This introspection is dedicated to those remaining Americans who ask "Why do they hate us?
In 1958, two Americans wrote a book "The Ugly American
" renowned for its slashing exposé of American arrogance, incompetence, and corruption in Southeast Asia. Vietnam's bloody orgy proved their point.
A year ago, a previous posting
on this site fleetingly mentioned "The schizophrenia of the “American Way of Life”: Preach peace and democracy but rooted in genocide and violence on a subliminal level"
Not being a psychiatrist, the definition of schizophrenia is (according to www.gurunet.com
- A situation or condition that results from the coexistence of disparate or antagonistic qualities, identities, or activities: the national schizophrenia that results from carrying out an unpopular war.
- Any of a group of psychotic disorders usually characterized by withdrawal from reality, illogical patterns of thinking, delusions, and hallucinations, and accompanied in varying degrees by other emotional, behavioral, or intellectual disturbances.
Recent events have highlighted this schizophrenic behavior in the American psyche, be it the response to hurricane Katrina, the finally to be released 'more' Abu Ghraib pictures and videos, testaments of American soldiers who tortured prisoners, among other indicators.- Katrina
"The world's most over-developed military power is its most under developed nation in matters of real human security. Almost maniacally prepared for terrorist attack by material forces , it was unprepared for the terrorist attack by an immaterial Intelligent Designer . But along with the horrors of a natural disaster on America's Gulf Coast, we witnessed the unnatural disaster of our nation's disregard for some of its people.
Millions of Americans live in denial about racism , believing that social programs solved that problem . But the reality of unedited television news told a different story. Tens of thousands of black New Orleans residents could not afford to evacuate and were left in circumstances that would be pitiful in a poor nation, but are disgraceful in the richest country in the world. They were the forgotten and excluded, untouched by selective programs, identity group catch phrases or other system saving word games.
... While thousands of Americans acted in compassionate solidarity , government offered pious platitudes to cover its anti-social disregard for those left out of its upscale marketing agenda.
Poverty is the global curse of capital , but while suffering foreign masses are commonly seen in disaster TV coverage, the horrid reality of poor, displaced black Americans offered an educational experience for millions of viewers. That is, those who have not suffered permanent brain damage from watching Fox TV, or reading the thinly disguised race mongering that passes for punditry in much of our print media."The Terrorism of Race and Poverty
September 21, 2005
- American porno torture
"... Porno torture is not defined in law. However, laws do define pornography and torture separately. Pornography is visual depictions, including photograph, film, and video, of actual or simulated sexually explicit conduct, such as lascivious exhibition of the genitals, sexual acts, sadistic or masochistic abuse. Torture is the intentional infliction of severe physical or mental pain on a person for the purposes of obtaining information or a confession, punishment, or intimidation.From these definitions, porno torture may be deduced as the intentional infliction of severe physical or mental pain for interrogative, punitive, or abusive purposes by forcing a person to engage in sexually explicit behavior which is recorded, or staged before a live audience.Note that porno torture is not the same as porno conduct. What distinguishes the two is the element of consent.
Why has the US Torture Establishment invented porno torture to degrade and torment Muslim men, women, and children? There can be several believable explanations. Here are two:
The first explanation is legal. The Torture Establishment knows that the United States has not fully accepted the concept of mental torture. The Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment (1984), a universally subscribed international treaty, prohibits physical or mental torture and allows no exceptions under any circumstances. In 1994, however, the United States ratified the Convention with several reservations. One reservation narrows the scope of mental torture. No mental torture is actionable under US laws unless it causes "prolonged mental harm." Accordingly, the Torture Establishment might have foolishly concluded that porno torture may be inflicted on Muslim detainees since it presumably causes no severe physical injury or prolonged mental harm.
The second explanation is cultural-religious. The Torture Establishment interprets the war on terror as a religious war. It presumes that terrorists are Muslim fundamentalists with conservative sexual morality. The presumption is valid to the extent that Islamic culture shuns porno nudity and porno sexual acts staged for the gratification of an audience. In this sense, Islamic culture is no different from the mainstream American culture. However while a multi-billion dollars porn industry is permitted under the US laws, Muslim nations practice severe censorship to minimize the entry of porno products. This awareness of cultural difference empowers the Torture Establishment to use porno torture as an effective tool in challenging, confusing, and degrading the religious orientation of Muslim detainees. The Torture Establishment is betting that porno torture would cause severe mental pain and suffering to Muslim militants but no perpetrator will be prosecuted.
It is no surprise that the military court that convicted Lynddie England found no porno torture in the case. In fact, England was not even charged for committing any form of torture. She has been found guilty of one count of conspiracy, four counts of maltreating detainees, and one count of committing an indecent act. No Iraqi detainees were summoned as witnesses to tell their story of shame, degradation, pain and suffering that porno torture inflicted on their bodies, minds, and souls (emphasis added). Meanwhile, the Torture Establishment has buried thousands of pictures of porno torture in confidential files to avoid responsibility."
The Invention of Porno Torture September 28, 2005
".. And then there is the occupation. War is not glorious, or pure, or honorable. It is brutalizing, grotesque, beyond morality. The Americans drop bombs on houses from airplanes, killing people indiscriminately. They fire 50 caliber machine guns at cars that they think have approached them too closely, and at everyone in sight if they have been attacked. They break down doors in random searches of entire neighborhoods, destroy and loot people's property, beat and humiliate ordinary citizens. They routinely abuse and torture people they arrest, and they hold tens of thousands of prisoners, the vast majority on nothing but slight suspicions, under grim conditions. They besiege and demolish entire cities, driving their inhabitants into squalid refugee camps.
They do this even though they do not understand who they are fighting and they have no evident goal or cause. Some of them have taken to posting photographs of themselves laughing at the gory remains of Iraqis on an Internet porn site [U.S. troops trade photos of dead Iraqis with porn]. Ironically, that's about the only place Americans can see for themselves the reality of war, because the television and the newspapers won't show it to us. (emphasis added)
The whole world knows all this. But our political leaders, of both parties, and our corporate media, will not confront the truth. There is a cancer on our national soul."
The Unbridgeable Chasm September 28, 2005
- "The Murderous Maniacs"
"For the first time, American soldiers who personally tortured Iraqi prisoners have come forward to give testimony to human rights organisations about crimes they committed. Three soldiers – a captain and two sergeants – from the 82nd Airborne Division stationed at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Mercury near Fallujah in Iraq have told Human Rights Watch how prisoners were tortured both as a form of stress relief and as a way of breaking them for interrogation sessions.
The 82nd Airborne soldiers at FOB Mercury earned the nickname “The Murderous Maniacs” from local Iraqis and took the moniker as a badge of honour. The soldiers referred to their Iraqi captives as PUCs – persons under control – and used the expressions “f***ing a PUC” and “smoking a PUC” to refer respectively to torture and forced physical exertion."Torture of Iraqis was for ‘stress relief’, say US soldiers
October 2, 2005 "What is propelling this psychotic malaise in the US?
"The poverty and racism that reduce millions of Americans to lives of painful alienation is the natural outcome of an economic system, and cannot be blamed on any one person or party. The present gang of governing corporadoes may be the worst in our history, but nothing they do is out of character with the system they, and all their predecessors, have worked to maintain and protect. And this tragedy exposed that system's ugly underbelly to all but committed racists or the morally comatose."
Referring again to: The Terrorism of Race and Poverty
September 21, 2005Why isn't this alienation resulting from heightened capitalist economies affecting other Western societies in the same manner as in the US?
A brief and personal, albeit not wholesome, response is in the following incident: I was once interviewed at the end of 2002, and before the invasion of Iraq, by an American radio show host. Her final question was, “You have studied, and lived for several years, at both US and British universities. How do you feel now knowing that both these countries are intending to wage a war against Iraq shortly?” My immediate response was, “I appreciate being in Canada.” She was taken aback at this change of tact and quickly recovered: “How so?” she queried. I answered, “The American Way of Life is extracted from its Constitution which holds sacred three things, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. In my belief, that American pursuit of happiness is expended even at the expense of others. In Canada, their Constitution embodies three similar symbols as basic tenets to the Canadians. These are Law, Order and Good Government”. Silence ensued and then a thank you. She aired the whole half hour of the interview without that last exchange.This picture speaks for itself.As for spreading Liberty, Democracy and Freedom:
"If you believe, as I do and as President Bush does, that the root cause of September 11 was the violent expression of a global extremist ideology, an ideology rooted in the oppression and despair of the modern Middle East, then we must seek to remove the very source of this terror by transforming that total region," she (Condoleezza Rice) said. "We must recognise, as we do in every other region of the world, that liberty and democracy are the only guarantees of true stability and lasting security," she said." Rice: Force necessary for democracy October 1, 2005
"In this policy [America’s new policy for the use of nuclear weapons], there is the impression of an "inhuman utilitarianism," which rejects the distinction between belligerent and non-belligerent and which, in addition, grants maximum value to the lives of one’s own people [Americans], but an Olympian scorn for the lives of all others. ". America Should Ask, 'How Many Civilians Must Die?' October 1, 2005