Saturday, August 20, 2005

Egyptian psychiatrist: on suicide bombers

Dr Sanity calls attention to a program that aired in July of 2005 on Al-Arabiya TV, featuring the wife and young children of a Palestinian suicide bomber named Salah Ghandour. The following text is taken from the MEMRI translation of the interview. Here is an excerpt:

Reporter: "Hizbullah filmed Salah's operation and final message, and the entire program was aired on Al-Manar TV, which belongs to Hizbullah."

Salah Ghandour's son: "This is the operation that daddy carried out. This is the convoy that came from here, from Palestine. This is his operation..."

Salah Ghandour's daughter: "This is the place of the operation in which he was gone."

Salah Ghandour's son: "This is the car daddy blew up."

Maha Ghandour: "Of course I miss him and remember his words. Sometimes it saddens me, but I love to watch him."


When the widow says, "I love to watch him," she is apparently referring to the film of his matyrdom "operation," which the children seem to have watched, as well.

As Dr Sanity writes, "Do you imagine that these children will grow up to be psychologically healthy and productive individuals in the new Palestinian state?" And a commenter on the thread asks Dr. Sanity, "As a mental health professional, what do you make of this woman's attitude?" Dr. Sanity's answer can be found here.

Unfortunately, such attitudes as those expressed by Salah Ghandour's family seem far from unusual among people in that part of the world; the fact that Palestinian culture seems to revel in and glorify death to an unusual extent has been remarked upon many times. Although it doesn't cut much ice with the PC "it's racist to judge any culture, with the exceptions of the US and Israel" crowd, the best evidence is that Palestinian society has some markedly unhealthy traits in the psychological sense--and, in addition, any already-existent emotional problems of Palestinians are eagerly exploited by those whose business it is to enlist new bodies for suicide matyrdom. One thing feeds into the other, and vice-versa.

One especially shocking aspect of this "cycle of violence" (and this time it really is a cycle of violence) is the cooperation of some Arab mental health professionals themselves in promoting the near-worship of suicide bombers by the society as a whole. MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, does an invaluable service by offering translations of Arabic texts of newspaper articles and television programs, giving us a window on a dark and inverted world, one in which famous psychiatrists act as shills for those who choose to blow themselves apart in the act of doing the same to innocent women and children.

Many of you are no doubt familiar with this MEMRI article, which received quite a bit of blogosphere publicity when it first came out. But, in light of Dr. Sanity's post, I thought I'd point it out again.

Here is what passes for psychological health, according to Dr. 'Adel Sadeq, whose credentials as a psychiatrist are impeccable--he is chairman of the Arab Psychiatrists Association and head of the Department of Psychiatry at 'Ein Shams University in Cairo, and a recipient of the 1990 Egyptian State Prize. During an April 2002 interview on Iqraa, a Saudi-Egyptian satellite television channel, Dr. Sadeq said the following:

When the [suicide bomber] dies a martyr's death, he attains the height of bliss. As a professional psychiatrist, I say that the height of bliss comes with the end of the countdown: ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. And then, you press the button to blow yourself up. When the martyr reaches 'one,' and then 'boom,' he explodes, and senses himself flying, because he knows for certain that he is not dead. It is a transition to another, more beautiful world, because he knows very well that within seconds he will see the light of the Creator...

This war will not end, and anyone who deludes himself that there will be peace must understand that Israel did not come to this region to love the Arabs or to normalize relations with them. Anyone who thinks that peace will come, either now or in the future, has limited historical vision. Either we will exist or we will not exist. Either the Israelis or the Palestinians - there is no third option...

There are no Israeli civilians. They are all plunderers. History teaches this. Remove the Apache [helicopter] from the equation, leave them one-on-one with the Palestinian people with the only weapon [for both sides] being dynamite. Then you will see all the Israelis leave, because among them there is not even one man willing to don a belt of dynamite...

The goal of all of us is to liberate Palestine from the Israeli aggressors. To use words that some people no longer like to use today: "We will throw Israel into the sea." This phrase, by the way, is the truth. Either they will throw us into the sea, or we will throw them into the sea. There is no middle ground. Coexistence is total nonsense...

The real means of dealing with Israel directly is those who blow themselves up. According to what I see in the battle arena, there is no [other means] except for the pure, noble Palestinian bodies. This is the only Arab weapon there is, and anyone who says otherwise is a conspirator...


Remember, this man is chairman of the Arab Psychiatrists Association and head of the Department of Psychiatry at a major Cairo university. He is not on the fringes of Egyptian society nor of his profession; he is at the center of it.

Now, is it any wonder that Salah Ghandour's wife loves to watch films of her husband's suicide "operation?"

22 Comments:

At 12:22 PM, August 20, 2005, Blogger Joan said...

I fear, howerver, that the good doc is right about one thing: Either we will exist or we will not exist. Either the Israelis or the Palestinians - there is no third option...
.

There is no third option that Arabs like him can see. Would that we could lift the blinders from their eyes.

 
At 1:04 PM, August 20, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Yup, it sure enough is either us or them to remain standing. Fight fire with fire, as the saying goes. I wonder why people keep insisting that such people can be reasoned with? If we cannot celebrate the death of an enemy(s), we cannot survive when there are in fact weapons of mass destruction to be had, and intricate, highly complex economies that can be disrupted to the point of chaos and anarchy. I refer to the celebration of death as acknowledging its necessity and being thankful, and pleased, that it occurs. We don't even speak about it, other than a headline or two. For instance, it is reported that Saudi Arabia killed the al qaidah leader of Saudi yesterday, or the day before. What commentary was there at the end of the Fallujah campaign when roughly 1500 jihadis were killed? Our rationality and suppression of instincts does us no good when our foes are seeking to use WMD on us, again. This holding back only prolongs the struggle and keeps us in a perverted state of mind in which the so called human rights of lethal opponents are kept on the same footing with the victims. How strange, how very strange. Personally, I think it is pathological. We avoid accidents and injury and disease and all sorts of calamities with a sense of relief and joy, not wondering and questioning ourselves if we did the right thing or if we maybe acted to quickly or if something else and better could have been done instead. So when some terrorist animals have their damn heads blown off, we go into the introsepction, quasi-guilt mode. We need to wake the hell up while we can. Sick.

Israel has done the dumbest thing in its 57 years of existence by leaving Gaza. What will hamas do? Wave and smile and send thankyou cards? Talk about handing them the biggest propoganda tool of their miserable existence. What are the hamas men telling the young boys? "We drove the dirty Jews from Gaza" is exactly what they are telling the new recruits. They will launch a massive wave of homicide bombers the likes of which have been seen before. Why the hell wouldn't they? They won Gaza for christ's sake - they don't want peace. Sharon is one stupid, fat fool. You can bet your boots his personal security quota has been quadrupled.

 
At 1:25 PM, August 20, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At this point, the tiny state of Israel hasn't a chance in this world for survival.

What is even more heart-breaking are those European and American anti-Semite organizations and media outlets who have done everything in their power to help Islamic-fascism wipe Israel of the face of the planet.

What is even more disturbing is that after the Jews are wiped away, the Christian 'infidels' will be next then after Christians are wiped away then the Islamic-fascist will wipe away all the other 'infidels' including those who have aided Islam's fascism.

We are behaving much like the Jewish community in Germany behaved during Nazi's rise to power in Europe, we simply cannot accept that our enemy is capable of such worldwide domination.

 
At 1:44 PM, August 20, 2005, Blogger Promethea said...

To Anonymous 2:25 PM . . .

To paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill...We Jews have not marched across the millenia because we're made of sugar candy.

 
At 2:55 PM, August 20, 2005, Anonymous David Thomson said...

“Israel has done the dumbest thing in its 57 years of existence by leaving Gaza. What will hamas do? “

The removal of the settlers was a brilliant---and long overdue move. Now the crazies are on one side of the wall and the sane people on the other. Israel merely needs to drop a few bombs on the nihilist Palestinians when it is required. Out of sight and out of mind. The Israelis can mostly forget about the Palestinians and get on with their own lives.

How many moderate Palestinians are there? I have no idea, but I am convinced that they have little influence. The Palestinians have made their own bed and must sleep it it. They are now doomed to remain living in poverty. This is their problem and nobody else’s.

I am also very critical of the approximate 8,500 settlers. They seem to me to be no more than manipulative guilt trippers. Israel’s citizens should stop taking them so seriously.

 
At 4:26 PM, August 20, 2005, Blogger Pursuit said...

How long can a death obsessed culture survive? Not very would seem to be the answer, with the only remaining question being how many innocents will it take with it?

 
At 9:19 PM, August 20, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

A wall is not going to stop attacks nor will it change the mind-set addressed in this post. The news this evening showed activities in Gaza today, which included large numbers of masked hamas fighters parading, who by the way have made it known they will attack IDF soliders on the borders of their ( palestinian)land. They strongly maintain their assertion that Israel does not have a right to exist. Yup, removing settlers and putting up a wall will really bring peace. They won Gaza with a simple ideology and terrorism.

The presence of IDF in Gaza was not passive and reactive. They were not there simply to watch settlers. They monitored movements of people, they watched and gathered intelligence, they did some patroling and set up checkpoints, did searches when needed and we available for almost instant interdiction. All of this activity served to keep fighters in check by limiting their ability to move, organize and stockpile. It crimped their logistical capability, but now these same fighters have free and total movement. If I were a hamas commander, I would start stockpiling weapons and explosives in people's homes.

Having won Gaza, they are for all practical purposes considering it a palestinian state. They want a deep water port and the airport opened again to international traffic. Gee! What sort of folks would be flying in from Arab countries do you suppose?? They want total and free acess to Egypt, to come and go as they please. Hmmm, I wonder why? Maybe they are tired of digging tunnels to smuggle in weapons. It sure would be easier to simply haul them across and unchecked border.They are now also in a position to call for UN monitors when IDF does any sort of incursion, and only a fool can believe there will be no attacks on Israel coming from Gaza in due time. This is a crtical, strategic limitation when antagonistic watch-dogs are on hand to hinder operations/actions. A second strategic limitation is the time needed to now mobilize a reaction force when necessary, compared to a ready force in place prior to the removal of settlers. Mere minutes of time can make all the difference in combat operations, especially in urban zones with a supporting civilian population. Unless a drone is in the air, mortars and rockets can be launched and quickly hidden blocks away and there isn't a thing IDF can do about it except to launch a major incursion. When that happens, and it will, the palestinians of Gaza will demand protection from the UN and it will be gladly given in the form of monitors/observors and hordes of anti-Jew reporters. All the Palestinians need is one election and they will have full legitmacy in the eyes of Europe, and there will be financial aid provided. Look for al qaidah to set up a storefront. I would because there isn't a damn thing George Bush can do about it. I am coming of the opinion that any people that allow lethal opponents to thrive deserve what they will get and are entitled to the full wrath and hatred of said enemies.

Operation Juden Raus, i.e. the forced removal of Jews from Jewish land, has significantly weakened Israel. Given the absence of IDF forces, Gaza is a viable and soon-to-be fully functional second front, with the West Bank being the primary front. Israelis have been cowed by 'world opinion' and terrorists. Israel will sacrifice the lives of Jewish civilians before the lives of palestinian civilians - that has been shown time and again, the most recent example being Operation Juden Raus. Never again, my ass! What a pathetic relic of an expression. Where in the hell is Meir Kahane and the Irgun when they are needed most?

 
At 10:41 PM, August 20, 2005, Anonymous hg wells said...

Re: Gaza -- I have similar concerns. Today Instapundit had an interesting link to Gloria Salt as to Sharon's thinking:

Simple military strategy. Clear your own soft targets out of the way and then do what’s necessary.

http://gloriasalt.blogspot.com/2005/08/whats-it-all-about-arik_20.html

Overall the Palestinian situation is tragic and horrifying. Back when I was a leftist I assumed that the Palestinians were plucky freedom fighters against Israeli oppression. Now I know better.

 
At 10:52 PM, August 20, 2005, Anonymous David Thomson said...

“Where in the hell is Meir Kahane and the Irgun when they are needed most?”

You need to get a grip. Do you truly understand how evil this man was during his life? Meir Kahane was a moral monster. I don’t even begin to share your pessimism. On the contrary, I am a firm believer in the efficacy of the Wall. In no way, shape, or form do I trust the Palestinians. Israel’s military can easily respond in an effective manner when the militants decide to misbehave. This is why 10,000 pound bunker buster bombs were developed. Israel’s ability to retaliate will quickly force these thugs to back down.

 
At 12:45 AM, August 21, 2005, Blogger neuroconservative said...

I think you have hit upon the fundamental problem with the Western debate on the Israeli/Palestinian issue (and to some extent the terror war in general). The multiculti Left, including the MSM, somehow fails to notice the actual day-to-day culture of the Palestinians and other Arab societies. For a quick example, see here and especially here. As I wrote yesterday, the Israelis have for long time been losing the meme war, by failing to get any of these images into the Western mainstream.

 
At 10:08 AM, August 21, 2005, Blogger Daniel in Brookline said...

To commenter "hg wells":

I can only hope that you're correct. I don't quite believe it, but I very much want to believe it.

One way or another, we will soon know. It is only a matter of time before Israel suffers a massive terrorist attack, which can be conclusively shown to have come from Gaza. If Sharon hits back hard then -- harder than he ever did with the settlements in place -- then we'll know Gloria Salt is correct. If he dithers, our worst fears will have been realized.

Please note that it is by no means unreasonable to assume that, with the hostages out of the way, Sharon will hit Gaza hard. In the early 1950s, as a brash young Lieutenant-Colonel of Paratroops, he was one of the most brilliantly unpredictable warriors Israel had (and a protege of then-Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan). He knows all about crossing the border to wipe out a terrorist nest; he used to do it for a living. But his activities of the past decade or two suggest that he's lost touch with that.

What will Sharon do now? He may yet redeem himself; let's wait and see.

respectfully,
Daniel in Brookline

 
At 11:02 AM, August 21, 2005, Blogger ShrinkWrapped said...

At the end of the dya, I do not believe the West is suicidal (though some of the elites certainly are). In the bigger picture, what the Israelis and the Paleos are doing is the leading edge of a world war between irridentist Islam and civilization. We are fighting with half measures and trying to free Iraq and allow the Paleos to free themselves because if they do not succeed and the worst of them rule the day, the clash threatens to escalate. We (the West in the form of the Anglosphere and the Israelis) will continue to fight with one hand tied behind our back until we are forced (by a nuclear or chemical atrocity) to "let loose the dogs of war"> Islam cannot win this war; the only questions are how many of us will die and how many exponentially more of them will die before it is over.

 
At 11:26 AM, August 21, 2005, Blogger ShrinkWrapped said...

Dr. Sadeq describes the mental state of the suicide bomber in terms which are remarkable.
"When the [suicide bomber] dies a martyr's death, he attains the height of bliss. As a professional psychiatrist, I say that the height of bliss comes with the end of the countdown: ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. And then, you press the button to blow yourself up. When the martyr reaches 'one,' and then 'boom,' he explodes, and senses himself flying, because he knows for certain that he is not dead. It is a transition to another, more beautiful world, because he knows very well that within seconds he will see the light of the Creator..."
This is almost identical to the description of the fantasy of fusion with the all loving, all nurturing primal object that lies at the core of all Utopian fantasy based belief systems (communism, political correctness); it also lies at the core of many drug abusers and many suicides. Dr. Sadeq does not seem to recognize that this is, by all measures, pathological when turned into action. There is nothing wrong with a person striving for perfection, but when they take it the next step and imagine they can attain the oceanic feelings of oneness with the universe through drugs or through purifying violence or through forcing others to bend to their demands, it is destructive to life, intimacy, love, and most other values that make life worth living. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that a state sponsored Psychiatrist (as all must be in such societies) would support the demands of the state. Recall the Soviet Psychiatrists who diagnosed "dissent" as evidence of a mental disorder. It makes a perverse kind of sense. To rebel against Utopia (Socialism, Islamic rule) would be disturbed. The alternative, that Utopia does not exist, would suggest the state is pathological.

 
At 11:26 AM, August 21, 2005, Blogger ShrinkWrapped said...

Dr. Sadeq describes the mental state of the suicide bomber in terms which are remarkable.
"When the [suicide bomber] dies a martyr's death, he attains the height of bliss. As a professional psychiatrist, I say that the height of bliss comes with the end of the countdown: ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. And then, you press the button to blow yourself up. When the martyr reaches 'one,' and then 'boom,' he explodes, and senses himself flying, because he knows for certain that he is not dead. It is a transition to another, more beautiful world, because he knows very well that within seconds he will see the light of the Creator..."
This is almost identical to the description of the fantasy of fusion with the all loving, all nurturing primal object that lies at the core of all Utopian fantasy based belief systems (communism, political correctness); it also lies at the core of many drug abusers and many suicides. Dr. Sadeq does not seem to recognize that this is, by all measures, pathological when turned into action. There is nothing wrong with a person striving for perfection, but when they take it the next step and imagine they can attain the oceanic feelings of oneness with the universe through drugs or through purifying violence or through forcing others to bend to their demands, it is destructive to life, intimacy, love, and most other values that make life worth living. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that a state sponsored Psychiatrist (as all must be in such societies) would support the demands of the state. Recall the Soviet Psychiatrists who diagnosed "dissent" as evidence of a mental disorder. It makes a perverse kind of sense. To rebel against Utopia (Socialism, Islamic rule) would be disturbed. The alternative, that Utopia does not exist, would suggest the state is pathological.

 
At 11:27 AM, August 21, 2005, Blogger ShrinkWrapped said...

Sorry for the double post; I have a balky connection.

 
At 1:03 PM, August 21, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Someone mentioned that Israel will hit back hard - yeah right, like the time they used a missle to take out a known terror leader and the whole damn world bitched and moaned because a few civilians were killed in the process. So then IDF had to resort to gunships targeting cars on the road. All hamas commanders have to do is live in any densely populated area or a mosque and they are totally safe from air attack. That leaves the only option of street fighting, and we know how islamic terrorists love to use civilians as shields. If I were a hamas commander I would put a big sign up on top of an apartment complex that reads, "Bush and Sharon, kiss my palestinian ass"

 
At 1:19 PM, August 21, 2005, Anonymous David Thomson said...

“..and the whole damn world bitched and moaned”

Who cares about the “whole damn world?” Israel basically only needs the United States on its side. It is regrettable that the terrorist leaders hide behind women and children. This doesn’t, though, prevent the IDF from bombing areas where missiles are being stored or launched. I’m confident that Israeli’s intelligence networks will keep on top of things.

My hunch is that the removal of the settlers from Gaza will eventually be perceived as a brilliant move. The wall is key to everything.

 
At 3:42 PM, August 21, 2005, Anonymous E.M.H. said...

Thank you for pointing out something that's been bugging me for over a decade now: That the Palestinian society has a fundamental illness in how they view the world. I'm one of the first to agree on principle that the Palenstinians have a right to their own nation, but in practical terms, if it ever happened, I'm seriously concerned about the society that would inherit it. Too much of the Palestinian population has been inculcated with the myth of the heroic martyr, and there's been too much repetative reinforcement of violence as a political tool. With something so sick so deeply ingrained, how in the world would they ever be able to put that worldview aside and function as a normal society, should they ever get their own country?

Rather, should they ever be given their own country. The PA has been incapable of actually achieving anything, and Hamas is a tool for destruction, not construction, so I don't see any significant portion of that country doing anything active to earn their own borders. Individuals here and there, yes; the government or population as a whole, no.

But at any rate, suppose in the future, the evacuation of Gaza eventually did lead to a series of events culminating in the territories becoming a free, sovereign Palestinian nation. Would the populace be able to put down their guns (and suicide bomber belts) and live in peace? Would the population be able to reverse the decades of martial, martyr-hero-myth indoctrination? Would they be able to deal with the inevitable crisis with just diplomacy? If there was an event that arose national outrage, would their population be able to collectively control their anger and show restraint in their reactions? Again, I'm talking about the population as a whole; individuals here and there, and quite likely groups, organizations, and maybe even political parties (if any are allowed to truly and independently come into being and not be mere copies of acceptible political views) of course will take their own, individual actions. The question is, in what direction will be the sum of the populations reactions to the above? From what I see in the news, I fear that the population will be radicalized for decades -- Neoneocon's example of the psychiatric professional's worldview is telling -- but I know about as much about the run-of-the-mill Palestinian citizen as I do about the run-of-the-mill Bangladeshi. Is what I see in the news an accurate reflection of the regular Palestinian society? Remember, there's a lot of BS and a terrible lack of perspective on what's happening in Iraq (read Michael Yon's latest (8/20/05) posting for one example of what I mean, or any of Chrenkoff's stuff); I have no idea how balanced and accurate reportage is on the Palestinians. On the other hand, so much of it is soooo repetative and consistent that even if you only take 10% of it as truth, you still end up with a rather sick societal mentality. Given a hypothetical conclusion that the Palestinian's collective state of mind is seriously ill, could they function as a rational, logical society if they ever achieved the foundation of their own nation?

Believe it or not, I actually think it's possible. Call me naieve if you want; I want to be an optimist on this matter. It's the extreme difficulty of such a task that makes it highly improbable, and as an aside casts whatever pessimistic shadows on my beliefs that exist. The last two societies deeply indoctrinated in martial, destructive philosophies that had their entire collective worldviews rewritten were Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan after WWII, and those two countries were utterly beaten down, then completely and totally run by an outside power for years. That's what it took in those two cases. What will most likely take place in the case of the Palestinians will likely be much less, so could they overcome the societal illness on their own?

 
At 7:05 PM, August 21, 2005, Anonymous greenmamba said...

Dr Sadeq says: "Israel did not come to this region to love the Arabs or to normalize relations with them."

He is right of course. Immediately following the deprivations of the Holocaust, some 650,000 Jewish survivors from Europe and elsewhere, decided it would be a great idea to move in amongst a couple 100 million Arabs, steal their land and bully them.

 
At 10:32 PM, August 21, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Back when "never again" really meant something and shortly after the birth of the nation of Israel, Arab armies attempted an invasion and eradication of the Jews. It failed. Subsequent invasions failed as well. The invading armies had Soviet weapons but the Jews were short of weapons. Yet they won and survived. I would have always bet on Israel winning, but now I am not so sure. The Jewish soul as found in Israel has been sold to the idol of PC and world opinion. Operation Juden Raus is about completed. The many homicide bombings of the past 3-4 years have succeeded in not only taking the lives of many Jews, but now they have taken land as well. I have often defended Israel with words in a variety of settings and though I will never oppose Israel, I will no longer fight for Israel.

 
At 3:00 AM, August 22, 2005, Anonymous greenmamba said...

Goesh: before you drop your active support for Israel, read what David Warren has to say about Gaza:
http://www.davidwarrenonline.com/index.php?artID=502

I'm seeing some hopeful signs. John Bolton's first action at the U.N. and the Pope's condemnation of Muslims for not countering terrorism are just two.

I think the Gaza pullout may encourage more to speak out on the truths behind Israel's existence.

 
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