The war in Iraq has functioned in an environment in which abuse of people has occurred many times on the part of military forces which defeated the Saddam Hussein regime. The latest shocking example of brutalizing Iraqis was presented in the British newspapers, the Independent. A 14 year old boy was forced to carry out an act of oral sex on a fellow male prisoner in Iraq, an allegation which could mark a new low in behavior on the part of soldiers in that unfortunate nation. The victim, now 19, was caught while stealing milk cartons from a food distribution center, then whipped, beaten and forced to strip naked. “They made us sit on each other’s laps,” he said. “They were enjoying humiliating and abusing us. I wished I was dead at this moment. Then they made me sit with Tariq.. where I was forced to put Tariq’s penis in my mouth. The other two were made to do the same.”
The allegations are now being investigated by British military authorities. There is evidence soldiers rounded up looters as part of an operation code named Ali Baba. Photographs were taken of prisoners suspended in nets from forklift trucks and others forced to strip naked an adopt simulated sex positions. The photos were released to the public after British troops took them to a photo shop to be developed. At that time compensation was paid to a few people.
The larger question is why such actions were taken against individuals who had not killed British troops or themselves engaged in brutal acts? Why has the Iraq war led to such repeated examples of brutal behavior on the part of members of the military?