Lebanese writer explains why ‘Westerners have no remorse when killing others’

September 03, 2020

Via The Saker

Middle East Observer

Description:

Lebanese writer and researcher of Islamic Studies, Sayed Abbas Noureddine, gives two reasons why he thinks the ‘West can continue oppressing other nations without any empathy or remorse’.

Source: Islamona (YouTube)
Date: Mar 7, 2020

Transcript:

In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful. A close look at the Western psyche, the Western man’s personality, and the way he deals with matters related to us, indicates that in the foreseeable future, Western man will continue to provide the necessary fuel for his governments and regimes to continue oppressing, attacking and persecuting us.However, the problem in this context is not that the Western man is an inherently hostile being who intentionally seeks to oppress i.e. that he knows we are innocent, he knows what he is doing is wrong, yet he continues to carry it out. That is not the case. However, there are two main elements being worked on in general – of course we’re talking in general here – to keep Western man and Western societies as providers of the fuel and resources (that their rulers seek).Thus, (Western states) are able to continue developing their weapons, to continue putting forward armies and soldiers dedicated to entering our regions to fight and kill us.

See how (common it is) for professional (Western) soldiers to kill (innocent) people in cold blood. Many Westerners, when they hear that dozens or even hundreds of us have been killed, feel nothing towards this, neither remorse nor empathy. Why? Because they believe perhaps that we deserve death, or that we form a threat to civilization, or that we are simply evil.

Here, there are two elements which crystallized in the mind and personality of the Western man, leading him to continue to provide the fuel for these ominous policies (by Western governments). The first element is that Western man views his government through the lens of economic well-being and comfort. That is, the extent to which his government provides (him/her with) services and privileges in terms of livelihood.

In short, the issue of livelihood and economic prosperity is a central issue for the Western man in terms of evaluating his government’s (legitimacy/performance). For instance, if Trump launches wars in which millions are killed, the Western man will remain largely silent before such a scene, as long as Trump (manages through such wars) to reduce the unemployment rate in (America) for instance. By merely bringing about some economic improvements, Trump secured a great percentage of votes or support (from Americans). In other words, he gained a widely popular base within American society. This scene also takes place in say Britain, France or Germany.

The red line for Westerners vis-à-vis their governments is (precisely) this issue of (economic) wellbeing and prosperity. Therefore, you can see that Western governments work on the economic dimension whenever they intend to carry out any sinister or ominous foreign actions or policies against any world nation.

The second element regarding the Western psyche was intensively worked upon for hundreds of years, especially during the last century, by (Western) societies, institutions, media, and various forces within their culture, and that is the ‘demonization of the Other’. Meaning that according to them, we cannot be imagined as ‘good’. As far as they’re concerned, we are ‘evil’ (beings) or devils that must be killed or exterminated, or preferably, that we ought not to exist on the face of this planet. This ‘demonization of the Other’ process was worked upon intensively.

Therefore, when a Westerner feels empathy for a whale stuck between icebergs, but very rarely empathizes, if at all, with the Palestinian people, who are slaughtered, killed and subjected to all this oppression – this is because the Westerner is unable to extract these demonized images from his mind and imagination, images which (Western) media, educational institutions and (various Western) literature worked intensively on for centuries. Due to this culture, the Western man is unable to accept or view us as normal human beings, or as real people, or at least as people who deserve to live or have dignity.

Unfortunately, in this regard, we have major shortcomings that we must work on, not for the sake of the Western man, but for the sake of completing the (moral) argument against this (Western) world. If we do this, God willing the great Divine support will arrive (to change this situation).

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Read transcript: http://middleeastobserver.net/lebanese-writer-explains-why-westerners-have-no-remorse-when-killing-others/

Covid Madness

by Lawrence Davidson 

Author - American Herald Tribune

Lawrence Davidson is professor of history emeritus at West Chester University in Pennsylvania.

He has been publishing his analyses of topics in U.S. domestic and foreign policy, international and humanitarian law and Israel/Zionist practices and policies since 2010.

1 July 2020

Part I—Episodes of Madness

If I told you that Covid-19 was sparking recently reported episodes of madness here in the U.S., what do you imagine would be the reason? Maybe it would be the consequences of isolation. If you are alone and have few resources, lockdown might send you over the edge. Maybe it would be the pandemic’s impact on those with chronic hypochondria. This is obviously not an easy time to be stuck with an irrational fear of disease. Or maybe it is coming from the fundamentalist crowd (both Christian and Jewish) who believe that Covid-19 is the wrath of God yet can’t figure out why it is being visited upon their congregations. If you guessed any of these possible etiologies, you would missing the main cause.

So what is mainly causing the present outbursts of madness? It turns out to be a perverted concept of freedom. It is an insistence that, in the midst of a pandemic, temporarily closing down businesses, mandating the wearing of masks, and maintaining social distancing is an intolerable infringement on individual rights. If you would like a visual snapshot of the emotion behind this belief, just take a look at the gun-toting, maskless protesters at the Michigan state legislative building in early May. They are shouting irately about state tyranny, into the faces of masked guards. Other anti-mask protesters around the country revealed a similar off-the-wall attitude, with signs and banners ranging from the nonsensical to the scary: “Give me Liberty or Give me Covid-19,” and in contradiction, “Covid-19 is a Lie,” “Sacrifice the Weak—Reopen,” and “Jesus is My Vaccine.” There is one other rightwing anti-Covid protest sign that must be noted. This one showed up both at the Michigan rally and one in Chicago: ‘Arbeit Macht Frei,” or “Work will make you free.” It is the slogan that stood at the entrance to the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. 

Part II—A Perverse Notion of Freedom

This perverse notion of freedom is wholly individualistic. That is, it makes no reference to community rights or needs. This point of view is not restricted to armed anarchists or disgruntled religious fundamentalists. Some quite prominent and successful proponents of this view go so far as to deny the reality of society, per se. Such a denial makes government, particularly in the form of the welfare state, a freedom-denying effort at social control. Also, if society is an illusion, then an institution that taxes the individual for its upkeep is little more than a con artist. 

The British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was an advocate of this outlook. Here is how she put it: “I think we have gone through a period when too many people … understand that if they have a problem, it is the government’s job to cope with it!… ‘If I am homeless, the government must house me!’ and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first. …There is no such thing as society.” This is faulty logic. Some problems, like poverty and homelessness, can only be understood and dealt with within a societal context. Thatcher would have none of that. Since society does not really exist, problems with societal roots can’t be real either. If Thatcher were alive today, she would probably admit that the Covid-19 pandemic was very real, but otherwise would be reluctant to deal with it in any collective manner—just as are our perverse defenders of “freedom.” 

Part III—Beyond Sloganeering

The madness of these rightwing provocateurs is largely ideological in the Thatcher sense. It is also underlaid with a strong selfishness that really has nothing to do with economic hardships of lockdown. What they are saying is that “I don’t care about other people. I don’t want to wear a mask and social distance, and you can’t make me.” It is the ideology of selfish children and this attitude can drive people to act out in the same way it drives five-year-olds to have temper tantrums. Unfortunately, these protesters are not just children and their acting out goes beyond sloganeering. 

Since April 2020, numerous public health workers, particularly those with policy-making input, have faced threats and intimidation. Sometimes this is through e-mail or Facebook or over the phone. Sometimes it is having to face an armed mob at your front door. Here are a few recent examples:

—Lauri Jones, director of public health in a county in western Washington state, followed up on someone breaking a Covid-19 quarantine. Immediately she faced a barrage of threatening calls and e-mails from not just her home area but from around the country. Her address was posted on Facebook. She called the police and had to set up surveillance cameras at her home. 

—Amy Acton, Ohio’s public health director “endured months of anger against the state’s preventive measures, including armed protests at her home.” One Republican legislator called her a Nazi (Acton is Jewish) and another labeled her a dictator. She has since quit her job and now consults for the state’s health department. 

—Georgia’s public health director has been assigned an armed guard.

—Pennsylvania’s secretary of health, who is transgender, has been publicly harassed for her role in fighting the pandemic. One Republican county official said that he was “tired of listening to a guy dressed up as a woman.”

—Then there is the emotion expressed following a recent Palm Beach county commissioners meeting. The commissioners had voted unanimously to make masks mandatory in the county. Those in the audience denounced the commissioners and threatened them with “citizen’s arrest.” They made the following accusations: “masks are killing people,” masks “toss God’s wonderful breathing system out the window,” and to mandate masks is to follow the “devil’s laws.”

Perhaps the best summing up of this “demoralizing” nationwide situation comes from Theresa Anselmo, executive director of the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials—eighty percent of whose members have been threatened with dismissal or were outright fired from their jobs. “We’ve seen from the top down that the federal government is pitting public health against freedom, and to set up that false dichotomy is really a disservice to the men and women who have dedicated their lives . . . to helping people.” 

Part IV—Lethal Consequences

Ideally, we are supposed to teach our kids that freedom comes with responsibility. Take away a sense of responsibility to others and what you are left with the perverted freedom to be selfish. And, often that selfishness is blind to its own lethal consequences. 

There is a precedent for this sort of selfishness tied to a perverse claim of freedom—it is the American insistence that gun ownership is a right and a primary symbol of freedom. Here in the U.S., an average of 109 people a day are killed with guns, sometimes in quite spectacular fashion, as in the case of mass shootings. We endure it, or perhaps more accurately we choose to ignore it, because an influential, militant and bullying minority has stymied the political will to reign it in. This is a situation that is suggestive of willful madness. The same appears to be happening in the case of Covid-19.

In the last six months over 2 million Americans have fallen ill with Covid-19 and the death toll stands at around 130,000. The present infection and fatality rates are climbing. It seems that after several months of lockdown, which had hurt the economy and increased unemployment while simultaneously bringing the pandemic under control, the will to continue restrictions has largely broken down. Both politicians and the populace appeared to have given up and, as one of those sloganeering signs put it, silently agreed to “sacrifice the weak and reopen.” And almost everywhere they did reopen, the Covid-19 virus returned with a vengeance. It was when a moderate state counter-response, mandating masks and social distancing in public and business environments, was attempted that the militant bullying by Republican politicians, armed “patriots,” and disgruntled religious fundamentalists picked up steam. What now is likely to follow?

Future prospects are described by Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency physician and Brown University professor who promotes gun violence prevention. She explains that the  “dynamics of the lockdown protesters” are similar to those of the gun rights advocates. Both groups of militants “moved the … debate” from a conversation about, first an epidemic of gun injuries, and now the wisdom of health and science in the face of a pandemic, to “a conversation about liberty.” Thus we are no longer talking about “weighing risks and benefits” and are instead involved in “a politicized narrative” about alleged individual rights. This is also a zero-sum narrative because this claim of prioritized rights is, for its advocates, not negotiable.

So there we have it. It is a fight between a perverse notion of freedom and a collective sense of social responsibility. The interests of society—which are real despite the rhetoric of the late Margret Thatcher—already lost out once in the struggle with “gun rights” advocates. Will it lose out again to mad opponents of masking and social distancing? The chances are good that it will. Sickness and death may well be our fate until science, in the form of an adequate vaccine, saves us from ourselves.

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