March 7th Extraordinary Rendition


photo h metcalfe


Around a decade ago, I began to be disturbed by dreams of torture. One vision placed me outside a stadium, where I could hear the sound of a crowd roaring and I knew that a woman was being abused to death. Another recurring dream, found me amongst ruined buildings, where demon-like beings inflicted slow cruelty on their victims - well before our present-day reality of ‘extraordinary rendition’ and daily accounts of torture in the press and on the radio and television.

Torture is the creation of Hell on earth. It is both the denial of the personal responsibility of the torturer and the expression of the torturers own personal fears. By inflicting torture on others, with the supposed blessing of God, the evil and threat of Hell is removed from the perpetrator and passed onto the victim. God is inverted into an image of man, thus allowing perversion to masquerade as glory.

“I was only acting on orders” is an oft heard excuse, from the atrocities of the Nazi concentration camps, to the cut-throat, subversive and cruel behaviour of colleagues in present day working environments. It is easy to moralise and be brave, in conversation over dinner; or watching a film in which the hero withstands seemingly insurmountable odds; but this is hard to live up to in our everyday lives. It is easier to ignore corrupt or dishonest behaviour, than to make a stand and find ourselves out of a job or friendless.

It is often a hard choice – Is the battle worth fighting? Will you give your support, as a ‘knight in shining armour’ - only to find yourself a ‘Don Quixote, tilting at windmills’? There is no easy answer, but turning a blind eye to dishonesty, injustice and cruelty for the ‘greater good’, seems rather like building a castle on mud - sooner or later the walls will crack and fall.



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