A rotten barrel not a…

A rotten barrel not a just few bad apples

After what we saw, all Iraqis will attack them now,” Abdulilah Mohammed, a 55-year-old Baghdad street vendor, said of the Americans.

Iraq prisoner images anger Arabs.

Egypt outraged over Iraq prisoners torture.

Troops’ abuse of prisoners outrages Iraqis.

Seymour Hersch’s article
in the New Yorker, as is his wont, is a devastating indictment of a
system gone mad. He quotes from a US Army report in February about what
happened in the prison.

chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; pouring
cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle
and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape; allowing a military
police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after
being slammed against the wall in his cell; sodomizing a detainee with
a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick, and using military working
dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and
in one instance actually biting a detainee.”

Remember, the above quote is from the US Army report, and is not suppositions by Hersch.

for the piles of naked Iraqi men, forced to masturbate and simulate
and/or actually have sex, while US soldiers, several of them women,
watched gleefully.

dehumanization is unacceptable in any culture, but it is especially so
in the Arab world. Homosexual acts are against Islamic law and it is
humiliating for men to be naked in front of other men, Bernard Haykel,
a professor of Middle Eastern studies at New York University,
explained. “Being put on top of each other and forced to masturbate,
being naked in front of each other—it’s all a form of torture,” Haykel

And perhaps in the most telling statement:

who was one of the military defense attorneys in the My Lai
prosecutions of the nineteen-seventies, told me that his client’s
defense will be that he was carrying out the orders of his superiors
and, in particular, the directions of military intelligence. He said, “Do you really think a group of kids from rural Virginia decided to do this on their own? Decided that the best way to embarrass Arabs and make them talk was to have them walk around nude?”

Indeed, a “US General suggests Iraq jail abuse was encouraged” by military intelligence.

Army Reserve general whose soldiers were photographed as they abused
Iraqi prisoners said Saturday that she knew nothing about the abuse
until weeks after it occurred and that she was “sickened” by the
pictures. She said the prison cellblock where the abuse occurred was
under the tight control of Army military intelligence officers who may
have encouraged the abuse.

than a few in the military, of course, are genuinely sickened by this.
To use an example, I once asked a right wing uncle who spent 30 years
in the Army and went out a colonel what he thought of Ollie North,
expecting to get an earful of praise. Instead he said, “He lied under
oath and he’s a goddamn disgrace to the uniform.” May those who still
believe in honor win the coming internal battles over the torture of
Iraq prisoners, battles which will engulf the US military.

carefully constructed propaganda mask just got ripped off the face of
the US invasion of Iraq. George Bush can babble all he wants about
bringing democracy to Iraq, but a picture is worth a thousand words,
isn’t it? The damage done by these mindless, vicious, brutal actions
will last for years, and if you thought the Iraq resistance was strong
before, we ain’t seen nothing yet.

“The body of an Iraqi prisoner, wrapped in cellophane and packed in ice.” Also from The New Yorker. (Click “View the photos” on the right.)

He was beaten, packed in ice, then left for dead, the article explains.

Let’s be there by the millions in the upcoming June 5th worldwide protests against this insane war, which is symptomatic of a system gone way way wrong.