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.
Monday, December 24, 2007
"America is a fallen nation. Americans exist in time, in the era biblically called the Fall. America is a demonic principality, or conglomeration of principalities and powers in which death furnishes the meaning, in which death is the reigning idol. Enshrined in multifarious forms and guises, it enslaves human beings, exacts human sacrifices, captures and captivates Presidents as well as intimidating and dehumanizing ordinary citizens." - William Stringfellow
Babylon the Great has fallen, will fall, and will continue to fall throughout the ages to come.
According to recently leaked lecture on torture techniques by Dr. Larry Forness of the American Military University (reference below), those considered "terrorists" by the U.S. have no human rights - eight hundred years of struggle toward the light has been blotted out - "Therefore, no terrorist -- whether running free or in custody -- is entitled to any protection under any international law to which we are a signatory or law of the United States."
What follows are the fallacies that Dr. Forness detects in those who hesitate to torture:
"Fallacy #1. Torture never works, because a prisoner will tell the interrogators whatever they want to hear just to stop the torture.
That's based on a faulty assumption. That faulty assumption is that, if you act on the fabricated intelligence provided by the prisoner, and then you find out that it is not correct, that the prisoner does not have to pay a price for lying. Before you ask the prisoner for information, you tell that prisoner that if he or she lies, you will torture the prisoner, the family, the friends, the parakeet, whomever. And then do it."
So where's the problem? For every challenge to torture, there's an effective technological answer. If lies are the problem, punish the lie and the truth will follow. Let the circle of torture grow and truth will be infallibly produced.
This is the obvious counter to the oft-repeated formula among liberals that torture is self-defeating. Torture works in two ways - it destroys the humanity of the tortured and it instills insurmountable fear in those who would follow the example of those who resist.
"Fallacy #3. Torture as a means of interrogation is generally not accepted throughout the world.
In point of fact, within the last three years, more than three-quarters of all countries in the world have practiced torture as a means of interrogation. This applies to their own citizens, as well as foreigners, whether combatants or not."
What follows is a case study of the effective interrogation of Filipino Muslims during the early days of the American empire. "In 1909, before World War I, there were a number of terrorist attacks on the United States forces in the island of Mindanao in the Philippines, by Muslim extremists. General "Black Jack" Pershing was the appointed military governor of the Moro Province. He captured 50 terrorists and ordered them to be tied to posts for execution. Since all the prisoners were Muslim, he asked his men to bring two pigs and slaughter them in front of the prisoners. He then proceeded by dipping bullets into the pig’s blood.
In the process he executed 49 of the terrorists by firing squad. Then, the soldiers dug a big hole in the ground and dumped in the terrorists’ bodies and covered them in pig’s blood and viscera. The last man was set free. For 42 years there was not a single Muslim attack anywhere in the world.
His rationale was quite simple and effective. Since a radical Muslim is willing to give his life for his religion in a Jihad war, killing him would not make much difference. He would be seen as a martyr (shahada).
But the General knew that all Muslims believe in eternal life after death with 72 virgins waiting for them in paradise. He also knew that those that embrace Jihad usually prepare themselves physically and spiritually in case they die in combat.
Since the pig is considered forbidden food (haram) in Islam, Pershing introduced this variable to thwart their hopes to enter Allah’s kingdom. The pig’s blood automatically nullified any prior purification by contaminating their bodies." - http://www.wikileaks.org/wiki/Torture%2C_interrogation_and_intelligence
One doesn't know whether to laugh or weep - or both. The essence of violence is to turn what is human into an object. The excuse for violence is always that "our side" has been turned into an object by the "other side." The interrogation expert in the passage above is not dealing with living men, but with "Muslims", whose religion can be manipulated to obtain the desired technical outcome. To the extent that these "Muslims" allow themselves to be transformed into objects, the procedure will be a "success".
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12.
The world forces of this darkness are the forces of dehumanization, that have transformed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, men, women, and children, into "collateral damage", that have allow ghastly experiments in torture on thousands of innocent bystanders in the dungeons where we perfect the techniques of inhumanity.
Such is the face of the naked beast which we must battle in ourselves and in a government soon to ratify the forms of bestiality which from which the face of American piety continually averts itself.