Khamenei Wants to Put Iran’s Stamp on Reprisal for U.S. Killing of Top General

In a departure from Iran’s usual tactics of hiding behind proxies, the country’s supreme leader wants any retaliation for the killing of a top military commander to be carried out openly by Iranian forces.

In the tense hours following the American killing of a top Iranian military commander, the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made a rare appearance at a meeting of the government’s National Security Council to lay down the parameters for any retaliation. It must be a direct and proportional attack on American interests, he said, openly carried out by Iranian forces themselves, three Iranians familiar with the meeting said Monday.

It was a startling departure for the Iranian leadership. Since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979, Tehran had almost always cloaked its attacks behind the actions of proxies it had cultivated around the region. But in the fury generated by the killing of the military commander, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, a close ally and personal friend of the supreme leader, the ayatollah was willing to cast aside those traditional cautions.

The nation’s anger over the commander’s death was on vivid display Monday, as hundreds of thousands of Iranians poured into the streets of Tehran for a funeral procession and Mr. Khamenei wept openly over the coffin.

After weeks of furious protests across the country against corruption and misrule, both those who had criticized and supported the government marched together, united in outrage. Subway trains and stations were packed with mourners hours before dawn, and families brought children carrying photographs of General Suleimani.

A reformist politician, Sadegh Kharazi, said he had not seen crowds this size since the 1989 funeral of the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

“We are ready to take a fierce revenge against America,” Gen. Hamid Sarkheili of the Revolutionary Guard, declared to the throng. “American troops in the Persian Gulf and in Iraq and Syria are within our reach.”

No negotiations or deal, only war with America,” students chanted in an online video from a university campus.

A renowned eulogist and member of the Revolutionary Guard, Sadegh Ahangaran, exhorted the funeral crowds to raise their voices so “damned America can hear you” and to “wave the flags in preparation for war.”

The increasingly public vows of direct action on Monday constituted Iran’s latest act of defiance to President Trump. Over the weekend the president had repeatedly threatened to retaliate for any attacks against American interests by ordering airstrikes against as many as 52 potential targets, one for each of the American hostages held after the seizure of the United States embassy in Tehran in 1979.

In response, Iran’s moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, on Monday responded with his own numerology. “Those who refer to the number 52 should also remember the number 290,” he said on Twitter, a reference to the 290 people killed in 1988 in the accidental downing of an Iranian airliner by an American warship. “Never threaten the Iranian nation,” Mr. Rouhani added.

Where, when and even if Iran may choose to retaliate remains a matter of speculation. As Iranian leaders weighed just what form it might take, analysts said the targets included American troops in neighboring Syria and Iraq, American bases in the Persian Gulf or American embassies or diplomats almost anywhere.

When previous attempts at direct strikes or assassinations have proved unsuccessful, some noted, Iranian-backed militants have turned to the simpler tactic of killing civilians with terrorist bombs.

This was the sequence in 2012 with the Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah. After failing in attempts to attack Israeli targets or kill Israeli officials in revenge for the killing of one of the group’s leaders, the militants eventually settled on the easier job of bombing a bus load of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, said Afshon Ostovar, a scholar of Iran at the Naval Postgraduate School.

“We are in uncharted territory, and the truth of the matter is nobody knows how Iran is going to respond. I don’t think even Iran knows,” Mr. Ostovar said. “But I think there is a blood lust right now in the Revolutionary Guards.”

In Iraq, where the Parliament had earlier called for the immediate expulsion of the 5,000 American troops stationed there, Prime Minister Mahdi on Monday listed steps to curtail the troops’ movements.

While plans were being made for departure of the Americans, he said, they will now be limited to “training and advising” Iraqi forces, required to remain within the bases and barred from Iraqi air space.

Mr. Mahdi met with Matthew Tueller, the American ambassador to Iraq, on Monday, and “stressed the need for joint action to implement the withdrawal,” according to a statement and photo released by Mr. Mahdi’s office. He also emphasized Iraq’s efforts to prevent the current tensions between Iran and the United States from sliding into “open war.”

The United States military stirred a media flurry by accidentally releasing a draft letter that seemed to describe imminent plans to withdraw from Iraq. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. William H. Seely III, the commander of the United States forces in Iraq, wrote to the Iraqi government that the American troops would be relocated “to prepare for onward movement.”

“We respect your sovereign decision to order our departure,” he wrote.

But Defense Department officials played down the significance of the letter. “Here’s the bottom line, this was a mistake,” General Mark A. Milley, President Trump’s top military commander, told reporters at the Pentagon during a hastily called press briefing. “It’s a draft unsigned letter because we are moving forces around.”

“There’s been no decision whatsoever to leave Iraq,” Mark T. Esper, the defense secretary, told reporters. “There’s been no decision made to leave Iraq. Period.”

Although the Trump administration has said that the United States killed General Suleimani because he was planning imminent attacks against American interests, there were indications Monday that he may have been leading an effort to calm tensions with Saudi Arabia.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi of Iraq said that he was supposed to meet with General Suleimani on the morning he was killed, and that he expected him to bring messages from the Iranians that might help to “reach agreements and breakthroughs important for the situation in Iraq and the region.”

In Washington, two top Senate Democrats urged President Trump early Monday to declassify the administration’s formal notification to Congress giving notice of the airstrike that killed General Suleimani.

Such notification of Congress is required by law, and to classify the entirety of such a notification is highly unusual.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, and Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said in a joint statement that it was “critical that national security matters of such import be shared with the American people in a timely manner.”

And Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, urged Mr. Trump’s critics not to jump to conclusions. “Unfortunately, in this toxic political environment, some of our colleagues rushed to blame our own government before even knowing the facts,” he said.

For its part, Iran simultaneously continued a months-long push against the Trump administration over its demands that Tehran submit to a more restrictive renegotiation of a 2015 accord with the Western powers over its nuclear research. The Trump administration has sought to pressure Iran by devastating its economy with sweeping economic sanctions, which Iranian officials have denounced as economic warfare.

The sanctions set off the cycle of attacks and counterattacks that culminated last week in the killing of General Suleimani. Iran has also responded with carefully calibrated steps away from the deal’s limits on its nuclear program. On Sunday, Iranian officials said that they had now abandoned all restrictions on the enrichment of uranium, though they said they would continue to admit inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Amid the emotion of the funeral, some called for vengeance that would remake the region. “Even if we attack all of U.S. bases and even if we kill Trump himself it’s not enough revenge,” Brig. Gen Amir Ali HajiZadeh said at the funeral. “We must totally eliminate all U.S. troops from the region.”

For now, Iranian officials seem to be in no rush to strike back against the United States, possibly enjoying their ability to spread anxiety throughout the West. They seem content to

  • bask in the nationalist surge in their popularity,
  • growing international sympathy and the push to
  • expel the American troops from Iraq.

“I don’t think they want to shift the conversation yet,” said Sanam Vakil, a scholar of Iran at Chatham House, a research center in London.

But for the hard-liners who dominate the Iranian National Security Council, she said, some vigorous retaliation would be the only rational response. “A non-response would appear weak and invite further pressure, creating problems in domestic politics and internationally,” she said.


Joe Rogan Experience #1070 – Jordan Peterson

which which way these people are
thinking and why they think yeah well
and bad as that is and rife with
conflict as that is the alternative is
to separate as you pointed out into two
camps that don’t talk yes and the thing
is the the consequence of not talking is
that you fight that that’s the end game
because the only way you can stop from
fighting with other people is by
negotiating with them and you know one
of the things that’s also interesting
and this is partly why Silicon Valley
leans to the left is that a fair bit of
your political preference is determined
by your biological temperament it’s a
strongly influenced so if you’re a
creative type who’s kind of disorderly
then you’re likely to be on the liberal
left end of the distribution and if
you’re a non creative type who’s orderly
and and especially if your orderly then
you tend to be on the right-wing end of
things and so and well why is that why
do those variations exist well they
exist because some of the time your best
strategy is to do what other people have
done and shut the hell up
and just do it run the algorithm write
the pathways already laid clear it works
stay in the damn rut and move forward
okay so that’s the conservative approach
and when things are going right it’s the
right approach the problem is is that
sometimes it’s not the right approach
because something is shifted and so
something new has to emerge and so then
there’s a bunch of people who are
adapted to the new and those are the
entrepreneurial and creative types and
of course they dominate Silicon Valley
because it’s a very entrepreneurial it’s
a very entrepreneurial what would you
call it geography and so they’re gonna
lean to the left but they have to
understand people have to understand
that the left and the right need each
other the Liberals and the Conservatives
need each other liberals start companies
conservatives run them and the problem
with the Conservatives is well they can
only run a company in one direction
because they’re conservative they don’t
think outside the box but so if the
company is working in the product line
is good and every
stable like hire some conservatives
because they’ll maximize efficiency and
then move down that track but if the
track is no longer going in a good
direction because something’s change the
environments change well then you gotta
bring in the creative people and so we
need each other and the only way that we
can survive the fact that we’re
different and the fact that we need each
other is by continually talking they
have talked constantly it’s like well
how much of what we’re doing should we
preserve versus how much of what we’re
doing should we transform and the answer
is we don’t know because the environment
keeps changing so what do we do about
of so there’s this theory it’s a lovely
theory that’s laid out right at the
beginning of the Bible that says that
if you tell the truth you transform the
potential of being into a habitable
actuality that’s how it works so we say
well how do you want it how do you make
the world better tell the truth because
the world you bring into being as a
consequence of telling the truth will be
a good world and I believe that’s true I
think it’s true metaphorically I think
it’s true theologically and I think it’s
true like at the practical and
scientific level as well I think it’s
true and all those levels simultaneously
so that’s been ridiculously exciting to
just sort through I think this notion
and one of the things you said that I
think really resonates is that there’s
not a voice out there that is advocating
for responsibility and that is talking
about how important this is and I think
this is an inherent principle that most
people are kind of aware of and it feels
good to them to hear
I get resonates so you feel it you you
when you when you’re saying this clean
your room you know put your house in
order like yeah yeah how come I’m not
hearing this right I’m not hearing this
well it’s so funny because one of the
things psychologists have done for the
last 20 years especially the social
psychologist has pushed this idea of
self-esteem you should feel good about
yourself and I think why would you tell
someone 20 that it’s like you should
feel good about who you are it’s like no
you shouldn’t why should you feel good
about who you are it’s like you should
feel good about who you could be that’s
way better cuz you got sixty years to
turn into who you could wait a minute
are you what your accomplishments are or
are you dis individual going through
this journey I mean I don’t think
there’s anything wrong with feeling good
about who you are as long as it’s
tempered by an understanding of
potential and what you have accomplished
versus what you can accomplish well I
think having confidence is a big part of
it it is it is and I’m not saying that
people shouldn’t have confidence but
like often you take young people say
there are sixteen to twenty two and
they’re not really feeling that good
about who they are right because their
life is chaotic and and disorder and
they don’t know where they’re going and
they don’t know which way is up a call
so there could be bad parenting going on
and I think that’s one of the reasons
why presen eights with people this idea
of be happy for you about who you are
right feel good about who you write but
but the thing is it has
to be stated with precision it’s like
yes it’s like Lucia you should treat
yourself as if you’re valuable
especially in the Ho’s Angela but you
should concentrate on who you should
become especially if you’re young and so
let’s say you’re miserable and
nihilistic and chaotic and depressed and
all of that now and you have your
reasons you know terrible parenting
abuse all of those things it’s like well
you should feel good about yourself it’s
like no no it’s it’s not it’s not the
right message is that it’s more like you
should understand how much potential
there is within you to set that straight
and then you should do everything you
can to manifest that in the world and it
will set it straight and that’s better
than self esteem it’s like you’re you’re
in a crooked horrible position okay fine
there’s a lot of suffering and pain
associated with that yeah you can’t just
feel good about that because it’s not
good but you can do something about it
you can genuinely do something about it
and I think all the evidence suggests
that that’s the case yes so I’m telling
telling young people look there’s no
matter how bad your situation is I’m not
gonna pretend it’s okay it’s not okay
it’s tragic
tainted with malevolence and some people
really get hurt by malevolent people
like you know terribly hurt sometimes
they never recover it’s really awful but
there’s more to you than you think and
if you stand up and face it with with
the positive with a with a noble vision
with discipline and intent you can go
far farther to overcoming it than you
can imagine
and that’s the principle upon which you
should predicate your behavior and I
think that one of the things that’s
really nice about being the clinical
psychologist is that this isn’t just
guesswork like one of the things we know
two things in clinical psychology one is
truthful conversations redeemed people
because if you come to a clinical
psychologist who’s worth is salt you’ll
have a truthful conversation the
conversation is well here’s what’s wrong
with my life and here’s what caused it
you know maybe it takes a year to have
that conversation and both of the
participants are doing everything they
can to lay it out properly here’s how it
might be fixed here’s what a beneficial
future might look like and so it’s a
completely honest conversation if it’s
working well and all that’s happening in
the conversation is that the two people
are trying to make things better that’s
the goal let’s see if we can have a
conversation that will make things
better okay so we know that works it
does make things better and then another
thing we know is that well let’s say
there’s a bunch of things that you’re
afraid of that are in your way so you
have some vision about who you want to
be maybe you have to you know you want
to be successful in your career so you
have to learn to talk in front of a
group it’s like okay well you’re afraid
of that no wonder you don’t want to be
humiliated so okay so what do we do
because sometimes you know you’re just
hopeful I would like a good thing to
happen it’s like yeah but you know I’d
like to drink half a bottle of whiskey
tonight – it’s like so which is it gonna
be well just being hopeful about the
future might not be enough but then you
think oh I see like there’s that little
hell thing that I outlined it’s waiting
for me and maybe I’m afraid of taking
the nips next step forward because it’s
demanding and challenging it’s like yeah
I’m afraid of that but I’m way more
afraid of where I might end up if I
don’t get my act together and people
should be that’s why their conceptions
of hell in so many religions it’s like
hell is a real place whether it’s
eternal that’s a whole different
question whether it’s waiting for you in
the afterlife that’s a whole different
question but if you’ve never met anyone
in Hell you haven’t lived very long you
haven’t had your eyes open yeah it’s
undeniable that feeling of total
complete misery and deniable yeah
especially when it’s compounded by the
fact that you know you did it to
that’s the real fun that’s the real fun
part it’s like I’m having a bitch of a
time and I richly deserve it
that’s that I have a chapter in there on
raising kids it says don’t like your
kids don’t let your kids do anything it
makes you just like them it’s like well
that’s first predicated on the
observation that you’re quite a monster
and it would be better for your kids if
they didn’t get on your bad side and
like again because I’m a clinical
psychologist a monster why why do you
use that term because I’ve watched
families like I’ve seen families where
it’s as if every single person in the
family has their hands around the neck
of the family member that’s close to
them and they’re squeezing but only
tight enough to strangle them in 20
years but you’re not always using it as
a pejorative you you you’ve also used it
you should become a monster you should
be a monster yeah but that’s that’s you
shouldn’t be it it shouldn’t be
accidental that’s the thing what
so what do you mean by monster then in a
positive sense like you feel a monster
oh that’s easy among a positive monster
is somebody who says no and means it
because when you say no what you mean is
there isn’t anything you can do to me
that will make me agree to do this why
is that a monster because you have to be
because no one will take you seriously
otherwise no one will take you seriously
like no means if you keep pushing this
something that you do not like will
happen to you that’s what no means you
don’t have any strength of character
unless you can put up a fight you know
and to be able to say no to something is
to be able to put up a fight so and you
can’t do that if you’re if you can be
pushed around you’ll just get argued
into submission or you’ll feel guilty
because you’re causing conflict or
something like that but isn’t there
confusion using those terms as a
positivism and a negative maybe there’s
another word instead of monster well
there is there is the potential there is
the potential for confusion you say well
is that something that can be I think
monster is a horrible thing I don’t
think of it as being like a wall like
someone who is just rock-solid in their
belief system and rock-solid and their
understanding when you fight someone
who’s formidable say what do you think
of the person that you’re fighting like
how would you characterize them they may
have a monstrous side because they can
think they can they can bring physical
substantial physical force to bear on
the situation and and be willing to do
it so they’re not naive and and harmless
by any stretch of the imagination right
they have a well-developed capacity for
mayhem they think well is that monstrous
it’s like well I would say yes I would
say fierce fierce fine let’s go with
that yeah because someone who’s fierce
and formidable it’s not necessarily a
monster you know just I think of a
monster as being just an awful person
who’s done awful things and just you
know okay well so fair enough well so
back to the back to this situation with
your kids while you definitely don’t
want to have your kids act in a way that
awakens your inner monster right let’s
put it that way and so you need to you
need to organize your family with a
certain amount of discipline and a
certain amount of structure so that you
get to do what you want which is back to
to the point that you made earlier so
that you’re happy to have your kids
around so that you won’t take revenge on
them and so you want to lay your life
out so that well so that it’s providing
you what you need to not be bitter and
to work for your best interests and for
the interests of everyone else that
would be lovely and I think it’s
attainable you know because the book is
very dark and and I’m a very dark guy in
some ways because I’ve looked at the
terrible things that people do to one
another that’s the fascinating way of
looking at you think you yourself as
dark as I don’t think of you as dark oh
that’s good
the more relevant thing is that I’ve
been studying these old stories these
archetypal stories for a very long
period of time and they have power they
really have power and they manifest
themselves everywhere they manifest
themselves in movies and in books and I
mean Harry Potter’s a mythological story
and it made Roland richer than the Queen
of England you know these stories have
power and I was fortunate enough to
study a large number of people large
number of scholars who knew what that
power was Carl Jung in particular and I
could make it more accessible to people
and so that’s a big part of it but what
overall significance of that is well I
just it just leaves me speechless I mean
there’s Kathy Newman things a good
example and I mean so many things have
happened I’ve got involved I’ve been in
a scandal of some sort a serious scandal
of some sort probably every three weeks
for a year and a half you know and there
are things that are just well the did
James tomorrow thing is a good example
of that like that’s a big deal you know
that that explosion that that that
emerged around him in the court case
that’s coming out of it it’s a big deal
and this thing with Lindsay Shepard that
was the worst scandal that
hit a Canadian University and then there
was all the protests and and then there
was what happened with with channel 4
the UK and it’s like I don’t know what
to make of it
I don’t what what I’m trying to do is
have a good conversation when I come and
talk to somebody like you where we can
have a good conversation try not to say
anything stupid that’s really what I’m
trying to do is to not say anything
stupid that’s hard or too stupid yeah
yeah well didn’t it’s being high stakes
poker yeah you know for it’s not quite
so bad now because especially after what
happened with channel 4 and some
journalists like people have been trying
to take me out for quite a long time and
it’s not it isn’t working so far
actually you actually believe what
you’re saying and it actually makes
sense well you know that’s that’s it’s
not a bad start but it’s rare in this
world this is a especially in these
ideologically charged times yeah this
toxic tribalism that we keep bringing up
it’s well and I also decided like a long
time ago and and I I think this runs
through 12 rules for life is well I
believe that people’s decisions tilt the
world towards heaven or hell I think
there’s no more accurate way of
describing the consequences of each of
your decisions than that you face
potential that’s what you face that’s
what you face in the world is potential
it’s not Material reality it’s potential
and every decision you make you’re
deciding whether you want to make the
world better or worse and if you like
the ultimate better is heaven and the
ultimate worse is hell we know how to
make the world into hell we’ve done that
multiple times much of the 20th century
was that it’s like I looked it all out
and I thought okay I would rather that
the world didn’t degenerate into hell
and I understand why people wanted to
degenerate into hell they’re angry
they’re angry because they suffer they
suffer unfairly and they suffer because
people hurt them and so they think this
is a bad game I’m not going to help make
it better I’m angry I’m gonna make it
worse even that’s what the call of mine
kids did you know that’s what all the
mass shooters do they say to hell with
this I hate it
they’re so far behind the game they just
want to flip the table yeah yeah worse
than that they they want it
obliterate the game yes and they want to
do it with as much malice as possible
just to obtain revenge and I understand
that but I decided a long time ago that
I would rather not play that game I
think it I think that it’s possible that
we could make the world better I really
believe they leave that too so I think
well the so I’m I’m trying to tell
people look there’s more to you than you
think there’s more potential there’s
more than enough potential to go around
there’s definite suffering and
malevolence in the world we could fix it
you haven’t got anything better to do
that’s a very big point that there’s
more potential to go around talking
about more than people understand we’re
not gonna run now to put that no we’re
not and with this idea of the famine
thinking is one of the reasons why
people get upset at other people’s
success they think somehow another this
other person’s success takes something
away from them yep yeah well there’s and
it’s see the other thing too is that
I’ve realized that people actually act
like what they confront in the world is
potential it’s so funny because whatever
potential is it’s it’s not materially
measurable but if you tell someone
you’re not living up to your potential
they go it’s like well what is that
potential that you’re not living up to
and then when you say well there’s
potential in front of you you know that
you can walk out on the street and you
go right or left or straight ahead like
you’re facing this thing that isn’t
fully formed and you get to decide how
it’s going to form and you can make it
better and so my question is like the
world’s a rough place there’s no doubt
about it it’s a harsh place but my
question is what would happen if we
start making it worse how good could it
be if we stop making it worse and I
don’t know if there’s an upper limit to
that like it might be maybe we could
make it really really really good why
not and we don’t have any better to do
than that
it’s like aim at heaven start at home
aim at heaven tell the truth let’s see
what the hell happens you know like it
is the case clearly on the facts of the
matter in 20 years there wouldn’t have
to be a single person in the world that
was hungry in 20 years we could get rid
of the 5 biggest diseases that currently
plague the planet we could straighten
things up and god only knows what things
could be like that or we could let the
whole thing DJ
right into hell so in each of us is
making that decision with each decision
that’s the other thing that I’ve
understood so take your choice you want
hell are you want heaven if you pick
hell just remember you knew what you
were doing when you picked it but nobody
picks hell yeah just sort of let it
slide yeah but they do it because they
blind themselves you know you know when
you do it you say oh yeah well you know
I let that slide then you and then you
don’t think about it it’s like you could
think about it you could think about it
you could know but you don’t let
yourself know is any of this all the
pressure and the scandal every three
weeks is this this is it way on you is
it is it difficult how are you feeling
like when we’re not feeling strange
yeah it’s like it’s like simultaneously
the worst possible thing and the best
possible thing that could happen well
financially it’s been a boom right yes
it’s which I mean the thing that I’ve I
shouldn’t say this but I’m going to
because it’s just so goddamn funny I
can’t help but say that I figured out
how to monetize social justice warriors

I was Jordan Peterson’s strongest supporter. Now I think he’s dangerous

Jordan has studied and understands authoritarian demagogic leaders. They know how to attract a following. In an interview with Ethan Klein in an H3 Podcast, Jordan describes how such leaders learn to repeat those things which make the crowd roar, and not repeat those things that do not. The crowd roared the first time Jordan opposed the so-called “transgender agenda.” Perhaps they would roar again, whether it made sense or not.

.. Jordan cites Carl Jung, who talked about the effectiveness of powerful emotional oratorical skills to tap into the collective unconscious of a people, and into their anger, resentment, fear of chaos and need for order. He talked about how those demagogic leaders led by acting out the dark desires of the mob.

.. Consciously or not, Jordan may have understood that transgender people tap into society’s “collective unconscious” and would become a lightning rod for attention loaded with anger and resentment. And it did.

.. when questioned about the merits of 12 Rules for Life, Jordan answered that he must be doing something right because of the huge response the book has received. How odd given what he said in that same interview about demagogues and cheering crowds.

.. I have no way of knowing whether Jordan is aware that he is playing out of the same authoritarian demagogue handbook that he himself has described. If he is unaware, then his ironic failure, unwillingness, or inability to see in himself what he attributes to them is very disconcerting.

.. Calling Marxism, a respectable political and philosophical tradition, “murderous” conflates it with the perversion of those ideas in Stalinist Russia and elsewhere where they were. That is like calling Christianity a murderous ideology because of the blood that was shed in its name during the Inquisition, the Crusades and the great wars of Europe. That is ridiculous.

.. Jordan, our “free speech warrior,” decided to launch a website that listed “postmodern neo-Marxist” professors and “corrupt” academic disciplines, warning students and their parents to avoid them. Those disciplines, postmodern or not, included women’s, ethnic and racial studies. Those “left-wing” professors were trying to “indoctrinate their students into a cult” and, worse, create “anarchical social revolutionaries.”

.. I do think Jordan believes what he says, but it’s not clear from the language he uses whether he is being manipulative and trying to induce fear, or whether he is walking a fine line between concern and paranoia.

.. Jordan has a complex relationship to freedom of speech. He wants to effectively silence those left-wing professors by keeping students away from their courses because the students may one day become “anarchical social revolutionaries” who may bring upon us disruption and violence.

At the same time he was advocating cutting funds to universities that did not protect free speech on their campuses.

He defended the rights of “alt right” voices to speak at universities even though their presence has given rise to disruption and violence. For Jordan, it appears, not all speech is equal, and not all disruption and violence are equal, either.

If Jordan is not a true free speech warrior, then what is he?

.. What same-sex families and transgender people have in common is their upset of the social order. In Maps of Meaning, Jordan’s first book, he is exercised by the breakdown of the social order and the chaos that he believes would result. Jordan is fighting to maintain the status quo to keep chaos at bay, or so he believes. He is not a free speech warrior. He is a social order warrior.

.. In the end, Jordan postponed his plan to blacklist courses after many of his colleagues signed a petition objecting to it. He said it was too polarizing. Curiously, that had never stopped him before. He appears to thrive on polarization.

.. He cheapens the intellectual life with self-serving misrepresentations of important ideas and scientific findings. He has also done disservice to the institutions which have supported him. He plays to “victimhood” but also plays the victim.

.. Jordan may have, however, welcomed being fired, which would have made him a martyr in the battle for free speech. He certainly presented himself as prepared to do that. A true warrior, of whatever.

.. Jordan is seen here to be emotionally explosive when faced with legitimate criticism, in contrast to his being so self-possessed at other times. He is erratic.

.. Jordan exhibits a great range of emotional states, from anger and abusive speech to evangelical fierceness, ministerial solemnity and avuncular charm. It is misleading to come to quick conclusions about who he is, and potentially dangerous if you have seen only the good and thoughtful Jordan, and not seen the bad.

.. “Bernie. Tammy had a dream, and sometimes her dreams are prophetic. She dreamed that it was five minutes to midnight.”

.. He was playing out the ideas that appeared in his first book. The social order is coming apart. We are on the edge of chaos. He is the prophet, and he would be the martyr. Jordan would be our saviour. I think he believes that.

.. He may be driven by a great and genuine fear of our impending doom, and a passionate conviction that he can save us from it. He may believe that his ends justify his questionable means, and he may not be aware that he mimics those figures from whom he wants to protect us.

.. “What they do have in common is … that they have the answers and that their instincts are good, that they are smarter than everybody else and can do things by themselves.” This was Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state in an recent interview with the New York Times referring to the authoritarian leaders discussed in her new book, Fascism: A Warning.

.. Jordan is not part of the alt-right. He fits no mould. But he should be concerned about what the “dark desires” of the alt-right might be. He could be, perhaps unwittingly, activating “the dark desires” of that mob.

.. I discovered while writing this essay a shocking climate of fear among women writers and academics who would not attach their names to opinions or data which were critical of Jordan. All of Jordan’s critics receive nasty feedback from some of his followers, but women writers have felt personally threatened.

.. Given Jordan’s tendency toward grandiosity, it should not be surprising to learn that he is politically ambitious. He would have run for the leadership of the federal Conservative party but was dissuaded by influential friends. He has not, however, lost interest in the political life.

.. cut University funding by 25 per cent until politically correct cult at schools reined in.

.. On March 19, Jordan was in the Toronto Sun saying that Premier Kathleen Wynne “is the most dangerous woman in Canada.”

.. There was nothing new in the article, but those words are signature Jordan, the language of fear.

.. Jordan is a powerful orator. He is smart, compelling and convincing. His messages can be strong and clear, oversimplified as they often are, to be very accessible.

.. He has studied demagogues and authoritarians and understands the power of their methods. Fear and danger were their fertile soil. He frightens by invoking murderous bogeymen on the left and warning they are out to destroy the social order, which will bring chaos and destruction.

Jordan’s view of the social order is now well known.

He is a biological and Darwinian determinist. Gender, gender roles, dominance hierarchies, parenthood, all firmly entrenched in our biological heritage and not to be toyed with. Years ago when he was living in my house, he said children are little monkeys trying to clamber up the dominance hierarchy and need to be kept in their place. I thought he was being ironic. Apparently, not.

He is also very much like the classic Social Darwinists who believe that “attempts to reform society through state intervention or other means would … interfere with natural processes; unrestricted competition and defence of the status quo were in accord with biological selection.”

.. Social Darwinism declined during the 20th century as an expanded knowledge of biological, social and cultural phenomena undermined, rather than supported, its basic tenets.” Jordan remains stuck in and enthralled by The Call of the Wild.

.. What I am seeing now is a darker, angrier Jordan than the man I knew.

.. In Karen Heller’s recent profile in the Washington Post he is candid about his long history of depression.

.. It is a cognitive disorder that casts a dark shadow over everything. His view of life, as nasty and brutish, may very well not be an idea, but a description of his experience, which became for him the truth.

.. “You have an evil heart — like the person next to you,” she quotes him as telling a sold-out crowd. “Kids are not innately good — and neither are you.” This from the loving and attentive father I knew? That makes no sense at all.

.. It could be his dark view of life, wherever it comes from, that the aggressive group of young men among his followers identify with. They may feel recognized, affirmed, justified and enabled. By validating them he does indeed save them, and little wonder they then fall into line enthusiastically, marching lockstep behind him.

.. These devoted followers are notorious for attacking Jordan’s critics, but this was different. It was more persistent and more intense. That was not outrage in defence of their leader who needed none; she was the fallen victim and it was as if they had come in for the final kill

.. “When someone claims to be acting from the highest principles for the good of others, there is no reason to assume that the person’s motives are genuine. People motivated to make things better usually aren’t concerned with changing other people — or if they are they take responsibility for making the same changes to themselves (and first).

.. I believe that Jordan has not lived up to at least four of his rules.

Rule 7: Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)

Rule 8: Tell the truth — or, at least, don’t lie

Rule 9: Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t

Rule 10: Be precise in your speech


James Mattis: No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy

This overwhelming support goes beyond enthusiasm for his record of military competence. His sometimes shocking public statements and quiet triumphs point to both an extraordinary level of compassion and the capacity for ferocious lethality.

.. Mattis chose a path in life that has brought him repeatedly into mortal combat with the most barbaric evil of our time, Islamist terrorism. Yet he continues to defeat it with insight, humor, fighting courage, and fierce compassion not only for his fellow Marines who volunteer to follow him through hell’s front door but also for the innocent victims of war. He encouraged his beloved Marines in Iraq with this advice: “Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet.”

.. Robert H. Scales, a retired United States Army major general, described him as “one of the most urbane and polished men I have known.” Mattis’s personal library of more than 7,000 books — including many obscure, scholarly titles — is as famous as his habit of carrying a personal copy of the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius with him into battle.

.. People perhaps mistake his ferocious aggression for a lack of discipline. Anyone who has served with him will tell you just the opposite: As a field commander, he maintains strict discipline, even sleep discipline, continually striving for “brilliance in the basics.”

.. His competence and level-headedness are so trusted that the president of the United States has given him essentially a free hand to fight America’s wars as he sees fit. Characteristically, in announcing the change of policy toward ISIS from one of “attrition” to “annihilation,”

.. The Art of War, a recently translated treatise dating from the fifth century b.c., by Sun-Tzu, a legendary Chinese general. The emphasis on duality in Sun-Tzu’s philosophy, the yin and yang of war, coincided with Mattis’s deep appreciation for the ebb and flow of the natural world and human interaction. Sun-Tzu’s concept of “winning hearts and minds” was a natural fit for Mattis and would serve him well in the wars to come in the East.

.. This human aftermath of the American military retreat from Vietnam and resulting political instability crowded every available inch of deck space around Mattis. Refugees filled the sweaty hold of the ship, clutching their children and meager possessions and often shaking with fear and trauma. This was Mattis’s first real-world experience of war as a Marine. As the Navy’s ground troops — the first in and often the last out of smaller, Third World conflicts — Marines frequently end up with the responsibility for evacuation of war victims. Compassion is a necessary part of an officer’s training, and Mattis’s was put to the test as he shared overheated sleeping spaces, food, and few toilets, often for days on end, with successive swarms of desperate, frequently ill people who didn’t speak English.

.. A few days before departure, Alice suddenly realizes that as a Marine’s wife, she will move frequently to different parts of the world and will face the constant threat of having officers knocking on her door one day in full dress uniform to deliver the worst possible news. As much as she respects the sacrifices that Marines make, she is not prepared to do the same. She insists that Mattis resign, that he choose her or the Corps — he cannot have both.

.. “Y’know, Dave, the privilege of command is command. You don’t get a bigger tent.”

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.. He will never marry. Instead, he will devote himself to his adopted family of Marines.

.. Mattis told Krulak that the young officer who was scheduled to have duty on Christmas Day had a family, and he had decided it was better for the young officer to spend Christmas Day with his family. So he chose to have duty on Christmas Day in his place.