May 04, 2004

Dear Journal,

I must preface this entry with two items.

First, as I wrote previously, I have begun an exercise program. As part of that program, I have obtained a membership at a local health club.

Second, There will be no photographs in this entry.

What Did We Expect?

Friday, April 30, 2004

I had just begun walking the tread mill at the health club. There are flat television screens mounted on the treadmills, and I turned to CNN as I walked. The screen lit up and a blurred image of naked male bodies piled on top of one another in an orgy of anal sex appeared. “What is gay porno doing on the news,” I thought. I put my earphones on and was informed that Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad had been abused sexually. The euphemism used for “sexually abused” in the news report was “sexual humiliation.” In several articles I have read since last Friday that the Iraqi prisoners were made to participate in these acts because homosexuality is particularly loathed in Arab and Iraqi culture. I was shocked, but probably not for the same reasons that many of my heterosexual brothers and sisters were upon watching and reading about these reports. of course I was dismayed that Iraqis were being tortured and abused sexually. However, there are several implications implicit within the decision to use this form of sexual abuse. First, the form of torture chosen does not say as much about Arab / Iraqi sensibilities as it does ours. Whoever chose homosexual abuse and acts of sodomy as torture, whether it be the general in charge at the prison, army intelligence officers, or ordianry enlisted personnel did so because they are part of a Twenty-first Century American culture that perceives homosexuality as a bad thing. For instance, an American heterosexual male myth that only “pansies” could possibly engage in homosexual acts classifies the stereotype PANSY as BAD. Thus, the irrational fear that any athelete might be gay. Well, I have a news flash. Homosexuals come in all types, just as heterosexual males and atheletes come in all types. So it was that these robust Iraqi men were forced to commit acts that only “sissies” might wish to perform. Second, these forms of sadistic sexual torture were chosen because they allowed the American personnel involved an approved (how sad) way to sublimate their own homosexual / heterosexual desires. I’ll bet there were American male participants who had to wash their under garments after they sexually abused the Iraqi men. And, I wonder too if any of the torturers participated activiely in the sexual performances the Iraqi men were forced to commit. Third, I noticed that one of the American persons in at least two of the photographs appeared to be female. I don’t care to speculate on her sexuality, but there are many possible variations that occur to me. I do wish to note that one of my own recollections from my early childhood was the fear and confusion brought on by potty training; fear of my own mother, suppositories, and my confused and willful retention. The participation of a woman or women in these acts of homosexual sadistic sexual torture further complicates the picture of the American sexual psyche.

It is taboo. We dare not speak of it. In the middle of this war that was supposedly over last year, with thousands of Iraqi’s killed, 723 American armed forces personnel dead, and Thousands of Iraqis imprisoned we are confronted with the unspeakable. What did we expect?

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