Thursday, July 14, 2005

Home-Grown Terrorists & Lobotomies

NOTE: These are two entirely separate issues (except for the fact that terrorists should be given lobotomies).


I told you that I was going to hold off commenting until additional information trickled in. Here are my first thoughts.

Home-grown terrorists (a.k.a. sleepers) are responsible for the bombings in the U.K. That means that they were British citizens (of Pakistani origin). The issue of sleepers has been discussed by pundits and writers, but we've never actually seen it in action until now. (Tom Bell, author of Assassin, is the one responsible for coining the term 'sleepers', I believe)

Because sleepers are even harder to identify and protect against, we will have a very difficult time securing our nations until we take a closer look at mosques and muslim charities. Even the CIA has been fooled in the past. I recently heard a terrorism expert being interviewed on the radio. He said that the CIA has a muslim outreach in hope to solicit the peaceful muslims to speak out against terrorism / jihad. The CIA had even gone as far as giving money to this one particular muslim charity, only to find out that the monies were being funnelled overseas to actual terrorist groups. There are many experts saying that if these charities and mosques are not scrutinized carefully, they will continue to be a great source of American money and support for the very terrorists who wish to destroy us. Because this can encroach on the freedom of religion, the government will have to tred very carefully.

Incidentally, I have never been a fan of the Patriot Act, but (happily) most parts of it which encroached too much on personal freedoms have been challenged and modified in the courts. It still isn't perfect, and I still am concerned about exchanging freedoms for safety. The Founding Fathers may not have approved, either. Yet, many experts believe that it may be the Patriot Act that stood between London being bombed, and we being bombed instead.


The AP reported today that

Thirty years after doctors stopped performing lobotomies to treat mental illness, epilepsy and even chronic headaches, relatives of patients who suffered after undergoing the procedure want the Nobel Prize given to its inventor revoked.

The issue has resurfaced following the release of a new book that contends the crude brain surgery only helped about 10 percent of the estimated 50,000 Americans who received lobotomies from the mid-1930s to the 1970s.

First, I would like to point out that I would love to see the study that claims only 10% were helped. I also think additional research is needed to be done by someone without an axe to grind. Past research has indicated that lobotomies truly were a boon when there were subjects that could not be controlled in any way, except for medication.

For instance, imagine a patient who is raving and completely out of control, at all times. He is a danger to himself and to others unless he is restrained continuosly. That means it is almost impossible to get food into him. He cannot be allowed to use the toilet which means he has to have his diapers changed regularly. When his diapers are changed it will take several people to hold him down and do it. He can have no interaction with others. But a lobotomy can remove the feelings of rage, he is capable of being in contact with others, and can feed and toilet himself (although this can't be guaranteed).

We quickly forget that there were little options at one time, and what an incredible discovery this was. Of course there was always a possibility of abuse, but that is true with everything.

However: Anyone who has seen the movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" knows the horrors of lobotomies, as well. We have a close family friend who was a nurse back when they were still doing lobotomies. She told us the story of the time that she witnessed a lobotomy in the 1960s.

She said it was very crude, and horrible to watch. The doctor used an icepick, which he jammed deeply into the brain by way of the inside corner of the patient's eye (it didn't cause blindness). The goal was to destroy the frontal lobe. She said that the violence of the operation, the blood, and the squirming patient caused her to be violently opposed to all lobotomies. However, I must point out that there is no longer a need for them since new medications have been discovered and it is a luxury to be against something which is now outdated.

I did some internet research on lobotomies and although I found websites that were opposed to the practice, they were ranting about the inhumanity of it without acknowledging the good. Additionally, I saw no research backing their positions. I did find sites that were also positive about the practice, which I found interesting.

My conclusion: I think it is way too early to be calling for the revocation of Antonio Egaz Moniz's Nobel Prize.

P.S. The Radical Adventure has begun. Check out Dan's progress by clicking on the link which I have listed.


Ajay Shroff said...

One of the London bombers was a young science graduate. I mean, what can we do to stop this? Going by logic, we can stop the uneducated people with suspicious background from entering into our societies but looking at the profiles of the terrorists from the past 4-5 years, we see that these terrorists are educated and i think thats the problem. These potential terrorists are in school or a university somewhere in the world, they come across some 'mullah' (these muslim teachers are all over the NOrth America and Europe) who teaches and has access to students and these teachers get talking to these young students and tell them that the good 'life' is waiting for them after they 'kill' themselves and other innocent people. Keeping an eye of muslim organizations is one thing but I think we would have to keep an eye schools and universities as well. I had a friend who is muslim and he was like a normal (not fanatical)person but one day he went to a mosque, met someone there and overnight he became this fanatical person and he refused to hang around with his other firends after that because we were not muslims (his other muslim friends told us about this). He started hating the Hindus, Christians and the Jews overnight. Dont know how we are going to fight this.

mal said...

As regards Lobotomies, it is always easy for us to condemn the actions of those who came before us. We have the luxury of history to view their decisions from. I would like to see how any of the loudest critiques would do if they were dumped into exactly the same situation with exactly the same tools and knowledge. I expect they would flounder.

Fred said...

I read an interesting article in this morning’s Wall Street Journal about some of the warning signs that were missed including sudden trips to Pakistan (for no apparent reason), rigorous training, and the younger bombers associating with an older man. The police over there have been doing an outstanding job in such a short period of time.

Over fifty innocent people lost their lives. Families are ruined; lives will be altered forever. In addition to that, I was thinking that the twisted bombers have succeeded to do a few other things:

1. They’ve ruined the lives of their own families. Those family members will now have to live out their lives with an entire country looking warily at them.
2. The successful businesses that some families have built will have to be sold. There’s no way the community will have anything to do with them. So much for feeding their families.
3. The Muslim community has had incidents of vandalism and assaults and I’m sure immigration rules will be tightened.
4. Muslim women are being warned not to go out in some areas. Innocent people are now being targeted by an angry populace.

This is their definition of success? Really? I’ve commented on some other blogs that I just don’t get it. Well, I still don’t get it, and I never will.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Ajay, excellent points. Because such fanatacism is usually considered something that only uneducated people would participate in, we don't always take into account that the educated can be suckered also.

I think it's important to remember that this type of fanatacism solves a need for certain individuals who are mentally unhealthy, looking to self-medicate instead of seeking true help. So it doesn't matter how educated a person is, if they are either prone to weakness (the Follower mentality) or mental illness.

Mallory, I agree!

Fred, excellent points. Terrorism does indeed terrorize not just the terrorist's intended victims, but many of their 'loved' ones as well. I put 'loved' in apostrophes because I believe it is possible that such sociopaths are incapable of loving others.

snicksnack said...

Saur, I agree with you. Terrorists that are full of this type of radical obsession are definately mentally ill. There is little to cure it (short of catching it early and Baker acting them) except to make sure their charities and mosques are watched for any terrorist sympathies and rabble rousing.

nin said...

The Muslim fundamentalists think, in this way, one day they will capture the whole world.
I think there may be a third world war between muslimm & other religions.
US should stop supplying arms to Pakistan.

ron said...

Avik, I think you're right. But the thing is, I'm afraid that we're going to be so busy being politically correct that we'll be more afraid to be labelled as intolerant. We may lose, as a nation, because we're afraid to be smart and instead we will cower to political correctness and let them mislabel this as hatred, when it is merely fighting against an evil which could kill every last one of us.

Underground Logician said...


I think lobotomies would be quite effective for terrorists, but these medical procedures would need to be done while holding the terrorists captive, and would probably be quite expensive. It is much more cost effective for our soldiers to shoot them as they pursue their aggression. The cost of a bullet is cheaper than serving orange-glazed chicken to a Muslim lobotomy patient. However, I digress.

The continuous dislike of the Patriot Act is, I think, like butting our heads against the wall. The situation we are under has been radically altered by 9/11 and I think it cannot be avoided. However, the PC in the Act can be rooted out. For example, at airports, profile Muslims only. Right now, radical Islam is the ideology that fuels the terrorist movement, by and large. Yes, there is the IRA, but they have no bone to pick with us. So, have all Islamists be profiled. Let THEM get strip-searched, let them get grilled by interrogators. Leave the blonde-haired Scandinavian types alone. The chances of catching a terrorist is far greater by targeting Muslims. Second, if you hear a Muslim hate-preacher promote violence to Americans and/or Jews, let's deport them; get them out of our country! Let their charitable support come from goat-herders within a backward Muslim country. Third, let's build a wall between Mexico and the U.S. and finally protect our borders. The fact that Al-Jazeera was reporting on the ease of entering the U.S. via Mexico should alarm every American. Lastly, let's educate ourselves regarding the ideology of radical Islam, and how it actually fulfills ALL the teachings of the Q'uran. And, in conjunction, educate ourselves in a strong system of moral absolutes and allow for a rethink in religion that is based on the rock of ages, Christianity.

Ah, the last one should bake a few bloggers, but, who cares. Moral relativism has nothing to offer but hugs to our terrorist enemies. Then, after the embrace, they'll kill us anyway.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Underground Beautifully said. I cannot disagree about anything.

AP3 said...

Interesting post, Saur. I get nervous about the CIA targeting ANY particular religious group... some day they could target MINE, you know?

Fundamentalists are all scary, and not all of them are Muslims. There's the KKK ("Christians") and many others. They all scare me.

I think the Patriot Act is a very high price to pay for "safety"... and we're really not safe. "We were never meant to survive." -- Audre Lorde

mal said...

As regards the "Patriot Act" who was it that said, "one who sacrifices their liberties in exchange for safety are likely to find they have neither"?

Saur♥Kraut said...

Mallory, very true. I can't remember but I THINK it was Jefferson. That's why I worry so much about it. Plus, I think the Patriot Act COULD potentially open the door for a fascist state to take over.

Aral, I understand your reservations, believe you me. That's why the government will have to be able to make a strong case between religion and hate crimes on the part of the Muslims. In other words, at what point do Muslims preaching for Jihad become terrorists if they're following the teachings of the Koran (which they are).

I don't have an easy answer for that, but I tell you what I would LIKE: I would like everyone to put aside their political correctness long enough to acknowlege that ANY religion which preaches the destruction of others who AREN'T of that religion is no religion at all. For instance, satanists aren't allowed to sacrifice babies just because their religion leads them to believe that it's OK.

Senor Caiman said...

There is a man who waxes his eyebrows who I think looks like a terrorist or at a minimum is bi. He’s going to be plucked if we don’t spank his blog. He’s pretty interesting too.

back-to-basics said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alyssa De Jour said...

There is no doubt this terrible act of terror is an abominable atrocity.

But the perpetrators are fundamentalists, a minority, it is not the wish of mainstream Muslims. For the vast majority of Muslims born and bread in our western countries, this terrible senseless violence is just as distressing to them as it is to the rest of us. I tell you one thing though, I would hate to be an honest, law-abiding Arab Muslim living in a western country right now. The looks of suspicion they now get as they leave their own home, the taunts and bullying their kids suffer in school, the random verbal (and sometimes physical) assaults upon them from frightened westerners, the list goes on.

Imagine what it must be like for a law-abiding, peaceful Arab Muslim living in one of our countries. Imagine being in their shoes, right now.

One thing I certainly agree with is that our governments need to take proactive measures against terrorism, there is no doubt about that. But here is one thing I find so very ironic; why is it that everyone is so proactive about preventing further wasted loss of life by these terror attacks (such as implementation of the Patriot Act) and everyone agrees “something must be done”, yet for so long there have been so many equally saddening atrocities caused by fire-arms, school and office shootings and such, yet you Yankees hold on-to your right to possess firearms so fiercely and don’t adopt the same “something must be done” attitude? And so the wasted loss of life continues. I just find that Ironic.

No less, I am glad I am not an Arab right now, and that makes me sad. So you know what I am going to do? Every time I walk down the street and pass a person of Arab nationality, I am going to proactively smile a big, beaming smile at them and bid them a good day. I am sick of the senseless hatred on this earth, and I want it to end. I may be only one person, but I can make a difference in the lives of the people I touch.

If everyone did this to each other, imagine what the world would be like.

That’s just my 2c. Leave it on the table if you like.

Bill R said...

Underground Logician, if you're worried about the cost of lobotomies, just force the prisoners to read the N.Y. Times or listen to Air America for a few days. It will have the same effect.

Underground Logician said...

bill r:


Yeah! Or watch Katie Courik on the Today Show!

Saur♥Kraut said...


I don't think you're a minority when it comes to peace. It sounds like you have this picture of bloodthirsty Americans wandering the streets carrying guns, like 'Shootout at the OK Corral'.

You said yet you Yankees hold on-to your right to possess firearms so fiercely. The reason that we do is that it's a guaranteed constitutional right for us. We can not easily dismiss that. And history has set precedent for us. So even if some of us don't believe that any of us have guns, we cannot decide to revoke that right any more than we can decide to revoke free speech (not everyone wants us all to have free speech either).

It is a relatively moot point anyway, for two reasons:

1. Guns have been in America for hundreds of years. America is a large place with a lot of people, ergo, there are a lot of guns. Banning legal gun ownership would mean that many of those guns would now be owned and used by criminals only. That means the Smiths can't own a gun to defend themselves when a robber breaks in. So it will be open season on the Smiths if every robber knows that they legally can't defend themselves. There are reports constantly of people who have saved their lives and the lives of their family by having a gun when the break in occurred. This is something the press doesn't like to talk about much. It tends to defeat the gun control issue.

2. There are now so many restrictions on guns and gun ownership now that the average citizen cannot carry a gun in the street. They can only keep a gun in the home for self defense. Also, not every household owns a gun. And right now, every household doesn't have to, because robbers don't know which ones are gun owners and which ones aren't.

Saur♥Kraut said...


As for being friendly to Arabs, who says that we aren't? Again, you seem to have this odd picture of America. Now you seem to see us as spitting on anyone who looks arabian, or dragging arabs off into dark alleys.

I have never in my lifetime witnessed a hate crime. They're exceptionally rare. I'm sure someone out there has but I live in a very population dense area (2.6 million people) and *I* haven't. And *I* am out and about more than most people are.

And if we could just walk up and kiss every Arab we see, and sprinkle flowers on him, it still wouldn't stop the ones who wish to kill us.

Our difficult responsibility as a nation is to define which ones are the killers and which ones aren't. But the average citizen is certainly not taking the law into his or her own hands. And, if and when they ever do, the US government is very swift and harsh in retribution. Hate crimes are not tolerated.

Saur♥Kraut said...


P.S. I am not picking on you. I am simply explaining things to you which you may not be aware of.

Incidentally, schools also don't tolerate racial taunts and are swift to crack down on that. We're not perfect, and of course there are racists and biggots every where, of ever race. But we are generally a very tolerant nation and have traditionally opened our arms to anyone who wants to come here. That's why 9/11 was such a shock to most Americans. Because most Americans are very good hearted, warm people who have been brought up believing (rightly or wrongly) in the American dream of opportunity for all.

Kathleen said...

Saur: Alyssa is a good example of the disparaging view the international community has of America and Americans. I have become really disturbed as I read blogs from citizens of other countries that are raging about our county. I think this would be an excellent topic to explore. I had heard of this hatred, but must say that until I began to read this and other blogs, I had no idea the level and intensity of this hatred.

Because of my increasing dismay, I asked foreign friends of mine about this view of Americans. To my shock, they were in agreement that America is disliked internationally and in most cases, people hate our country and many hate our citizens. They explained that Americans are viewed as ignorant of the world issues and generally selfish. They gave me the example of the Olympics news coverage. They said that the media here covered the Olympics from the American perspective only and that in other coutries the coverage is more international. They said that we were only interested in what our athletes did. Another is that they believe that Americans think they are better than anyone else. They shared that friends of theirs are backpackers and that when backpacking through Europe, Americans put Canadian flags on their packs because they were treated better. They said that in Europe America is particularly disliked and the butt of many jokes.

Hmmmmmmmm. Lots of things to consider.

Saur♥Kraut said...


I have seen the same thing, myself. But it is fashionable right now to be anti-US. We are prosperous and happy for the most part, so if others are unhappy they will not wish us well. It's kind of like the angry old man who lives down the street and is always peeking out his window and watching the neighbors. He is unhappy, so he focuses on others and tries to pick them apart.

However, there are many people overseas who are quietly (or sometimes adamantly) pro the U.S. You just have found the blogs that aren't.

If the U.S. wasn't as prosperous and successful as it has been, it would not be getting any attention whatsoever. For instance, how many Belgian-bashing blogs have you run across? (my apologies to the Belgians)

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I'm sure they'll move on to removing people's brains as a form of torture at Gitmo...

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, trepanation! *g*

Gitmo: what a blot on our military. I know that it was only a minority that did it, but it has left an indelible mark. I don't approve of those T-shirts that I hear Rush is making that say "Club Gitmo" on them. I hear some of the military are wearing them proudly. I think it's revolting.

Senor Caiman said...

I’ve had the opportunity to spend time in the NC Research Triangle, which is fed by NC State, NC, WF, & Duke, schools that don’t participate in college football. I would say about 50% of the workforce in the Research Triangle is manned with foreign born students trained at American Universities. This could very easily be just the beginning of a US trained terrorist campaign.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Mr. Gator, only 50%???

Belgian Waffle said...

Hey Saur, there are plenty of us who are envied because of our marvellous waffles. Go ahead, laugh if you will, but Belgian waffles covered in whipped cream with fresh strawberries are the envy of the world.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Belgian Waffle, *LOL*

Chica said...

About you being happy and we hating you... I am European and I don't hate your country. You are living in a great country... BUT not everything your president and army do is for freedom and peace. And if you invaded my country "to bring democracy", killing my children and friends, I would HATE you. This has already happened in a couple of countries in the world, you know? Your army, like ours, is killing people who might be as innocent as the americans dying in New York.
Don't take me wrong, this is of course no excuse for terrorists to kill you or me - almost 200 died last year in my city -. But don't be so childish thinking the rest of the world is jealous of you, open your eyes.

Alyssa De Jour said...

No, I don‘t think you are picking on me at all Saurkraut, this is just a healthy discussion and there is noting wrong with that!

No, I don’t have a picture of blood thirsty Americans roaming the streets with guns, that is funny. But I have observed that you do guys do fiercely hold onto your right to possess guns if you so chose to. And as you pointed out that is because it is a guaranteed constitutional right. But that is all I was saying, no more.

And as for me having an odd picture of America with regards to treatment of Arabs, I actually made no comment about America at all in this regard. I was actually referred to western countries, and that includes my own Australia. And here in Australia, I have never witnessed a hate crime either, and they are rare in my country too. But the people of Arab nationality that I do know here (which is not many) since 9/11 are now subject to some people muttering comments under their breath as they walk past, some have had terms thrown about like “sand nigger” or being called “Osama” and the like, and after the bombings in London, their kids started getting a very very hard time at school, and bullying is a real problem. I still have yet to see this for myself, but then again, I am not Arab. Most racism is done very discretely. And I agree, it is the minority of people that act in this way.

But, it only takes a minority of people to behave in this way, and even though it is not the way of the majority, they damage they can do is severe. Just like it only takes a minority of Muslim fundamental extremists to carry out these bullshit terrorist attacks, and while it isn’t the majority of Muslims who condone this action, the damage they can do is severe. I guess my point is, what is the majority doing about it? What is everyone doing about it to stop this hatred, rather than pointing the finger at each other? Now, imagine if the majority decided they would do something – go out of their way to be nice to someone or to make some difference… imagine if everyone did this... pie in the sky? Well, it starts with me.

Kathleen – I actually don’t have a disparaging view of America – I actually wasn’t raging about your country at all, if you re-read my comment, the only portion that pertained specifically to the States was my observation on how important your right to arms is to you, and no more. Personally, I love you crazy Yankees, and I’m coming over to visit you guys next year… and there wouldn’t be anywhere else I would rather come and play!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Chica and Alyssa, nice to have some other voices on here!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Yes, Chica & Alyssa thanks so much for your contributions! I appreciate it very much.

Chica, I'm not saying that the only reason for other countries to hate us is because everyone is jealous of us. However, I do think it is a driving force and the primary one.