seem to protest against the warmongers in Tehran, Damascus, Gaza, Beirut... or Somalia or Sudan or--well, you get the point; they only protest against America and Israel) seem to have a serious problem in understanding why a person's actions speak louder than their words.

And, from a psychiatric perspective, even if the actions are not louder, then they are far more honest.

This is why, though I listen carefully to the words people say, I also carefully observe how they behave if I really want to understand what is going on inside their heads. The discrepancies that lie between actions and words are most revealing.

After 30 years of doing this professionally, I am never surprised at the degree to which people are able to delude themselves.

The term "self-delusion" is used quite a bit these days, but what does it really mean? Let's focus on that for a bit.

Engaging in "self-delusion" is simply the act of deceiving one's self about some aspect of reality.

Since this is exactly what I think Petunia, this commenter; and most on the political left and in the Democratic Party are doing, it would be worthwhile to review some of the psychological strategies with which we humans are able to deceive ourselves about the external world.

Here are a few examples:

- by using projection some very violent and angry people are able to convince themselves that they are working for peace and love.

- by using delusional projection some religious fanatics who behead innocent people are able to convince themselves that they are pure and holy and following the will of God; while" infidels" like Jews are monsters who "eat babies" and are decended from "pigs and monkeys".

- by using displacement, some people are able to convince themselves that there is a devious plan to imminently replace our secular government with a Christian theocracy; while they are singularly unconcerned about religious fanatics actively waging war on the U.S. and the rest of the world trying to institute an Islamic theoracy.

- by using fantasy some people are able to convince themselves that these particular religious fanatics are reasonable and sensible people, amenable to negotiation and willing to abide by treaties and agreements.

- by using denial some people are able to convince themselves that there is no such thing as Islamofascism and that the war on terror is just a political ployto accumulate power conceived by an administration they don't like.

- by using repression some people would like to eliminate all unpleasant thoughts about 9/11 and would ban it from everyone's collective consciousness if they could.

- by acting out a person directly can express or act on an unconscious wish or impulse so as to avoid being aware of the uncomfortable emotion that accompanies it

- by using reaction formation, a person is able behaves in exactly the opposite manner from what he or she says or really wants.

In fact, any or all of the primitive and immature psychological defenses may be effectively used to disguise, distort or ignore reality and make the act of self-delusion a comfortable process. That is the function of psychological defenses, after all; and every single person alive uses them, though some more regularly than others.

When dealing with the well-defended person in the grip of self-delusion, one of the retorts commonly heard after you point out their defense to them, is that it is not they who are in denial about reality--it is you! It is not they who are projecting, acting out etc, it is you! It is not they who are avoiding their own anger, rage, hate etc. it is you!

You think you are living in a democracy but you are wrong! You are deluded! All our freedoms have been usurped by the BushHitler! The clever members of this "reality-based" community see fascism and oppression everywhere--except, of course, where it actually resides: in the actions of the Islamic Jihadis and in themselves.

For them it is simply a matter of "opinion" whether or not a person is out of touch with reality; and their opinion is just as good as yours, thank you very much. When truth and reality are felt to be subjective constructs, they know they have philosophically been given a free pass and don't have to make any sense whatsoever. Truth is relative--but what they proclaim as truth has more "truthiness" than you. Reality is subjective--but only their reality counts.

The first prerequisite necessary to be able to observe that someone is engaging in self-delusion is the acceptance there is an objective reality, external and independent to one's self; one's beliefs or one's emotions/feelings. Without this fundamental epistomological foundation, it is meaningless and completely laughable to accuse anyone of self-delusion, althought our courageous postmodern intellectual elites do it all the time.

As they wallow in their preferred form of social subjectivism, it is perfectly "reasonable" (if that is the word) from their perspective to impute delusion to others--even if every time they do so, they effectively demonstrate the invalidity of their own philosophy. That is why it is so amusing to observe their appropriation of the term "reality-based community".

It gets excessively wearisome to constantly point out to them that there is a world that exists outside their heads and outside their emotions; and that the entire purpose of reason --which they reject in favor of feelings --is about understanding that world.

Their social subjectivism posits that our minds are disconnected from reality to begin with. How then is it possible for them to accuse anyone of "self-delusion"? One simply has a differing POV that is by their definition as real and true as anyone else's.

That is the basis of the multiculturalism and the "politically correct" relativism that they persistantly espouse.

That is why a disgruntled commenter on my blog (who always wears such a "happy face" no matter what she is saying) can insist that it is "nonsense" for me to observe the reckless behavior of the Democrats and the political left as they do everything possible to encourage, protect, and enable the enemies that are killing our troops; even as they proclaim-- without the slightest awareness of irony--that they support those troops.

No, they don't want our troops to be killed, but their behavior facilitates and encourages it. Our peace demonstrators say they stand for peace and are against war; but their mindless, unthinking, feel-good-about-themselves-and-what-wonderful-human-being-they-are behavior only makes the real warmongers and barbarians happy in the knowledge that they have many battalions of useful idiots ready and willing to excuse, rationalize and appease for them.

And, don't forget Petunia who says repeatedly that she doesn't want to get back together with her ex-boyfriend, but is oblivious to the fact that her own behavior facilitates exactly that idea in him.

When both sides are convinced that the other side is deluding themselves, it becomes extremely important that SOME ADULT SOMEWHERE examine the external reality and follow a process of reason to assess the truth.

Much as the left (who as a group are heavily invested in the whole postmodernistic touchy feely thingy) would like to believe that they have exclusive rights to the truth, they have actually dealt themselves out of any contest for discovering truth by insisting that truth is relative. If it IS relative, they they must agree that I am as correct in what I think as they are.

OTOH, if truth is NOT relative, but exists outside of whatever one side or the other feels is true, then by all means, let's get down to examining ALL the evidence; not just the rhetoric and histrionics, but the actual behavior being engaged in and the real-world context and consequences of that behavior.

Let's see who is engaging in self-delusion and whose behavior is in reality emboldening the enemy who just happens to be killing the troops we both say we support.

I'm game.

Friday, January 26, 2007

THE TRACKS OF HIS TEARS



(eat your heart out, Smokey)

People thought he was the life of the Party,
And so he ran for Prez in '04.
So convinced he was a smarty,
But he turned out to be a bore

[Even more than Gore]

Now take a good look at his face
You'll see there's lots of empty space;
If you look closer, it's easy to trace
The tracks of his tears..

Since he lost he's been hopin' for another try
And lookin' for his magic hat
Although he's got her bucks
He's just plain out of luck
Cause all his Swift Boat tales fell flat..

Now take a good look at his face
You'll see there's lots of empty space;
If you look closer, it's easy to trace
The tracks of his tears..

[He wants fame, but he's so lame]

He's always masquerading
And it's so damned degrading
Since he knows he should rule
Over all us silly fools;
His charm's a sham
He picked up in Vietnam..

So take a good look at his face
You'll see there's lots of empty space;
If you look closer, it's easy to trace
The tracks of his tears....


Oh, and Roger Simon has some good insight on the whole tearful spectacle.

THE LOGIC OF THE IMMATURE AND CHILDISH

The Democrats lost the 2000 election. Therefore it must have been "stolen".
The Democrats lost the 2004 election. Therefore it must have been "stolen".
The Democrats won back some seats in the 2006 midterm elections to claim a majority in Congress. Obviously, it was a completely fair election process overall (except for the individual races they lost).

Notice any sort of a pattern here?

Notice that the Republicans have not responded with a similar incoherent and never-ending rage at their loss; or claimed that the election was stolen from them. They haven't set up an angry website, organized mass protests, or even threatened violence to "take back the country" from the lying, thieving Democrats. In fact, there are no articles in the MSM describing how the election was "stolen" from them.

Are we to assume, to paraphrase the immortal words of Kate from Small Dead Animals, that, since the George W. Bush Republicans clearly stole the Presidential elections of 2000 and 2004, they threw the 2006 one?

I suppose that using the logic of the infantile Democrats, it is possible. We already know from the lofty rhetoric of the Democrats that Republicans hate blacks, hate the poor, hate working people, hate gays, women and muslims, hate peace, blah blah blah. Maybe they hated having all the horrible, burdensome responsibility for the insanity of domestic and international politics and actually wanted to lose.

Maybe the Republicans losing Congress was all part of a dirty Rovian conspiracy to trick Democrats into taking some responsibility for their behavior for a change?

If it was, it didn't work, did it?

Check this out:

ON TUESDAY nearly every member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee warmly endorsed Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the new U.S. commander in Iraq, and a number wished him success or “Godspeed” in his mission. Yesterday some of the same senators voted for a resolution that opposes the increase of troops for Gen. Petraeus’s command — even though the general testified that he could not accomplish his mission without the additional forces and hinted that such a resolution could encourage the enemy.


Petraeus hinted that such a resolution could encourage the enemy? Could? Could!? You would have to be completely oblivious to reality and immersed in self-delusion not to appreciate the inevitable consequences of such irresponsible, childish and immature behavior. Our brave warriors in Iraq have had to deal with the consequences of unbelievably narcissistic rhetoric and groveling appeasement of the enemy since 9/11.

Perhaps Petraeus was simply being kind to the many whiny childrenmorons in Congress. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Or, consider this:

The logic here seems to be that if the Americans leave, Iraqis will miraculously conclude that they have must settle their differences. A kind of reverse field of dreams: If we don't come, they will build it.

The irony is that this is not all that far from the "light footprint" strategy that the Bush Administration was following last year and which these same Senators called a failure. It is precisely the inability to provide security in Baghdad that has led to greater sectarian violence, especially among Shiites victimized by Sunni car bombs. The purpose of the new Bush counterinsurgency strategy is to provide more security to the population in the hopes of making a political settlement easier.

But then such analysis probably takes this resolution more seriously than most of the Senators do. If they were serious and had the courage of their convictions, they'd attempt to cut off funds for the Iraq effort. But that would mean they would have to take responsibility for what happens next. By passing "non-binding resolutions," they can assail Mr. Bush and put all of the burden of success or failure on his shoulders.


No wonder the Democrats are so suddenly obsessed with children, surrounding themselves with the little ones in the same way the cowardly enemy we fight uses them as human shields. Yes, the Democrats care intensely about children--but not enough to reconsider their inflexibility on abortion; or to do what is necessary now so that they have less of a burden in the future.

This childish obsession is probably directly connected to why they seem incapable of treating our completely voluntary military personnel as adult men and women capable of making choices that their Democrat mommies don't approve of. But at least they are consistent. They treat all of the American public as infants in need of their guidance and supervision.

Chief Democrat Squirrel Pelosi has made sure we know that she and her fellow Dems are doing what they do "for the children."

I'm not at all surprised. Their logic of their self-serving behavior suggests that they, themselves, are the "children" they care about most.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

DEMOCRATS AND THE GHOSTS OF WARTIMES PAST

To complement their limited appreciation of economic principles, the Democrats also don't seem to know--or understand--history. A Corner reader appropriately notes that Webb was apparently unaware that he was suggesting we deal with the situation in Iraq by threatening the use of nuclear weapons:
Subject: Hey, Webb implies we should use nukes to win in Iraq

Sir,

Believe it or not, that's what he implied
Here's what Jim Webb said in the Democrat's response to the State of the Union Address:

As I look at Iraq, I recall the words of former general and soon-to-be President Dwight Eisenhower during the dark days of the Korean War, which had fallen into a bloody stalemate. "When comes the end?" asked the general who had commanded our forces in Europe during World War II. And as soon as he became president, he brought the Korean War to an end.

These presidents took the right kind of action, for the benefit of the American people and for the health of our relations around the world. Tonight we are calling on this president to take similar action, in both areas. If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing him the way.

Just how did Dwight Eisenhower bring the Korean War to an end? Col. Tom Snodgrass, writing at American Thinker, explains:
This disparity of total vs. limited war objectives first became apparent as the Korean War dragged on and President Truman's administration could find no way to conclude the conflict. When President Eisenhower assumed the presidency from Truman in 1953, he quickly recognized the logical solution to the strategic conundrum was shifting U.S. war-fighting from limited to total war means, and he thereby ended the Korean War by communicating to the communists his intention of escalating with nuclear weapons if the communists persisted in their total war objectives. Civilian limited war advocates should have seen the glaring fallacy of their theory at this point, but they didn't. For his part, Eisenhower did not believe that limited war could remain limited.
As a warrior who knew war first-hand, President Eisenhower opted for a historically-based defense doctrine of "Massive Retaliation," which promised an all-out nuclear attack on the Soviet Union in the event of aggression. Throughout the better part of the 1950's, Eisenhower's national security strategy insured that there was no military superpower confrontation. Because Eisenhower had doubts that a "limited war" would remain such, his over-all national security policy, called the "New Look," was based on the unstoppable nuclear striking power of Strategic Air Command. During this period of relative peace, Democrat political opponents and social-science civilian theorists were in constant chorus that the New Look Massive Retaliation was simply too risky for the country and the world.

(My bold) If we are to take Webb at his word, and we assume he actually knows how Eisenhower ended the war, then it appears we should use the nuclear option to end the war in Iraq. A previous Democrat president used the nuclear option to end World War 2. Nice to know the Democrats have a simple solution to the war. A lot of Americans, frustrated at the PC way this war has been fought, would agree.


The fact is that if we stop the PC BS and let our military forces use, you know...force ...against the insurgents, terrorists, and dead-enders who are the ones indiscriminately blowing up people in Iraq; instead of insisting that soldiers be like the type of emasculated overly-sensitive metrosexual yahoos that dominate the ranks of the left, we might actually succeed in quelling the tide of violence.

Only in the fevered brains of someone like a John Kerry, trapped in vietnamized amber and resurrecting the ghost of himself by repeating the same bogus and insulting analogy he made then (probably because he can't think of a new or original one), could possibly imagine that a war is fought without mistakes, casualties, deaths, or even bad language directed against the enemy.

One wonders what delusion Webb was under when he used the resurrected Dwight Eisenhower during the Dems response to the SOTU? Eisenhower was a real soldier in the days before political correctness was decreed mandatory and I imagine that he was not one to beat around the bush in his language (unlike Ace, who is wearing his PC tinfoil helmet and suggests tongue-in-cheek to the troops, "Stop using words that hurt and start using words that heal.")

Remember that before he was President, Eisenhower was a general in a war in which up to 56 million people died (counting both military and civilian). A war, in fact, that might have gone on for many extra years if the difficult decision to use nuclear weapons had not been made by a Democrat President of the United States.

I'm sure the irony of this was lost on Webb and his fellow Democrat defeatists as they argued to boldly accept defeat in Iraq, while calling on the ghosts of wartimes past.

YOU ONLY THOUGHT YOU WERE CONTENT

The economy is in good shape and has been booming for years. All the traditional indicators are doing well; and if this state of affairs had been occurring under the auspices of a Democratic administration instead of a Republican one, you can bet your sweet ass that the news would be trumpeted loudly and repeatedly, as it did when Saint Clinton was President.

But the message from the Democats (and their MSM outlets) has been the same since 2000. Things are BAD! Poverty is INCREASING! DOOM DOOM DOOM! You foolish people out there only think you are content!

Don't you know that there are people in this very country who are richer than you are? There are even (gasp!) people who are smarter, more talented, and happier than you could possibly ever be!

Is this fair? Is this something that we have to put up with in our politically correct, culturally diverse, and oh so egalitarian society? You don't have to be satisfied with life, liberty and only the pursuit of happiness-- WE CAN GUARANTEE HAPPINESS FOR YOU!

The Democratic Party is there for all you unhappy people, carefully and considerately stoking the fires of your envy and greed. Ironically, they manage to do this, all the while proselytizing with their trademark intellectual and moral superiority against the wickedness and selfishness of our materialistic/capitalistic society.

Only in the incredible wonderland of their benevolent neo-marxist uptopia is it possible to have your cake and eat it too.

Did you actually listen to James Webb give the Democrat's rebuttal of the SOTU the other day?

The man is so immersed in class envy and socialist bullshit, he's literally drowning in its nonsense. Of course, the left couldn't be more pleased by this knee-jerk political response by the useless Democrats, still stuck in the quagmire of a mid-20th century ideology that could never deliver on any of its promises.

But hey! Class warfare is a well-trod path to power. Look at Hugo Chavez. Having duped the peasants of his country into a state of perpetual envy and entitlement, he now is poised to dupe them into endless, perpetual Hugo-ness by making himself their Dictator for Life! I mean, isn't that so cool?

No wonder the left loves him so. He's very good at what he does. They undoubtedly envy him and wish they had his cojones.

Gagdad Bob has this to say on the Democrat's blatant use of class envy to stir up the masses (so they will be sure to vote for them):
In his response, Jimmy Webb suggested that "Someone left the economic cake out in the rain, all the sweet green money flowing up. When one looks at the health of our economy, it's almost as if we are living in two different countries. Some say that things have never been better. The stock market is at an all-time high, and so are corporate profits. But these benefits are not being fairly shared."

Wo, wo, wo, time out, bucko. What are you hiding under that wig? "Fairly shared?" What's that supposed to mean? This is news to me. I am invested in the stock market. True, some of my mutual fund picks have been less than sterling, but it never occurred to me that it's someone else's fault -- that I'm not getting my fair share! Wahhhhhhhh!

But let's say I am intrigued. I like what I am hearing from this man Webb. My envy has been piqued. And exactly how are liberal politicians going to ensure that I do get my fair share -- whatever "fair" means? Why, they'll take away some of that wealth and create economic conditions in which less wealth is created for all! Of course, it will have no effect on my economic well-being, except to reduce it. However, if it also reduces my envy of those who are wealthier than I am, then I guess it's worth it.

Here is a type of "thinking" that would never occur to a Raccoon. It would never "cross our mind." Or, if it did, it would cross right through without ever nesting there: "When I graduated from college, the average corporate CEO made 20 times what the average worker did; today, it's nearly 400 times. In other words, it takes the average worker more than a year to make the money that his or her boss makes in one day [this is a lie he just made up, by the way]. Wages and salaries for our workers are at all-time lows as a percentage of national wealth, even though the productivity of American workers is the highest in the world."

My fellow Coons, do you smell what I smell? Let's pause for a moment to sniff this insane and disgusting approach to economics to try to understand just how spiritually rotten it is. We are not to live our lives from "within," to simply enjoy our life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the real world. No. Rather, we are to calculate the percentage of national wealth that we possess, and live our lives in the darkness of this meaningless and abstract imaginary world.

You see? You only thought you were content. But you were fooling yourself! You're not content at all. Liberals are here to remind you of this. Be honest. Envy is eating away at you. Something must be done to satisfy this envy. Someone must pay. Someone must be punished. I want some of Nancy Pelosi's millions! Her wealth must be fairly shared with me! I want my wife to have hundreds of thousands of dollars of plastic surgery so she too can look like a blinking corpse!

It is Nancy's God-given American right to have as much Botox as she wants--but, what about all those other aging boomers? Why isn't there a government program that provides Botox injections to those too poor or too embarassed to obtain it? Is it fair that she should look like she's been recently embalmed (I mean this in a good way) and others cannot tap into this new fashion trend unless they have money?

Aristotle said that envy is pain at the good fortune of others. It doesn't matter that you have everything you might need to survive--or even survive very well. Like the murderous thug Rocco in Key Largo, you can never be satisfied if others have something you don't--you want more.

And, failing to achieve that goal, it's enough for your pathetic little soul to make sure that no one can ever have more than what you have; because it is physically and emotionally painful for people like Rocco to observe someone who has more possessions, more money, more brains, more skill, more luck... more anything than you do.

The intense emotional envy that is necessary to implement all the various socialist ideologies of the left is potent emotional stuff. One might even think of it as a powerful and addictive "opiate of the masses". Essentially, envy is a drug that erodes a person's sense of responsibility for his or her own life; drains them of initiative and substitutes entitlement and petulance; and results in a regression to a passive, childish dependence on their Great and Dear Leaders.

And isn't that what Webb is proposing? Trust the Great and Dear Democrats! We'll take care of you little guys and make sure you always have as much stuff as those big guys! As long as there is someone, somewhere who has more than you, you can't possibly be happy.

Of course, since they cannot create wealth themselves, they propose to achieve this utopia by taking stuff away from all those big guys so they don't have as much. You, yourself, won't actually get anything more than what you have now--but once they drag down all those who even think they're better than little ole you, things will be much more fair and equal.

And you'll feel so much better; so much more content when everyone else is as bad off as you are. Just ask the poor saps who lived in the 3rd world country formerly known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Or those in the worker's paradise of Cuba or the future worker's paradise of Venezuela. Or the happy little muslim elves of Iran and those floundering to eke out an existence in the productive totalitarian economies of the Middle East.

The politically correct left heaps scorn on business, capitalism, free trade, and globalization; and instead glorify and praise the most primitive and barbaric of cultures and cultural practices. They denigrate and revile those who create and produce wealth and worship with religious fervor those who cannot, encouraging the latter's psychological envy and resentment because those emotions can be used to further their own power.

So they make their useless promises to "redistribute" wealth and call it "social justice". As Bob suggests in an earlier post, they come for the egalitarianism, but stay for the bestiality and tyranny they unleash with their "progressive" ways.

If they really cared about helping the poor; if they really cared about social "justice"--then they would shut the hell up and get out of the way of those evil, greedy capitalistic bastards, who, as they pursue their own selfish, profit-making agendas; effortlessly manage to increase the standard of living and improve the lives of everyone around them.

But, today's social engineering Democrats could never be content with that economic reality.

UPDATE: Here is an interesting take on and analysis of some of the issues I am talking about:
Last night, President Bush's State of the Union address and Senator James Webb's Democratic response provided a useful juxtaposition of views. Among other things, it showed how the parties' positions on poverty have changed.

To wit, President Bush's proposals tend to target various aspects of what might be called absolute poverty. By contrast, Sen. Webb is interested in relative poverty....

President Bush has proposed an array of policies that confront different aspects of real deprivation as experienced by the poor here and abroad: bad education, lack of legal status and fear of deportation, lack of health care and disease. Of course, also critical to poverty alleviation is the ongoing success of the US economy, which, as the president mentioned, has created 7.2 million jobs since the beginning of the current expansion. Jobs are both the best way out of poverty and, as presidential aspirant John Edwards has said , a source of "dignity and self-respect." By calling for a balanced budget in five years, without raising taxes, President Bush made a bid to preserve a business climate in which prosperity will continue.

While the president is interested in dealing with specific aspects of poverty and deprivation, he is not interested in the position of poor people relative to others. Senator Webb is. "When I graduated from college," remarks Senator Webb, "the average corporate CEO made 20 times what the average worker did; today, it¹s nearly 400 times." Or again, "Wages and salaries for our workers are at all-time lows as a percentage of national wealth." In each case, the statistic he cites is a ratio: the average worker's wages compared to those of the CEO; wages and salaries compared to national wealth. That the average worker is much wealthier in absolute terms than he was thirty years ago does not seem to interest Webb much: what matters is that his relative wealth has decreased.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

UNREAL 'REALISM' AND DETERMINED DENIAL

Over at the Belmont Club, Wretchard has concisely summarizes the essential realpolitik:
One of the most valuable skills in diplomacy is never to let the facts get in the way of a good policy. Maliki is our man in Baghdad. America should seek engagement with Iran and Syria because they only want stability in Iraq. Pakistan is our friend. Yasser Arafat was our partner for peace and he never ordered the murder of an American ambassador. Teheran's nuclear program is entirely peaceful. In each case reality is subordinated to the overarching and luminous vision. And oh, this skill at diplomatic doublethink is called realism.


It is important to note that he makes this comment in the context of today's news that North Korea is assisting Iran in preparing for a nuclear test.

Clearly for the same sort of peaceful purposes that Kim Jong Il has in mind for his country's nuclear capabilities.

Cue the theme music, because now, you're traveling through another dimension -- a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are imagination and delusion. A region of unreal realism and determined denial. There's a signpost up ahead: your next stop: the Twilight Zone....

THE LEFT'S LAST CHANCE IN IRAQ

Contrary to popular opinion (see here, here and here, for example) , the troop surge is not really President Bush's "last chance" to win in Iraq.

Actually, it is the political left's last chance to ensure defeat in Iraq. That is their goal; it has always been their goal; and now they are quite desperate to achieve that goal. That is why all the stops have been pulled out in their reckless criticisms and defeatist rhetoric. Their neurotic glee at every American death is clearly palpable, because each death represents a marvelouos victory for their antiwar hysteria. This has been the case for the entire Iraq war, but the volume has been turned up to max on their voices of doom since they (mistakenly, I believe) appear to think that the results of the midterm elections are proof that America is buying into their agenda.

Of course they did not believe for a moment that America was buying into Bush when he soundly trounced them in the 2004 election--but consistency is not their strong suit.

You see, no matter what, the left MUST make sure that Bush--and America--lose in Iraq. The only catastrophic consequences they can visualise comes about if America--and Bush--are perceived to have succeeded. In that quite horrific scenario, they correctly understand that their ideology will truly be taken out will all the other 20th century trash.

They are desperately counting on the success of totalitarian systems in this new century; but if there is one thing the world should have learned it is that given a choice, people will always choose freedom over tyranny. So it is very important that they take their stand against that choice, in solidarity with the forces of intolerance and oppression everywhere.

And they are filled with fear and loathing at the prospect. The triumph of freedom in the Middle East would dash all their hopes and dreams of a resurrected socialist/communist utopia. They blithely refer to all who oppose them as "fascists", but the truth is that in their neo-marxist agenda they themselves have evolved into the true fascists; and their complicity with the Islamofascist agenda is becoming more and more apparent to even their own useful idiots.

Mort Kondrake commented last night on the Fox News All-Stars that he didn't understand why the Democrats, having strongly and repeatedly made their point about how they feel about Iraq, the "surge", and Bush; don't now just "back off" and let events unfold to prove them correct? Clearly, that is what those who are patriotic and support the troops would do at this time.

His question is easy to answer. It doesn't take either a rocket scientist or a psychiatrist to figure out their motives.

The left is not content to let "events unfold", because left to their own devices, events just might not come to--as Webb put it in his response to the SOTU for the Democrats--"the proper conclusion."

They are filled with trepidation that Bush might be correct and that Iraq will turn around. They are desperate to throw the Bush Mideast policy of spreading democracy into the dustbin of history now--when they can most benefit from its discreditation--rather than actually wait for history to make its final determination because, frankly, history may choose to be rather kind to Mr. Bush.

They cannot bear the thought of "victory" (did you note how when Bush used that word, only half the congressional audience even stood up and applauded?).

The Democrats and the left know that this year is their last best chance before the election of 2008 to facilitate failure in Iraq. As they they strut about piously talking about how much they support the troops and agonizing about the daily death tolls from Baghdad, they deliberately and with malice aforethought plan to bring defeat. They sense that it is within their grasp--and if they can acihieve defeat and humiliation for the US, they are confident they will win the White House. And if the Democrats win the White House after such a defeat, then they will be forever in the debt of their leftist base.

SC&A pointed out not too long ago:

Wars are not pretty and they are always messy. The minute the first innocent is killed in a war is the moment that war becomes immoral. Of course, all wars are immoral. That said, not all wars are unjust.

We have noted that the Bush administration policy of wanting to bring democracy to the Middle East is a good one. There is no rational argument against that policy, period. To base criticism of the President on his belief that peoples living under tyrannies would not be better off in the long run, under free governments, is absurd. Those who espouse such views are essentially irrelevant to any discussion.
It is also clear that we may need to revisit the plans of this administration’s implementation of policies that would free those under the boot of oppression. That reexamination in no way negates the validity of the policies or doctrines that hold freedom and liberty in higher regard than tyranny and oppression.

The media and those in opposition want us to leave Iraq now, because they understand that in the end, the Bush administration’s policies of wanting to bring freedom to the region will be seen as a worthwhile effort and one to be emulated. The media and virulent objectors to this administration’s policies know they will be held to account for their perfidy.


Yes it is the left's last chance. They have chosen to hang their hopes for regaining power on bringing about a "proper conclusion" (for them) in Iraq, rather than victory. Because only in the utter defeat and humiliation America--and, of course, the BushHitler--will their ideology, already terminal and on life-support, be given a much-needed transfusion.

And, isn't it rather ironic, considering all their mindless chanting about "peace" and "brotherhood", that the very life of their ideology now depends on a transfusion--i.e., an American defeat in Iraq--composed of the blood and misery of those millions they woould abandon to the malignant tyranny of the Islamists.

But, that's what today's illiberal left is all about.

UPDATE: New Year's Resolution:

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

THE SANITY SQUAD - Attack of the Infidel Shrinks!

The Iranian mullahs and their nutjob president better watch out! This week's podcast of The Sanity Squad is now posted at Pajamas Media Politics Central and the fab four have exposed the psyche of the Islamic regime for all to see. It is not a pretty sight.

The Squad discusses Benny Morris' article in The Jerusalem Post, "This Holocaust Will Be Different", and the consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran willing to sacrifice the loss of millions of its own people to have the satisfaction of destroying Israel.

As for Israel, the dreadful dilemma of the Jewish state was outlined in Morris' article: Israel's nuclear armory appears to be unusable. He writes, "It can only be used too early or too late. There will never be a "right" time. Use it "too early," meaning before Iran acquires similar weapons, and Israel will be cast in the role of international pariah, a target of universal Muslim assault, without a friend in the world; "too late" means after the Iranians have struck. What purpose would that serve?"

And, some where between the paranoia of Iran and the psychological denial of the West (busy enabling its own enemies) , the Squad psychoanalyzes Iran’s vulnerabilities and Israel's strengths.

Join Siggy , Neo-neocon , Shrinkwrapped and me and take a listen to this week's podcast--we may speak softly (except for Siggy, of course) but we carry a great big stick. And, remember-- even for psychiatrists--sometimes a stick is really a stick....

Previous podcasts of The Sanity Squad can be found here; and you can also download them from iTunes.

(The Sanity Squad cartoon at the right is drawn by Eric Allie, whose collection of political cartoons can be found here and here).

And yes, we really do look like the people in the picture. And, Siggy is nude because he doesn't like to blog in pajamas and his dress was at the dry cleaners.

YOU SHALL NOT PASS

Tonight, President Bush will make his "State of the Union" speech to the American people before the joint houses of Congress. The President is not the most articulate of individuals, but his mind and heart are in the right place. He has reminded us repeatedly that we are in the middle of dark and terrible times; and that the actions we choose to take--or not to take, for that matter--will have serious, even devastating consequences for future generations of Americans and others.

We cannot simply close our eyes and pretend that the evil that is sweeping across the world will go away. Whatever accommodations the President makes tonight to the majority in Congress, he must not compromise on this issue.

The President has always been open to new ideas on how to win this war. He should never listen to those who only want to run away from it and have no new ideas except defeat. Defeat is not an option.

Never have the stakes been more clear.

And, just in time to highlight that clarity, Ayman Al Zawahiri, the vicious Al Qaeda thug-in-chief-- and the real-world manifestation of one of Tolkein's most evil and foul creatures--came out of his dark, dank cave yesterday and uttered more of the usual medieval Islamist nonsense. The Counterterrorism Blog has this to say:
The video appears timed to coincide with the State of the Union Address." SITE Institute: "Zawahiri taunts Bush, questioning: “why send 20,000 only - why not send 50 or 100 thousand? Aren't you aware that the dogs of Iraq are pining for your troops' dead bodies?.” He then invites the American President to send the entire American Army to Iraq as he believes the Mujahideen are capable of destroying the equivalent of ten armies."

UPDATE: Laura Mansfield has made the full tape with English translations available from her website (large Windows Media file).

This appears to be another in a long line of tapes in which Al Qaeda leaders concurrently warn the West and offer a mutual security "deal" - a complete lie and impossibility, of course, but Al Qaeda will continue to make the "offer." Daveed Gartenstein-Ross posted about this strategy in December, after al-Zawahiri used the Iraq Study Group report to offer another "deal."


As I listened to the tape, I realized that these creatures of Islam seem to believe that just because they are capable of using modern technology it make them "civilized". They are not.

They seem to believe that just because they are capable of mindless violence and murder, the future of the world is their for the taking. The day of the orcs is at hand. It is not.

Like all the Balrogs and Orcs of history, these ancient evils that arise in every generation from deep within the primitive, oppressive darkness of the human soul are frightening and represent the primitive darkness that we flawed beings are capable of. They once were human souls like you and I, but now their souls have been distorted almost beyond recognition.

But we can still identify them from the putrid smell of tyranny and death; sadly, all too familiar to our senses. Not a generation ago our fathers courageously battled creatures like this and routed them; sending them scurrying back into the darkness and away from civilized society. We told them "never again," and for a while our defiance and courage shamed them into silence.

While they have found a new path into human consciousness, their goals remain the same.

The deformed ideology that has resurrected monsters like Zawahiri and all the other two-bit thugs of Islamic delusion never seems to die for long. With every arrogant utterance these creaures make, every sane and civilized human being should recoil with revulsion at the stench.

We cannot run from what these creatures represent. This is our generation's battle in a war that goes back to the dawn of civilization. We must stand and fight whatever the consequences, for this evil must be sent back to the depths yet again.

Like Gandalf standing alone in the mines of Moria--even if we are the only ones that stand between this ancient human evil and the achievements of human civilization-- we too must resolutely declare, "You. Shall. Not. Pass."

That is the only declaration that will matter to me as I listen to the President's speech tonight.

You. Shall. Not. Pass.

UPDATE: Jules Crittendon cuts right to the heart of the problem, and makes a reasonable suggestion for the President tonight:
The State of the Union is a disaster. I did my best, but I made mistakes, and my best wasn’t good enough.

We went to war without building up our army, and now, I am trying to make up for that.

But that is not the disaster.

The disaster is that you, Congress and the American people, do not care to fight.


A picture's worth a thousand words:

Monday, January 22, 2007

NARCISSISM AND THE POLITICS OF PERSONAL DESTRUCTION

Mark Steyn makes this cogent observation about Hillary Clinton:

I’m not unsympathetic to premise of Ron Rosenbaums argument— that, compared to the happy-face banality of John Edwards’ and Barack Obama’s public personas, there’s something rather appealing about Hillary Clinton’s naked viciousness. And, indeed, after Elizabeth Edwards remarked that Hillary’s life was less “joyful” than hers, it was hard not to warm to a woman so determined to confirm her joylessness that she’s prepared to have genial Mrs Edwards kneecapped in a dark alley and forced into an abject apology.

My problem begins when Rosenbaum expands the proposition to argue that, in a field of Democrat wimps, Hill’s the one to back to stick it to the jihadists. I yield to no-one in my respect for the Clintons’ ruthless brutal demolition of Newt, and that guy who succeeded Newt for 20 minutes, and Gennifer and Kathleen and all the rest. But there’s no evidence to suggest either Clinton has any interest in applying these techniques to tougher adversaries beyond these shores. There’s a world of difference between the politics of personal destruction and the geostrategic kind. Beating up breast-cancer survivors is no indication you’ll do the same to Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong-Il.(emphasis mine)

I tend to agree with Steyn's behavioral analysis of Clinton.

We have enough information about Hillary's behavior--particularly her behavior under stress--over the last decade or so to be able to make reasonable predictions about her future behavior.

Let me digress for just a moment. To the extent that a person's behavior is mostly motivated by perceived insults to their self--i.e., their narcissistic core; then the "insult" will usually prompt a typical display of narcissistic rage directed toward the unfortunate individual who threatens them.

Such rage responses are invariably destructive, mean, and petty. Additionally, these rages are generally not beneficial to society-at-large (in fact, such actions often have strong sociopathic or antisocial elements to them) , although the person in the throes of narcissistic rage will often convince themselves that they are behaving perfectly appropriately and even for "the good" of others.

This is the origins of "sociopathic selfishness and "sociopathic selflessness" I have discussed elsewhere.

Far too often, narcissistically flawed individuals are hopelessly attracted by the grandiose opportunities of the political arena (as well as the Hollywood arena) like moths to a flame. Their sense of self is starkly invested in the desire for power over others (always, of course, "for their own good") , constant admiration and adulation and grandiose ambitions. This makes them remarkably adept at what Steyn calls the "politics of personal destruction".

For the narcissist it is always a zero-sum game he or she plays with other individuals. From the perspective of the narcissist, if someone else "wins", the narcissist "loses". It cannot be otherwise, since on some level they know that their own talent and skills are way overblown. Hence, they cannot hope to "win" based on those talents alone. Thus, the behavior of the classic narcissist is mostly directed toward making others lose so they can win by default. To that end, there is no behavior or tactic that is considered out -of-bounds or over-the-top.

Hence the current state of political discourse and the ubiquitous personal attacks that have become the trademark of all political campaigns.

If you want to understand why politics has become so virulent and personally vicious you need not look any farther that this sad truth. While politics still occasionally brings out those who have strong personal integrity and values; often it is the people of no integrity and values who are obsessively attracted to the field and are triumphant--and that is true on both sides of the political spectrum.

By that, I mean that those who would actually make the best leaders generally opt out of the process, because they tend to be too healthy to generate the continual rage necessary to destroy all opponents; or they lack the required-- and mostly distorted --sense of personal "perfection" and grandiosity that drives the power-hungry.

I am frequently reminded that it is hopelessly naive these days to expect the electorate to vote for a person based on what that person actually stands for; instead, these days most people respond to the negative campaign ads that slice and dice the other guy; and are mainly influenced by botoxed faces and Hollywood-packaged good-looks rather than the content of any candidate's character. The less they know of that character, the better!

Do you imagine that a Golda Meir or a Margaret Thatcher would have a chance to become the first woman president of the US. Not these days, for sure.

Real personal integrity and character comes from having a consistent set of values and exhibiting behavior driven by those values. Today's classic narcissistically-driven politicians like both Hillary and Bill can only flutter in the political winds, and zelig-like easily take on whatever characteristics their public care to project onto them.

It is easy to be tough and ruthless with political adversaries in the US political battlefield. The kind of threat political adversaries pose is hardly life-threatening (though in other, less civilized nations it may well be). Political bullies like the Clintons, for example, feel perfectly safe in viciously attacking and denigrating those who oppose them. And, when it happens occasionally that a political adversary unexpectedly shoots back and won't go away, the bully easily falls back on the "victim" role and whines about "vast right-wing conspiracies" and such.

This is not the kind of person who can face real threats in the real world very effectively because this is not the kind of person who can effectively deal with threats they do not perceive as personal--why should they care much about any other kind, unless the polls indicate they should?.

Hillary Clinton did not get where she is today by being a person of integrity, honesty and courage--she got there by riding on the coattails of her charismatic husband; and by shrewdly altering her opinions to accommodate the prevailing political winds. And, oh yes, by ruthlessly destroying whoever got in her way. And even her base is able to recognize this about her, although she is extremely careful never to dirty her own hands. Like the Hamas and Hezbollah gunmen who shield themselves with innocent women and children, Hillary and her spouse have always had a ready supply of useful fall-guys (recall Vince Foster's suicide or Sandy Berger's recent archival exploits, for example) to take responsibility for their misdeeds.

That is why candidates like Obama are so attractive: because this same voting base that once adored Hillary now find her too too obvious and coarse, and have swung over to the unknown, tabula rasa candidate on whom they are able to project their own fantasies without any intrusion by harsh reality.

Expect to see the lovely Hilary, whose grandiosity and ambition matches that of her philandering husband ounce for ounce, lash out unmercifully toward anyone who threatens her political ambitions; but definitely not at Islamic Jihadists--unless it happens to be politically expedient and popular to do so. As the campaign progresses, her views will move ever leftward to accommodate whomsoever she decides she needs to co-opt in order to achieve her ambitions.

Right now, it is smart for her to play both sides--to speak toughly, and carry a little stick, so to speak. (The "mommy" alternative, I suppose, to politically incorrect paternalism)

The best leaders are not obsessed with themselves; with polls; or with accumulating power by pandering to all sides. Those leaders may, in truth, have many other personal flaws--but not particularly of the dangerously narcissistic variety. Whatever those flaws (and we all possess them), they are characterologically able to be more concerned about dealing with external reality; rather than in preserving a distorted and fragile internal one. Avenging petty slights and insults is not a high priority to a psychologically healthy person. Those healthy individuals are far more likely to direct their psychological energy toward dealing with real-world geopolitical threats that endanger both their country and the people they have the responsibility to protect; rather than using that country or the power of their office to counter threats to their endangered self and act on their grandiose fantasies about themselves.

The latter is the same psychological pathology that is rampant among dictators and dictator wannabes of all stripes. Their concern about others in their group/nation is purely of the “l’√©tat c’est moi” variety. Look at Saddam's behavioral legacy. Observe the recent behaviors of Ahmadinejad or Chavez or Kim Jong Il -- or any of the other despots and thugs that somehow claw their way up to the top of the food chain in their respective countries.

That the needs of the nation, or the people they serve, might be different from their own; or that doing the right thing is often different from doing the popular thing, are foreign and dangerous concepts. The only reality they know--or care about--is the one inside themselves.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

THE THREAT OF GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL

...and "human-caused" global warming is definitely a hypothesis to consider:




UPDATE: If you really want to be depressed, consider this:
The second holocaust will not be like the first. The Nazis, of course, industrialized mass murder. But still, the perpetrators had one-on-one contact with the victims. They may have dehumanized them over months and years of appalling debasement and in their minds, before the actual killing. But, still, they were in eye and ear contact, sometimes in tactile contact, with their victims....

The second holocaust will be quite different. One bright morning, in five or 10 years, perhaps during a regional crisis, perhaps out of the blue, a day or a year or five years after Iran's acquisition of the Bomb, the mullahs in Qom will convene in secret session, under a portrait of the steely-eyed Ayatollah Khomeini, and give President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, by then in his second or third term, the go-ahead....

With a country the size and shape of Israel (an elongated 20,000 square kilometers), probably four or five hits will suffice: No more Israel. A million or more Israelis in the greater Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem areas will die immediately. Millions will be seriously irradiated. Israel has about seven million inhabitants. No Iranian will see or touch an Israeli. It will be quite impersonal.