Monday, July 14, 2008

More British torture in Iraq

Another British torture scandal in Iraq, this time involving British soldiers forcing children to perform oral sex on one another. In addition to that, prisoners were beaten, kicked, suspended in nets, and in one case, ordered to mutilate another prisoner. A handful of soldiers were prosecuted in 2005 for some of these offences, but the true severity didn't emerge at the time (perhaps because the investigating agency, the Royal Military Police, made no effort to interview the victims about their treatment). Now the RMP has been forced to reopen the investigation, they're being sued in the European Court of Human Rights, and there are calls for a full public inquiry.

Meanwhile, I'm left wondering: what is it about soldiers and sexual sadism? We saw the same sorts of abuse at Abu Ghraib, and we'll no doubt see more when the full story of America's occupation of Iraq emerges. Is there something about being taught to use a gun and kill which causes you to see other human beings as objects to be manipulated for your own amusement? Or is it just that the military attracts the sorts of twisted sadists who enjoy this sort of thing?