US sponsored War Crimes: The Atrocity Exhibition

A Review of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Exhibit



(Rachel Corrie, American peace activist crushed by a bulldozer in Gaza.)

In Kuala Lumpur, we moved forward, after a mass briefing about the War Crimes Commission, to find ourselves in a museum surrounded by human effigies depicting war crimes, mass murders, scenes of torture and atrocity after atrocity.

We sensed the terror of the victims, vividly revealed in the frozen wax faces, and the repulsive horrors wrought by the hands of their assailants, so shocking, so merciless, so monstrous.

Rachel Corrie, American martyr for Palestinian rights.

On this occasion, I anaesthetized my emotions in order to survey the microcosm of brutality that passed before my eyes as Matthias [Chang], Michel [Chossudovsky], Chris [Busby] and I staggered from room to room.

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Gulf War One, Abu Ghraib and Rachel Corrie formed scenes that reeled from shame to overwhelming dread.

(Rachel Corrie in Gaza.)

The disgusting language of war and its disgusting crimes provided a counterpoint to punctuate the trauma and savagery brought to life before us.

Before my eyes, the effigies of the tortured, maimed, dead and dying came to a form of life. They writhed in agony as they were subjected to brutalities that surpassed the most hellish scenes in Dante’s Inferno.

In the final chambers we witnessed videos of the leading villains of the Bush administration: Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld and the rest – uttering their lies of WMDs in Iraq that launched the most disastrously stupid war in American history.

These people had become the gatekeepers of war and peace, life and death as they had lusted after earthly powers. The neocons beamed a haze of smug self-assurance as they focused and preened and premeditated their malignance aforethought.

Bush and his circle of neocon warriors held the rest of the world in the palms of their hands. In his high-heeled boots and his denim cowboy suit, Bush pointed to the map of Iraq and furrowed his brow. His mouth curled into a frown, as he ordered the deaths of hundreds of thousands of his fellow humans compelled by the powerful secret of Saddam’s hidden WMDs.

Bush’s bombs fell on Baghdad. Bush’s campaign of shock and awe rained down on the Iraqi people who were isolated from power. America and her coalition of the willing launched the world on a terrible quest in search of the terrible revelation of nuclear atrocity lurking under the sands of Iraq. But the secret remained elusive, until it vanished into a quagmire of quicksand under a whirlwind in the desert leaving us yearning for a forgotten time of trust in our government, security in our homes and peace in our time.

The time since these events seems to have collapsed like a folded telescope into one long and excruciating struggle against the march of insanity.

Humanity has fallen into a pit, bedevilled by a demonic pendulum with a razor’s edge that lacerates and mutilates and cuts deeply into the innocence of flesh. Women and children, disabled, aged and infirm victims fell into that bottomless pit that was a place beyond all pity. The corpses are surging upward into a mountain, a Himalaya of monstrosity that now lies supine at the feet of the earthly powers.

In the darkest corridors of Abu Ghraib, interrogators tortured and humiliated and defiled the lives of their victims. Many were totally innocent, ordinary and peaceful Iraqis – and none of them deserved the vicious torture that was meted out unto them.

One of the victims of Abu Ghraib, Ali Shalah, would testify to the War Crimes Commission about the unspeakable atrocities that ravaged his body, his mind and his life.

My mission to the War Crimes Conference and War Crimes Commission was leading me more deeply into the spiral of a journey more savage than any I had ever undertaken before.

On this journey, I witnessed the testimony of scientists who confirmed the devastating effects of depleted uranium. The debate over the effects of depleted uranium in the western media is a farce. The birth defects alone are catastrophic.

At the atrocity exhibition, I witnessed the images and the effigies of babies born into a nightmare so hellish that their limbs were deformed by their broken chromosomes in an evil hour long before their painful births.

Many of my colleagues at the atrocity exhibition were reduced to tears crushed by the impact of our collective reality on their children and the children of the world who know nothing of the madness engulfing us all.

The images of the atrocity exhibition will be with me for the rest of my life. They led me onward toward a quotation inscribed on the walls of the atrocity exhibition written by one of my heroes, Benjamin Franklin, “There was never a good war, nor a bad peace.”

Michael Carmichael will be writing a series of reports about the War Crimes Commission that took place in Kuala Lumpur.

Rachel Corrie, April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003.

Articles by: Michael Carmichael

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