I have a simple idea. It's nothing special, really. All it is is the solution to the world's troubles.
I'm getting ahead of myself. Forgive me. What I wish to talk about here, specifically, are the troubles our country seems to be having in the War on Terror. Increasingly, it is being revealed that our government is not merely turning a blind eye to torture but is, in fact, sanctioning it as a way to wrest information from those we deem high-level terrorists. Well, I'm going to come right and say something, and I don't care if it's controversial or alarming. What I have to say is this: I don't think people should be tortured.
Go ahead, crucify me. Tie me up and flog me. Hate me for my morals. Despise me for the love I feel for those around me. Do it, and see if I care.
Those that advocate torture have reasons for their position. They say, "Here are men - horrible, evil persons - who wish to destroy our way of life. They wish to kill us and cut off our heads and put in place a government of fascist and theocratic control. In turn, we must stop them." And because these people, for whatever reason, are overly verbose, they keep talking, saying, "We must stop them by finding out everything we can about them. We must discover their motives, their contacts, their plans and their plots. Sure, we try to find out these things through physical and mental strenuation, but at the end of the day, we are protecting America. We are doing God's work."
I don't disagree with the sentiment that detaining and finding valuable information from this people is important for our country's security. I do, however, disagree with the means by which this end is being acheived. Where does torture get you? Tears, broken bones, pyramids of naked people, fake drownings. Well, I've got a better idea. A third way, if you will: a new path. Instead of torturing them, let's just kill them.
Kill them with kindness.
Stay with me here. I've thought about this for awhile now, and I've come to the conclusion that what these horrible terrorists need is not a slap to the side of the head and a knee to the groin. They need a smile, a tall cup of hot chocolate, and a teddy bear to sleep with at night. Here's what we do. All that money we're spending on detaining these people, torturing them, and then hiding this sad fact from the world? Spend it on making a super-awesome detention center somewhere in North Dakota. Like, an Area 51 kind of thing. Completely isolated, completely protected by the goverment, but within the boundaries of the United States and full of wondrous opportunities for personal, spiritual, and emotional growth.
What do we hear about these people? Sexually repressed, frustrated with the poverty they see around them, detached from the rest of society, feelings of powerlessness. It's so painfully obvious: these people need a hug. They need to join a club or read a good book. Maybe get some friends together and start a band. As long as the detainment center has large, open grounds (rememember, in the lovely plains of North Dakota), then there is the possibility of, for instance, in the summer, flying kites. In the winter, who wouldn't want to round up a few of those rascally, bearded evildoers and go sledding?
You know the old saying: it is easier to catch bees with honey. How about: it is easier to stop international terrorism with daily breaks for tea, nightly hot tub sessions, and civil conversations about the meaning of life.
Imagine. Instead of CIA operatives or MP officers beating prisoners or playing "sniff the snake", the government hires therapists, religious counselors, artists and poets. We breed a culture of hope, create a "heaven on earth" scenario in the middle of North Dakota. And then, as you become their friends, as you spend the summer nights witnessing the beautiful Northern Lights and marvel at their divine construction, smile and lean over to the terrorist next to you and say, "You know, Adbul, you're not such a bad guy. Tell me, what made you do it? Why did you want to kill Americans? Where are your friends? We want to find them and bring them here and show them the America loves all people and that we don't wish harm to anyone. Oh - also - could you pass me that joint? Thanks."
"Did you watch any TV last night, Adbul? Shit man, they were showing the Hunt for Red October again on TBS. That shit is seriously intense. Here you go, finish this roach off. Man, look at those lights - those stars. Your God, Abdul, is truly an awesome God. He fills me with hope and peace. Fuck, it's getting late. Wanna join me in the hot tub?"
Look me in the face and tell me that this wouldn't work. Do it. Do it.
Fatten the lamb, so to say. Get them used to a certain level of comfort. A certain level of pleasure. Get them to discuss their religion. Open their eyes. Broaden their horizons. No more torture. Only love. A big stinking bear hug of love and kindness.
You think these terrorists could defeat kindness? They wouldn't last a second.
Plant the seeds of hope, friends, and a garden will grow. A garden of, well, hope.