The devil we know

The devil we know
: I turned on the radio on the drive home tonight and couldn’t believe what I heard. Oh, I already knew that John Le Carre had lost it. But even so, I was amazed and what I heard him say and had to come home and listen again:

:I think that the fact that after we had ended the Cold War that we set about demonizing Islam, that we set about preparing ourselves for unlimited wars in the future, I continue to find that deeply depressing… I would long for more comprehension and a greater respect for the victims of our dreams.

What incredible idiocy.

Who demonized whom?

Islam — or the crackpot, violent, murderous, tyrannical, fanatical edges of Islam — demonized America and the West and modernism. They are the ones who came here to attack us.

Who demonized whom? They demonized us, you ass.

The victims of our dreams?

And how are they victims? Tyranny and repression are what have victimized them. Our dream for them is democracy. Their dream is democracy. Anyone’s dream is.

The victim of our dreams?

What a horrid old fool you are.

: And then I happened to read Dr. Helen Smith reviewing David Frum and Richard Perle’s An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror at TCS.

As a forensic psychologist, what I found most worthwhile about the book was this unapologetic attitude toward terrorists and terrorism. I believe the authors are correct when they promote strong tactics in dealing with terrorists. In fact, I believe that the liberal stance of trying too hard to “humanize” our enemies is a mistake that will make the problem worse, and produce more violence rather than less….

In my private practice, I don’t work with terrorists but I do work with violent people. I used to believe (as many of my colleagues still do) that empathizing with my patients and increasing their self-esteem would help them on the path to self-actualization. Of course, for some anxiety-ridden patients who need faith in themselves, the technique of empathy and support works. However, for those patients with serious violent tendencies, just the opposite is true. With those patients, I’ve found that setting clear boundaries and making judgments about their immoral behavior works like a charm.

Right. The criminals who attack us, those with serious violent tendencies, have to find clear boundaries set around their immoral behavior.

We are fighting them. We are protecting ourselves from them.

We aren’t demonizing them. They already are demons. [Dr. Smith — yes, that’s who you think it is — via Relapsed Catholic]