African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 389


Torture, capitalism, and the new white man’s burden

Wesley C. Kraft-Davis
Florida State University, U.S.A.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 14 April 2011
  •  Published: 31 July 2013


The not so recent distribution of the Abu Ghraib photos throughout the United States and the world brought forth the detection of a practice that is commonly used by the U.S. and its “satellite states.” For the mainstream U.S. American public, it was a shocking and horrifying discovery.  For others, such as Carlos Mauricio who “had flashbacks when he saw the guy with the hood (at Abu Ghraib),” the photos were a terrible reminder of a “counter terrorism” practice that is implemented to subdue “communist/terrorist insurgents.” Following the publication of the Abu Ghraib photos, U.S. representatives, with the help of the media, “manufactured consent” by dismissing the photos as “not representing America” and blaming the atrocious acts committed within the photos on a “few bad apples”.`  There are those who were not fooled, as well as others who would like to know how we, as a society, can end this dreadful practice. This piece will expose some ideas that may, in fact, contribute to ending the practice of torture by the United States.  It will analyze and critique institutions and ideologies, such as racism and capitalism that are so fundamental to the U.S. and create conditions ripe for torture to thrive.


Key words: Abu Ghraib, american exceptionalism, capitalism, Torture, War, White man’s burden.