Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Why Do They Hate Us?

The other day Chris Matthews gave a college speech in which he asked the question that always puzzles liberals, that is, "why do they -- our millions of enemies in the Muslim world -- hate us?" Matthews made it clear that he was concerned not just with outright terrorists, but with rank-and-file Muslims throughout the Arab world.

It is odd that the only people who ask this question are suffering from the same logopathology that causes us to be hated in the Arab Muslim world: Quite simply, they hate us because they believe lies about us. Just as Palestinians hate Jews because they believe terrible lies -- delusions, really -- about them, leftists hate President Bush because they believe lies about him.

In this regard, it doesn't really matter if the hatred engenders the lie, or the lie fosters the hatred. (More on that tomorrow.) The end result is the same: banishment to a negative psychological space, a parallel universe ruled by lies and hatred instead of love and truth, and where emotional and intellectual growth are impossible. The Arab Muslim world is immersed in a sea of lies about almost everything you could imagine (as catalogued by memri.org), which is the real source of their spiritual sickness.

In order to grow, the mind requires truth. Similarly, a culture or nation that is deprived of truth will literally become spiritually ill. The mind, although it is not a physical entity, nevertheless has a function, just like any other organ. Your heart functions to pump blood. Your lungs function to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide with the environment. And the mind functions to metabolize truth so that it may grow.

A mind nourished on lies will still grow, but it will grow in a monstrous way analogous to a tumor. Rather than being a unity, it will be an agglomeration. It will be riven by contradiction, and there will be no true synthesis of its elements.

Indeed, this is one of the reasons why it is so difficult to argue with a leftist. Such an individual will freely believe all kinds of mutually contradictory things, such as "our soldiers are engaged in a genocidal war based on lies, and I support the troops," or "President Bush lied about WMD, and President Clinton was telling the truth about them," or "we should have prevented North Korea from obtaining nukes, and Saddam was not a threat to obtain them."

At the same time, the leftist will unconsciously "attack" the connecting links in your own psyche, giving you the subjective experience of what it must be like to be them.

It is almost impossible to read a leftist editorial without these kinds of irreconcilable contradictions. Yesterday, for example, Tom Friedman's editorial argued that Bush is arguably the worst president in US history, but that "we [we!] are about to produce the most legitimate government ever in the Arab world." He notes that it is "appalling to watch Bush and Cheney act like two Rove attack dogs" (that is, to have the audacity to respond to slanderous charges against them), but that the much harsher Democratic attacks on the President must be overlooked because "they are not in power." (Apparently, power is absolute. The left and the New York Times are utterly powerless today, just as the Republican party was powerless during the Clinton presidency. Right.)

Friedman claims that to "accuse anyone of lacking seriousness on Iraq is disgusting," but that President Bush has disgustingly "fought this war on the cheap, always putting politics before policy." Always. Of course, Friedman doesn't explain why President Bush would want to cynically pursue a policy he doesn't believe in just to garner a 30% approval rating, but it doesn't matter. Friedman is smarter than you or I. He has an important job at the New York Times.

Friedman's thinking is so chaotic and contradictory, one hardly knows where to begin. Plus, it's all wrapped in an aura of intellectual superiority which is the real message of the article.

That is, if you are a therapist, you don't listen just to the meaning of the words, but the emotional tone that is being conveyed. In Friedman's case, the message he wishes to convey is of moral and intellectual superiority, the conviction that all badness may be located outside himself and in President Bush and his corrupt cronies, and that he (Friedman) is not, I said NOT an immature and childish thinker taking pot-shots at the grownups. (In the same article he asks, "Where are the adults?," unconsciously referring to himself.)

But all of these assertions are self-refuting, in that they are reactions to a deeper, painful truth that Friedman unKnows but is unwilling to face. Editorials this passionately disjointed are painful to read, but that's part of the process. Through the process of projective identification, we must bear the pain he cannot. It is left to us to try to put together his broken fragments of emotion-driven thought and make sense of them, just as one would do with a child or patient. Like Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman or the persecuted hosts of Air America, his emotions are obviously quite serious, even urgent. That much is clear. Just don't take his thoughts seriously.

More tomorrow on the relationship between lies, hatred, emotional growth, and the conscience.

UPDATE--via Shrinkwrapped, a very helpful guide to the techniques of propaganda posted at strategypage.com. For example, in Friedman's editorial alone, I counted seventeen out of twenty two propaganda techniques: Guilt By Association, Backstroke, Misinformation, Over Humanization, Name Calling, He Said, She Said, Unproven "Facts," Lying, Subtle Inaccuracies/Dismissive Tone, One-One Punch, Volume, Coordination, Preemptive Strike, Framing the Debate, Token Equal Time, Interpreting, and Withholding Information. No wonder these guys can only publish a couple of short editorials a week. It takes a lot of time and effort to squeeze in all those techniqes and be concise about it.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You state the reason that "they" hate us because they believe lies. I have long believed that the reason they hate us is because they misunderstand. Am I simply euphemizing the situation, or is there a fundamental difference of opinion?

11/30/2005 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, misunderstanding is a passive process based on a lack of information, whereas the Lie, as I am using it, is an active process that actually attacks Truth. It is Motivated Stupidity. A misunderstanding can be cleared up by simply providing the indviudal with accurate information. A lover of truth will gratefully accept the informaton and adjust their thinking accordingly. The person whose personality is founded on the Lie will become agitated, question your motives, attack the links in your own psyche, and fling poop. You'll see, It happens evry time.

11/30/2005 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger LiquidLifeHacker said...

"why do they--our millions of enemies in the Muslim world--hate us?"

Its generation upon generation of hating. I have tried many times to ask muslims what is the real source of their hatred for Jews and I am shocked with the answers I have gotten. The most ridiculous one I got was that the Jews have this 'earthquake machine' and are causing all the terrible "shakeups" around the world! LOL I thought they were joking, but they were serious! This became apparently clearer when during fallujah's spotlight during the war, there was a cleric that got on television over there and told the people that there were chair sized spiders that were sent from allah and that if an American soldier even touched one of the spider's hairs it would be instant death! Truth is never a possibility in their warrior state!

So Bob, you are correct, its been lie built upon lie and my heart does go out to those muslims that are victimized into believing the farce! There is no doubt that muslims are the first victims to all this deciet, but when you have al-takeyya and jihad being practiced from the core of their faith and taught via their quran, and its become more powerful than love or peace in their lives because their generation and the ones before them have traded one for the other. The result is they have become professional liars on every level of their being. Peace treaties are wonderful, but how realistic is it when Israel has to sign one with men that have hearts of duplicity? Knowing that their allah allows them to lie. Their own prophet was quoted as saying “War is a deception.” and the 'allah' of Islam is described in the Quran as “the best of deceivers.” Surah 8:30

11/30/2005 10:23:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Gagdad Bob: Your blog is great!
It has become my second stop (after Lileks) every morning.

Truth nourishes the mind, but we are facing a generation, and a media steeped in the doctrines of political correctness. The P.C.response to an inconvenient truth is to substitute a polite lie that better conforms to the leftist agenda. Hence the problems of the inner city ghetto are all the fault of white racism. The disparities in mens' and womens' incomes are all the fault of male chauvanism, and the problems in the moslem world are the fault of American foreign policy.
As long as truth takes a back seat to an agenda there is no firm ground on which to build a realistic world view.

JWM

11/30/2005 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger ShrinkWrapped said...

jwm nailed it, and the problem is worsening, at least in my neck of the woods. I linked to this post today and would have sent a trackback but it is too difficult for my limited technological abilities.

11/30/2005 11:47:00 AM  
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