Blogs > Liberty and Power > Sodomy and Sadism in Occupied Iraq

May 4, 2004 4:54 pm

Sodomy and Sadism in Occupied Iraq

Sugamo Prison, in Tokyo, was the site where Japanese war criminals, like Tojo, were held -- some for as long as the Occupation continued, until 1952.

As part of a project, I examined the prison records and interviewed surviving American guards and their Japanese prisoners. Not one incident of cruelty to prisoners was reported. On the contrary, prison life was amazingly courteous, and both sides expressed a warmth and admiration for each other that is clearly the reverse of what we now find at the Baghdad prison under the command of American forces.

Iraq is not Japan, to be sure. But one finds, over and over again, the comparison being made. If there is any validity to it, then I suggest the main lesson to be learned is this: to convert an enemy into an ally cannot be done when prisoners are treated sadistically, and forced to perform sodomizing acts in front of their camera-toting American tormentors.

Richard Minear's 1971 book,"Victor's Justice," lambasted the American Occupation of Japan, and especially the Tokyo War Crimes Trial, for concealing a blood-lust for vengeance in the legal niceties of a courtroom charade. Yet in Iraq, what we see is not even the charade, nor any pretense of law and justice. In fact, it is not even the lust for vengeance. It is just stupid, blind cruelty.

We should remember that in 1945 Americans convicted and executed General Yamashita for less.

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Michael Meo - 5/5/2004

in what I take to be intended as a historical look at a topic. That is, for the reader to come to understand the topic, the writer is obliged to explain.
Why, in the writer's opinion, the difference between the behavior by American Occupation forces?
As your reader I expect you to make the mental effort to explain your finding.