Abuse of Iraqis by British troops: naming the bad apples

This entry was posted on
Wednesday, January 19th, 2005
at
9:23 am and is filed
under Humanity, It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!, Page 3 – News in Briefs, Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch, Tony ‘King Blair.

Well, isn’t that interesting? Richard Desmond appears to be trying to get on Tony’s good side by not running the images and instead reminding us what this fight is ‘really’ about… and that we could all get blowed up…

BBC – ‘Abuse’ pictures dominate papers: The Express is the only paper that does not feature images of alleged abuse on its front page. Instead the paper leads with a special investigation by two of its reporters trying to show “how easy it is for bombers to get into Britain”. It describes how they smuggled fake bombs across the Channel by boat, then took them to various places including the London Eye and Heathrow airport.

Normally, this is the kind of helpful stunt The Sun would pull.

For the record, I should note that I didn’t see a newspaper rack until late yesterday, but when I did I found that the Express also bigged-up the Omar Bakri Mohammed ‘story’. And today they continue the good work.

(Oh, and I haven’t seen a newspaper this morning, either… so I don’t know what the girl with the tits thinks.)

One would almost think that the Bakri matter was pushed/generated in expectation of the release of these pictures, in order to reach that fuzzy area in the back of people’s brains that still links the war in Iraq with the War on Terror… a link that in some small way is supposed to excuse these pictures.

In fact, while The Sun has run with the pictures today, they tie up the messy ends with the following neat little bow….

The Sun – Army’s shame: The country is asking one question today: How COULD the British Army let such terrible things happen? The truth is that only a few revolting individuals have allowed themselves to sink so low… The fine work of 99 per cent of our magnificent Army has been tarnished by a handful of morons. The Sun feels deep sympathy for the mistreated Iraqis, and we know our readers will too. The soldiers on trial must, if convicted, pay a heavy penalty. That is vital. We cannot afford to let the likes of Omar Bakri, the fanatical Muslim cleric, try to make mileage out of these events.

I’m sorry, but I feel the need to correct that middle sentence… The fine work of 100 per cent of our magnificent Army has been tarnished by a handful of morons that are in charge.

Blair! Hoon! Stop pretending to cry at the back there and pay attention! This concerns you.

The same strategists who worked so hard to link the invasion of Iraq with the War on Terror at home did equally fine work contributing to the mentality of our troops. Mix a getsomegetsomegetsome atitude with a false picture of the population you’re invading (Iraqis were responsible for 911, don’t you know), and you’re away.

Combine this with the practice of bagging/hooding that magically turns people into objects, and you have your very own recipe for disaster.

Of course, an incident like this happening so early in the war should have been a warning sign for someone senior along the way. Unless of course such a go-getter attitude was seen as a necessary evil. Or perhaps even a desirable attribute, given that someone would have to get tough sooner or later in order to track down those pesky WMDs. That never existed.

But what makes me angriest about this is that – while no-one is stupid enough to be quite as overt as Rumsfeld about it (though The Sun tries) – the same game to win hearts and minds that led to this is still being played in order to excuse it.

Related:
Iraq, Friendly Fire, Civilian Casualties, and a Total Lack Of Torture
Something Funny Happened On The Way To Abu Ghraib

UPDATE – Today’s topless totty has been moved to page 7. There, Ruthie (23, from Kent) is angered by photos of British troops abusing Iraqi prisoners and turns away from the camera to show a suitably respectful hint of nipple. She says: “Stories like this play right into the hands of our enemies. People who abuse prisoners should be punished.”

And by that she means pilloried.








1 Comment

  1. Wolf Solent says

    It’s weird seeing the Sun get so self-righteous about this, as their tone hitherto has generally been to support any and all actions of British troops, up to and including murder – see their coverage of the cases of Scots Guards Wright & Fisher…

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