Friday, December 10, 2004

We have met the enemy...

Historians Against the War have put together a collection of articles about US use of torture. In addition to our recent disregard for human rights, the articles focus on Vietnam, Nicaragua, and US prisons. John Cox's article, "The Abu Ghraib Scandal and the U.S. Occupation of Iraq" contains a catalog of atrocities including:

The British Guardian newspaper reported , "an Iraqi woman in her 70s had been harnessed and ridden like a donkey at Abu Ghraib and another coalition detention center after being arrested last July."(6)

. . .

An Iraqi television reporter saw the children's wing of the prison when he was arrested and held for 74 days while making a documentary. The reporter, Suhaib Badr-Addin al-Baz, said that he saw "boys, under the age of puberty" being held. "There were certainly hundreds of children in this camp." He recalled the beating by Americans of a 12-year-old girl, and added that he "heard her cries and whimpering daily." This "caused other prisoners to cry as they listened to her." Al-Baz also mentioned the case of an "ill 15-year-old boy who was soaked repeatedly with hoses until he collapsed. Guards then brought in the child's father with a hood over his head. The boy collapsed again."(8)

. . .

An internal Army investigation released its findings on August 25, 2004, listing several additional examples of the torture and sexual abuse of women and children. The Army report, called the Fay Report . . . also described the use of "unmuzzled dogs in a sadistic game to frighten detained Iraqi teenagers to force the youths to urinate or defecate on themselves."(12)
"We must not worry about committing an offence against the rights of nations nor about violating the laws of humanity. Such feelings today are of secondary importance." Matthias Erzberger, German statesman, to the Minister of War, General von Falkenhayn, September 17, 1914

"My dream is that as the years go by and the world knows more and more of America, it ... will turn to America for those moral inspirations that lie at the basis of all freedom ... that America will come into the full light of the day when all shall know that she puts human rights above all other rights, and that her flag is the flag not only of America but of humanity." Woodrow Wilson, Address at Independence Hall (July 4, 1914)

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