Monday, March 18, 2013

Time to march against the wars!

This photo was taken 10 years ago in March 2003. The man is an Iraqi prisoner of war being held by the US Army. A soldier cut off the plastic handcuffs but left the black sandbag on his head while he comforted & held his screaming child. This was almost a year before the Abu Ghraib revelations of US torture of prisoners. While the Bush administration parsed the legalities of the Geneva Convention on the humane treatment of prisoners--claiming prisoners in Guantanamo & al Qaeda members were exempted from coverage--we now know they flouted them for all prisoners in Iraq. The generals called it the “stress matrix” & approved 20 torture techniques for use in Iraq. Hooding a prisoner is surely torture.

At Abu Ghraib the approved techniques included punching with fists & objects, urinating on prisoners, pouring phosphoric acid on them, raping & sodomizing them, tying ropes to their legs or penises & dragging them, humiliating them sexually, forcing them to crawl naked while US soldiers rode them like ponies.

Alfred W. McCoy, in his book, “A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror,” claims the methods used at Abu Ghraib were straight out of the CIA manual of torture techniques. Although the soldiers involved were court martialed & should indeed have been held to account for war crimes, the US government, including the administration & the generals who sanctioned torture & the CIA operatives who taught these techniques have never had to face the music for their crimes. Not only do they continue to employ torture today but the Obama administration has given it legal sanction. Isn’t it time we throw the bums out!?

We cannot adequately compensate for the suffering imposed on the people of Iraq by the US government but we can take an active stand against the continuation of the war & occupation. Antiwar protests are planned for this spring & though the movement is small & still weak, it can only grow strong by participation. US out of Iraq! US out of Afghanistan!

(Photo by Jean-Marc Bouju/AP)

1 comment:

  1. This is excruciating. Indeed, a picture is worth a thousand words, and this one embodies especially well the reality of US imperialism and its war against Iraq. I remember hearing someone say it couldn't rightly be called a war, it was more accurate to call it a massacre or a slaughter.
    Thanks for posting.