Wednesday, June 16, 2004

"A Bestiality that Even Beasts Were Incapable of"

It's infamous. It's disgusting. It's revolting. The thugs of Saddam Hussein "behaved with a bestiality that even beasts were incapable of", we learn from Éric Fottorino. The journalist must be thinking of the raped women, the severed hands, the carved arm flesh given to spouses to eat, and the thousands of mass graves across the Iraqi landscape.

Oh sorry, my mistake, Éric Fottorino was of course thinking of American soldiers. You know, the ones from Abu Ghraib prison. Boy, am I stupid! How could I make such a silly mistake?! "Brutish brutes", he repeats throughout, in the title, in the beginning, in the middle, at the end, so that the readers' minds readily know what images to conjure (consciously or otherwise) whenever the discussion turns to members of Saddam's régime — oh, there I go again! — I mean, whenever the discussion turns to Americans and the U.S. military.

In the final analysis, what exactly do we know about these brutes ? That they are American, photos have gone around the world to bear witness thereto. …

Fully authentic snapshots to show once again that the coalition soldiers, be they GIs or [Britain's] "desert rats", behaved with a bestiality that even beasts were incapable of.

And always, always, always, the shadow of the Iraqi voices denouncing Western (and Arab) journalistic practices, voices which undermine everything written by Éric Fottorino, voices which undermine the whole argument of the "peace camp" members, and voices which undermine the whole basis of France's monolithic thought…

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