When news first began to emerge that Arab prisoners had been abused in a gruesome manner by their American guards at Iraq’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison, the initial reaction of the Bush administration followed three stages: first, present the events as the kind of freak occurrence that can take place in any walk of life, and should not therefore occasion surprise; second, reaffirm endless tributes to the valour and nobility of the vast majority of America’s soldiers in Iraq; third, defensively acknowledge the existence of a few shockingly bad apples in an otherwise wholesome apple cart.
Do the soldiers-torturers act with such abject cruelty out of racism? Racism is not enough to explain their behaviour, their abuse, the joy on their faces while they are attacking the prisoners in their flesh and their dignity.
Are they aware that the only justification left to their leaders was to save the poor Iraqi people from a regime that behaved incessantly like they do in the pictures that make me want to throw up? Have they studied Saddams methods of abuse and felt their efficiency, so they re-enacted them?