Thursday, August 17, 2006


Paranoia is Alive and Well

Jonah Goldberg, writing in the Los Angeles Times today (August 17, 2006), conflates the feeling behind the Nazi program of exterminating the Jews of Europe during WW-2 with the feeling behind Islamic fundamentalist desire to get rid of Israel. He argues that in each case, the feeling was or is not racial or religious hatred, but rather fear. The Nazis really believed that the Jews were vary powerful and had brought on the depression and other problems that the Germans suffered from in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Goldberg writes that the Nazi paranoia about Jews is similar to Muslim paranoia about Jews, particularly Israel.

Jonah Goldberg is an American Conservative and should know a lot about paranoid, irrational fear. Many American Conservatives are well-known for their own paranoid fears. Before Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the USSR and presided over its demise, these Conservatives feared International Communism. We now know that they greatly exaggerated the power of the USSR and of Communist parties in other countries. These same Conservatives now have another bugaboo to fear: International Terror. Their hysterical fear of Terrorism and formerly of Communism is certainly as great as the purported Islamic fear of Judaism.

This fear, or hysteria, leads our native Conservatives to lash out against anything that they perceive may be related to the thing they fear. Thus, Mr. Bush had no problem selling Conservatives on his war with Iraq. Conservatives still defend the war as a necessary fight against international Terror, even though there is ample evidence that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with various terrorist attacks on the United States.

To Jonah Goldberg and other Conservatives I say, “Do not look too closely at the paranoid fears of others until you have confronted your own paranoid fears.”
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