Activism Discussion: Torture Is Part Of The Territory Of Occupation

Torture Is Part Of The Territory Of Occupation
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Al953
2005-06-07 20:52:06 EST
Torture is Part of the Territory of Occupation
by Naomi Klein
www.dissidentvoice.org
June 7, 2005
First Published in The Los Angeles Times



Brace yourself for a flood of gruesome new torture snapshots. Last week, a
federal judge ordered the Defense Department to release dozens of additional
photographs and videotapes depicting prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib.

The photographs will elicit what has become a predictable response:
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will claim to be shocked and will
assure us that action is already being taken to prevent such abuses from
happening again. But imagine, for a moment, if events followed a different
script. Imagine if Rumsfeld responded like Col. Mathieu in "Battle of
Algiers," Gillo Pontecorvo's famed 1965 film about the National Liberation
Front's attempt to liberate Algeria from French colonial rule. In one of the
film's key scenes, Mathieu finds himself in a situation familiar to top
officials in the Bush administration: He is being grilled by a room filled
with journalists about allegations that French paratroopers are torturing
Algerian prisoners.

Based on real-life French commander Gen. Jacques Massu, Mathieu neither
denies the abuse nor claims that those responsible will be punished.
Instead, he flips the tables on the scandalized reporters, most of whom work
for newspapers that overwhelmingly support France's continued occupation of
Algeria. Torture "isn't the problem," he says calmly. "The problem is the
FLN wants to throw us out of Algeria and we want to stay\ufffd. It's my turn to
ask a question. Should France stay in Algeria? If your answer is still yes,
then you must accept all the consequences."

His point, as relevant in Iraq today as it was in Algeria in 1957, is that
there is no nice, humanitarian way to occupy a nation against the will of
its people. Those who support such an occupation don't have the right to
morally separate themselves from the brutality it requires.

Now, as then, there are only two ways to govern: with consent or with fear.

Most Iraqis do not consent to the open-ended military occupation they have
been living under for more than two years. On Jan. 30, a clear majority
voted for political parties promising to demand a timetable for U.S.
withdrawal. Washington may have succeeded in persuading Iraq's political
class to abandon that demand, but the fact remains that U.S. troops are on
Iraqi soil in open defiance of the express wishes of the population.

Lacking consent, the current U.S.-Iraqi regime relies heavily on fear,
including the most terrifying tactics of them all: disappearances,
indefinite detention without charge and torture. And despite official
reassurances, it's only getting worse. A year ago, President Bush pledged to
erase the stain of Abu Ghraib by razing the prison to the ground. There has
been a change of plans. Abu Ghraib and two other U.S.-run prisons in Iraq
are being expanded, and a new 2,000-person detention facility is being
built, with a price tag of $50 million. In the last seven months alone, the
prison population has doubled to a staggering 11,350.

The U.S. military may indeed be cracking down on prisoner abuse, but torture
in Iraq is not in decline -- it has simply been outsourced. In January,
Human Rights Watch found that torture within Iraqi-run (and U.S.-supervised)
jails and detention facilities was "systematic," including the use of
electroshock.

An internal report from the 1st Cavalry Division, obtained by the Washington
Post, states that "electrical shock and choking" are "consistently used to
achieve confessions" by Iraqi police and soldiers. So open is the use of
torture that it has given rise to a hit television show: Every night on the
TV station Al Iraqiya -- run by a U.S. contractor -- prisoners with swollen
faces and black eyes "confess" to their crimes.

Rumsfeld claims that the wave of recent suicide bombings in Iraq is "a sign
of desperation." In fact, it is the proliferation of torture under
Rumsfeld's watch that is the true sign of panic.

In Algeria, the French used torture not because they were sadistic but
because they were fighting a battle they could not win against the forces of
decolonization and Third World nationalism. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein's use of
torture surged immediately after the Shiite uprising in 1991: The weaker his
hold on power, the more he terrorized his people. Unwanted regimes, whether
domestic dictatorships or foreign occupations, rely on torture precisely
because they are unwanted.

When the next batch of photographs from Abu Ghraib appear, many Americans
will be morally outraged, and rightly so. But perhaps some brave official
will take a lesson from Col. Mathieu and dare to turn the tables: Should the
United States stay in Iraq? If your answer is still yes, then you must
accept all the consequences.

Naomi Klein is a leading anti-sweatshop activist, and author of Fences and
Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate?
(Picador, 2002) and No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies (Picador,
2000). Visit the No Logo website: www.nologo.org. This article first
appeared in The Los Angeles Times.



RH
2005-06-12 15:06:11 EST
Torture has become the ugly American way, the way of those idiots in
power now who think that they are right and all who oppose them are
wrong - no matter what.

It is a blatent form of torture to lock up thousands with no charges -
to abruptly dissappear them - torture for them, their loved ones, and
everyone else with at least half a heart. The USA has tortured the
entire world with the violence and needless bloodshed that Bush brought
to Iraq.

All kind and conscious people on the planet have been tortured, by the
thousands of people on both sides who have been killed or crippled for
life, with American tax dollars, in the insanely wicked invasion and
occupation of Iraq.

Some of our family pictures are here for free viewing:
http://www.robert-fisk.com/iraqwarvictims_mar2003.htm
I hope that all the weasels behind our self-proclaimed 'war president'
are proud of them.

RH

P.S. Naomi Klein is great. She would make a terrific President.


Tom Quarlous
2005-06-12 16:48:12 EST
On 12 Jun 2005 12:06:11 -0700, "RH" <halcon7roho@yahoo.com> wrote:

>Torture has become the ugly American way, the way of those idiots in
>power now who think that they are right and all who oppose them are
>wrong - no matter what.
>
>It is a blatent form of torture to lock up thousands with no charges -
>to abruptly dissappear them - torture for them, their loved ones, and
>everyone else with at least half a heart. The USA has tortured the
>entire world with the violence and needless bloodshed that Bush brought
>to Iraq.
>
>All kind and conscious people on the planet have been tortured, by the
>thousands of people on both sides who have been killed or crippled for
>life, with American tax dollars, in the insanely wicked invasion and
>occupation of Iraq.
>
>Some of our family pictures are here for free viewing:
>http://www.robert-fisk.com/iraqwarvictims_mar2003.htm
>I hope that all the weasels behind our self-proclaimed 'war president'
>are proud of them.
>
>RH
>
>P.S. Naomi Klein is great. She would make a terrific President.

Naomi is Canadian.

Stan De SD
2005-06-12 18:08:35 EST

"RH" <halcon7roho@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1118603171.433553.114570@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> Torture has become the ugly American way, the way of those idiots in
> power now who think that they are right and all who oppose them are
> wrong - no matter what.
>
> It is a blatent form of torture to lock up thousands with no charges -
> to abruptly dissappear them - torture for them, their loved ones, and
> everyone else with at least half a heart. The USA has tortured the
> entire world with the violence and needless bloodshed that Bush brought
> to Iraq.
>
> All kind and conscious people on the planet have been tortured, by the
> thousands of people on both sides who have been killed or crippled for
> life, with American tax dollars, in the insanely wicked invasion and
> occupation of Iraq.
>
> Some of our family pictures are here for free viewing:
> http://www.robert-fisk.com/iraqwarvictims_mar2003.htm
> I hope that all the weasels behind our self-proclaimed 'war president'
> are proud of them.

And you know for a fact that those people were injurd by Americans, as
opposed to the so-called "insurgents" who are just as happy to kill their
own people with car bombs and grenade attacks even when there are no
Americans to be found?



Al953
2005-06-13 23:15:52 EST

"Stan de SD" <standesd@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:Dn2re.3227$hK3.97@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net...
>
> "RH" <halcon7roho@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:1118603171.433553.114570@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
>> Torture has become the ugly American way, the way of those idiots in
>> power now who think that they are right and all who oppose them are
>> wrong - no matter what.
>>
>> It is a blatent form of torture to lock up thousands with no charges -
>> to abruptly dissappear them - torture for them, their loved ones, and
>> everyone else with at least half a heart. The USA has tortured the
>> entire world with the violence and needless bloodshed that Bush brought
>> to Iraq.
>>
>> All kind and conscious people on the planet have been tortured, by the
>> thousands of people on both sides who have been killed or crippled for
>> life, with American tax dollars, in the insanely wicked invasion and
>> occupation of Iraq.
>>
>> Some of our family pictures are here for free viewing:
>> http://www.robert-fisk.com/iraqwarvictims_mar2003.htm
>> I hope that all the weasels behind our self-proclaimed 'war president'
>> are proud of them.
>
> And you know for a fact that those people were injurd by Americans, as
> opposed to the so-called "insurgents" who are just as happy to kill their
> own people with car bombs and grenade attacks even when there are no
> Americans to be found?
>

>None of this would have happened if Chimp-in-Chief has not illegally
>invaded Iraq in the first place. All blood shed as a result is on America's
>hands!



Tempest
2005-06-13 23:39:31 EST


al953 wrote:
> "Stan de SD" <standesd@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:Dn2re.3227$hK3.97@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net...
>
>>"RH" <halcon7roho@yahoo.com> wrote in message
>>news:1118603171.433553.114570@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
>>
>>>Torture has become the ugly American way, the way of those idiots in
>>>power now who think that they are right and all who oppose them are
>>>wrong - no matter what.
>>>
>>>It is a blatent form of torture to lock up thousands with no charges -
>>>to abruptly dissappear them - torture for them, their loved ones, and
>>>everyone else with at least half a heart. The USA has tortured the
>>>entire world with the violence and needless bloodshed that Bush brought
>>>to Iraq.
>>>
>>>All kind and conscious people on the planet have been tortured, by the
>>>thousands of people on both sides who have been killed or crippled for
>>>life, with American tax dollars, in the insanely wicked invasion and
>>>occupation of Iraq.
>>>
>>>Some of our family pictures are here for free viewing:
>>>http://www.robert-fisk.com/iraqwarvictims_mar2003.htm
>>>I hope that all the weasels behind our self-proclaimed 'war president'
>>>are proud of them.
>>
>>And you know for a fact that those people were injurd by Americans, as
>>opposed to the so-called "insurgents" who are just as happy to kill their
>>own people with car bombs and grenade attacks even when there are no
>>Americans to be found?



>None of this would have happened if Chimp-in-Chief has not illegally
>invaded Iraq in the first place. All blood shed as a result is on America's
>hands!

We're all wearing the blue dress now.


--
"Ignorance is an evil weed, which dictators may cultivate among their
dupes, but which no democracy can afford among its citizens."
- William H. Beveridge, 1944


Al953
2005-06-14 00:23:26 EST

"Tempest" <tempest@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:42AE523C.7040603@hotmail.com...
>
>
> al953 wrote:
>> "Stan de SD" <standesd@earthlink.net> wrote in message
>> news:Dn2re.3227$hK3.97@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net...
>>
>>>"RH" <halcon7roho@yahoo.com> wrote in message
>>>news:1118603171.433553.114570@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
>>>
>>>>Torture has become the ugly American way, the way of those idiots in
>>>>power now who think that they are right and all who oppose them are
>>>>wrong - no matter what.
>>>>
>>>>It is a blatent form of torture to lock up thousands with no charges -
>>>>to abruptly dissappear them - torture for them, their loved ones, and
>>>>everyone else with at least half a heart. The USA has tortured the
>>>>entire world with the violence and needless bloodshed that Bush brought
>>>>to Iraq.
>>>>
>>>>All kind and conscious people on the planet have been tortured, by the
>>>>thousands of people on both sides who have been killed or crippled for
>>>>life, with American tax dollars, in the insanely wicked invasion and
>>>>occupation of Iraq.
>>>>
>>>>Some of our family pictures are here for free viewing:
>>>>http://www.robert-fisk.com/iraqwarvictims_mar2003.htm
>>>>I hope that all the weasels behind our self-proclaimed 'war president'
>>>>are proud of them.
>>>
>>>And you know for a fact that those people were injurd by Americans, as
>>>opposed to the so-called "insurgents" who are just as happy to kill their
>>>own people with car bombs and grenade attacks even when there are no
>>>Americans to be found?
>
>
>
>>None of this would have happened if Chimp-in-Chief has not illegally
>>invaded Iraq in the first place. All blood shed as a result is on
>>America's hands!
>
> We're all wearing the blue dress now.
>
>

You hit the nail on the head, bro!


> --
> "Ignorance is an evil weed, which dictators may cultivate among their
> dupes, but which no democracy can afford among its citizens."
> - William H. Beveridge, 1944
>


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