in 2004, on the UN international day for the victims of torture, dubya stated that “America stands against and will not tolerate torture.” he further stated that “The United States also remains steadfastly committed to upholding the Geneva Conventions, which have been the bedrock of protection in armed conflict for more than 50 years.”
ok. that’s hilarious. a real load of steaming brown poop, considering what’s in the CIA’s bag of interrogation tricks. torture as an interrogation technique? yes, you will find the cold cell and water boarding among these so called acceptable techniques. interesting – since such interrogation techniques violate the geneva convention of which the president spoke so passionately in the above quotes.
so, in the wake of the absolute horror unveiled in abu ghraib and given dubya’s attempts to undermine the geneva convention and challenge the habeas corpus principal, i – josephine public – face some serious realities. at the very least, a betrayal of truth – for, such abuses are beyond my imagination and comprehension, given my social, cultural and geographic setting. but, i must transcend that outrage and focus on the facts presented, on what’s said and on what’s not said. and most of all, on what it represents in terms of the political tide that’s turning here.
it disturbs me. mostly because of my visionary way of looking at people and events. i see behaviours and actions as manifestations of an individual’s motivations. motivations being rooted in values and human ethics. and, very telling of any society’s values, is the conditions with which it’s prepared to live. what do we think we can live with as a society? what does that tell us about the value we collectively attach to life? pride? power? humanity? THINK ON IT.
i don’t see occurences in isolation. rather, as a culmination of circumstances, conditions, behaviours and actions. my present results from my past. my interaction can alter its course. my apathy and complacence leaves it unaltered. and so it is for world affairs. we look to dark lesions in human history with disdain and politically correct outrage. we tell ourselves we can’t imagine what those german people were thinking, voting for a monster like hitler. really? i think it’s quite simple, when you consider the social, political and cultural forces at work in german society at that time.
the horror of it all lies in its insidious nature. they did not vote hitler in based upon a platform of annihilating 6 million jewish people. they voted for him based on his fervor and passion to lift a weak, confused and floundering germany to a strong and proud germany. he spoke so passionately the comforting rhetoric the german public longed to hear, needed to hear. and once hooked into a belief tract, one sees what one wants to see and hears what one wants to hear. and of course, since its dawn as an institution, government has always carefully controlled the flow of information to its citizens, with a carefully crafted spin.
considering the atrocities in our modern information era that went unnoticed as they unfolded – such as bosnia, abu ghraib, etc – it does not seem hard for me to imagine that a majority of the german public remained blissfully unaware of the ‘final solution.’ and then, consider the social and cultural climate of the time: rigid and intolerant to any deviations – a setting in which hatred and bigotry flourish.
the horror sinks to our own level even further, doesn’t it? for, don’t a goodly portion of people out there believe that all the abu ghraib torture fell upon deserving victims? ‘they’re the enemy! they don’t deserve human rights!’ sound like a familiar rhetoric? sound like the sort of rhetoric that gives rise to hatred and bigotry? it does to me …. chillingly so, in fact. isn’t that what underlies the american government’s assertion that terrorist will not receive ‘due process’ under the law?
and so … do you think america’s enemies deserve human rights? think, for a moment, before you answer. recall that hitler perceived the jewish people as his enemy, and, more importantly, as an enemy of the germany nation. whether you or i or the public at large agree or disagree is really beside the point. perception governs the direction of one’s action’s. that’s my point. which leads me to the conclusion that not much separates us, a 21st century society driven by fear, despair and rage, from that floundering and broken german society of 6 decades ago.
frightening, isn’t it?