I think there's another angle here. Look at it from the PR perspective, and understand that the primary is Iraqi and Arab.I just liked the comment.
We're grabbing random Iraqis, from their own country, and sticking them into a prison where -- as they've long known -- we inflict the worst and most shameful acts possible on them. Acts that a large number of Iraqis consider worse than death.
This guy yanks up an American, an "invader" in a country he doesn't belong, and they offer him a relatively swift death. They don't torture him, they just kill him. It wasn't quite as pretty as lethal injection, but it wasn't a knife-in-the-guy left to die over three days death, or a "burned alive" death, or "tortured to death over many days" sort of thing.
In other words, they offer him a merciful and swift death, even though he is an invading infidel. Whereas the invading infidels offer more shame and humiliation than a man can stand in life.
Who comes off looking better to Arab eyes?
As a nice bonus, American reactions are reversed. We see the killing as far more brutal than the still photos of abuse. It's a nice piece of PR designed to inflame Americans -- and thus lead to more atrocities -- and inspire Iraqis to join up to fight against us.
Posted by Morat at May 12, 2004 01:17 PM
Excellent post.Just so you know.
And some pretty excellent comments. I think Ken and Morat provide some range on the possibilities.
But, I wonder if there is still more here. For instance, this prison thing was either stupid, or it wasn't.
If it was stupid, well than some people need to be fired. Now.
On the otherhand, if it wasn't stupid. If some player, for political gain or financial profit, or for some extreme religious conviction (see Passion of the Christ here), or just because they don't like 'ragheads', wanted the US to inflame the enemy, really get a crusade going, well, you couldn't have done better than we have this week.
So, I think the question is really fair, on the subject of the US side and the consternation the photos caused, "Was it truly a mistake, or was someone achieving a goal?" I know, tin hat, but after wag the dog, Iran Contra, and hell, a host of crap, I've ceased to believe anything just because 'that could never happen'.