While prisoner abuse by US forces have been reported since the invasion of Afghanistan and well into the invasion of Iraq, it took photographs of US soldiers and mercenaries gleefully torturing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners before anyone took these reports seriously.
Most remarkable is that officials are trying to save face and avoid dealing with the issue. They claim ignorance in the face of a report that was prepared and made available weeks ago and that detailed abuses that are described as ‘systemic.’ Then they ask people to focus attention on how well soldiers treat Iraqis met in the open streets while cameras are rolling instead of how Iraqis are beaten, sodomized, tortured and raped behind closed doors. We are liberators, after all.
We are to forget the fact that humans are being abused by American forces with the support of our misappropriated tax dollars. We are to go about our happy lives, enjoying our hamburgers and super-sized fries. We are to wait eagerly for the next military-commissioned movie to reassure us of our intellectual and moral superiority over all brown folks everywhere. We are to absorb the message that military force is justified to subdue these miscreants for their deviant ideas of freedom.
Of course, their idea of freedom is not recognized as valid. As the commander and his lieutenants continue to remind us, for fear that we may forget to live in fear, these non-peoples hate freedom. They hate us, not our policies. Policies that ruin the economies and lives of foreign peoples are just and necessary to ensure the survival of America. Ahmad, who works 18 hours a day so his family can enjoy a higher level of squalor, simply misunderstands American foreign policy. Did you not get the memo?
It is incumbent upon brave Americans to assure Ahmad of our intentions in his country by destroying all other media while establishing American-produced radio and television. This is necessary for Ahmad and his comrades to understand how their slavery is really freedom, how the denial of adequate healthcare is actually the preferred way of life. The indigenous population must be subjected to conditions that prevent them from thinking for themselves, lest they should begin to organize and dare to strive to live independently.
The issue of Iraq should be clear. America went in under a manufactured pretext, which changed as opinion polls dictated, for the purposes of securing the natural resources of Iraq and expanding its dominance in the region to secure elements of commerce for future exploitation. It also provided methods to expend munitions and materials for the military industrial complex economy while showcasing the latest in war technology for America’s lucrative international arms trade.
To achieve these goals, war was necessary. To garner support for war, hate is necessary.
America must owe-up to and fight against the anti-Muslim and anti-Islam hatred that is the core enabling factor that lead to the abuses illustrated in the recently released photographs and to the growing number of anti-Muslim hate crimes inside America.
American media bias is so institutionalized that journalists are largely unaware when they practice it. Hollywood makes millions from the latest government-chosen and approved villains. Law enforcement justifies its budgets by criminalizing possession of Islamic texts. Politicians exercise their right to hate by marginalizing the miscreants for political gain.
The practice of demonizing and dehumanizing Islam and Muslims is seemingly necessary for the survival of American economic interests in the international scene. It is essential to cultivate hatred of these target peoples so American-based multi-national conglomerates can operate as they wish, with no regards for human rights, workers rights or other issues they are required to address while operating inside the borders of the USA.
Hate also serves the purpose of taking the American public’s attention away from the fact that their jobs are sent to indentured nations. We are to be comforted by this manufactured hatred as we cash our miserly unemployment checks, while we wait in line at the local food bank or soup kitchen and when we look into the eyes of our children with no healthcare and a grim outlook for affordable higher education. Slavery is freedom.
Rest assured, our soldiers are fighting for our freedom.
JOHN JANNEY lives in Mobile, Alabama.