Another insane act of mass murder, followed hot on its heels by the usual piffle about disenfranchisement, powerlessness, and other exculpatory historicisms. The “minimisers” were keen to get their camera time, barely waiting for atomised human flesh to be scraped from an airport’s bomb-shattered departures hall before demanding that this latest slaughter be contextualised and their simple “truth” accepted as gospel. There is a mad futility to doing anything about it, they say, other than drawing maudlin pictures, lighting candles, singing “Imagine” and exchanging empty slogans about “standing with Paris”. Sorry, that was the last massacre, this time it was Brussels. It’s getting hard to keep up these days.
Simon Jenkins in the Guardian was amongst the first to occupy the apologists’ lectern, reminding us that “political terror is as old as war,” and that “…what is not stupid is seeking to alleviate, or not aggravate, the rage that gives rise to acts of terror, and then to diminish the potency of the incident itself”. Re-iterating a well-worn theme, he mouthed the purported wisdom that “a response to terror requires patience and restraint.” In other words, do nothing, mouth pieties and hope Allah’s suicide bombers go away. Or at least find someone else to terrorise.
Call me a callous, cynical sort if you will, but isn’t it funny how no one has urged “alleviating, not aggravating” or “patience and restraint” during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse. Cardinal George Pell might have had a darn sight easier time of it if the same logic had been applied. After all, paedophilia is also as “old as war”. In fact, like old-fashioned rape, it’s often an integral aspect of it.
Here’s Jenkins again:
There is no way any community can make itself immune to terror attacks. Since they are random, no protection can defend that community from them. No amount of police work or surveillance, no deployment of armies or navies, let alone of missiles or nuclear weapons, can guard against them. Intelligence and surveillance can go so far, but the bombers and killers will get through any net.
True enough, but also true of paedophiles. Could it be that some people, exemplified by apologists and rationalisers for malignant Islam, are eager to spew excuses for one category of vile specimens but draw the line at another, paedophile priests? For the mealy mouth left, terrorists are never the demonic products of a monstrous Islamic psychosis, yet paedophile clerics are clear manifestations of another religion’s endless evil. That one creed has been a foundation of the West’s rise and civilization might have something to do with that striking dichotomy in leftist perception.
One thing that uniquely defines the “perpetual irritant” of paedophilia, as Waleed Aly once said of terrorism, is that the mind of the individual sexual deviant is not that of a nation-state. The blood curdling yen for mass murder and the overthrow of modernity are not a folie a plusiers restricted to small cells of disgruntled Muslim students and welfare recipients, but a shared madness infecting the entire body politic of some rather large nation states.
As a psychiatrist, I’m often asked if paedophiles (last week) and terrorists (this week) are mad or bad. Psychiatric diagnosis would not put terrorists in the “mad” category: there is a clear and obvious rationale behind such attacks, this being to punish and intimidate societies not yet Islamic. Yet if the word “mad” means anything it must apply to what has happened in Brussels, Paris, Africa and all over the Middle East. The insanity of religious primitivism can no more be influenced by understanding and reasoning with the afflicted individuals than with the nation states that provide their tacit, sometimes open, endorsement. There would have been as much chance of negotiating rationally with the human bombs of Brussels as persuading the fundamentalists of ISIS or Iran that their adherence to favoured and bloodthirsty koranic admonitions, rather than the more pacific ones, is misplaced and misguided.
Not that Islamists are the only ones in the thrall of delusion. Here let us consider President Obama’s cheerful refusal to recognise and confront the implacable madness of Iran’s theocratic state when signing off on last year’s nuclear deal. Lacking the courage to acknowledge the reptilian paranoia of aggressive, expansionist Islam, as embodied in Tehran’s ruling mullahs, Obama cut a deal not with genuine partners in peace but with a figment of his imagination – the chimera that “moderate” leaders actually exist and have been persuaded to set aside their nuclear ambitions. It was delusional nonsense, a triumph of blinkered, wishful thinking, as the Iranians’ recent test-firing of two new missiles emblazoned with the message, written in Hebrew no less, that the rockets’ development represented another step on the path to Israel’s inevitable destruction.
But let us give Obama the benefit of the doubt. Could it be that the Iranians’ genocidal intent, so clearly stated, is simply beyond his limited ken, the notion of messianic armageddon so far removed from his conception of rationality that he rejects it absolutely in others? Could this same perspective also explain the failure of the Catholic church’s then-hierarchy to deal as it should done with the Searsons and Ridsdales? Is it that a bunch of righteous, middle-aged men simply could not fathom the depth of depravity that confronted them? Men who are not paedophiles find it very difficult to imagine that anyone would desire sex with a child. So, faced with a fixation that they cannot imagine, they handballed the offenders into “counselling”, preferring not to dwell on the simple fact that “talking cures” have nothing to offer psychopathic paedophiles. To me, speaking as a mental-health professional, that idea is laughable. Not so then and, conveniently, not to them.
When I read the empty words of people like Jenkins, when I re-visit Waleed’s reaction to the Boston Marathon bombing and note that his first response was to theorise it might have been the work of white right-wingers, not his fellow Muslims, I’m reminded of the remarkable human ability to see the obvious but not allow it to register. Instead, as per jenkins, we offer Islamists our “patience and restraint”, perhaps with a bit or remedial counselling via the UN.
If our chattering elites must squeeze Islamic terrorists through the intellectual grinder of their Westerm self-loathing, let us at least acknowledge that, once the requisite bouts of self-blame are done and dusted, the obligation remains to make sure those who would kill us emerge as finely minced sausage at the other end. The church and other paedophile-infested institutions took refuge in their inability to accept what leaders found unthinkable. If there is a lesson in that compulsive blindness it is that the same approach must no longer be applied to Islam’s butchers.
Murray Walters is a Brisbane psychiatrist