The BBC reports that Israeli newspapers have printed photos of Defence Minister Amir Peretz trying to watch military manoeuvres through binoculars with the lens caps still on.
He is not the first politician to demonstrate so graphically how out of touch with reality they really are. For example, George Bush was caught in the exact same gaffe:
Now, don’t go sending me the Snopes “debunking” links. Snopes didn’t debunk this photo. They admit that they don’t know whether the photo is real or manipulated.
As it happens, Bill Clinton was caught doing the same dumb deal and he’s a lot smarter than Bush.
And then, of course, there was Ariel Sharon.
Certainly, it’s an easy mistake to make – to raise a pair of binoculars to the eyes without first taking off the lens cap – and if you are the subject of intense interest to others, there’s always going to be some over-zealous photographer catching every stupid thing you do. So Bush and Clinton and Sharon can even be excused even if we suspect that it was someone else looking out for Bush’s image who noticed the lens caps in place and removed them.
But Peretz’s gaffe seems to be a bit more than that. As the BBC pointed out, “Mr Peretz looked through the capped binoculars three times, nodding as Gen Ashkenazi explained what was in view.”
Got it? He did it THREE TIMES, all the while nodding that he understood what he was seeing.
Now, was he just posing for the camera? Probably not or he would have figured out that if he couldn’t see anything, that this meant there were lens caps on and that the photographs would show that and he would look like the dumb cluck that he is.
Keep in mind that he was supposed to be inspecting troops, watching military maneuvers with the Israeli army’s new chief of staff, Gen Gabi Ashkenazi. Whatever Gabi was gabbing about wasn’t of any interest to Peretz; that’s clear.
That means that he simply was not really interested in what was being said to him; his mind was made up, don’t bother him with the evidence.
Even though there have been a number of examples of such stupidity on the part of other politicians which have made headlines, ole Peretz wasn’t capable of remembering that or projecting into the future that he, too, might look mighty foolish.
What’s up with that?
Well, allow me to recall to mind something that Justin Raimondo wrote back in 2004:
Ron Suskind, former Wall Street Journal reporter and author of The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill, has a piece in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine that is the talk of the internet, and with good reason: it is a devastating portrait of this “faith-based” presidency, with its religio-cultural idiosyncrasies and foibles. But it is not only that. Suskind manages to capture, in a series of vivid anecdotes, the political psychopathology that motivates this administration and shapes its perception. Here is the money quote:
“In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn’t like about Bush’s former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House’s displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn’t fully comprehend – but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.
“The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'”
Sounds like ole Peretz is infected by the psychopathology of the “faith based” school of politics. He doesn’t have to SEE what is really there: he can CREATE it!
Raimondo is right: it is psychopathology. He writes further:
Conceit, as I have pointed out before, has always been the defining characteristic of the imperialistic personality, but the sort of hubris exhibited above – “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality” – goes beyond anything the world has yet seen. The maddest of Roman emperors took care to propitiate the gods, even as they accorded themselves divine status. But none dared venture their own creation myth. This is not just a new kind of American, as Professor Ryn would have it, but a new species of madmen.
But it’s not a “new species of madmen,” it is the same old problem of humanity: psychopaths.
Amos M. Gunsberg, a psychotherapist and trainer of psychotherapists in New York City, writes:
We used to call them psychopaths — these creatures that appear on our planet physically in human form, but are not human beings.
We noted they are amoral. That should have given us a clue.
We noted they do not FEEL feelings. That should have instructed us.
We noted they are heartless. That should have set off the alarm.
These creatures lack elements which distinguish the human being. They exhibit no connection with, no understanding of what we call “morality,” “honesty,” “decency,” “fair play,” etc. They lack the faculty we call empathy. They lack the faculty we call introspection.
Mankind has spent centuries trying to make sense of these creatures as some form of human being. All in vain. Not only in vain, but at enormous on-going cost to our civilization. These creatures are not human beings gone wrong. They are a different species . . . dedicated to the murder of human values . . . as a prelude to the murder of human beings . . . e.g., the tactics used by Nazis, past and present.
They laugh at us. They say: “No one understands us. People can’t put themselves in the minds of men who act without a conscience. They try to understand, but they can’t.”
These creatures do not THINK human. They do not SPEAK human. They do not know what it is to BE human.
We classify them as “humanoid.”
Yes, they have human form. If we manage to resist their onslaught long enough, we will eventually develop technical scanning equipment which will measure how different they are from human beings, despite their similarity of form.
In the meantime, the quality of our lives . . . and often our very lives . . . depends on our recognizing these creatures for what they are, and taking steps to neutralize their attempts to destroy us.
EVIDENCE OF HUMANOID BEHAVIOR
They make pronouncements without substantiation. To them, these pronouncements represent what reality is … pronouncement by pronouncement. The present pronouncement may contradict what they said a moment ago. This means nothing to them. They make no attempt to deal with the contradiction.
They demonstrate a total lack of understanding what we mean by a “fact.” In their writings and in their speech, they do not use that word.
We humans find this hard to believe. The use of facts is such a basic part of our lives. We base our conclusions and our actions on them. We go on from there to test things and establish more facts. When we debate, we present facts, and show how we derive our observations and our positions from them.
Without facts, all we have is what we call “fantasy.”
Since these creatures have a human appearance, we assume they must think like us . . . be aware of what we are aware. We think they MUST know what facts are. When they don’t address the facts, we say they are playing a game. We think they do know what the facts are, but don’t want to admit it.
Not so! They DON’T know what a fact is. When we speak of facts and ask them to address the facts, they look at us with vacant eyes. They don’t know what we’re talking about.
They study us because their strategy is to pass as human. They hear us use the words — facts, evidence, substantiation. They lack the human capacity to understand what we mean. What they do is ignore our reference to facts, ignore our requests for them to supply facts, and hope we won’t notice it’s due to their lack of comprehension. […]
For them, whatever they “declare” is what’s real. What WE call reality is not real to them. THEY “pronounce” what is to be considered real. …
I asked a psychotherapy client to look at a chair which was situated about six feet away near a wall. I then asked her to describe the chair. She did, in rather complete detail, except for the legs. THE CHAIR SHE DESCRIBED HAD NO LEGS!
I pointed this out, and asked how the chair could be suspended in air, with no legs to support it. She said: “I put it there.” I asked: “If you look away, will it fall to the floor?” She said: “No. If I look away, the chair is no longer there.” I asked: “If you look away . . . and it turns out the chair is still there?” She ignored the question.
Here’s another example. During a discussion among professionals earlier this year, the statement was made: “If enough people believe something to be true, then what they believe is what reality IS.”
A question was then asked: “There was a time when everyone, as far as we know, believed the sun revolved around the earth. Are you saying at that time the sun did, in fact, revolve around the earth . . . and it was only in obedience to a change in what people believed that the earth came to revolve around the sun?”
The question was ignored.
You might think their refusals to answer constitute an admission . . . an admission what they are saying is totally outlandish and indefensible. Experience has shown you would be wrong. Experience has shown they go right on making the same statements, even after evidence is produced to the contrary.
You see how different these creatures are? You see how far off their thinking and behavior are from human thinking and behavior?
Nothing of what WE call reality is real to THEM.
Nothing of what we call reality is REAL to them.
When a human being mentions a chair, the reference is to a chair that sits there on its own legs. It’s there whether anyone sees it or not, whether anyone mentions it or not, whether anyone “declares” it to be there or not. It’s there ON ITS OWN.
A basic element in the profile of humanoids is their lack of comprehension that anything exists on its own, separate from their say-so. They don’t SEE it. The only objects humanoids see are the ones they “declare” . . . the ones they imagine.
We use the phrase “my perception” to mean an appraisal, a measurement of something separate from ourselves. We don’t announce it as “fact.” We are open to consider other views if given facts to consider.
Humanoids use the phrase “my perception” as a buzz word. They imagine what they choose, and tell us it is their “perception” . . . which, in their minds, ESTABLISHES reality. What we call “facts” do not exist for them. That’s why they whine and claim they are being attacked whenever substantiation is requested.
Humanoids claim their statements are valid simply because they make them!!! They elaborate on this: “I honor integrity in this regard. As an egoist, I make statements which are valid to me. Validity to my ‘self’ comes first. I grant other people this same respect assuming they say things valid to themselves.”
Among human beings, for something to be deemed valid it has to be substantiated with facts. Nothing is valid simply because someone says it.
When humanoids are asked how they determine what someone says is valid to that person, and not something made up or imagined, they ignore the question.
Note the strange use of the word “integrity.” Humans define integrity as uprightness of character; probity; honesty. We refer to sticking to the facts, sticking to the truth, not selling out. Humanoids use “integrity” to mean insisting what they imagine is what’s real. No measurement. No evaluation.
When the demand is made for their pronouncements to be evaluated, they claim the confronter is the one who has no integrity . . . meaning the confronter is not upholding THEIR position: what THEY imagine is what’s real.
On what basis do they claim this? Humanoids treat the world as if it were their own private holodeck. They “declare” things into being. Everything is a hologram. They program the holograms. They interact with them in any way they choose. They have them under total control. When they decide to cancel a hologram, it vanishes.
A hologram is a hologram is a hologram. A hologram is not supposed to have the ability to think for itself. A hologram is not supposed to have the ability to measure, evaluate, appraise, etc. Most importantly, a hologram is not supposed to be able to break out of its holographic state and critique its master.
When this does happen, they first chastise it to bring it back into line. If that doesn’t work, they “vanish” it. When that fails, they run for cover by abandoning the program and calling up another one.
Experience has shown no matter what we say, no matter what we point out, no matter how much evidence is given, it has no meaning for these creatures. They have one goal: to fool us into classifying them as human so they can concentrate on murdering our human values. Without human values, the next step is murdering human beings.[…]
1. Make pronouncements without substantiation. These pronouncements are to be accepted as defining what reality is moment by moment.
2. Ignore requests to provide the basis for their pronouncements.
3. Sneer at the human valuing of facts, honesty, decency, fair play.
4. Applaud the use of lies, deceit, etc.
5. Whine they are being “attacked” whenever they are questioned. Give no explanation of what the “attack” is or of what is being attacked.
6. Do not FEEL feelings.
7. View the world as their private holodeck.
8. Apply themselves to keeping humans in their place — namely, insignificance.
Humanoids do not understand the distinction we humans make between good and evil. When they harm us, they do not understand why we call them evil. They do not understand why we have laws against murder. Their approach is to boast, even moralize over their victims.
Since they do not understand the reason for such laws, they argue they cannot be held accountable for their actions.
Not so. While they take the position the law does not apply to them, they do know the law was enacted to apply to everyone. Furthermore, if they try to claim they didn’t know there was such a law, we respond with a firmly established principle: “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”
When they use those arguments, they make it clear they will continue to operate in accordance with their structure. We may look for remorse (a human capacity). We find none. They do not think of themselves as promulgating evil. They are simply doing what it is in their structure to do. The rattlesnake does not think of itself as evil when it injects poison. It is simply doing what it is in its structure to do.
Experience has shown humanoids continue to behave in the ways of their species . . murdering human values as a prelude to murdering human beings. Nazis demonstrate this graphically.
The issue as to whether to hold them “accountable,” in our human sense of the word, has to be divided into two parts. We do not hold them accountable for BEING what they are. We do hold them accountable for the damage they DO.
When a dog gets rabies, we don’t hold the dog accountable for becoming rabid. What we do, as a matter of self-protection, is put the dog down BEFORE it bites us, BEFORE it infects us.
We do not hold the rattlesnake accountable for HAVING poison fangs. What we do, as a matter of self-protection, is kill the rattlesnake BEFORE it kills us.
So with the humanoid. We need to be on our guard at the first sign of a murder of human values.
And that seems to be why Amir Peretz doesn’t care whether the lens cap is on or off the binoculars. It is probably the same reason that Bill Clinton, George Bush and Ariel Sharon didn’t care either, although Bush had a handy PR person around to notice such things and try to make him look good by taking the caps off. Raimondo wrote:
The epistemology of modern-day imperialism gives us a glimpse into minds afflicted with a novel form of mental illness, one made possible not only by the concentration of centralized power in the American metropolis, but also by advanced technology and the evolution of the military arts. The savage thug who believes he can control reality by the use of his club – Ayn Rand called this archetype “Attila,” after the infamous Hun – has been supplanted by the Gucci-suited technocrat who believes he can create reality by simply pushing a button or issuing an order. By commanding black-winged jet fighters to blast his enemies out of existence, the modern Attila believes he is constructing a new reality, one where his whims, his prejudices, his prissy little orthodoxies have the force of natural law.
In short, the neocons are just plain crazy, albeit in a historically unique fashion. This explains a lot. It explains the peculiar stubbornness that refuses to acknowledge error, even as Iraq implodes. It explains our rulers’ utter indifference to being caught in so many lies – the disappearing “weapons of mass destruction,” the illusory “links” between Saddam and 9/11, the brazen “cherry-picking” of sexed-up intelligence, and the outright forgeries.
They aren’t lying – they’re creating “new realities.”
The militant craziness of this sort of mindset also explains the casual cruelty involved in implementing the neoconservatives’ vision of empire. It explains Abu Ghraib, not as an aberration but as the new norm. It’s okay to bomb cities filled with civilians, to lock up and torture anyone who gets in your way, all the while proclaiming that you come as a “liberator.” You always hurt the one you love – if you’re a sadist, that is.
Psychopaths, all of them.
Sooner or later, the reality this psychopathic elite think they create is going to turn around and bite them. In fact, it is already beginning to. And that is due to another psychopathic trait: the inability to remember the past or conceive of the future and the consequences of their actions.
Goaded by their character, psychopaths thirst for global power even though it ultimately condemns them to death along with millions – or billions – of others. Psychopaths do not have the capacity to understand the catastrophes that they repeatedly bring on themselves and the world. Just as germs are not aware that they will be burned alive or buried deep in the ground along with the human body whose death they are causing, so the psychopath does not understand that the only reality he is creating is the reality of his own ultimate destruction.
Originally Published 2007_02_23