Shahzad Bhatti

July 11, 2005

Paymasters Of Carnage

Filed under: Politics — admin @ 5:26 pm

Paymasters Of Carnage
In Istanbul, Jamail bore his independent reporter’s witness to the thousands of Iraqis tortured in Abu Ghraib and other US-run prisons. His account of what had happened to a civil servant in Baghdad was typical. This man, Ali Abbas, had gone to a US base to inquire about his missing neighbours. On his fourth visit, he was arrested without charge, stripped naked, hooded and forced to simulate sex with other prisoners. This was standard procedure. He was beaten on his genitals, electrocuted in the anus, denied water and forced to watch as his food was thrown away. A loaded gun was held to his head to prevent him from screaming in pain as his wrists were bound so tightly that the blood drained from his hands. He was doused in cold water while a fan was held to his body.

“They put on a loudspeaker,” he told Jamail, “put the speakers on my ears and said, ‘Shut up, fuck, fuck, fuck!'” He was refused sleep. Excrement was wiped on him and dogs were used on him. “Sometimes at night when he would read his Koran,” said Jamail, “[he] had to hold it in the hallway for light. ‘Soldiers would walk by and kick the Holy Koran, and sometimes they would try to piss on it or wipe shit on it,’ [Abbas] said.” A female soldier told him, “Our aim is to put you in hell . . . These are the orders we have from our superiors, to turn your lives into hell.”

Jamail described how Fallujah’s hospitals have been subjected to an American tactic of collective punishment, with US marines assaulting staff and stopping the wounded entering, and American snipers firing at the doors and windows, and medicines and emergency blood prevented from reaching the hospitals. Children were shot dead in front of their families, in cold blood.

The two men ultimately responsible for this, George W Bush and Tony Blair, attended the G8 meeting at Gleneagles. Unlike for the Iraq tribunal, there was saturation coverage, yet no one in the “mainstream” – from the embedded media to the Make Poverty History organisers and the accredited, acceptable celebrities – made the obvious connection with Bush’s and Blair’s enduring crime in Iraq. No one stood and said that Blair’s smoke-and-mirrors “debt cancellation” at best amounted to less than the money the government spent in a week on brutalising Iraq, where British and American violence was the cause of the doubling of child poverty and malnutrition since Saddam Hussein was overthrown

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