The current issue of National Review advocates
that the US adopt Saddam Hussein’s policies toward Iraqis. Nothing less will
subdue them, says the conservative publication. To beat them, National Review
says, we must become like them.
No sooner said than done. The
US has appointed Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard General, Jasim Muhammed Saleh
to deal with the Fallajuh insurgency. And, judging from news reports and
photographs of tortured Iraqis, the US has put Saddam Hussein himself back in
charge of the notorious prison, Abu Ghraib.
US prestige will never recover from the photos of Americans abusing Iraqi detainees.
With no Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, with no terrorist link between Saddam
Hussein and Osama bin Laden, President Bush’s last remaining excuse for his
invasion of Iraq was his boast that the torture prisons have been closed.
In his war propaganda, President Bush portrays America as a morally superior
country whose innate virtue is the reason we are in Iraq. America alone is willing
to tax its citizens and send its sons to die in order to bring freedom and democracy
to other lands. Bush describes our mission as one in which our troops are dying
and we are spending hundreds of billions of dollars not to acquire a colony
or to control the oil, but to liberate Iraqi women and to make Iraqis safe from
With the US now guilty of war crimes as defined by Article 3 of the Geneva
Convention, our sanctimonious president will never again be able to wear American
virtue on his sleeve without the entire world laughing in his face.
The US military is making a big show of dealing with the Saddam Hussein imitators
in its ranks, but the sickening fact is that both the US government and the
American media sat on the story for one month, keeping it a secret until the
photos began circulating independently.
The neocons, whose war this is, were quick to say that the US should be judged
by what it proclaims, not by what it does. What’s a little torture after all,
compared to building freedom and democracy?
It was ten minutes into the news hour on the day the story broke before the
Ministry of Propaganda, a.k.a. Fox News, could bring itself to mention, fleetingly,
the torture story. Americans who rely on Fox News for their understanding of
the war must be scratching their heads.
By showing the true nature of the US occupation, the photos may have broken
the rush to wider war and the return to military conscription. Polls released
at the end of April show that a majority of Americans had soured on the war
prior to the torture story. The photographic evidence that US troops are committing
atrocities will further reduce support for the war.
The impact on the Muslim world will be different. For decades extremists have
called the US "the Great Satan." The US invasion and violent occupation of Iraq
have given credibility to this characterization of America. Our Middle Eastern
puppets are sending us frantic signals that unprecedented hatred of America
is endangering the stability of their countries. One thing is certain: the photographs
showing a female US soldier laughing at the sexual humiliation of Muslim men
will not make Americans safer.