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If You Live in the Middle East, You Should Be Afraid of Us

Robin Alexander

Posted on May 17, 2018 08:48

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It’s not just the unprovoked shock and awe that killed thousands of innocent Iraqis. It’s not just eight years of drone strikes that have killed thousands of innocent Syrians. It’s not just our complicity in the bombing and blockade of Yemen causing famine, disease and death. It’s that the United States sometimes tortures its prisoners.

We do this even though torture has been a war crime since 1949, and even though it doesn’t guarantee the extraction of credible information.

In a podcast Ali al-Qaisi recounts his experience at Abu Ghraib 15 years ago:

 “As soon as you enter the prison, they hang you on the metal door of the cell. Then they electrocute you and urinate on you … They take a broomstick, break it, and forcibly penetrate one’s private parts … I saw a child. They raped him in front of his father.”

(Don’t forget to place American soldiers into your visual image.)

We’re told that we’re more evolved than they are, by Sam Harris and Bill Maher and the nice lady behind the drugstore counter. That makes it so much easier, because, in a hundred seemingly innocuous ways we are all a little guilty. It may be the decision not to greet a neighbor who looks different in a Middle Eastern sort of way. It may be our apathy when Abu Ghraib broke.

Oh, we may have registered our own shock and awe. We may have ranted at the water cooler and read every article. But quickly we went back to work, because times are tough and there’s just so many hours and just so much energy. And so, for Abu Ghraib, no one has ever been held accountable. (In fact, lack of accountability has become a distinctly American trait, whether it be war crimes or financial ones).

George W mess-maker: one-time lush and bumbling boy-man with religious tendencies. Comedian Jimmy Dore comments with gloriously dark irony: “One of the justifications Bush used for going into Iraq was that they had torture rooms and rape rooms. We wanted to replace them with Christian torture rooms and rape rooms.” Investigate how Bush and Cheney benefited from this war. (Yup, torture for profit).

Barack the fixer: classy smooth-tongued scandal-free first-father/first-husband. Obama uttered the ultimate understatement helping us swallow and relax: “It’s clear from the Inspector General’s report that some very poor judgment was shown … we did some things that were wrong … we tortured some folks.” (That’s a word you use when you overlook those neighbors, as in “we forgot to invite some folks.”)

Our 44th president abdicated his moral and legal responsibility to prosecute war crimes and initially sealed the IG report which contained relevant information. Information subsequently came to light, but Obama did nothing to ensure that it won’t happen again. No learning of lessons. No deterrence. No justice.

If you thought Abu Ghraib was an aberration, enter Gina Haspel, nominee for CIA director. Suddenly we learn about ongoing torture sites around the world, befitting a great empire. They say that which occurs on the outskirts of the empire, eventually makes its way to the citizenry at the center.

Perhaps it is we who should be afraid.

Robin Alexander

Posted on May 17, 2018 08:48

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Source: Vox - All

The White House says she’s a “patriot.” Critics say she’s a torturer. The White House says she’s a “ patriot ” and “the...

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