That woman's impish white face and the rattish mug of her assistant, using hooded brown bodies like giant dildos: striking, humiliating, creepy, but not abnormal in a place where "striking" means air-strikes; "humiliating" means demolishing of homes and livelihoods, not to mention rape and plunder; and "creepy" is blood, blood, blood everywhere, and not a drop to drink.
Usually, during the bleak hours in which I force myself, nightly, to face the news on websites, such as this one, I read the text and just glance at the photographs, but this gnome-like white woman and her pudgy white male counterpart molding naked brown bodies like clay into various obscene positions was grotesque enough to hypnotize. Something you don't want to see but can't help looking at. A corpse in the road or a fight in a family restaurant.
And of course, over the next few days this obscenity was spun by Mainstream Media into the old "bad apple" theme. The "truth angle" of this particular narrative, using the plot standards of freedom and democracy versus totalitarian oppression, and the 'made-for-TV' characters of an evil dictator and his terrorist minions: liberating Iraqis from their political sovereignty, oil, and earthly incarnations. Yawn.
But first the minds of the heroes and patriots who, by joining the military, unwittingly 'volunteered' to carry out this dirty-work had to be flooded with flotsam ' mad dictators and evil-doers; Weapons of Mass Destruction; undercurrents of racism, ethnocentrism, and religious zealotry ' in order for the "crusade" to begin.
And of course a fake set of "morals, ethics and standards" had to be put in place so the "few bad apples" who inevitably went too far in their eagerness to please THE MAN with gung-ho hatred of HIS enemy could be distanced from the rank and file and used, depending on the situation, as "heroes" or "fall guys."
So after a year of bombing, shooting, beating, humiliating and terrorizing 20 million Iraqis, suddenly photos of this creepy woman and her goofy cohort pop up, showing how different the BAD APPLES are from the rank-and-file killers. So it's okay to follow the incineration of 100,000 Iraqis in 1991 with UN-supported sanctions that by 1996 killed 600,000 people, most of them children, according to Madeleine "It was Worth It" Albright. The day Hans von Sponeck resigned the counting stopped, and so the only tally of those who died in the years leading up to March, 2003, is one compiled by Iraqis, and who's gonna trust THEM? It was okay to further terrorize these people with a FULL INVASION--complete with depleted uranium, cruise missiles, and cluster bombs for full Shock and Awe/Razzle-Dazzle effect--that's been going on for a year and shows no sign of ending soon (and of course the effects of the uranium 238 will be greater as years pass and yet more DU nuggets are pumped into bodies, buildings, and vehicles).
BUT, while it's okay to turn an entire country into rubble, killing many hundreds (thousands?) of civilians, in the process of taking out the evil Saddam (What ever happened to him? Must be sitting in the same Paris caf' with Bin Laden, reading Camus and writing his memoirs.), collateral damage, and all that, and the inevitable accidental shootings of civilians at "checkpoints" blah, blah, blah--it's bad, VERY BAD, to play S&M Twister with POWs, molding their masked brown bodies into scenes out of de Sade or some porn-flick interpretation of The Master's sadistically boring prose.
Study the faces of the torturers and it's evident they think they're doing a good thing. That they're providing fun photos for the troops to send home to Mom and Dad. That they're avenging the families who lost loved ones on 9/11/2001 (though the WTC incidents are unrelated in fact, they are one and the same in the MEDIAted lives of many, many Americans, as scribblings on bombs ('It's Payback time.' 'This one's for 9/11,' etc.) attest. The fact that Mr. and Mrs. War Crimes filmed their fun and games supports the supposition that these folks thought they would receive the approval of the folks back home, the troops in the field, even (if unofficially) their superiors.
Why should they NOT have thought this? After all, unlike the censored photographs of G.I. coffins, these photos only displayed one dead body. Their fun and games humiliated the POWs, but did not, as far as I know, kill them. The U.S. has been treating these brown Iraqi bodies like clay to be molded at will since 1991, to far more deadly effect. Perhaps it was the sex angle, the juxtaposition of absolute power and sex that so offended their fellow troops and superiors. After all, it's one thing to murder Iraqis by the thousands, like decent, patriotic soldiers, but to simulate homosexual sex, why, that's DISGUSTING. But then, as it is always said of rape, it's not about sex, it's about violence. Power.
For days we heard the official outcry of military personnel: 'They let down their fellow soldiers, they let down their country'; 'They abused their position'; 'We would want American POWs to be treated with respect, so likewise we must respect enemy POWs,' etc., etc. Right on up to Bush's 'outrage and abhorrence' that the process of death and destruction his father unleashed in 1991, in which Iraqi bodies were abused and destroyed in every conceivable way, should culminate in the acting out of concupiscent fantasies by HIS G.I.s, sexing up HIS holy war. As if he'd caught Rumsfeld and Powell getting all gay and perverty with each other during HIS inaugural ball.
If only the photographs weren't so damn symbolic: smiling white faces ordering faceless brown bodies into 'unnatural' sexual positions; or if only the abuse hadn't been sexual at all, Mr. and Mrs. War Criminal might not have earned the 'Bad Apple' epithet.
After all, the majority of 'our boys and girls' are good soldiers. They adhere to the rules of war and merely bomb, shoot, beat, (and if previous wars are any indication, we must assume rape) Iraqis and destroy their property, homes and livelihoods. For heavens sake, we support our troops precisely because they're clean, honest, efficient killers. They don't get all gross and perverty and film the enemy having simulated homosexual sex!
It would be a good war, really it would. If not for a few Bad Apples.