America’s Stockholm Syndrome
The Norrmalmstorg robbery occurred in 1973, when two bank robbers took three women and one man hostage during a heist. The incidence endured six days during which time the hostages were ensnared with a trap that would strangle them if they were gassed, they were under constant threat of death. The hostages later reported that they felt more threatened by police than by their captors. When police finally rescued them they resisted police rescue efforts. Later at the trial the former hostages refused to testify against their tormentors. The male hostage set up a legal defense fund for the kidnapping bank robbers. The case was headline news in Sweden and women watching the news became enamored by the handsome good looks of one of the robbers, in fact, he became engaged to one of the his admirers. Odd behavior indeed, however such reactions by victims to their tormentors is fairly common and even has a name, it is called Stockholm Syndrome.
Today Stockholm Syndrome refers to a victim of kidnapping, (or other entrapment situation,) who is incapable of escaping a life-threatening situation. The victim has no source of protection or escape and as a defense mechanism, creates an emotional bond to the captor. By seeing the world through the abuser’s perspective, the victim discovers how to please the abuser, thus creating a bond, and achieving a greater degree of security. Patty Hearst is a classic American example of the syndrome.
But I see another example on a far grander scale and it has gone unnoticed. Since terrorists struck the WTC and the Pentagon in 2001 and subsequently the war in Iraq, many Americans seem to be making great efforts to embrace Islam to prove America is not anti-Islamic. Is this to convince ordinary Muslims or radicalized Muslims bent on the destruction of Western civilization? I believe the latter. In much the same way a hostage might try to bond with their tormentor, many Americans are trying to see the world through radical Islam’s perspective in an unconscious effort to gain security against radical Islam’s threat.
Look around at what is happening in America. Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has said, “Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury,” and more famously, “Israel must be wiped off the map,” was invited to speak at Columbia University. This same evangelist of hate was invited to a softball chat with Larry King, where he was treated like any other political interviewee. And of coarse a candidate with an Islamic name was swept into the presidency. A coincidence? Perhaps, or perhaps there was an unconscious reaction to his name. Certainly President Obama has been begging for Islamic love since inauguration day. BTW, has anyone else noticed that Obama seems to have spent almost as much time in Muslim nations as he has here in the U.S.
But how deep does this psychology run? I cannot answer that question definitively but one big hint comes when we examine the proposed memorial to United Flight 93 in Somerset, Pennsylvania. We all know the heroic story of Flight 93, Islamic terrorists seized control of the plane, turned it back toward Washington, D.C. where they intended to crash to plane into a government building. Passengers took the initiative and although they lost their own lives they saved the lives of those on the ground in D.C. as well as the U.S. Capitol Building.
Congress tasked the National Park Service with creating an appropriate memorial to the victims of the Flight 93 hijacking. When plans for the memorial were finally released in September 2005 it was called the “Crescent of Embrace” and bore a shocking resemblance to the crescent symbol of Islam. Not only did it look like the Islamic Crescent but it was called a Crescent which certainly appears to be an Islamic reference. To deny this is to be insincere. Thus after years of intense opposition, mostly from flight 93 passenger Tom Burnett Jr.’s father, the designer, Paul Murdock, made changes to the design.
What changes were made were superficial. The crescent was narrowed to make it more “circle-like” and the name waqs changed. On the National Park Service website there is an interview with Paul Murdock. In the interview Murdock dismisses the controversy, “These allegations are self-serving propaganda driven by a closed-minded ideology that is blind to new meaning and form. Our design is an original and distinctly American memorial that honors the 40 heroes of United Flight 93.” I’m sorry but I must be blind to “new meaning and form.” The form clearly references images of terror. The violent acts of 9/11 were committed in the name of Islam. Had these acts been committed in the name of Christ, there is no doubt in my mind that regardless of natural landforms, (Murdock defended the crescent shape as having been dictated by the natural landform,) there would not be any hint of a cross shape in the memorial design.
Murdock’s statement angered me on several levels. He began by accusing the design’s opposition of having a “self-serving” agenda. What might this agenda be? We are offended that the memorial unintentionally or not celebrates the ideology that motivated those violent acts in 2001. Next he made what I think is a very telling comment. He accused opponents of the design of being driven by a “closed-minded ideology.” This was the statement that led me to understand the design was not an unintentional nod to Islam.
He has consistently insisted on the crescent design and in calling Tom Burnett a close-minded idealogue, he revealed his own agenda. You see, if Mr. Murdock had accidentally offended families of the victims and millions of Americans and he were not an idealogue himself, he would have removed the accidental symbolism. However, not only did he not remove the crescent he insisted it remain the focal point in the memorial’s design. So who is “driven by a closed-minded ideology?” (Visit this website if this outrages you as much as it does me.) I say it is Paul Murdock and I contend he is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, just like millions of other Americans, likely including, even our President.
Meanwhile our President is once again making the rounds trying to please the Islamic world. No trip to Israel, no, that might erase some of the good-will President Obama has built among Muslims. However, you cannot win over the radical hate-mongering Muslims no matter how hard you try. Just like the aliens in the movie Independence Day they only want us to die. Mr. President, did you miss the latest video from our misunderstood Islamic friends? You can try to make friends with your tormentors but in the end they will kill you just the same.