Regarding Abu Ghraib, testimonial evidence of abuse was reported by no fewer than half a dozen organizations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Until photos were shown on "60 Minutes II," though, they were merely allegations and, therefore, not the subject of public concern and remedial action.So, what has been shown in Abu Ghraib that has not already been seen in the U.S.?
Electric Shocks - Abu Ghraib
In the shadow of the infamous Abu Ghraib photographs, it's easy to understand why much of the world looks upon Americans as craven and arrogant. In so many ways, the United States' interests and international image have been harmed on american aspirations and self-congratulatory beliefs instead of a cold, hard view of reality, including their own limitations.
No less a figure than Winston Churchill famously said that "treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of civilization of any country." If Churchill is right, so, at the moment, are America's critics.
Prison culture reflects American culture
Not surprisingly, the prison culture, both in Abu Ghraib and the US, reflects the values of the people who run the prisons.
LA Times, 5/10/04
The rest of the world is not having it. From Paris to Riyadh to New Delhi, commentators are insisting that these acts are not exceptions but part of a pattern of American arrogance and brutishness.
"The torture is not the work of a few American soldiers," a columnist in the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper wrote. "It is the result of an official American culture that deliberately insults and humiliates Muslims." Over and over, American acts in Iraq have been equated with those of Saddam Hussein â€” a comparison Americans find absurd and infuriating.
The photos out of Abu Ghraib have finally pierced the screen of american complacency and self-regard. They have forced us to confront the fact that war brutalizes â€” and not only the vanquished. The guards who shackled and stripped the Iraqi prisoners may be bad apples, but they are the predictable fruit of an expanding American imperial. We must recognize that those smirking grins and sadistic leers are not simply expressions of some alien breed â€” they are the face of America at war.
A Wretched New Picture of America
Photos From Iraq Prison Shows Americans Are their own Worst Enemy
Among the corrosive lies a nation at war tells itself is that the glory â€” the lofty goals announced beforehand, the victories, the liberation of the oppressed â€” belongs to the country as a whole; but the failure â€” the accidents, the uncounted civilian dead, the crimes and atrocities â€” is always exceptional. Noble goals flow naturally from a noble people; the occasional act of barbarity is always the work of individuals, unaccountable, confusing and indigestible to the national conscience.
This kind of thinking was widely in evidence among military and political leaders after the emergence of pictures documenting American abuse of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison. These photographs do not capture the soul of America, they argued. They are aberrant.
But now we have photos that have gone to the ends of the Earth, an image of America that could remain with Americans for years, perhaps decades. An Army investigative report reveals that US Military have stripped young men (whom purported to liberate) of their clothing and their dignity; They have forced them to make pyramids of flesh, as if they were children; They have made them masturbate in front of their captors and cameras; forced them to simulate sexual acts; threatened prisoners with rape and sodomized at least one; beaten them; and turned dogs upon them.
These photos show us what Americans may become, as occupation continues, anger and resentment grows and costs spiral. There's nothing surprising in this. These pictures are pictures of colonial behavior, the demeaning of occupied people, the insult to local tradition, the humiliation of the vanquished. They are unexceptional.
Look at these images closely and you realize that they can't just be the random accidents of war, or the strange, inexplicable perversity of a few bad seeds. First of all, they exist. Soldiers who allow themselves to be photographed humiliating prisoners clearly don't believe this behavior is unpalatable. Second, the soldiers didn't just reach into a grab bag of things they thought would humiliate young Iraqi men. They chose sexual humiliation, which may recall to outsiders the rape scandal at the Air Force Academy, Tailhook and past killings of gay sailors and soldiers.
World editorial reaction is vehement. US military is under the suspicion of the International Red Cross and Amnesty International. "US military power will be seen for what it is, a behemoth with the response speed of a muscle-bound ox and the limited understanding of a mouse" said Saudi Arabia's English language Arab News.
We reduce Iraqis to hapless victims of a cheap porn flick; they reduce our cherished, respected military to a hybrid beast, big, stupid, senseless.
Media denial lets the U.S. militaryâ€”and the U.S. incarceration industryâ€”off the hook. Yet, it's significant that a man implicated as a ringleader in the Abu Ghraib crimes, Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick, "had also worked for six years as a guard for the Virginia Department of Corrections," according to Seymour Hersh's article in the New Yorker. A special agent in the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Division, Scott Bobeck, testified that Sgt. Frederick and a corporal apparently "were put in charge because they were civilian prison guards and had knowledge of how things were supposed to be run."
While the Bush administration did little but yawn about evidence of torture and other abuses of Iraqi people at the hands of U.S. occupiers, such disinterest was largely replicated in the U.S. news media. "Ever since the war began, Amnesty International has been receiving reports of Iraqis who have been taken into detention by Coalition Forces and whose rights have been violated," said an Amnesty International press release dated March 18,2006. "Some have been held without charge for months. A number of detainees have been tortured and ill-treated. Virtually none has had prompt access to a lawyer, their family or judicial review of their detention."
In the Arab world, the photographs "have strengthened the feeling that there is a deep racism underlying the occupiers' attitudes to Arabs, Muslims and the Third World generally," Ahdaf Soueif wrote in a Guardian article (May 5). She contended, "the acts in the photos being flashed across the networks would not have taken place but for the profound racism that infects the American and British establishments."
American Indians said apologies would not erase the tortures in Iraq and President Bush should be held responsible for leading America into a groundless war.
"It seems like white people are the worst savages," said Bessie Taylor, Navajo from Ch'ooshgai Mountain on the Navajo Nation in New Mexico.
After viewing the photograph of a female soldier holding a leash tied around the throat of a naked Iraqi, Taylor said the female soldier should be dragged in the same manner. "She probably doesn't know what it feels like to be tortured."
After Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld apologized for the abuses in Iraq, Taylor said, "An apology is nothing. What does an apology do for you -- nothing."
Taylor said Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld should be held responsible for the tortures in Iraq. "They were so eager for this war, now look what has happened. President Bush is responsible for leading America into this war. He is responsible for this. This war was about oil and making Bush's friends rich."
American New Ethical Values
American Female Soldier
Symbol of American Enlightenment & Moderation
Sex manic US President, G.W Bush
Sex manic President & Sex manic US Army
What is a problem with them?
Save the humanity from these fools
We shall fight against them and save the humanity