America’s shame, two years on from ’Mission Accomplished’

Robert Fisk examines the institutional use of torture by American forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay:

“With an insurgency growing ever more vicious and uncontrollable, the emptiness of Mr Bush’s silly boast is plain [‘Mission Accomplished]. The real mission, it seems, was to institutionalise the cruelty of Western armies, staining us forever with the depravity of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and Bagram – not to mention the secret prisons which even the Red Cross cannot visit and wherein who knows what vileness is conducted. What, I wonder, is our next ‘mission’?”

His investigative journalism reveals that any chance of democracy “flowering” in Iraq is neutered by the “trail of prisons that now lies across Iraq…a shameful symbol not only of our cruelty but of our failure to create the circumstances in which a new Iraq might take shape.” Fisk also examines other fields in the “War on Terror”: “I have interviewed a Palestinian who gave me compelling evidence of anal rape with wooden poles at Bagram [in Afghanistan] – by Americans, not by Afghans.”

With dozens of allegations, few arrests and little accountability for the top military and political brass in America, Australia or Britain, our establishment press prefers to offer this propaganda (courtesy of Murdoch’s Australian). Uncomfortable truths are airbrushed, like obedient generals in a Third World dictatorship:

“Does anybody, apart from Islamist ideologues in the Middle East and Left ideologues in the West, seriously believe the coalition troops are on some kind of imperialist adventure in Iraq? The 8 million Iraqis who turned out to vote in January did not think they were participating in some kind of empty charade, or they would surely not have braved the terrorists’ threats and bombs. The terrorists want our troops out for the simple reason that a progressive and prosperous Iraq will show up the lie in their claim that Islam and democracy are incompatible. Iraq is not about a clash of civilisations but about defeating those who dream of bringing about such a clash.”

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