Wilders tells the Dutch elite what they are

Dutch journalist Joanie de Rijke, a sort of blonde Daniel Pearl wannabe, went to Afghanistan and sought to interview the leader of a Taliban group that had ambushed and killed ten French soldiers. Instead of giving her an interview, the leader kidnapped her, held her for six days while repeatedly raping her, then released her in exchange for $100,000 ransom. After her release, she said in media interviews that while her captors “did horrible things to me … [t]hey also respected me…. They are not monsters.”

Joanie de Rijke

Geert Wilders told the Dutch parliament that the story

is a perfect illustration of the moral decline of our elites. They are so blinded by their own ideology that they turn a blind eye to the truth. Rape? Well, I would put this into perspective, says the leftist journalist: the Taliban are not monsters…. It is not just this raped journalist who is suffering from Stockholm syndrome, but the entire Dutch elite. The only moral reference they have is: do not irritate the Muslims—that is the one thing they will condemn.

Wilders’s speech has set off outrage among … the Dutch elite. In an excellent article at The Brussels Journal, a model of what journalism ought to be, Thomas Landen provides a full account of de Rijke’s kidnapping and brings out the meaning of her behavior, which he calls, not Stockholm Syndrome, but Pre-Captivity Stockholm Syndrome:

Those who have been abducted and suffer from Stockholm syndrome usually have not placed themselves in danger willingly. They had the misfortune to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The phenomenon illustrated by the case of Joanie de Rijke is that of people who for ideological reasons deny the existence of danger and subsequently put themselves in danger. Unlike ordinary Stockholm syndrome sufferers they do not begin to shown signs of loyalty to the criminal while in captivity, but have already surrendered to the criminal before their captivity, and, indeed, have ended up in captivity as a consequence of their ideological blindness.

I would add this. De Rijke wanted to interview Taliban fighters who had killed ten French soldiers. So she regarded these enemies, not as enemies and murderers to be captured or killed, but as interesting subjects for a human interest story. She sought to legitimize them even before she met them.

She’s like Daniel Pearl. I’ve never seen Pearl criticized for his despicable, not to mention suicidally reckless, conduct in wanting to interview mass murdering enemies of the United States as though they were legitimate figures, and write them up in the Wall Street Journal. As Pearl himself made clear, he saw himself not as an American, but as a “journalist,” as a transnational person, occupying some neutral ground equidistant from both the United States and al Qaeda. He willingly put himself in the hands of people who he knew were enemies and murderers, and they proceeded to murder him. De Rijke got off relatively easy, perhaps because she’s a woman and not Jewish.

Also, in the photo of de Rijke, she looks like an addled fool in love with herself.

- end of initial entry -

Terry Morris writes:

You wrote:

“She sought to legitimize them even before she met them.”

Call me a cynic, but I tend to think that she sought, above all, to legitimize herself:

She is a victim of the horrible things her captors did to her, due the sympathy she so longs for. And yet she is a compassionate, generous, loving, caring person, acknowledging, as she does, that they are not monsters in spite of the horrible things they did to her. In fact, they also respected her. This will earn her the adulation which she also craves. After all, isn’t she a wonderfully strong soul, not to have developed hatred, but rather love and respect, in her heart for those who did such terrible things to her while in captivity? Plus, their rape of her is totally understandable given that they are deprived of sexual gratification. Thus, she is the mark of a true selfless saint.

I’d like to see a professionally done psych evaluation on this woman.

Stephen T. writes:

I’ll say it: I think (a) a woman is more likely than a man to put herself stupidly and obliviously in such circumstances in the first place, and (b) when she emerges alive from the ordeal of captivity and abuse come out feeling somehow “respected” and with reciprocal respect for her captors (BTW, her face looks elfin, like a computer-generated character in a Disney/Pixar film.)

It reminds me that I wanted to say this during the arrest/imprisonment of American journalist Roxana Saberi in Iran: It was fascinating to me that, although born in the U.S. and even crowned Miss North Dakota—how much more American can you get—Saberi described a “lifelong fascination” with the brutal, backwards country from which her father fled in terror for the safety of America. (Interesting, also, that she felt no such fascination for democratic, first world Japan, the birthplace of her mother: to such women, are civilized cultures, like “nice guys,” unattractive and non-sexy? Just asking!) So much so that she left the boring United States and took up residence in Iran. She had been living there, apparently contentedly, with an Islamic headdress over her head and few rights, for several years when she was arrested.

I’m just curious: If you could go back in a time machine, say 100 years, how many American-born beauty-queen daughters of Swedish or Irish or German immigrants would you find who were gripped with a lifelong fascination for the old country their parents bailed out of, to the extent of learning its language, becoming a scholar in its culture, and finally even forsaking their native America to relocate back there to live—esp. if there was obvious personal danger in doing so? Maybe it’s in the DNA, I don’t know. But there’s something about people who come here today from regions other than Europe—and even, apparently, their progeny (see 3rd generation children of Mexican illegal aliens who still refer to distant Mexican nationals they’ve never met as “my people” and call Anglo-Americans “them.”) It seems there’s always that one toe back there in the ancient genetic homeland, and some lacking sense of belonging to the here and now in this country.

Roger G. writes:

I think that you accurately access people according to their words and deeds. But after making your judgment, you then, upon seeing their faces, mistakenly conclude that their appearance corresponds to their character. I’ll bet that both Joan of Arc and Nell Gwynn might have looked like that Dutch reporter.

LA replies:

Joan of Arc did not look anything like Joanie de Rijk! For one thing, Joan was a devout virgin in her teens in fifteenth century France. Could she have had such a saucy expression on her face? For another, Joan was on a mission from God. Joanie is lost, confused, absorbed in herself.

Christopher C. writes:

Did Joanie de Rijke have a husband she left behind?

A male paramour? Intended? Anything?

Even if no one at present, my point still holds, and I will get to it presently: What of the offense to her fellow country-MEN? Hers was a demonstration of the liberal lie: everyone owns themselves completely, without regard to others, at all. A man who might love her in the future will have to suck it up, not only accept that his wife was damaged in this way, but that she made it public, AND for some misguided seeking of the truth; that she must be praised for this act of stupidity with regard to her notional chastity. I’ve read too much c__p like this not to resort to vulgarity: it’s a big “FU” to Dutch and Western men.

Gintas writes:

She denies explicitly that she is having Stockholm Syndrome, and Wilders says her denial is evidence. From the Brussels Journal article:

Wilders’ words caused instant fury on all benches except those of his own party. Parliamentarians and government ministers reacted furiously to his reference to Joanie de Rijke. “You should be ashamed of yourself,” Femke Halsema of the far-left Green Left Party yelled. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, a Christian-Democrat, called Wilders’ statement “extremely painful and tasteless.” The PM said the opposition leader was “shamefully abusing” the journalist by turning her “once again into a victim unable to defend herself.”

Note that Wilders’ critics are basically asserting that Rijke is speaking the truth, undistorted by Stockholm Syndrome—a woman can be raped and come back justifying her assailants, talking about her tea time with them, and that is not a perverse thing.. Wilders gives her an out for her perverse statements, offering Stockholm Syndrome for an excuse, and the critics say this is “extremely painful and tasteless.”

But maybe the critics are just reacting to Wilders’ saying they all have a form of Stockholm Syndrome. They say, “No! We are all surrendering and grovelling of our own free will, in full knowledge of what we are doing! It is no syndrome, we are in our right mind!”

Wilders should go into attack mode now—OK, you are not suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, you really want this.

Gintas continues:

My last comment, on thinking some more and re-reading your post, is just a re-discovery of Thomas Landen’s point, what he called Pre-Captivity Stockholm Syndrome. But I’m going a little further, that it’s not a Syndrome. It’s a deliberate, malicious plan of action on the part of Western elites. The journalist play-acted it for us as an object lesson: “Here, this is how we must behave properly before our soon-to-be Muslim overlords.”

Mark A. writes:

In another world, when an enemy (Japan) killed members of our Navy in 1941, General James Doolittle flew a suicide mission of B-29 bombers to hit the Japanese home islands. If that happened today, I would imagine Joanie de Rijke would fly to Tokyo to interview Tojo himself. Ask him about his childhood perhaps.

In connection with an exchange in another entry, “Am I too racial in my thinking about immigration?”, Kilroy M. from Australia writes:

Furthermore, I couldn’t help but notice Roger G. writing: “I think that you accurately access [sic] people according to their words and deeds. But after making your judgment, you then, upon seeing their faces, mistakenly conclude that their appearance corresponds to their character.” This is the point I was making with respect to race before I posed my original query to you.

LA replies:

There is simply a difference of opinion here that no amount of dialog is going to resolve. As has been seen over and over at VFR, some people object to any critical observations about public figures based on their physical appearance. I of course disagree. I think people’s physicality, their faces, the photos of themselves they choose to put on their newspaper columns or book covers, can sometimes say a great deal about who they are. The notion that we should refuse to notice significant information that comes through people’s appearance and expression means that we should close off from our consciousness a major part of the world.

Of course, as with anything, there are invidious ways of talking about people’s appearance and legitimate ways of doing so. I would like to hear anyone explain what was improper about my comments on Joanie de Rijke’s photo, the first one, made as an afterthought to the initial entry, that “she looks like an addled fool in love with herself,” and the second (made in reply to a commenter who to my surprise compared Joanie de Rijke to Joan of Arc), that she has a “saucy expression.” I think my comments were understated.

As an illustration that some people think that photos provide us with valuable information we could not get in any other way, the SANE website copied the entire initial post in this entry and David Yerushalmi of SANE sent me this:

This blog entry of yours with the picture (posted at SANE here just floored us. The picture is of course worth more than 10,000 words.

Of course, others may not see in Joanie’s de Rijke’s face what I (and I think Mr. Y.) see in it—a stunning embodiment of the female side of the decadent, dhimmi European elite, and so they will be offended at any critical conclusions drawn from her appearance. Sorry, I don’t mean to offend anyone, but that’s what makes horseraces.

LA continues:

Roger G. and Kilroy both believe that I, on seeing the face of public figures I am criticizing, mistakenly conclude that their “appearance corresponds to their character.” But isn’t it the case here that de Rijke’s face does in fact correspond with the things her public statements reveal about her character?

As further illustration of the point, is anyone going to say that President Clinton’s character—or rather his utter lack of character—was not amply displayed in his face and deportment? Leaving aside all other issues, a morally healthy, instinctually sound, intuitively awake people would have looked at Clinton in 1992 and said to themselves, this man is a sleaze, he should not be president.

Carol Iannone writes:

Your respondent Stephen T. in the Joanie de Rijke thread, and the whole Joanie incident, reminds me of D.H. Lawrence. Some of his work is about very modern females, liberated (for that time), and very dissatisfied, who make their way to some third world country where they somehow prefer the bondage and restrictiveness women face there.

But it is amazing. Think of the women who have brought American men up on charges for far less than this, think of what Anita Hill did to Clarence Thomas, and here this woman is kidnapped and raped by Muslims and comes out praising them for respecting her.

LA writes:

I sent Carol Iannone’s comment to the VFR readers’ list under this subject line:

Feminists don’t really object to rape, if the rapist is an enemy of their own society

Kidist Paulos Asrat writes:

I of course think it is thoroughly appropriate to think that physical appearance of people (public or not) sometimes corresponds with their character and it is fine to make critical observations about their appearance on that basis.

The other day, I watched an old movie, Mortal Thoughts, with Demi Moore (a really good, underrated actress), who was being interrogated by the police for the death and possible murder of her friend’s husband.

The investigating policeman, played by another talent—Harvey Keitel—would not buy her story from the beginning. He seemed to base his intuition on her movements, expressions, slips of words (“we” instead of “me”), inappropriate words like “begging” instead of “asking”, details which many of us don’t have the time (or ability?) to focus on.

But, I think his strongest suspicions lay in her behavior. She was just a little too angry, and a little too cocky, and her face a little too hardened, to be humbled by her arrest.

I think that is an art, or an ability, that many of us have lost. Maybe it is because people are harder to read (too many different kinds of people around), or we are too impatient and living in a world of the fast and competing images of television which don’t give us time to develop this facility.

David Yerushalmi writes:

Indeed. And, beyond her addled look, the fact that this is a blonde and fair-skinned Dutch European submitting to the physical assaults of her dark Muslim captors and subsequently embracing their “humanity” is telling in the extreme, and, as Wilders says, a metaphor for the West’s relationship to the violence and the threat of violence of the sharia faithful. We are raped by jihad violence daily and yet we yearn to find a universal bond that transcends our fundamental differences. And, in the U.S. we have transcended these differences by electing a man who himself claims a unique relationship to the Muslim world and whose race removes him from the sins of the West. He soon will be speaking to them from the citadel of sharia scholarship in order to speak to and embrace “the Muslim world” (in a way the Christian pretender Bush could not—albeit he certainly tried) while denying the notion of a Christian one. Neat.

Hannon writes:

I assume this photo of her was taken before her exotic escapades. She may have a different deportment these days. Her appearance here seems to betray a profound, friendly sort of vacuity. I think she would smile demurely during any confrontation, not because she is filled with light but because she is mindless and has willfully betrayed what common sense she may have had at one time.

Any horse race is unpredictable and casting judgment based on countenance can often give a misinformed take on another. But it surely must be one of the most ancient social practices of humans and as such it is a fine old tradition.

June 2

James N. writes:

The conquerors always rape the women of the conquered. Always.

And the women always understand it, in their own way. “He could not control his testosterone. I had the impression that afterwards he regretted what had happened. He knew it was wrong.”

The noble savage even “invited her to a threesome,” i.e. to have sex with him and one of his three wives. “Ghazi was a very religious man. It is all so hypocritical. He was a complete fool,” she writes.

There is nothing new under the sun.

Joe Catechissimo writes:

Male members of my Catholic faith community frequently comment on how “liberals look liberal”—particularly white male liberals, who look pasty, irresolute, lacking fortitude, mettle, and drive. It is hard to pinpoint a particular white liberal female type, since I believe their liberalism is more environmentally induced, and not as a result of a genetic mutation as with white liberal males.

I also believe that conservative white females who have given birth to more than two children have a healthy womanly glow—a product, no doubt, from hormones released during pregnancy. (Liberal white women never have more than two children.) Such delightfully fertile white Christian women who have still managed to look attractive well into their 40s and 50s, are God’s greatest creation. They stand in stark contrast to my barren Baby Boom colleagues at work, who lack the glow and like clockwork become depressed around Mothers Day.

Felicie C. writes:

I agree with you that people’s personalities radiate through their facial expressions and manners, and if we deny this, we end up turning away from a great chunk of information available to us. I think that the “inner” and “outer” are greatly intertwined, and I have been conditioning myself to trust or at least listen to my gut reaction when meeting a new person, rather than dismissing my first impression out of hand.

Lately, I have been entertaining myself by trying to divine a person’s Zodiac sign from their appearance and “energy” they give off. I think different signs have different basic frequencies that one could pick up on if one is sensitive enough. However, it is easy to get overwhelmed by too much information (because we are talking about very subtle signals) and get it wrong. I am almost always wrong when I try to guess it outright. However, once I am told a person’s sign, I am very rarely surprised. All of a sudden, I see all these clues that I missed at first. [LA replies: Felicie then proceeds to guess what my sign is, but that will remain a private exchange between us.]

Tim W. writes:

Re “feminists don’t object to rape,” this is just a variation on the single standard you have discussed many times. Mainstream conservatives (right-liberals) complain that it’s a double standard for left-liberals to oppose discrimination as an evil, but then practice discrimination against whites. But it’s actually a single standard in which the primary goal is to supplant whites with non-whites, in which case opposing “historic” discrimination by whites while supporting discrimination against whites is to be expected. [LA replies: Exactly. The conservatives, who are right liberals, naively think of the left as inconsistent right-liberals, rather than as what they are, which is consistent leftists. The conservatives cannot allow themselves to see the truth, because that would mean publicly acknowledging that liberalism is not about making America more just, but about destroying it.

Likewise, feminism of the Steinem variety was never about promoting the interests of women, any more than the civil rights movement was about creating a race blind society. Or, for that matter, than the peace movement was about opposing all militarism. It was only about disarming and disheartening the West in the face of Communist military aggression. There may be an occasional relatively consistent liberal such as Joan Baez or Nat Hentoff, but the vast majority of liberals are just using high sounding concepts to overthrow Western culture.

Feminism isn’t about promoting the interests of women, but about neutering Western men so that they can be overrun by non-Western men.

EK writes:


Paul K. writes:

One of the things I enjoy about your site is that you will comment on the appearance of people. You recently ran a picture of Ruth Gledhill (The London Times’ religious correspondent), adding “silly head” under it. She indeed looked like the assinine, self-satisfied liberal that her column proved her to be. Why not make that point?

Roger G. writes:

You wrote:

“Roger G. and Kilroy both believe that I, on seeing the face of public figures I am criticizing, mistakenly conclude that their ‘appearance corresponds to their character.’”

You have accurately stated my position. Apparently a lot of very smart and well informed people disagree with me. [LA replies: But I was not insisting that my position was right. I said there’s no right and wrong on this. I understand that to some people it just goes against the grain to make any remark about people’s appearance. I think it’s a difference of sensibility, not of right and wrong.]

I admit that you’re not wrong about very much. Two areas where you are wrong are Lincoln and the Civil War. I know, I know, you don’t want to reopen these issues, and I don’t want to be the one who debates them with you…. [LA replies: Thank you very much. But given that neither you nor I want to re-open the subject of the Civil War here, and it has nothing to do with this thread in any case, let’s not re-open it.]

June 3

Ken Hechtman writes:

OK, I’m going to take the bait…

You wrote:

Geert Wilders writes: The phenomenon illustrated by the case of Joanie de Rijke is that of people who for ideological reasons deny the existence of danger and subsequently put themselves in danger.

I don’t think there are any war reporters, no matter what their politics are, who don’t know they’re in a dangerous business. Certainly, I’ve never met any. They do exactly what Geert Wilders does in his line of work: they take precautions when they can, they take risks when they have to. And they take the risks for exactly the same reason he does: because they believe the work matters enough to take the risk. [An attractive Western woman with Rapunzel-length platinum blonde hair putting herself in the hands of Muslim terrorists in hiding who have just massacred ten French soldiers in order to interview these killers is not an example of a person taking precautions or avoiding unnecessary risks.]

You wrote:

De Rijke wanted to interview Taliban fighters who had killed ten French soldiers. So she regarded these enemies, not as enemies and murderers to be captured or killed, but as interesting subjects for a human interest story. She sought to legitimize them even before she met them.

I would put it differently. The Taliban officers I interviewed in 2001 were important and necessary subjects for a news story. When the Taliban got thousands of volunteers from all over the world, including several hundred from Western countries, that was news. When they prepared to fight an extended guerrilla war, using Pakistani supplies and recruits and safe havens, that was news. The public needs that kind of news in order to make an informed decision about our own war aims. But the only way to get that kind of news is to talk directly to the enemy and their supporters.

LA replies:

You’re making a reasonable point as to your own activities. However, when you went to Afghanistan, the Taliban was the ruling regime there. You were interviewing the officials of the regime running the country; presumably you went into their offices and talked with them in broad daylight. Pearl and de Rijke, by contrast, sought out contacts with people who were in hiding, with al Qaeda terrorist masterminds who had carried out 9/11, with Taliban insurgents who are actively fighting our own forces and seeking to overthrow the government with which we are allied and who had just killed ten French soldiers. Pearl and de Rijke set up surreptitious meeting places to be taken to these terrorists’ hiding places to interview them. What Pearl and de Rijke did was both less legitimate as journalism than what you did, and vastly more dangerous. Of course, you also got in trouble. But, again, pointing to the fundamental difference between your behavior and theirs, the trouble you got in was with the ruling regime of the country, who arrested you because they thought you were a spy and who engaged in some kind of official procedure to decide on your guilt, and who ultimately let you go, not with terrorist outlaws in hiding who were subject to no rules at all. If you had tried to interview the kind of people Pearl tried to interview, you, as a Jew, would have probably met the same fate. Instead of the Daniel Pearl Foundation there would have been the Ken Hechtman Foundation.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 01, 2009 10:31 AM | Send

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