I was reading Five
Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo, by Murat Kurnaz, when I
came across a passage about Kurnaz being subjected to gruesome electric shock
torture at the hands of America�s brave volunteer warriors. After passing out
and being tossed back in his cell to sleep it off, Kurnaz was soon awakened by
He saw two valiant American soldiers hitting a man who was
lying on the ground -- his head wrapped in a blanket. Five more patriotic
heroes eventually joined in on the beating, hitting the man�s head with the
butts of their rifles and kicking him with their heavy boots. �Then,� says
Kurnaz, �they walked away, leaving him lying there.�
The next morning, the man was still lying in the same spot,
in a pool of blood. It wasn�t until later that afternoon that four US officers
came to inspect him and an escort team earned their yellow ribbons by taking
away his lifeless body.
�I wondered to myself if had any children,� writes Kurnaz.
�Whether his mother and father would ever find out that he had been beaten to
death. At that moment, I didn�t care whether it was him or me. My life was
worth nothing more than his. I�d understood for quite some time what this camp
was about. They could do with us what they pleased. And I might be next.�
Even if the man who was beaten was death was proven --
beyond a reasonable doubt -- to be personally responsible for 9/11, how can
anyone but a sociopath justify such treatment? Can anyone but a sadistic
criminal justify the existence of Gitmo? How much more will it take before
everyday Americans collectively hang their heads in shame over this ongoing
crime and the many other examples of their [sic] nation�s contemptible conduct?
Are any of you ashamed of the epidemics of preventable
diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc.? What about the poisoning
of our air, water, and food (including mother�s breast milk); the one-third of
Americans uninsured or underinsured when it comes to health care; the fact that
61 percent of US corporations do not even pay taxes; the presidential lies,
electoral fraud, limited debates, and so on; the largest prison population on
the planet; corporate control of public land, public airwaves, public pensions;
overt infringement of our civil liberties; bloated defense budget, unilateral
military interventions, war crimes committed in our name, legalization of
torture, blah blah blah?
What will it take before you are wholeheartedly ashamed to
Ask yourself these two questions:
1. Do I feel the planet is in peril?
2. Do I believe that those in power -- those most
responsible for the planet being in peril -- will relinquish power voluntarily?
If you answered �yes� to number one and �no� to number two,
I have one more question for you: How much are you willing to endure before you
take serious, sustained action?
Mickey Z. is the author of the forthcoming novel, CPR for Dummies, and can be
found on the Web at www.mickeyz.net.