Monday, January 03, 2005

 

Torture Nothing New To USA

The Iraqi torture/prison scandal has brought to the forefront of public consciousness a policy that has been used by our intelligence and military forces for years. In this day of age with digital photography readily available to almost anyone, it is far easier to post incriminating information for others to view. I am quite sure Americans would have been outraged at the actions of our military in post-WW2 Europe, where over a million German prisoners were allowed to die of exposure and starvation in POW camps maintained by their American captors. There was also the firebombing of German cities, in particular Dresden, where thousands upon thousands of innocent civilians were murdered.

In the Korean War, atrocities against civilians and POW's abounded also. I am a farmer in California and one of my hay customers is a Korean War veteran, a paratrooper who was dropped behind enemy lines to instigate trouble, thereby justifying military response to a certain area. He related to me how he slaughtered an entire Korean family, kids first in front of their parents, in a "attempt" to gather intelligence about the enemy. He told me the story as if it was some deer-hunting escapade he relishes the memory of. Only God knows how many of these "interrogation" sessions were carried out during the Korean War. We all know about Mai Lai in Viet Nam, but this was just the tip of the iceburg. Countless cases of murder and brutality towards innocent civilians occurred there. If we had had digital photography and the internet in those days, I am sure the American public would have gotten a quicker and more honest glance at the horrors we inflicted upon millions of innocent people.

Speaking of torture and abuse, what about the USA's historical support for ruthless dictators who brutalize their people? Saddam Hussein's record towards his people is tame when compared to the many tyrants the USA has installed and supported around the world all these years! Torture and death squads have been trained right here in the USA for use against people in other nations. The actions of these death squads would shock Americans deeply. Basically, the USA has taught AND supported terrorism for many years. One only has to read about the techniques employed by these "freedom" fighters to be filled with a sense of outrage at the policies that our government has instituted!

What should really on trial right now is not the treatment of Iraqi prisoners, but the very essence and reasonings behind United States foreign policy. This is where the attention should be focused, because everything else- the massacres, the unprovoked attacks, the torture- are but residuals of this. As long as the United States government is commandeered by powerful corporate/military interests, it will go on treating the world in a racist and disrespectful way without the consent of the American people. All of the horrors and injustices of our misguided foreign policies start right at the top.


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