I was never a big supporter of the war in Iraq. The USA’s initial reasons for the war (the Weapons of Mass Destruction) seemed contrived, especially when they refused to share any of this supposed intelligence with the countries that they were trying to convince to join them in war. And they seemed hellbent to go to war no matter how many times Hussein said, “fine, I give up — come in and have a look around.”

That said, I always reluctantly accepted the war because I was able to convince myself that although I disagreed with the USA’s foreign policy, they were fundamentally more fair and humane than the Saddam Hussein and his regime in Iraq. Basically, I hoped that Iraq would probably be better off in the long run without him (not unlike Germany and Japan after WWII).

Those hopes were dashed last week as stories began to circulate about the torture that US and British troops were inflicting on their prisoners. Stripping the prisoners naked and tying hoods over their heads before beating them with stools and broomsticks. Pouring the acid from chemical lights on the prisoners. Sexually abusing them. Basically, exactly the same sorts of things that we used to hear about Saddam Hussein doing to his prisoners.

So what is this to tell us? Was Orwell right? Goulding? Given power, will anybody abuse it? Are people by nature vicious animals? Is fear of not being re-elected the only thing preventing the USA government from doing these things on its own soil to its own people? Is there any such thing as a civilized society?

In any case, my reluctant acceptance of the current state of affairs in Iraq is a thing of the past.

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