Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Torture and Blubber

While looking for the quote in the post below, I spent a fair amount of time browsing quotes from Kurt Vonnegut's books, as I was under the mistaken impression that the neon-tubes in the forehead idea was Vonnegut's. This is actually one of my more reasonable recent memory glitches; I mean, really, that sounds like something Vonnegut would write.

Anyway, I found this interesting little essay written by Vonnegut in 1971, titled "Torture and Blubber", which apparently was published in the New York Times. It was written about the war in Vietnam, but it applies to the war in Iraq equally well. A few gems from the piece:

I am sorry we tried torture, I am sorry we tried anything. I hope we will never try torture again. It doesn’t work. Human beings are stubborn and brave animals everywhere. They can endure amazing amounts of pain, if they have to.

The American armada to Indochina has been as narrow-minded and futile as the Spanish Armada to England was, though effectively more cruel. Only 27,000 men were involved in the Spanish fiasco. We are said to have more dope addicts than that in Vietnam. Hail, Victory.

Never mind who the American equivalent of Spain’s Philip II was. Never mind who lied. Everybody should shut up for a while. Let there be deathly silence as our armada sails home.

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