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Friday, April 30, 2004

The America-haters' propaganda gift

[cross-posted to Daimnation!]

The torture and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers is disgusting, inexcusable, sadistic, cruel, callous and, above all, stupid. Those responsible should, at the very least, never be allowed to wear an American military uniform again. Simple as that.

That said, and even accounting for the fact that America should be held to a much higher standard than a hideous dictatorship, only a fool would compare this to the atrocities committed in Iraq while Saddam Hussein was running the show. And unfortunately, there's no shortage of fools working for London tabloids like the anti-war, ultra-right-wing Daily Mail:

FOR decades, Saddam Hussein's infamous Abu Ghraib dungeon was the scene of unspeakable cruelty against Iraqi prisoners.

Now the Americans are in charge - but the torture has continued.

Photographs have emerged showing Iraqis being sexually abused and bullied by their U.S. captors.
The Baghdad prison scandal is disturbingly reminiscent of how the Americans' cruel treatment of prisoners was revealed at Camp X-Ray in Cuba following the Afghanistan conflict by photos showing the hooded captives chained like animals in open-air cages. They were also paraded in orange jump-suits. With the reasons for invading Iraq under increasing scrutiny, this will cause further damage to America's attempts to persuade the rest of the world it was in the right.

"The torture has continued"? The Mail's own story notes that the abuse was reported by other American soldiers, and the torturers disciplined, before 60 Minutes broke the story this week. It's very hard to criticize the media coverage of these vile acts without sounding like I'm trying to minimize them, but this is nothing - absolutely nothing - compared with what the Ba'athists used to do in these very same prisons. (And would still be doing today, had Bush and Blair listened to the Daily Mail.)

And don't get me started on the Camp X-Ray "torture" stories again. You really don't want to get me that angry.

Needless to say, the Arab world is seething with rage - again - now that these pictures have shown up on Al-Jazeera. And I can't blame them. But I'd be much more sympathetic if they ever spoke out about the(much more horrifying) torture and cruelty that goes on in their own prisons - and took a moment to realize just how angry Americans are when they see scenes like this and this.

Posted by Damian Penny on April 30, 2004 in Military | Permalink


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It is interesting to see the reaction of the arab
world in this matter. How they pretend they are
so innocent of such cruelty and violence while
they continue on with their own incredible actions of cruel treatment of women and children in their countries.

There are close to 150,000 Americans in Iraq,
this bunch is a anomaly.

It is also interesting to see the reaction of
the American people. Of course, this will have
repercussions on the war in Iraq on a political
basis.Any reading on the subject from America seems to contain a great deal of angerand disgust at the behavior of people who committed these
acts. I am sure all people feel this way, but people who live in glass houses should not throw
stones as we in Canada had our turn at learning our troops can do some very cruel and disgusting
things in the past.

It seems nothing every happens in America that does not eventually becomes political.

Posted by: Carole | 2004-05-01 4:48:10 PM

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