{ An Autopsy of Democracy }

Sunday, June 19, 2005

We are all complicit in these vile acts of torture - but what can we doabout it?

"Mind you, our American friends are already, it seems, dab hands at smearing prisoners with excrement and beating them and - given the evidence I've heard from a prisoner who was at Bagram in Afghanistan - sticking brooms up men's anuses, and, of course, just killing them. Thirty prisoners have now died in US custody. I don't believe in the few bad apples line. It's happened on far too great a scale. And how do we excuse all this filth? How do we excuse ourselves for this immorality? Why, we say Saddam was worse than us.

"Saddam had women raped; he shot them down into mass graves. He was much worse. But if Saddam's wickedness has to be the tuning fork against which all our own iniquities are judged, what does that say about us? If Saddam's regime is to be the moral compass to define our actions, how bad - how iniquitous - does that allow us to be?

"Saddam tortured and executed women in Abu Ghraib. We only sexually abused prisoners and killed a few of them and murdered some suspects at Bagram and subjected them to inhuman treatment in Guantanamo and sent others off to be boiled and fried and killed off by our 'friends' without the embarrassment of being present. Saddam was much worse. And thus it became inevitable that the symbol of Saddam's shame - Abu Ghraib - subsequently became the symbol of our shame too."


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