RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Hedges writes: "The horrific pictures of the beheading of American reporter James Foley, the images of executions of alleged collaborators in Gaza and the bullet-ridden bodies left behind in Iraq by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant are the end of a story, not the beginning."

Author Chris Hedges. (photo: PBS)
Author Chris Hedges. (photo: PBS)


How the Brutalized Become Brutal

By Chris Hedges, TruthDig

25 August 14

 

he horrific pictures of the beheading of American reporter James Foley, the images of executions of alleged collaborators in Gaza and the bullet-ridden bodies left behind in Iraq by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant are the end of a story, not the beginning. They are the result of years, at times decades, of the random violence, brutal repression and collective humiliation the United States has inflicted on others.

Our terror is delivered to the wretched of the earth with industrial weapons. It is, to us, invisible. We do not stand over the decapitated and eviscerated bodies left behind on city and village streets by our missiles, drones and fighter jets. We do not listen to the wails and shrieks of parents embracing the shattered bodies of their children. We do not see the survivors of air attacks bury their mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. We are not conscious of the long night of collective humiliation, repression and powerlessness that characterizes existence in Israel’s occupied territories, Iraq and Afghanistan. We do not see the boiling anger that war and injustice turn into a caldron of hate over time. We are not aware of the very natural lust for revenge against those who carry out or symbolize this oppression. We see only the final pyrotechnics of terror, the shocking moment when the rage erupts into an inchoate fury and the murder of innocents. And, willfully ignorant, we do not understand our own complicity. We self-righteously condemn the killers as subhuman savages who deserve more of the violence that created them. This is a recipe for endless terror.

Chaim Engel, who took part in the uprising at the Nazis’ Sobibor death camp in Poland, described what happened when he obtained a knife and confronted a German in an office. The act he carried out was no less brutal than the beheading of Foley or the executions in Gaza. Isolated from the reality he and the other inmates endured at the camp, his act was savage. Set against the backdrop of the extermination camp it was understandable.

READ MORE


e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+3 # bmiluski 2014-08-25 13:00
If this theory were true, then because of what you men have done to us women for MILLENIA AND MILLENIA AND MILLENIA, there wouldn't be a man left alive..
I am so sick of the excuses you men come up with for your destructive behavior.
 
 
+5 # brux 2014-08-25 13:51
I don't quite get the logic here?
 
 
+3 # bmiluski 2014-08-26 08:28
Gee brux.......ther e's a surprise.
 
 
0 # brux 2014-09-01 17:50
There is not point, no logic, no premises leading to a conclusion, just a bunch of negative innuendo about ALL men. If you think that makes sense or proves anything, you ought to be surprised.
 
 
+3 # Glen 2014-08-25 13:59
That is a point to consider, bmiluski. Human beings, yep, mostly men, have been fighting and killing as long as humans have been crawling on the planet. Decent guys have had to adapt violent defensive methods to fight off the brutes.

There have been women over the years that have banished men from villages, and in various societies were equal to the men in various roles. Nevertheless, it was brutal dominant men who swept in and took over those societies that were hurting no one.

Today's men are engaging in the same ol' same ol'. Nothing new, and women are caught in the middle losing lives and children. A time will come when there will be a widening war that will be 10 times more brutal than in the past.

I see no solution, but women must consider their own survival, even if carried out with brutal means.
 
 
-4 # brux 2014-08-25 15:46
Men are just as much the victims of "strongmen" as women are, the "patriarchy" is undemocratic and indefencible ... except for the fact that it seems to be how we are built and we cannot change despite general agreement when you talk to men about their mothers, sisters wives and friends.
 
 
+6 # Glen 2014-08-25 15:56
Oh, I agree, brux, but I was responding to bmiluski and her post. Please note my sentence: Decent guys have had to adapt violent defensive methods to fight off the brutes. Yep, the good guys are always fending off the bad guys.
 
 
+5 # Majikman 2014-08-25 15:48
Glen, I was pretty much in agreement until your last sentence. A nurtured child becomes a nurturing adult, and the converse is true. Violence is also done with words and means other than mere physical abuse. Were women to resort to brutality as you suggest, our species is doomed. "Lord of the Flies" anyone?
Hedges is right on, and until our common humanity is recognized we can indeed expect more of the same brutality.
 
 
+3 # Glen 2014-08-25 16:06
I agree that violence is to be abhorred, but how does one survive when there are physical threats to you or your way of life? Wishing for decent humanity does not make it so. Take a look at the world around us. Would you feel the same if you lived in Gaza? Iraq or Afghanistan and you saw your home and family and friends blown to smithereens? That is more trauma than most Americans have ever seen and therefore don't think they may ever have to make decisions to exact violence on others.

How many victims must there continue to be? When has there ever been a time of true peace in the world?

There are numerous folks who were nurtured and taught morals and decency that had to face violence and make moral decisions in favor of their survival.
 
 
+3 # Majikman 2014-08-25 17:29
You really don't get it, do you. Vengeance is not the same as self defense.
 
 
+1 # Glen 2014-08-26 07:04
Did not say anything about vengeance. There are times, as I say, that decisions must be made when your life is threatened or there is major trauma as in Gaza, in which one must defend, and that could mean killing. Must one always wait until the attack is on before taking action to stop it?
 
 
0 # Majikman 2014-08-26 23:45
That's the whole point...breakin g the cycle. The US is now perpetuating the cycle of brutality in Honduras by denying those children sanctuary after destroying their country. We go marauding all over the dam planet and then blame the brown people, the muslims, the arabs, the pirates, etc. for the chaos and brutality WE caused.
 
 
+1 # Glen 2014-08-27 10:13
Certainly the U.S. has caused more than their share of killing and destroying. Other countries have as well, such as Germany, Japan, Great Britain, and on and on and on.

My question - how does one truly put an end to the brutality that has been raging for centuries? Folks have tried, as you know.
 
 
-1 # itchyvet 2014-08-26 01:12
So Glen, explain to us all, how the American citizens have been threatened, or their way of life by the Palestinians, Iraqis, Afghanis, Ukrainians, Yugoslavs ? I could go on and fill a whole page or more, but think you get the picture.
 
 
+1 # Glen 2014-08-26 07:05
I do believe you should go back and read my post and responses. I was merely using those people and locations as an example of suffering and death, and how it isn't so simple to say you would not fight back or even kill.
 
 
+4 # bmiluski 2014-08-26 08:32
Majikman....... unfortunately, a nurturing childhood does NOT guarantee a nuturing adult. I've seen it with my own eyes.
 
 
+7 # A P 2014-08-25 18:34
The research is done, the conclusions written. Zimbardo, Stanford Prison Experiment. Milgram, The Perils of Obedience.

Read. Learn. All people can be brutalizers. Well at least those who never learn to stand up to authority without questions. Even women.
 
 
+2 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-08-25 20:46
Quoting bmiluski:
If this theory were true, then because of what you men have done to us women for MILLENIA AND MILLENIA AND MILLENIA, there wouldn't be a man left alive..
I am so sick of the excuses you men come up with for your destructive behavior.


WOW! Where do you live? My Mother, my wife and my daughter as well as other females in my family would tell you that you ARE crazy! All men?
 
 
+3 # Glen 2014-08-26 08:23
She's not crazy, Buffalo. It is absolutely the truth how much violence there has been against women and children. Check the statistics in the U.S. alone, then move on to the world at large. The rapes, beatings, killings, kidnappings, forcing prostitution, you name it.

Yep, there are many independent women who are not abused, but there are also hideously brutalized women. Always has been. Easy victims.
 
 
0 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-08-26 12:10
Quoting Glen:
She's not crazy, Buffalo. It is absolutely the truth how much violence there has been against women and children. Check the statistics in the U.S. alone, then move on to the world at large. The rapes, beatings, killings, kidnappings, forcing prostitution, you name it.

Yep, there are many independent women who are not abused, but there are also hideously brutalized women. Always has been. Easy victims.


Did you miss the part where she said THERE WOULDN'T BE A MAN LEFT ALIVE. That implies ALL MEN and the sign of someone irrational where men are concerned.
 
 
0 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-08-26 13:56
Quoting Glen:
She's not crazy, Buffalo. It is absolutely the truth how much violence there has been against women and children. Check the statistics in the U.S. alone, then move on to the world at large. The rapes, beatings, killings, kidnappings, forcing prostitution, you name it.

Yep, there are many independent women who are not abused, but there are also hideously brutalized women. Always has been. Easy victims.


OK! BUT ALL MEN?
 
 
-1 # bmiluski 2014-08-26 08:36
buffalo guy....if you read my post carefully I said that IF we women behaved and thought like you men i.e. "How the Brutalized Become Brutal" and use brutalization as an excuse to kill and keep killing......th en you men would all be wiped out because of all the brutalization we women have had to endure from you over the many millenia.
 
 
+1 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-08-25 21:23
NO WOMEN EITHER!
 
 
-1 # bmiluski 2014-08-26 08:38
The jury is out on that. There is a theory that women could have children without men. They'd all be girls, but nevertheless... ........
 
 
0 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-08-26 12:17
Quoting bmiluski:
The jury is out on that. There is a theory that women could have children without men. They'd all be girls, but nevertheless...........


See, irrational where men are concerned!!!
What about the Amazons? It's not all in one sex or another but of what humans are.
 
 
0 # bmiluski 2014-08-26 14:51
What about Amazons?
And exactly how am I irrational where men are concerned?
 
 
+1 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-08-26 20:57
Quoting bmiluski:
What about Amazons?
And exactly how am I irrational where men are concerned?


Amazons were a society controlled by women warriors. Google it if you're that uninformed.
Why are you irrational? Look at what you've posted. You're even implying that the human race could exist without men. I don't know your life experiences but I'm truly sorry for whatever abuse you've had to endure. Even others on this site have posted disbelief that you would blame all men. Look, how about Catherine de Medici the poisoner who had some responsibility in starting the French wars of religion.
It's the human race and not one sex or the other.
 
 
-1 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-08-25 23:48
I like your posts. Yet, are men to blame for it all? Women in this country feed their families junk food, sugar based. Brains don't survive well, work well on sugar based diets. Look @ U.S. school academic rankings on international science and math tests. Not so good. We in the U.S.are some of the fattest most unhealthy citizens of any nation. Men have a long way to clean up their acts and women too. The U.S. runs countless numbers of high school "drop out" factories. Why? God put us all here. Maybe we should ask if it wasn't just a big screw up? Or, maybe God just delights in violence?
 
 
0 # bmiluski 2014-08-26 08:39
Eldon, thanks for your post. However, I am not talking about nuturing, I'm talking about brutalization. Nurturing....we ll, that's another article.
 
 
0 # RMDC 2014-08-28 08:17
bmiluski -- you have a good point but it is more complex. The overwhelming cultural control of women makes it very hard to respond to violence from men. Most religions tell women to submit. But in the case of war, most men are working with the same ideology. ISIS, US Marines, the Pentagon, Obama, Syria, Iraq, Taliban, and all the rest believe they have a right to control their own lives and that some foreign invader is wrong.

Maybe I'm writing another excuse for male violence -- but that is not my intent. I am totally against male violence and I do see it as the great part of the problem in the world. It is not just the violence, but also the competition and urge to dominate that underlies capitalism. Women are just not socialized that way. Everything in culture works against women acting that way.

It is men who need to change, not women.
 
 
-16 # brux 2014-08-25 13:42
> Chaim Engel, who took part in the uprising at the Nazis’
> Sobibor death camp in Poland, described what happened
> when he obtained a knife and confronted a German in an
> office. The act he carried out was no less brutal than the
> beheading of Foley or the executions in Gaza. Isolated
> from the reality he and the other inmates endured at the
> camp, his act was savage.

Are you kidding me ... so now Hedges equates two actions that have no business being in the same thought, let alone the same article ... this guy knows no bounds when it comes to low down dirty disgusting writing.

> The act he carried out was no less brutal than the beheading of Foley

This man who was in a death camp waiting to be murdered when the Nazis had stolen his last useful actions turned to their hateful cause of murdering all his people as well, and Hedges is comparing that with going out and kidnapping someone and beheading them in the global media - by choice.

Really, there is no difference? Really?

- -
- -

I used to appreciate Hedges' writing on other subjects but this sickening verbal excretia has really crossed over some kind of boundary ... this guy is sick, toxic and repulsive to me.

I don't want anything to do with him ... or whatever it is that is paying him to do things like this, this is truly inhuman and awful. He might as well be a murderer himself to say this kind of thing.
 
 
+1 # Benjamin Franklin 2014-08-25 22:37
Hedges has a point but, of course, goes completely off the deep end in this article. Brux definitely has a case.
 
 
+1 # Nominae 2014-08-26 00:30
Quoting Benjamin Franklin:
Hedges has a point but, of course, goes completely off the deep end in this article. Brux definitely has a case.


The fact that brux and others suffer obvious problems with reading comprehension
is not a reflection on the quality of the author's efforts, whether it be Hedges or anyone else.
 
 
# Guest 2014-08-26 01:01
This comment has been deleted by Administrator
 
 
# Guest 2014-08-26 05:16
This comment has been deleted by Administrator
 
 
0 # brux 2014-09-01 17:48
My post is verbatim quotes from the article ... hard to see how you can say I have problems with reading comprehension.
 
 
-4 # brux 2014-08-26 01:08
Thanks Ben ... I don't get much respect around here because I am not afraid to make points that any sane person would realize tells them something is wrong ... but that is not the reaction I get at RSN. These folks are not here to think or be challenged, they are here to vent their emotions, most of which they do not even understand.
 
 
+1 # bmiluski 2014-08-26 08:48
brux.....have you ever tried to disagree with anyone on any of the neo-con blogs. You'd be assaulted with the most vile language and threats you'll ever hear. The responses you get here are mild and sometimes amusing. So leave off the name calling, and your remarks will be a lot more relevent.
 
 
+2 # reiverpacific 2014-08-26 11:15
Quoting bmiluski:
brux.....have you ever tried to disagree with anyone on any of the neo-con blogs. You'd be assaulted with the most vile language and threats you'll ever hear. The responses you get here are mild and sometimes amusing. So leave off the name calling, and your remarks will be a lot more relevent.

Or more likely -on the neocon and reactionary blogs and other rightist media- screened out before even getting close to the host or source.
I've tried to call Rush Limpballs three times and our local Oregon version Lars Larson and didn't even get past first base.
I've put this to several reactionary right posters on RSN often and ever had a response.
Which just goes to illustrate that those who howl most about "Free Speech" are the first who would take it from you.
 
 
0 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-08-26 12:36
Quoting brux:
Thanks Ben ... I don't get much respect around here because I am not afraid to make points that any sane person would realize tells them something is wrong ... but that is not the reaction I get at RSN. These folks are not here to think or be challenged, they are here to vent their emotions, most of which they do not even understand.


Oh how I agree with you! It's their way or the highway and there's little dialog to speak of let alone respect.
 
 
0 # bmiluski 2014-08-26 08:44
brux, I don't normally agree with you but in this case I'm absolutely on your side.
How Hedges can equate the actions of brutelized human beings with the actions of psychopathic hooligans tells me he pulled this article out of his...... That's like saying the nazis were no less culpable for their brutal acts.
 
 
0 # Nominae 2014-08-26 16:39
Quoting bmiluski:
brux, I don't normally agree with you but in this case I'm absolutely on your side.
How Hedges can equate the actions of brutelized human beings with the actions of psychopathic hooligans tells me he pulled this article out of his...... That's like saying the nazis were no less culpable for their brutal acts.


Perhaps a more careful reading will bring to light the fact that your "take away" from the article under discussion is simply *not* what Hedges *is* saying.
 
 
0 # RMDC 2014-08-28 08:20
brux -- seems like a very good analogy to me -- one guy in a Nazi concentration camp as compared to another guy in an Israeli concentration camp. What's the difference.

You are just an Israeli. You justify everything the Israeli government does. Your hero, Netanyahoo, can do no wrong. Too bad most of the world disagrees with you. It sees Israel for what it is -- a vicious little racists state that is committed to genocide of Palestinians.
 
 
+15 # reiverpacific 2014-08-25 13:43
How about those who send others out to do their killing for them, mostly on lies, for personal gain to themselves and their elite cronies in the Corporate/Milit ary/Extractive industries which it keeps going in an endless circle of self-perpetrati ng destructiveness , without once wondering truly why "(They) hate us" and have never faced as much as one declared "enemy" combatant in their lives and used their positions of power to seek "deferments" and be excused from earlier conflicts?
THAT'S where the purge must start; the list is long, decades long and bloodstained and I'm sure y'all have your candidates, with many common Iagos.
Interesting that Hedges should choose the increasingly mad King Lear to have the inmates study: "Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.—
Give me the map there.—Know that we have divided
In three our kingdom, and ’tis our fast intent
To shake all cares and business from our age,
Conferring them on younger strengths while we
Unburdened crawl toward death-".
 
 
-21 # brux 2014-08-25 13:50
> How about those who send others out to do their killing for them, mostly on lies

How do you know it is "mostly" on lies.

What do you think would have happened if there had not been a Pearl Harbor in WWII, and what if the Axis had progressed to that point of consolidating their gains and turning the resources of over half the world towards murdering and enslaving your people, your grandparents, and parents, and you.

What do you know about lies, except how to tell them yourself?
 
 
+8 # reiverpacific 2014-08-25 17:26
Quoting brux:
> How about those who send others out to do their killing for them, mostly on lies

How do you know it is "mostly" on lies.

What do you think would have happened if there had not been a Pearl Harbor in WWII, and what if the Axis had progressed to that point of consolidating their gains and turning the resources of over half the world towards murdering and enslaving your people, your grandparents, and parents, and you.

What do you know about lies, except how to tell them yourself?


Please keep y'r humorless, attack-dog bile to yourself.
I've read enough of y'r angry, spitting venom already on RSN, especially when the Israel/Gaza subject comes up, that I don't really feel that you can sustain a discussion without being personally offensive, like the rest of the RSN Israel lobby, who are the most hate-filled batch of brats that post here, worse that even the odd reactionary.
You happy now: I let myself drop to your level of demeaning rhetoric -but for the last time.
If you don't consider Vietnam and Iraq sufficient evidence of wars based on lies and so many other countries too long to list here, then stick y'r head back in that wee, square sand box.
I remember you once writing that you "Believe in Western Civilization". Perhaps you recall -or more likely chose to disdain- what Ghandi replied to the person who asked him what he thought of the same, en re'; "I think it would be a very good idea".
Ta-ra the noo and for good.
Now rave on.
 
 
-9 # brux 2014-08-26 01:04
There is nothing personal or offensive in that post. Yes, I have a point of view, deal with it or don't but don't blame me for it, and do not make claims that have nothing to do with me.

Gandhi had a point, and yet he chose to absorb a whole bunch of stuff ... you take a joke from him and raise it to a place it was never meant to be.
 
 
+6 # MidwesTom 2014-08-25 14:02
It is nice to blame the brutality on the actions of the United States; however, the middle eastern sites he mentions are not the only places where Islamic fundamentalists are waging brutal war against non-Muslims. Consider for the following countries Indonesia, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Africa, China, and Russia, all have been the sites of brutal Islamic attacks on non-believers; and the US has not been involved in any of these countries to cause a reprisal. There is more to this than simple hatred for the US.
 
 
+10 # dickbd 2014-08-25 15:32
It is not nice to do; it is difficult. That was one of Hedge's points. It is easy to be patriotic, self-righteous, and judgmental. It is difficult to contemplate all of the things that have been done in our name. It is especially difficult because our media don't cover it. We only hear about American deaths. Iraqis don't count. And yet, a conservative estimate is that a million have been killed. Probably more. Not all of that has been by us, but it is from the destabalization that our invasion caused.

It is easy to be a simplistic patriot. It is difficult to be a true patriot and examine just what our government has done. Mainly at the behest of corporate incluence and power.
 
 
+10 # chomper2 2014-08-25 17:53
Well of course not, Tom. Exxon/Mobil has no interest in those places.
 
 
0 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-08-26 14:00
Quoting MidwesTom:
It is nice to blame the brutality on the actions of the United States; however, the middle eastern sites he mentions are not the only places where Islamic fundamentalists are waging brutal war against non-Muslims. Consider for the following countries Indonesia, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Africa, China, and Russia, all have been the sites of brutal Islamic attacks on non-believers; and the US has not been involved in any of these countries to cause a reprisal. There is more to this than simple hatred for the US.


THANK YOU!
 
 
-13 # MidwesTom 2014-08-25 14:24
Islam is a religion of rules and hate, there is no forgiveness in Islam. Ishmal did not get the blessing that he thought that he was entitled to, and his descendants have been mad ever since. Muhammad came along and used the hatred of Issac's descendants as a uniting force. One of the basic tenants is that all non-Muslims must convert or be killed.

When Muslim burns a Bible nobody gets real excited, and a true Christian will offer forgiveness, but when a Jew or Christian burns a Koran he is subject to being killed. There is no forgiveness in Islam.
 
 
+14 # dickbd 2014-08-25 15:35
I think that is an unfair characterizatio n. As a life-long atheist, I can be objective about religions and the religious. I know lots of peaceful muslims, and I know lots of Christians, good friends, who were all for every single military action that caused so many deaths.

And remember, Christianity has a checkered history, too. Let us not forget the Inquisition, the Crusades, and the killing of infidils and witches.
 
 
-5 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-08-25 20:40
Quoting dickbd:
I think that is an unfair characterization. As a life-long atheist, I can be objective about religions and the religious. I know lots of peaceful Muslims, and I know lots of Christians, good friends, who were all for every single military action that caused so many deaths.

And remember, Christianity has a checkered history, too. Let us not forget the Inquisition, the Crusades, and the killing of infidils and witches.


True enough if you want to consider the relatively distant past. The picture is different if you look at right now & the very recent past. The Muslims have given Christians and Yazidis the choice of converting to Islam or die. And how many times have we seen cheering, barbaric Arabs as another of their victims are drug through the streets. I agree that there are many religious people who would choose peace with their neighbors first. Then there are those like the present Palestinian leaders who are splintered and peace is impossible with them. I've said in the past and I'll say it again; it's the inclusion of people that screw up every organization, institution, religion etc..
I am Christian and I don't have the answer. Apparently Hamas doesn't either.
 
 
+5 # lfeuille 2014-08-25 22:14
Equating ISIS with all of Islam is really a cheap shot. Most Islamic leaders have condemned the group. Barbarity isn't exclusive to one side. Remember the collateral murder video?
 
 
+5 # itchyvet 2014-08-26 01:19
Actually Ifeiille, that was different, they were Rag heads, or Iraqis and we were bringing them Democracy and freedom which the silly buggers repaid by IED'ing us, ungrateful sods.
BUT, hey, what were we doing invading their country and bombing it back to the stone age in the first place.
Apparently there are some folks in the U.S. who honestly believe the Iraqis should be grateful for such a favor bestowed upon them.
 
 
+7 # reiverpacific 2014-08-25 20:05
Quoting MidwesTom:
Islam is a religion of rules and hate, there is no forgiveness in Islam. Ishmal did not get the blessing that he thought that he was entitled to, and his descendants have been mad ever since. Muhammad came along and used the hatred of Issac's descendants as a uniting force. One of the basic tenants is that all non-Muslims must convert or be killed.

When Muslim burns a Bible nobody gets real excited, and a true Christian will offer forgiveness, but when a Jew or Christian burns a Koran he is subject to being killed. There is no forgiveness in Islam.


All you folks who get down on Islam (and I've read it's entire history, am not a believer any more than I am a Christian nor Hebrew, which themselves are pretty weird) seem to ignore that Indonesia is the most populous Muslim nation on earth but practices tolerance of all other religions by statute, even in Suharto's time.
It's had it's conflict to be sure, many of them driven, armed, or tacitly approved of by the US (do I HAVE to list them?) but I lived and worked there for three years and found the people mellow and fun to be with, from the professors at ITB, the Architects and Engineers I worked with, to the grassroots, servants, street cooks, drivers, Kampung dwellers, Gamelan and Rebab musicians and Wayang Kulit puppeteers.
The only rather strict area was the province of Banda Acheh in N.W. Sumatra but it was OK too.
BTW, Bali is Hindu (What's a Hindu? It lays eggs!).
Look wider.
 
 
+1 # bmiluski 2014-08-26 08:54
Religion is nothing more then a vehicle for power and control.
 
 
0 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-08-26 14:10
Quoting bmiluski:
Religion is nothing more then a vehicle for power and control.

That seems true of Islam where religion and politics mix but for other religions it's more an influence although here in the USA there is movement afoot to end even that much. The closing of Churches ans Synagogues is testament to that.
I would agree it was used to justify wars in the past and power and control are a secretion of war.
 
 
+1 # bmiluski 2014-08-26 14:56
Buffalo......AR e you kidding me? Islam is no different from any other religion. Check out the wealth of the Morman Church. It owns most of the Hawaiian Isles. The Roman Catholic Church has land holdings in the billions.
 
 
0 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-08-26 21:10
Quoting bmiluski:
Buffalo......ARe you kidding me? Islam is no different from any other religion. Check out the wealth of the Morman Church. It owns most of the Hawaiian Isles. The Roman Catholic Church has land holdings in the billions.


OK! They have money and possessions. Now how does that convert to "POWER AND CONTROL"?....EX CEPT FOR ISLAM. And this is not an indictment of Islam. It's simply that, at present, they exert power and control. Other religions may have in the past but the declining Churches and synagogues imply it's not that way now.
 
 
-2 # Robert S. Becker 2014-08-25 14:46
"These killings will stop only when we accept that the killers who should terrify us most are ourselves."

We? Only? Ourselves? In a democracy, however tattered, 51% of certain voters across the country either support or allow leaders who then either support or allow top leaders to commit awful military actions. How many at RSN support what Mr. Hedges excoriates? 5%? 10%? Not many more. Yet how many who cheer on what he opposes read his tracts -- or would welcome his tone?

I for one object to being grouped among those he rightly challenges, signaled by his sweeping, inclusive "we." Who exactly define the "we" who are "willfully ignorant, we do not understand our own complicity. We self-righteousl y condemn the killers as subhuman savages who deserve more of the violence that created them. This is a recipe for endless terror"?

When this literate writer learns to address those who disagree, o are moderate, he would then increase the chances of changing what is not a fixed or ultimate recipe for "endless terror."
 
 
+7 # dickbd 2014-08-25 15:39
Well, count me as one who agrees!

Don't we want to change our country for the better? And haven't we behaved as though we own and rule the world?
 
 
+2 # itchyvet 2014-08-26 01:22
Robert S. Becker, you forgot to mention the colored folks of the U.S. who it would appear are also targets within the so called Land Of The Free. How come the authorities and Governing bodies of this land, accept this butchery and turn a blind eye to it ?
 
 
+6 # janie1893 2014-08-25 14:54
For those who do not understand the point Chris is making--When people are put into a situation where group-think is a must or in a situation that recalls memories of childhood violence, one responds in a way that is familiar and already programmed into us.
We are still animals!! And we act like animals when under such pressure.
 
 
+1 # reiverpacific 2014-08-26 08:59
Quoting janie1893:
For those who do not understand the point Chris is making--When people are put into a situation where group-think is a must or in a situation that recalls memories of childhood violence, one responds in a way that is familiar and already programmed into us.
We are still animals!! And we act like animals when under such pressure.

'Cept animals don't butcher each other wantonly for many and diverse reasons like power, profit and theology but only to eat and defend themselves and their young.
 
 
+1 # bmiluski 2014-08-26 14:58
Actually reiverpacific.. ......you might want to do a study about chimpanzees. They have gangs of male youths that attack and terrorize the old and the young in their tribe. Rape is not uncommon.
 
 
0 # reiverpacific 2014-08-26 21:05
Quoting bmiluski:
Actually reiverpacific........you might want to do a study about chimpanzees. They have gangs of male youths that attack and terrorize the old and the young in their tribe. Rape is not uncommon.

So THAT's where we get it!
Thanks for the info'.
 
 
-1 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-08-26 21:55
Quoting bmiluski:
Actually reiverpacific........you might want to do a study about chimpanzees. They have gangs of male youths that attack and terrorize the old and the young in their tribe. Rape is not uncommon.


Absolutely hilarious! Still with the male thing and with chimps now. But what about the black widow spider who eats her mate after some hanky panky.
 
 
-10 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-08-25 15:34
Id like to ask Hedges, how do you compare an act of revenge to an act of political savagery, one who kills from anger and one who kills for enjoyment and butchers to strike fear and show how savage they are?
The USA is at fault? How we have been at fault is standing by and allowing some of this crap to go on. There might not be a Palestinian issue had we done more to prevent the holocaust. And how about other ethnic cleansings! Cambodia. Was Cambodia our fault? How about Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia where Europe stood by twiddling their thumbs. Armenia earlier! I guess they're all our fault. How about Russia's move on Afghanistan, the Crimea and the Ukraine? Since Russia can do no wrong, then it must the good old USA at fault again? Maybe we should have annexed Europe after WWII. Russia or Germany would have!
Chris Hedges, you are a sick man and blaming the USA is way over the line and specious.
 
 
+3 # itchyvet 2014-08-26 01:25
Quoting The Buffalo Guy:
Id like to ask Hedges, how do you compare an act of revenge to an act of political savagery, one who kills from anger and one who kills for enjoyment and butchers to strike fear and show how savage they are?
The USA is at fault? How we have been at fault is standing by and allowing some of this crap to go on. There might not be a Palestinian issue had we done more to prevent the holocaust. And how about other ethnic cleansings! Cambodia. Was Cambodia our fault? How about Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia where Europe stood by twiddling their thumbs. Armenia earlier! I guess they're all our fault. How about Russia's move on Afghanistan, the Crimea and the Ukraine? Since Russia can do no wrong, then it must the good old USA at fault again? Maybe we should have annexed Europe after WWII. Russia or Germany would have!
Chris Hedges, you are a sick man and blaming the USA is way over the line and specious.

Seriously Mr Buffalo Guy, you need to REDUCE your consumption of the Kool Aid your taking far too much of. It may also be news to you, your views of the World as you exhibit in your post, only exist in your mind and your Governments minds.
The reality is totally the opposite to what you claim, try traveling outside the U.S. for a short time. You will be shocked at what you will find.
 
 
-2 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-08-26 13:07
well, itchyvet. What makes you think I haven't traveled and because I have, am I necessarily going to agree with you. I have family in the military and overseas friends that I keep in touch with.
However, I am intrigued. Please tell me how the world reality is opposite of what I think. And please make it your own thoughts, not the garbage that we get from Mr. Hedges.
 
 
-1 # bmiluski 2014-08-26 08:56
Oh Buffalo Guy.....if only you'd know when to stop. You almost had me (and probably many others) until that last sentence.
 
 
-1 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-08-26 13:11
Quoting bmiluski:
Oh Buffalo Guy.....if only you'd know when to stop. You almost had me (and probably many others) until that last sentence.


Well, the truth is my goal, not having you. And if what I wrote did have you, how could that last sentence change it all? Are you Hedges mother? If not, then the statements should stand on their own or refute them if you can.
 
 
0 # bmiluski 2014-08-26 15:00
What??????????? ??
 
 
-1 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-08-26 21:15
Quoting bmiluski:
What?????????????


Sarcasm! Meant to imply that if you were his mother then you would naturally defend him regardless of his veracity.
 
 
+11 # intheEPZ 2014-08-25 15:39
This is a truly excellent analysis of the human condition. Those, like brux, who think they know better, (knowing only their own burdens, and not the burdens of others) are the ones most likely to act out this play. "Hate is a never-ending spiral"--MLK, Jr. Until we understand that, there will be no justice, compassion, or peace. Thank you Chris Hedges for this insightful essay.
 
 
-5 # brux 2014-08-26 01:06
You know, it is really cruddy of someone to make personal reference to someone without replying to them in person. When it comes to you I know I know better, I understand and don't go personally slighting you or insulting you for no reason ... talk about hate and you seem to be full of it judging from you writing and behavior.

So easy to be pious invoking Marting Luther King while not responding to a single real premise in this post or even my comments.
 
 
-9 # skylinefirepest 2014-08-25 17:51
Buffalo, you are entirely correct...Hedge s is typically of the ilk to blame America for the world's ills and I think he's basically just full of Shiite!! And forgive Reiver...he can't stand any mention of anything that might be championed by a Conservative.
 
 
+6 # MindDoc 2014-08-25 19:50
This is so true, and consistent with both history and research into human behavior:

Quote:
Those killed are not, to the killers, human beings but representations of what they fear and hate. The veneer of the victim’s humanity, they believe, is only a mask for an evil force. The drive for vengeance, for “tenfold retaliation,” among those who are deformed by violence cannot be satiated without rivers of blood—even innocent blood.
Aaron T. Beck, 'father of cognitive therapy' (now aged 93) and Phil Zimbardo, of the Stanford Prison Experiment fame - who studied 'why good people do evil things' - both discussed these dynamics. De-humanizing is so universal among widespread hate, demonization, and attempts at "exterminating" the threat. And the problem is that both sides have the same exact beliefs and image of the other: evil incarnate, and the #1 threat.

And thus it continues. In terms of any solutions or promising (or magical) 'solutions' within the realm of possibility, Beck noted the power of some efforts (E.g., in Northern Ireland) in having 2 deeply distrustful parties, full of stereotypes about the 'devils' on the other side, converse. The two sides met, and in "reverse role-play", portrayed their best-guess at what it's like to be in the others' shoes. Call it humanism, old-fashioned 'empathy', or desire for peace which is in everyone's interest - it was seen as powerful. As usual, getting opposing sides to meet is a challenge. Talking & listening are key.
 
 
+3 # futhark 2014-08-25 21:16
Nothing new here. Any elementary school kid who has been bullied and brutalized on the playground has a natural craving for revenge. The fact that our "best and brightest" at the Defense Department haven't figured this out yet is a telling point as to their experience and intellect.

There is a flip side to "shock and awe" to which the folks over at the Pentagon seem oblivious.
 
 
+1 # bmiluski 2014-08-26 09:00
futhark........ you forget....littl e boys grow up inclined to play with guns. When they grow up....they're just bigger boys playing with bigger guns. It's all a game to them. Shooting a cat just to see the gun work is the same mentality as dropping a bomb to see if it works.
Boys, boys, boys..........
 
 
+4 # barbaratodish 2014-08-25 21:24
We have "...collective humiliation, repression and powerlessness.. ." right here in the USA! Maybe the difference is that we are "deader" here, in the USA, than in the middle east, because most Americans are "dead" BEFORE they die, at least emotionally. Needless to say, this is JUST MY OPINION, so if it BOTHERS "YOU" it must be because "YOU" FEEL dead! lol #BUB4UR www.reverbnation.com/barbaratodish
 
 
-4 # bmiluski 2014-08-26 09:07
Oh for the love of God barbaratodish.. ...And nice job trying to throw ANY dissention back at the other person. Soooo sophmoric.
YOU have no idea what you have in this country. I wish people like you would go and live in a 3rd world country for just 3 months. And then tell me how bad it is here.
 
 
-6 # John S. Browne 2014-08-26 00:27
#

Very good points, Chris Hedges. From a Biblical standpoint, we are all sinners, therefore we are all capable of anything, including murder if we're driven insane. None of us are above any sort of violence or crime. Most of us tend to think that we supposedly "are" above it, especially those who reject God and Christianity, but we are not; particularly those who reject God and Christianity because most of them are more and more controlled by evil. What we don't realize, and most refuse to, is that we are either with God or we are with His opposite, Evil. There is no gray area or in between. That's not to say that professed-"Chri stians" aren't just as capable of great evil, they are because we're all sinners; but people who turn their backs on the Creator are even more likely to perpetrate great evil. And, since most people turn their backs on their Creator, most people are capable of just about anything, especially if they feel, if not completely unconsciously, that they've been driven over the edge.

(Continued)
 
 
-3 # John S. Browne 2014-08-26 00:28
#

"Our" government, both national and local, is increasingly impoverishing most of us, and "our" national government is mass-murdering civilians abroad, thus enraging people more and more, both at home and abroad. People both abroad and in the U.S. are becoming increasingly enraged because they feel more and more powerless and desperate. As Chris Hedges so rightly says, this breeds hatred, violence and brutality; and it is exactly what our increasingly tyrannical government, both national and local, as well as abroad, is intentionally breeding, increasingly turning more and more of the U.S. and foreign territories abroad into powderkegs, giving them the "excuse" to carry out endless aggression and repression. The powers-that-be absolutely love creating more and more enemies in order to "legitimize" endless war, against both the foreign and domestic populations, and the resultant terrorizing, mass murder and imprisonment, subjugation and control of those populations, as well as the obscene profiting therefrom, that they intentionally inflict and perpetrate, creating increasing numbers of "enemies", "justifying" and ever-expanding the perpetual war against the American people and foreign peoples abroad.

(Continued)
 
 
-3 # John S. Browne 2014-08-26 00:29
#

The powers-that-be are intentionally creating the chaos, and their idea of "bringing order" out of that chaos, is to further oppress and carry out repression against the increasingly defenseless, no matter how many innocent and/or desperate people they massacre and/or imprison in the process. They will not be satisfied until they have completely subjugated and enslaved all those who survive the conflagration that they are intentionally creating, thus bringing about the global enslavement of international government, the ultimate evil on earth. Therefore, we must return to God through Jesus the Christ, our Creator, and be transformed by and restored to Him; because, as things are intentionally made increasingly worse, there will be no place else to turn; for neither local, national or global government will save us, as they are responsible for the national and international chaos being used to get us to surrender to evil. But, rather than surrendering to evil, we've got to surrender to God through Jesus the Christ, for He is the ONLY One who can and will save us if we ONLY depend upon His Great Mercy completely.

#
 
 
-1 # dovelane1 2014-08-29 03:50
Don't you mean "Her great mercy?"

God is a she, or didn't you know that?
 
 
+2 # itchyvet 2014-08-26 01:06
The stench of hypocrisy emanating from the U.S. media on this issue, is sickening. ONE person has ALLEGEDLY been beheaded, (though no evidence has been put forwards to sustain that claim ) and the U.S. media and Government go into over drive practically initiating another ILLEGAL invasion and bombing of Syria under the pretext of wiping these terrorists, (who were happily doing the U.S. Government's bidding in Syria) off the map.
Now take a look at GAZA, where innocent people were being butchered left right and center and America bends over backwards twisting people's arms and threatening all sorts of sanction against them to prevent them taking action against the perpetrators of this butchery.
Is it only me, that see this hypocrisy of the highest order, or is it shared by others ?
 
 
+2 # Glen 2014-08-26 08:46
You got it, itchyvet. Pick and choose who you wish to create a war with, or an outright attack. Of course, the media is sponsored by those who benefit from war. Palestine does not buy U.S. weapons, so...

The value of lives has further become just one one stack of cards, but without faces or a real connect with the bloody deaths.
 
 
-3 # bmiluski 2014-08-26 09:12
"ONE person has ALLEGEDLY been beheaded, (though no evidence has been put forwards to sustain that claim )...."

So you're saying what people saw in their twitter accounts was fake?
Are you saying it was perpetrated by whom....the CIA, FBI, KBG, MI5...who?
Wow, maybe, with that imagination, you should work for one of them.
 
 
-2 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-08-26 13:26
Quoting bmiluski:
"ONE person has ALLEGEDLY been beheaded, (though no evidence has been put forwards to sustain that claim )...."

So you're saying what people saw in their twitter accounts was fake?
Are you saying it was perpetrated by whom....the CIA, FBI, KBG, MI5...who?
Wow, maybe, with that imagination, you should work for one of them.


WOW! I am impressed. You can think and act on your own. I'd truly like to see more of it. I'm sure there are problem areas where we would agree they are problems. Hopefully, we might even agrees on some solutions.
But look, I want to stay being a guy. I'd be an ugly woman.
 
 
-3 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-08-26 13:15
Quoting itchyvet:
The stench of hypocrisy emanating from the U.S. media on this issue, is sickening. ONE person has ALLEGEDLY been beheaded, (though no evidence has been put forwards to sustain that claim ) and the U.S. media and Government go into over drive practically initiating another ILLEGAL invasion and bombing of Syria under the pretext of wiping these terrorists, (who were happily doing the U.S. Government's bidding in Syria) off the map.
Now take a look at GAZA, where innocent people were being butchered left right and center and America bends over backwards twisting people's arms and threatening all sorts of sanction against them to prevent them taking action against the perpetrators of this butchery.
Is it only me, that see this hypocrisy of the highest order, or is it shared by others ?


YES, ONLY YOU! WELL, YOU PROBABLY WON'T BE ALONE ON THIS SITE!
 
 
0 # reiverpacific 2014-08-26 08:39
Quoting brux:
There is nothing personal or offensive in that post. Yes, I have a point of view, deal with it or don't but don't blame me for it, and do not make claims that have nothing to do with me.

Gandhi had a point, and yet he chose to absorb a whole bunch of stuff ... you take a joke from him and raise it to a place it was never meant to be.

"What do you know about lies, except how to tell them yourself?" Nothing personal in that huh?
Look up "Asperger's Syndrome" and "Narcissism" some time.
"O' wad some power the giftie gei us,
Tae see oorsel's as others see us".
Now once and for all;
"Avaunt, and quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee.
Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold.
Thou hast no speculation in those eyes
Which thou dost glare with!"
You'll get no more from me.
 
 
0 # cordleycoit 2014-08-26 23:27
Killing is a sickness, it is a stupid response and must be treated as such. War is a a sickness that is always available to humans and the attendant hatred spreads. One must at times stand in that strange ground and do whatever it takes to survive and make the peace. Subjugating people is a bad idea and the United States does not understand that truth.
 
 
+1 # Edwina 2014-08-27 11:32
The commenters who try to establish who is worse seem to miss the point of the article. In the right circumstances we are ALL killers. Talking about Christian "forgiveness" or "kindness" would be strange indeed to the native peoples of the Americas, to slaves in the U.S., to the indigenous people of the Belgian Congo, or to the people in the way of Christian Crusaders on their way to the Holy Land--they killed Muslims, Jews, and Christians indiscriminatel y. Today we dutifully pay our taxes to a government that has killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims, and probably some Christians and Jews in the process. The devastation of Muslim countries has left power vacuums in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan that allow "non-state actors" to compete for what is left of the countries. We support Israel's violence against the Palestinians. We carry out drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, nominally our allies. I think what Hedges is saying is, "Look in the mirror".
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN