All right, so I promised I would write my take on the by now infamous abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers. There was a really great last episode of Counterpoint where a woman pointed out that this so-called “War on Terror” is little more than neo-colonialism, trying to bring civilization to the savages and that sort of thing. I believe that. It is a war for oil, but more than that it indicates that we do not have any faith in the ability of people of color to manage their own affairs. Change must come from within, when imposed it is bound to collapse.
Personally I am not surprised by the scandal. This is something which has been a historical constant with America. Murder and torture of people of color stretches to the birth of what is now The United States of America. Take the Sand Creek massacre for one example. An entire village slaughtered, including women and children, and gruesome trophies taken, such as wombs and genitals that were worn on saddles and hats. “Nits make lice,” and so on. That’s only one of the countless American-Indian wartime atrocities. Then let’s move on to slavery. And My Lai. CIA sponsored coops. The list just goes on and on.
Being a Canadian, there is a certain amount of guilt mixed with smug superiority about American Imperialism. But up here we can’t be complacent about these issues either. One must remember Somalia and the actions of our “peacekeepers” there.
And now let’s focus on the type of abuse the Iraqi’s have suffered. One of the articles of the Geneva convention forbids abusing someone based on their religion or faith. The abuse perpetrated was calculated specifically to be heinous for muslims in particular. Forcing people to violate their own religious codes is no better than what the Nazi’s did to the Jewish people. Especially considering some of the things the prisoners were forced to do carry death penalities in some muslim countries. I don’t think it’s been emphasized enough how these tortures are specific to violating muslim law. Obviously someone up high designed these “interrogation” techniques.
These acts do not stem from a mere lack of discipline, these acts stem from the highest levels of american policy, as they have for 512 years. These acts are war crimes, and should be prosecuted as such. America has gotten away with it for far too long.