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From the visceral shock of their first impact, to the deep analysis of what the Abu Ghraib prison images say, openDemocracy writers examine the intersection between power, pain, pornography, race and the recording impulse.
The neo-conservative dogma that has ruined Iraq is now being applied to the Lebanon war. The result could be a regional conflagration with untold consequences, writes Sidney Blumenthal.
Arab citizens see Abu Ghraib through the prism of a century of dehumanisation: by western powers, Israel and their own rulers. Only the application of universal principles of law, justice and accountability can ensure a better future, says Rami Khouri.
Abu Ghraib is the visual counterpart of military shock and awe and a mirror of what the United States in Iraq has become, says Allen Feldman.
The intimate embrace between photography, racism and violence revealed in the Abu Ghraib pictures reminds this New York writer of Americas shadow history, from lynching postcards to pornography. Can America find the courage to face its dark, secretive obsession with the dehumanising gaze?
The dark heart of Abu Ghraib reveals the contradiction between America’s fine words and degrading deeds in Iraq, says AA Yone.
Do the terrible images from Abu Ghraib represent break or continuity in American tradition? Hazel Carby excavates the history of lynching in the United States and finds disturbing parallels between Mississippi's past and Iraq's present
The images of American soldiers abusing prisoners have made Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad notorious around the world. But the latest violations would not have occurred if those responsible had known the building's history. John Packer, who inspected Abu Ghraib for the United Nations in 1992, reflects on lessons unlearned.
A true response to the cruelty and humiliation of Abu Ghraib requires not dismissal or evasion but recognition of its disturbing human reality.
The scandal of Abu Ghraib made Maï Ghoussoub choke, Marcus Raskin protest, and Charles Pena demand America withdraw from Iraq without delay. Misjudgment, wrong diagnosis, worse solution, says Douglas Murray.
By launching a war on terror after 11 September 2001, America made a tragic mistake, says George Soros. The country must now learn a different lesson: fighting terror by creating more innocent victims perpetuates the cycle of violence, creates a permanent state of war, and corrodes the open society that wages it.
Torture thrives when those who make the policy are convinced that they possess a moral superiority that should not be constrained by regulation. From Argentina to Iran and Central America, Isabel Hilton excavates the logic as well as the gruesome precedents of Americas moral collapse at Abu Ghraib.
A Pakistani-American writer registers the shock of the Abu Ghraib torture photos as a wound to her identity as a United States citizen of immigrant origin.
The images of torture and humiliation inflicted by Americans on Arabs in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib leave Mai Ghoussoub in despair.