“The so-called 'Left-Hand Path' - that of Kaulas, Siddhas and Viras - combines the... Tantric worldview with a doctrine of the Übermensch which would put Nietzsche to shame... The Vira - which is to say: the 'heroic' man of Tantrism - seeks to sever all bonds, to overcome all duality between good and evil, honor and shame, virtue and guilt. Tantrism is the supreme path of the absolute absence of law - of shvecchacarī, a word meaning 'he whose law is his own will'." ― Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar.

“It is necessary to have “watchers” at hand who will bear witness to the values of Tradition in ever more uncompromising and firm ways, as the anti-traditional forces grow in strength. Even though these values cannot be achieved, it does not mean that they amount to mere “ideas.” These are measures…. Let people of our time talk about these things with condescension as if they were anachronistic and anti-historical; we know that this is an alibi for their defeat. Let us leave modern men to their “truths” and let us only be concerned about one thing: to keep standing amid a world of ruins.” ― Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga.

“We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who died at his post during the eruption of Vesuvius because someone forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one that can not be taken from a man.” ― Oswald Spengler, Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)

This documentary about the use of torture in interrogation at Bagram, Abu Ghraib, and Guantanamo is very interesting and very well done, with a few angles that modify some of my opinions about a few specific aspects of this subject. The real relevant info for me did not kick in until approx. 101:100, especially the point about the number of Afghan prisoners brought in for bounty by other Afghans – as in the Diliwar case – a seriously flawed strategy, as well as putting dumb-ass kids in positions to exert that kind of power over prisoners.

But there is a LOT of glossing over important details and specific questions that go unasked, especially specifics about who is confined, why, and in what context they were caught, to the end of supporting the film-maker's POV. It is also interesting to note McCain’s positive depiction in the film.

There are numerous very interesting interviews, especially with the interrogators from Bagram Prison, as well as some classic Prince of Darkness talking head footage from Dick Cheney.

My perspective on this subject has been very influenced by people I know who have conducted this type of interrogation in a Military/Intelligence context (during Vietnam and elsewhere). The dogmatic assertion that this kind of interrogation results in categorically false information is itself false. Rapport works, but not with everyone and not always. In a ticking bomb scenario, under certain circumstances, with certain subjects, putting the screws on will result in essential information. The one talking head debunking of the hypothetical “ticking bomb scenario” is disingenuous, he asked "when did the ticking bomb scenario ever happen?" No one has ever used the metaphor as a literal example that I am aware of.

And yes, I still say that a lot of what they are calling “torture” is debatable, especially considering the level of actual torture in interrogation conducted by most countries such as Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Russia, China, Turkey, etc. and especially if the person being interrogated is actually likely to have significant information. The film makers want to imply more prisoners than not are just innocent people snatched off the street for no good reason, without supplying any real evidence for this assumption. They failed to elicit sympathy from me for the guy who may have been the 20th Hijacker considering the information he could have come up with.

The whole scenario is a cluster-fuck.

An extremely well-done film on a highly controversial aspect of the GWOT that I would recommend highly for anyone interested in current affairs.



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