Sunday, November 13, 2005

Those Who Support Torture

So I was watching this movie the other night. The protagonist was being whipped. It was pretty bad; the whipping went on almost interminably. It would be fair to say it was a focal point of the film. As this scene went on, as well as during a later scene in the movie when the hero, beaten and bloody, was forced to carry a burden through the streets of the city and up a hill, I kept waiting, though I knew it wouldn't happen, for somebody, some soldier, somebody in the crowd, to step forward and say, "this is wrong; this must be stopped." Of course it didn't happen. The torture continued and the man was put to death.

I'm told that a lot of people who saw this film came away spiritually uplifted, their faith renewed. I'm wondering how that manifested itself in their daily lives though. As near as I can tell, a lot of these people, after seeing this film in the spring and summer of 2004, went and voted for George Bush for President last November. They voted for a man who has presided over an Administration that has institutionalized torture, who has overseen the creation of a system of interogation centers in the old Soviet bloc countries (it apparently wasn't enough for us to torture people where Saddam had done it; we had to torture where Stalin had, as well), who abides "extraordinary rendition" of people never convicted or even charged with a crime to countries, our "allies in the war on terror," that will torture them for us, a man who in fact believes that it would be a grave mistake to pass a law forbidding the CIA from torturing people. Most of this was known about this man and his administration before last November's election.

At the time the movie I was watching came out, there was quite a bit of public debate over who was responsible for the man put to death in the film, whose hands were bloody. For those of you who last November voted for and now continue to support President Bush, the answer is easy. The blood of those tortured by Americans and their proxies under the Bush Administration is on your hands. You don't have the human decency to step forward and say "this is wrong; this must stop." And there's no reason to believe that you would have done so 2000 years ago either.
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