Tuesday, February 17, 2015


The big "I" -- ISIS -- it's in the news every day now, with hideous acts that don't belong in the world of today, but are happening today.

Yes, I have heard many times that waterboarding is a surefire, horrible, hideous way to get information from the bad guys.

I watched this video. A good guy -- a reporter -- volunteered so that he could write about it, explain why it's a successful, unbearable torture.

Did I enjoy watching this? Did you enjoy watching this video?

ENJOY? Wrong word maybe, but weren't you riveted as you saw him suffering? Did you wonder how the guy pouring the water -- how he and the other guards in this video -- felt as they waterboarded other prisoners?

For three days, I've tried to write about torture.
I will never forget Abu Ghraib, this photo, and other
photos of guards degrading prisoners.

I re-read this cover story about three dead Gitmo prisoners, who supposedly committed suicide, but were actually murdered. It was revealed that guards stuffed rags down their throats so that their screams wouldn't be heard when the guards killed them.

And the beheadings -- yes -- I searched online until I found the worst, most horrifying photo of one of the victims.

And the pilot burned alive -- I cringe, I shudder deeply -- even so, I looked at the photos, wondering how the burning was started.

I'm sickened by these killings. I'm sickened by my curiosity. I want to slam the door on my thoughts, even as I wonder if my curiosity is wrong -- why is my curiosity wrong?

What's happening to me?

I was riveted years ago, by the film "Quo Vadis" -- Christians in the arena -- ravenous lions freed from their cages -- Deborah Kerr in a crisply beautiful blue dress, about to be eaten alive.

Remembering that scene, I browsed "8 Gruesome Movies That Caused Audiences to Get Sick."

I checked out the  "Most Painful 20 Torture Devices In History," reminding myself that Man's inhumanity to man has always, down through the ages, fascinated us, and entertained us.

ENTERTAINED? Webster's says "amusement or diversion provided especially by performers -- something diverting or engaging -- a public performance that amuses relaxes, provides pleasure, and diversion."

I suspect that I am not alone in my curiosity, my dread, the sickening feelings I have about this. I think that intolerable violence is part of our lives now.

Isis isn't winning the war that's it's creating -- but it's capturing imprisoning, torturing me -- enslaving, corrupting my mind. Yes, that's why I wrote this and made you look at these pictures.


Stan said...

I am not a religious man, but I do have knowledge of the Books and no where can I find a moral justification for torture. We have almost been lulled into some kind of big sleep and these sights almost become commonplace. Sad indeed. Thanks for the eye opening report.

Carola said...

I can't watch this stuff or even think about it.

Carrie A. said...

As an owner of "Quo Vadis" on VHS, I can assure you that you're not alone in this.

The intellectual drive to understand the world around us is separate from the emotional reaction to the information. To be conflicted is natural. One must have information about the situation to have at least some understanding. To avoid all information and pictures is to shut out an opportunity to gain knowledge and wisdom, no matter how good or bad the situation is.

What a world we live in...

Cara said...

Torture does and doesn't work. It can get people to confess to the truth, it can also get them to confess to lies. Torture can turn the subject into a Hydra: for every head you cut off, two more may sprout up in its place. Someone always finds out about torture, and voila, those who perpetrate it make whole new enemies they never had before. None of it surprises me. Humans are inherently violent, and it is only in repressing this natural tendency that we can all live together. What's more, in a group setting, people will rationalize behavior that allows them to belong. That's survival instinct. The only thing the rest of us can do is keep shining a light on it and keep doing the next right thing.

Linda Phillips said...

Frankly I wish I had not seen those photos that you posted in this blog. I have always found any form of violence highly disturbing and torture takes violence to a whole other level. I honestly feel that we are living in one of the most horrific of times. This is man's inhumanity to man at its very worst! I find it sickening beyond words!

I can't say anything more about it, since I find it so totally disturbing!

Aquileana said...

Our world has become so wild!!!.... I truly hope and believe that peace and brotherhood will prevail at the end (or at least I want to believe that).
Love Emily. Thanks for this thoughtful post! Aquileana :)