FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Filling Saddam’s Shoes

 

One thing you can pretty much count on. When the U.S. charges in with guns blazing and bombs blowing up with the promise of “bringing democracy” to some benighted and oppressed people, the end result will be a corrupt and barbaric regime not much better, and maybe worse, than the old one.

This was certainly so in Vietnam, where one dictatorship after another was set up under American authority, each with its own new style of viciousness and corruption. It was true in Korea, where the U.S., after fending off North Korea, underwrote and supported a string of vicious tyrants. It is proving to be so in Haiti, where a gangster regime has been installed by U.S. troops.

So why the surprise that the regime set up in Iraq, soon to be validated with a fraudulent election (the world’s first secret election where voters don’t know whom they are voting for because the candidates, especially those backed by the U.S., dare not give out their names or speak in public of their “platforms”) is proving to be every bit as vicious as the old (one-time U.S-backed) regime of Saddam Hussein?

The U.S. military and the corrupt and smugly colonial administration of L. Paul Bremer set the tone early on, with brutal torture of captured Iraqi insurgent fighters and the casual slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, including huge numbers of women and children (called “collateral damage by U.S. authorities).

Now we learn from Human Rights Watch that the interim U.S. puppet regime of Iyad Allawi is practicing all those Saddamite methods of torture itself on those the regime opposes. We’ve got reports of people being “routinely” hung by the wrists on meat hooks, shocked on the genitals with electrodes and beaten in torture chambers by people who are actually the very same guys who were working there beforein the employ of Saddam himself.

Human Rights Watch says these tender mercies are being practiced not just on Iraqi insurgents (most of whom are probably simply shot when captured), but on “political enemies” of the regime.

Abu Ghraib prison, built originally by Saddam’s regime for use as a torture center, and later used by the U.S. military and CIA for the same purpose, is now reportedly back in business under the aegis of the Allawi regime.

No comment from that great purported exporter of democracy, George Bush, or from that great prophet of democratic renewal in the Middle East, Paul Wolfowitz. No promise to investigate this ugly contradiction coming just five days after the president’s lofty inaugural claim that America has been called upon by the Almighty to “end tyranny” in the world.

Surely, if our 120,000 troops and hundreds of billions of dollars in weaponry in Iraq cannot end tyranny in that country, we are unlikely to end it anywhere.

But of course, like everything else this administration does, the claim to be promoting democracy is nothing but a lot of words, masking an ugly reality.

The real truth? Those Iraqi torturers have been trained by American forces. Heck, they’re almost certainly even using U.S.-supplied, U.S. taxpayer-financed torture equipment. (Taser Corp., helping to reduce America’s ballooning trade deficit, one jolt at a time.)

They’re just doing what the Pentagon and CIA, and Don Rumsfeld’s new secret intelligence unit want them to do, namely: crush all opposition to America’s hand-picked, puppet rulers in Iraq.

None of this will surprise the people of the rest of the world, who have long known that America is no tribune of freedom.

The question is, when will the American people themselves stop believing this malarkey, and recognize what their sons and daughters are being asked to die for?
One thing you can pretty much count on. When the U.S. charges in with guns blazing and bombs blowing up with the promise of “bringing democracy” to some benighted and oppressed people, the end result will be a corrupt and barbaric regime not much better, and maybe worse, than the old one.

This was certainly so in Vietnam, where one dictatorship after another was set up under American authority, each with its own new style of viciousness and corruption. It was true in Korea, where the U.S., after fending off North Korea, underwrote and supported a string of vicious tyrants. It is proving to be so in Haiti, where a gangster regime has been installed by U.S. troops.

So why the surprise that the regime set up in Iraq, soon to be validated with a fraudulent election (the world’s first secret election where voters don’t know whom they are voting for because the candidates, especially those backed by the U.S., dare not give out their names or speak in public of their “platforms”) is proving to be every bit as vicious as the old (one-time U.S-backed) regime of Saddam Hussein?

The U.S. military and the corrupt and smugly colonial administration of L. Paul Bremer set the tone early on, with brutal torture of captured Iraqi insurgent fighters and the casual slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, including huge numbers of women and children (called “collateral damage by U.S. authorities).

Now we learn from that the interim U.S. puppet regime of Iyad Allawi is practicing all those Saddamite methods of torture itself on those the regime opposes. We’ve got reports of people being “routinely” hung by the wrists on meat hooks, shocked on the genitals with electrodes and beaten in torture chambers by people who are actually the very same guys who were working there beforein the employ of Saddam himself.

Human Rights Watch says these tender mercies are being practiced not just on Iraqi insurgents (most of whom are probably simply shot when captured), but on “political enemies” of the regime.

Abu Ghraib prison, built originally by Saddam’s regime for use as a torture center, and later used by the U.S. military and CIA for the same purpose, is now reportedly back in business under the aegis of the Allawi regime.

No comment from that great purported exporter of democracy, George Bush, or from that great prophet of democratic renewal in the Middle East, Paul Wolfowitz. No promise to investigate this ugly contradiction coming just five days after the president’s lofty inaugural claim that America has been called upon by the Almighty to “end tyranny” in the world.

Surely, if our 120,000 troops and hundreds of billions of dollars in weaponry in Iraq cannot end tyranny in that country, we are unlikely to end it anywhere.

But of course, like everything else this administration does, the claim to be promoting democracy is nothing but a lot of words, masking an ugly reality.

The real truth? Those Iraqi torturers have been trained by American forces. Heck, they’re almost certainly even using U.S.-supplied, U.S. taxpayer-financed torture equipment. (Taser Corp., helping to reduce America’s ballooning trade deficit, one jolt at a time.)

They’re just doing what the Pentagon and CIA, and Don Rumsfeld’s new secret intelligence unit want them to do, namely: crush all opposition to America’s hand-picked, puppet rulers in Iraq.

None of this will surprise the people of the rest of the world, who have long known that America is no tribune of freedom.

The question is, when will the American people themselves stop believing this malarkey, and recognize what their sons and daughters are being asked to die for?

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
January 17, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: No Woman, No Cry
Kathleen Wallace
Hijacking the Struggles of Others, Elizabeth Warren Style
Robert Hunziker
The Rumbling Methane Enigma
Frank Joyce
Will the Constitution Fail Again?
Pete Dolack
Claims that the ‘NAFTA 2’ Agreement is Better are a Macabre Joke
Andrew Levine
Biden Daze
Vijay Prashad
Not an Inch: Indian Students Stand Against the Far Right
Ramzy Baroud
Sealed Off and Forgotten: What You Should Know about Israel’s ‘Firing Zones’ in the West Bank
Norman Solomon
Not Bernie, Us. Not Warren, Us. Their Clash Underscores the Need for Grassroots Wisdom
Ted Rall
America’s Long History of Meddling in Russia
David Rosen
The Irregulators vs. FCC: the Trial Begins
Jennifer Matsui
The Krown
Joseph Natoli
Resolutions and Obstacles/2020
Sarah Anderson
War Profiteering is Real
James McFadden
The Business Party Syndicate
Ajamu Baraka
Trump Prosecutors Make Move to Ensure that Embassy Protectors are Convicted
David Swanson
CNN is Trash
Rev. William Alberts
Finally a Christian Call for Trump’s Removal
Dave Lindorff
The ERA Just Got Ratified by Virginia, the Needed 38th State!
W. T. Whitney
Mexico Takes Action on Coup in Bolivia and on CELAC
Steve Early
How General Strike Rhetoric Became a Reality in Seattle 
Jessicah Pierre
Learning From King’s Last Campaign
Mark Dickman
Saint Greta and the Dragon
Jared Bernstein - Dean Baker
Reducing the Health Care Tax
Clark T. Scott
Uniting “Progressives” Instead of Democrats
Nilofar Suhrawardy
Trump & Johnson: What a Contrast, Image-wise!
Ron Jacobs
Abusing America’s Children—Free Market Policy
George Wuerthner
Mills Are Being Closed by National Economic Trends, Not Environmental Regulations
Basav Sen
Nearly All Americans Want Off of Fossil Fuels
Mark Ashwill
Playing Geopolitical Whack-a-Mole: The Viet Nam Flag Issue Revisited
Jesse Jackson
New Hope for One of America’s Poorest Communities
Binoy Kampmark
Harry and Meghan Exit: The Royal Family Propaganda Machine
Ralph Nader
Trump: Making America Dread Again!
Rob Okun
A Call to Men to join Women’s March
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
We All Need to Be Tree Huggers Now
Tom Stephens
The New York Times’ Delusions of Empire
Julian Rose
Fake-Green Zero Carbon Fraud
Louis Proyect
The Best Films of 2019
Matthew Stevenson
Across the Balkans: Into Kosovo
Colin Todhunter
Gone Fishing? No Fish but Plenty of Pesticides and a Public Health Crisis
Julian Vigo
Can New Tech Replace In-Class Learning?
Gaither Stewart
The Bench: the Life of Things
Nicky Reid
Trannies with Guns: Because Enough is Enough!
James Haught
Baby Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark
David Yearsley
Brecht in Berlin
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail