Friday, June 01, 2012

Torture in Palestine, Syria & Cleveland: Making it happen!

I recently attended a video presentation in Oakland given by a member of the Jenin Freedom Theatre (
, and while the speaker was describing various theater projects now being staged in Palestine, he also happened to mention several relatively unique types of psychological torture currently being implemented by Israeli corporatists and their enforcers in the occupied West Bank.

For instance, imagine that you are a Palestinian farmer and happily out plowing your land -- when a bunch of rather nasty armed settlers come rampaging over the hill, beat you to a pulp and start building their own stuff on your property, right next to that old olive tree that has been shading your family since almost Christ's birth. And then imagine that some harsh-looking Israeli soldiers in full battle-gear also arrive on the scene in their Humvees and, rather than arresting all those evil "settler" perps who are busting your chops, they arrest YOU instead. Okay, so it's not fair or just or anything -- but that's life on the West Bank. Live with it.

Then they drag you off to jail, don't charge you with anything and hold you in indefinite detention for committing the extreme crime of plowing your own land. Not exactly democratic or even nice -- but you are used to it. Hey, that's life on the West Bank.

But then the Israeli corporatistas' land-stealing goons start in to torture you too. Well, okay. That's par for the course. Tens of thousands of Palestinian farmers are being jailed and tortured regularly for the crimes of owning land and/or being Muslims or being Christians or being Jews -- instead of just money-grubbing land-grabbers like Israel's higher-up corporate mafia dudes. But, hey. That's life on the West Bank. Torture is torture. Who needs all those fingernails. You've got ten. You can spare some.

But then Netanyahu's corporatist goon-squad starts to carry this torture stuff a little bit too far. First they show you photos of the corpses of your dead children -- which totally freaks you out like even physical pain never possibly could. Those are your dearly-loved babies lying there dead! Your heart breaks.

And then someone else comes into your cell dressed like a doctor and informs you that you now have inoperable cancer, with only a few weeks left to live. You're stuck in this hell-hole and now you are gonna die here as well? Good grief!

But then, when they finally release you months or years later (still without having been charged), you now discover that you never actually really had any cancer -- and that your family is still very much alive.

But it's really hard for you to just shrug this off too, saying, "Hey, that's just life on the West Bank." Because it is not, not just "Life on the West Bank". It is mind-gaming sadistic torture of the worst kind. And it's not done in the name of Judaism either -- because what kind of screwed-up religion would ever do something as truly ghastly as that! It is done in the name of power and money and sadism only.

And that's going too far.

And then it won't be hard at all for you to imagine that these corporatista goons are no longer human. But isn't that the real purpose of good theater -- like the Jenin Freedom Theatre? To stir our imaginations? And to motivate us to do better.

PS: American and NATO powers-that-be seem to have been going a bit too far recently as well. Lately, they have been paying squads of al Qaeda goons to gun down children in Houla so that the U.N. could blame these atrocities on Assad and then take over Syria

"The more photos of dead children the better!" NATO corporatistas apparently instructed their al Qaeda goons while happily in pursuit the Project for the New American Century's wet-dream of capturing the entire Middle East -- country by country. Soon only Iran, Lebanon and possibly Egypt plus a few stragglers in Bahrain and Yemen will be left standing until they too knuckle under -- and then everything over there will belong to the PNAC!

Not us.

And all this slaughter of innocents is now being happily paid for by blood-money that came from depriving American children of much of the important stuff that they also need to live.

And is anybody in America starting to get pissed off yet?

Or are we just going to wait until it is too late and it will be residents of Kansas City or Cleveland also being herded into prison cells, with our land stolen, suffering infinite detention and being shown photos of OUR dead family's corpses...

PPS: I'm currently reading David Hey's latest book, "Travels in Consciousness,", wherein he cites several classic academic studies at Stanford and Yale which indicate that when people are told by higher authorities to torture other people, they willingly do it. In fact, they really get into it. Moral? That many people appear to be suckers for being told what to do -- no matter what it is.

PPPS: Saeed Amireh, my cyber-friend on the West Bank, just sent me a video of his attempt to go see Madonna's big peace concert in Tel Aviv. With actual tickets in hand issued by Madonna herself, Saeed and his brother were stopped at the Wall, stopped at the checkpoints, stopped by the IDF, totally denied access. No concert for them!

Also, some of Saeed's friends have recently been trying to turn that huge illegal ugly cement prison Wall standing between themselves and their farmland into a rock-climbing center. Why not? It's there to stay anyway. Might as well make it recreational. Add some pylons? Why not. And maybe "The Amazing Race" might even choose it as a location for next year's contestants to repel from. How cool would THAT be. And getting shot at by Israeli corporatistas' faux-Jewish thugs would certainly add just that special bit of an extra zing to the show, dontcha think?

A thousand years from now, that illegal dictatorial Wall may still be standing -- long after Israeli and American corporatistas have all killed off everyone else in the region -- even themselves. And it will be a very Ozymandias moment. "Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away.

Here are more Facebook photos of my recent trip to San Francisco's Chinatown, in a futile search for shrimp dumplings:
. The photos above also show Mena at The Looking Glass and Chester's in Berkeley


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