War Torn, War Porn | News | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

War Torn, War Porn 

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Approximately half of all Americans never wanted this war. Neocons and other war boosters can’t surrender their precious federal tax cuts to fund it. The suffering of the Iraqi people has no end in sight. Our president strains credulity every time he connects Iraq to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. It’s time we end this now pointless war.



Doubtless we thought we had the heart and fortitude to bring freedom and democracy to Iraq. How badly we were mistaken. Never mind the war protesters on the left. Those folks had their minds made up long before March 2003. Give them credit for sticking to their position. The fault rests squarely on the shoulders of those who can’t support the war enough to criticize it. These people would rather spend time defending our nation, our president, and our “war on terror” than help a people whose country we invaded. We dismantled their government, and then reorganized their country with a level of incompetence that can only be called criminal.



Let’s begin with the notion of responsibility, moving on to such outworn qualities as decency and accountability.



Forget, for a moment, our death toll of 1,900 Americans and counting. This pales beside the 25,000 to 100,000 and counting Iraqi lives lost. We killed thousands of Iraqis today so that millions of Iraqis tomorrow could live in freedom. Correct? Now, as upward of hundreds of Iraqis are killed on a weekly basis, we blame the mounting toll on “the terrorists.” In other words, don’t blame the beekeeper for taking the lid off the hive. Blame, instead, the bees. Middle East intelligence experts warned invading Iraq would disrupt the region’s balance of power in ways unforeseen.



After provoking insurgents to “Bring ’em on!” our president plays the blame game. As the party responsible for this mess, we could reinstate the military draft, raise taxes and give Iraq the level of protection and security its people deserve.



As for decency, we’ve learned nothing. After humiliating, torturing and even sodomizing prisoners at Abu Ghraib, only low-level officers such as Army Reserve Pfc. Lynndie England have been penalized. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who chastised Al-Jazeera for violating the Geneva Convention when it broadcast images of American POWs, can’t state definitively whether the Geneva Convention applies to our actions as well. Meanwhile, our nation’s top law enforcement official derides the Geneva Convention as “quaint.”



Now, thanks to the European press and an article in California’s alternative weekly East Bay Express, we learn some American soldiers have traded grisly photographs of dead Iraqis for amateur porn on the Website NowThatsF'kedUp.com. Six U.S. soldiers, gloating over a burnt Iraqi, ham it up for the camera. A U.S. medical worker holds up the stump of an Iraqi woman’s leg, her vagina partially visible, with a caption reading, “Nice puss'bad foot.” Marvel at the photo of an Iraqi man, his brains spilled onto the ground, with a caption reading, “What every Iraqi should look like.” One U.S. soldier quoted in the Express article defended the photos, stating that Islamic fundamentalists “need to be taught a lesson.” Or, as President Bush reminds us, “In the Middle East and throughout the world, freedom is on the march.”



Thankfully, some U.S. soldiers have more interest in exposing abuses than finding their way into porn sites. Last week Army Capt. Ian Fishbank revealed to Human Rights Watch that Iraqi detainees are still beaten during interrogation, or even for entertainment. As reported in The New York Times, one sergeant told Human Rights Watch how it “was real funny” to beat detainees with chemical light sticks, then watch them “glow in the dark.”



Freedom’s on the march, and it’s marching straight off a cliff.

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