Torture, Torture, Everywhere! Nearly 80,000 American soldiers were captured by the Japanese in the
To contemplate a discussion about whether or not torture is legal or whether it even works, it is first required to come to the conclusion that 'I am a child of God, but my adversary is a monkey'.Phillipines in 1942 and forced to march with no food and very little water for six days. If a man stumbled, if he didn't respond quickly to a command, or if he tried to get water from a bug-infested mud puddle to slake his thirst, he was either bayoneted through the abdomen or shot and left to die. The Japanese overlords had their reasoning. These westerners were to them obviously subhuman, and to make matters worse, they had committed the unpardonable sin of surrendering to their enemies. Japanese soldiers killed 12,000 Americans on the Bataan march, and to them it was perfectly rational.
At a minimum, six million Jews were killed in Europe by the Nazi Wehrmacht. Millions upon millions of Jews toiled in torturous conditions, under which many of their bodies simply gave out. For this--and less--they were sent to the gas chambers and the furnaces. For ages, Jews had been looked on as the cause for a plethora of ills. On the shoulders of this dehumanization of Jews, Adolf Hitler and his coterie stirred, with very little effort, the bulk of the German masses to a frenzied call for the elimination of the Jewish race. It had become, to them, perfectly logical. Jews were swine. Jews were not human.
April 21st on his radio program, Bob Lonsberry dehumanized all dark-skinned Middle Easterners (segment begins at 1:49:20 into the show) in one fell swoop. He crooned:
Here is my waterboarding memo. If you don't want to get waterboarded, don't kill Americans. And if waterboarding a million foreigners saves one American life, then it's worth it. That's my attitude. Sorry to be a jerk about this, but...I just had a moment of clarity. It's good to keep Americans alive. It's really, really good. So if you and your goat-herding pals out there in some third-world wasteland, having your little opium induced fantasies say hey why don't we go kill some Americans, you have just crossed over into a world of hurt...Getting Back to the Original Problem. It's instructive in such moments of insanity to ask one's self: how did we get to this point? Specifically, how did America get to the point that now we are even having a debate on whether torture is efficacious. Here's how. America attacks Iraq because it supposedly has weapons of mass destruction.
Which came about because we supported Saddam Hussein in the Iran/Iraq war in the 1980's.
Which came about because Iranian students captured dozens of
"If you and your goat-herding pals out there in some third-world wasteland, having your little opium induced fantasies say hey why don't we go kill some Americans, you have just crossed over into a world of hurt." American embassy personnel and held them hostage for 444 days.
Which came about because the United States overthrew the freely-elected prime minister of Iran in 1953 and restored the reviled and corrupt Shah Reza Pahlavi to the throne.
If we don't understand history, it's easy to make rationalizations. Rationalizations are nearly always accompanied by the purposeful dehumanization of one's adversary. In doing so on his radio show two days ago, Bob Lonsberry made this Mormon embarassed that we share the same religion.
Lonsberry said further:
You notice that the people who are lecturing us on Americas values today...are the same ones who last week told us that we have to let gay people marry? It just seems a little odd to me, being lectured on values by the pro-abortion party.In an effort to cement his rationalization, Lonsberry mischaracterizes hundreds of
If we don't understand history, it's easy to make rationalizations. Rationalizations are nearly always accompanied by the unfortunate but purposeful dehumanization of one's adversary.thousands of Americans who oppose gay marriage, abortion-on-demand, and torture.
The right path is not hard to discern. George Washington--of horse and buggy days--warned of entangling alliances with other nations. He said:
Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all. [But] it is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.This, simply, is how we could have avoided at all the discussion about whether or not torture is legal or whether it even works, for which it is first required to come to the conclusion that 'I am a child of God, but they are a monkey'.
People such as Japanese bayoneters, German concentration camp "managers", and Bob Lonsberry prefer to ignore history, though, because it's much more soul-stirring to go on in rationalizing platitudes about the dignity of terrorizing monkeys.
Related Articles and Videos
- Blindness in the Face of Historical Torture Evidence
- Jay Bybee's Torture Memo Should be an Embarrassment to BYU - How a memo was used in an effort to defuse Bush's own "ticking time bomb"--that of having found NO WMD and NO link between Saddam and al Qaeda.
- John McCain discusses direct evidence that Abu Ghraib incited thousands of Iraqis to join the insurgency.
- Keith Olbermann agrees with me.
- US soldiers from Abu Ghraib are in prison for doing things Obama says CIA and others will not be prosecuted for.
- Alfred McCoy: Waterboarding is torture, because it is a threat of death.