The new Evil Empire spreads its tentacles over the world:
“…Fearful of future terrorist attacks and frustrated by the slow progress of intelligence-gathering from prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Pentagon officials turned to the closest thing on their organizational charts to a school for torture. That was a classified program at Fort Bragg, N.C., known as SERE, for Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape. Based on studies of North Korean and Vietnamese efforts to break American prisoners, SERE was intended to train American soldiers to resist the abuse they might face in enemy custody.
“The Pentagon appears to have flipped SERE’s teachings on their head, mining the program not for resistance techniques but for interrogation methods. At a June 2004 briefing, the chief of the United States Southern Command, Gen. James T. Hill, said a team from Guantanamo went “up to our SERE school and developed a list of techniques” for “high-profile, high-value” detainees. General Hill had sent this list – which included prolonged isolation and sleep deprivation, stress positions, physical assault and the exploitation of detainees’ phobias – to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who approved most of the tactics in December 2002.
Hat tip, Laura Rozen.
“The Communists, like the Americans, believe that the way to transform society and achieve the transition to true democracy is by establishing an ‘interim’ dictatorship: in the case of the former, it’s the “dictatorship of the proletariat,” while the Americans call their dictatorship the ‘Iraqi Interim Authority.’ But that’s just semantics. Both want to forcibly modernize and secularize a deeply religious, consciously conservative society, and seek to ‘liberate’ women: both commies and neocons see themselves as “progressive,” on the right side of history, and both have force at the core of their methods.
“There is really nothing all that odd about the Commie-neocon axis of ‘liberation’: it represents the reunion of the Bolsheviks with their long-lost Menshevik brothers.”
The conservative philosopher Claes Ryn calls the neocons who are running America into the ground “neo-Jacobins,” and surely their methods — including torture — recall the reign of Robespierre in “revolutionary” France. As Professor Ryn puts it:
“But 9/11 changed everything, the neo-Jacobins cry. Well, not quite everything. The human condition has not changed. Terrible events do not cancel the need for those personal qualities and social and political structures without which the will to power becomes arbitrary and tyrannical. Unfortunately, 9/11 gave the imperialistic personality another pretext for throwing off restraint.”
Will this era in America’s story go down in history as the Bushevik Terror? Remember, though, what happened to the Jacobin leaders in the end …