Sunday, May 30, 2004
eXile - Issue
eXile - Issue #190 - Feature Story - Abu Ghraibi Fever - By John Dolan:,,,Then came Lynndie England, the girl who sacrificed so much to try to show America that Empires should be fun.

This was the first American war where the girls were allowed to play with the boys--literally, in Lynndie's case! Assigned to "break the will" of Iraqi prisoners, Lynndie and her chunky co-star did what good Imperialists always do: they turned business into pleasure.

If only we Americans studied history more, we'd understand that Lynndie's improvised tableaux, like the "pyramid of naked Iraqis" or the equally classic "aiming gun/thumb at captured Iraqi's balls," come straight out of the Greco-Roman canon, or even further back--from the Assyrians, masters of this sort of fun. Every time the Ancients took a city, they hired sculptors to depict in loving detail the sexual humiliation of the defeated. The losers were inevitably depicted as naked, bound, often lying on the ground to await the attentions of their new masters--just the way Lynndie, that devolved little prodigy, posed them.

Yup, this little West Virginia girl who probably could not recite ten lines of the Iliad in succession, intuitively composed the greatest of modern war art: those fantastic photos from Al Ghraib prison. Someday she may be appreciated as the woman who showed America how the game of Empire should be played; someday she will be recognized as a great sculptor, working with the bodies of slaves--the most ancient and esteemed of all media.

But in the meantime, she is hounded by hypocrites who expect America's youth to conquer foreign lands, risking their lives, for nothing more than Army pay. For these people, only money is allowed to inflict pain--never power itself. That is their real objection to Lynndie: she reached back to an older hierarchy, in which the warrior ranked above the moneychanger. Now those money men want her punished for showing us what fun conquest really could be.

No one even seems to give her credit for her greatest innovation: making the delights of Classical S&M accessible to women as well as men. Even the Romans would be amazed to see a mere slip of a girl like Lynndie holding the leash as a man of the conquered people writhes at her feet. Yet has one so-called "feminist" raised her voice in gratitude?

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