Our Abu Ghraib

Category: Americas, Faith & Spirituality Views: 4960
4960

Nine Eleven "changed everything" has become a popular saying among some. In fact, nothing has changed since 1775. The imperialist mindset remains unchanged. The then founders killed the Native American Indians and believed that they are giving themselves a free America. The current (hopefully outgoing) President shamelessly apologized to a powerless King, instead to the victims. Their pain is only compounded when the President distances himself with the rhetoric that the Nazi-like behavior was merely the "wrongdoing of a few". Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, however, indicates that the terrorism of torture was cleared with lawyers.

The popular press joins the imperial masters in debating pictures, prison guards and chain of command. The attacker's perspective is inundated while the victims' perspective is completely blotted out. They do not understand, no tragedy can ever be understood without the victims' perspective. 

Brigadier General Janis Leigh Karpinski, a New Yorker of Jewish background on the fast track, who guarded their Abu Ghraib, was replaced with the Major General Geoffrey Miller, the commander in charge of the prison at Guantanamo, the outlaw land where no law holds. One can soar high or dive deep to imagine the possible improvements that the Guantanamo chief may have now brought to Abu Ghraib! 

The very little that we now know about Guantanamo and by extension it's Commander in charge, Miller is through the interviews given by the "Tipton Three" of UK (Shafiq Rasul, Ruhal Ahmed and Asif Iqbal) to Guardian Newspaper . They all survived three months of solitary confinement for acts they did not commit. The Guardian reports Ahmed saying "all the time I was kneeling with a guy standing on the backs of my legs and another holding a gun to my head." The Tipton Three are yet to have the privilege of getting a simple five letter "sorry" from neither Bush, Blair or other government agencies responsible for Camp X-Ray.

Another Abu Ghraib that is yet to be discovered is within and amidst us. America's patronage to the pornographic "industry" made it one of the most profitable businesses with domestic annual revenue of $12 billion. The glamour of defense industry lures growing minds and turns them into the likes of Brigadier General Kapinski who said, "I think what attracted me originally was that the Army offered the opportunities to do all the exciting things I could never do as a school teacher or in any other capacity." What better excitement than brutalizing Muslims, especially getting Muslim women raped!

The end products of glamorizing sex and violence are the likes of Lynndie England, Charles Grainer, Steven Stefanowicz, John Israel (prison guards at Abu Ghraib), George Bush, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Daniel Pipes, and others, such as the infamous young men of Columbine. With the blooming industries of pornography, gambling, drugs and violence, our homemade Abu Ghraib will unfold itself sooner or later.

The discourse that is equally important if not more, is to genuinely explore the deep rooted causes for such inhumane behavior by the soldiers and the leaders of the USA.

The rare courageous journalist, Seymour Hersh reports in a recent piece in New Yorker that Mr. Rumsfeld chafed over what he saw as the reluctance of senior Pentagon generals and admirals to act aggressively. By mid-2002, he and his senior aides were exchanging secret memorandums on modifying the culture of the military leaders and finding ways to encourage them "to take greater risks." One memo spoke derisively of the generals in the Pentagon, and said, "Our prerequisite of perfection for 'actionable intelligence' has paralyzed us. We must accept that we may have to take action before every question can be answered." 

In stark contrast to Hersh is a Lt. Gen. William Boykin , an evangelical Christian (under review) for saying "his God was superior to that of the Muslims", is now also linked to the abuses of detainees in Iraq.

Islamophobia today is as much a reality as anti-Semitism was during the Nazi Germany. Assimilated Muslims in the Yugoslavia were made to drop their pants (Muslims were identified by their circumcision) and the Muslim women in France are made to reveal their hair, both to prove their patriotism. The West is rarely content with the Muslims.

The founding leadership of America killed Native American Indians and later generations thrived on plantations manned by African slaves, and the current leadership also wants to assure an equal place in history. They shamelessly articulate to convince the citizenry that smaller nukes that can actually be used and are better than the big ones that cannot be used. Simple Economics 101. 

Talking of economy, our Defense Department finds itself helpless in spite of a budget six times bigger ($400 billion) than the budget of education department ($70 billion). They award millions of dollars worth of contracts to private contractors run by former government (defense department) employees who then become 'interrogators' at places like Abu Ghraib. 

Titan Corporation is one such organization. It is based out of San Diego with approximately 12,000 employees and annual sales of approximately $2.0 billion, with 95 percent of its revenues coming from U.S. government defense contracts. Their clientele includes the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense and all branches of the armed services. Their A to Z product line includes products such as "Advanced Training Solutions", "Affordable Weapon", to a X-Craft. 

Steven Stefanowicz of Titan Corporation is an alleged "interrogator" of Abu Ghraib. The ex-generals and colonels who started Titan perhaps trained him. The Titan, that could either be as the Titanic (in size) or the other Titan whose ideological white supremacist doctrine was that all civilization was created by the "white" race, led in particular by the "Nordic" race and that the civilizations of Greece and Rome declined due to mixture with the African and Middle-Eastern slaves. Therefore, Stefanowicz may have believed that the Abu Ghraib enslaved prisoners must be treated as such. Urinating at and keeping human beings in a leash can be done only with such twisted titanic beliefs. Christian extremism has once again interpreted a la Hitler. 

Unlike those who seemingly enjoyed torture, rape and sodomy, a courageous young man (a.k.a. whistleblower) from within, Army Specialist Joseph Darby slipped an anonymous note under the door of his commander. His simple and quiet act has become the single biggest reason to expose the heinous acts of US soldiers at Abu Ghraib. Joseph Darby is a hero to some but not to all. In the land of the free, his wife now fears retaliation for a noble act of her honest husband! 

Darby and other such courageous people prove that actions that are genuine and sincere do make a difference. The commanders can only perpetuate death and destruction with their new smaller but more lethal toys, also known as nukes. 

The Army and War Colleges must remember the words of Margaret Mead who once said, "I have spent most of my life studying the lives of other peoples -- faraway peoples -- so that Americans might better understand themselves." 

It is time that "everyone" in America follows the advice of Margaret Mead, else we will soon find ourselves in our own Abu Ghraib.

Shakeel Syed is a freelance writer and lives in California.


  Category: Americas, Faith & Spirituality
Views: 4960
 
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Older Comments:
HUDD D'ALHAMD FROM CANADA said:
As-Salamu Alaykoom br Akbar Khan.
There is a Native Canadian sheikh, his name is Abdullah Quick, he made a thorough research on early Islam in the Americas. The year of Muslim arrival in the Americas 996 AD. They were mainly Moors and Mameluks, some West African Arabized black Muslim tribes, as well. You can access this information by typing in to Google: Arabic names in the Americas. I found the names in Ontario on a big and detailed map, you can access it at any library. Algoma is very known, the University in Sarnia is called Algoma. The native nation of Algonquin is also an Arabic Muslim name, I don't recall the meanining, the Makka nation in BC, the Cherokee(It is French name, so it would read in English Sharokee, Arabic=Sharqi, meaning Eastern), the last Cherokee chieftain that fought the whites was Abdullah! They were originally Indians of the East Coast but they were pushed by the British to California.
Sheikh Abdullah Quick wrote a book on this, he advertised it on TV "Islam in Focus" years ago. Last I heard of him he went to South Africa to do research there on early Islam. Steven Rockwell would be another source, he is a disciple of Ahmad Deedat from Durban, South Africa, he appears on "Islam in Focus" too and he operates downtown Toronto some place, could be Medina Mosque, if I'm not wrong.
But on the web you will find a lot of info. I remember just a few, but Cuba is another, Arabic Quba=Dome, after the big mosque Columbus found there. The Americas are swarming with Arabic and even Turkman names from the Mameluks. Just research brother and everything will be revealed to you! Truth, al-Haqq cannot be hidden! We are the most oppressed and disinherited nation on earth, us the Muslims! It is time for us to wake up and embrace our heritage! The Americas are part of our heritage from which the whiteman deliberately shut us out!
Keep up your natural thirst for knowledge, brother as the prophet,pbuh, said:"Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave"
2004-05-22

YAHYA BERGUM FROM USA said:
The scandal at Abu Ghraib (and elsewhere) certainly seems to weaken the U.S. military's arguments against permitting homosexuals to serve in the armed forces - unless perhaps the Pentagon has a policy of using only contractors in (what appears to be) a homosexual capacity. Perhaps America's military policy makers are less concerned about homosexuals' suitability for "waging war against terror" than about covering-up harassment by homosexual officers. For whatever it might be worth, I think that ALL sexual harassment should be strictly forbidden.
2004-05-22

ANOYMOUS FROM USA said:
A note to Peter Ristuccia...Even though Turkey may be considered as a democratic government it does not work for its Islamic people. The turks have been waging war against Islam for a long period now, and history has not shown that "Western style democratic repuplics with open markets do not wage war with one authorities" Take the Persian Gulf war for example, and an afterthought about the Bosnians, America could have taken a bigger role in it. Had America done so it would be more popular than it is now not only in the Islamic world but possibly in the Arab world as well. Oh yes and a fact that does not seem to be as widley known is that the peoples of Iraq have tried to overthorw the reign of Sadam Hussein about thrice long beofor this war.....Why did America not aid them then?
2004-05-21

AHMED FROM UK said:
The systematic torture of prisoners in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere is symptomatic of the sadistic American regime. The symbolism of the Muslim prisoner on the box is a most accurate and representative image of the US occupation. Sexual abuse and humiliation of naked Muslim prisoners, urinated on and sodomised, and orders from US intelligence to "soften up" victims. All this taking place in Saddam's old torture chamber, business as usual.
A gang of reservists from Virginia did not dream up ways of mistreating Muslim prisoners to maximise their humiliation all by themselves. The abuses in Abu Ghraib were no aberrant act, but a product of US policy and the practices of its intelligence community.
The events that were caught on camera are certainly the tip if a tragic iceberg. The photos were considered as trophies. The sick demented minds of these Americans thought that these snaps would go well in the family album along with the pictures of their folks standing next to Mickey, Minnie and Goofy on vacation in Orlando. These mementos are analogous to the pictures that American white supremacists took of lynched black men. The Americans took similar trophies when they wiped out Native Americans. It seems that this is their normal behaviour whenever they come in contact cultures that they consider to be inferior to their own.
2004-05-21

AKBAR KHAN FROM CANADA said:
Assalaamu'Alaiykum br. Hudd D'Alhamd,

I also found Samir Bolous's comments to be laced with ignorance. Not only that, but he should recognize that his comments are very rude and his statements are contradictory and fuzzy. I myself am trying to figure out why he is insulting people on this website who have good intentions...

Anyways, listen akhee I am very impressed by your knowledge. I myself have also read generally about cities in the United States besides Canada with names like Medina and Mekka. But in Ontario! I live in Mississauga, but that is just amazing, in fact I would appreciate it if you could direct me to where I can read this?
Jazakum Allah Khairun!!!
If you would like please contact me, [email protected], it's ok if this e-mail address is made public, since i'm going to do away with it soon. Keep in touch, Allahu-Anhu.

Wassalaamu'Alaiykum.
2004-05-21

YAHYA BERGUM FROM USA said:
Salaam, Anonymous. It would seem that local Iraqi contractors should be utilized for reconstruction whenever possible. One aspect of the resistance relates to the use of slow and methodical foreign firms in lucrative projects that local firms, who are better able to improvise and rely upon local sources, could complete in a fraction of the time. I have actually read reports of local appeals to seal off large areas of Iraq - to prevent an influx of both insurgents and outside competitors - to help stabilize those areas. My guess would be that if you fence out the jihadis but let in the opportunists, you would not be as far ahead as you might suppose.

As far as the situation with Abu Ghraib is concerned, I say anybody that would do those sort of things ought to be strung up. After that unpleasant exercise has been performed, the biggest problem with America's struggles in Iraq would seem to be not with the men and women wearing the uniforms but rather with the camp followers. I am guessing that this problem would be turn out to be one of the simplest (and least painful) problems to resolve - unless of course you happen to be one of the opportunists in question.

(Peace.)
2004-05-21

HUDD D'ALHAMD FROM CANADA said:
To Samir Bolous. There is a saying, "Ignorance is just a half measure for stupidity if it is not decorated with impertinence!"
The Muslims were crossing the Atlantic before the white man ever considered that the Earth was really round. Your comment on, "where are the mosques?" Are you on medication mon ami?! Did you ever read history books? The Spaniards destroyed numerous temples and architectural landmarks in the Americas. Some they just marred, others they distroyed beyond recognition, especially the Muslim sites. If you studied C. Columbus's life you would know that he purchased the navigation maps from Arabs in Jerusalem and he took many Arab interpretors with himself. His ship captains were Arabs.
Now listen to this. Many civilizations destroyed others to oblivion. They in order to hide the truth destroyed all material evidence, killed every scribe. Still, the past bears a strange record for the future, local indigenious names.
I give you some with the proper Arab translation.
BAHAMAS=Baha (al)Mas, Beautiful/Splendid Diamant. Name given to the island for her exquisite beauty BERMUDA=Ber Muda, The Well of Muda, or Mude. Name given for the fresh water supplied to the ships from a well on the island and owned by an Arab or African Muslim rather, named Mude(very common name for Eretrian and Ethiopian Muslims). Guadalajara=Wadi'l Hijjarah, The valey of the stones, In Mexico. In ontario, where I live, we have native names of their villages and rivers, like Medina, Meka, river North of Sarnia, Husein, Algoma=Al Juma, The assembly, or Friday. These places are not Muslim today, they are inhabitted by white Canadians and Natives. Do you think that when the Viking came to Canada they ran out of Scandinavian names and started giving Arab names to places and rivers? Oh, please, lower your nose in to a book and do some research before you crack wise one, buddy! You are offended by the fact that Muslims were great and the modern civilization owes them more than math
2004-05-21

THE MAC FROM UK said:
Quit the spin "Anonymous" we all know the reason folks like you are upset. You're upset that the pictures got out in the first place, anybody who knows the history of US aggression knows that torture is a integral part of training. If what happened at Abu Gharib doesnt represent your values then why does your government train killers and terrorists at that fabled institiute of torture called the School of the Americas ?
As for Bush jr's rosy statements about Islam....words are cheap, his actions are more than enough for any intelligent person to make a determination that he's an unstable right wing Christian fanatic. Why else would he say "God told me to attack Iraq "
Spare us your phony apologies.
2004-05-21

ANONYMOUS FROM USA said:
... What happened at Abu Ghraib is an anomaly, and does not represent the values of America, its leadership, or its military.

I work directly with members of the Naval Special Forces, and they are outraged at what happened at Abu Ghraib. These abuses have made their difficult job harder, and they cast a shadow on the good work being done in Iraq...new schools being opened, new businesses being formed, new opportunities for women, and opportunities where before there was none.

I detest articles like these. Our leadership is doing a job that few people in history would have been capable of performing. Our president himself, is not anti-muslim...it was his historic post 9-11 speech that urged Americans to remember that Islam is a peaceful religion, and urged people not to retaliate on religious grounds. We are fighting terrorists, not muslims. Wake up.
2004-05-20

SAMIR BOLOUS FROM USA said:

I am in total aggrement of what the auther wrote except for one fact I have searched yhe net for Janis Karpinsiki & only one refer to her as a "JEWESS" that suggest some one who does not even know how to spell, then that site claims that she is hear this "A POLISH UKRAINIAN" you can be an Indian or Pakistani not both the matter that suggest utter ignorance or not searching for facts the matter that shakes cofedence in some of what is being portrayed here.
Trying to stir contraversy when ever some thing happen by assigning a Jewish link to it is not helping, you have a lot of Jewish links in Palestine for a generation to come.
The woman is not a Newyorker she is a self employed in N.C. as per the information obtained from the attached site.
In the age of watchmacallit super hig way fulse or wrong statments will be uncovered before you know.
Do I have any sympathy for her HELL NO but readers ask for truth & facts not fiction that we can get from FOX, CNN & last but not least the O'reily factor.

http://home.att.net/~professorboris/SPECTRE/janice_karpinski.htm

I bid you peace
2004-05-20

SAMIR BOLOUS FROM USA said:
TO Kashif Skaikh
I had to make sure I was in the right place not the comic section. I am not impressed by your reference to PHD holder who got theirs in USA.
If I am not mistaken there is not one single archaeological find in either norh or south America that may hint to a Muslim existance not even one tiny Mosque, you may say that Christian infidels destroyed them! so if this was the case then how can you tell that Muslims existed? I rest my case your honor.
The first foreigners who ever came to America asside from the natives who came thousands of years ago before Islam were Scandinavians who went cloce to Canada & left later. The Spanish came with Columbus to the Carebian islands then Mexico searching for gold, traveled to what ius now known as Florida & sailed to what is known as California where they established mission over ther.
Had the Spanish encountered Arab or Muslims, some wise craker some where would have wrote something about his find. Short of a conspiracy theory that keeps on floating around when logic & proofs fails us I do not know how you were able to believe them PHD holders.
In my country people would smoke HASHIS and dream of things & they still dreaming while the Mougols are taking their land.
I suppose you can be proud that the Muslim scientists invented Algebra, Chemestry & the ZERO mind you how math. would have been done with Roman numerals? you have a lot to be proud of, let's stick to the facts & leave fairy tale aside.
The internet can be a powerful learning tool where we can learn human history & calture with out the so called American PHD holder, I am not so impressed.
I bid you peace
2004-05-20

SAMIR BOLOUS FROM USA said:
To Peter Ristucia
Granted Saddam was one hell os an S.O.B but he did not claim higher than thou moral grounds,our president did, for your education if you care to learn Saddam was the USA patsy, USA supported him with arm & ammunition in his war against Iran. The Americn envoy Gallipse gave Saddam the green light to invade Kuwit in 1990. I don't know what the free market thing means here unless it is one of them slogans you learned recently, sure you love the free rigged market lately! the inflated marked rigged by Enron, Worldcom & the diva Martha & common boy friend for both mother & daugher the CEO of IMCLONE what is his name? & the likes however lets not stray.
What kind of democracy you talking about the invasion of Cube twice in this century alone, Colombia, Nicaragua the list goes on.The imposition of santion on Iraq that is known to have no result other than the death of 500,000 childern in Iraq. The imposition of santions on the Caban people for the sake of Cuban votes in Florida, I wonder what kind of humans are those Cbans supporting such a criminal act against their own poeple.
So please get off your pedstal, it looks like you expect Muslims to tolerate & may be appretiate your country illigal war againest international laws just because you claim that you slaughtered people in the former Yogoslavia on behalf of Muslims! what a farce.
The coup againest a democratically elected governmont in Chile in 1973 that most likely was before you a gleem in your parents eye.
When you get us an elected president not a selected one may be we can resume a civilized discussion.
I bid you peace
2004-05-20

PETER RISTUCCIA FROM USA said:
What happened to the Iraqi prisoners was inexcusable. However, I do not think that the previous polity (Saddam Hussein) was any better; and was, in fact, far worse. I believe that the intentions of the United States are in the best interest of the Iraqi people.
History has shown that Western style democratic republics with open markets do not wage war with one another(this is the longest Europe has gone without a war except in Bosnia, where the US fought on the Muslim side, an interesting note which you-all of you-seem to forget or ignore). I believe that Japan, South Korea and Taiwan would also agree on the efficacy of the Republic.
Turkey also shows that this form of governance can work for Islamic peoples. Personally, I think it is time that the Middle East had democracy.
2004-05-20

YAHYA BERGUM FROM USA said:
The U.S. Constitution forbids cruel and unusual punishment. Torture (and the like) practiced upon uncooperative detainees is precisely that. How can U.S. Government officials legally implement unconstitutional policies, whether in their country or anyone else's?

It would seem that U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft had participated in secret discussions, on the use of torture in the interrogation of foreign (and possibly even domestic) detainees. Evidently, the thinking would seem to have been that conducting such interrogations outside of the United States would somehow enable U.S. Government officials to legally be non-compliant with the U.S. Constitution. Personally, I don't think it works that way. Also, ignorance of the law is no defense - especially in cases of those who are trained in the law - and certainly, it would seem, in cases of those who are sworn to uphold it.

In addition, I recently read an article asserting that the Geneva Convention was "signed into law" by the President and Congress. The point was that the Geneva Convention was therefore the "law of the land" and not something U.S. Government officials may legally violate if they would prefer to do so. Yes, Secretary Rumsfeld, the emergence of those incriminating photos would indeed seem to be a catastrophe.

Indeed, we might well receive that which we intend for others. Who knows?

May God have mercy. God be praised!
2004-05-19

KASHIF SHAIKH FROM CANADA said:
Assalamu'alaikum,
Varous sources and dozens of Professors that recieved their PHDs in America prove that 5% to 10% of the total populations of the Americas(north&south)was Muslim at time of 1492 'Spanish Discovery.'
We know change and continually fight for better way to thinking and world and less racism comes slowly. Yet, I believe part of the solution is Muslims to interact more with Natives as they are are digging up and reclaiming their Mosaic history as well as putting more resources of making more mainstream this knowledge that most of the Muslim World and Mainstream Americas is still not aware of. Though dozens of books, many artices and thousands of writeups can be found on the Twelve Centuries of Islamic presence in Americas. Just to Google and type in ' Muslims(or Islam) in America before Columbus '
This knowlege would be part of a long term solution to curb racism, us versus them, west versus east stuff that is destroying us and this planet(Environment/Global Warming being ignored}.
Wassalam.
2004-05-19

THE MAC FROM UK said:
If another Nuremberg war-crimes trial could be held today, America and its partners in crime would be the primary defendants. But America rules the world like a mafia, so there will be no justice until it is defeated. In the meantime, total hypocrisy and blatant double standards are the order of the day. The utterly lawless U.S. government is the biggest rogue state on Earth. Every crime of terrorism American politicians accuse other nations or groups of committing, America is itself guilty of committing, and ten thousand times more so. The genocidal United States and its allies are the true "axis of evil".

2004-05-19