Friday, May 14, 2004


As hundreds of prisoners are reportedly being released today from the evils of the notorious Abu Ghraib Prison, my thoughts wander through the recent Iraqi Horror picture show and all of the political rhetoric and propaganda one might expect to find in the midst of disaster occuring in an election year.

In particular, my thoughts rest momentarily upon the words of the american president, whom just a month before these pictures became public, proclaimed to the world that as a result of deposing Saddam, "there are no longer torture chambers or rape rooms or mass graves in Iraq. As a result, a friend of terror has been removed and now sits in a jail".

Actually, as Jon Stewart ever so succinctly put it, Iraq's torture chambers are "Not really shut down so much as under new management."

And there is more, the worst even, yet to come - pictures that tell the sad story of the rapes of men, women and children. Thousands of pictures. The nature of these newest images is that of dark and cruel sexual torture, specifically designed to shatter human dignity. The images will repulse us, nauseate us, disgust us, and wound us: forced nudity; leashes; genitals; masturbation; rape; sodomy; a litany of sexual pain and fear as dictated by power hungry bullies with more than cameras to shoot with.

Collectively, it is the worst of our nightmares, eerily reminiscent of the pictures of naked Jewish people in holocaust era Nazi concentration camps that have been bored into our minds.

They will both insult and intoxicate our senses and sensibilties. They will occupy our imaginations for years to come. But will they move us to action?

As much as the images might rattle one's synaptic processes, they do provide us with empirical evidence of events the Bush Administration would like to keep far from the public awareness and scrutiny of the world - evidence of crimes that demand attention and justice.

These crimes, perpetrated by some of the world's strongest and most "civilized" forces, were commited in order to remove the dignity and human rights of the Iraqi people (not just those who were involved), artfully masking their humanity in an extended cycle of abuse that has now touched us all. Every one of the soldiers involved should share some guilt for the murder of Nicholas Berg. They should also be painfully aware that they have added to the further endangerment of american soldiers and civilians in Iraq, around the world, and on their own home soil, as well as the potential destabilization of world politics.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then each of these illustrations must be worth a thousand new terrorists, each ready to wreak as much havoc on an unsuspecting american/western public as they can possibly dish out.

And this is only the beggining.

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