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5 Part Series
Analysis: American Violence In Iraq: Necrophilia Or Savagery?

Analysis Part 1/5: Bully, Cheat, Kill, And Conquer

Analysis Part 2/5: Is Supporting The Troops, Patriotism, Dementia, Or Moral Dissolution?

Analysis Part 3/5: King Frederick's And George Bush's Troops

Analysis Part 4/5: Obedience, Defiance, And Conscience

Analysis Part 5/5: Creating Our Own Reality


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Iraq is a Bloody no Man's Land. America has Failed to Win the War. But has it Lost it?

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American Violence In Iraq: Necrophilia Or Savagery?

Part 1 of a 5-part series:
Bully, cheat, kill, and conquer

By Kim Petersen and B. J. Sabri
Online Journal Contributing writers

"As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead trying to kill me. They do not feel any enmity against me as an individual, nor I against them. They are only doing their duty, as the saying goes. Most of them, I have no doubt, are kind-hearted law-abiding men who would never dream of committing murder in private life. On the other hand, if one of them succeeds in blowing me to pieces with a well-placed bomb, he will never sleep any worse for it. He is serving his country, which has the power to absolve him from evil."—George Orwell

"War is necrophilia. And this necrophilia is central to soldiering, just as it is central to the makeup of suicide bombers and terrorists. The necrophilia is hidden under platitudes about duty or comradeship."—Chris Hedges

August 16, 2005—The strategic decision of US imperialism to use 9–11 as a pretext to re-introduce into the present era a defunct 15th-19th century barbaric colonialism is not only a monumental blunder portending cataclysmic disasters, but also an event that has already opened the gates for generalized future wars.

Two concomitant manifestations characterized that ill-fated decision: first, the open conversion of the US into a fascist, oppressive, and outlaw state; and second, the premeditated extreme violence and wanton destruction that US civilian and military commanders have been inflicting through their military on Afghanistan and Iraq to implement the hegemonic doctrines of Bush and the neocons.

In particular, considering the magnitude of that violence and its historical implications and consequences, the present authors decided to investigate it in the wider context of the ongoing US war against Iraq. The US is not alone in aggressing Iraq, but it is the kingpin; in fact, while it is technically correct to call Iraq's invasion, a US-UK invasion, such denomination dilutes the crucial US role as the sole chief engineer and the principal supplier of workforce and military hardware necessary to implement it.

On the other hand, although it is correct to state that Iraq's occupation is a multinational enterprise with the participation of many US-vassal states such as Australia, Italy, Poland, etc., the United States is the country that is directing the entire weight of the occupation. Consequently, and by all standards of judgment, Iraq is an American-occupied country. Without the US invasion, the domino effect of violence initiated by US President George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and other neocons could have never happened in the first place.

Concentrating on the Iraq war is a fundamental prerequisite to the understanding of the new wars of colonialist conquests ushered in by the United States under Bush. To begin with, one cannot address the morally senseless American violence in the world, its application, and its rationales without considering all factors contributing to its emergence as the primary philosophy of the United States under President Bush. However, a basic approach to define the parameters of said violence resides in evaluating the environment in which the imperialist coalition executes its strategy for world domination.

Notice that, while George Orwell is celebrated for his views and elaborations in his novels such as Animal Farm and 1984, many people overlook the fact that he made those elaborations to describe an oppressive state in general; nevertheless, many readers uncritically identified such a state only with the former Soviet Union but never with the United States! This is odd. The US has been a police state since its inception, but too few people wish to consider it. Why is that? At one point, it was hard for many people who believed in the system to analyze its nature and policies, especially knowing that this system has adroitly mingled principles of manipulated democracy with manifest fascist ideology and police state attributes. McCarthyism is an example; America under Bush is another.

Did Orwell think that a so-called democratic state could exercise options that make totalitarian options pale by comparison? Orwell suggested such was possible, but what is certain is that he correctly framed the issue of violence and killing as exercised by professional state-paid killers, otherwise called enlisted or professional soldiers at the service of the system and its objectives.

On the other hand, war correspondent Chris Hedges forced the general issue of violence into the complicated psychological sphere of necrophilia. This is very debatable and does not reflect the objective-subjective situations where violence is the ultimate resolution for a conflict. Hedges did not define necrophilia as being specific to context; thus he equated all forms of necrophilia as one and interchangeable under the umbrella of "loving the dead." In addition, he loosely included in his term, soldiers, suicide bombers, and terrorists without bothering to ponder on specific human conditions that allowed such denominations to emerge and consolidate.

Yet Hedges touched on a sensitive subject. Is killing, especially in an environment of imperialist violence, a form of necrophilia? Despite its allure, this argument is fallacious at the origin. Consider all of the following: Does a drug dealer kill a police officer to avoid arrest or to enjoy killing? Does a soldier kill to defend himself, or to inflict death so he can achieve a predetermined political objective for his country? Does another soldier kill because he has a license to kill although he is not in mortal danger? Or does that same soldier kill out of sadism or because of racist anger? Does a so-called suicide bomber kill and get killed in the process to reverse the objective of an invading foreign soldier, or does he just kill to inflict death because he is seeking spiritual catharsis, as is claimed by certain imperialist thinkers and advocates of war?

Hedges then uses the term "terrorist" without due respect or clarity to the definition of the term. US troops killed over 2000 Fallujans under the criminal pretext that they were terrorists because they opposed the occupation of their city and country. So, hypothetically, if a Fallujan (in defending his life and that of his family) kills an American aggressor, would that killing constitute an act of necrophilia?

In addition, does the charge of necrophilia apply to a military commander, or better yet, to a commander-in-chief, when he launches a war of mass killing without provocation although he himself has never directly killed any one?

Still, despite the shortcomings in Hedges' argument, his definition of violence in a military setting as necrophilia has a merit, but not in the sense that he suggested. Bush and US Defense [sic] Secretary Donald Rumsfeld did not order the killing of tens-of-thousands of Iraqis because death and killing charm them or because they experience erotic arousal every time an American bomb chars beyond recognition the erstwhile living bodies of defenseless Iraqis.

The matter is very different. Bush and his fascist clique are psychopathic killers, shaped and nurtured through ideological indoctrination, although they may never have pulled a trigger. Bush and Rumsfeld did not order mass destruction because they enjoy it. They ordered killing to conquer countries and plunder their wealth for large corporations, the oil industry, military industry, and related service contractors, as well as to tinker with the dream of placing the world under the control of American power and its proxies. Killing and violence, therefore, are merely a means to an objective. Defining or trying to categorize this type of modern savagery is, however, another subject.

Regardless of "our" objection to the notion of necrophilia as it applies to the wars of American imperialism, there were a few situations where Hedges may have surmised it correctly. One instance is when (immediately after the invasion of Afghanistan) it was reported that George Bush told the Washington Post, each time a member of al-Qaeda network is killed, an "X" is put on a presidential scorecard. Not only that, but Bush added, "I'm a baseball fan. I want a scorecard." [1]

Without a doubt, Bush's deviant behavior is consistent with a seriously deranged personality that enjoys gratuitous death. In fact, how could Bush have known which al-Qaeda member was or was not devastated in Afghanistan by daisy cutters and possibly by nuclear tactical weapons, as many sources and foreign intelligence hint at? [2]

Stating that Bush experienced emotional pleasure from the death of people assumed to be al-Qaeda members without due process and without the minimum verification requirement of identity or culpability is easy to confirm by noting the following psychological status. Sport fans regularly go into ecstasy or even momentary delirium when their favorite team wins. The process whereby simple emotions transform from an ordinary response to an ecstatic demonstration of boiled emotions denotes a spasmodic internal pleasure. If, Bush can get his rapture from looking at a scoreboard on a baseball field or while sitting on a sofa in his home, then he can certainly experience similar pleasure when he sees a scorecard on the death and destruction he ordered. Is that necrophilia? You judge. Incidentally, although poignantly passed over in the media, Bush is the same president who pounded the air with his fist and chortled, "Feels good!" following his launching the invasion of Iraq. [3]

Further examination of the situation is revelatory. On the anniversary of granting fictitious sovereignty to the Iraqis, 30 June 2005, Bush definitely flirted with necrophilia when he stressed that all the killing and mayhem in Iraq is worth it. Former US Secretary of State Madeline Albright expressed the same genocidal feelings of the current war president; but before Albright, Truman epitomized the necrophilia paradigm when he said many years after the incineration of Hiroshima that, given the same circumstances, he would do it again.

The question now: How does George Bush translate and widen his lust for imperialist violence, be it necrophilic or otherwise?

With the following words, "And to those . . . who are considering a military career, there is no higher calling than service in our armed forces," the self-anointed war President Bush, mixing theological inferences and patriotic themes, implored young American citizens to join the armed forces of the United States. But the cause was not patriotism—this term is inapplicable to the wars of America that were never in self-defense or to ward off foreign powers that could threaten the US' existence. Rather, the purpose is to supply a fresh work force for the wars of civilization as envisioned by the imperialist and Zionist ideologues of the United States.

It is ludicrous that a man such as Bush makes an appeal like that, considering that he was one among many privileged Americans who circumvented the military draft by all means possible to avoid being shipped into America's aggression on Vietnam and nonetheless Bush deserted his post thereafter. [4] As expected, Bush employed the term "patriotism" and its conceptual force as a focal point of his call. Just what kind of force is patriotism, anyway?

Author Aldous Huxley illuminated the dark side of the force underlying "patriotism" in plain but powerful words: "One of the great attractions of patriotism, it fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of our nation, we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat. Bully and cheat, what's more, with a feeling that we are profoundly virtuous."

Bully and cheat! But, was that not how the US of Bush and the UK of Prime Minister Tony Blair foisted their invasion and occupation first on Afghanistan and then on Iraq? If bullying and cheating were the tactics of choice to execute Bush's imperialist-colonialist project, the practical consequences produced by the occupation regime are dire in meaning and long-term effects, not only on the Iraqi people, but also on the occupiers themselves. By principle and logic, an aggressor has no right to claim victimization, as the aggressed can rightfully do.

Hence, resolutely, there should be no sympathy for any aggressor, or any empathy with the aggressor's pain and suffering. This is an important tenet of natural law that, by its force and logic, no one should deny or denigrate. Incidentally, the same tenet exists in many American courts, where a cold-blooded killer could receive a death sentence without regret.

How can the violence that the Bush-Blair Junta heaped on Iraq be framed in concrete terms? Aside from filling Iraq with depleted uranium, disease, and mass killing in the name of its imperialist dominance, what are the basic traits of its violence in Iraq?

In part two, this question shall be answered by citing first Human Rights Watch (HRW, a US NGO specialized in mitigating, for public consumption, the excesses of US violence, acting in effect as an apologist of US aggression). Notwithstanding this negative appraisal of HRW, this organization could not avoid but alluding to US atrocities in Iraq and elsewhere.

Furthermore, we shall discuss another aspect of US violence: ideological violence at home, and the confusion that reigns supreme over the minds of numerous Americans. In fact, while US physical violence in Iraq is occupying the center stage because of the continuing daily meat grinding of Iraqi citizens at the hands of the occupiers, a sizeable majority of the US population is still walking around like drugged-out zombies repeating a slogan impregnated with ignorance and permeated with support for violence: Support the troops!


[1] Toby Harnden, "Bush keeps photo hit-list of enemies," Telegraph, 4 February 2002

[2] Debka Intelligence Files, "Tactical nukes deployed in Afghanistan,", 7 October 2001

[3] Martin Merzer, Ron Hutcheson, and Drew Brown, "War begins in Iraq with strikes aimed at 'leadership targets,'" Knight Ridder Newspapers, 20 March 2003

[4] Ian Williams, author of Deserter: George Bush's War on Military Families, Veterans, and His Past (Nation Books, 2004), in a personal communication: "The evidence is clear that Bush used his personal family influence to secure a coveted slot in the Air National Guard—which protected him from conscription and posting to Vietnam. Then he moved to Alabama and did not turn up for duty at his Texas airbase, nor at the bases in Alabama, even while the war was continuing. At this time, lesser mortals who did the same thing were prosecuted and drafted. . . . As for how he got away with it . . . Firstly, there was a pruning of all records from the Texas Air National Guard, secondly, there were a lot of people who had colluded in the cover up and had a vested interest in keeping it quiet. . . . Secondly, there is an immense deference to authority in the American media, which predisposes editors against scrutiny of presidential behavior. . . . Finally, there is the gullibility of a faith based electorate. Time and again when speaking on radio in the heartland, I came across callers who sincerely believed that Bush was a veteran, not least because he kept appearing at Veterans' rallies and at military bases, usually in some form of military garb. There are millions of people in America who believe what is convenient for their faith systems."

Kim Petersen is a writer living in Nova Scotia, Canada; B. J. Sabri is an Iraqi-American antiwar activist. You can reach them at

Copyright 1998-2005 Online Journal

Source: Online Journal

Read all 5 parts of the series:

PART 1: Bully, Cheat, Kill, And Conquer

Part 2: Is Supporting The troops, Patriotism, Dementia, Or Moral Dissolution?

PART 3: King Frederick's And George Bush's Troops

PART 4: Obedience, Defiance, And Conscience

PART 5: Creating Our Own Reality

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