An blog by a member of the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, to explore the nexus between contemplation and resistance. "The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Beast - Naked at Last

"With the enactment of the Military Commissions Act, we feel only the vanishing warmth of the final traces of the sun's distant rays, and the shadows lengthen and grow darker. We will not see noon again, or even late afternoon, in our lifetimes."

"...the current US–UK axis is embarked on the re-imposition of absolute sovereign impunity, through the structural dismantling of the rule of law. Torture and assassination are proclaimed as executive prerogative; international tribunals shrugged aside; habeas corpus and trial by jury revoked; personal privacy abolished. The new Hobbesian state seeks to unfetter its every movement, to intimidate and isolate its citizens—all under the rubric of ‘security’. Once upon a time, the law provided a means of defence against the excesses of power; but such a strategy depended on the state’s willingness to acknowledge its own limits. No such willingness survives." - Retort Collective.

The beating started the following day. Without no warning...(long pause as he fights tears) without no warning the interrogator came in with a cable. He asked me to open my right hand. I did open it. And he hit me strongly on my palm. It was so painful to the point that I forgot every moment I enjoyed in my life."

Forget every moment you have ever enjoyed and think of the torture that sucks all that life into its empty maw. That is what America now means to most of the world. Obsession with security to the point of torture, trampling that world, a death force that shatters individuals at random, the abstracted rage that we will not own, so it comes to own us.

"This moment is still vivid in my mind because it was the first I was ever beaten in my life. Then he asked me to open my left hand. He hit me again. And that one missed and hit my wrist. The pain from that hit lasted approximately six months. And then he would ask me questions. And I would have to answer very quickly. And then he would repeat the beating this time anywhere on my, on my body. Sometimes he would take me to a room where I could, where I was alone, I could hear other prisoners being tortured, severely tortured. I remember that I used to hear their screams. I just couldn't believe it, that human beings would do this to other human beings."

Sitting in the cell with Maher Arar was his true friend, Jesus Christ. "God is the 'great companion - the fellow suffer who understands. God experiences us. God goes with us, God suffers with us, God rejoices with us, God understands us. So our life is eternally presnt to him, remains eternally present for him." - Jurgen Moltmann, "The Coming of God"

Do you remember the first time you were beaten? Each of us lives his or her own torture, his own abandonment by humanity. Whenever we abandon the fight to free the Maher Arars of the world, we strike them on the palm with our silence, our tacit approval of the cable and blade. Human beings can do this to other human beings and human beings can chase mutely after entertainment while fellow images of God scream. Both Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton now endorse torture and this endorsement raised virtually no response. Whether Democrats or Republicans control the government, more blood will be poured out and more screams sent to heaven. Which is why we must place our trust in God alone and pray with all our hearts for the coming of his reign. The horror will only cease when we cease being horrors to ourselves, when the desire for false peace no longer seals our mouths while our brothers and sisters suffer.

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