Wednesday, July 13, 2005

"Roots" And The Sea In Which The Terror Swims

We have heard it all before from the apologists and enablers and the paranoid delusional.

It's poverty,unemployment, hopelessness, despair that motivates them. It's the Palistinian-Israeli conflict; It's Bush's policies; It's Sharon and Blair. It's American imperialism, capitalism, exploitation that has made them the way they are. It's our intolerance, hatred and our racism that causes them to hate us. These acts are the only way an oppressed victimized people can stand up for themselves. If we don't provoke them, they'll leave us alone. Islam is a religion of peace. Muslims don't do things like this. It is a plot by Israel to discredit Islam. 9/11 was a plot by the Bush Administration. A plane never hit the pentagon. America deserved what it got. Britain deserved what it got. Palestinian suicide bombers are justified because of Israeli oppression. Bush is a Nazi. Blair is a Nazi. Guantanamo is a gulag. Guantanamo is a Nazi gulag. Terrorists are militants, insurgents, freedom fighters, bombers, poor misunderstood ickle babies. All we need is love, peace is the answer, make love not war and we support the troops when they shoot their officers, yada yada yada.

And what about those always-invoked root causes of terrorism (or should I say "bombers"?)

Cal Thomas on Terrorism's Root Causes:

These are not Muslims without a future. These are bright and educated students who, if they wished, could be productive and prosperous members of British society. But many are embracing a false theology and a god who requires them to kill "infidels."

No amount of G8 aid to the "Palestinians," nor a resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, will pacify these current and potential killers. Even if Israel were obliterated (the goal of much of the Muslim world), the terror would continue until the entire non-Islamic world is under their control.

This is not the belief of an "Islamophobic" bigot. This is what they say in their sermons and media, teach in their schools, and believe in their hearts. It matters little that "the overwhelming majority of Muslims are not terrorists," to quote a familiar Western mantra. It matters a great deal that most terrorists are Muslims. The sooner Western leaders and Western media begin stating what is obvious to most people; the quicker the real root cause can be dealt with.

The excuses given by Westerners and many Muslim clerics for terrorism are just that: excuses.

There seems to be a pervasive belief (encouraged, I must add, by many people in the mental health field) that all bad behavior by adults can be explained by earlier abuse or trauma; and therefore adults who have been traumatized should not be held responsible for their own behavior, and are, in fact, the helpless victims of circumstance. Or, to paraphrase from West Side Story: they're depraved on acount of they're deprived.

This remarkable attitude has never been an aspect of a psychiatry or psychology that I am familiar with and is a perversion of the desire to understand and explain the root causes of behavior--NOT to excuse such behavior.

While the scientific side of psychiatry and the behavioral sciences searches for the underlying biological causes of dysfunctional behavior, the clinical side strives to help people learn how to control their behavior and deal with the conflicted feelings that motivate that behavior. Some of our patients may indeed be real victims of horrible abuse or trauma--and when that is the case, the reality must be acknowledged and dealt with. But, if we want our patients to move toward psychological health, we may empathize with their feelings, but under no circumstances should we encourage victimhood. Psychological health requires that adults take full responsibility for their behavior and actions.

If the moderate believers in Islam want to continue to excuse terrorists and their fellow Muslims, they must recognize that they are condoning murder in the name of their religion. When they and members of the Left resort to intricate conspiracy theories to further justify the behavior of the Islamofascists in their midst, then they are not only encouraging terror, but must assume reponsibility for its cultivation and spread.

Reader Solomon2 brought this post by Melanie Phillips to my attention, where she is replying to a Muslim upset by her views:

It would be futile to try here to correct the distortions and inappropriate comparisons contained in these remarks, which I’m sure were written in the very sincere belief that they are all true and entirely valid. To try to do so would be to pit oneself against a whole culture which misrepresents both the past and the present and insists that falsehood is truth.

While mainstream Muslims persist in subscribing to such a morally warped victim culture constructed on untruth, error, denial of responsibility and, in particular, gross ignorance and prejudice on the subject of Israel and the Jews, they will alas continue to provide, however inadvertently and however much they may deny this in genuine horror, the sea in which terror swims.

Let me only add that the same is true for all the enablers and apologists for terrorism.

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