May 26, 2004

You Break It, You... Must Be A Bush

According to the Washington Post, Iraqis are unimpressed by plans to demolish Abu Ghraib.

The Iraqis have been at the front row of many grand, symbolic gestures over the last few decades. They retained the good sense to fear Hussein and his secret police, anyway.

Then the world's premier marketing geniuses get there. The people who would come up with that endearing national moment where our president played dress up on a carrier while pretending that the war was over. Saddam's statue gets torn down, the palaces are turned into hostels for U.S. troops, and ordinary Iraqis are allowed to retake what's 'theirs' from government buildings. A detail of soldiers was even sent to break up a tile mosaic of Bush Sr. that paved a Baghdad entryway, where it would insultingly be walked on by all who entered the building.

Now that Abu Ghraib has become a symbol of the failure of this occupation, they want to demolish it, too. Maybe it's some magical thinking dodge, by which they've convinced themselves that sacrificing the building will atone for the sins committed there.

These are the acts of people who think that true power is conferred by your ability to break things. Or, if necessary, people. And it's an effective enough power for certain limited uses, but it's surprising in a way that such a theoretically Christian bunch buys into this argument.

How is it that they don't understand the power of broken things to rally something that outlasts their destroyers?

Posted by natasha at May 26, 2004 09:52 AM | Iraq | Technorati links |

iraqis aren't the only ones who aren't impressed by the plan to demolish abu ghraib. amnesty international also opposes the destruction of the prison:

"Abu Ghraib can contribute toward bringing the symbolic figures of the old system and their accessories to court," Abdul Salam Sayid Ahmed, head of Amnesty's Middle East department, told the Arabic service of Germany's Deutsche Welle radio. "For that reason, we are against the U.S. president's plan to tear down the prison."

If that happened, he said "there is a danger that evidence of torture by Saddam Hussein's regime will be destroyed and a detailed accounting offences by the regime prevented."

we'd suggest that destroying abu ghraib might also destroy evidence of crimes that occurred at the prison while it was being run by the US. perhaps amnesty's spokesperson was just too polite to mention this possibility.

Posted by: Magpie at May 26, 2004 08:01 PM