Are We Really So Fearful?

Are We Really So Fearful?

Yes, we are so fearful that our protesting words and sentences get curtailed and truncated before leaving our twisted tongue. Yes, we are so traumatized that seeing the brutish bullies and simple butcheries do not raise our humbled selves from cozy cushions to marching on the streets.

Torture under duress is useless. But torture used as deterrence for the rightful dissenting voice has proved to be useful to the torturers, fear and warmongers. From steep mountains of Uzbekistan to frigid Russian Siberia, from Chinese one-party thugs to highly lauded "democracy" of the so-called West, Middle-East's enraging inferno, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Burmese and Sri Lankan unchecked "rapid forces", everywhere you can see, torture is used in open or in disguise.

Ariel Dorfman writes, "it is not only the victim and the perpetrator who are corrupted, not only the "intelligence" that is contaminated, but also everyone who looked away and said they did not know, everyone who consented tacitly to that outrage so they could sleep a little safer at night, all the citizens who did not march in the streets by the millions to demand the resignation of whoever suggested, even whispered, that torture is inevitable in our day and age, that we must embrace its darkness?"

Ariel Dorfman pleads, "Are we so morally sick, so deaf and dumb and blind, that we do not understand this? Are we so fearful, so in love with our own security and steeped in our own pain, that we are really willing to let people be tortured in the name of America?"

In the name of a nation, God, political leader, fabricated crisis of various sorts, human beings had and have justified their inhumane treatments of fellow beings from time immemorial. Our open lynch pins, public displays of executions and merciless whippings of "undesirables" may have been put into darkest corner of world "civility", but the facts remain that these "instruments" are on their way to reestablishing themselves in the broad daylight.

We are so fearful!


Are We Really So Fearful?

By Ariel Dorfman
Sunday, September 24, 2006; B01


It still haunts me, the first time -- it was in Chile, in October of 1973 -- that I met someone who had been tortured. To save my life, I had sought refuge in the Argentine Embassy some weeks after the coup that had toppled the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende, a government for which I had worked. And then, suddenly, one afternoon, there he was. A large-boned man, gaunt and yet strangely flabby, with eyes like a child, eyes that could not stop blinking and a body that could not stop shivering.

That is what stays with me -- that he was cold under the balmy afternoon sun of Santiago de Chile, trembling as though he would never be warm again, as though the electric current was still coursing through him. Still possessed, somehow still inhabited by his captors, still imprisoned in that cell in the National Stadium, his hands disobeying the orders from his brain to quell the shuddering, his body unable to forget what had been done to it just as, nearly 33 years later, I, too, cannot banish that devastated life from my memory.

Read Full Article: