Sunday, March 9, 2008

David-Baptiste Chirot on the New House Bill to End Waterboarding That Bush Will Veto

Paul Lauritzen recently remarked, regarding his blogging at COMMONWEAL, that some posts receive very few comments. In particular, posts about torture seem to elicit few responses from the readers. I second that observation here; I almost never receive feedback for posts about torture. Why is that? Is it so self-evidently bad that there's really nothing to talk about, or that the very subject causes us to pause, to gape in silence. (Thus, I dare you to respond.)

Here is David-Baptiste Chirot:

None of the Presidential Candidates will makes this [House Resolution Bill to end waterboarding] much of an issue, except perhaps McCain, who was tortured and has spoken about before. All three vociferously support the US position taken in the resolution linked above, which as always ignores the War crimes of the Israeli Occupation as well as continuing let go unpunished those the US commits in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are so many tortures being used that banning waterboarding seems almost absurd for the President to be bothering to take a stand on.

An outspoken activist during the Algerian War pointed out that the demos and petition against torture missed the central point: colonialism and occupations as a system in themselves bring nothing but violence and torture, subjection and dehumanization of the occupied peoples. Torture is just a part of the package, not apart from it. The only way for these inhumanities to end is to stop the war crimes of occupations. The US and Israel have become the world's two most hated governments due to their acing continually above all international laws while demanding with self righteous authority and overwhelming violence and threats that all other nations should comply.

The US's own history of genocide, slavery, Jim Crow, anti-immigration waves of hatred periodically revived are not so very far in the past for them all to be in operation against others --almost anyone--deemed "terrorist," "enemy combattants," and "Islamo -Fascists." or "sympathizers."

The US was one of four countries that refused to sign the International Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples, which made it possible for Evo Morales to become President to Bolivia.

To this day American Indians are third class citizens in the areas they are allowed to live as "reservations" in a huge "occupied territory."

With such a successful example here in the "Homeland," why should one think that our leaders will change their polices regarding our actions abroad or any of those of our allies?

Palestinian protestors carried sings when Bush was on his Middle east Peace trip saying "You will not do to us what you did to the Red Indians." Right after he left, 108 Palestinians were killed the rest of that month of January. 5 children died in hospitals whose electricities were cut off. "The only good Indian is a dead Indian."

The longer that these things go on by the US and its allies that the US floods with money in many countries around the world, the more this will eat into and has eaten into the American psyche.

The "monster" is not just Bush and a few of his cronies--it is slowly or swiftly becoming everyone.


Chaerephon said...

Torture is just a part of the package, not apart from it.

This is true, but tactically, isn't it good to call attention to torture specifically (or to waterboarding even more specifically) in order to highlight the most flagrant abuses for a distracted and misinformed body politic?

OTOH, if they're distracted by torture porn like 24, maybe not.

Philip Metres said...

No, I totally agree with you, insofar as waterboarding becomes an image of what torture actually is and how it hurts, which could lead to a wider discussion about our GWOT tactics and how they could compromise our constitutional values.

Torture porn--that's it, isn't it?

Chaerephon said...

I didn't make up the phrase "torture porn" but I wish I had. It gets to the heart of the fantasy that is itself at the heart of the "what if you only had 30 seconds to find out where the bomb was" scenario -- and the pleasure that some people take in imagining that scenario.