May 29, 2007

Back to the Dark Ages?

Dark forces have been unleashed in fury in an attempt to turn the clock back to the moral and intellectual bleakness of the Dark Ages of Europe.
We, the world population of this modern age, stand at a crisis point in human history. Many people of good will have recognized what is going on, although hardly with one, clear view. Instead, the aweful phenomenon has been interpreted in a myriad of optics, creating confusion and lack of power among the resistance. Yet the essential evil of the bold menace has been described, even while its causes and promoters remain obscure.

The modern reactionaries have all kinds of tricks at their disposal for the formidable task of regressing the planet back to the days of feudal lords and penniless peasants. Perhaps the most effective tool is called 'the media,' meaning the conglomerate of television, radio, and newspapers, but which can reasonably include movies, as well. These means of mass communication all arose out of 'free societies' wherein men could exercise creative talent and develop new ideas. Now, the puppet masters want to use the products of freedom to prepare the way for neo-feudalism. By gaining control of the media, the regressors are using them to subtly brain-wash the masses with the values and views that suit the goals of class domination. This they can do in full daylight, knowing that the common person is so over-stimulated in all aspects of life as to prefer to carry on in the trusting belief that all is well with the world... at least until it becomes obvious that it isn't.

What signals the reversion to a dark past are leading indicators from the country that prides itself as the vanguard of progress, the acolyte of knowledge, the home of the free, etc. The government of the USA has embraced the doctrine of the 'pre-emptive strike,' which is the Newspeak phrase for what was always known as unprovoked aggression. It has declared that in the event of war, all levels of civilization attained in the last 5,000 years are open to suspension... Then they went ahead and declared 'war' on 'terrorism' just to make sure that the pretext was in place. One thing this government has tried hard to do is turn aside the flagship document of liberty, the Constitution of the USA. In this, thankfully, they have been opposed, and have achieved only partial success. Yet, among their dubious successes has been the re-institution of torture as an instrument of unofficial policy. This fact is truly appalling after the horrifying lessons of history; but in a system of homogenizing education (a.k.a. indoctrination), history is what the masters want it to be. One should rightly demand, How could the 'epitome of humanity' sanction the use of torture? Of course, at the official, PR level, the US government maintains that it does not endorse or use torture on 'suspects'-- while winking and nodding that interrogation may include 'pressure tactics.'

The practice of 'torture lite' seemed to slip in rather painlessly, one might say. Sure, in the wake of 9-11, the media reported first, the possibility, adding various examples of hypothetical cases where 'even civilized people' would be justified in applying harsh treatment on prisoners in order to extract information vital to the safety of their own citizens. The argument is really futile and fatuous... but it apparently satisfied the average readers and viewers of America who hardly registered a complaint against such macho nonsense. The next thing Americans knew, their government had efficiently rounded up hundreds of 'terrorists' and sequestered them in a secluded enclave in, of all places, Cuba.

In a marvelous display of political sophistry, the White House declared that the US was not bound by the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war because (remember?) these prisoners were not 'soldiers'... altho they were captured in a 'war' on terror. Neither were they subject to normal American legal process because (you got it!) they were not in America. With this absurd logic, American forces were free to treat (or mistreat, as it turns out) these unfortunates any way they wanted. After five years or more, some of them are still being held with no charges. Those that get charged are then faced with the prospect of kangaroo trials where they never see evidence and basically have no rights. Git-mo (as it was nicknamed) still holds a detainee who was barely 15 when he was captured, and who the UN conventions clearly consider a child soldier.

Maybe some of you readers still cling to a nagging belief that, well, sometimes as unpleasant as it is, 'our people' could be justified in using torture. To that I say plainly, bullshit! In the first case, anyone who resorts to violence puts himself on the same level as the one whom he claims to abhor. You cannot decry the abuse of human rights in another country while condoning it-- even in your carefully contrived special circumstances-- in your own. Once you've demonstrated such duplicity, you lose all moral authority

If you are one of those who don't care about ethics, just 'whatever works,' then even in that case, torture is pointless. 'Intelligence' officers themselves admit that any information obtained under torture is very unreliable, at best. Not only that, but it is most likely outdated, and of little use, even if it should be correct. And, if you claim to live in such a civilized and advanced society, have you not heard of lie-detectors? If our 'intelligence' agents really wanted useful information, why wouldn't they just bring in the polygraph and its operator, and ask the suspect the desired questions? Answer-- because it's not really about information! It's about terrorizing the big, bad enemy one participant at a time.

And there's another 'practical' reason that should also appeal to the pragmatists who aren't concerned over ethics. Once it is known by 'them' that 'our people' are using torture, then 'they' now consider themselves fully justified in using torture against 'the good guys' when they are captured, as will inevitably happen. That's why the revelation of widespread, systemic prisoner abuse in the Abu-Graib facility was a multiple fiasco for the Americans. It not only revealed their moral hypocrisy to a skeptical world; it left the door open for 'justified' mistreatment of US individuals who might fall into the insurgents' hands.

See, the neo-cons (emphasis on 'cons') pretending to run the USA have strived mightily to turn the clock back to the Dark Ages of the Inquisitions. All the elements are in place; only the labels have been updated. During the Inquisitions, essentially any person could accuse someone else of being either a 'heretic' or a witch, and that hearsay charge was sufficient for the accused to be hauled before a panel of self-appointed judges for questioning. If the answers weren't quite suitable, harsher interrogation methods were fully sanctioned by the supreme authority, the Church. Here's the crazy part: torture was administered until the accused confessed to the charge. Once the confession was obtained, the accused-- now clearly 'guilty' could be legally executed by the state... often using (you guessed it) torture. Of course, if the accused had the nerves to resist confessing, well then the 'interrogation' continued until the person expired. This patent madness went on, not for some brief moment of history, but for centuries!

Today, the accused persons are charged with terrorism, often on the basis of 'confessions' obtained from other suspects, or on evidence virtually planted on them by infiltrators who are trained to draw them into conspiracies. If the suspect happens to reside in a civilized country, he can be abducted and 'rendered' to another country that has plenty of practice at torture. While much of what goes on is not constitutional, once a person is in the hands of US government agencies, legal considerations go out the window. What we have is a modern witch-hunt, complete with phony charges, state-sanctioned torture, and utter disregard for either law or morals. The neo-cons have erased centuries of blood-bought achievements in the realm of human rights, and returned humanity to the depravity of the Dark Ages. And like the original Dark Ages, the mainstream churches are complicit in the abuse of human rights-- either by their woeful silence, or worse, by their patriotic cheerleeding for the war on Islam (which is how many fundamentalists seem to view it).

By flaunting international law, and placing their interests above all others, the US administration has done a first-class job of putting America in the worst possible light. It's tragic that many Americans of good faith who abhor the record of their government are, nonetheless, painted by the same black brush. The once proud soaring eagle has been revealed a blood-splattered turkey vulture. The princes of darkness carry on in apparent ignorance of the basic spiritual law of the universe-- as you sow, you shall likewise reap. America will experience increasing calamities of all kinds, and there will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth among millions who have never bothered to understand the flagrant transgressions of their leaders who bamboozled them with double-talk and lies for so long. As they start to awaken from their slumber, the deceived masses will not be happy. It will be very ugly.

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