Thu Jan 17, 2013, 03:43 PM
grahamhgreen (15,300 posts)
“Zero Dark Thirty”, or How People Lose Their Humanity
"While Obama has made some cosmetic changes, he has not stopped the systematic use of torture in the basic functioning of the U.S.’ repressive apparatus. In the U.S. itself, there are tens of thousands of prisoners (though no one knows the exact number) kept in solitary confinement, robbed of human contact, and suffering full sensory deprivation and violent “cell extractions,” practiced regularly. By any moral or legal standard, this constitutes torture. Obama decriminalized and codified torture when he refused to prosecute those responsible for this during the Bush regime, letting war criminals off.
Zero Dark Thirty is a terribly harmful film. It upholds—and trains people in—an America-first fanatical get-the-bad-guy-at-any-cost patriotism. It celebrates ignorance of the crimes of this government and tremendous and violent arrogance. It is a film that celebrates imperial revenge.
After Maya’s colleague is killed by a suicide bomber, she says, “I’m going to kill everyone involved in that op and then I’m going to kill Osama bin Laden.” She calls herself a “motherfucker” and you’re supposed to cheer. Someone who won’t take shit, America first and fuck the rest, we’re not fucking around with that namby-pamby human rights bullshit, we’re coming after “America’s enemies.”
Think I’m exaggerating?
The official website of the movie has a link to a video game, “Medal of Honor Warfighter,” with a special “Zero Dark Thirty” edition advertising the ability to “join the greatest manhunt in history.” It goes on to say that “Medal of Honor Warfighter allows players to step into the boots of the soldiers who led the hunt for Bin Laden and takes you to the locations where only the most elite dare enter.” They advertise one game where you can “roam the treacherous hills and navigate the unforgivable terrain to take down enemies and achieve victory.”
This from a film where you never meet anyone from the countries the CIA is operating in who is not some form of evil incarnate. In fact, the only favorable Muslim character in the film is a CIA agent in a DC office.
All this calls to mind the glee and titillation of the Roman coliseums where the audience could watch torture and torment as a spectacle. Or to draw on a more recent, if fictional, example, the sick excitement of those in the capital watching “the hunger games.”
We need to stand on principle, give voice to and make common cause with the people of the world in opposition to the crimes our government is committing in our name. We don’t need sycophants to a system of brutality, exploitation and murder.
Do not become numb to the crimes of your government because it is unpleasant to confront.
Do not stand by in complicit silence or enthusiastic cheers while the humanity and rights of others are systematically stripped away.
Wake up, speak out, stand up.
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