Middle East studies in the News
Obama's Seven Mental Disorders [incl. Rashid Khalidi]
by Herb Denenberg
Editor's Note: First-part of a two-part series.
President Barack Obama's policies are so bizarre and so contrary to common sense and common knowledge, that it is hard to explain them in rational terms. When inexplicable rationality is encountered, it often makes sense to turn to what makes a sensible explanation for seemingly insane behavior. In this case, perhaps radio show host and author Michael Savage's concept of liberalism as a mental disorder comes into play first, a concept put forward in his book Liberalism is a Mental Disorder: Savage Solutions. This is just one of Mr. Obama's seven mental disorders.
The Mental Disease Of LiberalismYou can look at almost any plan and policy of Mr. Obama, and, more often than not, find it runs contrary to common sense and logical thinking. He more often than not does the opposite of what common sense would dictate. For example, he wants to raise taxes and adopt gigantic entitlement programs in a period of recession and unsustainable deficits. He has a penchant for bootlicking our enemies and bashing our friends and allies. As the newly elected Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown said, he commits our resources to providing terrorists and suicide bombers with defense lawyers instead of using our resources for fighting terrorism. His political correctness means we fail to identify and properly treat our mortal enemy, the Islamist radicals and terrorists. His reaction to the stunning election outcome in Massachusetts led Rush Limbaugh to wonder if we've let the inmates out of the asylum. Mr. Obama said Sen. Brown's election was fueled by anger at the eight years of President George W. Bush, making Mr. Obama either deranged or a world-class liar. Mr. Obama said:
"Here's my assessment of not just the mood in Massachusetts, but the mood around the country. The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office. People are angry and they're frustrated, not just because of what's happened in the last year or two years, but what's happened over the last eight years."
Yes, Mr. Obama thinks the voters were so angry with Republican President George W. Bush that they elected a Republican senator from Massachusetts who agrees with most of what Mr. Bush stood for and disagrees with Mr. Obama's proposals, most notably on health care. Then, Mr. Obama goes on to claim the problem was that the voters did not understand his ObamaCare proposal. He gave endless speeches, town halls, and interviews to explain it. He was on television so often, his presence almost had a Big Brother flavor. The more he explained it, the less voters liked it. He thinks he just has to give another 141 speeches to explain ObamaCare. It's safe to say Mr. Obama suffers from the mental disease of liberalism.
The Mental Disease Of Anti-Americanism
He has the mental disorder of liberalism in its most extreme form, but he has another related disorder — anti-Americanism. This mental disease was identified by the great English historian Paul Johnson. And if you review Mr. Obama's history, you will find he is indeed a hate-America type. He spends more time apologizing for America than praising it. In fact one recent trip abroad was even called "The Apology Tour." He denies American exceptionalism and views us just as another country. He said something to the effect that Belgians undoubtedly think they are exceptional, as does every other country. He sits in the pews of the Rev. Jeremiah "God Damn America" Wright's church for 20 years, and never protests. He lost his hearing and ability to read for 20 years. He finally denounces Rev. Wright when forced to do so, but finally acts out of political expediency, not principle.
There were also little hints at his weird attitude toward America, which has given him so much and which he apparently appreciates so little. He said wearing a lapel flag was a sign of false patriotism ... but started displaying that "false" symbol of patriotism only when embarrassed into doing so, again acting out of political expediency, and not his view of America. And it runs in the family, as when his wife said America is a "downright mean" country and she was proud of her country for the first time when her husband was running for the presidency.
Mr. Obama's views on economics also reveal a more subtle but real strain of anti-Americanism. He sounds a constant theme of anti-business, anti-free-markets, anti-profits and anti-capitalism contrary to the values of our Founders and contrary to what has made America great. He is more comfortable with government expansion and control and the share-the-wealth ideas of socialism than with traditional American free-markets. And he is proceeding to implement these long held ideas, with one policy after another calling for socialistic redistribution of wealth, increased government control, and the appointment of advisers (and czars) who have socialist and even communist views. This should not be surprising when you look at his friends and associates throughout his life. One of his earliest mentors was a communist, and during his formative years he ran with socialists, communists, and even terrorists.
The Mental Disease Of Anti-Semitism
This disease was also identified by Paul Johnson, a journalist, historian and author who noted it was closely associated with the mental disease of anti-Americanism. Mr. Johnson writes:
"No less worrying, to my mind, is a related European phenomenon — namely anti-Americanism. I say 'related' because anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism have proceeded hand in hand in today's Europe just as they once did in Hitler's mind (as the unpublished second half of Mein Kampf decisively shows). Like hatred of Jews, hatred of Americans can similarly be described as a form racism or xenophobia, especially in its more vulgar manifestations. But among academics and intellectuals, where it is increasingly prevalent, it has more of the hallmarks of a mental disease, becoming more virulent, widespread and intractable ever since the United States began to shoulder the duties of the war against international terrorism." (For Mr. Johnson's full discussion see his brilliant article in Commentary magazine, "The Anti-Semitic Disease" (June 2005), available on the Internet at the magazine's Web site.)
Here again, the case against Mr. Obama is made by weaving together his life-long associates, his appointments to the White House, and his policies. First, consider his long association with anti-Semites such as the before mentioned Rev. Wright, well known as a virulent anti-Semite. In addition, there is Louis Farrakhan, famous for his statement about the "wicked and evil Jew" and about Judaism being a "gutter religion." Mr. Obama had no trouble working with him and supporting his program. And there is his close association with William Ayres, the admitted terrorist. The two also served on the Woods Foundation, where they worked together to provide money for the Palestinian activists. Then he started further associations with Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) types and anti-Israelis such as Rashid Khalidi (who actually worked for the PLO) and Edward Said of Columbia University. Mr. Khalidi, who supported suicide bombings and terrorism, actually held a fundraiser for Mr. Obama during one of his campaigns. Mr. Obama also attended functions of Mr. Khalidi's Arab American Action Network where he could soak up the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic philosophy of that organization. This anti-Israel, anti-Semitic posture was reflected in his recent comparison between the Holocaust and the dislocation of Palestinians. Criticism of Israel is perfectly legitimate, but the criticism coming from the likes of suicide-bombing and terrorist supporters typically is a thinly disguised cover for anti-Semitism and is coupled with outright anti-Semitism.
Then there are his appointees and advisers. For example, Samantha Powers, a top advisor, while working for Mr. Obama recommended cutting off all aid to Israel and giving it to the Palestinians. She also recommended invading Israel to force a peace settlement. None of that seemed to bother Mr. Obama or his people. But when she called Hillary Clinton a "monster," only then was she forced to resign. There is Robert Malley, another advisor, and a great supporter of terror organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah, with a long record of anti-Israel positions.
When you look at his policies, right from the beginning they have had a heavy flavor of anti-Israeli proposals. The treatment of Israel unlike all other nations, denying to the Jewish state the rights accorded all other nations, is a form of anti-Semitism. Mr. Obama and his administration are more concerned with Jews building settlements in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel than in Muslim terrorists shooting rockets into Israel. It is though Israel has no right of self-defense. In fact, pressuring Israel to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority (PA), which denies Israel's right to exist and incites hatred and terrorism against Israel and Jews, is another form of the denial of self-defense, accorded all other nations. Mr. Obama undercuts the peace process by giving the Palestinians the impression he is willing to impose conditions on Israel, regardless of what makes sense for Israel and regardless of what emerges from negotiations. The Palestinians, headed by their president, Mahmoud Abbas, were willing to negotiate until Mr. Obama started insisting on an end to settlements. Then, the Palestinians decided they would not negotiate, and awaited Mr. Obama's forcing Israel to concede on a key issue — without even negotiating. Notice that Mr. Obama does not insist on the end of terrorist attacks by the Palestinians on Israel or the end of incitement by the Palestinian government and media against Israel and all Jews. Notice how he also seems to give Muslims preferred status, as when he told the Muslim world in his Cairo speech that he would personally fight discrimination against Muslims. He made no such condemnation of the persecution of Christians and Jews often by Muslims.
In my view, the behavior of Mr. Obama's handling of the peace process in the Middle East drips with hypocrisy and anti-Semitism. Consider the latest report from David Bedein, The Bulletin's Middle East correspondent, one of the best in the business, in an article "US Middle East Envoy Mitchell Renews Talks" (Jan. 23, 2009). Mr. Bedein's report concerned Israeli protests of Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, honoring a terrorist:
"Israel's protest was prompted by a celebration sponsored by Mr. Abbas, where he participated in the naming of a square in Ramallah in honor of an Arab terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who orchestrated the 1978 highjack of a bus along the Israel coastal road north of Tel Aviv, which resulted in the mass murder of 37 Israeli civilians and one American citizen, the photographer Gail Rubin, the niece of Sen. Abraham Ribicoff, whom the terrorists shot when they landed on a beach near Ceasaria." How was the protest handled by Mr. Obama's State Department? Mr. Bedein writes "A spokesman for the American consulate in Jerusalem said there would be no comment nor any condemnation of Abbas for heaping praise on a terrorist."
When this picture all comes together, there is the clear impression, that Mr. Obama is simply too close to anti-Semitic associates, appointees and policies even if he cannot be classified as an outright anti-Semite. Birds of a feather flock together.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
If that's not enough, consider the Mayo Clinic's definition of narcissistic personality disorder: "Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. They believe that they're superior to others and have little regard for other people's feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism."
Consider some of his comments. Barack Obama said, "We are the ones we've been waiting for." He said that this is the moment the sea stopped rising and the planet started healing. That kind of self-admiring grandiosity suggests Narcissus in full view. He always makes himself central to any speech he gives. Karl Rove counted 96 times that Obama used the word "I" in his state of the union speech, and in another recent speech counter even more frequent use of "I." Remember his Ohio speech. He said, "this isn't about me. It's about you." But it was all about him. He gave us insight into his emotions and about everything else we didn't need to know. He is also hungry for admiration and adulation, and right after being smacked down by the Massachusetts senate election returns, he went back into his campaign mode, so he could hear the cheering crowds in Ohio. He is also unduly sensitive to criticism, and usually dismisses it as the "old politics."
Three Other Mental Disorders
There are three more mental diseases that afflict Mr. Obama. He's a pathological liar and also suffers from "The Talking Disease" (mistaking rhetoric for reality) and the "Could-a/Would-a/Should-a disease," first identified by talk show host Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh's disease also involves confusing rhetoric with reality, and the illusion that rhetoric automatically becomes reality. I'll discuss those three mental diseases of Obama in part two of this column to be published next week.
Herb Denenberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.orgNote: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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