I haven’t posted anything about Abu Ghraib, largely because I have nothing to say. I am appalled, but not surprised, by recent revelations, apart from being surprised that the American press is reporting them.
Nor am I very enthusiastic for this from a partisan point of view. I don’t find what has happened in Abu Ghraib to be more evil than the Iraqi sanctions. That the US tortures Iraqis isn’t even something new. Awful as the torture of prisoners is, it’s not worse torture than what a parent goes through watching their child slowly die of typhoid fever or cholera – let alone what the child goes through. Although the torture of sanctions was less direct, it was not less deliberate.
The truth is, in terms of our foreign policy, the US is evil. We’ve always been evil (although that’s not all we’ve been), and the only reason this is getting any attention in the States is because it’s an excuse for CNN and the newspapers to focus on lurid photos. (Thank God for lurid photos, I say). Body & Soul is disucssing the conflict between blaming the monsters at the top of the chain in command, versus blaming the soldiers who actually implimented the tortures. She correctly concludes, I think, that both deserve some share of blame. To that, I’d add, blame American voters, because we have been more than willing to let the top monsters and the soldiers off the hook.
Anyhow, I was meaning to introduce this amazing post at Body and Soul. Unlike me, Jeanne has things to say about Abu Ghraib which are worth reading. Here’s a quote that deserves to be repeated a thousand times:
…but that’s only a tiny part of what Jeanne has to say. Please go read it.