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While We Still Have Time

In spite of the grimness of the times in which we live, there is still hope. If you feel, like I do, that the usual discourse about matters of critical concern tends to be superficial, misguided, and false, then you might find some solace and inspiration here. I will try to offer insight and a holistic perspective on events and issues, and hopefully serve as a catalyst for raising the level of dialogue on this planet.

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Location: Madison, Wisconsin, United States

I was born in 1945, shortly before atom bombs were dropped on Japan. I served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1971. I earned master's degrees in Economics and Educational Psychology, and certificates in Web Page Design and as a Teacher of English as a Second Language. I followed an Indian guru for eight years, which immersed me in meditative practices and an attitude of reaching a higher level of being. A blog post listing the meditative practices I have pursued can be seen here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Who'll be the next in line?

Manadel Al Jamadi, murdered at Abu GhraibI received an email today from Robert Greenwald of Brave new films, asking me to sign a petition calling for the resignation of Condoleeza Rice. The reason for this campaign is because of her involvement in the Bush criminal regime's torture program.

This campaign of course begs the following question: Why start with Condoleeza Rice? What about Bush and Cheney? Isn't Rice a relatively minor player in the torture "policy?"

I "signed" the petition anyway, and included the following note of elaboration:

Condi must go

What nobody is asking is why the Bush criminal regime has been instituting an infrastructure of torture. I believe there are three reasons. One is that this regime is a criminal organization, and that torture is but a further example of its criminality. The second reason is to create a distraction - to deflect attention from its negligence or worse in allowing the attacks of September 11, 2001. The third reason is that the ultimate target for the practice of torture is the American people. If the country can be warmed to the idea, softened up for interrogation, so to speak, then the transition from foreign to domestic is eased greatly. Since the Congress won't impeach them, the Bush gang operates with impunity. The one thing we can do is keep both the Bush crime family (BCF) and the Congress under unrelenting pressure.

Torture is its own rewardThat's pretty much my entire view of the Bush regime's torture practice. As Salon points out, the news media are not exactly jumping on this story, though alternative outlets like Democracy Now are keeping the issue alive. The American Civil Liberties Union offers a bit of insight here.

I think it is safe to say that most "Americans" would rather not have an institutional practice of torture as national policy. Unfortunately, most people are sheep, not willing to move beyond a narrow range of concerns about work, family, entertainment, shopping, and church. Ending torture as a national disgrace will not come about as a result of an uprising of "the people."

It will have to come from the established order, the power structure, the elite. The problem is that it is the power structure that allows the torture. It can't be as simple as the Bush criminal regime being a "cowboy" operation, a discontinuity from the corporate/wealth/government infrastructure of power and ethical standards.

The Bush regime has support. The Congress effectively approves of torture, doing nothing to stop it. The corporate news media treat it as a curiosity. On TV it supplies a few soundbites, and not much more.

The "U.S." Supreme Court supports torture also, as evidenced by its refusal to hear the case of Khaled el-Masri, a "German" citizen who was kidnapped by the "CIA" in Macedonia in 2003, taken to Afghanistan, where he was tortured for five months and held there for five months in a secret prison. He was set free because his kidnapping was a case of mistaken identity. Of course, it could be argued that being a "member" of the "CIA" is a case of mistaken identity, but that's another story.

José Padilla being escorted to a dental appointmentSo it may be that a torture infrastructure has been on the way for a long time. I am certain that the main target of the program is the "American" people, not foreigners. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are the first efforts to establish the program, get the kinks worked out, develop a skill set, and gain some acceptance among the public. As the torture of José Padilla has revealed, the Bush regime has no qualms about torturing "Americans."

The Padilla case also established the "legality" of torture, indefinite detention, and being held incommunicado, all violations of the "U.S." Constitution. The "U.S." Supreme Court denied Padilla's attempt to gain a Habeas Corpus hearing on technical grounds, effectively rendering the Constitution meaningless.

Maybe we should just prepare for the inevitable. In case you would like to see what the future has in store, Salon has compiled a comprehensive collection of pictures from Abu Ghraib prison in "Iraq." Mother Jones has compiled an assortment of information on the Bush criminal regime's sadistic practices, Torture hits home. The question we will soon be asking is who'll be the next in line?

A song to sing when pondering the great question.

Here's a video of Khaled el-Masri.

Here's a commentary about the José Padilla case.

Here's an example of how domestic spying is coming to a neighborhood near you.

Here's a little light reading about what actually happens under a torture regime.

Update: Here's some more light reading about Bush's attitude towards arbitrary arrest of "American" citizens. Here's an elaboration.


Blogger Lola said...

I appreciate your stand on the Bush administration, but I am interested in talking to you about Siddha Yoga. Please email me by following up this comment. Thanks! Lola

6/18/2008 9:44 AM  
Blogger John Hamilton said...

I happened upon this comment by accident. I don't think of myself as taking a stand on the Bush administration, but I guess it could be looked at that way. I just try to write from intuition, or from what I call the fester.

I responded to someone else about Siddha Yoga, and it was, as I suspected it would be, not a good use of my energies. If you were involved with the organization, then you have your own experience.

Unlike what people wrote in the "Leaving Siddha Yoga" website, my criticism is mainly about the Siddha organization, and its commonality with cults and groups in general. If you look at what I have written about Muktananda and Siddha Yoga in this blog, it is within a larger context, used to illustrate a theme or point.

I don't excuse anything Muktananda or his subgurus or successors did, but it's not something I dwell upon. I was a true disciple, and if the guru wasn't up to snuff, so to speak, then c'est la vie. On to the next thing. I don't follow a guru anymore, though I am pretty enamored of the Dalai Lama.

Siddha Yoga was a good start. Getting one's Kundalini awakened is certainly a boost along the path, and the knowledge gained of Indian philosophies, traditions and practices has been a source of continuing value. I was lucky. As anyone who remembers me from those days might attest, I tended not to put up with a lot of crap, and was generally known as a heretic, especially in Ann Arbor.

Because of this, and because I didn't fall for the delusion of power pursuit, I don't feel bitter about SYDA, and even miss parts of the experience. Not enough, I daresay, to lure me to ever go back. In the immortal words of that great sage George W. Bush, "Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.

6/20/2008 12:22 AM  

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