Everyday seems to bring yet another report on the evils the United States is perpetrating in our administration of the war on terror. Newsweek reports on guards flushing the Koran down the toilet, then retracts the story, and then says, on al Jazeera TV no less, that they are "neutral" on the story. Today The New York Times had the headline Documents Say Detainees Cited Abuse of Koran by Neil A. Lewis. The LA Times had the story yesterday, Guantanamo Detainees Had Alleged Koran Desecration, Government documents reveal perceived abuses. Interestingly, none of the articles mentioned that an intercepted al Qaeda training manual, briefly in the news several months ago and then apparently forgotten by the MSM, included instructions to any captured fighter to make exactly these kinds of charges (desecration of the Koran, torture, sexual humiliation.) It is probably no surprise that the ACLU believes that the Gitmo detainees are more trustworthy than American military, but how does one explain such poor reporting, which not only supplies our enemies with propaganda ammunition, but also undermines our efforts to protect ourselves (not incidentally, protecting our free press as well.) [LGF has lots of links for these reports.] Of note, none of these report, based on the claims of the Islamists, have been supported by anything approaching factual confirmation.
At the same time, we also have an Italian judge ordering Oriana Fallaci to stand trial for defaming Islam for writing a critical book about Islam with such passages as:
In "La Forza della Ragione," Fallaci wrote that terrorists had killed 6,000 people over the past 20 years in the name of the Koran and said the Islamic faith "sows hatred in the place of love and slavery in the place of freedom."
Meanwhile in the Kingdom of hate known as Saudi Arabia, converts to Christianity face the death sentence, Christians are in jail for a clandestine prayer meeting, and it is illegal to carry a Bible into the country. Further, aside from death for homosexuals, they are just now wondering if women should be allowed to drive.
Since I have raised the question of what would drive someone to support those who would behead them against those who protect them, let me propose a partial answer.
Anna Freud wrote a seminal book in the 1936, "The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense" in which she attempted to categorize many of the unconscious defenses people sue to keep themselves unaware of disturbing thoughts or feelings. Identification with the Aggressor is a particular defense mobilized by people in traumatic situations of victimization. In this defensive maneuver, the person who is being threatened or abused, is traumatized by terror and rage; they are helpless in the face of these overwhelming feelings and their psyche is unable to function. Once the immediate threat is over, they have a limited number of ways to deal with the terror. One way is to become like the abuser (which is why so many abusers were themselves abused in their childhoods). This is not a conscious behavior. No one decides that they want to do to someone weaker and dependent what was done to them or that they want to be "just like" their abuser. However, when one's life depends on the actions of another person, the particular terror and helplessness is an impossible combination. To survive, one must find a way to feel close to and understand the powerful and frightening authority figure. This is as true for abused children as it is for victims of horrible crimes. It is the basis of the Stockholm Syndrome. The victim must see the perpetrator as a potentially kind, even loving, person. They form an intense emotional bond with the person. It is that relationship that is evoked and feels protective when they are overwhelmed in the future.
The Italian judge bringing charges against Oriana Fallaci would face a horrific death sentences, perhaps accompanied by a Fatwa, were he to have the temerity to accuse an Islamic preacher, many of whom spew the most vile rants at Jews and Christians, of defamation or hate speech. He would risk following in the footsteps of a Theo van Gogh or Hirsi Ali (who lives in protective custody) or Salman Rushdie, who lives with a death sentence over his head. It becomes less surprising that Michael Isikoff, the ACLU, Amnesty International, et al, with no real evidence beyond the word of thugs and terrorists who announce their willingness to lie if it suits them, can accuse the United States of heinous crimes rather than investigate the true horrors faced by multiple victims of Islamic terror around the world. Investigating the world of Islamic terrorists is dangerous and requires genuine courage (anyone remember Daniel pearl?); accusing the United States of crimes is cheap heroics with no real consequences. And the beauty of the whole system is that the accuser, unconsciously using the terrorists as his model in an Identification with the Aggressor, can rationalize that his behavior is noble and that he is fighting to support freedom and human rights.