Saturday, September 23, 2006

Quick Comments On Torture

Just a few quick thoughts on the "compromise," and the Bush administration's love of torture in general. I suppose if my brain wasn't taking a much-needed weekend off I could probably weave them both together into some kind of coherent narrative, but today is just not the day.

1) If I understand the "compromise" correctly, it means a prisoner can only be tortured if the president says it's okay. That should certainly cut down on abuses, right?

2) I'm not sure how useful it is to argue that torture is not very effective at garnering usable intelligence, because that's not really what it's for. In reality, torture as practiced by the Bush administration has two main functions:

The first is to punish Arabs and Muslims for having the temerity to attack us, or to sympathize with those who attack us, or to look like those who attack us. It satisfies a deep-seated, atavistic desire for vengeance against the Muslim world in general.

The second is to gather politically useful intelligence. Torture is a very effective way to get someone to tell you what you want to hear (Bush must use it on his subordinates on a regular basis...). If you capture some poor schmuck off the street and torture him long enough, he will eventually admit to being a Big Scary Terrorist, and give you all kinds of juicy leads to nonexistent plots that you can crow about. And if the FBI wastes a few man-years chasing them all down the rabbit hole, well, it helps them stay crisp.

3) I would like to see the Democrats go out on a limb and say that torture, as well as warrantless wiretapping, is immoral, and should be prosecuted instead of retroactively legalized. This would be a good time to remind America that the Republicans marketed themselves as the Christian Moral Values Party, and between torture, illegal wiretaps, and rampant corruption, they haven't exactly been living up to it. Challenge Americans to rediscover their sense of right and wrong. Remind them that Clinton stopped the Millenium Plot and put away the WTC bombers without ripping up the Constitution.

I fear that too many voters this November will say, "If the Democrats won't take a stand on torture, what on earth will they take a stand on?"

1 comment:

Seven Star Hand said...

Hello Eli and all,

The time is long past to stop focusing on the symptoms and myriad details and finally seek lasting solutions. Until we address the core causes of the millennia of struggle and suffering that have bedeviled us, these repeating cycles of evil will never end.

Why do religious leaders and followers so often participate in and support blatant evil?

History is replete with examples of religious leaders and followers advocating, supporting, and participating in blatant evil. Regardless of attempts to shift or deny blame, history clearly records the widespread crimes of Christianity. Whether we're talking about the abominations of the Inquisition, Crusades, the greed and genocide of colonizers, slavery in the Americas, or the Bush administration's recent deeds and results, Christianity has always spawned great evil. The deeds of many Muslims and the state of Israel are also prime examples.

The paradox of adherents who speak of peace and good deeds contrasted with leaders and willing cohorts knowingly using religion for evil keeps the cycle of violence spinning through time. Why does religion seem to represent good while always serving as a constant source of deception, conflict, and the chosen tool of great deceivers? The answer is simple. The combination of faith and religion is a strong delusion purposely designed to affect one's ability to reason clearly. Regardless of the current pope's duplicitous talk about reason, faith and religion are the opposite of truth, wisdom, and justice and completely incompatible with logic.

Religion, like politics and money, creates a spiritual, conceptual, and karmic endless loop. By their very nature, they always create opponents and losers which leads to a never ending cycle of losers striving to become winners again, ad infinitum. This purposeful logic trap always creates myriad sources of conflict and injustice, regardless of often-stated ideals, which are always diluted by ignorance and delusion. The only way to stop the cycle is to convert or kill off all opponents or to end the systems and concepts that drive it.

Think it through, would the Creator of all knowledge and wisdom insist that you remain ignorant by simply believing what you have been told by obviously duplicitous religious founders and leaders? Would a compassionate Creator want you to participate in a system that guarantees injustice and suffering to your fellow souls? Isn’t it far more likely that religion is a tool of greedy men seeking to profit from the ignorance of followers and the strife it constantly foments? When you mix religion with the equally destructive delusions of money and politics, injustice, chaos, and the profits they generate are guaranteed.