Regarding The Torture of Others
Regarding The Torture of Others by Susan Sontag
One of my heroes since adolescence once again, writing about Abu Ghraib, nails the truth dispassionately to the wall, in an essay at the New York Times
. Few others are as qualified to discuss how photos reflect what we are. Have a read. (free registration required)
...the photographs are us. That is, they are representative of the fundamental corruptions of any foreign occupation together with the Bush adminstration's distinctive policies. The Belgians in the Congo, the French in Algeria, practiced torture and sexual humiliation on despised recalcitrant natives. Add to this generic corruption the mystifying, near-total unpreparedness of the American rulers of Iraq to deal with the complex realities of the country after its ''liberation.'' And add to that the overarching, distinctive doctrines of the Bush administration, namely that the United States has embarked on an endless war and that those detained in this war are, if the president so decides, ''unlawful combatants'' -- a policy enunciated by Donald Rumsfeld for Taliban and Qaeda prisoners as early as January 2002 -- and thus, as Rumsfeld said, ''technically'' they ''do not have any rights under the Geneva Convention,'' and you have a perfect recipe for the cruelties and crimes committed against the thousands incarcerated without charges or access to lawyers in American-run prisons that have been set up since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Also, even more photos at the Washington Post
, including a fellow covered in shit, naked, being forced to walk a straight line with a hood on. America's mothers should be proud.