Monday, May 17, 2004

Thanks go out to Th1rte3n -- Bringing things into perspective

Dr. Susan Block is a therapist, and her column in Counterpunch brings a bit of perspective. She remarks first on seeing Bush and other members of the Administration on television and how their comments concerning the Abu Ghraib photos are appropriately shocked, but somehow sound odd. I must admit to feeling the same. And then she says. . .
And yes, it's all very disgusting and dismaying to see hooded, naked men being forced to "assume the position" in a perverse pornographic Passion Play. But is it any less disgusting and dismaying to see them bombed to bloody smithereens? Is it less disgusting to see their heads blown off, their bodies riddled with bullet holes, their arms shattered, their legs amputated, their skin burnt to a crisp? Is it any less disgusting to see their families murdered, their children pulverized, their libraries torched, their museums looted, their hospitals ruined, their homes razed, their oil stolen, their land RAPED by invaders? Everything about the Rape of Iraq-that is, the brutal, unprovoked invasion and occupation of this sovereign, ancient land--has been "disgusting." The Photos just give the ongoing horror of Bush's War a little extra "spice."

But, oh that spice. It packs such potent psychic punch. It titillates as it appalls. It's not the kind of thing that hurts your eyes like a cluster bomb victim with no arms or legs and burns all over her body, or a guy on the road whose head has been run over like a ripe melon by a U.S. tank. Bush's POW Porn is disturbing, but you can look at it. In fact, you kind of want to stare at it. Why do you think they show The Photos over and over everywhere, even on Fox?
Block's article is harsh, satirical, angry and at times funny. I don't come away, as she does, with identifying the Bush crew as Porn producers, but it's a funny notion. Still, the idea that we are so shocked at sex acts or sex humiliation in the midst of a war where we attacked unprovoked and proceeded to kill and maim thousands of Iraqis is enough to give pause.

Let's repeat that. We are in the midst of a war where we are killing and maiming thousands of men women and children in Iraq. And we're the ones who started the war. But what is getting the headlines? Pictures of naked men and a woman leering at them.

Block may be brutal in her delivery, but that one was a fastball over the plate.