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Welcome to the Apocalypse

BDSM, #MeToo, Torture and the Drumbeat For War

The French existentialist Jean Paul Sartyr wrote a short story called “The Wall” in which a French resistance fighter is captured by the Nazis and tortured. The torturer's goal is to locate a resistance leader in hiding. It gets to the point the man being tortured can’t take it anymore and wants it to stop. So he tells them the resistance leader is at a certain school, hiding in the basement. He’s relieved when they stop the torture, though he knows they’ll be back and the torture will resume. At least he has a reprieve. The cruel irony is that, unbeknownst to our tortured resistance fighter, the resistance leader is actually hiding in that very school basement. In the case of POWs in Hanoi, some reportedly broke down under torture and spoke or wrote derogatory statements about US war crimes against the Vietnamese. In the minds of these patriots, these were not true statements; they were the same sort of human response Sartyr's resistance fighter made: The motive was to stop the pain by saying something deemed harmless. So they gave their torturers what they wanted to hear and the torture stopped. In cases like that, from the torturer's point of view, the torture accomplished its mission. This is why a pathologically dishonest person like Donald Trump feels torture works. It's why gangsters resort to torture: It's the power to intimidate and get their way. Also, the personal sadistic component can't be discounted. Look at the audiences' faces in lynching postcards from the 19th and early 20th century: Hatred has trumped compassion or empathy; there is real joy and social bonding going on. You see the same smiles in the thumbs-up photos of soldiers with tortured or dead Iraqis.

Donald Rumsfeld at Abu Ghraib and a look under the rockDonald Rumsfeld at Abu Ghraib and a look under the rock

story | by Dr. Radut