Thursday, December 09, 2004

Fallujah and Two U.S. Militaries

Bing West, a former assistant secretary of defense, a former Marine, and the father of a Marine, writes in Slate about the aftermath of the destruction of Fallujah: the U.S. Marine Corps saving the city from thousands of murderous insurgents, finding huge caches of weapons, finding a "torture house" where most if not all of the beheadings took place, liberating the city from evil men, and then, having killed the bad guys, getting ready to fix up the buildings and the services so the civilians can return, setting up merry-go-rounds for the children of the Fallujans who will be waiting in long lines for relief aid, and keeping the insurgents from coming back.

But judging from an article in BoingBoing (taken from last Sunday's Boston Globe), the U.S. Marine Corps' plans to protect Fallujans from the insurgents may leave Fallujans needing protection from the Marines. We're talking compulsory DNA testing and retina scans, mandatory identification badges, and Fallujan men being forced to work for the Marines in "military-style battalions" (with pay for their forced labor).

"You have to say, 'Here are the rules,' and you are firm and fair. That radiates stability," said Lieutenant Colonel Dave Bellon, intelligence officer for the First Regimental Combat Team, the Marine regiment that took the western half of Fallujah during the US assault and expects to be based downtown for some time.

For more coverage of and thoughts about the U.S. military's plans to de-liberate Fallujans, click here.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military has torture houses of its own, or at least torture bases. And in some cases, if you are a person who finds torture offensive and can't keep your mouth shut about it, you get strapped to a gurney, put on a military plane, flown to a medical center outside the country, and told you are "delusional."

Or, in other situations, at Guantanamo in Cuba, or in Iraq, or in Afghanistan, you might witness prisoner abuse or read classified reports about such torture centers, and be intimidated, bullied, screamed at, or threatened when you object.

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