the Disillusioned kid: First Farce Then Tragedy...
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Monday, March 21, 2005

First Farce Then Tragedy...

Does this sound familiar?
It was a culture of routine beatings, starvation, killings (the hanged represent only a small fraction of those who died in British custody during the Emergency) and torture of the most grotesque kinds. Alsatian dogs were used to terrify prisoners and then ‘maul’ them. There are other similarities with Abu Ghraib: various indignities were devised using human faeces; men were forced to sodomise one another. They also had sand, pepper and water stuffed in their anuses. One apparently had his testicles cut off, and was then made to eat them. ‘Things got a little out of hand,’ one (macho European) witness told Elkins, referring to another incident. ‘By the time we cut his balls off he had no ears, and his eyeball, the right one, I think, was hanging out of its socket. Too bad, he died before we got much out of him.’ Women were gang-raped, had their nipples squeezed with pliers, and vermin and hot eggs thrust into their vaginas. Children were butchered and their body parts paraded around on spears.
Iraq? Afghanistan? No, British controlled Kenya during the 1950s. Not that many people in the UK today even those critical of the country's foreign policy would be aware of this. Nor for that matter a whole host of other crimes commited by the British government and its agents over the years which, as Mark Curtis notes, are numerous and have had serious consequences:
I have calculated that Britain is complicit in the deaths of around 10 million people since 1945, in conflicts or covert operations where Britain has played a direct role or where it has strongly supported aggression by allies, especially the US. Declassified government files reveal a whole series of largely unknown British policies, for example British support for the 1963 killings in Iraq that brought Saddam’s Ba’ath party to power and the British arming of Baghdad regimes’ brutal aggression against the Kurds throughout the 1960s
All of which underlines why projects such as this are so important.
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