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How To Resist Torture In America: "Do Unto Others..."

02 May 2011

By Jane Stillwater

Today me and my daughter Ashley went up to Hilltop Mall because we wanted to get photos of my granddaughter Mena taken so we could all have wallet-sized pictures of Mena looking insanely cute. And as we were waiting for our turn at the photo shop, I started asking Ashley questions about torture.

"Torture? Huh? What does torture have to do with wallet-sized cuteness?" Nothing. Get over it. As a blogger's daughter, your job is to supply input -- not to reason why. Okay then.

"Just suppose for a minute that all the Arabs in all the Arab countries throughout the Middle East who have been tortured over the past many decades by various American forces and spy agencies and corporatists -- that they all suddenly got together with all the various Asians in all the many Asian countries west of the Indus and Urals where Americans have tortured quite a lot of people, and that all the Latinos from Mexico and all the many Central and South American countries where Americans have tortured untold numbers of people thanks to excellent torture techniques taught at the infamous School of the Americas, and that all the blood-covered Africans from all the economically-colonized African countries where American armies, intelligence agencies and corporations have tortured people over the past many decades since Patrice Lumumba and all the...."

"Okay. Okay. I get the idea."

"And that all of these innumerable abused victims of American torture all banded together, consolidated all their armies and natural resources and anger and stockpiles of nuclear weapons, and then all of them came after us all at one time? All of them? And overran the entire USA from Boston to San Diego?"

"It might happen," replied Ashley, "but it probably won't."

"Yeah, but just supposing that it did -- then my question is this: If we absolutely positively for certain knew that all of these Others were going to do to us what we had already done to them -- then how could we possibly prepare ourselves for such an event? How could we teach ourselves to endure or resist and/or even to survive such hard-line torture -- like what Americans handed out at places like Guantanamo, Baghram and Abu Ghraib?"

I mean, of course, besides having to learn to endure the torture of having to spend a day at the mall.

"Haven't got a clue," Ashley answered. Me neither. How can you even begin to toughen up and prepare for something like that? Perhaps we could do what all too many Americans are already doing now -- and become homeless? It takes plenty of guts to survive that. In order to be homeless, you really do gotta man up.

Or you could play continuous 24-hour loops of recordings of colicky screaming babies? Trust me, that would toughen anyone up. Or you could almost drown yourself in the bathtub each night. Or go without toilet paper? Or audition for Survivor?

There really isn't any good way to prepare oneself for being tortured -- except for this one: Stop torturing other people and then hope to God that they will then stop wanting to torture you in return. "What goes around comes around." Didn't Jesus say that?

PS: Considering that we were shopping at Hilltop Mall on a Saturday afternoon right after payday -- considered by many to be the absolute primo time-slot for shopping -- this mall was strangely deserted. On any given Saturday afternoon ten years ago, this place would have been mobbed!

PPS: Well, guess what? America already HAS been "invaded". And here's a video from MSNBC commentator Cenk Uygur to prove it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= x8GMNwDJzgo&feature=share.

In this video, we are shown an image of almost all our congressional representatives giving the prime minister of Israel many standing ovations, even though everything that Bibi had just said goes totally against our own national interests.

In this video, Netanyahu is stating that the West Bank and Gaza belong to him because his ancestors occupied it 2,500 years ago. Okay. But under that logic, then Congress needs to supply the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota with billions -- or perhaps even trillions -- of dollars so that they can take back the West Bank of the Potomac! Or else we should start supplying Italians with fighter jets and tanks so they can take back Jerusalem -- which used to be part of the old Roman Empire.

America has already been invaded -- and conquered! -- by Israel's corporatist lobbyists. In this video, you can watch Congress give our occupiers many standing ovations. Do you think that Congress would give the same kind of standing ovations to, say, American union leaders? Or Americans who want single-payer healthcare? Or American college students who want better schools? Or mayors of American cities pleading for better infrastructure? No way!

You think that Israel's corporatist lobbyists don't already "occupy" America? In his speech to an Israeli corporatist lobbying association recently, President Obama pretty much says it all when he addresses AIPAC president Lee Rosenberg by his nickname. http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2011/05/22/transcript-of-obamas-remarks-to-aipac/

"Rosy, thank you for your many years of friendship," says Obama. "Back in Chicago, when I was just getting started in national politics, I reached out to a lot of people for advice and counsel, and Rosy was one of the very first. When I made my first visit to Israel, after entering the Senate, Rosy, you were at my side every step of that profound journey through the Holy Land. So I want to thank you for your enduring friendship, your leadership, and for your warm introduction today."

Even Obama is beholden to Israel's corporatist lobby (and clearly not to the voters who elected him). I rest my case.

PPPS: America has also been "invaded" by its own political and military leaders -- who clearly represent themselves instead of us.

Here's an article by journalist Anwaar Hussain, describing how the people of Pakistan have been used, misinformed and manipulated by their political and military leaders -- and how, as a result, the future of Pakistan has been pretty much doomed http://truthspring.info/2011/05/24/begins-the-fire-hunt/. But guess what? The same sorry conditions now engulfing these poor unwary Pakistanis are also now engulfing most Americans too. Too bad for us, suckers. The rich get richer and we get NOTHING.

And then there's America's third major "invasion" -- by the Federal Reserve and the banksters and Wall Street, institutions that have absolutely no allegiance to America at all but rather to international cartels that play out grim blood-money oligarch games that also suck America dry. And where is the anger here either? Like Pakistan, have we too become just another minor nation of victims who relish the role of being masochists? Apparently so.

More and more, I am beginning to think that I'm completely wasting my time here even trying to write about possible viable solutions to all of America's woes -- or about various sensible ways to keep MY country from being swallowed up by its economic occupiers.

America is going to Hell in a hand-basket right now, and the only solutions to these troubles that our so-called leaders keep feeding us are the same old tired solutions that got us into this terrible mess in the first place -- more unnecessary wars, more influence by bankers, more media lies, more anti-depressants (http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/david-swanson/36365/the-small-group-of-thoughtful-committed-citizens-has-been-drugged), more corrupt politicians -- and more Americans who absolutely eat up all these faux solutions like they were pieces of Marie Antoinette's cake.

Doesn't anybody in America have any common sense left at all right now -- except for perhaps a handful of progressive bloggers and some little old ladies like me? Or have any sense at all for that matter?

****

Here's a petition from Rep. Dennis Kucinich:

Flashback to the campaign trail -- December 20, 2007:

"The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."
That wasn't me. It was candidate Barack Obama. But now in Libya, President Obama is continuing a war that lacks Congressional approval and constitutional authority. Our Constitution clearly states that the United States Congress has the power to declare war. The President does not. And the War Powers Act requires him to seek Congressional approval within 60 days of conflict. That was last Friday. We've heard nothing.

If the President won't follow the Constitution and if he won't follow the War Powers Act, Congress will have to defund his intervention or take formal action to demand the President remove the troops. I've also issued a petition that I'm asking citizens to sign to help put pressure on both parties in Congress to take this action:

Click here to sign the petition, then ask your friends and family to join you.

While the White House spins its intervention as protecting the civilians of Libya, a no-fly-zone begins with an attack on the air defenses of Libya and Qaddafi forces. It is an act of war. The president made statements which attempt to minimize U.S. action, but U.S. planes may drop U.S. bombs and U.S. missiles may be involved in striking another sovereign nation. Although the United States (by far) pays the largest percentage of NATO's military bills (25%), the President wants to depict this as NATO's action. You decide which country has the ability to stop this war.

The American people have had enough of war creating more enemies abroad while killing our domestic agenda here at home. Our nation simply cannot afford another war, economically, diplomatically or spiritually. Congress must find its voice and the American people must call upon Congress to take the Administration off the war path.

 

  EsinIslam.Com

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