[News] Joystick Criminality -The Innocence of American Imperialism

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jan 31 15:30:06 EST 2014


Weekend Edition Jan 31-Feb 02, 2014
*http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/01/31/the-innocence-of-american-imperialism/*



*Joystick Criminality*


  The Innocence of American Imperialism

by AHMAD BARQAWI

Another day, another American atrocity in Iraq revealed.

By now, it's become a very familiar (albeit unfortunate) tale; gory 
pictures of American marines' criminal shenanigans in third-world 
countries surface, with little to zero indignation from the mainstream 
media or the public, the Pentagon announces a full investigation and/or 
a "thorough" inquiry into the matter (which, for the uninitiated, are 
nothing more than shoddy euphemisms for letting the perpetrators slide 
through unpunished and their crimes un-probed), the story dies down 
quickly and the U.S. carries on preaching democracy and human rights the 
world over at the point of a gun... or a drone missile for that matter. 
Rinse, repeat.

After that horrendous milestone of a moral depravity that was Abu 
Ghraib, we thought we'd seen all that there was to see from America's 
inglorious, democracy-spreading escapades in the region, but as it 
turned out; the Abu Ghraib torture fiasco was just the tip of the 
atrocities iceberg; a torrent of graphic images and videos has been 
leaking ever since, practically giving us ringside seats to America's 
drive for total hegemony and laying bare the U.S. military for the 
morally barren apparatus of occupation, death and torture that it really 
is; from U.S. marines taking trophy pictures of their "kills" of 
indigenous people to sexual humiliation and physical abuses of captives 
and prisoners of war, we've even seen American soldiers, proudly wearing 
their psychopathologies on their military sleeves, urinating on the dead 
corpses of their slain victims. Now we have the burning of Iraqi corpses 
in the backyards of their own homes till they were no more than crumbled 
piles of ashes and charred skeletons, because apparently slaughtering 
them was not enough. Shock and awe indeed.

Courtesy of leaked pictures obtained and published by celebrity gossip 
and entertainment news website TMZ (evidently the burning of Iraqis is 
just that- entertainment, and is relegated to 
the-latest-Kardashian-spectacle type of tabloid news, only in the Land 
of the Stars and Stripes); again we are "treated" to a sneak peek into 
the horrible psyche of the American military during its literal 
obliteration of the city of Fallujah in 2004.

The pictures show U.S. marines emptying gallons of gasoline or benzene 
onto Iraqi corpses and setting them ablaze, giving a new meaning to the 
"liberation of Iraq", another picture shows an American soldier kneeling 
down on the ground and pointing his machine gun to the skull of an Iraqi 
insurgent with a "triumphant" smirk on his face in what can only be seen 
as an apt metaphor for Bush's "Mission Accomplished" banner.

The stomach-turning photographs were reportedly taken in 2004 in 
Fallujah, where, it seems that, the fate of those Iraqis who managed to 
escape the incineration of their city with scores of depleted uranium 
and cluster bombs was good ol' fashioned gasoline bonfires.

Those pictures are merely the latest in a litany of atrocious leaks, 
from Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo and Afghanistan, which only goes to 
invalidate that whole "few-rotten-apples" theory that the Pentagon 
usually invokes in these cases, making it virtually impossible for us to 
keep track of just how many individual "rogue soldiers" and "lone 
crackpots" there are in the U.S. Army.

Predictably; the pictures have barely been a blip on the radar of the 
mainstream media, the blundering of Iraq is an old story now, everyone 
moved on and its lessons went unheeded; all swept under the pristine rug 
of "America's Exceptionalism", where the value of a human life remains 
terribly skewed and outweighed by the barrel of oil, imagine the 
(capitalist) outrage if those were Iraqi oil fields burning and not 
actual human beings with flesh and bone... and (presumably) human rights.

Even the Arab World seems marooned in its own moral bankruptcy nowadays. 
When the burning of Qurans generates more outrage and anger than images 
of burning Iraqis, you know we're in trouble. Perhaps we've come to grow 
thicker skin; the avalanche of images of beheadings, feasting on human 
organs and pallid children starving to death that we're being bombarded 
with from Syria (America's new "democratization" sandbox) tends to do 
that, but I can't help but wonder; will we awake from our deep moral 
slumber if some American lunatic preacher began another round of Quran 
burning or if (god forbid!), some hack director made another lousy 
anti-Islam internet movie?

Speaking of "The Innocence of Islam", I think it's high time a movie was 
made about the innocence of America's Imperialism; chronicling one 
brutal occupation after another, a desolate collage of an imperial power 
hard at work, reigning terror and destruction all over Afghanistan, 
Iraq, Yemen, Libya and beyond, all of which offer huge (and bleak) 
reservoirs of source material. I imagine it would go something like this:

Fade into the opening scene; we are shown graphic images of scattered 
limbs on street corners, women in black veils shrieking their voices 
hoarse and barefoot children in ragged pajamas; faces and hair covered 
in dirt and clouds of uranium dust as they scour the rubble of what once 
was their home for anything that might bring a bit of warmth to their 
trembling bodies or respite to their man-made ordeal, the title card 
reads: Iraq 2003.

We cut to another scene; a couple of jubilant U.S. military officers 
posing next to a sweaty pile of naked prisoners, smiling contently as 
they marvel at their own "human-architectural" handiwork; a pyramid of 
dark skinned naked Iraqis -some of whom are old enough to be the 
soldiers' parents-, keeping up with the all-American tradition of 
constructing beer-can pyramids and shrines of empty rum bottles; only 
this time it's a shrine of shame and eroding human dignity, other 
prisoners are lined up against the wall, again butt-naked, faces covered 
in black hoods and forced to masturbate in unison for the sick, twisted 
viewing pleasure of their "civilized" western captors when they're not 
busy urinating on other wounded detainees and electrocuting their 
private parts, of course Iraqi women prisoners are "fair game" for 
American army officers for whom rape and sodomization is the "standard 
operating procedure", and underage Iraqi detainees receive "hands-on" 
crash courses in America's sexually-driven "harsh interrogation 
techniques". The title card reads: America's Abu Ghraib torture prison 
and detention facility.

The rotten film rolls on to yet another scene; an Iraqi woman is giving 
birth in a hospital room, the baby is deformed; malformed facial 
features, especially his mouth and nose; yet another "depleted uranium 
child", Iraqi mothers are destined to reap the bitter fruits of 
America's brand of democracy and freedom for generations to come; in 
stillbirths, abnormal tumors, birth defects, newborn babies with extra 
limbs, enlarged heads or babies with one eye at the center of the face, 
like lifelong hideous reminders that the American military was here, 
that the American empire stampeded its way through here. The title card 
reads: Fallujah, Iraq.

Cut to the next scene; the setting this time is a wedding ceremony 
somewhere in Afghanistan which wouldn't be complete without the 
"blessings" of the American military in the form of fighter jets, 
dropping their loads of bombs on the wedding party. In another scene; an 
American helicopter pilot is singing "Bye Bye Ms. American Pie" before 
blasting an Afghan farmer with a hellfire missile to which his comrade 
says "Nice!!!". Joystick criminality at its most grotesque. The title 
card reads: America's campaign of democracy and human rights in Afghanistan.

Moving on to the next ghastly scene; we're still in Afghanistan, we are 
shown four U.S. marines --fully outfitted in their military uniforms 
with their big guns, oversized boots and an equally oversized zeal for 
humiliating locals- standing over bloodstained corpses of dead Afghans, 
and assuming the position one would normally take at public urinals, in 
an astonishing display of utter contempt for human life; we see our 
"heroes" engage in an old-school pissing contest against the motionless 
corpses lying on the ground beneath their feet, we hear one of the 
soldiers smugly exclaim "Oh Yeah!", followed by a chuckle, laughter then 
ensues throughout the group as their own collective urine starts pooling 
underneath the dead Afghans, someone off-camera jokes: "Have a good day 
buddy!", someone else mumbles something about "golden showers", now the 
dead bodies are left covered in blood, dust and soaked in their killers' 
piss. A good day indeed for democracy and common human decency.

The next scene takes us to a small village in Kandahar; a local family 
is awoken in the dead of the night to the charging footsteps of an 
American soldier, with his combat gear on, juggernauting his way through 
the Afghan family's house and into the bedroom where the children are 
sleeping; and with more ease than a hot knife cutting through melting 
butter; the soldier machine-guns the sleeping kids like any red-blooded 
American on the hunt for third world "terrorists" is expected to do, 
right before butchering the rest of the family in the same ungodly 
manner, we see him loiter around the living room for a little bit; he 
then wraps up the bloody corpses of his own victims in blankets and sets 
them ablaze, a bonfire of yet another victory for America's "War on 
Terror"; the world rests easy that the brave U.S. military has once 
again managed to rid us of yet another dangerous group of sleeping women 
and children in Afghanistan. The title card reads: the Kandahar Massacre.

Next we see a young man lying on the floor in a fetal position, shackled 
wrists and ankles with a connecting chain between them, trembling from 
the freezing cold of a darkened cell, his brain feels like mush and the 
blood in his veins run like burning acid from the last electroshocks 
session, there is almost not a single muscle in his entire body that 
hasn't taken a beating, he is covered from head to toe in dark blue and 
red bruises and whipping marks; the pains of being repeatedly kicked and 
sodomized with broomsticks transcend physical injury into the realms of 
permanent psychological damage, for a brief moment we get a glimpse of 
how the systematic breaking of a human soul is done; living on a fixed 
daily diet of gentile torture, religious humiliation, sleep deprivation, 
sensory torment and temperature manipulation in exchange for forced 
"convenient" confessions, there is little to reflect on in this scene; 
only ear-splitting screams of bearded inmates in orange jumpsuits being 
tortured and the occasional water-boarding session, the title card 
reads: Guantanamo.

The movie would end with Obama's "I-believe-that-America-is-exceptional" 
address to the United Nations Assembly last year.

Yes, America has grown to be quite exceptional in its brutality, 
ruthless invasions and savagery, America has an exceptional knack for 
torture and plundering third world countries into endless wars, and 
America has an "exceptional" track record that stretches as far as the 
eye can see in its contempt for humanity and anything even resembling 
human rights.

/*Ahmad Barqawi* is a freelance columnist and writer./

-- 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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