[Marxism] Iceberg Tips: Cuba, Prison Torture, Racism,,,
cdbrady at sbcglobal.net
Fri May 7 12:02:52 MDT 2004
Imagine if fotos were smuggled out of Cuban prisons. Imagine that they
showed graphic, lurid, deranged pictures of prisoners subjected to the
sort of degradation and abuse the Iraqis have suffered at the hands of
our noble champions of freedom, the minions of Bush and Blair. Suppose
these victims may be innocent people incarcerated without charge.
Consider that they may not be so guiltless but until proven otherwise,
according to US/UK legal premises, they must be considered so. They are
only suspects. And there are so many of them that we may entertain the
notion that some are presumably more innocent or guilty than others.
Nevertheless, they are all menaced by their laughing, physically abusive
captors. Their guards routinely humiliate numbers of them on whim. The
jailers sadistically torture and torment their innocent captives, some
even to death. It becomes a matter of record. The world watches with
intensity. Remember: this is a thought experiment: pretend this is
happening in a Havana dungeon, and the perpetrators are Communists. Or
they are functionaries in a Communist regime.
Would not righteous warships loaded with US Marines be launched to
liberate the beleaguered and agonized islanders? Would not passionate
Americans fly to the rescue! --- send warplanes to drop sky fields
filled with paratroopers? The cry would go up, starting from Miami:
"Liberate the poor, suffering victims of oppression!"
But these atrocities are not happening in Cuba. It is not Communists
who do these things.
But it is the United States of America that has stirred the United
Nations Human Rights Commission to denounce Cuba. It is the United
States that uses the rhetoric of righteousness to step up its attacks on
the Communist island. (See: "Bush Proposes a Plan to Aid Opponents of
Castro in Cuba. President Bush announced a plan to increase dramatically
the money for Cuban critics of the government of President Fidel
Castro." New York Times, 7 May 2004.
Isn't it ironic?
According to the United States/Kingdom, neither Americans nor British
are responsible for human rights abuses in Iraq. There are simply some
perpetrators who are really only "a few bad apples." Yes, we hear that
very phrase. We wonder about the whole barrel of apples. Random
violators are responsible for those reprehensible acts? Isolated
occurrences are they? Well, we may have been led to believe so. But
first it was just one prison. First it was only low-ranking, or "lowly"
US soldiers. And only in Iraq. Now it seems that it was more than just
one place. Not only in Iraq but in Afghanistan, too. Where else? And
the offenders were not only privates but corporals, and sergeants. And
officers knew. And other services (MI, FBI, CIA) most likely knew and
took active roles. And allies joined in. The British executed
comparable crimes. And the Israelis
Incarceration and Functional Racism
It has emerged in the media (World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, 6
May 2004) that at least a couple of the abusers were prison guards
stateside. Shouldn't that raise some questions as to the attitude of
prison guards -stateside? Consider that certain ethnicities are
over-represented in the US prison population. Is their historical abuse
compounded by and in their institutionalized social quarantine? Have
certain people in the United States, folks categorized by "race" and
ethnicity -and class- had their the civil rights historically denied?
Is there a tendency for their rights to be further disallowed? Consider
that the State of Florida, under the Governorship of Jeb Bush, has
initiated proceedings to intensify disenfranchisement of former felons.
Keep in mind the proportion of certain social categories who are
over-represented in prison. Ah, politics. But it is more than an
abstraction. Switch from the mindset that a primary target of our
struggle for equality should be racism *by motivation*. Intent is
harder to prove than the act. Intentional racism is less obvious than
*effective* racism, or effects, that is outcomes or social consitions
that can be chracterized "racially", i.e., certain ethnicities are
over-represented in the US prison inmate population. So, historically
suppressed peoples in the United States remain suppressed. How may such
people be liberated from the threat of prejudicial suspension of their
American governments declare convicts have criminal records that should
exclude them from certain civil rights in society. Yet that very
system of governance has a criminal history. The excuses emanating from
the foul mouths of the apologists for US imperialism are noxious and
exasperating. What is this excessive flatulence about "after 9-11 there
are no holds barred"? (NPR Morning Edition, 7 May 2004). Traumatic
experience excuses and legitimizes criminal behavior? Is the US
Government pleading... insanity? Were those abusive deeds at Abu
Ghraib exceptional, or random acts, slight glitches, transient
irrelevancies? No, there have been too many, involving too many, for
too long. Turn it around on the imperialists:
You have hoisted your own petards: "Ignorance of the law is no
exception." You didn't know that your functionaries were in violation?
You deny responsibility? Then you are irresponsible. You are the
boss. You are where the buck stops. Yet you go before the court of
world opinion with the excuse: "Honest, yer honner, I didn't know my gun
was loaded!" So whatever. You did it. Again and again. It is as
clear as in the full light of day at high noon. You are either stupid,
insane, or knowingly criminal. Whatever the reason, you should be
removed from power and incarcerated, and, hopefully, rehabilitated. We
should be liberated from you.
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