Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Power and Consequence of Hate: Written After Touring a Death Row Prison In Iraq Teeming with Al Qaeda Murderers

Hate is powerful. It finds its home in meat. It isolates a person, a group, or a concept and pins its aggression to the chest of the target. It provides an illusory freedom, giving a brief respite from powerlessness. It abandons and overrides the rational mind. It strengthens the weak, the debased, the undisciplined for greater self-induced degradation. It is the readily available, easy, thoughtless answer for those whose minds are a mysterious and unused organ, encased in a body devoid of a sensed worth. It makes brutality an appealing tonic, a drink swallowed that batters you until you share it.

If there is no intervention by the greater good, by fathers of these virtue-orphans, then these young abandoned will make an art of annihilation. Instead of detailing their degradation and giving them skills and guidance to overcome, they will frequently forfeit all responsibility for their own behavior and simply provide themselves a convenient enemy.

Hate conveniently encapsulates frustration in the mind and packs discontent together like wet, moldy clay. No matter how hard you pack it, you can't rid your arms of the residue. There is a pounding momentary illusion of false freedom. It leads to a spiraling degradation that increases cruelty for everything in its kill zone. The secret of its cruelty is the split-second sensation of freedom that births a greater strangling, a greater spiritual and physical incarceration.

The constructed model of hate is to remain aggressive, remain intolerant, and remain resistant. For those who have no internal ability to rise above Maslow's security, they remain midbrain animals. They forfeit any actualized concept of redemption or elevation due to unbelief.

Aggression edges toward action. You want to reflect the massive pounding pain that you can't field. With hands too small under a load too big, the mind wobbles and crescendos and seethes and fails at its attempts to rest.

In your agony you churn in the dream of it: the sweet, hot breath of violence. You are swinging your elbows, your forearms, your bayonets, your curses, in pursuit of your illusory target. You hunger to crush soft flesh. You want to hear the snap of bones. You want someone to pay. You want to be comforted. You want resolution. You want peace. You want satisfaction.

When the search for peace invites and allies with hate, then those who choose it set fire to their own home. A welterweight of consequence is unleashed by mad, violated children who have no perceived light of hope, no faith, and no love. The chain is cut that curbs the snarl of dogs. The razor of their teeth follows the scent of blood in their nostrils. It calls to their thin ribbed, churning stomachs. They seek the flesh of those who have made invitation of their own free will. They unknowingly welcome their own destruction in the throaty growl of approaching, unimpeded dogs.

I remember the American soldier in the VA hospital who consistently woke with night terrors. I remember his story.

He and his unit were on patrol in an Iraqi village. The day prior, they handed out soccer balls to Iraqi children. Today, as they neared the same neighborhood, everything was deathly quiet. As they came around a corner, insurgents had the children who had taken the soccer balls the day before lined up on their knees in an execution position, drenched in gasoline. When the insurgents saw that the Americans were watching, they ignited the children. The American patrol froze, horrified. In the terrifying frenzy of watching the children scamper and burn, a senior NCO ordered that they open fire on the children in a helpless attempt at stopping their suffering. What kind of animals set children on fire? These experiences have been seared on the soul of this American soldier.

I thought of how insurgents were strapping suicide vests to people with Down's Syndrome, how they raped young women then told them they were no good to God or man anymore, and that the only way to regain respect and salvation was to strap on a suicide vest.

In the prison cells, in dark alleys where RKG3's are handed out, in the mountains of Afghanistan, in the spiritual famine-lands they are hearing the howl of their decisions. It is the sound of eternity grinding its gears against a senseless present.

We walk the hot halls where these men await execution.

I think of what these men have done. These men have eyes like flowers wilted in the heat. They have hacked the limbs from children, and murdered scores by the use of their talents and skills in the creation of roadside bombs. They languish in their cells while we walk by their cages.

Americans struggle to understand the twisted route that leads these men into the maiming and killing of their own kinsman and such a vehement hate of American freedom. The soldiers walk by in a solemn and satisfying victory. They are the American face. They symbolize the victims and families of those who were killed on 9/11. They symbolize the families of those whose fathers and mothers will never come home from the war on terror. They are the face of rational civilization over hatred.

In the silence and stench one wonders if these prisoners prepare for their death with a true repentance or if all that is left is a deluded rationalization of their aggression. One wonders if any of them will find mercy in the afterlife, when they have shown so little in this one.

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