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the human rights of our enemies

i did have an unwieldy looking
cut and paste post,
but ... i knew
i could do better than that.
and so, here 'tis.

artist is andrew ross, originally uploaded by pantufla

in 2004, on the UN international day for the victims of torture, dubya stated that "America stands against and will not tolerate torture." he further stated that "The United States also remains steadfastly committed to upholding the Geneva Conventions, which have been the bedrock of protection in armed conflict for more than 50 years."

ok. that's hilarious. a real load of steaming brown poop, considering what's in the CIA's bag of interrogation tricks. torture as an interrogation technique? yes, you will find the cold cell and water boarding among these so called acceptable techniques. interesting - since such interrogation techniques violate the geneva convention of which the president spoke so passionately in the above quotes.

originally uploaded by pantufla

so, in the wake of the absolute horror unveiled in abu ghraib and given dubya's attempts to undermine the geneva convention and challenge the habeas corpus principal, i - josephine public - face some serious realities. at the very least, a betrayal of truth - for, such abuses are beyond my imagination and comprehension, given my social, cultural and geographic setting. but, i must transcend that outrage and focus on the facts presented, on what's said and on what's not said. and most of all, on what it represents in terms of the political tide that's turning here.

originally uploaded by mike from zurich

it disturbs me. mostly because of my visionary way of looking at people and events. i see behaviours and actions as manifestations of an individual's motivations. motivations being rooted in values and human ethics. and, very telling of any society's values, is the conditions with which it's prepared to live. what do we think we can live with as a society? what does that tell us about the value we collectively attach to life? pride? power? humanity? THINK ON IT.

i don't see occurences in isolation. rather, as a culmination of circumstances, conditions, behaviours and actions. my present results from my past. my interaction can alter its course. my apathy and complacence leaves it unaltered. and so it is for world affairs. we look to dark lesions in human history with disdain and politically correct outrage. we tell ourselves we can't imagine what those german people were thinking, voting for a monster like hitler. really? i think it's quite simple, when you consider the social, political and cultural forces at work in german society at that time.

the horror of it all lies in its insidious nature. they did not vote hitler in based upon a platform of annihilating 6 million jewish people. they voted for him based on his fervor and passion to lift a weak, confused and floundering germany to a strong and proud germany. he spoke so passionately the comforting rhetoric the german public longed to hear, needed to hear. and once hooked into a belief tract, one sees what one wants to see and hears what one wants to hear. and of course, since its dawn as an institution, government has always carefully controlled the flow of information to its citizens, with a carefully crafted spin.

originally uploaded by sataniod

considering the atrocities in our modern information era that went unnoticed as they unfolded - such as bosnia, abu ghraib, etc - it does not seem hard for me to imagine that a majority of the german public remained blissfully unaware of the 'final solution.' and then, consider the social and cultural climate of the time: rigid and intolerant to any deviations - a setting in which hatred and bigotry flourish.

the horror sinks to our own level even further, doesn't it? for, don't a goodly portion of people out there believe that all the abu ghraib torture fell upon deserving victims? 'they're the enemy! they don't deserve human rights!' sound like a familiar rhetoric? sound like the sort of rhetoric that gives rise to hatred and bigotry? it does to me .... chillingly so, in fact. isn't that what underlies the american government's assertion that terrorist will not receive 'due process' under the law?

and so ... do you think america's enemies deserve human rights? think, for a moment, before you answer. recall that hitler perceived the jewish people as his enemy, and, more importantly, as an enemy of the germany nation. whether you or i or the public at large agree or disagree is really beside the point. perception governs the direction of one's action's. that's my point. which leads me to the conclusion that not much separates us, a 21st century society driven by fear, despair and rage, from that floundering and broken german society of 6 decades ago.

frightening, isn't it?

EDIT 28.9.06: comments' section edited ... i've grown up a little and removed the piquant tirade. read the new comment below. i'm learning a great deal about the american psyche here, just by virtue of your silence alone. interesting. how repressive and vengeful it seems from some angles.

if you're going to post a comment, make it related to the content of the post or i will delete. the objective here is to intelligently discuss the issue at hand - read post - not engage in some ideological shit throwing fest.

BTW: in case no one gets cynicism and mockery ... the 'cure for bigotry' image is clearly my attempt at both. its stark stupidity just struck me so much i laughed out loud when i saw it. maybe its that strange canadian sense of humor that not many of you get, i dunno.

Labels: , , , , ,

velvet,

love your
awesome new look blog

this effin' rocks!

already have you linked, but will do something more -- and if you're up for it, maybe we can do more something more

/t.

thanx /t. ... i'm always up for something more ... ;D ... what did you have in mind?

I told /t that I would visit your blog, not knowing that I already had!!I've been sick this weekend, so I cannot really comment intelligently on your post, but the image is priceless and all too true.

All too true! I live in a fairly conservative part of the US. And I believe that a lot of people, at least here, voted for Busch because of their values having to do with Christianity (this area of the country is known as the Bible Belt) and they have conservative social values and Busch does too. A lot of them have a very rudimentary knowlege of what is really going on over there. And I believe a lot of them don't really care as long as they feel that they are safe. I hate to sound so condensending, but I think that it is the truth. They freak me out in a scary sort of way! Of course they are not all that bad but some of them really are. They think that the ends justify the means I guess. They think that these people are monsters! I actually heard on of my bosses say, when the war started that we were right to go over there because Sadam Hussein has no business deciding how much we will pay for gas. How ignorant! And missing the whole point! And proving his self centerdness. Frankly, I think some of us are too, I guess. Monsters isn't the exact word that I want, I don't like to deny their humanity, I guess that their activities and thoughts are monstrous. But Busch, you know, as much as he claims to be an absolutist and to uphold Christian values, has apparently forgotten about a few biggies. He is as bad as the people he hates in the middle east in his own way. I won't say that I am ashamed to be an American because I don't think that I caused any of this in any way. But I am embarassed a lot of the time. BBE

/bark bark bark

velvey i'll meditate on this along with the dismembered heads of marines, their mouths stuffed with their genitals..its a merry go round of horror and it never stops spinning, in all times, for all of history.

cant wait to see what you and /t cook up, should be a barn burner.

/grrr

BBE - i hear you. there's so much ignorance out there. like - did anybody out there REALLy believe that the mideast problems would all go away if sadam was toppled? and ... now that he has been toppled - i think we in the west are getting a hard lesson on they ways of the islamic world.

it seems perhaps he was providing a stability of sorts for the iraqi people. and so, they've removed the stabilizing (albeit cruel) force and they have NOTHING in its place. STUPID!

and in their eyes they are battling the imperialistic, colonialistic west. just look at the history books to see from where they get that impression.

k9 - that sounds like 'well that's the way we've always done things' ... grrrrrr. cop out? or ... could that be a trace opf retribution i hear? still, grrrrr. if you've been cheated in any game in life, does that mean you cheat back?

i guess you've forgotten all about 'love your enemy as yourself?' or does that golden rule only apply when we feel like it and to people we deem 'worthy'?

my compassion for other humans, my desire to see them treated with dignity and respect, does not hinge upon their behaviour or beliefs. that is the philosophy that underlies the golden rule, isn't it?

i'm convinced that freud was right about humans - man has an innate desire to destroy himself and will if left unfettered.

and one final question that begs to be asked. what does the west expect when they reinvigorate and then take sides in a war that was never theirs?

its all about perception. NOT OURS - THEIRS!

/bark bark bark

i like the solution to bigotry picture. is that the mascot for all the compassion you feel for others?

the true test of compassion is to extend that love out to those who think different from you, like you do christians grrrrrrherherhahaha

...of course kumbaya only works for all ya'll on the same page. get rid of all who oppose you and sure enough amongst yourselves the subdivisions will surface.

you think the dawgs view its a cop out? tell me how the endless round robin of yang yang yanging in outrage and zero action advances your goals?only action can be critiqued. sittin around talking bout how it ought to be requires nothing and does nothing.but it looks good. "oh i care so very much" who can criticise that?

the west. well, cheer up mate. its being destroyed from the inside so hang in there velvey!

/howl

there has been a lot of rhetoric flying around this post. i captured and killed most of it.

but, k9 your response is sort of rhetoric. the definition of compassion and how one applies it to life is not what this post is about.

simply, my question here is twofold: (1) do you see the similar processes/dynamics at play in these two societies? and,(2) do you have compassion for your enemy? or is compassion something to which humans are merely entitled, based upon actions and beliefs and association?

compassion for one's enemy - that seems to fit what you have provided as your definition/test of compassion. so ... i ask you again.

do you have compassion for your enemies? do you think they deserve entitlement of human rights?

so far no one but blue eyes has weighed in here on that issue. i wonder why? my guess is the truth has shocked you all into denial. that's my guess.

re: my compassion for christians -- low blow pal. like, you would know anyhow, lol. sure, i have compassion for christians.

i think most of 'em (ie christians, and monothiestic believer, for that matter) are full of shit, but that doesn't negate the basic human compassion i feel for them.

if i disagree with you, does that mean i have no compassion for you? that's a small view on life, ain't it?

/bark bark bark

this is interesting. you erased the real responses you wrote to me, then respond again in a more reasoned tone and then accuse me of low blow after the private conversation we had. low blow? given the fact you have sanitized your words the charge is heavy with irony and dishonesty.

/gr

do you have compassion for your enemies? do you feel they should have entitlement to human rights?

if you are going to attack my character please do it in private.

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its all about ME

  • i'm roxanne, and this is velvet, the voice inside my head. and this -- this is her blog.
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    we sleep. apathy, greed, power sit atop our eyelids like lead weights

    so, welcome to my world.

    i aim to pry your eyes open, to pry your mind open, to get you thinking outside the box, to shock you even.

    i ask the questions most choose to ignore. i think the thoughts most consider unthinkable. i'm alive. i'm awake. are you?

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methuselah lives here

    i have several poetry blogs on the 'net. essentially these contain the same stuff, just presented in differing formats. this methuselah just likes digging around in more than one corpse at a time!

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    scribbles & scratches

      faerie-zephyr

      zelda-fae

      afghan hound

      yes to madness

      fyrianna

      spring?

      heaven's-gate

      snow-queen1-25

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    velvet poetry

      bell jar dreams

      tenderly,
      you held me in your arms,
      ripening
      my trembling alabaster fruit
      and savagely,
      you trampled me, underfoot
      as master of my shattered freedom
      you - the twisted and beautiful lord
      who sealed me in a windowless bell jar
      with anguish and solitude,
      as my only companions

      captor! my demented master!
      my withered soul screams for you
      it howls for the soothing barbs,
      hidden, in your voice
      and your frail, orgasmic vulnerability
      my withered soul screams your name,
      raging delicately,
      for the gaping hollows of my existence,
      which melted into yours:
      dessicated dreams,
      vanquished innocence

      this sick hunger in my heart for you -
      will it ever ebb?

      copyright ROXI G 2006


      your grace grotesquely crumbles

      your grace crumbled
      into grotesque flakes
      as your fingertips slashed
      my tender silken face
      with rage and vengence,
      that drench my frail child-spirit

      steeped in self-loathing,
      you infected me -
      impaled
      my gauzy soul
      on your poisoned barbs
      of hatred and lusty greed

      once, i loved you -
      worshipped you, adored you
      and darkness
      eviscerated my heart
      as i watched this adoration stream past
      your inert, stoney heart

      my trembling eyes splinter
      into a thousand tears
      when i look upon your face -
      my reflection - in the looking glass
      you, who deserted my child-trust -
      remain, achingly, ever present

      this dark riverbed of adoration
      that flowed in my viscera for you
      has dried up; my heart --
      which once glistened sublimely inside yours,
      now lies in eternal anguish:
      dessicated, petrified, searingly denuded

      your grace crumbles
      into grotesque flakes
      of grief, rage and greed,
      soaked in the brine of remorse
      you beg, like i did, for a morsel of mercy
      but -- i will STARVE you of forgiveness

      copyright ROXI G 2006

      wisdom

        "there's no way around grief and loss: you can dodge it all you want, but sooner or later you just have to go into it, through it, and, hopefully, come out on the other side. the world you find there will never be the same as the world you left." (johnny cash)

        "i wore black because i liked it. i still do, and wearing it still means something to me. its still my symbol of rebellion - against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of god, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas." (johnny cash)

      poetry masters

        if only you would touch my heart
        if only you were to put your mouth
        to my heart
        if only you were to put your tongue
        like a red arrow
        there where my dusty heart is beating,
        if you were to blow on my heart
        near the sea, weeping,
        it would make a dark noise,
        like the drowsy sound of train wheels
        like the indecision of waters,
        like autumn in full leaf
        like blood,
        with a noise of damp flames
        burning the sky,
        with a sound like dreams
        or branches or the rain,
        or foghorns in some dismal port,
        if you were to blow on my heart
        near the sea, likea white ghost,
        in the spume of the wave,
        in the middle of the wind
        like a ghost unleashed,
        at the seashore, weeping.

        ... Pablo Neruda, from 'Bararole'



        By a route obscure and lonely,
        Haunted by ill angels only,
        Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
        On a black thrones reigns upright,
        i have reached these lands but newly
        From an ultimate dim Thule -
        From a wild wierd clime that lieth, sublime,
        Out of SPACE - out of TIME.

        ... Edgar Allan Poe, from 'Dream-Land'

      anais nin

        "and the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

        “i do not like to be just one anais, whole, contained. as soon as someone defines me. i do as june does; i seek escape from the confinements of definition.”

        “i speak of relief, perhaps when i write; but it is also an engraving of pain, a tatooing of myself.”

        “we are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit, and always, in the end, a disappointment, because it does not fit them.”

        “life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. this is a kind of death.”