POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY PHIL SHINER IN THE GUARDIAN
Oh please, Philip Zimbardo's piece was self-serving rubbish, reflecting no genuine analysis or hard truth.
And Phil Shiner offers more high-school, would-be-writer thinking here to support it.
Every time nations descend to violence to solve what they see as their problems, this happens. And who has started an almost continuous series of dirty colonial wars and government overthrows in the last fifty years?
You're right if you guessed the United States.
Remember the horrors of My Lai (and other villages) or the CIA thugs throwing suspects out of helicopters after they wouldn't (or would) talk?
Remember Project Phoenix in which thug American Special Forces, under the guidance of Harvard-trained CIA, cut the throats of at least 20,000 civilians?
They'd sneak into villages at night and kill civilian leaders, hoping to throw the opposing forces off balance. Senator Kerrey of Nebraska won a so-called Medal of Honor doing this very devil's work.
Senator John Kerry spent four quick months running up and down rivers firing heavy machine-guns at peasant farmers to earn some political-hero bona fides. He won a Silver Star for shooting a man in the back who was running away.
Only a few years ago it was revealed how American forces, at the outbreak of the Korean War, stood at the border and machine-gunned whole groups of poor peasant families trying to escape the North. They killed hundreds, perhaps thousands, all civilians, mostly women and children.
America today runs a regular Torture Gulag with thousands of victims illegally arrested and sent to remote locations for torture.
Israel, America’s subsidized client, has been torturing civilians for its entire history. Today it holds most of the elected government of Gaza in prisons and regularly assassinates anyone it doesn’t like.
Torture exists in every repressive regime with which the United States maintains cordial relations. Indeed, more than a few times, it has used their services.
The worst of the Abu Ghraib tapes were withheld. The really bad ones apparently show children being raped and victims being killed.
Remember Rumsfeld saying in public that the Taleban prisoners should all "be killed or walled away"? Then 3,000 of them did disappear, apparently driven out into the dessert in sealed vans, right under the watchful eyes of American troops, to be suffocated. This was documented by a Scottish film maker.
Did you ever see the al Jazeera pictures, bravely taken at the risk of the photographers' lives, of scores of children mutilated by American cluster bombs? Or others burnt by white phosphorus in places like Fallujah.
Iraq, like Vietnam before it, has been a psychopaths' vacation holiday.