Postscript: On Abu Ghraib and Some Related Contemporary Matters

in Religion, Empire, and Torture

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780226481968
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226481913 | DOI:
Postscript: On Abu Ghraib and Some Related Contemporary Matters

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George W. Bush's Top Gun landing became one of two iconic images of the Iraq War in its early phases. The soldiers at Abu Ghraib staged and restaged variant scenarios. The minidramas staged at Abu Ghraib were designed to confirm the captors' worst suspicions concerning the Iraqis. The guards at Abu Ghraib may represent a late moment in the history of an empire, or they may simply have found themselves at a stress point, the accumulated pressure of events disclosing deep contradictions in the empire's traditional animating verities. The maintenance of imperial power depends on their ability to sustain or regenerate certain core beliefs, in spite of brutal experiences that threaten to demolish everything they have been taught to hold dear.

Keywords: Abu Ghraib; George W. Bush; Top Gun; Iraqis; empire; imperial power

Chapter.  2882 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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