Friday, February 24, 2006

What ever happened to "Turn the other cheek"?

There were two stories in the paper this morning that disturbed me. The first was another scary report from Gitmo.

Military interrogators posing as FBI agents at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, wrapped terrorism suspects in an Israeli flag and forced them to watch homosexual pornography under strobe lights during interrogation sessions that lasted as long as 18 hours, according to one of a batch of FBI memos released Thursday.

FBI agents working at the prison complained about the military interrogators' techniques in e-mails to their superiors from 2002 to 2004, 54 e-mails released by the American Civil Liberties Union showed.

The agents tried to get the military interrogators to follow a less coercive approach and warned that the harsh methods could hinder future criminal prosecutions of terrorists because information gained illegally is inadmissible in court.

Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, who was in charge of the prison at the time, overrode the FBI agents' protests, according to the documents.

Um, remind me again, are we supposed to be the good guys?

This one was also really horrific. in Onitsha, Nigeria:

Dozens of charred, smoldering bodies littered the streets of this bustling commercial center on Thursday after three days of rioting in which Christian mobs wielding machetes, clubs and knives set upon their Muslim neighbors.

So this is the answer they came up with when asking themselves "What Would Jesus Do?" And yeah, I get that they were attacked first in the riots following the offensive cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, and I get how stupid and completely reprehensible that is, especially considering the Christian villagers in Onitsha weren't even responsible for the cartoon, but still, payback in kind? Is that what Christ taught us?

Every second grader can tell you that "Well, HE started it!" or "But everybody ELSE is doing it!" won't get them out of hot water with the principal or, hopefully, Mom and Dad. And yet, we have the U.S. Government and Christians in Nigeria doing horrible things with those very excuses.

Yeah, terrorists are evil and need to be stopped. Yeah, attacking innocent villagers because they're Christian and you're not is evil and needs to be stopped. But tit for tat isn't the way to do it. It is completely incompatible with what Christ taught and it makes us no better than the evil we're fighting.

If we want to claim the moral high ground, we damn well better be having morally. This goes for the United States government and for Christians.


At 9:04 PM, Blogger rev. todd said...

Very well said, we can stand for so many minor things, but somehow ignore one of Jesus' most addressed topics.

At 9:32 AM, Blogger Gary said...

I am a Canadian Telecommunications Engineer.

I was in Ontisha with my crews just after this happened. I saw bodies and smoking rubble.

My crews were in Onitsha when this happened. I had to arrange a strong armed force to escort my crews out of the danger area.

My men saw people being killed by machete, fire and beating. Not somehting they can easily forget. The armed force was about 20 strong and was so badly out numbered by the mobs they had to buy their way in and out. The sergeant in charge of the force told me that he simply did not have enough bullets to kill them all and that is what it would have taken.

You should go and visit Nigeria and other African countries to see that centuries old rivalry's and hatreds are at the core of this ethnically diverse population. Killing and death are a part of everyday life here. We were guarded every day of the 6 months we were in Nigeria by troops with AK-47 and grenade launchers.

It cannot easily be understood by those who have not seen it that people can act in this manner. In this country everyone is desperate to get ahead and everyone fears that the next person will somehow take what they have or prevent them from getting "their" share of anything.

The clinical example of mob mentality is evident here almost everyday. Small incidents spark huge riots and police are for the most part powerless as the mobs outnumber them. Vigilante groups are everywhere and act as neighbourhood police just as the Mafia did in Italy. Tribute must be paid to these groups. The vigilante groups get their power based upon violence not the law.

Please go and learn about these cultures BEFORE you make any further comments as it is not possible to comment on something like this without the insite that on the ground study would give you.


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