Neither Christian Forgiveness Nor Redemption……

George Monbiot is a meticulous researcher. Every piece he pens is littered with numbers, appertaining to a lengthy list of references at the bottom of the page. As such, his work can be trusted. It is fact, not opinion.

His latest article: “The Darkest Corner of the Mind”, discusses America’s latest techniques for destroying human beings. He cites the case of Jose Padilla:

“Last week, defence lawyers acting for Jose Padilla, a US citizen detained as an “enemy combatant”, released a video showing a mission fraught with deadly risk – taking him to the prison dentist. A group of masked guards in riot gear shackled his legs and hands, blindfolded him with black-out goggles and shut off his hearing with headphones, then marched him down the prison corridor.

Is Padilla really that dangerous? Far from it: his warders describe him as so docile and inactive that he could be mistaken for “a piece of furniture”. The purpose of these measures appeared to be to sustain the regime under which he had lived for over three years: total sensory deprivation. He had been kept in a blacked-out cell, unable to see or hear anything beyond it. Most importantly, he had no human contact, except for being bounced off the walls from time to time by his interrogators. As a result, he appears to have lost his mind. I don’t mean this metaphorically. I mean that his mind is no longer there.

The forensic psychiatrist who examined him says that he “does not appreciate the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him, is unable to render assistance to counsel, and has impairments in reasoning as the result of a mental illness, i.e., post-traumatic stress disorder, complicated by the neuropsychiatric effects of prolonged isolation.” Jose Padilla appears to have been lobotomised: not medically, but socially.

Jose Padilla is only one subject scrutinised by Monbiot. He also analyses the all-to-common practice of penal solitary confinement in the US. In concluding, he states:

“If we were to judge the United States by its penal policies, we would perceive a strange beast: a Christian society that believes in neither forgiveness nor redemption.”

Read the rest of George Monbiot’s article, as published today in the Guardian newpaper, at his blog – HERE.

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The Price Of Complacency……

How would you feel if your child looked liked this?

Is he an alien? Perhaps, from another planet?

Well, in a sense – to many Americans – he may be. He’s Vietnamese. Why do he and thousands like him, look that way – and worse?

Because America committed yet another of its complacent war crimes thirty years ago by spraying around 80 million liters of a Dioxin-containing chemical, known colloquially as “Agent Orange”, over much of Vietnam, to defoliate the jungle and expose the Viet-cong they were fighting.

By every definition of the phrase, it was a war crime. But no-one ever pays for America’s war crimes. No-one is brought to justice for the appalling acts of barbarity – from Hiroshima to Abu Ghraib – that have stained that much-vaunted “banner of freedom”, the Star and Stripes, and turned it into a banner of shame, held in contempt by those in the rest of the world who still value personal rights and human dignity.

Since the end of the Vietnam War, the people of that country have suffered from the effects of Agent Orange, and will go on suffering. Those yet to be born face the most gruesome of disfigurements, physical and mental, many mercifully dying before they reach their teenage years.

The photograph above was taken in 2005. Yesterday, the BBC revealed the results of an investigation into the ongoing effects of Agent Orange. A video can be viewed online, but only for a short time. For reasons known only to itself, the BBC demands a hefty fee for those outside the UK to watch its archived material. This video is still available free of charge at the time of writing. It is available by accessing THIS PAGE, scrolling to mid-way and clicking on the link, “More Video/Audio News”, scroll down to bottom right, click on “WORLD”, then scroll to: “The Continuing Legacy of Agent Orange”.

Every American alive today should be forced to watch it, to see how their governments have behaved over the years, and how today they still refuse to accept responsibility.

A few weeks ago, the encumbent American president visited Vietnam, and in an unbelievably arrogant interview, inferred the country’s present prosperity was in some way linked to America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

One can only wonder if seeing the results of such involvement, as shown in this BBC video, might perhaps change his mind.

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