Thursday, May 26, 2005

Abu Ghraib as Normalcy

Tattoo Nation

By Chris Floyd

05/25/05
- - Seymour Hersh, chronicler of American madness from the My Lai Massacre to Abu Ghraib, tells a chilling story of the lingering aftermath of atrocity. 

As the revelations of brutal torture by the victors were first spilling from conquered Iraq, Hersh was contacted by a family member of a young American woman who had served in a unit policing Abu Ghraib, the Guardian reports. The young soldier had "come back a different person," the relative said: distraught and angry, turning her back on her family. 

The relative retrieved a computer she'd lent the soldier to use in Iraq ­ and found there a file crammed with torture porn: photo after photo of a naked Iraqi prisoner writhing before the onslaught of fierce police dogs. One of the pictures was later published worldwide and became an emblem of the dehumanizing brutality of the American occupation.

The young soldier thought she'd been sent to fight for democracy and freedom, the relative told Hersh, but it was a lie. Instead she found herself in Hell, committing crimes, violating her own nature, her sense of duty perverted by leaders who twisted it into a weapon to serve aggressive war. Since her return, said the relative, the young soldier keeps getting black tattoos, more and more of them, slowly covering her entire body ­ trying literally to change her skin.

The fate of this soul-broken, tormented daughter of America embodies the nation itself under the malevolent reign of George W. Bush. The whole country is changing its skin, trying to cloak its shame and complicity by a willful disfigurement. Who could look on the hideous form of Bush's America; ­ the snarling faces belching rancor on Fox News; the rabid partisans oozing bile through the halls of Congress; the money-glutting religious extremists relentlessly pushing ignorance, intolerance and theocratic dominion; the corporate beasts devouring the landscape, destroying communities, writing their own laws, gorging on unprecedented profits wrung from global sweatshops, corruption and war; the somnolent, silent, acquiescent public, blankly countenancing torture, deceit, elitist rule, military aggression and the open destruction of their Constitutional order ­ and not see in all this a body politic in profound psychological crisis: traumatized, guilt-ridden, turning itself inside out in a frantic attempt to escape the truth?

And this desperation only grows as the truth piles up, fragment by fragment, dug out from Bush's slagheap of lies. In the past month, there have been a barrage of "smoking guns" outlining the Regime's criminality in such stark and blatant terms that even the American corporate media ­ those cringing enablers of atrocity ­ have been forced to take some notice. 
READ ON

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