Friday, May 27, 2011

Delusions of NATO

About Afghanistan, Hil[l]ary Clinton said both Pakistan and the United States want safe and stable Afghanistan, which is not a source of ins[e]curity for its neighbours. The US is supporting Afghan led process that seeks to split Taliban from Al-Qaeda and reconciliation with those insurgents who will renounce violence and accept constitution of Afghanistan. For this reconciliation to succeed, Pakistan must be a part of the process. She acknowledged that Pakistan has a legitimate interest in the outcome of the process and its interests need to be respected and addressed.

Pakistan Observer, May 28, 2011

President Obama rallied U.S. troops and pledged continued partnership with Afghanistan during a previously unannounced trip to the country Sunday.

Speaking to about 2,000 U.S. and allied troops at the major U.S. base in Afghanistan, Obama said, "Those folks back home are relying on you."

"I know it's not easy," he said. "You're far away from home. You miss your kids, you miss your spouses, your family, your friends." But he added, "If I thought for a minute that America's vital interests were not served, were not at stake here in Afghanistan, I would order all of you home right away."

Afghan war remains 'absolutely essential,' Obama says
CNN March 28, 2010

When we were young reporters in Vietnam in that period -- '62, '63 -- and the generals would tell us how they were winning the war, we thought they were lying to us. We considered these statements of fatuous optimism to be insults to our intelligence. We thought that they regarded us with contempt because we were reporters. We thought they had a grip on reality. When I got the Pentagon Papers, I began to realize that, just a moment, maybe these people believed these delusions. And then when I began to research the book, I discovered that it was absolutely true. I got the secret records of those strategy conferences in Honolulu, and here were these men, sitting in a guarded room under top-secret circumstances, and they were more optimistic than they had been with us in a press conference in Saigon! And it was, I don't want to use that slang phrase, but it was mind boggling in a way. I mean, it was like an explosion going off in your mind, because you realized, "My God, they believed in these delusions." We had a military and political leadership at that period which was genuinely deluded.
Neil Sheehan
Conversations with History
Interview with Harry Kreisler

Delusional disorder is an illness characterized by the presence of nonbizarre delusions in the absence of other mood or psychotic symptoms, according to the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR). It defines delusions as false beliefs based on incorrect inference about external reality that persist despite the evidence to the contrary and these beliefs are not ordinarily accepted by other members of the person's culture or subculture.

Nonbizarre refers to the fact that this type of delusion is about situations that could occur in real life, such as being followed, being loved, having an infection, and being deceived by one's spouse.

Delusional disorder is on a spectrum between more severe psychosis and overvalued ideas. Bizarre delusions represent the manifestations of more severe types of psychotic illnesses (eg, schizophrenia) and "are clearly implausible, not understandable, and not derived from ordinary life experiences".

On the other end of the spectrum, making a distinction between a delusion and an overvalued idea is important, the latter representing an unreasonable belief that is not firmly held.

Additionally, personal beliefs should be evaluated with great respect to complexity of cultural and religious differences: some cultures have widely accepted beliefs that may be considered delusional in other cultures.

Unfortunately, patients with delusional disorder do not have good insight into their pathological experiences. Interestingly, despite significant delusions, many other psychosocial abilities remain intact, as if the delusions are circumscribed. Indeed, this is one of the key differences between delusional disorder and other primary psychotic disorders. However, the individual may rarely seek psychiatric help, remain isolated, and often present to internists, surgeons, dermatologists, policemen, and lawyers rather than psychiatrists. Despite this, their prognosis, while not good, is not as bad as other more severe disorders.

Delusional Disorder - Overview