Thursday, 06 October, 2016

Terrorism, the Psychosis of the Century

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By: Abdolreza Ghofrani, Senior international analyst

The slaying of some people by a youngster in Munich through the past few days topped the news of global mass media and a theme for different analyses. The mass media, as usual, initially, attributed this incident to terrorists’ acts, and given the various aspects, among them the nationality of this young killer, tried to draw their own conclusions. Fortunately, however, the timely and wise as well as realistic way taken by the government of Federal Republic of Germany to investigate carefully and conspicuously the homicide, the reasons of this act and motivations of the murderer were soon revealed and were made public. Certainly, the appropriate reactions and vigilance of German officials stopped the misperceptions and eventual speculations and gossips that might concern world public opinion.

There is, however, an important point in this incident deserving in-depth survey and that is the psychological and emotional aspects that might have pushed this young man to kill a number of innocent individuals; the full details of the story, reportedly, have been given by German authorities. Two weeks ago after the heartbreaking deadly episode in Nice, France, this author had explicitly pointed to and reaffirmed the emotional motivations for homicide, and in particular terrorism. Now the Munich incident has upheld this viewpoint and so, certainly, it is worthy to be dealt with care and be given much more attention. Regardless their political ideology, race, ethnic and nationality, undoubtedly the terrorists and everybody who commit homicide and destructive actions need to be psychologically and sociologically surveyed; unfortunately this has not so far been given the importance it deserves. Hence, now focusing on this fledgling phenomenon of the present century is far too compulsory. We cannot but admit that, given the complicacy the human mental and personality, this is a very hard and lingering venture. It is quite possible that with rapid advancement of electronics or social networks, a man turns into a creature without will and takes very drastic actions that we can witness nowadays. Naturally for doing such a complex task, the collective work and cooperation of every country is needed. The murder of innocent people by the terrorists now is not because these killers believe a special ideology. Everyone can remember that other than the recent sad Munich slaughter by a young man, just a few months back a young and apparently responsible copilot due to imminent mental and emotional disorder caused a disastrous plane crash, taking the lives of tens of passengers. For sure, that copilot was not in quest of a particular political goal.

In psychology and psychiatry, it is believed that there are hidden personality and mental disorders in some people, although they may apparently seems quite normal being healthy minded; but these types of personalities may unexpectedly commit inhuman and savage behaviors. There is no exception in this as far as the countries, groups and ethnics are concerned and it can happen anywhere and at any time by any individual. By study of psychobiography of some former leaders of countries, this has been bluntly proved to be true. A good example is Khmer Rouge Leader in Cambodia “Pal Pot” in seventies. A well French educated person, writing poems, he supposedly did have “love for mankind” emotions!! being very affectionate and kind. How on earth this kind hearted and compassionate individual was motivated to commit mass murders of millions of his fellow citizens which have been unprecedented in the mankind history. What Pal Pot did was nothing but genocide and terrorism. In addition to psychological motivations for these savage acts, it is now quite well known that, regrettably, there are some organizations and the governments that wittingly and with well measured planning abuse the mental disorders and ill motivations of such people and train them for killing and destruction. They do this just to achieve their international and political goals.1

Another issue which has been time and again reaffirmed by many and this author have reiterated repeatedly is the unavoidability control of arm sales and making sure of the “end users”.

At present the manufacturers and vendors of different kind of arms has no objective but to sell their lethal products to those who, as referred to earlier, exploit and train people for killings that just serve their gloomy political goals. These arms mercantilists do not care for the lives of innocent people and they just think of their own benefits. The new polls over the past few days have showed that 75 percent of the people of the United States approve the tight restrictions for possession and carrying guns. It, though, seems that this call  of the people has gone, so far, unheeded The right to keep and bear arms as everybody knows take many victims every days in the United States.

It is worthy to note again that fighting terrorism is certainly beyond the power and capacity of one or a few countries. This needs to be elaborated, decided and executed within the United Nations. Now certainly the time has come that in addition to restrictions on arms sales, the UN with cooperation of all well intended states need to proceed serious actions, taking stocks of their experiences and capacities, and thus work out “short and long term measures” to challenge the gloomy phenomena of this century. Albeit the psychological aspects of this great venture should not be excluded in their comprehensive plans.

To sum up, now everybody is quite anxious of terrorism and has been hurt by this nasty episode. If terrorism takes the innocent lives in Germany, France and the United Sates, just a few days ago tens of innocent Afghans lost their lives more brutally by cowardice actions of these professional killers. So this gloomy phenomenon in omnipresent and should be out rooted everywhere.

1- See Political Psychology in International Relations, by Rose McDermott (this book translated into Farsi by Abdolreza Ghofrani and did appear in serials in Asr Diplomacy  

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1 Comment

  1. Amir

    July 28, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    Or it is the human’s creative ideas. In the past 65 years or so, since WWII, in every land of laws, god has been taken as hostage or he has been put on long vacation. Since the dawn of Zoroastrian all the way to modern era, god was always the fear factor of every mind and souls everywhere on earth. After WWII, the controllers in the land of laws had to create fear in order to dominate their existence. Starting with the creation of communism, Socialism, Terrorism, and now Islamism, the governors of land of laws could control countries by fear factors. Fear from Communist Soviet Union and the manmade Coup d’état in Iran , fear from Communist Soviet Union and the segregation of Korea, fear from a semi modern Communist country like China and the invasion of Viet Num, and to the last one, the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan in the name of Terrorism.
    We should always have in mind that for past 3000 years or so, god was always the controllers over every human mind; his mighty powers are so strong that he can see us everywhere- even in our privets. Now the question is how “law” can be used or abused to control minds and souls of law abiding citizens in the land of laws; more fears. We are now in era of so-called unwanted and extreme Islamism, but how long the controllers in the land of laws are going to stretch the rhetoric of none-sense bad Islam to their public.
    Law will come short when all options are exercised and exhausted. God will eventually be the winner even a person may choose otherwise. I wished law could continue without the creation of fear factors. But, the way events are unfolding, manmade or not, the law abiding citizens should reconsider introducing the god of Moses, Jesus, and Mohammad again. The only fear factor is the one that cannot be touched or destroyed, that’s the god of all, the one that you feel rather fear.

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