Sunday, August 23, 2009

What man is learning from the past

"The five techniques consisted of hooding, sleep deprivation, white noise, a starvation diet, and standing for hours spreadeagled against a wall, 'leaning on their fingertips like the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle. The only sound that filled the room was a high-pitched throb, which the detainees liken to an air compressor. The noise literally drove them out of the minds.' These techniques were accompanied by continual harrassment, blows, insults, questioning. This treatment usually went on for six or seven days. [...] I spoke to a psychiatrist who had the thankless task of trying to rehabilitate some of the interrogation victims (at the behest of [...]), and he told me that they were 'broken men', most of whom did not survive into their fifties. [...]
After they arrested me, I was thrown into a lorry where I got a kicking. Then I was taken to another barracks where I got another kicking. They took me up in a helicopter and told me they were going to throw me out. I thought we were hundreds of feet up, but were only up a few feet. They sat Alsatians on me. My thigh was all torn, and they made me run in bare feet over broken glass.
H[...] was then subjected to the 'five techniques'. [...] "
Passage taken from a report about torture in - Guantanamo? No.
- Abu Ghraib? No.
- Kadyrovs private torture 'apartment'? No.

- Prisons in China, Nigeria, Syria, Russia, Turkey, Vietnam? No.

- Iran? No.

- Argentina (1976-1983)? No.
- Chile (1973-1990)? No.

- No, I am quoting from pages 126/127 of Tim Pat Coogan's The Troubles - Irelands Ordeal 1966-1995 and the Search for Peace, published by Hutchinson, 1995.


Just to assure that man is able to learn from the past / history - at least what depends doing to others what they would not wish to be done to themselves.


  1. The repercussions of war are equally as devastating as war dreadfully sad mankind has yet to learn from this.

  2. Yes! There is a repetitive chamber of horrors. And we must know of it, and we must protest. And peace seems to be an elusive dream. And love, an impossible task. And feeding the hungry, a definite, unavoidable duty if our humanity is to survive.

    But, in the midst of our doomsday thinking, let's not forget that from the past, and still presently, inspired poets, writers, musicians, artists, scientists, inventors, and thousands of mankind's volunteer helpers have always risen to speak, to sing, to create, to object, to teach, to correct.

    We also have those exemples to follow. If we lend a ear, we can learn more than how to repeat the offenses. We can learn how to renew our spirit, and to grow away from the pattern of destruction.

    I do not agree in the banality of evil, as expressed by Hannah Arendt.

  3. I thought long and hard about this particular subject for a while now.... It is very hard for me to come to a certain conclusion, however, here is what I think.... broadly.....

    It is in the human nature to compete, strive above others and do better then the rest. One way of doing this is stepping all over others and not caring about their feelings or well being.... It starts small... as an individual, then becomes the family... then the clan... then the nation.... etc etc...

    It is in our nature to be aggressive, ruthless and mean. It is ALSO in our nature to be creative, kind, compassionate and inclusive.

    Some among us follow the rule of kindness and compassion. Where as for others, it is totally the opposite.

    It seems, ALL nations around the world, whether from the East, West, South or North will do anything and EVERYTHING to get a head above others..... it is the rule of aggression, war and torture that seems to be the dominate culture.

    Here is where I believe we can change things.... But it requires tremendous amount of education on the part of the individual, family, clan and nation.

    We must get rid of our aggressive video games, war movies. We must get rid of borders, check points, passports, visas etc.... we must establish fair and just trade policies among all nations around the world. We must not take each others resources and other goods by means of force or war. We must respect each others differences such as the color of our skin, cultural nuances and gender variations. (homosexual, heterosexual, male, female, transgender etc) We must respect and love ALL kinds of animals. We must respect earth, the environment and what it offers us....

    I can go on and on.... :)

    Until then.... I am afraid this perpetual aggression will prevail and be always in the forefront of our culture(s)....

    100 years from now, someone else will write about how terribly we behaved.... so on and so forth....

    If we do not look at what is wrong in our cultures, we have no way of getting out of this vicious circle!

    PS: the media is not helping at all... on the contrary it is hindering the process of unity...

    We must also put various institutions under the microscope such as the banking system, monitory system, cooperate media, health care, class differences and so called, social norms....

    As someone amazing once said:

    I HAVE A DREAM.....

  4. Janice, Claudia, Nevin,
    thank you. Your thoughts are much appreciated.

    Sorry about this short reply. It's just that I don't wish to bother you.
    My thoughts - particularly these days - have been pretty dark, and I am tired.

  5. plus ca change and that is the sickener Sean