Via The Huffington Post, “West turns blind eye as police put Saddam’s torturers back to work – World – Times Online”
“In their haste to put police on the streets to counter the brutal insurgency, Iraqi and US authorities have enlisted men trained under Saddam Hussein’s regime and versed in torture and abuse, the officials told The Times.”
Here’s a perfect example of how complexity will get you every time. I know that I certainly wondered about the way that existing pre-invasion police and other infrastructure was not utilized more in Iraq. So, here is direct evidence that my own notion, to use the existing infrastructure instead of dismissing them and starting over, would have been a bad idea.
So, I feel for the people caught in this quagmire. It’s a thicket of delayed consequences that just become impenetrable barriers to peace. Without the already trained people, there are not enough. With the already trained people, there’s torture and abuse.
Now, of course, one also has to question whether, at this point, the “problem” is unintended. At some level, if the US is relying on foreign nationals in other arenas to carry on torture and detention, then the natural extension of that policy is to use, and then scapegoat, non-US people in Iraq itself for the same purpose – plausible deniability on the existence and control of torture and abuse.
“He denied any allegation of torture, but admitted: ‘This is a dirty war. We are the only ones with the nerves to fight it.'”
We can’t handle the truth, perhaps. Are we so caught in the cycle of invasion and occupation, which seems to be a significant part of the military history of the US, that we have no choice but to lie to ourselves?
There was an radio interview yesterday. I forget what station, either KAOS or Free Radio Olympia, in which the interviewee talked about the recognizable pattern where atrocities are denied. It is difficult for a population to accept that atrocities are being committed by their military proxy. Populations deny out of ignorance, need for an illusion, or inability to hold the horror in their minds, and probably other reasons as well.
There’s something like the necessary illusion of an idyllic family or small farm which masks the extreme, brutal world of food production here. I recognize in my own mind that I have an image of the small farm when I think of food production that pushes from my thoughts the truths of food production. This further removes from my mind the social implications of massive industrial food production, as outlined to me in Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation.
There is a necessary illusion of militarization as honorable, and at the service of the target that allows for the use of the military as enforcers of capitalist opportunity and mercenary protectors.