Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Does anybody even seriously believe that anymore?

From Firedoglake via AlterNet:

WikiLeaks Cable: Iraqi Interrogators Rape Juveniles to Get Confessions

A US State Embassy cable marked “confidential” and published by WikiLeaks reveals details on the detention of juveniles held in “Site 4″ in a Iraq Interior Ministry (MOI) detention complex. The juveniles allege sexual abuse by Iraqi interrogators, specifically that rapes were being used in the prison to induce confessions. The discovery of widespread abuse and torture, according to the diplomat who wrote the cable, is the worst since the infamous Jadriyah “Bunker” facility was discovered in 2005.

On May 30, 2006, a “joint US-Iraqi inspection” of the detention facility took place. The facility, located in central Baghdad, was found to have 1,400 detainees. They were in “two separate facilities” and “held in squalid, cramped conditions not uncommon in MOI (Ministry of Interior) Commando detention facilities.” Inspectors interviewed forty-one detainees, who had “bruising and lash-marks consistent with violent physical abuse.” And, thirty-seven juveniles, who had been “illegally detained,” were found in the facility, “many alleging sexual abuse.”

More here.

Really, the Iraq war was the reason I started blogging. I needed to vent about it all, and felt like doing so in my capacity as a high school teacher would get me fired, given the way the popular consensus was that you were filthy anti-American trash if you opposed the invasion. So I started blogging. My opposition was based on the fact that it appeared to be an extraordinarily bad idea at the time--I mean, if Islamic terrorism is tied with an anti-American ideology roused by US economic exploitation of Islamic nations and our support for brutal despots in the region, then killing masses of Muslims seemed, and still seems, amazingly counterproductive. That, and the justifications offered by the Bush administration were demonstrably untrue, which you knew if you were reading anything beyond the mainstream corporate produced US press. So it was a stupid idea that had absolutely no good rationale.

Little did I know how badly the Bush administration would botch the occupation.

Despite my extreme skepticism, I didn't really doubt that there was a chance that something good might come out of the invasion. Get rid of a dictator; have free elections. Okay sure. That might be a good thing. If it happens. I just assumed that the problem was that the American establishment was totally hankering for war. I never thought in any to way factor in extreme incompetence on the part of Bush and his cadre. I figured that they knew what they were doing. I figured that they were straight-up lying about weapons of mass destruction, instead of believing in spite of the evidence, which now appears is what happened. I figured we would win and the Republicans would have a shiny new toy in the Middle East to play with.

Boy was I wrong.

We now know that the hawks were wrong about everything. Okay, they were right about how easily we would take down Saddam Hussein's army, but that's only one of many factors in winning a war. Sure, it's probably the most important factor, but it's not the only one. Creating stability, installing the institutions necessary for having a civil society, finding capable and ethical men to run those institutions, getting the people on board for it all, these are the kind of things that the US occupation not only failed to do, but simply didn't even try to do. Rank incompetence, pure and simple.

The US public eventually figured it out in the days and weeks after Katrina devastated New Orleans. But up until that point, Bush was still getting the benefit of the doubt. Now days, however, people just don't even think about Iraq. The mainstream media barely even cover it, and when they do, it's not part of an ongoing narrative that would provide some sort of understanding of what's going on over there. Out of sight, out of mind. Our biggest national fuck up, and we don't even talk about it.

And it continues to be our biggest national fuck up. These rape chambers are only part of the picture. The big picture is arguably worse. Indeed, it's safe to say at this point that the Iraqi people had it better under Saddam Hussein. I mean, it wasn't Nirvana or anything, but it was better. We blew it big time. It's just fucking horrible in Iraq, and it's all our fault. And now it's a bipartisan disaster.

Hopey-Changey ain't doing nothing to fix it. Will we ever acknowledge our shame? Probably not.