Grrrrrr. I should be able to link to at least one of these pieces, but nooooo, The Weekend Australian, doesn't have their page one feature article linked on their own bloody site!
First disturbing thing:
From small article: Shrinks prove forgetful in disclosing drug links:
“Mental health experts who developed international guidelines for diagnosing mood disorders, schizophrenia and depression all have financial ties to drug companies that are not disclosed in the book of the guidelines.
More than half of the 170 specialists who worked on the manual used by health professionals around the world to diagnose mental health conditions failed to detail financial links to the pharmaceutical industry.
It includes all of those who wrote the sections on schizophrenia and mood disorders.”
If you’re thinking that’s “no biggie”, consider these examples:
“…Although agoraphobia does exist, “the presence of that disorder in the manual came from the fact that drugs were found to treat it.”
Likewise, the inclusion of other panic and anxiety disorders was driven by the fact of a new class of drugs becoming available, allegedly effective in treating those disorders.
One of the researchers (from
“after discovering that five of the six panel members studying whether premenstrual problems were a mental disorder had links to Eli Lilly & Co, which was trying to market the anti-depressant Prozac to treat the [PMT] symptoms.”
The accelerating medicalisation of our existence, of all human behaviours, is insidious, dangerous, and wrong. Oh, nearly forgot - it's also corrupt.
Update: Captain, newly returned from Tokyo, kindly provided a link to a related piece on the USA Today site, it's well worth reading.
Second disturbing thing:
I really wish I could find link to this long article, as I would like everyone to be able to read the whole thing, but in lieu of a link, and with only limited time, I can only provide you with selected quotes.
All material is taken from an excellent piece, published in The Weekend Australian, April 22-23, 2006, Inside the mind of a brutal zealot, by Matthias Kadluntzel. [The article was first published in The New Republic]
I cannot even begin to do justice to the background introduction to the story, which starts off detailing the way in which
Basiji is the mass movement that was created in
The following are discontinuous extracts from the article:
“The sacrifice of the Basiji was ghastly. And yet today it is a source of national shame, but of growing pride.”
“A younger generation of Iranians, whose world views were forged in the atrocities of the Iran-Iraq War, have come to power, wielding a more fervently ideological approach to politics than their predecessors.
The children of the revolution are now its leaders.”
“Since Ahmadinejad became President, the influence of the Basiji has grown. In November, the new Iranian President opened the annual “Basiji Week”, which commemorates the martyrs of the Iran-Iraq War.
According to a report in Kayan … nine million Basiji – 12 per cent of the Iranian population – turned out to demonstrate in favour of Ahmadinejad’s anti-liberal platform.
As Basiji ideology and influence enjoy a renaissance under Ahmadinejad, the movement’s belief in the virtues of violent self-sacrifice remains intact.
During this year’s Ashura festival, school classes were taken on excursions to a “martyrs’ cemetery”. And since 2004 the mobilization of Iranians for suicide brigades has intensified, with recruits being trained for foreign missions. A special military unit has been created bearing the name “Commando of Voluntary Martyrs”.
According to its own statistics, this force has so far recruited about 52,000 Iranians to the suicidal cause. It aims to form a “martyrdom unit” in every Iranian province.
The Baiji’s cult of self-destruction would be chilling in any country. In the context of the Iranian nuclear weapon program, however, its obsession with martyrdom amounts to a lit fuse.”
“Ahmadinejad … is predisposed toward apocalyptic thinking. In one of this first TV interviews after being elected president, he enthused: “Is there an art that is more beautiful, more divine, more eternal than the art of the martyr’s death?”
“In September last year, he concluded his first speech before the UN by imploring God to bring about the return of the 12th Imran. He finances a research institute in
whose sole purpose is to study and, if possible, accelerate the coming of the imam.” Tehran
A politics pursued in alliance with a supernatural force is necessarily unpredictable. Why should an Iranian president engage in pragmatic politics when his assumption is that, in three or four years, the saviour will appear? If the messiah is coming, why compromise?”
I have been vaguely following the coverage and commentary around
Well, I think I’m a tad less blasé about it now.
So, what time does the bombing start?