Iraqi torture by US. Front page. worldwide.
The carefully constructed facade, “we’re here to build democracy for Iraq”, has crumbled to the ground. The photos of US military torturing Iraqi prisoners are in newspapers and on websites worldwide. The US military and Bush have gone, in just a few days, from strutting about, boasting of their military and moral superiority to being on the defensive, engaging serious, massive damage control. And the damage is huge and can’t be repaired, not by more propaganda, not by spin doctors, not by Rush Limbaugh and Fox News ranting at the left – no, the Bushies fucked up big time and have no one to blame but themselves.
When the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is forced by events to get involved, and then issues a non-denial denial, well, the damage is severe and getting worse.
The Bush administration scrambled Sunday to contain a burgeoning controversy over mistreatment and sexual abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. troops in Iraq.
Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Sunday talk shows that the misbehavior was an aberration, carried out by a fraction of the 135,000 U.S. troops stationed Iraq.
“It is not systematic,” Myers told ABC’s This Week.
But asked how he could be sure any abuses were not systemic, Myers said on the CBS program Face the Nation, “I’m not sure of it.”
Well, how could it not be systemic? How else to explain the apparent blindness of commanding officers all the way up the food chain? Everyone is shocked, just shocked, and no one had a clue, huh? Yeah, right…
They will attempt to blame it solely on a few rural working class reservists whose behavior, vile and disgusting as it was, I doubt sprang out of nowhere. Someone told them to degrade the prisoners in those specific ways, someone who knew Muslim men would find the nakedness and forced sexual degradation especially humiliating.
So either the chain of command knew nothing when they should have known quite a lot, in which case they should be removed from duty for incompetence, or more likely, they knew damn well what was happening and choose to ignore it – or they were the ones giving the orders to the reservists to abuse the prisoners.
This is a crisis for the ruling class. They can’t cover it up, they can’t explain it away. Expect the Bushies to try something drastic. The war was already going wrong. Now this. Universal contempt from the planet against the actions of the US military.
We are seeing a process that may drive Bush from power. Not that Kerry is much better, but a defeated Bush, and a US that brings the troops home soon because the war is lost, can only be good news to the peace movement.
June 5. Worldwide protests. Be there.
PS. 11 US soldiers were killed Sunday. That’s a high number, and coming right after the release of the photos, not a coincidence at all. Bring the troops home now!