Saturday, May 01, 2004

Vileness of Abu Ghuraib

We have all seen the pictures. Despicable and loathsome yes, but not too terribly shocking. Our Spirited Lady in Baghdad is justifiably in rage and her dentist fellow citizen as always clueless. Something about working constantly with disease, dirt and decay which might sadly have caused his expectations to sink to the level of his circumstances!

Most reassuringly, the unequivocal expression of outrage by a man in uniform surpasses in decency the pretentious prattle of our influential ideologue, Andrew Sullivan--the foremost expert in “Fisking,” (intentionally evocative, I suppose, though certainly not to be confused with that other despicable practice of fisting.) Sullivan glibly chooses to see in those infuriating pictures “mock torturing.” Go figure.

To Mr. Sullivan: come the next round of open battles for Human Rights and Dignity in Iran shortly, this is one man who will ignore your expressions of concern and of sympathy. Allies like you, unable to tell torture even when it smacks them square in the eyes, we do not need here.

Why I am not surprised? Well, how wars are waged do not come about in a vacuum. Just as the Jihadists choose strategies and tactics that are natural to their cultural milieu, and conduct themselves accordingly, the Cru-sadists too are, for lack of a better word, “culturally determined.”

Foreign policy and wars abroad, as the old cliché goes, are extension of domestic policy. There is a cultural background to the policies that are pursued in the Middle East, and to the way men and women conduct themselves outside American borders. Yes, America is incredibly diverse and its myriad subcultures a source of its vibrancy. But there is also symmetry to their affairs.

Why be surprised to see thousands incarcerated without due process and abused in the midst of a brutal war in Iraq, when in fact, millions continue to languish in jails in a prosperous America? Why should it be a shock to have some American guards abuse their Iraqi prisoners when in fact American citizens are not immune from abuse at the hands of their keepers?

That the guards are dumb enough to take pictures of their despicable behavior and pass it around proudly before some decent soldier, I presume, blew the whistle on them can only make sense within the context of a huge exhibitionist/voyeuristic sub-culture which comprises the animating force behind the ever flourishing porn industry in the States.

Whereas these soldiers could have had the opportunity to play out their fantasies in consensual ways, and in the privacy and safety of their own homes absent this war, now they get to roam around, lawlessly and lasciviously abusing the natives, hurting and humiliating men and women whose guilt or innocence has yet to be determined in a court of law.

That there is such a strong sexual element to this torture is natural in the context of a war a determining feature of which has always been sexual in nature. The pitch from the very beginning has been not only a battle between Good and Evil, but also a conflict between the Virile West vs. the Impotent East.

The conduct is natural for a culture whose law enforcement officials, before this war on terror, were petrified of the prospect of sexual, ritual cannibalism

Take a look at this Ledeen’s article, as an example. He is the one most transparent on the sexual dimension of this war. That some middle aged American can write such drivel is only logical in the context of a society which spends more on its bot-bellied, bald, and impotent citizens than on many others.

The joys of feeling entitled, don’t you think? The self indulgence and the delusion of the power to decide and declare appropriate use of resources, characters of life, modes of being, manners of commerce, conventions of exchange, and ways of thinking? And then the audacity and the scam to hide behind an entire nation. All verbal attacks on their despicable ways is an attack on America. To question their self serving myopia is to be Anti-American. What outrageous insolence!

The whole world is their oyster, but not all is well. Behind the façade of solid, happy citizens and normal lives, there exist some fundamental insecurities and fantasies manifest in fetishes involving dark skins.

So, why shouldn’t the picture of some woman with a cigarette in mouth, laughing at the limp dick, bound, hooded, and abused brown Iraqis , simulating homosexual sex be reassuring? Terribly comforting, don’t you think? Wasn’t this a part and parcel of this war from the very beginning?

No, without their war, none of this would have happened. Regardless of what the American Military chooses to do (or not) with those involved, this is the straw for me. I am becoming more convinced everyday that what passes as a war of Civilization and Barbarism is in fact nothing but a multi-pronged assault of old allies--the Cru-sadists, and the Jihadists--on everything I find decent about civilized life. The sooner the shadow of their murderous deeds is removed from our lives, the happier I become.

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