Oh, to live in George W. Bush’s world. How nice it must be to know – just, KNOW – that we must defeat the terrorists to win the global War on Terror. If we can just capture or kill enough of the “enemy,” then we can achieve victory. Mission accomplished.
The problem, if you’re anybody but our Dear (delusional) Leader, of course, is figuring out just exactly who that “enemy” is. As piss poor as the handling of this godforsaken war has been, just being in the wrong place at the wrong time can earn the average Iraqi citizen the dubious distinction of being designated as an “enemy combatant.”
Heck, for that matter, even being in the RIGHT place can lead to the same result. That’s what Iraqi journalist Yunis Abbas and his brothers found out one night before the insurgency was in its early throes. They were all home and in bed, just returned from a neighbor’s wedding celebration, when the U.S. Marines came calling. Turns out, an informant had provided erroneous “intelligence” indicating that Yunis and his brothers were part of a terrorist cell whose mission it was to assassinate British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Yunis recounts his harrowing tale in “The Prisoner…”, candidly recounting his abusive treatment at the hands of his American captors inside the notorious hell that was Abu Ghraib prison. Not that this utterly compelling figure or his shocking tale need much in the way of embellishment, but directors Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein judiciously and effectively punch up Yunis’ narrative with vibrant artwork that looks as if it’s leapt straight off the pages of a DC Comic book.
War is chaos and confusion even under the best of circumstances, of which this current fiasco clearly ain’t. “The Prisoner…” underscores this fact, as well as muddying up the waters on such commonly accepted platitudes as “Support the Troops.” The good troops, of course, deserve such support. Even Yunis has great respect and even admiration for the Army reinforcements who took over Abu Ghraib’s operation. We even meet one of these reinforcements, a young real estate agent who grew to respect and eventually befriend Yunis.
But there are plenty of “bad” troops out there as well, as Yunis unfortunately discovered. So, what do you know about that? Turns out that every country, every civilization, has its good eggs as well as its bad ones. What “The Prisoner, Or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair,” clearly shows us is that this Administration has no interest in learning the difference between the two.
Shame on them.