Wednesday 25 May 2005

The Insufferable Silence

by Anthony Wade

How much is enough America? How much is enough before we stand up collectively and say, “No more”. America has become sedated, tranquilized by a corporate media that keeps the truth from coming to light on an everyday basis. Anesthetized to the point that when the vilest acts perpetrated in the war on terror are being carried out by us, we just flip the channel to see if we can see who is left on American Idol. What has happened to our collective conscience when in latter day America we spend more time worrying about the freak show that is the Jackson trial then what atrocities are being committed in our name.

That is right America; this war is fought in your name, my name, and the names of every other citizen who resides in this country. Do you even remember why? Do you care anymore? Tens of thousands of people have died, over 1,600 of our own and do you even remember why? Does their blood scream out to you, as it does to me, as an American, as a Christian, as a human?

If not, then maybe the latest story out of Afghanistan will shake our collective conscience. You remember Afghanistan don’t you? That was where this great war started. We were told it was where the big bad guy, bin Laden was. As it turns out, as soon as we had him surrounded, we let him go. We continued though to bulldoze through the country and install our puppet government in the name of democracy. The reality was a little more stark, as this resulted in the return of Afghanistan is the world’s chief supplier of heroin. That aside, we were told that Afghanistan was a great example of the success of the war on terror. The real terror however, has been going on after the great victories.

As reported this week, on Friday, there was another incident of prisoner abuse that resulted in the deaths of two suspects. These reports usually break on Friday, so the media can ignore them and then switch subjects come Monday. Just another shot of anesthesia for the American populace. The deaths are not only disgusting, but they now represent what we have become, what our legacy is.

Mr. Dilawar was a quiet man with a wife and daughter who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. The place was Afghanistan and the time was during the Bush Wars. Driving his taxi past a base used by American troops, Camp Salerno, which had been the target of a rocket attack that morning; was his undoing. In a land dominated by an unrelenting foreign power, us, Mr. Dilawar was promptly picked up for interrogation. His crime was DWA, driving while Afghani. Mr. Dilawar was not an imposing man, standing only at 5 foot nine inches and weighing 122 pounds. That mattered not to his captors, us, who immediately labeled him as non-compliant. Apparently non-compliant is not a label you want in a U.S. prison in Afghanistan.

His torture started with over 100 strikes to his legs in a 24 hours period, while he was shackled standing up. Three days later, he began his fourth interrogation. His hands were slapped back up every time they fell below his head. They were falling of course because of the beatings and shackled positions he had been forced to endure for the past three days. He was violently shoved against a wall multiple times, because he could not sit in a chair as instructed by his tormentors, us. Of course he could not sit because of the state of his legs, battered over 100 times in a day. After 15 minutes of this, he was so weak he could not get up so they stood him up. It was then that the Sergeant stepped back and kicked him fiercely in the groin. Seemingly unsatisfied by this “interrogation”, the Sergeant then instructed them to leave the battered Mr. Dilawar chained to the ceiling with a black hood over his head.

Soon, he was crying out for mercy when his captors investigated. He said he needed to see a doctor because of his legs. The attending MP said he was ok and just trying to get out of his restraints. The next morning began his final interrogation. Mr. Dilawar was incoherent. The treatment was similar. He was beaten some more, choked with his black hood, and all in the name of you an I. By that time the next day, God had granted Mr. Dilawar the peace his captors, us, refused to give him for so many days. There was zero intelligence gathered and it appears the man had done nothing wrong.

The autopsy confirmed that death was cause by the blunt trauma to his legs which in the word of one of the coroners, were basically pulpified. Did you get that America? They beat this 122 pound man in his legs so badly that the tissue turned into pulp. The coroner compared the injuries to someone getting run over by a bus.

Mr. Dilawar was one of two murdered prisoners from that prison at that time. I will not review the horrific details of the other, except to say that it is no less violent and no less despicable. Most of the troops working there had decided that Dilawar was innocent before the final interrogation that took his life. They killed him anyway. They killed him in your name. They killed him in my name. By God, they killed him in Christ’s name and that is what has to stop.

George Bush goes to great lengths to tell us about his Christianity. Some say it is what clinched the last election for him. Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace, not war. I have read the Bible and did not come across the word pulpify. There is nothing Christian about this war. Yet Pastors all over this country support this man and his policies of death and torture. It has to stop.

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