Skip to comments.Lileks: Liberation of Children's Jail
Posted on 04/09/2003 6:11:47 AM PDT by tictoc
Allied troops liberated a childrens jail today.
I wish that sentence made no sense.
Someone had to decide there would be childrens jails. Who? Saddam? He had more important things to do. Children matter as much to his world as dogs, or lamps. He may have signed off on the idea of creating a youth brigade, and put a gold star in the dossier of the sweating toady who proposed the idea. When someone put forth a proposal for jails to hold the children who resisted joining the brigades, he may have felt that spasm of impatience that shoots through the dictators heart from time to time: why are you bothering me with this? Build them; I dont care. You think this is the path to advancement? You want my ear and my eye, kill someone who matters.
Would Uday care? He feeds on fear, but theres no power or satisfaction in the fear of a child, because the truth of death and the horror of rape is really quite beyond their boring imaginations. They have to know what you can do, really understand whats coming for it to be fun.
Qusay would care, inasmuch as children are useful. People who might resist you will do anything if you bring their children into the matter. He learned that from his father, no doubt. Some things his father doesnt quite grasp; hes old school. Where he grew up all children were expendable. This is a different world, a world of the big city, a world of politics, a world of men who went to school and learned to build bridges, design hotels, construct sewer systems. Men like this are remarkably pliant when their children are involved. Childrens jails: ahhh, now why didnt he think of that.
There was a general who fought in the war against Iran - fought well, cared for his troops, put down the cowards when required, but had a reputation for no-nonsense honesty. He understood the men. Not one of those Baghdad bastards with the slogans and the phony medals, but a real soldier. He had no ambition. The purges passed him by. His lungs were never the same after that glorious offensive no one celebrates, the one where the wind suddenly shifted and his men fell in waves, weeping and puking - but they gave worse than they got, so he kept his commission. Dull, dependable: Baath to the end. Nothing he had done in his long career had troubled him much; war was what it was. You did what you did. One afternoon he opened the envelope and read of his new duty - overseeing the childrens jail. The emotions rose and demanded a hearing: Shame over such a pitiful assignment. Fear that this meant he was in disfavor. Annoyance at the thought of a prison full of whimpering children who would never learn the proper lesson until theyd been beaten a dozen times. Jealousy of an old comrade hed seen on the news the other day, inspecting some facility, his uniform clean and creased.
The end result of a fascist regime is always this: a man who seeks advancement by proposing a childrens jail; a smarter man who sees the political advantage of building one; the men who lock the doors and make the gruel with dead empty hearts, and the man who worries what will happen to him if the jail is found wanting.
The children, of course, dont matter at all. In fact they matter least of all, and after a while their jailers come to hate them for what they make the jailers do.
A daisy chain of snakes biting their tales. Look up at the portrait hanging on the wall. Ask yourself what he wants. Bite harder.
(Excerpt) Read more at lileks.com ...
Saddam was a profound admirer of Josef Stalin, and copied his methods meticulously. For example, if one person in a household was suspected of disloyalty, the entire household, and all of its discoverable family connections would be executed or imprisoned.
You're aiming about 2-1/2 feet too high, IMO...
It's a great day to be a freedomite.
Absolutely goddamn right. Some things are worth fighting for, and freedom is one of them. Suck on that one, Saddam-snugglers...