We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, January 11, 2013

How Zero Dark Thirty Brought Back the Bush Administration

Click here to access article by Karen J. Greenberg from TomDispatch.

The article by Greenberg is introduced by Tom Engelhardt who provides more historical background on the US use of torture and supporting regimes that use torture. As a typical American liberal, he avoids any class analysis that would suggest that torture is just another means of violence to insure rule by the One Percents of the world. Instead, as usual, he treats the subject with a heavy dose of sarcasm and in a limited framework of hypocrisy. The US ruling class tolerates such critiques, and liberals play it safe by staying within acceptable limits of criticism of their policies and actions.

It seems to me that the use of sarcasm with regard to hypocrisy without attempting to understand the actions merely feeds one's ego with feelings of moral superiority. This avoids the whole issue of class warfare that is not only shaping current events, but the underlying dynamic that has shaped human history for the last 10,000 years, only about 2% of human history.

Greenberg's article is useful in that it exposes the latest Hollywood political production as pure indoctrination to instill in Americans a belief in the necessity and merits of torture.
Here...are the seven steps that bring back the Bush administration and should help Americans learn how to love torture....
However useful this is, she also avoids any kind of class analysis. Instead, it's about the Bush administration  For some reason, she never explains why this propaganda campaign is being waged under the current Obama administration who promised to shut down Guantanamo and pretended to be critical of torture, and why the current administration has done nothing to hold Bush officials and lawyers accountable for their law breaking.

Liberals also like to point to the evidence that torture is not effective in obtaining accurate information. That begs some questions. If it was effective, would it be okay? Are US authorities and their agents of torture and all the torturers down through history stupid? I think not. You see, another purpose of torture is to instill fear in the hearts of the broader population that oppressors are trying to control so that they will be discouraged from fighting back. Torture is another form of terrorism and terrorism is another form of intimidation. This violent form of intimidation, like all forms of intimidation, is often effective.