Awfulizing the Hezbo war

War always has advances and retreats. The Hezbo War is not a victory for civilized nations. but Is it a defeat? Not much of one. But human beings can make a mental defeat out of anything.

The psychologist Albert Ellis was one of the first to discover an effective "talking treatment" for depression, now called "cognitive therapy." Ellis realized that depressed people have a habit of "awfulizing" ——— interpreting small setbacks as catastrophes. Ellis demonstrated that depressed people could learn to re—think their tendency to awfulize. He taught them to tell themselves, "This is a pain in the A**, not a catastrophe."  Ellis made up the word "awfulizing" or "catastrophizing" to talk about this self—destructive mental habit.

The outcome of the Hezbo War is a pain in the anatomy but not a catastrophe. It is vital for Israel and the United States to understand the difference. Yes, it is a pain to watch "Mullah Strangelove" Ahmadinejad celebrating in Tehran. Watching Reuters, AP and BBC secretly delighted with the outcome is just as annoying. But it is very, very revealing.

Is the Hezbo War a permanent set—back? Only thinking can make it so.  Some Israeli citizens have a tendency to awfulize, in part because they are on the front lines, with loved ones in danger, and in part because of psychological exhaustion from sixty years of war. With all due respect for those who have their lives and loved ones on the line, drawing a clear line between disaster and a pain in the anatomy is essential. The IDF is still by far the strongest armed force in the Middle East, barring only the United States. Perfection is not possible in human affairs, and never in war. The Hezbo War can be a healthy shock of realism, if it is used properly.

The IDF and the US military are professionals. They are already drawing appropriate lessons. It is the political systems that must respond appropriately. We know that the radical Left has a de facto alliance with Islamic fascists. The Hezbos don't have to do their own propaganda; all the usual "news" agencies will do it for them, actively aided by the Labour Party in the UK and the Democrats in the US.

The first lesson for conservatives in the United States is to Remember the Alamo ——— a great defeat. Remember 9/11. Remember Dunkirk. Remember Pearl Harbor. Those defeats were much worse than the Hezbo War. Our ancestors turned them into slogans to rile up the homefront. So, if we must, let's remember the Hezbo War, but only to renew our resolve that Islamic fascism must go the way of all the tyrannies of the 20th century.

Awfulizing only helps the enemy.

James Lewis    8 17 06

War always has advances and retreats. The Hezbo War is not a victory for civilized nations. but Is it a defeat? Not much of one. But human beings can make a mental defeat out of anything.

The psychologist Albert Ellis was one of the first to discover an effective "talking treatment" for depression, now called "cognitive therapy." Ellis realized that depressed people have a habit of "awfulizing" ——— interpreting small setbacks as catastrophes. Ellis demonstrated that depressed people could learn to re—think their tendency to awfulize. He taught them to tell themselves, "This is a pain in the A**, not a catastrophe."  Ellis made up the word "awfulizing" or "catastrophizing" to talk about this self—destructive mental habit.

The outcome of the Hezbo War is a pain in the anatomy but not a catastrophe. It is vital for Israel and the United States to understand the difference. Yes, it is a pain to watch "Mullah Strangelove" Ahmadinejad celebrating in Tehran. Watching Reuters, AP and BBC secretly delighted with the outcome is just as annoying. But it is very, very revealing.

Is the Hezbo War a permanent set—back? Only thinking can make it so.  Some Israeli citizens have a tendency to awfulize, in part because they are on the front lines, with loved ones in danger, and in part because of psychological exhaustion from sixty years of war. With all due respect for those who have their lives and loved ones on the line, drawing a clear line between disaster and a pain in the anatomy is essential. The IDF is still by far the strongest armed force in the Middle East, barring only the United States. Perfection is not possible in human affairs, and never in war. The Hezbo War can be a healthy shock of realism, if it is used properly.

The IDF and the US military are professionals. They are already drawing appropriate lessons. It is the political systems that must respond appropriately. We know that the radical Left has a de facto alliance with Islamic fascists. The Hezbos don't have to do their own propaganda; all the usual "news" agencies will do it for them, actively aided by the Labour Party in the UK and the Democrats in the US.

The first lesson for conservatives in the United States is to Remember the Alamo ——— a great defeat. Remember 9/11. Remember Dunkirk. Remember Pearl Harbor. Those defeats were much worse than the Hezbo War. Our ancestors turned them into slogans to rile up the homefront. So, if we must, let's remember the Hezbo War, but only to renew our resolve that Islamic fascism must go the way of all the tyrannies of the 20th century.

Awfulizing only helps the enemy.

James Lewis    8 17 06