Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Watching Alias with Janna Sunday night. Isabella Rosselini bounces in as a Colonel in full uniform of the new KGB (I forget what they call themselves now). Surprise, surprise! It's Aunt Katia! She barks out some orders in Russian and shoots two new KGBists dead in their tracks with a CIA gun that happens to be lying around.

"How good is her Russian?" I ask Janna.

"Terrible!" laughs Janna, "I can't make out a word she is saying. She must have been raised in Italy or something."

Half the fun of watching Alias with Janna is in the asides between the two of us.

"Who's that?", she will ask suddenly, for no particular reason that I can see.

"That's Sark," I answer, "The Russian agent of the Covenant."

"But Sark is not a Russian name," Janna protests.

"Maybe, but that's the name he goes under. Remember, his father had a different name, a real Russian name."

"Who was his father?"

"Remember? The guy Lauren shot from the roof as they were taking him to hospital."

"Who's Lauren?"

"Vaughn's wife, the one you always knew was a double agent."

"Who's Vaughn?"

(Can you believe this?)

"The hero of the series we have been watching for months. The one Jennifer loves, though I can't see what she sees in him."

"Ah" Janna gets it. I don't have to remind her "our" Jennifer is the Sidney Bristow of the series.

"What movie are you watching?" I sometimes ask her.

"I watch my own movie," she answers.

Don't we all?

* * * * *

Monday was pouring heavy rain and I took a cab to the bone scan. Still got very wet, impossible to get out of the cab and it took a while to establish my balance on the crutch before finally opening the umbrella. So I spent most of the day in damp clothes in an environment which is kept cold on purpose for the benefit of the machines. Result is a humdinger of a head cold, with one very weepy left eye and explosive sneezings in great long series. Too bad each sneeze connects directly to the sciatic nerve--I still can't figure out how that works.

* * * * *

Who can adequately express the shame of our behavior in Iraq and Afghanistan?

It is a fact that Mankind living in the world of Animality has always behaved this way. It is nothing new.

When I was a teenager, my father sent me to spend a few weeks during the school holidays with friends of his in the south of France. Mireille was the only daughter of a very famous French Resistance heroine during World War II, who sacrificed her life resisting the German occupation of France. I don't suppose there are many towns in France too small to have a street named in her honor.

Mireille was a teenager at the time of the war, and she participated in her mother's resistance activities, even though she was excluded from the riskiest actions because of her age. It was never made clear how her mother got caught, was it luck or did someone snitch, but Mireille was arrested by the Gestapo at the same time as her mother, and they were taken into custody together although they were then separated.

Mireille told me that after a few days, she was moved into a different cell, where there was already another human being, a mass of battered bones and bruised flesh, with a broken face dark with clotted blood. She was horrified. She did not think it could get worse, until a raspy voice addressed her hoarsely from the depth of this trembling heap, and she suddenly realized (she could never have said she recognized her) that it was her mother.

The Gestapo had tortured her mother to make her talk (the usual term used is "to soften her up"). She did not. They were sure that the girl would talk, without their having to so much as touch her, out of fear of what they could do to her if she did not. Mireille was young, but she was not stupid, she saw through the trap and she was damned if she was going to allow her mother to have endured in vain. She too remained silent: she just went catatonic. She shamed the shameless men. They finished her mother off the next day, although Mireille couldn't imagine how her mother was able to stand up to the firing squad. Mireille was eventually released to medical care.

What am I saying?

I am saying that when torture exists anywhere, it is only because it has not only been condoned, but implemented, approved and organized by those in power. It is part of the system in place to obtain control and power.

Don't anyone fall for that crap: "These pictures are unacceptable, they are despicable, they disgust me!" Don't be fooled.

Our leaders have created a system which in part acts as a Chinese wall between official policies and the criminal acts which are being committed in our name. Those "security" forces are part of the war machine, the Brown & Root and Halliburton companies. The difference between their behavior and that of the official armies is they do not have to respect the rules of engagement, the code of war, the Geneva Convention, the use of only "acceptable" weapons and methods. They can use with impunity bullets that enter a body and don't come out again, which explode inside so that a man dies a terrible death from a random bullet in the buttock. They can use taser guns and belts, water, electricity, whatever they want, any of the terrible things which exist and which leave no trace on the body. They are not doing it in America, in England. There are actually schools which train people in these methods of "information collection".

Do you really think this kind of thing will encourage anyone to admire America and Britain, let alone love our "democratic " ways? Are you seriously convinced that these people "hate our freedom"?

Now our President, whom some say really wanted to become an actor, gets his chance to go blockbuster, on Al Arabiya, no less, leaving Condi to Al Jazeera (the one we are always saying is not about news, only about propaganda).

What will they say? "Justice will be served?" Will they also tell us about the checks and controls which will be set up to prevent the same thing from happening again?

Gotta watch this one! In my humble opinion, the whole thing is on the skids before it starts because our fearless leader doesn't have time to grow a credible mustache. Maybe Wardrobe can help fix things. Suggestion: sackcloth and ashes?

Let's face it, kiddies. It's all happening Behind God's Back.
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