Abu-Ghurayb to Occupied Palestine

In the Name of Allah, Most  Beneficent, Most Merciful

Abu-Ghurayb to Occupied Palestine

(Teaching the Arabs/Muslims About Democracy)

One of the best ways to teach and inculcate a concept is through its implementation, as they say nothing beats practical experience. Likewise, for those interested in learning should closely observe those who epitomize the concept. Applying this principle to the subject of Democracy means that the aspiring democratic nations as students should learn from the examples set by the leading democratic nations like the US.

  Democracy has been operating in top gear according to the US administration for the last couple of weeks. They reason that the disclosure of the pictures and videos depicting perverted sexual abuse, rape, torture, and executions of the Iraqi prisoners is like a cloud that has a silver lining of 'democracy in action'.
The cloud is represented by the gratuitous violence inflicted on these 'liberated' Iraqis in addition to being subjected to sexual perversions that is not even found amongst the species on four legs! Some would argue that the horror dispensed by the US army is actually worse than Saddam, because Saddam's repression was primarily motivated for political reasons, his men were not known to be sexual perverts, homosexuals and sodomites. To date, no one has found any videos of the sexual abuse of Saddam's prisoners. Furthermore, many of the prisoners in Abu-Ghurayb are innocent and they were simply picked up at various checkpoints by the US army.     

However, the Arabs/Muslims are supposed to ignore the cloud and instead concentrate on the silver lining. Which is the 'grilling' of Donald Rumsfeld by the congress, that is supposed to represent the apex of democracy. So, the victims in Abu-Ghurayb are "collateral damages" of implementing US version of democracy. Arabs/Muslims are supposed to admire and learn from the entire episode. This implies that if Saddam's men like chemical-Ali had been grilled by the Iraqi parliament like Donald Rumsfeld that would have acquired the seal of approval from the US. Never mind the actual torture and killings dispensed out to the Kurds as long as an apology was issued with initiating a subsequent self-investigation.

The 'grilling' of Donald Rumsfeld was rather perplexing because many of the senators spent most of their time praising the US policy in Iraq. It appeared as though the senators were taking advantage of the event that was televised to the rest of the world by voicing political propaganda on behalf of the Bush administration. Some of the other senators went a step further and spent a good portion of their time praising Donald Rumsfeld's track record. None of this related to the actual issue of torturing prisoners in Abu-Ghurayb, nor does it reflect impartial judgement and critical analysis of the conduct of the Pentagon. So, is this what the US means by accounting of the elected representatives of the nations?

One of the senators, Joseph Lieberman, referred to the four civilian contractors killed and mutilated in Fallujah that no one has apologised for unlike Donald Rumsfeld. Well the killing of the contractors may have been in response to their role as hired as 'interrogators' or torturers since May 2003 as admitted by Donald Rumsfeld. On the other hand, such conduct could have been the result of emulating the US soldiers in Abu-Ghurayb, after all the US is the master of human rights and democracy and the Iraqis are the students!

These civilian contractors are paid to extract information from the prisoners, and the more information they get out, the bigger the reward in terms of money. Hence, if it means, 'smoking them out' in the words of George Bush than let that be, as it is a victory for democracy and the free world. Therefore, the civilian contractors are the 21st century phenomena of commercialising torture: torture driven by profit. Which is valid as long as it serves democracy.

The other aspect to this episode is the issuing of an apology and launching a 'self-investigation' cited as further evidence of 'democracy in action'. However, the apology lacked credibility from the onset as one can hardly deny the events after being caught on camera, furthermore these facts were brought to the notice of the US and UK back in May 2003 by the Red Cross and Amnesty International. A swift investigation with the issuing of an apology at that time would have had some level of credibility. On the contrary, Donald Rumsfeld moaned about people running around with digital cameras and distributing the photos through the Internet, and the entire 'grilling' gave the impression that he was more irritated by the leaking of the pictures rather than the actual acts inflicted upon the prisoners in Iraq.

Since the context is spreading democracy to the Arab world, which necessities highlighting (the Jewish State in) Israel as it is constantly applauded by the West for being the only democracy in the region and it serves to provide guidance, inspiration to the surrounding countries and it is like a beacon of light in the sea of darkness. Please note the dark territory only extends to Iraq, Iran and Syria for the time being. The democratic credentials of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt and other smaller states are sort of like 'unknown knowns' which may become 'known knowns' in the wisdom of Donald Rumsfeld.    

Recently, one of the Israeli cabinet ministers, Avigdor Lieberman (relation to US Senator Joseph Lieberman unknown!!), has called for the expulsion of all the Arabs from occupied Palestine; similar to what Hitler was doing to the Jews, Gypsies and Slavs. I am being cautious here, as I do not want to offend those upright moral people in the West by sounding like an anti-Semitic person! The torture, sexual abuse, humiliation and even execution of the Arabs may generate an eventual 'apology', but not the kind of outrage that anti-Semitism generates. As Europe demonstrated by holding a recent conference to discuss how to contain the rise of anti-Semitism but never mind the culture of hate being constantly broadcasted by the mass media, which definitely contributed towards the actions committed by the US soldiers in the Abu Ghurayb prison.    

So, the expulsion for being part of another race is also an integral part of Israeli version of democracy, which has become an international standard due to the active approval from George Bush by declaring Sharon "a man of peace" and the passive approval of Tony Blair through his hypocritical silence. You see, the KKK (Ku Klux Klan) in the US and the BNP (British National Party) in the UK also exists in a similar capacity. Hence, the Arabs must imitate the Israelis in building up their democratic credentials by establishing a party that calls for the expulsion of all the non-Arabs instead of launching suicide bombers. The philosophy would be that any Arab can come and occupy the houses and lands of the existing non-Arabs, which can be justified by Islamic texts, only then the Arabs can begin to shine like (the Jewish State in) Israel as a beacon of democracy.


Yamin Zakaria

London, UK
yaminz [at] yahoo [dot] co [dot] uk



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