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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Monday, May 09, 2005

America’s shame, two years on from ’Mission Accomplished’

Robert Fisk examines the institutional use of torture by American forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay:

"With an insurgency growing ever more vicious and uncontrollable, the emptiness of Mr Bush’s silly boast is plain ['Mission Accomplished]. The real mission, it seems, was to institutionalise the cruelty of Western armies, staining us forever with the depravity of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and Bagram - not to mention the secret prisons which even the Red Cross cannot visit and wherein who knows what vileness is conducted. What, I wonder, is our next 'mission'?"

His investigative journalism reveals that any chance of democracy "flowering" in Iraq is neutered by the "trail of prisons that now lies across Iraq...a shameful symbol not only of our cruelty but of our failure to create the circumstances in which a new Iraq might take shape." Fisk also examines other fields in the "War on Terror": "I have interviewed a Palestinian who gave me compelling evidence of anal rape with wooden poles at Bagram [in Afghanistan] - by Americans, not by Afghans."

With dozens of allegations, few arrests and little accountability for the top military and political brass in America, Australia or Britain, our establishment press prefers to offer this propaganda (courtesy of Murdoch's Australian). Uncomfortable truths are airbrushed, like obedient generals in a Third World dictatorship:

"Does anybody, apart from Islamist ideologues in the Middle East and Left ideologues in the West, seriously believe the coalition troops are on some kind of imperialist adventure in Iraq? The 8 million Iraqis who turned out to vote in January did not think they were participating in some kind of empty charade, or they would surely not have braved the terrorists' threats and bombs. The terrorists want our troops out for the simple reason that a progressive and prosperous Iraq will show up the lie in their claim that Islam and democracy are incompatible. Iraq is not about a clash of civilisations but about defeating those who dream of bringing about such a clash."

4 Comments:

Blogger Binnsy said...

Ant - I don't spose you happened to see Insight on SBS a month or so ago concerning the use of torture etc... how much is too much, should it be done, etc. Very interesting stuff. I've blogged often on the dynamics of conflict, hostages, etc... and it never ceases to amaze how much the public perceptions are shaped by the media. A favourite example of mine is Fallujah late last year, where prisoners were shot in front of the camera, and the public kicked up a stink. I'm not saying I support the killing of prisoners - but imagine the countless thousands of other soldiers shot that the public doesn't know about because a camera isn't there...

Monday, May 09, 2005 5:52:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Nope, didn't see Insight (kinda boring show these days, isn't it?) Torture is torture. Full stop. Watching so-called experts justifying these acts shows their true colours. If Western media actually reported the behaviour of the "Coalition" in Iraq, and much of it is shocking, I reckon public support would dive.

Monday, May 09, 2005 6:36:00 pm  
Anonymous Savvas Tzionis said...

"Mission accomplished" referred to the final 'victory' of conservatism over liberalism, not to victory over Saddam.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 1:39:00 pm  
Anonymous Poopoo said...

If Bob Fisk is continuing in the belief that 8 million Iraquis voted, I have this bridge I'd like him to inspect.

Seems he's lost the plot, and though I'm not one to take advantage.....

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 1:43:00 pm  

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