On Saturday night July 30th 2006, in the Lebanese village of Qana, 64 Lebanese civilians, comprising the members of two extended families were sleeping in an unfinished building. The families were seeking shelter from Israeli air raids in the ground floor of the building. In the early hours of Sunday morning, as the men women and many children slept, an Israeli jet hit the building with two US-made 'bunker buster' bombs. The choice of munitions seems appropriate because, after all, these people were taking refuge in a bunker of sorts. Unfortunately, these were not enemy soldiers but rather innocent civilians, 56 of whom were killed as the building collapsed on them, including 30 children, all under 12 years old. Among the dead was a one day old baby, whose mother was also killed.
Lebanon one day old baby, mother died also
Needless to say, this one day old baby was not a terrorist, indeed, none of these people were "terrorists", unless you subscribe to the Israeli justice minister's claim that anyone left in Southern Lebanon is associated with Hizb'allah and therefore can be murdered with impunity.
With so many children crushed by the Israeli bombs, the grief of their surviving parents and family is hard for us to fathom, but we must try.
Qana child's father
If we allow mere physical distance to suppress the emotional connectedness that we as decent human beings should feel with the suffering of innocent people anywhere, and if we allow Israeli and American government paramoralistic propaganda to infect us, we will share in the responsibility for these acts of utter inhumanity.
Initially, the Israeli government stated that Hizb'allah had fired rockets from the location, a claim which was later revealed as a lie. Nevertheless, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appears to be proud of these "accomplishments".
The total Lebanese civilian dead now stands at somewhere around 800, yet Israel has just begun. In response to the Qana massacre, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated: "The fighting continues. There is no cease fire and there will not be any cease fire in the coming days." Images such as those above appear not to move the Israeli Prime Minister in any way. It appears that his response to the image of a dead one day-old baby, for whose death he himself is personally responsible, is the same response as any other mundane image might provoke. Olmert looks at a picture of a tree - no response. He looks at a picture of a dead child - no response. There is no emotion it seems. The same appears to be true of members of the Bush administration. Condoleezza Rice looks at these images and talks excitedly of the "birth pangs of a new Middle East". It appears that the "new Middle East" envisioned by Condi requires first the slaughter of newly born Lebanese babies.
It is beyond any doubt now that the 800 Lebanese civilians murdered so far by the Israeli government were cold bloodedly murdered as the result of a conscious strategy to ethnically cleanse Southern Lebanon. Yet the propaganda arm of the Israeli and American governments, aka the Western mainstream media, continues to question whether or not the attack on the people of Qana (or the many other attacks on Lebanese civilians) was a deliberate act or a simple 'mistake'. By creating doubt about this act of premeditated mass murder of innocent civilians, when all doubt was crushed along with the children of Qana and in the form of the public statement of the Israeli Justice minister, the Western mainstream media simply serves to underscore its complete lack of impartiality and journalistic integrity.
As Israel continues its bombardment of Lebanese civilians and amasses troops on the Lebanese border, apparently in anticipation of orders for a wholesale invasion, Israeli tanks and planes killed 33 Palestinian civilians in the Gaza strip over the week ending July 31st 2006. In a single strike in Lebanon on August 4th 2006, the Israeli Air Force also killed 33 farm workers in northeastern Lebanon.
Missing from any analysis or reporting on the Middle East over the past 50 years has been any reference to or delineation of the real source of the conflict. For the purposes of clarification a brief and simplified background is necessary:
Not only is the state of Israel founded on Palestinian land that was illegally appropriated by the British and given to Zionists for a Jewish state which they declared in 1948, but Israel is also, since its 6 day war in 1967, occupying the remaining Palestinian land that was left. To put it in simple terms: In 1948, Palestine was partitioned and 78% of that land was taken for a Jewish state of Israel with 22% being left for the Palestinians. Then in 1967, Israel invaded and militarily occupied that 22% and began to build thousands of illegal settlements for Israeli citizens by first evicting Palestinians, destroying their crops and bulldozing their homes. Throughout this entire process, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their land, with many now living in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and within the occupied Palestinian territories themselves. 60 years ago, the Palestinian people were living peacefully in their own land. Today, most of them are still there, but their land has long since been called "Israel", and they live and die there as oppressed, unwanted and despised "terrorists", being regularly subjected to arbitrary murder and imprisonment by the Israeli military in an attempt to terrorize them into fleeing for good. How would YOU feel if a bunch of foreigners gave away your homeland to another bunch of foreigners who then came in and destroyed your thousand year old culture, and sent you to live in a "refugee camp"? Despite all of this, if you listen to the Western mainstream media for long enough, you might actually become convinced that there is still some question over the real source of the conflict.
But the Palestinians will not flee. Apart from the fact that they have nowhere to go, they, like all decent people, are able to draw on an inner strength and will in the face of brutality and injustice - this strength stems from their conscience, their knowledge that they must not give in to tyranny for the sake of future generations. The Zionist ruling elite appear to have finally recognised this, and while they have always despised the Palestinian and Arab peoples whose very existence stood as a stark reminder of the injustice and illegality on which the state of Israel was founded, the Zionist rulers, calling on the lessons learned during the Second World War and their collaboration with the Nazi regime to effect the transfer of Jews to the planned Israeli state (1), appear now resolved to implement yet another 'final solution', this time to their 'Palestinian question'.
After the first few weeks of Israel's indiscriminate bombing of Lebanese civilians and civilian infrastructure, the only observable result from the Israeli government's point of view (800 dead civilians do not figure in that view), is a massive uprising of popular support for Hizb'allah. Hardly an auspicious start to Israel's "official" goal of destroying Hizb'allah and its grass roots support. That this result could have been predicted however, is to understate the matter. It was a 100% certainty, and just about every previous attempt by any nation state to destroy a popular resistance movement achieved the same result making it highly unlikely therefore that the Israeli government was in any way surprised about this turn of events. They do, after all, have unlimited resources with which to "buy" psychologists, sociologists, and media manipulation masters. Here we get back to the "official" story that Israeli government's goal is to destroy Hizb'allah and allow a multinational force to enter the area of southern lebanon. Clearly this is not the real agenda, and the plan was never to stop at destroying Hizb'allah's presence in southern Lebanon.
With the repeated references by the American and Israeli governments that Syria and Iran are ultimately responsible for Hizb'allah and its actions, and the two-year-long attempts by the American and Israeli governments to find a way, any way, to justify an attack on Iran's non-existent nuclear capabilities, we get closer to the real reason why the Israeli government staged and then lied about the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hizb'allah in early July 2006 and used it to initiate the start of a major Middle East conflict. However, long before the recent crisis, Israeli and American governments had decided that, as per standard Counter-Insurgency Strategy, the success of their plans for Palestine, its people and those of the Greater Middle East, rested on the wholesale demonisation of Arabs as "terrorists". The theory was (and is), if Western populations could somehow be convinced that "terrorism" was a Middle Eastern Islamic phenomenon, and that it presented a threat to the lives of 'civilized' people (that is, Christian), then popular support for enduring colonial conquest (and war when needed) for personal and political gain could be passed off as a "war on Islamic terrorism".
Anyone who has visited the Arab countries of the Middle East or north Africa is aware that Islamic extremism in these countries is about as prevalent at Christian or Jewish extremism in America or Israel. Extremists, by their very nature are always few in number in the average population. Indeed, It has only been in the last few decades that the phenomenon of Islamic extremism has taken hold of the minds of the populations of Western countries. Christianity, with its history of crusades and inquisitions and massive bloodletting in the name of the 'one true god' and its 40 million avowed fundamentalist Christians in the US, wins hands down in terms of fanaticism and fundamentalism compared to Islam. For most of its 1400 year history, the Islamic religion has shown infinitely more acceptance of diversity than Christianity or Judaism. During the 700 year existence of the Ottoman Empire, for example, an overtly pluralist attitude to the peoples living within its confines was followed. Indeed, the empire served as a safe haven for Jews fleeing persecution in Europe, specifically when they were expelled from Spain in 1492 and after. The Ottoman Empire also had a largely peaceful co-existence with the Greek Orthodox Church. So much for "Islamic Extremism."
The "Islamic extremists/terrorists" myth has its roots in the period after the first world war when the victorious allied powers took possession of most of the lands that constituted the collapsed Ottoman Empire. Unsurprisingly, in the ensuing plunder and jostling for power and control by Western powers, many of the indigenous Arab populations were rendered second class citizens in their own land, not to mention often dispossessed of and evicted from this land. Naturally, in response to such harsh colonial treatment, militant Arab groups were formed to fight for the fundamental rights that were being denied them. Now remember, this was as far back as the 1930's when the true intentions of these Western powers, chiefly the British, towards Arab lands was becoming apparent.
Some form of the previously mentioned Counter-Insurgency Strategy is probably as old as warfare itself, and certainly the modern understanding of the term dates back at least to the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya in 1952. Basically, the modern strategy concerns the problems experienced by a colonial power when invading and occupying a sovereign country. In such invasions, experience has taught military and political planners from colonialist nations that it is almost a certainty that when invading a sovereign nation, a resistance comprised usually of members of the native population will quickly be formed to resist the invasion and occupation. Such a resistance, while usually possessing a greatly inferior military strength to that of the invader (potential colonies are usually chosen for their inferior military strength) is nevertheless at an immediate advantage in that, because its numbers are drawn from the ordinary population, it often enjoys the support and protection of a large part of, if not the entire, population. To combat this balancing force and to better effect the complete subjugation of the native population, it was decided that, other than attempting to infiltrate the resistance, which can prove difficult, the best way to neutralize this opposition is through a combination of:
a) indiscriminate attacks on the native civilian population in an attempt to both turn them against the resistance that they support, (the theory being that the population would understand that they were being punished for the actions of the resistance) and hopefully kill civilians members of the resistance itself.
b) the creation of a fake resistance comprising undercover members of the colonial army, or 'hired hands' from elsewhere, who carry out particularly brutal attacks against the civilian population in the name of some newly-created off-shoot resistance organization, again with the aim of turning the native population against the real resistance. Later, this fake resistance can carry out attacks against the real resistance in an attempt to draw its fire away from the invading colonial army and eventually allow the colonizing government to present the conflict to the folks back home and to the international community as an internal sectarian war rather than a war of resistance to a colonial power.
In the case that the resistance drags on for years and public opinion back home is turning against the involvement of colonial troops, this fake resistance can be employed to carry out attacks (again particularly brutal in nature) against the native population of the invading colonial power, thereby demonizing the real resistance as "terrorists" and their genuinely noble cause of resisting colonial invasion aggression and oppression as "terrorism".
As a result of the employment of these counter insurgency strategies, today, the entirely inappropriate word "terrorism" and phrase "terrorists who hate our freedoms" have replaced the precisely accurate word "resistance" and phrase "resistance to foreign occupation".
It is in the context of this very real and central strategy used by occupying powers such as Israel, America and Britain, that we should consider reports of Palestinian or Islamic "suicide bombings", both in the context of events throughout the Iraq invasion and the last 6 years of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, not to mention the September 11th 2001 attacks in New York. Indeed, it is in the context of this strategy that we should view any future escalation of the current conflict in the Middle East.
"Terrorists" and "Terrorism"
The official reason why 800 innocent Lebanese civilians have been murdered by the Israeli government, with up to 1,000,000 others displaced from their homes with nowhere to go, is that Hizb'allah, captured two Israeli soldiers. Despite the spin placed on the event by the mainstream media and the Israeli and American governments, the truth is that the two soldiers were captured as a result of an incursion by Israeli troops into Lebanon, as reported in Forbes Magazine, the Bahrain News agency and the Indian Daily New Kerala.
Hizb'allah is not a "terrorist" organization, it is a political party, dedicated to protecting its constituents from Israeli aggression and murder. (2) Hizb'allah was formed in 1982 in response to the Israeli invasion in the same year. An invasion that resulted in the infamous Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camp massacres when then Israeli Defence Minister, Ariel Sharon, unleashed the Lebanese Christian Falangist militia in a orgy of destruction rape and murder of Palestinians. What people would not organised and arm themselves in response to such wholesale slaughter of innocents by the state of Israel? The simple fact of the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that Palestinians are expected to lie down and allow themselves to be murdered, imprisoned or enslaved in order to facilitate the political and ideological goals of the Israeli government. When the Palestinians understandably refused such an offer, they were immediately cast as "terrorists".
While the creation of the myth of "Islamic extremists" goes back several decades, the attacks of 9/11 were the defining moment in creating this reality, and there is more than enough evidence to strongly suggest that those attacks were the brainchild of elements of the Israeli and American governments. However, since the formation of the state of Israel (and indeed before it), Zionist leaders were hatching their own plans to secure the future of "greater Israel" at the expense of the lives and international reputation of Middle Eastern Arabs (and Muslims everywhere). While there is a wealth of information detailing the psychopathic policies employed by successive Israeli governments to achieve their aims, the stance of Israeli governments on the Arab question is possibly best summed up by a sentence in a report [the Koenig report] by Israel Koenig of the Israeli Ministry of the Interior in 1976:
"We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population"
Let me make one thing very clear: It is beyond ANY doubt, and can be backed up with copious historical evidence, that when the American, British and Israeli governments use the terms "terrorist" and "terrorism", what they are in fact referring to is armed resistance by ordinary people - people like you and me - to unprovoked acts of aggression, brutality and murder by those governments themselves. If you understand nothing else from this essay, understand that one point. It is a plain and unadulterated Truth.
Setting Up The Jews - Again
But what of the Israeli Jews? Does anyone believe that if the Israeli government, in its blind hatred and desire to obliterate any trace of the people who stand as a daily testimony to its ugly history, actually takes the insane step (by whatever means) of widening the current conflict to include Syria and Iran, that the Jewish people in Israel will not suffer immeasurably as a result? That their very existence, that which the Zionists claim so often to be acting to safeguard, will be placed in grave peril? None of it makes sense, at least not from the perspective of the official story. But then, when did any official story from the mouths of government leaders and their mainstream media shills ever make sense. 19 hijackers commanded from a cave in Afghanistan succeeded in thwarting the most powerful military and security infrastructure on the planet?? 7 of those hijackers turn up alive and well, and the FBI continues to proclaim that they died in the 9/11 attacks?!
The Qana massacre of last weekend scares me, not simply because of the inhuman brutality of Israeli politicians that was on display, but also because it seems that the murder of 60 innocent civilians and children by an alleged "democracy" and close ally of the "greatest democracy on earth" is nowhere near brutal enough to make the average Western citizen sit up and take notice. Indeed, as of today, the slaughter of 800 Lebanese civilians hardly raises an eyebrow it seems, and the Israeli government, with full backing from the Bush government, has given clear notification that this is only the beginning. I wonder, what level of vicious bloody state-sponsored violence against simple people is necessary to make the average American or European stop and think about the men and women who call themselves their leaders?
We might look to history to answer this question, but sadly, a quick run down of major events over the past 60 years offers little comfort.
Over the course of the five years of WWII, 65 million were slaughtered like cattle, yet today most people believe that such carnage was necessary.
In the Vietnam war, up to 4 million Vietnamese civilians were massacred over the 8 years of major US military involvement, and we all somehow believed those deaths were justified in the the "fight against Communism".
In 1991, Saddam Hussein fell foul of the old American government switcheroo, (commonly known as a blatant lie), when he actually believed then US ambassador to Iraq, April Gillespie, when she told him that "America has no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait", and that Secretary of State Baker had directed her to emphasize this instruction. Saddam, already chomping at the bit to do something about Kuwait's slant drilling theft of Iraqi oil, understandably took this as a green light and invaded Kuwait city. Not long thereafter, he found himself surrounded by 550,000 American troops and in the middle of Gulf "War" I. The term "war" for this particular conflict is something of a misnomer given that it was little more than target practice for American bombers and tank regiments. All the same, 100,000 fleeing Iraqi army irregulars and their families, women and children included, were 'carbonized' along the 'highway of death' while a few hundred US or coalition soldiers came home in wooden boxes. The end result was that, to the average Western citizen, those 100,000 deaths were part of an honorable campaign to stop the "madman" Hussein.
In the 10 years after the 'Gulf Massacre I', the upstanding 'international community', spurred on by the US government, instituted severe economic sanctions against Iraq because Saddam, being more than a little pissed off at the US, was thinking about denying them his oil. The sanctions, which included medical provisions, were very effective, at least against the Iraqi population, and especially Iraqi children. About 500,000 Iraqi children died from preventable disease and malnutrition from 1991 - 1996. When interviewed in 1996 on CBS's 60 minutes then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (born Marie Jana Korbelová) was told that 500,000 children had died as a result of the sanctions she had directly facilitated. When asked by the interviewer if she thought such suffering and death was worth it, she replied "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price - we think the price is worth it." The price, you already know, the payoff, was the maintenance of US and Israeli hegemony in the Middle East, oh... and 10 cents-a-gallon gas for oblivious Americans.
For the most part, civilians of Western nations have always been more or less oblivious to the murders committed by their governments in the name of the people, and the lies and distortion of the government-controlled mainstream media has been instrumental in maintaining this disturbing state of affairs. But the 'bad news' blackout was never complete. Government control over the media is not 100%. Over the years, reports showing the true horror and suffering inflicted on civilians by "necessary wars" have always found their way onto the evening news and therefore under the noses of Western taxpayers. High-profile events such a My Lai, Sabra and Shatila and the abovementioned "highway of death" all presented Americans and Europeans with the opportunity to stop and think, and ask the most important question - Why? But the opportunity was rarely taken, chiefly due to that final, and perhaps insurmountable obstacle that prevents any civilian of a 'Western' nation from ever truly empathizing with the suffering of a civilian of an 'Eastern' country - race, color, creed.
Over the centuries, organised religion has played a leading role in fomenting division among groups of human beings and has been the most regularly used justification for war. Once a division along religious lines had been established, it was an easy task for governments or religious leaders to convince the masses to march to war and die for the 'cause'. Invariably, the real cause is never revealed to those about to make the 'ultimate sacrifice', for them, it is enough that they are whipped into a frenzy of patriotic, religious or other ideological fervor and the truth be damned. It is surpassingly strange, is it not, that in a high percentage of the many wars that have been fought over the ages, soldiers on both sides, as well as the civilians left at home, fully believed that they were fighting for "freedom". If both sides in a conflict cherish the same ideal, why should they ever need to fight each other? It's not like "freedom" is a limited resource. Take the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for example. Israeli citizens believe that Palestinians want to kill them, and Palestinians believe that Israeli citizens want to kill them, yet both peoples express the apparently genuine desire to live simple, peaceful lives. All things being equal, it is hard to see how a bloody conflict could ever arise between two such peoples unless a conscious and deliberate effort was made by members of one or other society to manufacture one.
Logic would dictate that it cannot be natural for normal, decent human beings to seek the annihilation of their fellow humans simply because they do not look, think or act in exactly the same way. Evolution or creationist, such a theory of human nature defies any explanation as to why or how we would ever have arisen or survived very long in the first place. How then to explain the fact that, more than any other aspect, war has come to define human history? Needless to say, with the planet apparently entering a new phase of widespread bloodshed and suffering, this question is perhaps more pressing now than ever before.
The study of history through its various disciplines offers a view of mankind that is almost insupportable. The rapacious movements of hungry tribes, invading and conquering and destroying in the darkness of prehistory; the barbarian invaders of the civilized world during medieval times, the bloodbaths of the crusades of Catholic Europe against the infidels of the Middle East and then the “infidels” who were their own brothers: the stalking noonday terror of the Inquisition where martyrs quenched the flames with their blood. Then, there is the raging holocaust of modern genocide; wars, famine, and pestilence striding across the globe in hundred league boots; and never more frightening than today. All of these things produce an intolerable sense of indefensibility against what we might call the 'Terror of History'. Many people, dazzled by our technological progress, seem to believe that all of the horrors of history are past, that mankind has now entered a new phase, that science and technology can provide an alternative to interminable wars.
Over the centuries, writers, poets, scientists, psychologists, social anthropologists and many more have all tried to answer the question of how and why conflict arises. Libraries of books have been written in an attempt to plumb the depths of our human nature to extract and hopefully exorcise that assumed human tendency, that darkness, that leads humans to commit inhuman acts against each other. For example, a internet writer recently wrote about the conflict between Israel and Lebanon:
"Here we are, living in the first decade of the 21st century, and still the violent animal in the human condition exists, thriving inside our carnal passions and still primitive mammalian brains, oozing out of humanity to release the demons of evil that only homo sapiens are capable of wielding."
Particularly at times of global conflict (such as now) you can find this theme repeated over and over again, from the anti-war end of the 'blogosphere' to the electronic pages of long-running leftist publications like Counterpunch and from there to the hallowed halls of MIT and the offices of eminent scholars such as Noam Chomsky.
The one theory that is consistently absent from such philosophizing however is the idea that the cause of our long collective history of war suffering and death may have less to do with an 'assumed' innate aggressive tendency among all human beings and much more to do with our possibly misplaced faith in the inherent decency and humanity of ALL human beings.
Specifically, we fail to seriously account for or consider the fact that those people who promote themselves as a model of righteousness and who, as a result, often end up being elected as our leaders, regularly provide us with clear evidence that their ability to lie and deceive outshines any natural tendency to honesty and decency. If we combine this factor with the significant and proven susceptibility of the masses to being manipulated and deceived with half-truths and outright 'big lies' (3), we begin to formulate a much more logical explanation to this 'problem of the ages'.
What exactly is this explanation? In a word - psychopathy
Snakes In Suits
Now the word “psychopath” generally evokes images of the a mad-dog serial killer such as Al Bundy or Dr. Hannibal Lecter of Silence of the Lambs fame, and many mental health experts, for a very long time, operated on the premise that psychopaths come from impoverished backgrounds and have experienced abuse of one sort or another in childhood, so it is easy to spot them, or at least, they certainly don’t move in society except as interlopers. In recent years this theory has come under increasing revision to the extent that latest works on the condition suggest that the vast majority of psychopaths that are locked up in jail or sitting on death row are the exception to the rule. The majority of psychopaths, it seems, have exemplary family backgrounds are living among us, some in the most surprising of places.
Dr Hervey Cleckley has conducted extensive studies into this condition, most of which was the fruit of his direct interaction with 'common or garden' psychopath. In his ground-breaking book The Mask of Sanity (4), Cleckley describes most of his psychopath subjects as “Likeable”, “Charming”, “Intelligent”, “Alert”, “Impressive”, “Confidence-inspiring,” and “A great success with the ladies”. In spite of the fact that their actions prove them to be “irresponsible” and “self-destructive”, psychopaths seem to have in abundance the very traits most desired by normal persons. The smooth self-assurance acts as an almost supernatural magnet to normal people who have to read self-help books or go to counseling to be able to interact with others in an untroubled way. The psychopath, on the contrary, never has any neuroses, no self-doubts, never experiences angst, and is what “normal” people seek to be.
Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School Martha Stout, who has worked extensively with victims of psychopaths, writes in her book The Sociopath Next Door :
Imagine - if you can - not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken.
And pretend that the concept of responsibility is unknown to you, except as a burden others seem to accept without question, like gullible fool.
Now add to this strange fantasy the ability to conceal from other people that your psychological makeup is radically different from theirs. Since everyone simply assumes that conscience is universal among human beings, hiding the fact that you are conscience-free is nearly effortless.
You are not held back from any of your desires by guilt or shame, and you are never confronted by others for your cold-bloodedness. The ice water in your veins is so bizarre, so completely outside of their personal experience, that they seldom even guess at your condition.
In other words, you are completely free of internal restraints, and your unhampered liberty to do just as you please, with no pangs of conscience, is conveniently invisible to the world.
You can do anything at all, and still your strange advantage over the majority of people, who are kept in line by their consciences will most likely remain undiscovered.
How will you live your life?
What will you do with your huge and secret advantage, and with the corresponding handicap of other people (conscience)?
The answer will depend largely on just what your desires happen to be, because people are not all the same. Even the profoundly unscrupulous are not all the same. Some people - whether they have a conscience or not - favor the ease of inertia, while others are filled with dreams and wild ambitions. Some human beings are brilliant and talented, some are dull-witted, and most, conscience or not, are somewhere in between. There are violent people and nonviolent ones, individuals who are motivated by blood lust and those who have no such appetites. [...]
Provided you are not forcibly stopped, you can do anything at all.
If you are born at the right time, with some access to family fortune, and you have a special talent for whipping up other people's hatred and sense of deprivation, you can arrange to kill large numbers of unsuspecting people. With enough money, you can accomplish this from far away, and you can sit back safely and watch in satisfaction. [...]
Crazy and frightening - and real, in about 4 percent of the population. [Stout - The Myth of Sanity]
Dr Robert Hare is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, has dedicated almost 40 years to the study of psychopathy and is the author of several books on the subject. Hare states:
the damage they [psychopaths] inflict on society is out of all proportion to their numbers, not least because they gravitate to high-profile professions that offer the promise of control over others, such as law, politics, business management .. and journalism
Hare called these people "snakes in suits".
Hare performed two now-famous studies which suggest that psychopaths really are different from normal human beings. In the first, subjects were told to watch a timer counting down to zero, at which point they felt a harmless but painful electric shock. Non-psychopaths showed mounting anxiety and fear.
Psychopaths didn't even sweat.
In the second, the two groups had their brain activity and response time measured when asked to react to groups of letters, some forming words, some not. Words such as "rape" and "cancer" triggered mental jolts in non psychopaths. In psychopaths they triggered precisely nothing.
In another study, Hare measured the brainwaves of psychopaths and others as they were shown both neutral and emotional words.
Non-psychopaths responded with more speed and brain activity to emotion-charged words such as rape or cancer than to neutral words such as tree. To psychopaths, there was no difference.
In perhaps the most telling study conducted by Hare, clear evidence for the argument that psychopaths are indeed fundamentally different in make up from the majority of normal people was revealed:
Several years ago two graduate students and I submitted a paper to a scientific journal. The paper described an experiment in which we had used a biomedical recorder to monitor electrical activity in the brains of several groups of adult men while they performed a language task. This activity was traced on chart paper as a series of waves, referred to as an electroencephalogram.
The editor returned our paper with his apologies. His reason, he told us: "Frankly, we found some of the brain wave patterns depicted in the paper very odd. Those EEGs couldn't have come from real people."
Some of the brain wave recordings were indeed odd, but we hadn't gathered them from aliens and we certainly hadn't made them up. We had obtained them from a class of individuals found in every race, culture, society, and walk of life. Everybody has met these people, been deceived and manipulated by them, and forced to live with or repair the damage they have wrought. These often charming - but always deadly - individuals have a clinical name: psychopaths. [Hare, Without Conscience]
According to Professor Hare psychopaths are impulsive - they lack empathy and remorse. They crave power and prestige, and are extremely controlling. He described them as "knowing the words but not the music." "They can learn to use ordinary words and to reproduce the pantomime of feeling but the feeling itself does not come to pass."
No emotion; no ability to empathise with the suffering of another human being; an ability to mimic feeling and emotion, to 'talk the talk' because they understand that this is what is expected of them; gravitate to high-profile professions that offer the promise of control over others, such as law, politics, business management and journalism; radically different brain wave patterns from those of "real people".
Think now about the state of our world.
Think about the poverty that billions live with every day.
Think about the fact that the 'third world debt' held by 'developed countries' has never been excused by Western government politicians.
Think about Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Sharon, Olmert, Blair (and imagine all the back room boys that they rely on to formulate policy). Think about the fact that, as Bush, Cheney Rumsfeld et al were massacring 250,000 Iraqi civilians, American citizens "supported their president".
Think about the fact that after committing the horrific Sabra and Shatila massacres Sharon was ultimately promoted and became Prime Minister of Israel and was lauded as a lovable 'granfather'-type figure by the Israeli population.
Think about Hurricane Katrina, and as thousands were dying, Bush was playing guitar. Later, as the 'disaster that saw no relief' became evident for all to see, Bush told then head of FEMA Michael Brown: "you're doing a heck of a job Brownie".
Think about Lebanon. Think about those pictures of dead children and the fact that, as Condi and Co viewed them, they expedited the shipment of bunker buster bombs to Israel, two of which would soon thereafter be used to bury 30 children in the rubble of their shelter.
Think about the fact that, in response to this mass murder of innocents, Bush dismissed any idea of "simply stopping for the sake of stopping".
Clearly, the fact of the deaths of 800 Lebanese civilians, including hundreds of children, and that it was American and Israeli policies that killed them, did not evoke any emotion, any feeling, in the members of the American or Israeli governments. To psychopaths, there is no difference.
Think now about our history, and our question of exactly how and why it could be possible that ordinary people who genuinely abhor war and suffering much less their own involvement in it, and desire peaceful co-existence with their fellow human beings, somehow continually find themselves in the middle of such war and suffering.
How is it possible?
We have an answer. We now know who the real enemy is. It is not about "us", or any "violent animal in the human condition". It never was. It is about a fifth column; a group of deviant human beings who, due to an inherent difference in their fundamental makeup that leaves them devoid of the basic humanity that the rest of us do possess, "gravitate to high-profile professions that offer the promise of control over others, such as law, politics, business management and journalism". Once there, their position of power and control over billions, their inability to identify with or feel empathy for other normal human beings while successfully feigning such emotion, combined with their supreme self-interest, produces the only thing such a scenario can produce - continual war, death and suffering in the name of noble ideals such as 'freedom', 'peace' and 'defence'.
And we, the normal human beings, are left to carry the can and engage in a repeated and futile search to find the reason within ourselves! In this case, the answer to this age-old question does not 'lie within', but in the relatively small number of talking news heads and political, military and financial elite of this world and their own innate inability to care about the lives or suffering of the masses of humanity.
1. Evidence for Zionist collaboration with the Nazi regime to effect the transfer of Jews to Israel is provided in Lenni Brenner's book, 51 Documents: Zionist collaboration with the Nazis.
2. See this link for an accurate portrayal of the history and goals of Hizb'allah
3. In his diary Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler wrote:
"The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, because the vast masses of a nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad.
The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them more easy victims of a big lie than a small one, because they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell big ones.
Such a form of lying would never enter their heads. They would never credit others with the possibility of such great impudence as the complete reversal of facts. Even explanations would long leave them in doubt and hesitation, and any trifling reason would dispose them to accept a thing as true.
Something therefore always remains and sticks from the most imprudent of lies, a fact which all bodies and individuals concerned in the art of lying in this world know only too well, and therefore they stop at nothing to achieve this end."
4. Cleckly's The Mask of Sanity is available as free download from our website here