Torture Begins at Home | Letters | Chicago Reader

Torture Begins at Home 

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To the editors:

The [August 5] cover story concerning the center for the treatment of torture victims which has just opened in Uptown held a certain irony considering the fact that it is the U.S. which has in most cases instituted and in all cases supported and promoted the regimes throughout the world which systematically use torture, and as the article admits in one paragraph, in fact teaches torture methods to those willing puppet governments.

Guatemala: The CIA is responsible for the overthrow of the only democratic government there in memory, replacing it with the present fascist and sadistic regime;

El Salvador: The death squads of the government use torture and "disappearing" to terrorize their own population with massive aid from the U.S.;

Chile: We should all know the history of the Allende years, of his election victory and his desperate attempt to bring the democracy and social reform mandated by that victory to a poor and suffering people, of the destabilization program launched against him which finally ended in his overthrow and the installation of the present totally repressive regime supported by the United States;

South Africa: The U.S. supports South Africa and apartheid, sending arms and supplies through Israel, thus maneuvering around the "embargo." The U.S. supported and aided South Africa's aggression against Angola and Namibia which has caused untold suffering, and has only been brought to a stalemate by the continued struggle of the African people alongside 45,000-50,000 Cuban troops;

Israel: Originally a satellite state of the U.S., it has grown out of bounds, found its feet and is on its way to becoming a small imperialist aggressor and major pain in the ass in the middle east, deriving great support and money for the brutality and enslavement of the Palestinians from the U.S. which hopes that it will be a bulwark against the tide of nationalism and socialism and self-determination in that part of the world;

Nicaragua: The U.S. struggles to replace a peoples' government with a new dictator such as Somoza, who amused himself by having peasants fed to the leopards in his private zoo.

Concerning the assumption that the tortured cannot seem to truly recover from their ordeal (Jean Amery, who committed suicide many years after his torture by the Gestapo), I would suggest that it may not be the direct effects of their own torture which causes such fatal despair, but the knowledge of the continuation of the political systems which foster and perpetuate the torture of others. I would also suggest that such despair would hardly be alleviated by this country's cynicism in proposing to rehabilitate the victims of the torture they are responsible for in the first place.

MJ Marchnight



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