THE brutalising, maiming, beating and even killing of the ‘subject peoples’ by imperialist troops is part and parcel of the imperialist system and tradition, which breeds racism and treats all non-Americans or non-Europeans as inferiors.
Everywhere the troops of British imperialism have gone, from Ireland to India, they have engaged in these actions, and have been been encouraged and trained to teach the blacks or the Irish a lesson that ‘they’ll never forget’.
In the 1920s the Black and Tans and Auxiliaries were recruited specifically to carry out terror attacks on the Irish people.
That tradition was continued with the Bloody Sunday massacre by the parachute regiment, in Derry in 1972.
That tradition was further developed, in a more sophisticated fashion, when MI5 and the British army put its agents at the head of loyalist death squads in the north and handed over to them the pictures of those republicans and nationalists that it wanted to see murdered.
The recent legislation that was dropped, after Sinn Fein objected, about the return of ‘on the runs’, was directed at freeing up a number of British officers who are sheltering in various British embassies throughout the world, who cannot return to the UK, without the danger of facing criminal prosecutions because of their service in the north of Ireland, working with the loyalist death squads.
In India there was the infamous Amritsar massacre in the 1919, one of many imperialist atrocities, that continued right up to the end of the Second World War, when routinely British troops in India opened fire on striking and demonstrating workers.
This was followed by the campaign in Malaya, when British officers used Dyak head hunters against the liberation fighters and were photographed holding up the severed heads of the fallen enemy.
In Kenya, in the campaign against the Mau Mau Land Freedom Army, there was the atrocity of the Hola camp and the torture and mutilation of prisoners that was carried out there.
This is the tradition of imperialism and specifically British imperialism.
In Iraq, this has been developed into a science. University intellectuals and academics were enrolled to study the Arab character and work out how to humiliate and bring prisoners to the brink of suicide and self destruction, to the point where they would talk.
The end result of this was the tactics used in Abu Ghraib, and at Guantanamo Bay, based on a study of how the Israeli military treated their Palestinian prisoners in their jails, camps and prisons.
The latest imperialist atrocities of British troops beating up Iraqi teenagers were not stopped by any officers, because the officers were allowing it to happen, and by that fact encouraging it.
In fact, the troops were acting as a normal imperialist occupation army, as they have always acted until they were thrown out of the places that they were occupying, by force of arms.
The punishment of a few soldiers and a middle ranking officer or two, will not change the leopard’s spots. If you want to get rid of imperialist atrocities you have to get rid of capitalism and imperialism.
The trade unions must demand the immediate withdrawal of all British troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the working class must put an end to British imperialism with a socialist revolution.
This will smash the British capitalist state and disband its military and officer corps, the only way to put an end to imperialist atrocities.