Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Psycho-Biological Basis for Image Leverage and
the Case of Israel
By Denis G.
Al-Jazeerah: CCUN, June 14, 2010
Psycho-biological basis for image
leverage – General model
Family and friends keep the First World financial-corporate elite bosses
from murdering brown people in the developing world. Not directly of course
but via a psycho-biological survival reflex: We don’t feel secure living
with overt psychopaths.
In other words, for the elite bosses to
continue practicing genocidal predation for power and profit it is necessary
that the predation be cast in a false cover of humanitarian aid, democratic
development, solidarity, progress, and the like, and that the most overtly
murderous practices be cast as necessary in a fight against evil.
sufficient care is not taken to secure this cover of mental imagery, then
the bosses’ actions will appear more to be what they are, murderous and
psychopathic, and the bosses’ children may not feel comfortable sitting on
the bosses’ laps and the bosses’ partners may not feel comfortable sleeping
in the same bed…
Actually, this problem is solved within the elite
nuclear family with a strong family culture of elitism and racism. And it is
solved in the bosses’ communities of friends with a strong community culture
of classism, elitism, and racism.
But these gated communities are not
hermetic. The elite classes have contacts and interactions with the more
vibrant broader society. That’s where things get tricky. If the broader
society sees the bosses as being psychopathic then by reflection the gated
community will see itself as defective and this will represent a serious
challenge to its self-image and to its sense of security.
reaction is for the gated community to further isolate itself, to deepen its
elitism, classism, and racism and to build higher walls around its community
but this strategy is not sustainable . Often, just the potential for the
broader community to develop a negative impression of the elite bosses is
enough to somewhat keep the elite psychopaths in check.
battlefield therefore is the mental environment in the broader society. The
elite bosses own the media and control the schools and the institutions.
They work hard and continuously at branding themselves and their
finance-corporate projects in a positive light. Energy extraction giants are
“green”, in fact greener than ever. Finance giants bring development to the
world – one wonders why we need NGOs. NGOs alleviate any guilt or second
thoughts from the rampages of exploitation and wholesale destruction. An
elaborate mesh of lies is constantly constructed and maintained in order to
keep the bosses hidden and their dirty work clean.
environment therefore is a place where elite forces cross swords in winning
over hearts and minds (read impulses and impressions) and where activists
can have a counter influence. People talk. Errors get through.
Interpretations go wrong. New communication platforms suffer temporary
An important tool in the activist’s arsenal is to go for
the jugular. Call murder murder and genocide genocide. Call it displacement,
extermination, and a war crime when that is what it is and name the
exploiters and murderers. Find them and name them. Expose it in the broad
society and flyer it in the gated community if you can.
blood on their hands starts to show they will want to escape the mess that
they have created. They will be more constrained than before. Having to
create appearances always caries a real price – a new standard to which the
mental environment must conform... Expose expose expose and they will need
to spend more resources than ever defending their image. And the more they
spin the more obvious it becomes that they are spinning.
So our job
is to keep them honest by bold, creative, radical and repeated affirmations
about their crimes, in the hope that their partners and children will leave
them until they come to their senses and discover inter-class and inter-race
civility, in the hope that their desires to be accepted in the broader
society will reign them in.
This model of leverage on the powerful
via public image is applicable at every level of a given control hierarchy
and in relationships between individuals, institutions, corporations, and
Individual Example – Terrorist vs. Freedom Fighter
The military understands this. An essential step in creating a killing
machine that follows orders is to separate him/her from his/her nuclear
family and community and to displace all self-worth evaluation in the
individual to the sole standard of following orders, to replace community
with an isolated squadron of death legitimized by orders and to demonize the
Following this, the more community-tied and morally
constrained individuals, if they don’t escape or rebel, suffer “post
traumatic stress disorder” (PTSD), no wonder. The more the war is questioned
by the broader society and the aggressor home community, the greater the
need for soldier and military-community isolation and the greater the
incidence of PTSD. “Support our troops” becomes a military exigency.
Soldiers following orders in geopolitical wars of aggression – even if
masked in aggressor-nation “self-defence,” like elite finance-corporate boss
predators and “facilitators,” are terrorists.
Similarly, an essential
step in making a suicide bomber is to kill his/her family, to separate
him/her from his/her original community, to isolate him/her both physically
and ideologically, and to replace all self-worth evaluation with liberation
through martyrdom. The difference is that the suicide bomber is fighting the
perceived killer of his/her actually-murdered family and actually-destroyed
community in a desperate act of guaranteed death, not playing a video game
from the relative safety of a helicopter gunship.
The freedom fighter
on the other hand is a self-defence fighter on home territory ,
relatively integrated with the home community during the fighting. The
freedom fighter is motivated by his/her ties with community, rather than
artificially isolated from it. As a result, freedom fighters do not suffer
PTSD but instead are strengthened by the solidarity of a community struggle
for survival. This is why the
Viet Cong and Northern
People’s Army of Vietnam were unbeatable without massive all-out nation-wide
aerial and economic destruction.
This is why US-trained and supported
“contra” forces kill community. This is why they are trained to root out and
murder all community organizers and visible leaders of civil society, to
remove the community from the freedom fighters, to destroy the motivation to
Contrary to Empire soldiers and trained killers, freedom
fighters readily move from battle to civil society and from defence to
community, without suffering overly debilitating adjustments. I have met
former civil war freedom fighters with battle scars (including a bullet hole
in the head) that were among the most adjusted, rational and authentic
community builders I have ever known, including a village mayor, an
independent war museum guide, and a community historian. Where are the
former Empire soldiers in these positions? – Few and far between.
Nation State Example –
The case of Israel
Take the case of Israel . It is the local super power in the
Middle East and the uncontested military occupier of Gaza and Palestine.
From the evidence available, the only thing keeping it from all out genocide
of the Palestinians and nuclear extermination of Muslims in the region is
public opinion in combination with Israel’s desire to be accepted as part of
the broader community of nations.
This is why Israel considers its
branding in the world a military priority, because its image limits its
military options. This is why the recent flotilla fiasco  was a national
emergency, because world opinion can tie Israel’s hands and cause the
blockade on Gaza to be lifted. This is why jam and crackers are now allowed
into Gaza, in order to alleviate public opinion leverage as the
international community demands an impartial inquiry.
This is why
Israel wants its ballet dancers to tour the world and its scientists to
exchange with international laboratories and its perfumes to sell in
supermarkets around the world, because positive image is a prerequisite for
colonial occupation and indigenous genocide. Ask Canada. Ask the US. Ask
Australia. Ask any First World nation that uses immigration labour and
practices finance-corporate colonialism.
This is why
for Palestine is such a big deal. BDS alone cannot hurt Israel’s
economy. It hurts its image. This in turn produces real leverage regarding
Israel’s treatment of Palestinians because it can affect Israel’s
relationships even to its closest allies, thereby significantly putting its
military economy at risk.
Israel’s image is so low that it is
bringing down the credibility of its allies, the US and Canada. How far can
this go before the allies want to distance themselves? This is why the
Israel Lobby in the US and Canada is part of the real battle . It must
constantly fabricate domestic US and Canadian support for Israel and
constantly battle infiltration of negative image and opinion from the rest
of the world.
Damn it’s hard to practice a proper colonial genocide
these days when the indigenous population does not collaborate and has
friends in the broader world! It’s tough being Israel.
Our job is to
make certain that all colonial exploiters and elite bosses get the image
that they deserve. In the case of Israel the violations are flagrant and the
leverage is real (thank God).
"Israelis Celebrate IDF
Flotilla Attack" - youTube.
 "Freedom is what you do with what's
been done to you." Jean-Paul Sartre.
"Rabbi Weiss Criticizes
Zionist Occupation of Palestine" - youTube.
Norman Finkelstein on the Israel-Palestine conflict - website.
"The Israel Lobby (Marije
Meerman, VPRO Backlight 2007)" - youTube.
* * *
Denis G. Rancourt
was a tenured and full professor of physics at the University of Ottawa in
Canada. He practiced several areas of science which were funded by a
national agency and ran an internationally recognized laboratory. He
published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals. He developed
popular activism courses and was an outspoken critic of the university
administration and a defender of student and Palestinian rights. He was
fired for his dissidence in 2009 by a president who is a staunch supporter
of Israeli policy. [See