The Morning Jolt

Politics & Policy

The Victim Mentality Kills

The Victim Mentality Kills

Take a good look at the Facebook post of the Ohio State University attacker.

Sure, there’s plenty of that familiar jihadist rhetoric. “America, stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah. We are not weak… By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims. You will not celebrate or enjoy any holiday.”

But what comes through most is this whining sense of victimhood, that he’s forced to commit these atrocious, barbaric attacks on innocent people out of a righteous sense of self-defense to protect his feelings.

“I am sick and tired of seeing my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters being killed and tortured EVERYWHERE. Seeing my fellow Muslims being tortured, raped and killed in Burma led to a boiling point.”

See, Muslims aren’t being killed and tortured everywhere. It would be nice if someone close to him had told him that, and if fewer people helped fuel that rage-inducing falsehood. If he ever bothered to read a book or the news about places like Syria and Iraq, he would have learned that Muslims are mostly being killed and tortured by fellow Muslims. Who does he think are the majority of ISIS victims? Who does he think are blowing up mosques from Iraq to Yemen? Who does he think blew up those Muslims in the hospital in Quetta, Pakistan, or the Syrian refugee camp in Jordan, or set off the car bombs in downtown Kabul, Afghanistan, or the minivan filled with explosives in central Baghdad? It’s not Westerners! You don’t see American communities churning out waves and waves of gleeful suicide bombers!

Burma? Burma? If you’re so mad about that, buy a plane ticket and go on a rampage over there. What, you think the students at OSU secretly control the levers of power in Naypyidaw? (That’s the Myanmar capital, and don’t feel bad, I had to look it up, too.)

He’s convinced he and his fellow members of his faith are victims of an aggressive, malevolent West.

He believes this while attending class at Ohio State University. Nobody’s oppressing him. No one’s imprisoning him without charges, trial, or appeal. Nobody’s trying to kill him. No one’s closing his mosque, or banning his faith. He’s got a better life with more opportunities, freedom, and material abundance than probably 90-some percent of his fellow Muslims around the world. And he still thinks he’s a victim of a malevolent America, and that everyone around him is a legitimate target for retribution.

He’s convinced that every Muslim around him privately agrees with him, but hides their true views from the non-Muslim world around them. He acknowledges that his fellow believers are carrying out “lone wolf attacks” and even taunts, “every single Muslim who disapproves of my actions is a sleeper cell, waiting for a signal. I am warning you, Oh America.”

Is this guy a jihadist? Sure. Even worse, he’s a whiny Millennial jihadist, who thinks that everything in life is so uniquely unfair to him, and that he’s unjustly victimized everywhere he goes. In an interview with the campus newspaper this summer, he said, “If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen. But I don’t blame them, it’s the media that put the picture in their heads.”

What, the unfair picture that any pious Muslim could be sympathetic to terrorists, a ticking time bomb, and full of murderous rage against everyone around him? Yeah, you sure showed us, pal! Allow me to float the theory that some people around this guy warily treated him like he was a nascent jihadist because he acted like a nascent jihadist.

Accounts from the scene:

Witnesses said they and dozens of others initially ran toward the car, thinking the driver might be injured in the crash. Student Armand Ghazi had heard the initial screams, so he was one of those who ran to help. But then he saw Artan – whom he described as dazed – jump from the Civic.

“He seemed like a crazed animal,” said Ghazi, a 20-year-old material-sciences engineering major from Cincinnati. “He seemed like he was determined. He seemed like he was there for one reason – to do as much damage as he could.”

Tanner Sereno, a junior studying welding engineering, also saw Artan jump from the car, swinging and slashing wildly with the knife. When another student walked to the car to help, Sereno said, “the attacker tried to grab his backpack and slash the kid from behind.”

Artan took off straight down 19th Avenue, still wielding his blade, but he didn’t get far. OSU Police Officer Alan Horujko – a 28-year-old who has been with the department since January 2015 – confronted Artan and shot and killed him there, west of College Road and near an alley, just a minute later at 9:53 a.m.

You may hear, “well, he didn’t kill anyone.” Not for lack of trying.

Of the 11 people who were hurt, two were not transported by paramedics but sought medical care on their own later.

Of five transported to Wexner, two had stab wounds, two were hit by the car and one had a laceration, Thomas said.

Two more went to OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, both hit by the car. One had orthopedic injuries and the other had a skull fracture and appeared to be in stable condition, Thomas said. At OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, two people were treated for lacerations, and another went later with injuries from the car. All are expected to survive.

It’s nice to know we can skip over the “was this workplace violence?” or “what on earth could be his true motive?” questions. One of the most maddening factors of life in the Obama era was that as soon as something like this happened, we were forced to argue that we had just seen an actual jihadist attack, instead of having to rule out every other conceivable motive.

Meet Your New Health and Human Services Secretary…

President-elect Donald Trump will nominate of Dr. Tom Price, congressman from Georgia, as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Price has written on NRO about his vision for replacing Obamacare several times.

Two big elements of his plan are purchasing insurance across state lines and tort reform.

The Empowering Patients First Act would allow the interstate purchase of insurance – a practice that is currently illegal. When companies compete across state lines, consumers have more and better options for coverage. As in all markets, this competition drives down costs and empowers families with more choices.

But a lack of competition is not the only obstacle to lowering costs. Lawsuits are another. In a recent study commissioned by Jackson Healthcare, “physicians estimate[d] the cost of defensive medicine to be in the $650 to $850 billion range, or between 26 and 35 percent of annual health care costs in the U.S.”

The practice of defensive medicine, which squanders hundreds of billions of dollars annually, is a response to an increasingly litigious society in which one in 14 physicians faces a malpractice suit every year. This creates a strong incentive to perform additional and perhaps unnecessary tests to exhaust every potential diagnosis — no matter how improbable — to buttress a defense in court. These costs are passed on to patients or to “the system.” Through creative, meaningful lawsuit-abuse reforms, our solution reduces the need for defensive medicine, resulting in lower medical bills for American families while still honoring patients’ rights.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Leader Who Will Never Go Away

This week House Democrats are expected to pick Nancy Pelosi as their leader… again.

Poor communication skills are only part of Pelosi’s problem. She’s also grown old and very rich during her time in government, slowly becoming a populist’s paranoiac fantasy before our eyes. She literally lives on “Billionaire’s Row” in San Francisco. She was a big fan of earmarks, and has been accused of steering subsidies to donors and engaging in insider trading. And voters know it, too. She’s now such an effective stand-in for out-of-control, big-spending, out-of-touch progressivism that the National Republican Congressional Committee uses her in swing-district television ads every cycle.

Which brings us back to the question at hand: Why are House Democrats keeping Pelosi in power?

In some ways, she is benefiting from her own incompetence; a smaller, more liberal House caucus is more amenable to her staying in place than a larger, more ideologically diverse one would be. The sizable Democratic majority that made her the first female Speaker of the House was built with Blue Dog Democrats such as Heath Shuler, Jason Altmire, and Brad Ellsworth, who periodically deviated from the party line on guns and abortion. Those moderate voices are gone now, wiped out in a succession of Republican waves, and the result is a more homogenous caucus with greater ideological affinity for Pelosi.

ADDENDA: Lee Habib, on Castro’s real legacy:

[Armando] Valladares would spend time in different prison camps for the next 22 years. The first, La Cabaña, forged some of the very worst memories. “Each night, the firing squad executed scores of men in its trenches,” he told the Becket Fund, which last year honored him with its Canterbury Prize, given annually to a person who embodies an unfailing commitment to religious freedom. “We could hear each phase of the executions, and during this time, these young men — patriots — would die shouting ‘Long live Christ, the King. Down with Communism!’ And then you would hear the gunshots. Every night there were shootings. Every night. Every night. Every night.”

Years passed, and the communists fixated on enrolling prisoners in reeducation programs. Valladares, still early in his sentence, was offered the chance at “political rehabilitation” but refused to comply. He was sent to an even more brutal prison, and the government ramped up its efforts to break his spirit.

“I spent eight years locked in a blackout cell, without sunlight or even artificial light. I never left. I was stuck in a cell, ten feet long, four feet wide, with a hole in the corner to take care of my bodily needs. No running water. Naked. Eight years,” Valladares recalled. “All of the torture, all of the violations of human rights, had one goal: break the prisoner’s resistance and make them accept political rehabilitation. That was their only objective.”

After nearly a decade, prison officials adjusted their terms. If Armando would simply sign a document renouncing his beliefs and embracing Communism, he could return to his family. The choice was simple: physical freedom or spiritual liberty.

“For many people, it wasn’t practical to resist. Better to sign the paper and leave,” Valladares said. “But for me, signing that paper would have been spiritual suicide.”

I suspect for some, the truth is too difficult and painful, so they cling to the narrative that’s in vogue.