Uniformed Pharaohs

Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions relating to the Treatment of Prisoners of War prohibits ‘violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture, taking of hostages and outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment.’ The US forces are clearly in violation of these rules in Iraq as there are reports of US troops arresting women to pressure fugitive male relatives into giving themselves up. Such arrests are in breach of international law. On May 12, 2004, The Guardian reported that the US occupation forces had released most of the Iraqi female detainees as the abuse scandal was still unfolding. The daily pointed out that Iraqi female prisoners were kept in solitary confinement up to 23 hours a day, adding that it saw pictures of US soldiers raping Iraqi women or photographing them naked in prison. A freed detainee told a newspaper about her ordeal inside a US prison and how she had been gang-raped by US forces. The claim of the Americans that “Saddam was much worse than we are” has turned out to be a blatant lie as there are various secret prisons and torture chambers still in operation in Iraq and there are even reports of US torturing children in front of their mothers as well as other horrors of collective punishment. The US was involved in the kidnapping of children of one of the Iraqi generals to use as a bargaining tool for information. The detention of women in any circumstance infuriates many Iraqis who say it violates their culture. The Americans are asking for more trouble by committing such criminal acts against Iraqi civilians.

When President Bush decided to invade Iraq, his spokesmen began comparing Saddam Hussein to Adolph Hitler, the most monstrous figure in modern history. But now the tables are turned, as many are comparing Hitler with Bush. Hitler’s Nazis were accused of torturing prisoners, just as the Bush administration has been accused of following a policy of torture of prisoners in American military centres around the world. Consider the following justification for torture by Rudolf Hoess, Commander of the dreaded Nazi SS guards: “This so-called ill treatment and torture in detention centres, stories of which were spread everywhere among the people, and later by the prisoners who were freed…were not, as some assumed, inflicted methodically, but were excesses committed by individual prison guards, their deputies, and men who laid violent hands on the detainees.” This justification for torture is strikingly similar to the protestations of Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush that the American guards who torture prisoners are just “a few bad apples”.

Collective reprisals and hostage-taking are against the Geneva Conventions and all human rights laws. They are similar to the black law, the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) in our FATA areas where they can take any member(s) of the family to pressurise the fugitive into submission. Such abusive tactics of the Americans are responsible for fuelling the insurgency in Iraq. If the Americans are selling democracy and liberty in Iraq and the Middle East, their actions have to show the Arabs how they are better. These “bargaining” tactics are absolutely atrocious and a stop should be put to them immediately. If something like this happens in any other country, the US state department files reports on human rights abuse. They should issue one on the crimes against women being committed by their own troops.


Sagar said…
The US, with their bullying attitude have a tendency to hide the true facts and show 2 the whole world only wat they want 2 show. Go Mehhhhhh goooooooooooo.... nice article :)
Pareshaan said…
Damn straight!
mehmal said…
Thank you for your encouraging comments Sagar and pareshaan jee. USA thinks it can do anything and get away with it. And unless we, the people, raise our voices against these violations, they will get away with it.
Afzaal said…
Ah sorry your voice is being drowned by the bombs and screams, and the song I am listening to.
Have you ever dealt with a bully with diplomacy, and been successfull in getting your agenda completed? If you think yes then cite an example.
Voiceferious objections are fine, and treated with equal gile, but does the hurting stop? I don't think so, but I suppose this is the better of the means available to us at the moment.
If every event has two outcomes/sides then these events in summation should culminate either into passive objection or violent outcry. Well, 3rd scenario is do nothing? Can you replace the latter two with anything on your mind, I am not able to stretch myslef that far.
mehmal said…
Afzaal - raising our voice against the bullies is better than just sitting there, watching it all go on.

Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said that if you see something wrong going on, stop it with your hands, if you cant do that then raise your voice against it aur agar woh bhi naa kar sako, tau kam se kam oosko apne dil mei bura jaano.

I cant stop the bullying, but I know its wrong and I am raising my voice against it!
Afzaal said…
Aren't we obligated to do more??? Yes, I concur with you have said, but to put a period at that is not satisfying! I understand it will take time for us to be there, the high tech edge, but we are fairly laid back about it. If we are to succeed to the paltform of higher values, tech and moral, then ordinary citizens have to do above excellence work.
mehmal said…
Afzaal, I totally agree with you. We should certainly do more. Nothing is stopping us except ourselves. I guess it's time to give it our best shot :D

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