Saturday, March 17, 2007

John in Tokyo, a regular commenter, posted in the Comments section about Pilar Manjón. I thought his post was worth reproducing here.

"Stockholm Syndrome. I usually dislike attempts to frame politics and ideology in psychological terms because people believe what they believe for many reasons and it is impossible for others to know why they do. In any event, the political psychoanalysis is usually just as ideologically distorted as the people/ideas it attempts to examine.

However, this case is just too blatant to ignore and too bizarre. One cannot help but wonder about the thought processes of Pilar Manjon. It's simply amazing that this woman (and she is not the only case like this) can direct her outrage and contempt at a wide range of targets, people she sees as responsible for creating the conditions in which her son was killed. But she has not even an ounce of anger toward the people who, you know, actually deliberately planned the murder of her innocent son and others.

This is a true inversion of cause and effect, she is blaming the people who oppose her son's murders, and thus, the cause of terrorism becomes fighting against terrorism, to her mind. Imagine that someone burns down your house. No matter how dissatisfied/frustrated you were with the response of the Fire Dept., Police, etc., would you ever become so unhinged that you stopped blaming the arsonist and focused your anger on the firemen? Granted, losing your house (or son) is traumatic and might make it hard to think clearly, and firemen should not be immune from criticism - maybe their mistakes made the problem worse.

However, the problem with this mentality is that it is unlikely to put an end to arson (or terrorism). In fact it encourages more, making it ultimately self-destructive. I honestly think that most educated, intelligent, good thinking, and good hearted citizens of Western countries have still not grasped this basic concept (for a variety of reasons). When (if) they do, terrorism will not survive long and many of the conflicts that plague us will dry up.

But until then, we are doomed to be targets of terrorism because we reward terrorists with the effects and outcomes that they desire. We become paralyzed, arguing endlessly about the proper meaning and response. We stop and consider their grievances and objectives (and even if their grievances and objectives are insane, there are are always a few points that do appeal to our sensibilities and which inevitably distract people like Manjon and our old friend Joan.) Most of all, many of us, like Sra. Manjon, strike out at all of the people who are trying to stop, arrest, or kill the terrorists, inadvertantly or otherwise, coluding with the terrorists against their enemies."

John in Tokyo 03.15.07 - 9:15 pm

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