Tuesday, May 11, 2004
On the one hand, I’m bothered by all the knee jerk “disdain” being paid these pictures by, not our citizens, but by the administration. On the other hand, I fully understand it. That phrase “plausible deniability” keeps coming to mind. The reason I say I’m bothered by our administration’s reaction is the fact that these soldiers were not acting out of their own sadism. They were not acting out of some sick sexual urges. These soldiers were acting under orders. It’s so odd to me that no one is mentioning that on the news shows, or even talk radio. The Bushies know these people were acting under orders. But they simply can not admit that. Like I said, I understand it to a point. It’s an election year and who want so vote for a man who says “yes, my troops were told to do this.”? I get that part. But let us leave politics aside for a moment.
The pictures I’ve seen are hardly what one would call torture. You want torture? Ask John McCain or any of the hundreds (or more)stil living Holocaust survivors here in the US. I’m sure they can tell you what torture really is. What is seen in these pictures is a demoralization scheme aimed specifically at Muslim men. You all know what Islam thinks of women. Imagine you, a Muslim man, being forced by an American female to disrobe, let alone being forced to do the other things that I will not mention here. You can imagine that that would have a rather negative effect on your ability to resist, no? What is being done in that prison is unbecoming to our eyes. But unbecoming also, is war itself, even in its noblest forms. These soldiers were ordered to mentally and emotionally tear these men down so that when the interrogation time came, they’d be a bit more cooperative.
Now, the above statements and opinions do not apply to rape, dog maulings, or any other such actual torture. Nor do they apply if these men being degraded are simple thieves and such. I am acting on the probable assumption that these men are at least suspected of knowing something about the Iraqi resistance. And if it takes stripping a few guys naked to save the lives of some of my friends in Iraq, I’m all for it.
One thing has puzzled me though, since these pictures came to light. What idiot would keep a photographic record of this stuff? Today, reading a news article, I found out why. According to soldiers on the scene, the pictures were also taken under direct order. The idea was to show the pictures to incoming prisoners in the hopes that the mere suggestion of such tactics would be enough to break them. That seems to make a little more sense.
Let me clarify something. I do not believe that all our soldiers (MP’s or not) are good people, ethically speaking. Many of them joined up because of sadistic tendencies. And frankly, I’d rather have them overseas than here where they could enact their tendencies on us. Further, I do not claim to know all the details of what went on in Abu Ghraib and other prisons. I assume that there are much more heinous actions that did take place. If this be the case, then those perpetrators should come to justice. But not these kids just following orders.
And one final note. I heard some talking head bleeding-heart on TV tonight complaining about the abuse. Among other things, he mentioned the use of threats as some of the “abhorrent behavior that must be stopped.” I laughed. Apparently this guy has never come into contact with one of our lovely peace officers. I have never committed a serious crime. I have had 4 traffic tickets, and one arrest due to an expired license. On almost every occasion I was threatened with beatings, death, and sexual abuse. And I wasn’t even being a smart ass. So yeah, threats happen. But if we’re going to put poorly paid, battle scarred young soldiers to the fire for threats, then perhaps we can get rid of some of our sadist cop friends as well.