Sunday, June 13, 2004

The Dogs of War



I managed to interview one of the Abu Ghraib guarddogs, we’ll call him SOB X to protect his anonymity, regarding his part in the recent scandals:

Question: When you munched Iraqi butt at Abu Ghraib, was it on your own initiative, or were you following orders from higher up?

SOB X: I take 100% responsibility for my malfeasance. Make me the fall guy, er ah, fall dog, please. President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld and the rest of the NeoCons had NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS OUTRAGE.

Q: I understand that Iraqis are especially afraid of dogs.

SOB X: Unless they’re served baked and kabobbed on a bed of rice pilaf.

Q: Iraqis eat dogs?

SOB X: That’s what I’m telling you. Except in Abu Ghraib. There, dogs eat Iraqis.

Q: Isn’t it frightening enough for a naked Iraqi prisoner to simply be in close proximity to a dog?

SOB X: It’s frightening all right. REAL frightening. But you can never have TOO MUCH fear, you know what I’m saying? If I scare the wits out of some Iraqi simply by drooling near him, think how much MORE I scare him by barking at him, snarling at him, baring my fangs, sinking my fangs into his flesh, ripping off his lower extremities, and devouring him alive.

Q: You’ve devoured Iraqi detainees?

SOB X: I prefer to call them entrees.

Q: Entrees into the prison system?

SOB X: Entrees into my mouth! (laughs like a hyena)

Q: But how can these….entrees….provide useful answers if they are being devoured.

SOB X: Well, it’s obvious if you just THINK about it. I start devouring them from the feet upward, not from the head downward. That way, the prisoners have time to spill the beans before they’re completely eaten.

Q: But aren’t they screaming too much to provide sensible intelligence?

SOB X: Sometimes. And sometimes they faint. Or fall into comas. And sometimes they go out of their heads with pain and fear and say the funniest things. But you never know. The NEXT one might be the one who tells us where bin Laden is hiding.

Q: Iraqis know where bin Laden is hiding? I thought bin Laden hated Saddam’s regime. Why would Iraqis know where bin Laden is hiding?

SOB X: They wouldn’t. I was just using that as a hypothetical example.

Q: Well what WOULD Iraqi entrees know?

SOB X: They know when they’re delicious, because I make sure to tell them so.

Q: Is it true that General Geoffrey Miller, head of the Guatanamo Bay prison, tried to Gitmoize Abu Ghraib several months ago?

SOB X: Well, he dropped in for a visit, that’s for sure. And he brought some Gitmo doggies with him. They lectured me about proper interrogation procedure of terrorists.

Q: Which terrorists?

SOB X: The terrorists at Guantanamo.

Q: All the prisoners at Guananamo are terrorists?

SOB X: We prefer to call them entrees, not prisoners, but yes, they’re all terrorists. Anyone in a Gitmo or Abu Ghraib holding pen is, by definition, a terrorist.

Q: They don’t have to be charged with anything first?

SOB X: Not any more. We’ve learned, from Attorney General Ashcroft, that it’s simpler to dispense with all that legal mumbo jumbo and leapfrog straight to the incarceration, interrogation and torture.

Q: So you admit the entrees are tortured?

SOB X: It depends how hungry I am that day. If I’m starved, I just wolf ‘em down whole and dispense with the torture. But if I’m relaxed and well fed going INTO the interrogation room, then I’m happy to play with my food before eating it.

Q: Play….or torture?

SOB X: Torture IS play the way I do it.

Q: So you admit you’ve trashed the Geneva Convention.

SOB X: I defy you to tell me where in the Geneva Conventions it says a military dog can’t have a good day’s meal.

Q: Even if that meal is a POW?

SOB X: Even if it’s TEN POW’s!

Q: Sounds like your attitude toward the Iraqi people has changed since you first set out to liberate them.

SOB X: Well, when I FIRST got here I thought my mandate was to sniff out the weapons of mass destruction. And that was fine with me. But then I was told that we were here to deliver Iraqis from tyranny and establish freedom and democracy.

Q: And how’s that second mandate working out?

SOB X: I don’t really know that much about democracy. I’m a pack animal with a keenly attuned sense of hierarchy: follow the alpha dog and all that. On top of that, I’m an Army dog, a graduate of West Point and countless other obedience schools. What I’m really good at is taking orders. Plus, howza a German Shepherd supposed to teach Arabs the fine points of democracy? Do you know anything about Germans? Or Shepherds?

Q: It’s not going to happen?

SOB X: I’m doing my best, but somehow it’s all coming out as intimidation. Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it’s the sandstorms, maybe it’s that new Stop Loss Policy which has extended my tour by six more months, maybe I’m simply coming down with distemper. Whatever the case, the civics lessons I’m supposed to be teaching come out looking like something out of Wild Kingdom: red of tooth and claw.

Q: What about the future? Are you sanguine about Iraqi self-rule?

SOB X: I wouldn’t know about self-rule. I’ve taken orders every day of my life.

Q: So you DO admit that you were taking orders from higher ups when you chewed those Iraqis?

SOB X: Yeah. You got me there. But I didn’t get my orders from Bush. I got them from my handlers. …. Isn’t that where the President gets his?