Top Leaderboard, Site wide
November 29, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Get Truthdig's headlines in your inbox!






The Chain


Truthdig Bazaar
Human Smoke

Human Smoke

By Nicholson Baker
$19.80

Deus Ex Machina

Deus Ex Machina

By Deus Ex Machina
$10.17

more items

 
Ear to the Ground

Cannibalism Charge at Hague Trial

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Mar 13, 2008
Taylor
news.bbc.co.uk

Gruesome details are emerging from the war crimes trial of Charles Taylor (far right), the former president of Liberia. The leader of one of Taylor’s death squads has testified that the president ordered his militias to cannibalize their enemies, including African and U.N. peacekeepers.


BBC:

When asked by defence lawyer Courtenay Griffith about how the militiamen would “prepare a human being” for eating, Mr Marzah described the splitting, cleaning, decapitating and cooking of the corpse with salt and pepper.

“We slit your throat, butcher you… throw away the head, take the flesh and put it in a pot… Charles Taylor knows that,” he added.

Mr Marzah also described how he had killed so many men, women and children that he had lost count, and also slit open the stomachs of pregnant women on Mr Taylor’s orders.

Read more

More Below the Ad

Advertisement

Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By Frank, March 17, 2008 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

“But i’m greatly sorry for offending your tender sensibilities and your sense of superiority as a bipedal, hairless ape.”

Me hairless? Not quite. Maybe you are just a late bloomer? As for tender sensibilities, you must have mistaken my post for sarcasm. I’m with you man, fire up the barbecue and bring on the babies!  So tender when they are young, and much easier to harvest than the ones that try and run away.

“We aren’t the only life form to have the ability to reason or feel a profound range of emotions.”

Well, you might be right about that.  I admit to being rather ignorant of animal philosophy, poetry, literature, and technological innovations, because my study of such things has been pretty cursory.  I’m probably selling them short by simply observing their range of natural behaviors and drawing conclusions base on that.

“Do you really think that you’re fully opposable fifth digit makes you that much better?”

Me? No, Steven Hawkings opposable thumbs don’t do him much good, do they? No,  I never mentioned thumbs, just intellect, and like I said I agree with you, Jackpine. I think we humans are just a walking buffet of steaks and tenderloins, like most other animals.  Eat up, man!

“And i said nothing about harvesting humans (Africans or otherwise). ”

Oh, come on, don’t get squeamish now, Jackpine, you were doing so good. If it’s ethically OK to eat something, then it follows it must be Ok to harvest it. I mean if you have decided something is a valid foodstuff, you have already commoditized it, so no point in letting your tender sensibilites get in the way of maximizing that commodity.

“Cannibalism isn’t just for Africans; there are many examples from a variety of situations.”

True enough, just like murder, rape, slavery. Hey , we are just animals, what’s the big deal? Survival of the fittest. I say.

“When you are hungry enough, Frank, you’ll dig in too.”

Damn right, I’m already planning a safari to Africa to stock my freezer with ‘long pig’. Wanna come along? Don’t worry, I’ll take car of all the killing so you can rationally disassociate yourself with that unsavory part of the process when you eat the meat later.

“I know for a fact that some of my ancestors survived long enough to procreate by eating human flesh…and chances are good that we are all a product of cannibalism. “

Indeed, along with tribal warfare and occasional ethnic genocide.  If it was OK for our ancestors, it’s OK for us. It’s a man-eat-man world, after all.  We’re only animals, so what’s the big deal?

“Hell, even all of the good Christians of tender sensibilities practice ritualistic cannibalism by partaking in the body and the blood of Jesus H. Christ.”

I’m an atheist so I really wouldn’t know.  How is Jesus best prepared in the kitchen?

“But if i were forced to decide where to start harvesting humans for meat, i would pick the good ole USofA…not Africa.”

Nah, we’re too polluted and full of artificial preservatives and toxins. If you are going to eat humans as livestock want to go for the more naturally raised ones, low in fat. Africa is a good choice, although I’m told some South American tribes are just as healthy and have a slightly more spicy taste.

Well, I have a hunting trip to plan now, and I’m going to need to shop for a bigger grill, too.  I’m glad to know you are with me on this one, Jackpine. So many people get caught up in this whole human rights stuff, that they just don’t know what they are missing at the dinner table.

Report this

By Maani, March 16, 2008 at 7:11 am Link to this comment

JS:

“But i’m greatly sorry for offending your tender sensibilities and your sense of superiority as a bipedal, hairless ape.”  ROFLMAO!

Also, although it is true that communion (the eucharist) is, in some sense, “ritualistic cannibalism,” it might surprise you to know that there is at least one mention of cannibalism in the Bible.  At 2 Kings 6:25-30, we find the following:

“And there was a great famine in Samaria…And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, saying, Help, my lord, O king…And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son.”

Re cannibalism in general, Wiki tells us that it has been recorded in over 1,500 species and that “Cannibalism is not just a result of extreme food shortage or artificial conditions, but commonly occurs under natural conditions in a variety of species. In fact, scientists have acknowledged that it is ubiquitous in natural communities. Cannibalism seems to be especially prevalent in aquatic communities, in which up to ~90% of the organisms engage in cannibalism at some point of the life cycle.”

As for homo sapiens, it was apparently practiced by Neanderthals, but continued as a “practice” in numerous places (and not just due to famine) until quite recently.  In the modern world, it is generally only known as a “practice” among some of the remaining “primitive” tribes, in extreme cases of famine (e.g., the Donner party), and in instances like that discussed in the article above.

Having not engaged in cannibalism myself, I can only assume, based on what I have heard, that humans taste like…chicken.  LOL.

Peace.

Report this

By jackpine savage, March 16, 2008 at 6:31 am Link to this comment

Well, kind of.

We aren’t the only life form to have the ability to reason or feel a profound range of emotions.  And the argument for our comparatively advanced intelligence doesn’t hold up so well against the facts of our behavior.  Any cursory study of primatology will show that 5 million years hasn’t taken us too far from chimpish behavior…except that instead of sticks we’ve got gunpowder and airplanes.

Do you really think that you’re fully opposable fifth digit makes you that much better?

And i said nothing about harvesting humans (Africans or otherwise).  Cannibalism isn’t just for Africans; there are many examples from a variety of situations.

But i’m greatly sorry for offending your tender sensibilities and your sense of superiority as a bipedal, hairless ape.

Africa’s hunger problem is the result of colonialism/imperialism/neoliberal economic globalism; it stems from one group of bipedal, hairless apes deciding that the lives of another group of bipedal, hairless apes were/are no more worthy of respect than cows and cockroaches.  Africa was feeding itself well enough to populate the world, long before we subjugated it.

When you are hungry enough, Frank, you’ll dig in too.  I know for a fact that some of my ancestors survived long enough to procreate by eating human flesh…and chances are good that we are all a product of cannibalism.  Hell, even all of the good Christians of tender sensibilities practice ritualistic cannibalism by partaking in the body and the blood of Jesus H. Christ.

But if i were forced to decide where to start harvesting humans for meat, i would pick the good ole USofA…not Africa.

Report this

By Frank, March 15, 2008 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

Maybe Jackpine Savage is on to something. If what he says is true, we could solve Africa’s hunger problem by simply partitioning the population into livestock and cannibals.  If we slaughter and process a few million or so Africans a year, we could keep all the other Africans well-fed.  After all, humans are really no ‘better’ than other animals or plants for that matter so we should not be squeamish about killing and harvesting them for food. Who ever came up with the silly idea that humanity’s comparatively advanced intelligence with it’s ability to reason, self-reflect and feel a profound range of emotion makes human life any more worthy of respect than cows or cockroaches?  I say we send in the experienced beef corporations who know how to efficiently harvest livestock and start putting all those extra Africans to good use.

Right, Jackpine?

Report this

By jackpine savage, March 15, 2008 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

Personally, i’d go for the thigh meat first.

What i’m saying is, what’s the big deal?  Meat is meat is meat.  I’ve never gotten the opportunity, but i’d take it if offered.

But i don’t think that people are any “better” than any other animal, and i don’t think animals are any better than plants.  Life is life is life.  And life subsists on death…it’s been that way since the beginning of time and will be that way long after we’re gone.

Report this
Blackspeare's avatar

By Blackspeare, March 15, 2008 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Who knows?!  But a cute story is the one about two cannibals having dinner and discussing their respective families.  One says to the other, “You know I really hate my mother-in-law.”  The other replies, “That’s OK——just eat the vegetables!”

Report this
PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, March 14, 2008 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

I can see a whole gammut of jokes here regarding which nationalities taste like….?

Report this

By Aegrus, March 14, 2008 at 7:56 am Link to this comment

We all descended from cannibals, nrobi. Seems silly to question why it us still practiced. Many people still believe great power can be obtained through the ingestion of powerful creatures. With human beings being the top predator on Earth, seems just as well our own flesh would be prized in some circles.

Cannibalism is very much linked to the nature of our species, but it is always with a sense of mourning and suffering. It isn’t quite like the splatter films of the 70s and 80s. It isn’t practiced today in most of the world because there isn’t a need, but were there a nuclear holocaust with thousands dying by the day… don’t over-estimate your moral compass.

Report this

By nrobi, March 14, 2008 at 6:50 am Link to this comment

What is it with the leaders of African nations and the eating of human flesh?  I, seem to remember that there have been many of the leaders of the African continent that were cannibals and the most notorious among them was Gen.(for life)Idi Amin. Why do these leaders deem it necessary to eat the flesh of those they have conquered?  I, see no reason that this practice should in this day and age continue. Yet, it does. Please explain the need for this practice to me, is it a total demeaning of those you have conquered? Or, just another way of showing how strong one is?

Report this

By Aegrus, March 14, 2008 at 5:28 am Link to this comment

Ultimo Mondo Cannibale!

These statements sound very much like death metal lyrics. There will probably be a tribute album to Charles Taylor in the near future.

Report this
 
Monsters of Our Own Creation? Get tickets for this Truthdig discussion of America's role in the Middle East.
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook