Random neuron firing, lame philosophy, literary pontificating, movies, sex, clothes & other femme stuff

Monday, May 03, 2004

The worst insult

"They wanted us to feel as though we were women, the way women feel and this is the worst insult, to feel like a woman," al-Shweiri said.

I have been so fucking chomping at the bit all day [I started writing this post Sunday night] to launch into this guy, there's red froth all around my lips-- and that's not some clever lipstick-color name either (well, I mean, it probably is, and I'd probably buy it too, but I wasn't wearing any at the time).

When I began following the story Saturday of the naked Iraqi torture imbroglio, I was literally open mouthed. (That's my usual expression, though. It's very dependable and appropriate for a myriad of circumstances -- the basic black tank top of expressions.) I was completely appalled at the inhuman radiant glee beaming from the soldiers as they humiliated their captives. For at least a half a minute, I'm serious, I even thought this: Americans can't do this kind of shit, can they? Or, well, they don't, do they? I mean, we invaded their country and occupied it to teach them how to act like civilized, rule-of-law-not-of-men Geneva-convention-abiding Westerners. Surely, these pix record in truth not egregious violations of POWs by American reservists in Baghdad but a frat-house wingding last weekend at Southern Arkansas Tech?

OK, maybe I thought it for more like a second.

(A side note: the mere fact that the American military does seem the provenance of the present pix in no way diminishes my conviction that '03-'04 postulants at more than a few frat houses across the land owe their matriculation in part to alacrity and aplomb in the face of demands to play some version of "We're Team USA and you're Islamic POWs, so drink this entire fucking bottle right now and pull your pants down").

Anyway until this morning, my overall reaction was, Wow! What fucking assholes those soldiers are! They're treating these poor prisoners like animals. And you don't need to be a hardened PETA-phile to know that even many animals in captivity (e.g., giant pandas and my hermit crabs) resist-- with more than enough stubbornness to infer the presence of real psychological anguish -- compulsory sex acts, real or simulated, gay or straight, let alone when you're watching and snapping pictures.

As a rabid anti-Iraq-invasion, anti-Bush, anti-neocon, anti-petrogovernment Republican-loather (your standard-model Republican-loather, i.e.), I reflexively smirk and gloat at anything that promises to make the Bush administration look bad. I can't wait to videotape Bush's inevitable prime time appearance before the nation to try to weasel his measly ass out of this one! That choice videocassette'll go right up there on the shelf next to my authentic vintage 1992 Republican convention video, with Pat Buchanan's "There is a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America" speech (read it for a spectacular frisson: hot, steaming, wild-eyed, revival-meeting, fundamentalist, right-wing demogoguery, pure and undiluted) and Marilyn Quayle's "Most women do not wish to be liberated . . . . Most of us love being mothers or wives . . . In the sixties most of us were not war protesters and drug users" speech (tragically, I couldn't find a transcript of it on the web; if you can, please e-mail me the url).

My glee at Bush's PR predicament is tempered, however, by my getting extremely pissed off that he's magnanimously bestowing on a candid world, who soberly judged Americans debauched bullying hypocrites long ago, yet one more bulging file of irrefrangible evidence, augmenting a veritable monadnock of similar files pleonastically sepulchring an ironclad case long-since opened and shut .
But then Sunday morning -- still desperately seeking snatches of luridity--I came upon this piece on yahoo, quoting Dhia al-Shweiri, a "30-year-old . . . die-hard fighter in the al-Mahdi Army, the fanatic militia of a Shiite Muslim cleric who has vowed to take on the Americans."

Al-Shweiri said that while jailed by Saddam's regime, he was electrocuted, beaten and hung from the ceiling with his hands tied behind his back.

"But that's better than the humiliation of being stripped naked," he said. "Shoot me here," he added, pointing between his eyes, "but don't do this to us."

. . . .

Al-Shweiri said he was not surprised to see TV images of smiling U.S. soldiers posing by naked, hooded inmates who, in one photograph, were piled in a human pyramid.

Al-Shweiri, who was arrested by the Americans in October, said he was asked to take off his clothes only once and for about 15 minutes.

"I thought they wanted me to change into the red prison uniform, so I took off my clothes, down to my underwear. Then he asked me to take off my underwear. I started arguing with him but in the end he made me take off my underwear," said al-Shweiri, who was too embarrassed to go into too much detail.

He said he and six other prisoners — all hooded — had to face the wall and bend over a little as they put their hands on the wall.

"They made us stand in a way that I am ashamed to describe. They came to look at us as we stood there. They knew this would humiliate us," he said, adding that he was not sodomized.

"They were trying to humiliate us, break our pride. We are men. It's OK if they beat me. Beatings don't hurt us, it's just a blow. But no one would want their manhood to be shattered," he said.

"They wanted us to feel as though we were women, the way women feel and this is the worst insult, to feel like a woman," al-Shweiri said.

Al-Shweiri's account could not be independently verified.

This gentleman was naked for fifteen minutes and made to feel feminized. Oooh, please make it stop.

Apparently, the story from what I can glean is that the photographed and abused prisoners were being given humiliating treatment by the reservists as a way of, um, facilitating their impending interrogation by military intelligence. In other words, this was essentially a part of, the foreplay if you will to, interrogation. This foreplay included prisoners' being compelled to strip naked and wear hoods, to endure females in army fatigues and boots pointing at their penises and laughing, to simulate homosexual sex, and to be handcuffed to their cell bars wearing nothing but a pair of women's panties for so long they end up having to piss and shit themselves. Read that sentence again.

Men all over the world pay thousands of dollars every day for dominatrices to perform these exact services. Do you realize how many men's deepest sexual fantasies these prisoners were acting out? For free? Do realize how many men reading the stories of these "outrages" get hard ons and trouble deaf heaven with bootless cries of envy they weren't in the Abu Ghraib prison that day? Put it this way, I couldn't idly twirl my riding crop for five seconds at most of the social engagements I attend without wapping several in the face.


more on this later
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