Category Archives: war on terror

breathe. can we?

deny. demonize. deny some more. then kick sand in everyone’s face if they express opinions that differ from yours. have we, here in this north american society, grown this small? really? i despair. it feels like we have. where, oh where, have our hearts and minds gone? where has constructive outrage gone? where has compassion gone? oh … sometimes i feel like its all too much. far too much.

did we think the threat of mcarthy-ism dead? think again. maybe not. did we think solving the middle east difficulties would really be that easy? did we bother to inform ourselves of the history of the conflict? did we already forget about lawrence of arabia? did we already forget that 54,000 canadian, 400,000 american, and 25 million in total, soliders died in WW2 – a war that spanned 6 years? the world effectively lost an entire generation of men. do we have a fucking clue? about history? about things that happen on the other sides of the oceans?

do we really think its ok to send adolescents, who have questionably yet to reach the age of consent, into a environment filled with manipulative, power-addicted narcisstists (read:politicians)? OMG. what the fuck makes us soooooo blind and naive? really, its all too much. i wonder if its occuring to anyone out there that sexual deviance and sexual repression go hand-in-hand. or if we are all just going to put another pair of blinders on and get on the ‘indignant outrage’ soapbox?

it saddens me a great deal that people out there still think the collective WE bears no responsibility for all the world’s suffering. absolutely saddens me. that they honestly believe, because they did not pull the trigger, wield the torture device, or hold down that 15 year old girl so 14 others could rape her, this grants absolution and frees them from accountability. why? why, if another human, somewhere – anywhere – out there, suffers would ANY one think they have no responsibility to contribute toward efforts to relieve said suffering?

and why have we attached some sort of twisted ideological entitlement to the relief of suffering?

and what the fuck is up with this culture of retribution and revenge?

breathe. can we?

image originally uploaded by wimedejonge

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Filed under historical analysis, human rights, humanity, ideology, politics, religion, sociology, war on terror

the human rights of our enemies

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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.

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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.

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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?

images originally uploaded by pantufla and sataniod

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298 reasons to hate the west

abu ghraib files

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11/9 – a post about 9/11

ON THAT DAY
i recall vividly the moment i heard about the crash. 08:10 – it was a wednesday morning – we were driving under a bridge, on the perimeter highway – lupin driving me home after a 12 hour nite shift (my 2nd nite – my 2nd 12 hr shift in as many days). i did not sleep that day. we stared at the telly screen, dumbfounded. a colleague at work worried that his mother – who lived and worked in NYC – did not survive the crash. he had no news of his mother for a few days. each of those days we worked together, the anguish swirled in him. things turned out ok for that family … but i remember the anguish of those early days.

ABOUT THAT DAY
for me, the anguish of that day swells, with each passing year. with each passing year, life tumbles past us, the way leaves glide upon gentle breezes. and moments pass. moments from which death has banished those dearly departed. they say time heals all wounds, but with time, the wound gapes ever wider.it feels as though, i think, with each year that passes, the dearly departed shrink further and further from our grasp. from our mind’s grasp.

when do we forget the sound of their voice? the way touching them made us feel? when do their images start to fade in our minds? and … we ask the question … why? for eternity — WHY? each joyful moment, forever after, has a bittersweet taste. can joy without our dearly departed truly feel like joy? or does it feel plastic and contrived? like, sort of surreal. for us – survivors left behind – a tomorrow exists. can we live with that?

AFTER THAT DAY
stunning photographs captured horrorific moments – remember these?

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and the OUTRAGE

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they caused?

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and … how soon, we never saw them anymore? well … LOOK. take a good LOOK.

SANITIZING?
do you ever ask yourself, why? why the desperate urge to sanitize these deaths? considering the extremely graphic and disturbing images seen at the liberation of the concetration camps after WW2, why did these pictures trigger such outrage? 11/9 IS. irrevocably. do we want to remember it? or are we going to have dinner with that big white elephant on the dining room table? i, for one, don’t care to dine with the big white elephant. been there, done that. i choose to live in brutal reality. death = life. the value of life lies in the eternity of death. (does that sound sort of too surreal, maybe?)

i had the wonderful privilege of seeing the north american premiere of this movie: the falling man. it traces the origin of the photo, from the photographer thru to the journalists who sought to identify the ‘falling man.’ but, more interesting that this, the movie speaks to the whole denial of death, despite the massive loss of life on 11/9.

its true – for the most part, we only wanted to see images of the rescue workers sifting thru the rubble. we desperately wanted to turn our heads away from the terror and ugliness and such a death. why? are not those who made a choice and resolved to plummet to their death … are not those people victims just the same as those who did not make that choice? do we honour their memory by denying the way they died? i think not.

i ask myself. what would i do? what would you do? would you make a phone call? who would you call? what would you say? what would course thru my mind moments before such a horrific death? we cannot begin to imagine having to make such a choice. death by fire or death by sudden deceleration? no escape. only escape to death. so — what of the falling man photo? when i look at it, i am stunned by the stark contrasts that converge there: the bright sun and a solitary, free falling figure, almost perfectly aligned with the vertical axis of the tower. and then reality – a person, falling to his death. and death, DEATH.

that feeling you have? that uncomfortable feeling?
its called humility
… because …
death is a most humbling experience.

what do you see in the falling man photo?

what do you see, in all this?

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