Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Psychology Of MidEast Terrorism

It is difficult to nail down a single psychological mindset that dominates the terrorist mind. But a sense of alienation, persecution and hopelessness seem to be dominant traits among many attracted to this extremist philosophy.

Some like Moussaoui who is on trial are merely paranoid schizophrenics, who feel an abnormal sense of persecution, and strikes back in a violent and disorganized manner. Others in the MidEast are more accepting of the reality of Israel, or that poverty in their own nations is not likely to improve very soon. For these persons life simply goes on. They raise a familiy, find a job, have a home. But some like Moussaoui look to find a "victimizer" to hold responsible, whether that be Israel or the United States. But since the "inner demons" of the paranood schizophrenic mind are never given treatment, acts of violence only offer a transitory sense of relief from the paranoid delusions of persecution and emotional pain.

And some like Al Qaeda'a Iraqi leader, Abu Musab al-Zarkawi seem to have their very own sense of values, norms, sense of empathy, and other values. Some like Zarkawi seem to be more of a psychopath or even have a sociopathic lack of sense of caring about what is right or wrong.

But entire organizations such as Hamas have a strange sense of radicalism that does attempt to achieve advances through negotiation or dialogue with Israel, and only sustains big military losses as a result of support for cowardly terrorist acts against Israeli civilian targets that prove to be easy victims. Jordan today is very angry that a large cache of Hamas rockets was found hidden in Jordan to be used against Israeli civilians.

The PLO grew from a terrorist organization into a place of power as the main representatives of the Palestinian people. The Fatah Party as an outgrowth of it's PLO roots was able to achieve both power for itself as well as successful advancements in policy towards the Palestinian people. By comparison, there is no sense of seeking this place of power in negotiations with Hamas. Hamas is so radical that only violence satisfies many of it's followers, although every act of violence sets back Palestinian goals and the MidEast Peace Process futher.

Even the psychology of the WWII German Nazi Party was to capture land, and seek a treaty with the U.S. or other states for a cease fire to hold onto these holdings. Ultimately this could not be trusted. But it was at least an implied short-term goal. Hamas seeks only to do what appears to be in it's own worst interests. Instead of having achievements to show like the PLO outgrowth party, Fatah, Hamas has a strange psychology that risks it's own destruction when it steps over the line of violence with Israel. To any logical outside observer, this makes no sense at all. Unlike Fatah, Hamas proves itself basicly unable to rule the Palestinian people and threatens their well-being by provoking acts of violence likely to draw a sharp reaction from Israel once their patience wears off.

The Hamas psychology of winning by losing big makes little sense to most in the world. The psychology of terrorism is indeed a very strange one, but glued together by a common sense of alienation and frustration.


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