|Coming soon - the video!|
Until recently it was looking like US spin doctors could contain the damage
done by the revelations of Iraqi prisoner abuse in Baghdad's Abu Ghriab prison,
by pointing out the mitigating circumstances, specifically
- It was only a few guards, not a widespread phenomenon,
- It was only humiliation - there was no physical abuse,
- The guards weren't actually enjoying themselves, just looking
like they were enjoying themselves so the pictures would have more effect when
shown to friends and family of the prisoners,
- It was for a worthy cause - to soften up prisoners before interrogation
about WMDs and such-like.
But the scandal has gone from bad to worse with the confirmation of new
photos from the US run Baghdad Gulag, featuring a naked Iraqi prisoner
terrorized and then attacked by Alsatian dogs who mauled him and ripped the
flesh from his body as US guards looked on. And there are indications that
there is more (and worse) to come - including a video.
This is pretty much what we had come to expect from Saddam's psychotic son
Uday before he was gunned down by US troops last year.
The US won't even release the worst of the pictures - it seems that what
took place was so bad that they won't even let us know. Hardly the actions of a
well-meaning party determined to admit and move on.
So it might be a while before the uncut version of US Gulag '04 hits the
video shelves but not to be outdone, the Islamofacists have beaten the US to
market and released a video of their own. This little number is available via
Internet download and features the decapitation of American hostage Nick Berg -
apparently in retaliation for US atrocities in Abu Ghriab.
While any decent person would have to be appalled by the images of
Islamofacists cutting someone's throat and then hacking off their head, even
Berg's father admitted that 'at least his death was quick'. Unlike the
apparent sustained torture in Abu Ghriab.
Both sides in this war are committing atrocities for a political purpose -
to terrify their opponents, and both took pictures to further their political
gain. The difference between letting Alsatian dogs rip the flesh off a
terrified naked man, and cutting off someone's head is only a question of
It's a little hard to see who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.
Major combat operations may have long ceased, but it seems the fog of war has
not yet lifted from Iraq.