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Religion, Empire, and TortureThe Case of Achaemenian Persia, with a Postscript on Abu Ghraib$
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Bruce Lincoln

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226481968

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226481913.001.0001

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Postscript: On Abu Ghraib and Some Related Contemporary Matters

Postscript: On Abu Ghraib and Some Related Contemporary Matters

(p.97) Postscript: On Abu Ghraib and Some Related Contemporary Matters
Religion, Empire, and Torture
University of Chicago Press

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

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