The Call of Cthulhu
US troops freed 42 Iraqis who had been held captive by the al-Qaeda in Diyala. Some had been hung from the ceiling and tortured for as long as 4 months. One of the captives was a 14 year old boy.
Military officials said the operation, launched on tips from residents, showed that Iraqis in the turbulent Diyala province were turning against Sunni insurgents and beginning to trust U.S. troops.
"The people in Diyala are speaking up against al-Qaida," said Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, the top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq. ...
"The more contact we have (with) the Iraqi citizens, the more confidence that they develop in us, and in the Iraqi police and the Iraqi army. That leads to greater cooperation from the Iraqi citizenry," said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a U.S. military spokesman.
I've always wondered what tactical utility the al-Qaeda obtained from its "slaughterhouses". The Iraqi captives -- and certainly the 14 year old boy -- could not have had any information of military value. And what information they had would have gone stale in the four months. Moreover the operational danger to maintaining these dungeons must have been immense, as the al-Qaeda who may now be in US custody after the raid must now realize. So what was the purpose of the "slaughterhouses"? The answer I suspect, will largely resemble the answer to the question of why the Nazis made lampshades out of human skin, soap out of gas-chamber victims or performed medical experiments on live inmates when there was very little practical use in it. The utility was in the brutality itself; in the psychological benefit which the Nazis somehow derived.
Al-Qaeda, like all the evil vapors of the world through history, inevitably comes to resemble its predecessors. Soldiers of the dark eventually find themselves wearing the same livery. Flowers bloom in myriad ways, but evil, like pornography, is repetitive. It marches to the same dull beat that all the Lost of the ages have heard call. Poor men, these al-Qaeda, they who would remake the world in their ostensibly new vision only to find it had been templated long ago by some sad and ancient corruption.