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.
which which way these people are55:55thinking and why they think yeah welland bad as that is and rife withconflict as that is the alternative isto separate as you pointed out into twocamps that don’t talk yes and the thingis the the consequence of not talking isthat you fight that that’s the end gamebecause the only way you can stop fromfighting with other people is bynegotiating with them and you know oneof the things that’s also interestingand this is partly why Silicon Valleyleans to the left is that a fair bit ofyour political preference is determinedby your biological temperament it’s astrongly influenced so if you’re acreative type who’s kind of disorderlythen you’re likely to be on the liberalleft end of the distribution and ifyou’re a non creative type who’s orderlyand and especially if your orderly thenyou tend to be on the right-wing end ofthings and so and well why is that whydo those variations exist well theyexist because some of the time your beststrategy is to do what other people havedone and shut the hell upand just do it run the algorithm writethe pathways already laid clear it worksstay in the damn rut and move forwardokay so that’s the conservative approachand when things are going right it’s theright approach the problem is is thatsometimes it’s not the right approachbecause something is shifted and sosomething new has to emerge and so thenthere’s a bunch of people who areadapted to the new and those are theentrepreneurial and creative types andof course they dominate Silicon Valleybecause it’s a very entrepreneurial it’sa very entrepreneurial what would youcall it geography and so they’re gonnalean to the left but they have tounderstand people have to understandthat the left and the right need eachother the Liberals and the Conservativesneed each other liberals start companiesconservatives run them and the problemwith the Conservatives is well they canonly run a company in one directionbecause they’re conservative they don’tthink outside the box but so if thecompany is working in the product lineis good and everystable like hire some conservativesbecause they’ll maximize efficiency andthen move down that track but if thetrack is no longer going in a gooddirection because something’s change theenvironments change well then you gottabring in the creative people and so weneed each other and the only way that wecan survive the fact that we’redifferent and the fact that we need eachother is by continually talking theyhave talked constantly it’s like wellhow much of what we’re doing should wepreserve versus how much of what we’redoing should we transform and the answeris we don’t know because the environmentkeeps changing so what do we do about58:26of so there’s this theory it’s a lovelytheory that’s laid out right at thebeginning of the Bible that says thatif you tell the truth you transform thepotential of being into a habitableactuality that’s how it works so we saywell how do you want it how do you makethe world better tell the truth becausethe world you bring into being as aconsequence of telling the truth will bea good world and I believe that’s true Ithink it’s true metaphorically I thinkit’s true theologically and I think it’strue like at the practical andscientific level as well I think it’strue and all those levels simultaneouslyso that’s been ridiculously exciting tojust sort through I think this notionand one of the things you said that Ithink really resonates is that there’snot a voice out there that is advocatingfor responsibility and that is talkingabout how important this is and I thinkthis is an inherent principle that mostpeople are kind of aware of and it feelsgood to them to hearI get resonates so you feel it you youwhen you when you’re saying this cleanyour room you know put your house inorder like yeah yeah how come I’m nothearing this right I’m not hearing thiswell it’s so funny because one of thethings psychologists have done for thelast 20 years especially the socialpsychologist has pushed this idea ofself-esteem you should feel good aboutyourself and I think why would you tellsomeone 20 that it’s like you shouldfeel good about who you are it’s like noyou shouldn’t why should you feel goodabout who you are it’s like you shouldfeel good about who you could be that’sway better cuz you got sixty years toturn into who you could wait a minuteare you what your accomplishments are orare you dis individual going throughthis journey I mean I don’t think81:43there’s anything wrong with feeling good81:43about who you are as long as it’s81:46tempered by an understanding of81:47potential and what you have accomplished81:50versus what you can accomplish well I81:51think having confidence is a big part of81:54it it is it is and I’m not saying that81:55people shouldn’t have confidence but81:57like often you take young people say81:59there are sixteen to twenty two and82:00they’re not really feeling that good82:02about who they are right because their82:03life is chaotic and and disorder and82:05they don’t know where they’re going and82:06they don’t know which way is up a call82:08so there could be bad parenting going on82:12and I think that’s one of the reasons82:14why presen eights with people this idea82:15of be happy for you about who you are82:18right feel good about who you write but82:20but the thing is it has82:21to be stated with precision it’s like82:23yes it’s like Lucia you should treat82:26yourself as if you’re valuable82:28especially in the Ho’s Angela but you82:31should concentrate on who you should82:32become especially if you’re young and so82:34let’s say you’re miserable and82:35nihilistic and chaotic and depressed and82:37all of that now and you have your82:38reasons you know terrible parenting82:40abuse all of those things it’s like well82:42you should feel good about yourself it’s82:45like no no it’s it’s not it’s not the82:46right message is that it’s more like you82:50should understand how much potential82:52there is within you to set that straight82:54and then you should do everything you82:56can to manifest that in the world and it82:58will set it straight and that’s better83:00than self esteem it’s like you’re you’re83:02in a crooked horrible position okay fine83:04there’s a lot of suffering and pain83:05associated with that yeah you can’t just83:08feel good about that because it’s not83:09good but you can do something about it83:11you can genuinely do something about it83:13and I think all the evidence suggests83:15that that’s the case yes so I’m telling83:17telling young people look there’s no83:19matter how bad your situation is I’m not83:21gonna pretend it’s okay it’s not okay83:23it’s tragic83:24tainted with malevolence and some people83:27really get hurt by malevolent people83:28like you know terribly hurt sometimes83:30they never recover it’s really awful but83:33there’s more to you than you think and83:35if you stand up and face it with with83:37the positive with a with a noble vision83:40with discipline and intent you can go83:43far farther to overcoming it than you83:46can imagine83:47and that’s the principle upon which you83:49should predicate your behavior and I83:51think that one of the things that’s83:53really nice about being the clinical83:54psychologist is that this isn’t just83:56guesswork like one of the things we know83:58two things in clinical psychology one is84:01truthful conversations redeemed people84:03because if you come to a clinical84:05psychologist who’s worth is salt you’ll84:09have a truthful conversation the84:11conversation is well here’s what’s wrong84:13with my life and here’s what caused it84:16you know maybe it takes a year to have84:17that conversation and both of the84:19participants are doing everything they84:21can to lay it out properly here’s how it84:24might be fixed here’s what a beneficial84:26future might look like and so it’s a84:28completely honest conversation if it’s84:29working well and all that’s happening in84:32the conversation is that the two people84:33involved84:34are trying to make things better that’s84:36the goal let’s see if we can have a84:38conversation that will make things84:39better okay so we know that works it84:41does make things better and then another84:43thing we know is that well let’s say84:45there’s a bunch of things that you’re84:46afraid of that are in your way so you84:49have some vision about who you want to84:50be maybe you have to you know you want84:52to be successful in your career so you84:54have to learn to talk in front of a84:55group it’s like okay well you’re afraid84:57of that no wonder you don’t want to be84:59humiliated so okay so what do we do85:0193:51because sometimes you know you’re just93:53hopeful I would like a good thing to93:55happen it’s like yeah but you know I’d93:56like to drink half a bottle of whiskey93:58tonight – it’s like so which is it gonna94:00be well just being hopeful about the94:03future might not be enough but then you94:05think oh I see like there’s that little94:07hell thing that I outlined it’s waiting94:09for me and maybe I’m afraid of taking94:11the nips next step forward because it’s94:12demanding and challenging it’s like yeah94:14I’m afraid of that but I’m way more94:16afraid of where I might end up if Idon’t get my act together and peopleshould be that’s why their conceptionsof hell in so many religions it’s likehell is a real place whether it’seternal that’s a whole differentquestion whether it’s waiting for you inthe afterlife that’s a whole differentquestion but if you’ve never met anyonein Hell you haven’t lived very long youhaven’t had your eyes open yeah it’sundeniable that feeling of totalcomplete misery and deniable yeahespecially when it’s compounded by thefact that you know you did it toyourselfthat’s the real fun that’s the real funpart it’s like I’m having a bitch of atime and I richly deserve it97:11that’s that I have a chapter in there on97:13raising kids it says don’t like your97:15kids don’t let your kids do anything it97:17makes you just like them it’s like wellthat’s first predicated on theobservation that you’re quite a monsterand it would be better for your kids ifthey didn’t get on your bad side andlike again because I’m a clinicalpsychologist a monster why why do youuse that term because I’ve watchedfamilies like I’ve seen families whereit’s as if every single person in thefamily has their hands around the neckof the family member that’s close to97:39them and they’re squeezing but only97:41tight enough to strangle them in 2097:43years but you’re not always using it as97:45a pejorative you you you’ve also used it97:47you should become a monster you should97:48be a monster yeah but that’s that’s you97:52shouldn’t be it it shouldn’t be97:54accidental that’s the thing what97:57so what do you mean by monster then in a97:58positive sense like you feel a monster98:00oh that’s easy among a positive monster98:02is somebody who says no and means it98:04because when you say no what you mean is98:07there isn’t anything you can do to me98:08that will make me agree to do this why98:10is that a monster because you have to be98:11because no one will take you seriously98:13otherwise no one will take you seriously98:15like no means if you keep pushing this98:19something that you do not like will98:21happen to you that’s what no means you98:23don’t have any strength of character98:24unless you can put up a fight you know98:27and to be able to say no to something is98:29to be able to put up a fight so and you98:31can’t do that if you’re if you can be98:33pushed around you’ll just get argued98:34into submission or you’ll feel guilty98:36because you’re causing conflict or98:38something like that but isn’t there98:39confusion using those terms as a98:41positivism and a negative maybe there’s98:42another word instead of monster well98:44there is there is the potential there is98:47the potential for confusion you say well98:48is that something that can be I think98:51monster is a horrible thing I don’t98:52think of it as being like a wall like98:55someone who is just rock-solid in their98:58belief system and rock-solid and their99:01understanding when you fight someone99:03who’s formidable say what do you think99:05of the person that you’re fighting like99:07how would you characterize them they may99:09have a monstrous side because they can99:11think they can they can bring physical99:15substantial physical force to bear on99:18the situation and and be willing to do99:21it so they’re not naive and and harmless99:24by any stretch of the imagination right99:26they have a well-developed capacity formayhem they think well is that monstrousit’s like well I would say yes I wouldsay fierce fierce fine let’s go withthat yeah because someone who’s fierceand formidable it’s not necessarily amonster you know just I think of amonster as being just an awful person99:47who’s done awful things and just you99:49know okay well so fair enough well so99:52back to the back to this situation with99:54your kids while you definitely don’t99:56want to have your kids act in a way that99:57awakens your inner monster right let’s100:00put it that way and so you need to you100:02need to organize your family with a100:05certain amount of discipline and a100:06certain amount of structure so that you100:08get to do what you want which is back to100:10that100:10to the point that you made earlier so100:12that you’re happy to have your kids100:14around so that you won’t take revenge on100:15them and so you want to lay your life100:18out so that well so that it’s providing100:23you what you need to not be bitter and100:26to work for your best interests and for100:28the interests of everyone else that100:30would be lovely and I think it’s100:31attainable you know because the book is100:34very dark and and I’m a very dark guy in100:36some ways because I’ve looked at the100:38terrible things that people do to one100:39another that’s the fascinating way of100:41looking at you think you yourself as100:42dark as I don’t think of you as dark oh100:45that’s good100:45the more relevant thing is that I’vebeen studying these old stories thesearchetypal stories for a very longperiod of time and they have power theyreally have power and they manifestthemselves everywhere they manifestthemselves in movies and in books and Imean Harry Potter’s a mythological storyand it made Roland richer than the Queenof England you know these stories havepower and I was fortunate enough tostudy a large number of people largenumber of scholars who knew what thatpower was Carl Jung in particular and Icould make it more accessible to peopleand so that’s a big part of it but whatoverall significance of that is well Ijust it just leaves me speechless I meanthere’s Kathy Newman things a goodexample and I mean so many things havehappened I’ve got involved I’ve been ina scandal of some sort a serious scandalof some sort probably every three weeksfor a year and a half you know and thereare things that are just well the didJames tomorrow thing is a good exampleof that like that’s a big deal you knowthat that explosion that that thatemerged around him in the court casethat’s coming out of it it’s a big dealand this thing with Lindsay Shepard thatwas the worst scandal thathit a Canadian University and then therewas all the protests and and then therewas what happened with with channel 4the UK and it’s like I don’t know whatto make of itI don’t what what I’m trying to do ishave a good conversation when I come andtalk to somebody like you where we canhave a good conversation try not to say118:18anything stupid that’s really what I’m118:20trying to do is to not say anything118:22stupid that’s hard or too stupid yeah118:27yeah well didn’t it’s being high stakes118:28poker yeah you know for it’s not quite118:31so bad now because especially after what118:35happened with channel 4 and some118:36journalists like people have been trying118:38to take me out for quite a long time and118:39it’s not it isn’t working so far118:43actually you actually believe what118:45you’re saying and it actually makes118:46sense well you know that’s that’s it’s118:50not a bad start but it’s rare in this118:51world this is a especially in these118:53ideologically charged times yeah this118:56toxic tribalism that we keep bringing up118:58it’s well and I also decided like a long119:01time ago and and I I think this runs119:03through 12 rules for life is well I119:05believe that people’s decisions tilt the119:07world towards heaven or hell I think119:10there’s no more accurate way of119:11describing the consequences of each of119:14your decisions than that you face119:16potential that’s what you face that’s119:19what you face in the world is potential119:20it’s not Material reality it’s potential119:23and every decision you make you’re119:26deciding whether you want to make the119:27world better or worse and if you like119:30the ultimate better is heaven and the119:32ultimate worse is hell we know how to119:33make the world into hell we’ve done that119:36multiple times much of the 20th century119:38was that it’s like I looked it all out119:40and I thought okay I would rather that119:42the world didn’t degenerate into hell119:44and I understand why people wanted to119:46degenerate into hell they’re angry119:48they’re angry because they suffer they119:51suffer unfairly and they suffer because119:53people hurt them and so they think this119:56is a bad game I’m not going to help make119:58it better I’m angry I’m gonna make it120:01worse even that’s what the call of mine120:02kids did you know that’s what all the120:05mass shooters do they say to hell with120:06this I hate it120:08they’re so far behind the game they just120:09want to flip the table yeah yeah worse120:11than that they they want it120:12obliterate the game yes and they want to120:15do it with as much malice as possible120:17just to obtain revenge and I understand120:19that but I decided a long time ago that120:21I would rather not play that game I120:23think it I think that it’s possible that120:26we could make the world better I really120:28believe they leave that too so I think120:29well the so I’m I’m trying to tell120:32people look there’s more to you than you120:34think there’s more potential there’s120:36more than enough potential to go around120:38there’s definite suffering and120:40malevolence in the world we could fix it120:41you haven’t got anything better to do120:43that’s a very big point that there’s120:44more potential to go around talking120:46about more than people understand we’re120:47not gonna run now to put that no we’re120:49not and with this idea of the famine120:51thinking is one of the reasons why120:53people get upset at other people’s120:55success they think somehow another this120:57other person’s success takes something120:59away from them yep yeah well there’s and121:01it’s see the other thing too is that121:03I’ve realized that people actually act121:05like what they confront in the world is121:07potential it’s so funny because whatever121:09potential is it’s it’s not materially121:12measurable but if you tell someone121:13you’re not living up to your potential121:15they go it’s like well what is that121:18potential that you’re not living up to121:19and then when you say well there’s121:21potential in front of you you know that121:23you can walk out on the street and you121:25go right or left or straight ahead like121:27you’re facing this thing that isn’t121:29fully formed and you get to decide how121:32it’s going to form and you can make it121:36better and so my question is like the121:38world’s a rough place there’s no doubt121:39about it it’s a harsh place but myquestion is what would happen if westart making it worse how good could itbe if we stop making it worse and Idon’t know if there’s an upper limit tothat like it might be maybe we couldmake it really really really good whynot and we don’t have any better to dothan thatit’s like aim at heaven start at homeaim at heaven tell the truth let’s seewhat the hell happens you know like itis the case clearly on the facts of thematter in 20 years there wouldn’t haveto be a single person in the world thatwas hungry in 20 years we could get ridof the 5 biggest diseases that currentlyplague the planet we could straightenthings up and god only knows what thingscould be like that or we could let thewhole thing DJright into hell so in each of us ismaking that decision with each decisionthat’s the other thing that I’veunderstood so take your choice you wanthell are you want heaven if you pickhell just remember you knew what youwere doing when you picked it but nobodypicks hell yeah just sort of let itslide yeah but they do it because theyblind themselves you know you know whenyou do it you say oh yeah well you knowI let that slide then you and then youdon’t think about it it’s like you couldthink about it you could think about it123:02you could know but you don’t let123:04yourself know is any of this all the123:09pressure and the scandal every three123:10weeks is this this is it way on you is123:14it is it difficult how are you feeling123:18like when we’re not feeling strange123:20thing123:21yeah it’s like it’s like simultaneously123:23the worst possible thing and the best123:25possible thing that could happen well123:27financially it’s been a boom right yes123:30it’s which I mean the thing that I’ve I123:35shouldn’t say this but I’m going to123:37because it’s just so goddamn funny I123:38can’t help but say that I figured out123:40how to monetize social justice warriors123:42[Laughter]
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
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.”
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450464/james-mattis-no-better-friend-no-worse-enemy?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20170819%20Weekend%20Jolt&utm_term=Jolt
.. 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.
In 1978, Stone co-founded the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC) where he is credited with developing the negative campaign into an art form and pioneering the modern use of negative campaign advertising which Mr. Stone calls “comparative, educational, not negative.”
.. Stone became known for his expertise and strategies for motivating and winning ethnic and Catholic voters.
.. In 2000 Stone is credited with the hard-ball tactics which resulted in closing down the Miami-Dade Presidential recount.
.. The New York Times and Miami Herald reported it was Mr. Stone who first tipped of the FBI to Governor Eliot Spitzer’s use of prostitutes.
.. Stone has worked for pro-American political parties in Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean. He is consulted regularly on communications and corporate and public relations strategy by fortune 500 ECO’s and pro-democracy foreign leaders.
.. “Professional lord of mischief” – Weekly Standard
“Legendary conservative political hit man” – TheHill.com
“He [Roger] is one of its fiercest warriors, with the battle scars to prove it.” – The Weekly Standard
“A dragon slayer who helped bring down New York State’s most powerful man” – NY Daily News
“A long history of bare-knuckle politics” – The New York Times
“The GOP’s dapper Pugilist” – The Washington Post
“Seasoned practitioner of hard-edged politics” – The New York Times
“Master Political Strategist and Street fighter” – LeftVoice.com
“The most dangerous person in America today…” – The Village Voice
“Still, Stone gets results” – FirstPost.com, UK
“Skilled in the dark arts of politics” – The Atlantic
.. “Notorious” – Vanity Fair
.. “Master of right-wing political hit jobs… – Politico.com
“Controversial” – The Washington Post
“Infamous” – Gothamist.com
“The dapper don of dirty deeds” – DullardMush.com
“Directly involved in the downfall of Clinton campaign chief strategist Mark Penn” – RADAR
.. “Known for hard-ball politics and a cloak and dagger sensibility” – The New York Times
“At times, Stone’s real party seems to be the vaudevillian rather than the GOP” – New Yorker Magazine
.. “Respected, hated, and always controversial Republican political knife fighter…” – NoQuarterUSA.net
.. “An equal-opportunity trickster” – NY Daily News
“The undisputed master of the black arts of electioneering” – Scotsman.com