SUSAN SONNTAG ON ABU GHRAIB
Shock and awe were what our military promised the Iraqis. And shock and the awful are what these photographs announce to the world that the Americans have delivered: a pattern of criminal behavior in open contempt of international humanitarian conventions. Soldiers now pose, thumbs up, before the atrocities they commit, and send off the pictures to their buddies. Secrets of private life that, formerly, you would have given nearly anything to conceal, you now clamor to be invited on a television show to reveal. What is illustrated by these photographs is as much the culture of shamelessness as the reigning admiration for unapologetic brutality.
OK, it's time for a confession. Did Womack write the lines for this guy, Brig Gen Mark Kimmitt, US military spokesman, who when confronted with a new video, showing "before" videos of the wedding party our troops massacred, responded, Bad people have parties, too? If Womack didn't write that, we should ask around. Was it you, Terry Bisson? Thomas Harris? Don Webb? Charlie Stross! Of course!
Observe the clever plotting, an obvious sign of writing craft: A line like this is a sure tip-off that our military establishment has been taken over by something along the lines of the Lovecraftian Elder Gods, and that if we knew the TRUTH we would all descend into a gibbering madness. Think Stross's The Atrocity Archives!
And here's another line in today's Guardian giving further evidence that this is all a parody of an absurd movie, or even a bad dream:
The first Mohammed Munim al-Izmerly's family knew of his death was when his battered corpse turned up at Baghdad's morgue. Attached to the zipped-up black US body bag was a laconic note.
The US military claimed in the note that Dr Izmerly, a distinguished chemistry professor arrested after US tanks encircled his villa, had died of "brainstem compression".
Perhaps this brainstem compression was the result of witnessing his interrogators peeling back their human faces to reveal the monstrous visages underneath -- why else would the Pentagon ban cameraphones, but to keep this hideous secret?!
We should have known ages ago that part of our military had been taken over by a conspiracy of hideous flabby fungous beasts. Rumsfeld dropped sly hints, quite a while ago. Here he clearly refers to the cosmic horrors underlying our everyday reality -- things Man Was Not Meant to Know!
As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.
Å\Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing
But of course, this must be all nonsense. So, out with it: Who's been writing the lines for our military establishment? Real people don't talk like this -- unless ---