Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Psychological Make-up of a Suicide Bomber

In The Psychological Make-up of a Suicide Bomber: , Joan Lachkar writes:

"Suicide bombers share many of the group dynamics of gang members. They are highly traumatized children who have been abandoned, have had severe losses, have been betrayed, and have been raised by unavailable or absent caretakers (alcoholic, abusive or violent parents). They grow up with endless, relentless rage, shame, and humiliation. Their most dominant feature is the desire to retaliate, get even, find a scapegoat (the police, a school principal, a teacher, a vulnerable new kid in the block, a victim on whom to project their most vulnerable parts."

Sounds plausible, up to a point. But only up to a point, and its very plausibility betrays its weakness, trying to explain the irrational in the easily understood terminolgy of a rational bien-pensant. And it flies in the face of what has been a central learning of recent suicide bombings and attacks in the west: - that perpetrators are often seemingly well-adjusted, non-traumatised members of the societies they want to destroy.

The blog thinks it's time for a revised psychological model to explain that fact - or, perhaps better, an admission that long-established psychological preconceptions cannot adequately explain - let alone deal with - this mentality of evil nihilism.

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