Thursday, July 21, 2005

Battered-Left Syndrome

The diagnosis: Battered-Left Syndrome (hat tip: gumshoe)

The aftermath of the London terrorist bombings has demonstrated that the antiwar Left is severely afflicted by the political equivalent of battered-wife syndrome. With each new beating, the scarred and bruised victims of spousal abuse tend to excuse and rationalize the actions of their tormentors. A stubborn unwillingness to accept the proposition that their partners are violent louts plunges these woeful women into a morass of self-deception that spawns only further violence.

The far Left has similarly proved unable to liberate itself from the web of rose-tinted delusions that it has spun about the nature of Islamic extremism. After each al Qaeda outrage, leftist ideologues are quick to castigate their own countrymen for a catalogue of sins, both real and imagined. With a perverse combination of self-loathing and adoration of the enemy, the radical Leftist mantra preaches that if only we were nicer, the jihadists could not fail to love us. It’s our own fault if Osama bin Laden doesn’t realize what good people we are.

And all the while, these “progressive” academics, pundits, and politicians engage in ridiculous intellectual contortions designed to mitigate the guilt of the terrorist perpetrators. When push comes to shove, some intellectuals believe that Islamism is simply an understandable reaction to what they describe as “Western imperialism.”

The streets of Britain’s capital city were still damp with innocent blood when the same obscene dance of political self-flagellation began. Within hours of the explosions on the Underground, author Tariq Ali was blaming these attacks on George Bush and Tony Blair. The architects of the London bombings were exercising their just entitlement to vengeance for the “violence being inflicted on the people of the Muslim world,” he wrote.

Journalist Robert Fisk rushed to sing from the same song-sheet in the left-wing British daily The Independent. “It was crystal clear Britain would be a target ever since Tony Blair decided to join George Bush’s ‘war on terror,’” Fisk thundered. The true arch-terrorists of our time, he argued, could be found in the White House and 10 Downing Street.

And if the causes of Islamist terrorism were being falsely diagnosed by leftist ideologues, then the policy proposals being advanced by these same voices were morally bankrupt as well. Rather than pursue the fanatics had who visited such death upon the innocent of London, George Galloway, a radical member of Parliament, urged Britain to adopt the Spanish model of crumpling under pressure.

Lapkin, the author of this article hits the nail on the head, I think. You must read the whole thing.

Let me tell you about my experience with many Battered Women. I wrote about it previously on this blog , when I discussed the complacency many Muslim women show with their own oppression under Islamic law.

When I started my career in psychiatry, one of my earliest and most difficult cases was a woman--I'll call her Alice--who was seen frequently in the ER because her husband used to beat her fairly regularly. She had been hospitalized several times because of internal injuries from these beatings, but despite our trying to convince her to get help, Alice vehemently refused, claiming that she loved her husband and that he loved her. Her hospital room would be filled with flowers and cards from the repentant spouse. Both Alice and her husband would have nothing to do with us, and denied they even had a problem.

The last time I saw Alice, she was unconscious and being wheeled into the operating room after a particularly savage beating from her loving husband. She never made it off the operating table. I thought of how we tried desperately to warn her that the violence would not stop unless something changed. We literally had pleaded with her to let us help her the last time she was discharged from the medical unit.

Rarely since then have I felt so helpless or impotent as a professional. Rarely have I felt so angry about the kind of psychopathology and lack of insight that lead to situations like Alice's.

Since then I have come to realize you cannot force someone to change psychologically. The professional part of me understands that Alice had many opportunities to make a change in the toxic relationship she had with her husband. She had the opporutnity to get help; she could have stopped accepting his way of expressing his "love". She could have faced the reality of her situation. But she didn't, and now she was dead. The husband was convicted of her murder. And Alice, who was without doubt a tragic victim of domestic abuse, was at the same time a willing accomplice to her own murder.

The behavior of the Left, as Lapkin notes, is very similar to cases like Alice: denial; distortion of reality; appeasement; enabling behavior; and ultimately, the willing accomplices to their own murder.

Will they change? Can they change? Before that crocodile gets around to eating them?

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