Hidden Shame

Saturday, August 17, 2013
Article Tools
Print friendly
E-mail story
Tip Us Off
iPod friendly
Share Article

The motives of the Bush administration for invading Iraq in 2003 are still a mystery. All of the reasons offered, mostly claiming that Iraq may have been a danger to the United States, have been proved false. One possible explanation is that the government was embarrassed that 9/11 occurred on their watch and sought to hide humiliation by anger and violence.

Support for the idea that humiliation can lead to violence is found in a recent (2010) study of familicide: One spouse kills the other spouse and their children. Neil Websdale gathered 211 cases from all over the world. Most of the cases occurred in the last 30 or so years. The earlier cases are based mostly on press reports, but the later ones also involve much more data, coming from a wide variety of sources, such as police investigation reports and even interviews with persons who knew the family. As a result, the descriptions of the killer and his/her relationships are extremely detailed.

Websdale finds impressive support for the idea that hidden humiliation can cause violence in all of the detailed cases, a substantial majority of the 211 killers. All of these cases strongly suggest that the killer was deeply ashamed.

However, Websdale’s study also comes up with a surprise. We might assume that if a humiliated person kills, it would be in a fit of rage. That was true of the majority of the cases. However, Websdale found that a significant minority showed no anger at all. He calls this group “civic respectable” killers.

In a typical example, the family wage earner was deeply humiliated by the loss of his/her job. But he or she pretended to go to work every day while plotting the killing. It is possible that the Bush administration fits the civic-respectable pattern. After 9/11 the administration would have been plotting revenge on the killers and those that sponsored them. Failing to find a true target, they settled for Iraq.

This pattern may also hold on a much larger scale, perhaps most wars.

War-makers like Hitler seem to fit the rage pattern, but some wars don’t originate in that way. World War I, for example, looks more like the civic-respectable pattern. After the humiliating loss of the Franco-Prussian War (1871), French governments did not speak openly about the loss of French honor. Instead, for the next 43 years, they plotted war against Germany in silence. The media, however, was not silent; it was dominated by opinions on the necessity of revenge against Germany.

Perhaps we need to start examining the emotional causes of violence more closely, especially the role of hidden shame.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Oh, puh-uh-uh-uh-uh-leaze!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
August 18, 2013 at 9 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Although it sounds like a Conspiracy Theory, it does make some what sense of the collaborated mindset of Congress but the target was Afghanistan and not Iraq. Iraq was more of, "If Daddy couldn't take them down, I, George W. Bush will". I remember the then Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, state before Congress, "This conflict will be Costly in Blood and Dollars", and urged the President not to go to War with Iraq, but history proves that Mr. Donald Rumsfeld, was correct in his estimation cost for the Iraq War.

dou4now (anonymous profile)
August 19, 2013 at 6:24 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I am fluent in 3 languages, functional in several more, and yet I am unable to make any sense of the language that Mr. Scheff used for his editorial.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
August 19, 2013 at 6:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

OK, try Military-Industrial-Complex plus Israel lobby. Follow the money, right?

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
August 19, 2013 at 7:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Dubya was picked. Um, why?

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
August 19, 2013 at 7:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I have a different theory. At the end of the gulf war, Saddam Hussein was finished, The Republican guard was in complete dissarray. All Bush Sr. had to do was to easily finish him off. Yet Bush Sr. stopped short and didn't "finish the job". Saddam Hussein consolidated his control of Iraq and resumed his tyrranical ways.

I really think that GW Bush wanted to complete the job he believes that his father left unfiinished. I think he saw the elimination of Hussein as part of his legacy. He considered it his duty to uphold the honor of his family and his country.

I think he was dead wrong to do this, but I think that's closer to reality.

Botany (anonymous profile)
August 19, 2013 at 7:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

What a load of complete and utter gibberish.

If anyone has listened to Wesley Clark, Iraq was the first of a number of nations that were going to be changed to try to bring democracy (oil contracts) to the ME. 911 was the excuse to start.

Remember that the democratically elected head of Iran was overthrown by the UK and US because of oil. The Shah was installed, and everyone knows how that turned out. A disaster for Iran and the ME.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
August 19, 2013 at 8:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Agatha Christie paradigm not good. The more bases of power there are, in favor of war, the likelier it is to launch. War industries and Israel-firsters both keep a great many dancing poodles under the Big Top in D.C..

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
August 19, 2013 at 8:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Republicans are under the illusion that we're fighting for freedom because the U,S. is dropping bombs and killing people and failing to see their own conservative "small government" ideology is being torn to pieces by both major parties in the form of the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act. In other words, soldiers who weren't even born when this latest incarnation of Middle East tensions (Iraq-Kuwait thing) are dying, coming back physically and emotionally ravaged while civiliians abroad who didn't sign up for war are having the same thing happening to them, meanwhile the pro-war Hawks who approve this sin talk out one end about "fighting for our freedom" while taking away our freedoms at home. (And remember: Those maimed soldiers who come back here in pieces are losing their rights here too)

Meanwhile, people are still convinced that any politician who is Democrat, pro-abortion, and pro-gay, can't possibly be pro-war.

Any reason I vote Libertarian?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 19, 2013 at 9:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Whatever the real motives were, I think it's interesting how many Americans were rooting so hard for war, anybody who so much as raised a doubt was branded a coward, non-Patriot, and un-American. The peer pressure was worse than high school :)

So where are those true American cheerleader patriots now?

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
August 19, 2013 at 11:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

agree, and I was by chance off work in [?] late Feb or March 2003 when Colin Powell made his now-infamous effort to convince the UN Security Council that Iraq really was making nuclear weapons. My spouse and I guffawed with the French minister at Powell's lame BS and unconvincing aerial photos (it was a very weird PowerPt talk). My point is that afterward I wrote a few oped pieces criticizing USA, I howled about US wickedness AND stupidity, and even close friends and school colleagues got offended. "DrD, you lived in Europe too many years." Or, "You're a socialists" {I beamed!} Or, "if you don't love it, why not leave!" and so on.
I agree EB that the coward slur was pretty common, and remember Dan Rather, a supposed liberal, sucking-up and going pro-war. Only a very few neo-cons have admitted their astounding mistakes in pushing this ridiculous and costly and KILLING exercise.
Scheff make some good sense.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2013 at 5:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

OK, I reread it and it is still gibberish. Of course humiliation can lead to violence. So can a bad nights sleep, mental illness, and having parents that do not value education.
Let's be sure to also rail against our second biggest benefactor of international aide, Egypt, at $1.6bil per year that had free elections to create a religious government and kill Christians and now had a coup and Obama refuses to enforce the rules.
Enough of the cliche responses about your stand against the war DD: "Love it or leave it", "You're Socialists" etc. I too was vocal against killing anyone except the Saudi's and a ton of the Jihad Muslims that bombed us and our entire government let us down including the most ineffective Secretary of State in my tenure and new again darling for President, Hillary Clinton.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2013 at 6:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

no no Italian, it's not about "the cliche responses about your stand against the war DD" -- despite your derisive tone, it's about how easily fooled most Americans are. Did you vote for that rascal Bush, the war criminal, what? once or twice? Get off your high horse, oh man who speaks three languages fluently blah blah

DrDan (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2013 at 12:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The US attack on Iraq had nothing to do with Saddam Hussein, according to the CIA asset who had been communicating intelligence between Hussein and CIA agent Richard Fuisz, Susan Lindauer. Iraq ambassador Dr. Sayeed Hassan had offered intelligence on Al Queda and a middle-east link to the Oklahoma City bombings, financial records, and had offered to allow the FBI to operate a task force in Iraq. Nine months before 9/11, Iraq agreed to have the FBI come into Baghdad with the authority to conduct terrorism investigations, interview witnesses, and make arrests. After 9/11, Iraq agreed to give financial records on al-Queda to the US, dedicate economic reconstruction contracts to US corporations with preferential treatment, and give the US preferential contracts in telecommunications, health care, pharmaceuticals, and transportation.
A US-Iraq alliance would have been a disaster for Israel.
People who ignore Susan Lindauer's statements can't really ignore the fact that 5 Mossad agents were in place to videotape the attacks on the Twin Towers live before the first plane strike, were celebrating after the attacks, were arrested, and posted the video online immediately afterward. Netanyahu's comment that the attacks were very good for Israel is also impossible to ignore.
The Project for a New American Century also mentions the invasion of Iraq, as well as covert activities in other countries to incite attacks against the US and justify future US wars.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2013 at 3:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

DD-drink some caffeine and jump start your uptake. You know damn well I did not vote one time for Bush, who up until Obama was the worst president in my time in America.
And those are just the languages that I am fluent in, I've never counted the number that I can read and get by with...I'll stop now lest I humiliate you and drive you to murder someone...
I railed against Bush invading Iraq since we all knew, including dear Hilary, that Iraq had nothing to do with 911. Sadam was necessary for stabilizing the rat hole middle east and Bush destabilized the whole planet with his stupidity. And even though Obama is responsible for the miracle of Arab Spring, that great rebirth of Muslim egalitarianism(except for Christians of course), without the Bush debacle our current over matched leader would not have been in a position to further screw up the world.
Geez 14, just when some of your posts near sanity you throw in the Israel Conspiracy bizarreness. Yea, talk about being kissin' cousins to the Truthers...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2013 at 6:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

italiansurg: I didn't mention any Israel Conspiracy. The arrest record is public record, the youtube video is public. New York Superior Court records.The agents who were arrested sued the government and lost, Netanyahu's comment is recorded in the media. If you think stating historical facts is a Conspiracy bizarreness, you're paranoid in addition to biased. I didn't draw any lines between any of these facts or offer any interpretation or extrapolation, and they exist independent of my knowledge of them.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2013 at 6:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Italianbergsteeeen, I believe you! Just because a lot of Israelis are Jewish, and a lot of American Jews are politically involved, influential and rich, doesn't mean that any kind of "Israel Conspiracy" is anything other than arrant, anti-hebeprenic bizarreness of minuscule Goyishekopfen.

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2013 at 9:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Italiansberg: I also saw plainly without prompting that "Loose Change" and other "Thruther" vehicles were deliberate untruths. And I'm sufficiently sub-paranoid to see that not all such were deliberately "poisoning the well" for Jewry's sake, but that many were classic omni-conspiratorialsts, all to ready to lay ALL to the feet of the elected government. But nevertheless, oy vey!

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2013 at 9:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

BTW, Italiansurg, overall, I appreciate your postings very much, and harbor no personal animus toward you. Keep on speaking "your truth," please! (Not that you otherwise wouldn't, of course.)

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2013 at 10:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

That's some kinda' cool and weird s--t AT...

The simple fact 14 is that most of the butt heads that blew up the towers carried Saudi passports and our incompetent FBI had prior knowledge about these morons learning to fly and did nothing about the information. Maybe we should find out how many people ate carrots that morning or took aspirin...The rest is just hubris. How and in which way is this biased?

I'm a bigger believer in incompetence and keeping things simple, rather than grand schemes and conspiracies, as logical explanations for this sort of thing. And now we are watching Obama waffling over Syria and Egypt while contradicting both his own statements and our law. Oy Vey infinity...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
August 26, 2013 at 1:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

event calendar sponsored by: