When is a person considered to be “rotten”? Dictionaries being tools of the established order in any society tend to be conservative, even reactionary, although most of the stuff contained in them is simply “repetition” of what we know, instinctively. So, about the adjective “rotten” we find the words: horrible, dishonest, immoral, crooked, etc.
I think a rotten person is much more than the dictionary tries to explain.
The corresponding Classical Greek word for “rotten” is “sapros” [accent on “o”], borrowed in English as “sapro – phagous” [feeding on decaying matter], etc. In Modern Greek the word “sapros” had changed to “sapios” [accent on “a”]. A person characterized as “sapios”, is not simply “rotten” he is “rotten to the core”. He should not be part of the society of normal humans.
So, who are the “rotten people” in our societies, what are their acts, and what the world is doing about them?
Here are some of them, their acts, and what the world is doing about them:
– “[T]he commission plans to reveal the full range of rights violations committed over 60 years of authoritarian rule …
The worst torture chambers were in the basement of the Interior Ministry … that sits at one end of a café-lined central boulevard …
Nearby residents would hear the screams of prisoners break the quiet at 3 a.m. …”
[The excerpts are from an article by Carlotta Gall in the May 12, 2015 issue of the International New York Times.]
The country is Tunisia. The rulers of Tunisia, during these 60 years, were Habib Bourguiba and Ben Ali. The people tortured during these years number in the tens of thousands. Are there any normal people on this earth who would not call these two individuals “rotten”? They were what one might call the “white-collar” rotten people. The ones that did the physical “labor” of torture were the “blue collar” rotten individuals. Is there a difference between the two? The only difference is in the numbers. The rotten “elites” crush humans in the hundreds of thousands. The “blue-collar” rotten ones, individually, crush humans in the thousands, as their “labor” is physically limited for the achievement of more “production”.
What, then, does the world, represented in this case by the present Government of Tunisia, do to punish these monstrously rotten people, “who even put sticks in our private parts”, as testified by Mr. Hamemi, in Carlotta Gall’s article?
The Tunisians established a “Truth and Dignity Commission”, the public hearings of which are to begin in June, 2015. However, historical experience shows that most of the time, such commissions, to a great extent, are controlled by the local “elites” as tools of the US Emperor, who in Tunisia has created a supposedly secular society which is part of the US controlled “Grand Area” of the planet, according to that great man, George F. Kennan.
[Note: I wonder if there is an honest individual in the CIA “Tunisia Desk” who could tell us more on this subject, a la Phil Agee.]
– Petros Babalis, a Greek Police officer, was one of the most notorious torturers in the recent History of Greece. In English the Christian name “Petros” is rendered as “Peter”. Petros originates from the Greek word “petra” which means “stone” and is the same root for the name of another notorious individual: General David Petraeus of Iraq fame [see my ZNet article “Ethics of Stone”, of Oct. 21, 2007].
The number of people tortured, in the most brutal way, by Babalis is in the thousands. To get a vague idea of the rottenness of that human here is an example:
Anastasia Tsirka was a pregnant young woman. Babalis after subjecting her to bastinado [blows on the soles of naked feet] on the roof of the security police dragged her down a staircase to lower floors while she was bleeding after she had a miscarriage, because of the bastinado.
The alter-ego of Babalis was Euvangelos Mallios. [Euvangelos meaning in Greek: “bearer of good tidings”]. Both were US-trained in the “science” of torture. Any description of Mallios’ feats in torture is superfluous.
What was the reaction of the world against these rotten humans, through the government of Greece, in this case? They were tried by Greek judges, in 1975, and in essence were acquitted.
Babalis was killed in a street by Greek citizens in 1979.
Mallios was killed by two Greek citizens, a man and a woman, in 1976.
[Note: The trial of the first degree for Babalis and Mallios was held in downtown Athens in a courtroom 20 feet by 45 feet. During a recession I happened to stand at the aisle separating the side reserved for the defendants and their relatives from the side reserved for the tortured and their relatives. Babalis was standing on my right about two feet away. Then, Tsirka passed on my left on her way to her seat. Babalis grumbled: “You whore!”. I am not sure if Tsirka heard that, but even if she did what could she have done.
The second degree trial for Babbles and Millions was moved to Halide, a small town about 49 miles North-East of Athens, to protect the torturers from any popular reaction. Early in the morning of the first day of the trial, I drove to Halide. The courtroom was almost empty. I was the only citizen present. There were a couple of local journalists and two or three security pigs in civilian clothes.
During the days that followed, the torturers were behaving as if they were the “owners” of the courtroom. They laughed, made fun of their victims, insulted them, etc.]
Police torturers, that breed of rotten mortals, do not confine themselves only to satisfaction from inflicting pain, they have collateral benefits. They earn money from the relatives of their victims who will do anything to protect their kin. Also, here is an example of additional “benefits” for the police torturers: An engineering colleague of mine was arrested by the security police during the 1967-1974 US-initiated military dictatorship in Greece, for being a Leftist. His wife visited the police station to find out what was happening to her husband. For quite a few minutes she tried to avoid the sexual attacks by a policeman who was chasing her around his desk.
– The Salvadoran archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated by the CIA in 1980. The question we should put to all of us is: Who is more rotten, as a human, the well-mannered and highly educated CIA official who ordered that assassination of Romero or the subhuman that shot him? Even further, was it not Ronald Reagan who was deepest in rottenness for all the Romeros killed during his reign?
Again, what was the reaction of the world for the murder of Romero? Beatification … of Romero by the Pope!
– Kavalla is a Greek town of about 60,000 people in eastern Macedonia. The wider area of the Kavalla originally was the site of the ancient Greek city of Philippi.
Unfortunately for Kavalla, “… a vision appeared to Paul in the night; there stood a man of Macedonia and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us … And thence [Paul] to Philippi which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia and a [Roman] colony and we were in that city abiding certain days.” [Acts, 16:10, 12, KJV]
So, since about 50 years after the birth of Christ, when St. Paul visited Philippi, which now is Kavalla, Christian religious fanaticism and hate for the Jews, who had killed Christ, settled in the city.
A couple of weeks ago the lady-Mayor of Kavalla, Ms. Tsanaka, elected with the help of Rightist votes, agreed with the anti-Semites of Kavalla to stop the dedication of a monument in memory of the 1,484 Jews of Kavalla who were exterminated by the Nazis during the Second World War. Among the most rotten people in this case were the Orthodox Christian leaders of the area.
What is the world doing about this? No mortal can go against religion.
– No need to mention anything about the rottenness of politicians. People all over the world when asked reply: “all of them!”. Which is a not very inaccurate generalization.
– Finally are the Jihadists more rotten humans than their Langley “creators”?
What then, is the world doing about these “creators”?
Assuming that, in its majority, the world consists of rational, honest, and kind men and women, it is logical to expect that they will demand to know who are the rotten rulers that order the torture; who are the rotten men who carry out the physical acts of torture; who are the rest of rotten people, and what the world is doing about the punishment of these rotten humans.
The fact is that the ordinary people of the world know who the “rotten people” in our societies are. It is up to us do something about it, in a participatory way.