Sunday, April 26, 2009

Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry

I dropped my link to IOZ a little while back; he has a lot of interesting things to say, but he also tends to be kind of homo-absolutist, as well as tendentiously, tiresomely, and predictably anti-Christian ... and it's not exactly as if he was ever carrying my link or anything. Still, I look in on him every other day or so, and I recommend the practice to you, too (anybody who works in Big Lebowski dialogue as often as he does can't be all bad).

Anyway, I read this post of his last week and meant to bring it to your attention, but didn't get to it before now. (Be warned of what seem to me to be the gratuitous obscenities.) He was making, I thought, an otherwise-overlooked point about the seamier side of the U.S. Empire:
Listen. As a nation, we arrogate to ourselves the right to send flying robots over any country in the world and murder people, to topple governments, to impose economic blockades on entire nations of millions of people, and the great moral flap is slapping around some prisoners? Now I am not saying that torture is anything but abhorrent, wholly morally repulsive, but ...
I don't think Monsieur is saying here that our recent torture activities should be ignored; I think he's saying that to emphasize the torture so exclusively seems to imply that the other forms of killing and destruction to which our supervisors seem addicted may be ignored completely.

Every form of evil has its own distinct flavor. The torture of prisoners owes its characteristic horror to a set of elements, such as the complete isolation of the victim, and the deliberate, technical, methodical way in which he or she is violated. With the Flying Death Robots, you get the impersonality and total invulnerability of the attackers. With the widespread "conventional" warfare, you get the uncounted bodies and the horror of multiplicity and scale. Equally do they condemn those who practice them; equally do they require repentance.

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