Monday, November 16, 2009
Dr. Phil, the Islamists' answer to Lenin's "useful idiot"
If you want to know why we are losing the struggle with radical Islam you don’t have to go very much further than this little piece of national television fare.
It is a segment from CNN’s Larry King Live Show featuring an interview a few days after the Fort Hood event with Dr.Phil, a woman in the Veteran’s Affairs Administration, and a JAG lawyer.
Philip McGraw gets the head start, which means he gets to frame the discussion that follows. For him, this is a mental/emotional issue, full stop.
You can’t blame him for that, it is his field, it is the prism through which he views the world, and it is the thing he is most comfortable talking about.
I would venture to say he knows diddly-squat about Islam, from at least one comment he made.
Next up are two other split screen guests, Shoshana Johnson, who served in Iraq and was, for a brief period, a POW, and Tom Kenif (not sure of the spelling) a JAG officer and criminal lawyer who also served in Iraq.
Kenif disputes the mental explanation, believing the truth may lie in Islamic extremism. However, both McGraw and Johnson jump down his throat, accusing him of saying dangerous things that are simply untrue and ridiculous. It is also pretty clear from King’s interjections that he finds Kenif’s explanation suspect.
At various times, Dr. Phil says things like, “You can’t make sense out of nonsense” and “Well (mentally healthy) people don’t pick up a gun and kill their friends.”
Unfortunately for Kenif, in the ensuing argument he falls into Dr. Phil’s trap, agreeing that a person who murders people for religious reasons is mentally ill. At that point he loses the argument.
Wrong, Dr. Phil. That is music to the Islamists’ ears.
Go on spouting about mental illness and believing that the military should focus on stress and not religion. This was a one-off, an isolated incident, completely explained away by westernized notions of mental illness. It has nothing to do with Islam. Move along now, nothing to see here.
The Islamic Project will give you a big medal for that one.
There is no reason to think whatsoever that an Islamic radical who kills the perceived enemies of Allah, with the full knowledge that if he dies in that battle he will be guaranteed eternal life in Paradise -- the only guaranteed path in the Koran -- is mentally ill. There is nothing nonsensical about this if the religion makes sense.
The only way that could be true is if you were to say that all people who believe religious doctrine must be mentally ill. No American is going to say that, certainly not Dr. Phil.
You could possibly refine that last statement and say that only people who believe the religious dogma of Islam are mentally ill because of the violence it spawns. Again, no American in the mainstream media and establishment is going to say that.
If Major Hasan was acting out of purely religious motivation then the soldiers he killed or tried to kill were not his friends, Dr. Phil. They were his enemies. There is nothing irrational about that. Soldiers are supposed to kill their enemies.
And if you knew anything at all about Islam, Mr. McGraw, you would know that Muslims are not permitted to make friends with non-believers.
Mr. Kenif had the right idea even if he couldn’t follow it up properly on the King show.
The safest way to proceed after Fort Hood is to assume an Islamic influence and act accordingly, and revise your judgment only if subsequent evidence emerges that mental factors unrelated to religion are prevalent. This would be called an application of the precautionary principle, or, as we used to say, doing something simply out of an abundance of caution.
Unfortunately, the Dr. Phils in America control the high ground and more Fort Hood disasters can be expected in the future.
On a related note, here is a Washington Post story of the first post-Fort Hood interview with Hasan’s jihadist mentor.