January 05, 2004


Musing on the world post-September 11, Rod Dreher once said: "Words matter as they haven't in a generation."

He was right. Just ask Californian sex therapist Dr. Susan Block, who last month published at her website an anti-war piece entitled Rape of Iraq:

The supreme victory for the rapist is proof that his victim "enjoyed" it. Though he may force his way into her property, demolish her home, murder her loved ones, pillage her belongings, though he may terrify and humiliate her, beat and batter her, break her bones and tear her flesh, spill her blood, wound her organs and lay waste to her very soul, if, in the midst of the rape, between tears and shrieks of agony, if his victim should, for a moment, for some reason, any reason, if she should smile, or, better yet, orgasm, the rapist is redeemed; he is even (in his mind) heroic.

Block’s perverse symbolism was noted and subsequently warped by Islamist media in Turkey, which used the Block piece to promote the idea that US soldiers were physically raping Iraqis. Words matter, Susan:

Nurullah Kuncak says his father, Ilyas Kuncak, was boiling about the rumored rapes just before he killed himself delivering the huge car bomb that devasted the Turkish headquarters of HSBC bank last month, killing a dozen people and wounding scores more.

"Didn't you see, the American soldiers raped Iraqi women," Nurullah said in a recent interview. "My father talked to me about it. . . . Thousands of rapes are in the records. Can you imagine how many are still secret?"

The articles in the Islamist press are based in part on comments allegedly made by a US sex therapist who denies having written or said anything about soldiers raping women. The therapist, in an online column, explicitly and graphically described the US invasion as a rape, but says that this was clearly a metaphor unrelated to the actions of individual US soldiers, and that she has no knowledge of any physical rapes.

Or, put more simply, Block has no knowledge:

"I am a sex therapist and I use sexual terminology for political commentary," Block said. "I did not say American troops are literally raping Iraqi women. . . . I don't know if Americans are raping Iraqi women. I do know they are killing them. I don't know if that's much better." She said it is clear that she was using "rape" as a metaphor for "invasion."

"I am appalled to be misquoted and even more appalled that the story inspired someone to such violence," she said.

Idiot leftists. They try to help, and in their blind, shivering madness end up the unwitting inspiration for mass murder. Enjoy the next few months of sleepless nights, Doc.

Posted by Tim Blair at January 5, 2004 02:02 AM

Sleepless nights would imply that she had a conscience.

Posted by: gaz at January 5, 2004 at 02:16 AM

Anybody that has had the misfortune of catching Susan Block's soft core cable access show knows what a flake she is. In LA, where she is based, she is considered a kook.

Frankly I'm surprised anybody reads anything she writes.

Posted by: bbridges at January 5, 2004 at 02:52 AM

Thanks a-lot Susan..

Not only do you probably count concentual hetero-relationships as "rape", but you add to that list the liberation of a people who have exemplified the true definition of mass rape for decades...

Turks are blowing each other up cuz you couldn't stray from your profession just once in metaphor..


Posted by: Arvin at January 5, 2004 at 02:57 AM


I meant to write "Consensual"

fu#k! now folks are going to be blowing each other up at spelling beeees..

thanks again Susan...

you WHORE!

Posted by: Arvin at January 5, 2004 at 03:00 AM

Ironic isn't it that this woman writes an article using the words "Iraq" and "rape" but never does use the words "Uday" or "Baathist rape rooms".

Posted by: David Crawford at January 5, 2004 at 03:04 AM

I guess the writer felt more outraged at "metaphoric" rape than at actual, organized, systematic rape. Of course she could never bring herself to condemn Uday and Baathist rape rooms as that is just a quaint local custom to which no westerner is allowed to comment.

Posted by: David Crawford at January 5, 2004 at 03:11 AM

Okay she's written a slanderous article that has inspired at least one mass killing and is likely to encourage further murders of Allied troops and Iraqi civilians. How long before she anoints herself as the real victim and starts bleating about dissent being stifled or her right to free speech being suppressed? I guess it will take less than a week.

Posted by: Ross at January 5, 2004 at 03:26 AM

Any sleep she loses will not be over guilt, but over the thrill of having her words become so influential. People like her have no conscience. Their ideology is the closest thing they have.

Posted by: Dave S. at January 5, 2004 at 03:33 AM

I'm a psychologist, and people like this, in my field, piss me off. Unfortunately, the mental health field attracts more than is fair share of those who would be better served entering as clients rather than as treatment providers, but with the standards having been lowered (especially at the master's level - not to say there aren't some very effective master's level therapists, it's easy for the "barely functional" person who's had some brief success with therapy to go out, get a degree, and begin fucking everyone else's life up.

To compare the invasion of Iraq in any way ("metaphorical" or whatever -- don't hide behaind catch phrases) is at best uninformed and incompetent. However, it does not surprise me in the least that she's based in California -- this is the tip of the iceberg for some so-called therapists in that neck of the woods...

Posted by: Jerry at January 5, 2004 at 03:48 AM

Christ, I just looked at her website! On behalf of all sane therapists, I apologize (it makes me ASHAMED to be a psychologist).

BTW, the only place in the US this kind of thing would get a following is California.

Posted by: Jerry at January 5, 2004 at 04:01 AM

She runs a porn site,have the rantings of a pornographer lost people their lives,can the relatives sue?

Posted by: Peter Bocking at January 5, 2004 at 05:00 AM

Simile, and the world similes with you. Metaphor, and you metaphor alone.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at January 5, 2004 at 05:22 AM

A flaky ninny has fueled barbaric beasts. Her elaborate metaphor (she even has a degree in philosophy) is like a fantasy framework provided to a “patient” in her “sex therapy,” avoiding & blocking critical reflection, collateral observation, checking, & amounting to a take-it-home-with-you way to feel, a way with supposed intellectual legitimacy to think & mentally rage “rape! rape!” at the thought of US (& allied) armed forces personnel in Iraq. Propaganda & grist for more propaganda. At the Webpage with her article, there are compliments on her essays which apparently appear regularly in Counterpunch. She still has added nothing on that page to say that she has been quoted out of context. Now there are bombings because of her article, & US troops will probably get killed because of it. As somebody at Lucianne.com said, I thought the Left supported the troops.

Posted by: ForNow at January 5, 2004 at 05:47 AM

I wonder if, at any point since this controversy erupted, she smiled and perhaps even orgasmed after she voluntarily raped herself of her dignity? She probably deems herself heroic!

Posted by: Marty at January 5, 2004 at 06:02 AM

Unfortunately, Jerry is right about the field of psychology (and psychiatry) attracting more than its share of nutballs. And sadly, no, it doesn't only happen in California.

This looneybird ought to get LOTS of publicity: the derisive, publicly humiliating, negative kind that will warn people away from her. In other words, blogospherics, crush some of that dissent!

Posted by: Rebecca at January 5, 2004 at 06:37 AM

This stupid bitch won't lose one second of sleep. After all, her intentions were pure.

Posted by: Amos at January 5, 2004 at 09:08 AM

Whats really sad is that this is only part of a larger problem, the smoking gun portion if you will.

Every day someone in the American press publishes an article or editorial saying GWB and the US is really their to steal the oil, help out his friends at Haliburtan, convert them to Christianity or whatever. This then gets picked up and amplified (as if it isn't incendery enough) in the Arab press and then used to incite violence againt us and our allies.

In WW2 we had strong press controls with far less reason for it. I don't agree with the idea, even if it would be practicle any more. But I wish the 'enlighted' left would use their heads a little bit more.

Posted by: Nemo at January 5, 2004 at 09:13 AM

I think that if the 'enlightened' left started using their heads, they might realise how wrong they have been all this time.

... Okay, maybe they won't, but I guess we can still hope.

Posted by: Marty at January 5, 2004 at 09:21 AM

"She doesn't mind the beating, It's the language she don't need!"

"Cool for Cats" Squeeze

"I don't know if Americans are raping Iraqi women. I do know they are killing them. I don't know if that's much better."

This statement is bizarre coming from a sex therapist. I remember that the Victorians described sex in most instances as "a fate worse than death". I thought the progressive line on helping rape victims recover was to remind them that it was horrible but they survived, they are alive, they can make their lives and relationships whole again.

Dr. Susan (aren't all California doctors called by their first names?) seems to be kickin' it pre-Freudian old school...the jihadis might ask her to justify honor killings for them in court.

Posted by: JDB at January 5, 2004 at 09:23 AM

She's full of shit no doubt, but stupidity and ignorance are key marks of islamist terrorism (most terrorism for that matter). If they saw the Bugs Bunny cartoon where he torments Yosemite Sam in arab costume, that would be proof enough of a infidel crusade against islam to these tools.

Let's face it, these morons *want* to kill lots of innocent people, and they'll find some hare-brained excuse to justify their actions. If not the twisted words of a twisted Susan Block, then the Elders of Zion, or some indymedia conspiracy that the local imam has latched onto. There's no shortage of anti-west bullshit in the arab world.

Posted by: Craig Mc at January 5, 2004 at 10:37 AM

Anyone recall the front page banner on the Oz decrying Media Watch's "pack rape" of Janet Albrechtsen?

Draw your own conclusions.

Posted by: Clog at January 5, 2004 at 10:51 AM

This reminds me of my very first post, way back in November 2001, on Dick Cheney's fondness for pheasant-hunting. I hope you don't mind if I quote the parallel part:

". . . given the stupidity of many of America's enemies -- as evidenced in the recent claim that Rudy Giuliani is the 'Jewish, homosexual, governor of New York', whose father named him after 'Rudolph Hitler' -- and their often shaky grasp of English, do we really want to give Al Jazeera and the like the opportunity to claim that Cheney goes out shooting peasants for sport?"

I was kidding, but now I wonder if some Islamists really do think Cheney hunts peasants.

Posted by: Dr. Weevil at January 5, 2004 at 11:03 AM

I do know they are killing [Iraqi women]

Great. More inflammatory stuff.

One question comes to mind: what the heck were Islamists doing reading a column by a sexologist?

Posted by: Andjam at January 5, 2004 at 11:44 AM

If I can be permitted to use a sex metaphor, that whole column is a wank.

Posted by: Johnny Wishbone at January 5, 2004 at 01:04 PM

Block's idea - using rape as an allegory for the the Iraq War - isn't even original. It was the major theme of a book published by a well known Iraqi author: Saddam Hussein.

You know you're pretty high up on the bogosity scale when you're resorting to plagiarizing mass-murdering megalomaniacs.

Posted by: Alex Robson at January 5, 2004 at 01:20 PM

Hey, at least her motives and heart were in the right place

Posted by: Wayne at January 5, 2004 at 02:35 PM

I remember reading a statement from one of Amrozi's comrades that hundreds of thousands of people had been killed by the USA in Afghanistan. So the same principle may have been at work in Bali as well.

Posted by: mitch at January 5, 2004 at 03:29 PM

How can Saddam urinate when his people are into bondage!

Posted by: Quentin George at January 5, 2004 at 04:49 PM

I wonder if Susan and Mike Moore (as read by the finest Indonesia terrorists) will do a joint work some time. Title suggestions?

Dude, where's my phallus?

Posted by: Andjam at January 5, 2004 at 05:16 PM

Meanwhile, Carlos the Jackal, still unrepentant terrorist now converted to Islam & Islamism, & author of a book (popular in France) calling for an alliance between Islamism & the left, cackles in his prison cell.

Posted by: ForNow at January 5, 2004 at 09:49 PM

The article is absolute drivel, but I still have one question. Why is it that Block refers to the rapist as "he" and the victim as "her"?

Surely even a bleeding-heart moron such as Block would recognise the blinkered and stereotypical assumptions about rape that those labels create. Then again, maybe that is too much to hope for from someone who writes stuff like this...

Oh and Saddam? All you base are belong to us!!!

Posted by: Blockhead at January 5, 2004 at 11:01 PM

Huh. She calls herself a "therapist". You're all aware of what the word "therapist" turns into when a space is inserted between the "e" and the "r"...

Posted by: Mary in LA at January 6, 2004 at 09:51 AM

> Frankly I'm surprised anybody reads anything
> she writes.

Perhaps the Turkish media is so dull that even Tom and Jerry would be a convincing incitement to plant bombs...

Posted by: Trevor Stanley at January 6, 2004 at 10:37 PM

Kind of alarming how the Leftists and Liberals all seem to be on the same side as the terrorists and dictators these days, isn't it? They don't hide it as well as they used to.

Posted by: CavalierX at January 7, 2004 at 01:30 AM

"Kind of alarming how the Leftists and Liberals all seem to be on the same side as the terrorists and dictators these days, isn't it? They don't hide it as well as they used to."

They have never hidden it - it's only that they manage to make many of us forget about their past. Remember: It's not the victors who write history, but those who write the victor's history.

Not the same thing, and in our case our history professions, etc. are brimming with fifth columnists, past and present. In the ol' days they cuddled up to various communist terrorists and dictators, and today it's various Islamist terrorists and dictators. They had a brief interlude when they were all confused after the fall of communism, but now they have once again found a home with their Islamist friends...

Posted by: döbeln at January 7, 2004 at 02:20 AM