Torturing as a way of life

The US military in Iraq is young, dumb and clueless, according to a senior British officer:

“The US Army in Iraq has been accused of cultural ignorance moralistic self-righteousness, unproductive micro-management and unwarranted optimism in a magazine published by the army.

“The scathing critique of the US Army and its performance in Iraq was written by a senior British officer.

“In an article published this week in the army magazine Military Review, Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster, who was deputy commander of a program to train the Iraqi military, said American officers in Iraq displayed such ‘cultural insensitivity’ that it ‘arguably amounted to institutional racism’ and may have spurred the growth of the insurgency.”

We are now discovering the way in which this “liberating” army has fought this war. Spc. Tony Lagouranis (Ret.) was a U.S. Army interrogator from 2001 to 2005, and served a tour of duty in Iraq from January 2004 to January 2005. He was stationed at Abu Ghraib then joined a task force roaming the country looking for intelligence. He recently told PBS Frontline of the “culture of abuse” throughout Iraq. It was acceptable, condoned or ignored to treat Iraqi detainees however a soldier wished:

“The worst stuff I saw was from the detaining units who would torture people in their homes. They were using things like”¦burns. They would smash people’s feet with the back of an axe-head. They would break bones, ribs, you know. That was serious stuff…I remember one guy who was forced to sit on an exhaust pipe on a humvee, and he had a pretty huge blister on his leg. Another guy, I don’t know what they used to burn him, his legs. He was blindfolded so he didn’t know either, but it looked like it might have been a lighter. He had some pretty big, [some] smaller blisters, but a lot of them.”

This is the true face of the Iraqi occupation.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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