Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

Once again I am astounded at the simple-mindedness of my fellow humans.

Quite rightly there has been much anger and anguish over the images of prisoners abused by US and UK soldiers.

People are worried that the revelations will make us look bad.

Let’s stop and think about that one. We invade another country under false pretenses, kill thousands of civilians, destroy the infrastructure, besiege cities, imprison thousands of people without charge or due process, attempt to install a puppet government, and keep the reconstruction contracts for ourselves. And we worry that the abuse of prisoners is the only thing that makes us look less than angelic?

The invasion and occupation has already killed more civilians than Hussein did with his US-supplied WMD. History is going to judge the US and UK as the most belligerent powers since 1945.

Furthermore, why are people surprised? Give a man a gun and a uniform, throw in a big fear for his own safety and resentment at being away from home, and he turns into a monster. This has always been true. Look back into history. The behaviour of men in response to power and fear has always been the same. And neither have the supposed good guys ever been immune. US soldiers raped and razed and murdered their way through Vietnam, and more recently UK troops training in Kenya have raped and brutalised unknown numbers of women.

Stark evidence, if it were needed, that humans are incapable of learning from their own experience.

We have no right to be surprised by these images. We had every reason to suppose this abuse was going to happen.

By chris page

Magazine editor, writer of fiction and non-fiction; exile; cat person; red wine for blood and cheese in his soul. Chris Page is the author of the novels Weed, Sanctioned, Another Perfect Day in ****ing Paradise, King of the Undies World, and The Underpants Tree. He is also a freelance journalist, copywriter, editor, cartoonist, illustrator, graphic designer, and consultant in the use and abuse of false moustaches (don’t wear them — you’re welcome — the invoice is in the mail).

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