Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Very Distorted Vision of Humanity

Judith Apter Klinghoffer has an insightful post about a diabolically disingenuous study produced by Vision of Humanity, an Australian NGO. Judith, who is one of the clearest thinkers I know, calls the thing hilarious and I agree that the design of the study and the claim for its validity is laughable but my sense of humor about this travesty is overcome when I consider the damage it does.
In a comment I made to her post I say:
Tyranny- It Always Quickens the Progressive Pulse
Tyrannies always have an eerie kind of menacing quiet to them. When the government is opaque and supplies the statistics there is never any problem that cannot be minimized. Ahmadinejad says that there is no homosexuality in Iran and so the killing of homosexuals does not disturb the peacefulness index. Lets not forget that Progressives like these Australian twits are just the modern form of collectivist ideologues who created the most peaceful "workers paradises" on earth- places where you could starve to death - or disappear into the Gulag, concentration camp or reeducation camp without ever being recorded in such a way as to blemish the peaceful image of the "People's Republic or Soviet Union or Third Reich" in which you live. Leftists always admire tyrannies (from afar, of course) for it. They seem to be saying, "If only we can regain the power again, with all these new rationalizations, we would be much better equipped to denature the human spirit next time around."

One of the prime ironies of the study is that Iran is, according to this very Astigmatic Vision of Humanity, a much more peaceful country than Israel. With that in mind let’s take a look at a few of the scoring points on which Iran that peaceful land of Mullahs, nuclear ambition and Bhurkas did so much better than Israel. Their quoted points are in black and my comments are in red.

Relations with neighbouring countries Let’s see, if you’re Israel, everybody around you hates you and tries to kill you because you’re Jewish- That’s going to hurt your score. If you are Iran, you are the world’s most active sponsor of terror by proxy- you hire train and supply outsiders and your own army officers dressed as civilians to commit murder outside your own borders- none of which hurts your standing as a “peaceful country”.

Level of distrust in other citizens Hmmm, if a guy from a "certain group" grabs a bulldozer and crushes a few of your people that is no reason to be suspicious. Then when another guy from that same group does the same thing it would hurt you Peace Index if you thought that there might be a pattern emerging here… Then again in Iran the only people you have to distrust are the government’s moral police.

Level of disrespect for human rights (Political Terror Scale) It is absolutely unfathomable how it has been possible to formulate an index in which Iran (where religious intolerance is endemic and violent, where slavery is still practiced openly, where women are beaten by officers of the government for wearing western style clothing and where homosexuals are subject to capitol punishment) has a better score on this category than Israel (where all citizens can vote, where religious tolerance is absolute where there are open gay pride parades, Arabs have a better standard of living, are better educated and experience lower infant mortality and all styles of clothing are worn including the hijab)- someone please explain this to me!

Potential for terrorist acts This one is priceless! Iranian trained, controlled and supplied terrorists maraud inside Israel and fire rockets on an hourly basis and these count against Israel not Iran!

Level of violent crime Of course when the Morality Police beat up a woman on the streets of Iran because she isn’t sufficiently covered up this is not considered a violent crime- just the police "keeping the peace" does this make sense?

Military expenditure as a percentage of GDP With Iran, Syria and several other much larger countries dedicated to destroying her, Does it make sense for Israel to cut her defense spending?
Number of armed services personnel per 100,000 people Israel is a tiny country, out numbered (more than 100 to 1) by nations all around her that have sworn to eliminate her do you think she might want to have a higher portion of people ready to fight? Oh, and that doesn’t even take into account the difference between the citizen soldiery and reserve system of Israel and the professional military caste/establishment in the countries that have kept her under siege for sixty years.

Volume of transfers (imports) of major conventional weapons per 100,000 people. Not counting the traffic of weaponry flooding across Iran’s northern borders from the former Soviet Union.

Volume of transfers (exports) of major conventional weapons per 100,000 people Not, of course taking into consideration the massive shipments of arms from China and North Korea that are smuggled and trans-shipped to the Iranian proxy armies in Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza.

Aggregate number of heavy weapons per 100,000 people Why would you need heavy weapons- Oh, maybe because your neighbors are trying to annihilate you… So if you intend to put up a fight you are a “problem child in the community”

Ease of access to small arms and light weapons In all totalitarian societies the first move is to disarm the populace- It cuts down on civil strife for better or worse.

Military capability/sophistication Heaven forbid you should study was to be able to protect your citizens efficiently with the least collateral damage. You’re going to look very un-peaceful.

That’s just a few of them- But you get the picture. The whole thing reminds me of my posts on the battered woman syndrome- Making it look like Israel brings it on herself. Then you punch her in the nose and yell at her for bleed ing on the rug. There it is a Vision of Humanity that only a Progressive could love.

Great name for a Progressive NGO By the way- They Love Humanity its People they Hate.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mattot: A Warning From the Past

I try not to post on Friday and I have never posted anything about my religious feelings before so this is a bit of a departure for Breath of the Beast but I think this is an important exception to make. I have been asked to deliver this week's gloss on the Bible portion in my synagogue and It relates directly to the usual subject matter on this blog. So here is the draft of what I will be saying on Saturday morning.

This is a difficult time of year for D’var Torahs. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that the parshas at this time of year are particularly troublesome. Last week was Pinchas the week before was Balak and now this- Mattot. Here is a rough outline:

Moses is near the end of his life. He has led the people out of slavery and been their shepherd for forty years of transitional wandering. They are on the threshold of the promised land and are in the final stages of preparation to go forward and claim their right to that promise. It is not clear if they know that Moses will no longer lead them but Moses knows. The parsha begins with a detailed treatment of the importance and legal implications of vows and oaths. It goes into fine distinctions about the vows and oaths of women and how they are subject to intervention, under certain circumstances, by the men folk (husbands and fathers) in the woman’s life. This is an irritant too- it certainly does not reflect modern Jewish practice. Then there is an abrupt switch to a narrative in which God commands Moses that the people must take vengeance on the Midianites and tells him explicitly that after that is done, that he (Moses) will “tayasafe al-ha-amecha” “be gathered to his kinspeople”. The Israelites go out into battle, return victorious only to find that the slaughter of the Midianites was not complete enough they- have killed only the Midianite men. The Midianite women and children have been spared. Moses then orders them to kill all the women “who have known men” and all of the male children. This done, the parsha closes with the story of how the tribes of Ruvane, Menashe and Gad begin to settle down on the eastern bank of the Jordan, showing a reluctance to continue on to help settle the rest of the people in “the Land” proper. Moses gets angry with them and insists that if they want the right to settle east of the Jordan river, the men of those tribes must agree to first go with the rest of the people and, in fact, become the “shock troops” (the word used is Chalootz also used as “pioneer” and, today, as “conscript”) of the battles to come. They agree to this and the parsha ends with them consolidating their positions and the stage set for the momentous crossing of the river.

I am going to talk about the war on the Midianites first. The vows section and the agreement with Reuvan, Menashe and Gad, can only be fully appreciated in the light of this major event. As it often happens, sections that seem unrelated, when you study them together, often reveal new and deeper ways of looking at things. There is always something sublime and laden with meaning about the way that sections that seem disjointed at first, the way these do, elucidate and clarify each other. 

So, God commanded the massacre of the Midianites and Moses orders it done. It seems irredeemably ugly and cruel to us but there is, no way to ignore it. Many, much wiser readers and interpreters than I, have tried to gloss over, minimize, rationalize or even evade it, because it is so harsh. Plaut, Alter and others say that it is “a story”, hinting that the completion of the murder is just as much of an exaggeration as the claim that not a single Israelite was lost in the initial battle. Plaut makes the point that the Midianites reappear as a people in the book of Joshua and while that might just be a people who have resettled the original land of Midian, it certainly gives an opening for those who would like to believe that there is a more “complex” event here than simple annihilation of innocents. 

Even so, the text is clear. When the battle is over and the killing is not as thorough as required, there is a frank and detailed discussion of who shall be killed. While the killing is never confirmed explicitly, it is never denied either. So, we are left having to accommodate this ancient savagery to our modern sensibility.

I struggled with this too; eventually it came to me, I was not looking at the story in context. Those Jews are not the Jews of today. They are not a group of educated professional people who have grown up in the peace and security of an American childhood. They live in an ancient world where the only way to insure that a defeated enemy’s sons and kin would not continue the cycle of revenge after a battle was to render them permanently incapable of it. The parents of these Jews were brutalized as slaves in Egypt. In Forty years of homeless wandering, they have been under constant threat of attack by every group around them. It was so bad that their movements and encampments in the wilderness had to be organized and carried out as military maneuvers with armed guards on all sides- with orders of march enforced. 

This was the ancient world where there were only three kinds of people- the conquered, the too tough to be conquered and the conquerors. There was no such thing as the UN or World Court- no higher authority- no concept of conflict resolution, there was only the struggle for survival. It is true that you could starve to death easily enough in a famine but the struggle against nature was nothing compared to the need to protect yourself against the depredations of other people.

And what other people! The context on this is even tougher. The vengeance we are talking about here is in response to the Midianite participation in the Baal Pe’or attempt to destroy the Jewish people from within. You will remember that in the parsha Balak, two weeks ago, the Midianites and Moabites conspired to use their own women - to literally prostitute their wives, sisters and daughters in an attempt to subvert and destroy the vitality, cohesion and morality of Israelite culture. 

The attempt had some initial success- many Israelites succumbed to temptation and made sacrifices to Baal. Then there came a plague and internal strife that resulted, we are told, in 24,000 Israelite deaths. 

What a contrast there is between Israel and her neighbors. Given that, in the ancient world, women were not the equals of men and were often treated as chattel, how can there be any comparison between these two cultures? And this is where the relationship between the section on vows and oaths takes on a deeper significance. Here we have Israel, on the one hand, which gives careful consideration and legal respect to the independent vows and oaths of women, compared to Midian, so degraded and underhanded that they use the bodies and souls of their own women as weapons of war. It is abuse of the vilest kind. Midian sacrifices the most intimate relationships and highly charged devotions of the human heart and soul as objects as tools of destruction.
In the history of the Jewish people, we have had to survive all kinds of threats. We have sometimes been able to repel them. At other times we have not. If you are dead, if your culture is conquered by a foreign one, there is no court of higher appeal; moral outrage will buy you nothing at all. I prefer to be able to repel the threat and that is what we see happening in this story; and it is what is happening in Israel today.
Israel the Jewish people (and the Western Judeo-Christian culture which we helped found) face a continuing (a spiraling!) campaign of terror in which the most vulnerable members of both our’s and our enemy’s society are being used as weapons against us. Pre-school children in Gaza, the West Bank and in Madrassas all over the world (even in places in the U.S.) are being taught that it is a sacred duty to kill infidels- especially Jews. Children, women, easily duped young men- even the clinically mentally challenged are turned into walking bombs. Innocent Jewish civilians, women, children the elderly, whose only crime is that they are on the streets of Jerusalem, in a synagogue in Turkey, on an airplane, on a cruise ship, an Olympic athlete or just working in a Jewish Community building in Buenos Aires or Seattle are targeted because they are Jews. Excuse me, let me correct that, Because We Are Jews. 

As the stewards and guardians of the Torah and the progenitors of the Judeo-Christian civilization of the west, we Jews have preserved this Torah- kernel of the most positive and moral culture that has ever existed. The things we have had to do have not always been pretty- or even easily defended but they have brought us to this point. 

The fact remains, though, that we have always done our best to make it as decent as possible. When faced with two very close enemies, Midian and Moab who used their closeness against us; and who, moreover, were willing to prostitute their wives and daughters in order to dissipate and defeat us, the instincts of our people were actually merciful in the context. That ancient army, with the firebrand Pinchas in command, initially reacted, not by total annihilation as is often the custom in modern and ancient wars but by killing only the guilty- the men who had perverted their own lives and those of their women in order to destroy us. Only when the army returned victorious, did Moses in his anger inform them that the women who had allowed themselves to be so used and their sons would have to be killed also. The female children were still to be spared.

With all the trouble and sacrifice our forefathers have had to keep this book and to preserve its teachings, we owe it to ourselves to get over our trepidations and look honestly and openly at this story which has such a relevance for us today.

We need to realize that context works in both directions. If Pinchas and Moses were to come back to life today, they would have as great a problem understanding why Israel does not, today, end the Palestinian problem the same way as they ended the Midianite problem back then as we do understanding how they did what they did to the Midianites.

The times are different. We have evolved but, we are still faced with an enemy who dehumanizes his children, abuses his women and has declared his intention to destroy us- to kill us wherever he finds us. We must stop trying to fit the conflict into our preconceived modern notions of how a conflict “should” be fought. We have to fight the war that is being thrust upon us by an enemy who still lives and fights by ancient rules.
We must stop bewailing or denying the perversion of the other side as Golda Meir famously did when she said, “Peace will come to the Middle East when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us” and protect ourselves from it with positive action. Otherwise, every Israeli child whose leg is blown off by a qassam in Sderot or whose head is bashed in on the beach only to have her killer set free to become a hero to those who want us dead is on your conscience; as is every Palestinian child who is used as a suicide bomber, human shield or just taught to idealize hatred and killing.

If we pay attention to the lessons of this parsha we will see that peace will not come easily when our enemies learn to love their children- they must first be taught that hate and violence is absolutely not going to work. Only Israel and Jews can teach them this and we are failing in our responsibility and as a result violence and hatred are working.

We here in America, like the tribes of Reuvane, Menashe and Gad are settled outside the land and this is where that part of today’s parsha comes in. Mattot means tribes and it means we have to participate. We need to renew the pledge to be in the vanguard of the battle line for our people. Not just for Israel but for ourselves and our children and for America. The Jihadis are not kidding when they chant “Death to the Jews!” and “Death to America!” and our first responsibility is to figure out how to stop the killing- not to understand why they feel so strongly. Midian and Moab had their “reasons” for hating and fearing too. It has always been there.

This parsha has been read every year in every synagogue for thousands of years but it has never been more important for us to really look at it and confront the reality it is showing us. That is the first step- just look at it and recognize what it is- and what is at stake. Then commit to some kind of action, at least learn about what is going on and be an outspoken defender of Israel’s right to exist in security.

For now, there is good news- We still have the power and the opportunity to exercise as much mercy as they allow us to. If we show resolve and willingness to assert our right to safety and security and they make an effort to act in their own best interest, it won’t be so bad. But the window will not stay open forever- Our two millennia of diaspora should have taught us that.

Because of the mixing of religion and politics and because I am fortunate to have a number of people of real depth and intelligence whom I respect and trust to fall back on when I feel I am on the edge, I sent the draft of this post to a few of those people as I was rushing to get it ready before sundown on Friday. It was a last minute cry for help and I got three very helpful responses. Here is a quote from my most Seraphic Friend screenwriter, and blogger Robert Avrech who's blog Seraphic Secret is smart, touching, interesting, informative and witty- any one of which would be enough for most people to achieve. Robert has given me permission to use this from his reply to my SOS email:
I have pondered the Midian slaughter, learned the glosses, and always came to the most simple conclusion—which you do too, in a manner—that this was the way warfare was conducted in the ancient world. If it was not carried out in this manner, you could be sure that the clan survivors would eventually return to extract savage vengeance.

There you have it- I took 2200 words and he says it in 60.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The New Yorker Should Read more Kundera (or Yaacov ben Moshe)

After eight years of “BusHitler, chimpy mcflightsuit, drinky mcdumbass, george w. bush, shrub, mission accomplished, bush moron, potus dubya, four flushing, asshole george bush, republican chimperor and so many other humorous/damning epithets that go largely ignored by President Bush, his administration and the greater conservative community (if there were really any similarity between him and Hitler, those critics would all be dead)it may strike some as ironic that the New Yorker cover has attracted such a vigorous and angry response from the left.

There has been much dreary and indignant rhetoric from both sides on this subject and, having been absorbed by the CNN/WEDEMAN analysis I have been out of the action. I would, however, point out that anyone who had read my post The Emergence of the Agélaste Left could have predicted the indignant outcry from the supporters of The Candidate of Change. The quote that I used in that post from Milan Kundera’s The Joke  will suffice:
“No great movement designed to change the world can bear to be laughed at or belittled. Mockery is a rust that corrodes all it touches.”
The corollary, of course, is that Bush ignores the BusHitler slur because it has no tinge of reality and The Obamaites get hysterical over the New Yorker cover because there is an element of truth to it. 

It is, after all, a question of free speech- who will tolerate it and who cannot tolerate it.

UPDATE: This from a friend in Israel who has read enough Kundera:

Kundera? As in, the unbearable lightness of Obama's resume?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

CNN Cannot be Trusted- Here's Why

My last post about CNN correspondent Ben Wedeman’s July 10th report from Nablus warned that we were working on major aspects of this report and had serious concerns about the honesty and accuracy of it. There is now good reason to believe that Wedeman and CNN have seriously compromised their professional and ethical obligations in this matter.

Ben Wedeman

It has been confirmed to Second Draft by reliable Israeli sources that the short clip of the Kindergarten graduation “festivities” that Wedeman used in that report is actually part of a much longer and extremely disturbing video which we at Second Draft have now posted on YouTube. Here is the whole video-

It has further been confirmed by Second Draft's source that the full length video which had been confiscated by the Israeli Defense Force had been given to CNN as an exclusive with the understanding that it represented clear and undeniable evidence that the Palestinian Authority is not complying with one of the basic responsibilities it has undertaken as part of the ongoing negotiations to stop intentionally fomenting hatred and violence.

The sequence in the YouTube video that begins 6 seconds in is particularly horrific. The camera work is bad but you can clearly see that the children dressed as Palestinian “fighters” are acting out an assault on and murder of children dressed as and playing the role of unsuspecting Israeli soldiers. The “dead Israelis” are then dragged across the stage. The clip Wedeman used showed the dragging (without explanation of the uniforms) without the murder sequence.

This, of course goes a long way in explaining why Wedeman's report seemed so disjointed. He was a very busy little suck-up - trying to serve all his diverse interests by appearing professional, bending over backwards to avoid angering the Palestinians and throwing the merest of bones to the Israelis.

His first priorities (as is the case with our other favorite media villain, Charles Enderlin) are his career, his image and his bank account. He is a favored toady of Hamas and as such, gets lots of juicy goodies ike his field trip to a Qassam factory. Which no reporter that ever said anything negative would ever have gotten (or returned from on schedule or alive, anyway). So he gets a lot of benefits from "being nice" to the Palestinians. On the other hand, the Israelis just swallow all the bias and keep rewarding him and CNN with "exclusives" that they, in turn, feel free to use against the Israelis. This is what we call access journalism.

So, Wedeman used the Kindergarten video, which should have represented a promising opportunity to bring clarity and fairness back into the debate, in such a way as to diminish its positive effect severely and, in fact, to turn it against Israel.

This is also yet another example of the Israelis (who value freedom of the press and will not punish such behavior- even by just taking away press accreditation) being betrayed and libeled by reporters who live in fear of the explicit favoritism and violence of the Palestinians (who stage, exaggerate and misrepresent continually while threatening anyone who does not toe their line). See my post on what Israel and America have in common with battered women.

Wedeman is not just a fool and a dupe, he is so much less than that, he is a greedy, duplicitous liar who is trying to serve too many masters. The savagery of the images which he minimizes and the evil to which he caters on a regular basis all the while pretending to "evenhandedness and professional integrity is, simply, hollow and disgusting.

As I mentioned above, his (and CNN's) first priorities are his career, image and bank account. The only way we can correct the situation is for you to help us at Second Draft fulfill our mission of educating the public to be more informed and discriminating consumers of "the news". If we can do that, the public will lose the undeserved trust they hold for CNN. Then news slobs like Wedeman and Enderlin will lose their jobs and we can begin to build a media we can tust.

Spread the word - CNN is NOT to be trusted!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Nablus- Trashed or Staged?

Second Draft is working on a big story involving a report filed by CNN's Ben Wedeman a few days ago. His report was on Israel's efforts to deprive Hamas of the wherewithal to continue their assault on the PA and expand their terror campaign to the West Bank.

Wedeman's whole report (see it here) is disjointed and confused. There are good reasons why this veteran reporter has turned out such a shoddy report- more on that later- Second Draft's team is working on all aspects of this. I want to concentrate, for now, on a less spectacular aspect of this piece.

It starts with video filmed in an office. Here is the narration:
Offices ransacked. Shops welded shut, schools and clinics turned upsidedown,
This is the aftermath of an Israeli crackdown in the West Bank – on institutions Israel claims are linked to Hamas.
They raided this office of the Palestinian Authority responsible, among other things, fo managing the Mosques of Nablus.

Sounds innocent enough but Google that office up and you find that it is a key in the battle between Fatah and Hamas. Hassan Hilali who heads up the office and who Wedeman interviewed is major player in the effort by Fatah to deny Hamas access to the mosques- which, as we know, is how they recruit and organize. Its very cute of Wedeman to try to portray the office as a simple office that “manages” mosques” It makes it sound so harmless and religious.

According to Wedeman’s translation - “At 6:30 in the morning, recalls director Hassan Hilali, we came and were surprised to find the doors had been knocked down – files had been opened. “

This mild statement is not in line with the usual over the top hysteria with which most Palestinian accusations against Israel are delivered nor does it seem to square with the disorder that is pictured- desks in disarray and the floor strewn with debris. A closer look at the footage makes me more suspicious. One shot is of a small room with two desks. The two desks displayed about 14 seconds into the report appear to be undisturbed under a layer of loose stuff thrown on top of them. For instance, you can see in the photo below that there is an "in basket" in the corner of the desk in the right hand side of the frame and all the papers are still stacked "neat and tidy"- obviously either inspected carefully and put back in good order -or entirely untouched. The loose-leaf binders and other debris thrown on top of the desks are not torn apart or even opened- as as might be expected in a search where so much material is thrown around. It is as if someone is tried to make it appear as though a ransacking had occurred without too seriously disturbing the next day’s work on those papers.

Looking around that room a little more we see that only the very bottom doors of the wall cabinets are open. The upper doors and their contents seem to be undisturbed. We can see very clearly through the glass doors on one of the upper cabinets that the neatly stored books and papers on the shelves are still orderly and undisturbed. I don’t know about you but when I arrange my storage, the things that I use the most and are the most important are the ones up at eye-level not stuck away underneath in floor-level cabinets. If I were looking for something interesting/incriminating in someone’s office, I wouldn’t be looking exclusively down with the leftover stationary and ancient party decorations in the lower cabinets.

The larger room shown at :20 of the report shows that same odd way of searching for incriminating evidence. Only the lower, less accessible cabinets in the room have been opened and rifled. The floor is littered with what look like large tablecloths, shopping bags and boxes that might be the contianers that calculators and software might have come in even while books and files which might have been holding a trove of information are still visible and neatly stored in the glass-front cabinets above.

So, what is it? Trashed or Self-destructed?

Can't say for sure at this point but- These are the same happy folks who brought us al Durah, Jenin, Kfar Qana and Gaza Beach...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sometimes War IS the Answer- Ask any Recovering Victim of Abuse

There is some indication that I have struck a significant nerve with my last two posts. This, I believe is a window into a new understanding of an old situation. I want to review what I am hearing, add some more thoughts that are suggested by the feedback I have received and ask for more responses.

My first significant response came last Thursday. It is, in fact, one the most gratifying emails I have ever received.

It was addresses to my personal email and read:

I spent 1 year denying the violence & threats, & another year planning very carefully how my son, mother & I would escape in a way that we would not be stalked.

one of your statements was too powerful......I was left breathless. I made a song of it. it is attached.

Sanity must prevail, LONG LIVE Israel!
Peace, & thank you, Esquecida

"Esquecida" also included an mp3 of the song.
(Listen to it here)
‘dialog is a death trap’ (4/4 / serious DISCO BEAT)

Here are the lyrics (my words) and her musical directions as she rendered them:
“Any part-time social worker
in a woman’s shelter
can tell you that
dialog is just fine
when you are negotiating
how to share the house work.

(12 bars)
(Catchy little hook 2 make the masses bob-in-unison / 8 measures 4/4 funk-disco-Bass-solo)

When violence
has happened more than once
and is escalating,
when that certain someone
is declaring an intention
to kill you, .....................................
dialog is a death trap..."

(repeat vamp OUT until ‘they‘ get it!)

This was heady stuff for a stodgy old blogger. I've never inspired music before, and I don't get such a powerful personal endorsement of one of my ideas everyday. 

I wrote back to Esquecida and expressed my gratitude that she is now safe and I asked permission to post her note as a comment to the first post. Here is her reply"

of course!!!! YES......we have linked back to you also.

please use this file, it has all info..
please credit the band, They Blink in Unison
from their not yet released CD 'UNKNOWN'......@ this URL...

if there is any kind of problem, please contact us.

we are safe now....thank you for asking.
Very powerful writing Yaacov
....cuts to the bone!! Peace, Esquecida
A positive response from an actual abuse victim meant a great deal to me. Then, if I still had any doubt, someone with a different but just as credible showed up.
Therapydoc a Ph.D. and practicing Social worker chimed in with a comment calling it an "apt comparison".

This got me to thinking about what I had done in publishing the idea of linking these two sorts of phenomena that share many deadly aspects but are of vastly different hierarchic levels. 

I had actually started thinking about it in the first place because of the pattern that we seem always to observe in any negotiation or confrontation that takes place with an Arab/Islamist entity. The prime example is the, so-called "Peace Process" between Israel and the entire Arab world but there have been so many other examples. Saddam Hussein's prevarications leading up to the current Iraq war, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah's cynical, murderous gambit in Lebanon- the list goes on and on.

My original thought was to draw a superficial comparison. I wanted to ask (especially of the feminists and people of the left) why, if it is so obvious to everyone that the common and well-documented cycle of pathological denial, minimization, deflection and projection that domestic partner abusers employ to keep control of their victims and to avoid punishment for their episodes of violence must be met by confrontation or, at the very least, the safe escape of the victim, can't they recognize the need for confrontation and punishment for the analogous behavior by the Arab/Muslim world against Israel. 

As I thought about it, though, I saw more points to address. For instance, those behaviors cannot succeed without the complicity of the victim. It appeared to me that I needed to open up a discussion of whether, in their blindness and paralysis, Israel, America and the west act as "enablers". Then too, that would make the very people to whom I wanted to address the original question part of the "enmeshed" dysfunctional family of the victim nation. I began to see that it was important to go further with the comparison- that there is something very fundamental that we can learn about the underlying nature of both the intimate and the international forms of abuse by looking at the comparison more deeply. 

In contemplating the way that most reasonable and fair-minded Westerners view the situation, I recalled one of the better known quotes from the the Israeli statesman Abba Eban. back in the early Seventies Ebban once described the pattern of the relationship with the Arabs this way, "The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity". Eban's summation only makes sense if he believed in the hopeful but enabling assumption "they want what we want". Eban took the Western/Israeli view that peace, equity ad prosperity were the goal. Eban spoke those words in 1973, though, and I would submit that experience has taught us that his point of view did never squared with the facts and that hard experience by now should have disabused us of that soothing fiction. 

This is the same degree of self-deception as believing that a wife-beater, given one more chance, will suddenly begin to value intimacy and love over his compulsion for control and dominance. Unfortunately, we know that that level of self-deception, incredible as it may seem, is possible.

For example, in the current Gaza situation, the facts are, roughly:
  • Egypt brokered a "cease fire" between Hamas which is the government on the ground in Gaza. (Great news! We're back in therapy!)
  • Qassam rockets continued to hit Israel from Gaza. (He's still hitting me but not nearly as often or as hard as before)
  • Israel closed border crossings in the mildest possible response to the rocket fire. (I told him that I'm only going to make tuna for dinner instead of his favorite steak if he hits me again)
  • Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minister of Gaza, accuses Israel of not living up to its part of the truce. and says, "We still say that maintaining the calm is a national interest, but the Israelis must commit to lifting the siege and opening the crossings," (He says not making the steaks makes him angry so its my fault that he hits me)
  • Another Hamas official announces that he is freezing the talks on freeing Gilad Schalit, the Israeli soldier kidnapped and held hostage over two years ago because Israel has "violated the calm agreement by closing the crossings," (He said if I don't make the steak, he's going to lock the baby in the closet and not let me feed him)
So, the cease fire really amounts to Israel offering Hamas an opportunity to begin a constructive dialog and Hamas seizing the opportunity to get a break from Israeli military pressure while continuing terror against Israeli citizens, deflecting the blame on Israel and torturing the illegally held Shallit (and his loved ones and all decent people everywhere).

Eban, thoroughly western, well educated, elegant and fair-minded as he was, could not see that The Arabs are actually very good at seizing opportunities- he simply could not believe that they are that uncivilized. By the way, if you object to my use of the word "uncivilized" in this connection, you do not understand the problem yet. 

This is one lesson we need to learn: It is not a matter of respecting their culture, it is a matter of understanding why they cannot understand and respect ours. If we understood their culture we would see that.

So they get away with pretending to play our game while consistently acting on their own agenda and relying on our assumption of good-faith and humanistic pricipals to protect them from punishment. 

It works for them- even when we often overhear them saying things like "Israel must be obliterated" or "We will conquer the west and institute the new Caliphate" or "the whole world will be under Shari'a". We explain it away- "those remarks are just rhetoric", "there are more moderates than extremists", "Islam is a religion of peace" or, my favorite new one, (I call it the Obama/Wright ploy) "you are using small selected quotes from some Arab leaders".

They strike us over and over and we don't feel free to doubt their intentions. Some of us have even gotten adept at questioning our own sincerety and good faith. 

So, it has begun to seem to me that there is a deep and fundamental human psychological weakness at work here that we need to understand better.

Then, last night, a comment came in from Barbara who writes the blogs Barbara's Tchatzkas and Abuse Sanctuary (she is also another former abuse victim). She included a link to her post about why she has broken away from her Progressive friends on the issue of Israel. Here is a piece of that post:
I saw Israel as a abuse victim. A classic abuse victim who is blamed and shamed for the abuse they are taking! Just like me. A victim whom no one wants to admit they are using and hurting. A victim who was being smeared as the aggressor. It was right in my face. To this day I find it mind-boggling how others don't see this very same thing... I've claimed Israel as one of my anti-abuse advocacy 'clients.'
Barbara mentions the public aspect- the smearing of the victim by others outside the abusive relationship. This also throws a different light on those who will say they are not anti-Semitic but "only" anti-Zionist. But a smear is a smear and they too must be aware that the Arabs chant "Death to the Jews" not "Death to the Zionists" What do they have in common, really, other than hatred of "The Jews". Jew hatred (no matter how thinly disguised as anti-Zionism) is a cornerstone of the otherwise unlikely alliance of Islamist Jihad and Leftist Progressivism. 

But Barbara also reminds us that there is a subtle intersection of the two levels of abuse. The "public" face of abuse that she mentions is based on "shame". Shame is  a complex emotional area where cultural behavior and psychobiology meet in an explosive and elemental way. When an individual feels shame for a cultural failure, that feeling can become a biological effect such as an uncontrollable rage or high blood pressure. The reverse is also true. Physical affect that has been damaged by shame reactions such as poor posture, bad complexion, depression and confusion can (actually, almost always does) lead to cultural failures (poor job performance, inability to relate to others, etc...).

It is becoming apparent to me that what is being revealed here goes beyond similar patterns of behavior. It seems to me that we have actually laid open an entryway into the understanding of how how central culture is to survival and how vulnerable it is when its integrity is minimized by intellectual misconceptions (multiculturalism, moral relativism) or damaged by psychological disorders.

A domestic abuser is one who behaves outside of cultural ideals but is able to maintain enough of a culturally parallel behavioral appearance (affect) that he can keep his illusion of control and superiority alive and, at the same time, avoid punishment and censure. Islamists are attempting the same balancing act.

A commenter to the second and most recent post who posted her comment under the name "Ruth"  added this which gave even more dimension to the idea:

The comparison is eerily spot on:

The terrorist murderer was once involved with a Jewish woman.

<"I can't believe he did what he did; he was a good, caring person," the Jewish ex-girlfriend of Hossam Dawyyat said Thursday, a day after the bulldozer driver's killing spree in downtown Jerusalem left three people dead.>,7340,L-3563682,00.html

This good, caring person was convicted in court for assaulting this same woman and threatening her with murder. He served a prison term on this.

You see the battered woman syndrom in action...
Least the glimpse into this abyss of human frailty depress you too much, let me remind you that, as I pointed out in my first post on this subject
People hid their shame much more back then and suffered greatly for it. Women were much more trapped and had far less opportunity to escape situations like this back then. There are many more shelters now, the law enforcement, therapeutic community, social welfare professionals and the society at large are much more sensitive and aware. There are web sites, books, radio shows, movies and even classes in school. Not that the problem is solved, but as a culture we have made a commitment to a fundamental correction of the cultural weaknesses that allow it to go on.
If we have been able to raise awareness of and take action against domestic abuse, we we should be able to do the same about cultural abuse. The key is, just as we had to shake off toxic orthodoxies like "Divorce is not the answer" "Keep the Family Together at all cost" and "A wife's place is with her husband" and "he's a good provider" and "she probably deserved it" we have to expose the idiocy of neo-orthodoxies like "War is Not the Answer" and "All cultures are equally valid" and "we probably deserved 9/11" and the "Israelis are colonists" or "Israel is an Apartheid State". They do mean it and have to be willing to say that "Sometimes War IS the Answer!"

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Case In Point- The Abuser Hits and Deflects- The Abused Says "He didn't mean it"

My last post points out how closely the behavior of the terrorists resembles that of abusive domestic partners. Even as I was putting the post up they were busy proving my point. Richard Landes has forwarded me these incredible pictures, taken by his daughter Noa Landes in the immediate aftermath of today's so called "bulldozer attack" in Jerusalem.

With every sly attempt, as today’s, to kill more jews without breaching the “ceasefire” so obviously that we have to admit it- it becomes more apparent that they only want to kill. Then, if the Israeli government has the spine to take measures to prevent murderers from East Jerusalem from getting jobs where they can get equipment like this to kill innocent people with, the helpful advice givers will say, "You are oppressing them and depriving them of their livelihood". Just like the fools who condemn a battered woman by telling her to go back to her husband rather than "tear apart the family" or "deprive the children of their father."

Some Father. Some Livelihood.

Even as the pusillanimous Israeli government began to try to put off any action by floating the theory that it was "an isolated act, the Palestinian Leader, Abbas, in the most cynical of ironic deceptions, called the attack an attempt to derail the peace process. So much deception and denial- you need a bulldozer to clear it away.

We have to stop the madness and suffering now. If you can see that it is fruitless to dialog and negotiate with a domestic abuser why can't you see that the Jihadis will never stop finding ways to do this.

For the good of Western Civilization and of the Palestinian people who suffer because of their ruthless leaders, defeat them!

What Do Israel and the US Have in Common with Battered Women?

...A lot more than you might think...

What would you say if you visited your sister or daughter in her first apartment and found that she had a boyfriend living there. Lets just say that he is half her height, uneducated, stays home all day living on the proceeds of a family inheritance, he is domineering, ignorant and a religious fanatic. What if you witnessed this roommate ordering her around like a slave and screaming at her- calling her every vile name in the book and telling her that she didn’t deserve to be alive. You might, at the very least, want her to take him to a counselor who could mediate a better relationship for them.

“Oh, yeah”, she says to you, “he doesn’t like to talk about it. When I ask him to talk to me, he just agrees with me until I’m done talking and promises he’ll act better from now on. So, then I agree to do whatever he wants me to do and he agrees to be nicer to me. But that never lasts long, I just wind up giving in more every time and he just gets worse and worse.

Then, the next time you see her she has a black eye and a missing tooth. When you ask her what happened, she says, “Oh, uh, Mr. X did that, but it wasn’t his fault. I deserved it.”

When you ask her what she means, she says, “I guess I was bad, Mr. X doesn’t like the way I behave, He says I am a devil woman and that he should kill me- But there’s nothing to worry about because I know, deep down, he really respects me as an individual and loves me and wants to live with me. Besides he promised he won’t do it again”

My guess is that this would not seem right to you.

What would you do? I can’t imagine that, in this day and age, any clear thinking person would not want to make sure that their loved one got out of that situation right away. Most, I think, would also like to see Mr. X arrested by the authorities and punished for his behavior. A good-sized majority would even consider making some kind of intervention themselves.

We know from the accumulated, important work done by the social sciences and publicized so effectively by the Media, that this is a very dangerous situation and one in which the abused party is sometimes powerless to extricate herself from the peril.

How many times have we heard of abused women staying in this kind of relationship against all advice and in the face of increasingly terrifying behavior?

So, then, what would you do the next time you visit and find her on crutches with a crooked and swollen nose. Would you take action then?

What if she called you on the phone one day and whispered to you that she was getting concerned because she had found a receipt on Mr. X’s nightstand- a receipt from the police department for an application he has made- for a license to buy and own firearms? When will you tell her that the time for talking is done- that its time to call the police? When will you insist? When will you intervene physically?

If this all seems self evident, think back. It wasn’t so easy to recognize these patterns only forty years ago. Back when I was in my teens this was all a much murkier territory. A man’s home was his “castle” and there were deep social taboos against “outsiders” meddling in “family matters”. It was the old patriarchal notion, noble and comforting in theory but regrettably undependable in reality, that the family is the one dependable shelter and comfort in life- that a paternal husband and his wife would be each others best and most dedicated guardians and caretakers. Of course, that system put the “man of the house” in a position to be either a brutal despot or, if he chose, a benevolent sovereign in the castle.

Not to minimize the complexity of the issue or the shame and pity of the cases that come to light weekly in the news media, but I think it is safe to say that the severity of this problem is substantially diminished from the time when a young woman in an abusive relationship would have nowhere to go and get no advice but “show him that you can be a good wife and maybe he’ll learn how to be a good husband” or “try to be nicer to him” or “cook him his favorite dinner” or “greet him with a smile and he’ll be happier”. Domestic abuse was always a betrayal of the ideal in our culture. But today it is one of the last vestiges of the decayed honor/shame family style that allowed some minority (albeit much too large a minority) of men to give vent to the violent results of their flawed personalities by battering their families.
People hid their shame much more back then and suffered greatly for it. Women were much more trapped and had far less opportunity to escape situations like this back then. There are many more shelters now, the law enforcement, therapeutic community, social welfare professionals and the society at large are much more sensitive and aware. There are web sites, books, radio shows, movies and even classes in school. Not that the problem is solved, but as a culture we have made a commitment to a fundamental correction of the cultural weaknesses that allow it to go on.

So, it is with a sudden and overwhelming dismay that I realized, only last week, that two of the true loves of my life have allowed themselves to be locked into the horror of a battered woman and I had been missing the warning signs for years. What’s even worse, almost the entire world has responded just exactly the way those unhelpful advice givers used to in the past.

Thinking back, I can see that the signs were there as much as forty years ago. It began to dawn on me as I was reading (for the second time) the Introduction of Michael Ledeen’s excellent book The Iranian Time Bomb. If you have not read this book, it would be very hard to imagine how you could have a full appreciation of the nature of the Iranian threat.

Ledeen cites a long history of violence by Iran and her surrogates (Hizbollah, Hamas, etc…,) against the U.S., Israel and the west. Interspersed with these violent attacks were dozens of pathetic and futile attempts to “engage,” placate and negotiate by all five U.S. presidents to have served since that time.

Carter, whose hopes of reelection were ruined by the hostage crisis, Ledeen writes “…offered to arm the revolutionary regime within days of the fall of the shah”.

Regan’s administration was humiliated and taunted:
“…In the 1980s, Hizbollah operating in tandem with the PLO organized suicide bombing attacks against the French and American Marine barracks (241 U.S. dead and 58 French), and the American Embassy in Beirut, as well as the kidnappings of American missionaries and military and intelligence officers. Two of the latter were then tortured to death.”

Ledeen gives us Reagan’s response:
“…the Reagan Administration secretly sold weapons to Tehran and provided the mullahs with military intelligence to help in their war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq”.

Then there was the Clinton Era and Ledeen continues the list:
In the 1990s, Hizbollah conducted lethal attacks against Jewish targets in Argentina, for which leaders of the Iranian regime have been indicted.”
“The 1998 Embassy bombings in East Africa, for which al Qaeda took full credit, were in large part Iranian operations.”

“…the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, in which 19 American Air Force personnel were killed and 372 wounded.”

“…the Clinton Administration secretly permitted the Iranians to arm Bosnian Muslim fighters in the Balkans, and secretly permitted the Russians to arm the Iranians and support their nuclear program.”
“Clinton showered largesse on the Iranians, and even dispatched his secretary of state to apologize for real and imagined American sins in decades past. Encouraged by the election reformist Iranian president, Mohammed Khatami, we opened a channel of communications to the highest levels of the regime, liberalized our visa policies, expanded cultural exchanges, and removed the Islamic Republic from the State Department s lists of state sponsors of terrorism and narcotrafficking governments. We even eased the trade embargo. Then came Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s open apology. She apologized for the American role in restoring the shah to his throne in the 1950s. She apologized for American support to the shah prior to the revolution, and for regrettably shortsighted help given to Iraq during the war.”

“Clinton’s many gestures, concessions and giveaways, like those of his predecessors, produced a swift kick to a delicate part of our national anatomy. Supreme Leader Ali Khamene summarily rejected the American demarche, and reiterated the Islamic Republic’s passionate hatred for the American Great Satan.”

Under George W. Bush it has taken far too long to recognize long to identify and move against the Iranian source of aid and personnel to the Insurgency in Iraq. Ledeen says of this,
“This latest intelligence failure proved fatal to a considerable number of Americans, Iraqis, British, Italian, Spanish, Polish and other members of the coalition, along with many more Iraqis, in and out of uniform.”
Time after time Iran has bloodied our nose, killed our people and purposely destabilized their part of the world and George W Bush has, at least until recently, behaved as though it is America who owes Iran the apology.

More quotes from The Iranian Time Bomb:
“…following the defenestration of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Indeed, Iran attempted to foment civil war all over Iraq, aiding both sides in every potential conflict, from Sunni vs. Turkemans vs. Kurds, Arabs vs. Kurds, and so on. It was simply a continuation of the mullahs’ war against America, which had been under way for nearly three decades.”

“Even the Bush Administration, which famously placed Iran alongside North Korea and Iraq as a charter member of the Axis of Evil, pursued a grand bargain with the mullahs, and American officials sometimes made statements as when Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage proclaimed that the Islamic Republic was a democracy- that can only be explained as an effort to woo the Iranian leaders.”

“…the Iranians have shown no desire for reconciliation; quite the contrary, unless you think killing Americans on a scale considerably larger than the tempo of murder in the Clinton years represents some odd form of mating dance…The terror war against us now extends to four continents, running from Thailand and Indonesia to India and Pakistan, down the Horn of Africa to Somalia and Yemen and back up to Afghanistan, on to Iraq, Palestine/Israel, and Lebanon, and thence to Europe, the United States and South America. The Iranians are involved in every one of those theaters…They believe they defeated Israel in the summer war of 2006, that they will expand their control over Lebanon in the near future, and in relatively short order destroy the Jewish State. They fully expect to compel us to surrender, and submit to their will.”

Submit to their will! Yes, that is the goal of all abusers. The pathetic, abusive spouse tries to change the all too real failure of his personality and identity by having complete domination of his most intimate partner and if he can’t have domination, he will destroy her. He will never accept that there are limits to his power. The Jihadists are so invested in the supremacy of political Islam that they cannot abide a world in which Jews and Christians are more educated, more productive and, for now at least, still (in spite of their vast oil wealth) more powerful than they are.

And it is apparent that The United States of America has, for some time been caught in a relationship that mirrors the spiraling, escalating violence of domestic abuse. Think about our reactions and compare them with the patterns found in spousal abuse:
  • Denial (war is not the answer, they don't really mean they want to kill us)
  • Guilt (why do they hate us?)
  • Bargaining (restrict free speech, lowering our standards of behavior and responsibility on the basis of multiculturalism)
  • Depression and self-hatred (bushitler, code pink) etc…

The resemblance is no accident. The Islamic world and Iran in particular does not view the relationships between nations the way we do for the very same reasons that they experience the relationships between individuals differently than we do. In The West we have come to value mutual stability, peace and prosperity above all. In Iran’s world it is about Honor and Shame, about who has power over whom. At the international level it produces terrorism and conquest vs. diplomacy and economic cooperation and at the intimate level it produces submission or honor killing vs. intimacy or divorce. Only in the world of international relations there is no divorce- only war. So while we keep trying to establish a future of intimacy and cooperation, they keep nursing resentment and hatred.

It is not that, in The West, we have perfected our ideal relationship- we obviously have not. It is that we hold the mutual and beneficial as the ideal to strive for. It is why Israel accepted the original partition plan in 1948 and the Arabs did not. It is also why when America was subjected to mass murder, the first reaction of a large proportion of our population was “Why do they hate us?” Was it also the reason why Israel, so much more powerful, organized and accomplished than her tormentors has never used her power to overwhelm and eliminate the Palestinian forces and disperse the refugee camps that support them?

Yes, Israel behaves as a prototypical battered woman too! Actually, Israel even more so! She is subjected to the same pattern- she sustains savage attack after savage attack and her weak, ugly, hate-filled little bed-mate in that narrow little sliver of Israel/Palestine deflects the blame for the violence onto her. All the while the abusive little savage is armed, egged on and supported by the same Iranian fanatics and Saudi plutocrats that have been tormenting America. And a whole world of on-lookers cluck their tongues, tell her to be nice to him, pander to his twisted desires, expect her to submit, placate and even apologize. In the end, even her apology is not enough for them, they will insist that she atone for the miracle blessing of her own rebirth – won out of the ashes of the holocaust and the Arab alliance with Hitler they will not be happy until she admits to their accusation that she does not deserve to live and commits suicide in expiation.

This is the ultimate in what is known as ‘Blaming the Victim” Here is a paragraph from an article on a women’s web site on this issue
Victims often go through a period of blaming themselves for their partners’ violence. In reality, we are each responsible for our own behavior. In their efforts to avoid responsibility for their actions, batterers can be quite adept at deflecting blame onto the victim, telling her and others how things she did or failed to do “made” him do it. Unfortunately, there are some traditional cultural ideas that support his reasoning and that are still embraced by some members of our society. That such notions exist in the culture at large, makes it easier for the victim to internalize blame and harder to fight the deflection of responsibility, especially when other people echo the batterer’s excuse-making. Besides being illogical and profoundly unfair, victim blaming traps the victim in a cycle in which she keeps trying (and failing) to avoid abuse by satisfying, and even anticipating, the abuser’s every whim and mood. She fails, of course, because only he is responsible for his behavior.”
In Israel’s case the behavior of the Arab world, even leaving aside that of the Jihadis, has been unforgivable from the start. Every Arab country in the world that was able to field an army, combined forces to try to murder the infant nation of Israel on the very evening of her birth. Even though she was formed in a legal and morally irreproachable way the leaders of the Islamist ad Arab nationalist movements have remained adamant in demanding her destruction ever since. That might have given the world a clue- if they cared about Israel. The fact that the media refers to the violence that results from the warfare to destroy Israel in misleading terms such as “the cycle of violence,” “collective punishment” or “reprisals” shows that they have chosen to ignore the reality of the abusive situation and to “blame the victim”.

Here in the U.S., 1979 should have marked our “consciousness-raising”. The hostage crisis, which began in November of that year, was a grave insult- not just to U.S. interests and prestige but, even more significantly, to the entire civilized process that governs problem resolution and basic relationships between countries. Just like the first time an abuser hauls off and smacks his or her spouse, it was a rupture in the very fabric of the relationship, a rupture that should have told us something fundamental about what we were up against. Diplomatic protocol is a voluntary commitment to live within guideline that foster a civilized approach to living together in a mutually beneficial way. It is, in a way, the inter-national equivalent of “marriage vows” for inter-personal interaction.
There is a war of annihilation declared against the U.S. (and all of Western Civilization) just as there is against Israel. The fact that the nation that wants to annihilate us is not able to do so today is not really relevant.

Here is Ledeen again:
“From the moment of the overthrow of the shah, the leaders of the Islamic Republic have declared, and waged, war against the infidels of the West, above all against Americans and Israelis. The hostage crisis that doomed the Carter presidency was the opening salvo of a long war against America, branded the Great Satan by Khomeini.”

“What are they thinking?” Who cares.
“Why are they attacking us?” Not the right question.
“Why do they hate us”? If you really want to know, listen to what they say. We occupy ourselves with these questions to our own detriment. Condi Rice, as did Albright, Powell, Kissinger and all the others, goes on assuming that she can strike deals based on mutual interests and our respective national priorities. Ledeen gives us a quote from Khomeini that should have disabused us of that folly thirty years ago:
“We do not worship Iran. We worship Allah,” he declared, “For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land (Iran) burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.”

To me, that sounds like nothing more than a scaled-up, megalomaniacal, religious fanatic version of an abusive husband, so shamed by his life and so committed to preserving his compensatory illusion of complete omnipotence and control by dominating and controlling “his woman\family\world” that he is ready to take her/them/it with him in a murder-suicide.

He couldn’t be more explicit but our diplomats (like our media) ignore his warning. Like the battered spouse, paralyzed by the old fiction of the sacrosanct and unfailingly protective patriarchal family, the soothing but misguided assumptions of multiculturalism and realpolitik have combined to make western civilization into the abused captive of the Islamist Jihad, powerless to use our superior power to defend our civilization.

And now we have the hapless man/infant Obama saying he would sit right down and talk with the mullahs as soon as he is president. He’s pro-dialog. Any part-time social worker in a woman’s shelter can tell you that dialog is just fine when you are negotiating how to share the house work. When violence has happened more than once and is escalating, when that certain someone is declaring an intention to kill you, dialog is a death trap.

And that’s not even the worst news. There is no need for the drama of a whispered phone call about it, they have told us what they plan to do. Ahmadinejad has been crowing about it for a few years now. Don’t look now, but Iran is going out to get The Big Gun. The Iranian nuclear project raises the ante for us just like the gun does for the battered woman in our original example. They have already specifically said they want to use it on Israel. We know they want to destroy all of The West and don’t care if their own country “goes up in smoke” to achieve the ascendance of their brand of Islam. What further question could there be about the gravity of the situation? How many times will we go back to that squalid apartment and try to cook them “just the right dinner”- and get slapped around for our trouble before we get the picture and realize we have to address this as a real threat?
A battered woman can sometimes escape the confrontation by going to a shelter but her abuser is almost always a lost cause. Israel is permanently stuck in the burning bed of “the river to the sea” with the Palestinian abuser and his howling troop of relatives swarm all around her borders. In the U.S. we are still so dependent on Islamist oil that we are forced into a co-dependant, connubial hell. Our options are limited – we have no choice but to find a way to force them to let us live.

Allow me one more Quote from Ledeen:
“We can win or lose, but we cannot escape this confrontation. As Salim Mansur puts it, “To achieve peace and freedom the most bigoted elements within the Muslim world- the Jihadi Muslims and their allies- need to be irrevocably defeated.”

I reached the same conclusion in my series on the erroneous but useful comparison between the American Indian and the Palestinians, conclusive defeat is the only way to resolve the conflict between cultures that are so completely unable to understand each other and whose people have such entirely different desires for their lives.