Monday, June 11, 2012

Diagnosing The Dogs of War

"difficult for civilians to understand"
The novel The Dogs of War became a candidate in my preliminary reading list.

Then I read this Wikipedia paragraph describing some of the factors of the book:
"The mercenary protagonists, like the protagonist in the author's earlier novel The Day of the Jackal (1971), are professional killers — ruthless, violent men, heroic only in the loosest sense of the word. Thus, they are anti-heroes. Initially introduced as simply killers, as the novel progresses they are gradually shown to adhere to a relatively moral mercenary code; however as the mercenary leader Shannon tries to explain at one point, it is difficult for civilians to understand this.

The story details a geologist's mineral discovery, and the preparations for the attack: soldier recruitment, training, reconnaissance, and the logistics of the coup d'état (buying weapons, transport, payment). Like most of Forsyth's work, the novel is more about the protagonists' occupational tradecraft than their characters. The source of the title, The Dogs of War, is Act III, scene 1, line 270 of Julius Caesar (1599), by William Shakespeare: Cry, 'Havoc!', and let slip the dogs of war."
(The Dogs of War). I decided that I wouldn't read it right now, seeing as how it is nothing more than contemporary history of the kind we read about every day in newspapers and on blogs, or see on the TV news.

So, also having become tired for several decades now of John Wayne movies that have country music theme songs, I decided to look into the psychology of the behavior of "the dogs of war" to try to develop a more academic approach to the subject.

First off, let's dispense with the mythical notion that violence is human nature that can not be changed:
The concept that humanity has a violent and evil core is widespread; it is one of the oldest and most resilient myths about human nature. From historical and philosophical beliefs to current popular and scientific beliefs, the view that a savage and aggressive beast is a central part of our nature permeates public and academic perceptions. Given this view, it is a common assumption that if you strip away the veneer of civilization, the restraints of society and culture, you reveal the primeval state of humanity characterized by aggression and violence.

While there are many reasons for the resilience of this myth, the most powerful one is the simple fact that humans today can and do engage in extreme levels of violence and aggression.
(Is aggression genetic?, emphasis added). One wonders why this myth is perpetuated just about anywhere you go in the

I was intrigued when I read this about diagnosing human aggression:
There is no psychiatric diagnosis of ‘aggressive behaviour disorder’. Rather, aggressive behaviour may be a symptom of a number of DSM–IV psychiatric diagnoses, including conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, behaviour disorder not otherwise specified, intermittent explosive disorder, impulse control disorder not otherwise specified and some personality disorders. Thus, aggressive behaviour may be related to a very wide range of diagnoses.
(Treatment Interventions). I was even more intrigued when I compared the human diagnosis to the diagnosis of aggression in canines:
In order to treat the problem effectively, it will first be necessary to determine which type of aggression your dog displays: dominance related, fear, possessive, protective and territorial, parental, play, redirected, pain induced, pathophysiological or medical and learned. In many cases more than one form of aggression may be exhibited.
(Diagnosing Aggression In Dogs). I suppose many of the regular Dredd Blog readers would question why these categories exist as they do, because they seem to be related.

Take for instance the canine categories of aggression: "dominance related", "protective and territorial", or "possessive" aggressions:
One of the most common types of aggression seen by veterinary behaviorists is dominance-related aggression. In order to achieve security and cohesiveness within a group or pack, a hierarchy develops. Once a dog develops a position of leadership with a family member (or other dog), any challenge to that dog's leadership may lead to aggression.
Possessive aggression may be directed to humans or other pets that approach the dog when it is in possession of something that is highly desirable such as a favorite chew toy, food, or treat. While protecting
possessions may be necessary if an animal is to survive and thrive in the wild, it is unacceptable when directed toward people or other pets in a household.
Protective aggression may be exhibited toward people or other animals that approach the pet's property (territorial aggression). Generally people and other animals that are least familiar to the dog, or most unlike the members of the household are the most likely "targets" of territorial aggression. While most forms of territorial aggression are likely to occur on the property, some dogs may protect family members regardless of the location. Territorial aggression can be prevented or minimized with early socialization and good control. Young dogs should be taught to sit and receive a reward as each new person comes to the door.
(ibid, "Diagnosing Aggression In Dogs", emphasis added). These fit the behavior of the MOMCOM warmongers, so why are those diagnoses not classified as human aggressions?

Especially when one realizes who owns the dogs of war, i.e. the 1% - the pet owners, as well as realizing as Smedley did, the purpose for those pets, i.e. the 99%, and why the dogs of war are MOMCOM's best friends.

Then the nature of the aggression comes more readily out of the fog of war and into the light of analysis, as does the route or direction the 99% are herded into via propaganda.

The hope I have to express in this post is similar to the one related to the expert diagnosis of mania discussed in the Dredd Blog post: When You Are Governed By Psychopaths.

I say that because group mania of that sort can morph into serious aggressive behavior:
Extreme mania can lead to aggressive behavior, potentially dangerous risk-taking behaviors, and homicidal acts.
(eMedicine Health). So, do we believe our lying eyes or do we begin to take careful consideration of the reality of national dementia seriously?

Keep on diagnosing in the free world.

The next post in this series is here.

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