An Iraqi reaction to abuse photos
May/June 2004

Baghdad, May 7--"Everyone knew this was happening in Abu Ghraib and other places. seeing the pictures simply made it all more real and tangible somehow. American and British politicians have the audacity to come on television with words like, 'True the people in Abu Ghraib are criminals, but.' Everyone here in Iraq knows that there are thousands of innocent people detained. Some were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, while others were detained 'under suspicion'. In the New Iraq, it's 'guilty until proven innocent by some miracle of God.'

"People are so angry. There's no way to explain the reactions--even pro-occupation Iraqis find themselves silenced by this latest horror. I can't explain how people feel--or even how I personally feel. Somehow, pictures of dead Iraqis are easier to bear than this grotesque show of American military technique. People would rather be dead than sexually abused and degraded by the animals running Abu Ghraib prison.

"I sometimes get emails asking me to propose solutions or make suggestions. Fine. Today's lesson: don't rape, don't torture, don't kill and get out while you can--while it still looks like you have a choice... Chaos? Civil war? Bloodshed? We'll take our chances--just take your Puppets, your tanks, your smart weapons, your dumb politicians, your lies, your empty promises, your rapists, your sadistic torturers and go."

From "Riverbend," a woman who writes a 'weblog' from Baghdad, Baghdad Burning. Full essay at:

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