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The art and torture of the empire

25 23 69
24.09.2021

Who remembers Abu Ghraib? Why should we remember Abu Ghraib?

Abu Ghraib represents an era of imperial conquest that began in 2003 in Iraq and before that in 2001 in Afghanistan. With its forces now out of Afghanistan, the United States has no reason to remember Abu Ghraib. But the world at the mercy of the whims of this dysfunctional empire does.

Abu Ghraib was a prison complex that took the name of the city near Baghdad where it was built.

For years, Saddam Hussein used it to unlawfully imprison, torture, maim and murder dissidents and political opponents. Then the US took it over to do more of the same.

For people who have been raped, whose bones have been broken and whose souls have been crushed there, it made no difference whether their ordeal was ordered and approved by Saddam Hussein or George W Bush.

But at least Saddam Hussein never pretended to be the duly elected president of a democracy. With George W Bush and his ilk, however, the world had to endure endless denials, and tiresome lectures about “American values”.

In 2004, three years into the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, a number of dreadful photographs surfaced that showed members of the US military, security, and intelligence forces physically, mentally, and sexually torturing Iraqi and other inmates not just in Abu Ghraib, but also in Guantanamo Bay and other similar locations in Afghanistan.

These photos the American torturers took of themselves and their victims to send to their friends and families in order to boast of the terror they had been unleashing on Arabs and Muslims soon became iconic – emblematic of an immoral decadence that did not quite sit with the centuries-old propaganda that the US is the “shining city upon the hill”.

Americans were torturing people, maiming and murdering them, forcing them into deranged sexual acts. It was ugly. How could these people do such things?

Soon the global media began spreading these pictures to the point of numbing our........

© Al Jazeera


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