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Re: <nettime> Prisoner Abuse:
David Garcia on Tue, 18 May 2004 00:57:11 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Prisoner Abuse:


The only thing that is shocking (though not surprising) about the Iraqi 
prisoner abuse furore is the degree of astonishment, media coverage and
conscience stricken hand-ringing it has generated.
The anger of the Bush administration towards those directly involved is
probably more real than we imagine. But perhaps not so much at the
individual crimes as the fact that these images of contempt and degradation
of Arab men by American men and women might be seen as having "let the cat
out of the bag".
Though portrayed as an aberration, this treatment is (on the contrary) seen
as the norm by Muslims world-wide who, at home or in diaspora, frequently
feel either exploited (treated like dogs) or that their culture and
civilization is denigrated and treated with contempt.

These images give a surprisingly simple answer to the most frequently asked
question since 9/11: why do they hate us? These images reinforce a commonly
held belief on the "Arab street" that  what ever we say; we simply think we
are better. And do everything we can geo-politically to maintain our
dominance. The images of Arabs on leashes, treated like dogs or attacked
using military dogs could not have been more eloquent.

There is indeed an injustice in making a few examples at the bottom of the
military pecking order carry the can for the inevitable outcome of the whole
Iraqi misadventure. The very idea that "our boys and girls" will or should
be somehow better able to control the bloodlust that inevitably flows from
any decision to unleash the "dogs of war" in itself goes to the heart of the
problem. Why should we think we are likely to be any better?

What else might we have expected from a war which was premised from the
outset (whatever the self deluding pieties) on the atavistic requirements of
indiscriminate blood sacrifice to avenge 9/11 and the corroborating need to
re-enforce a badly shaken sense of global sovereignty.

David Garcia

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