Sat, 15 May 2004

U.S. treatment of Iraqi prisoners

Those that have been exposed to war conditions will more than understand how it is possible that Iraqi prisoners can suffer such degrading treatment at the hands of a few American soldiers. War is full of atrocities that can and will very quickly turn men into animals.

Of course, there is no possible excuse that can be offered for such despicable behavior because such things are well known, and as such, the commanding officers should be more than aware of the dangers.

In Iraq there are many triggers that come from the blowing up of innocent UN aid workers to the horrific decapitation of a U.S. security officer and more, and on who better than prisoners of war to vent that understandable anger. We need to maintain a sense of balance when viewing such things and should remember that history, unfortunately, has continuously brought forward horrendous treatment of wartime prisoners. First we must look at what happens around us and say, are our hands free of guilt, and does Indonesia treat all its prisoners in a really humane manner?

Those U.S. soldiers found guilty will be severely punished and of that people can be assured, but where do such actions fit into the pecking order of war atrocities? It would be easy to say that doesn't matter, but unfortunately it does, and that is why people should always view such war crimes in perspective.

To look at things in isolation is not what reality is all about, so now we need to step back and let the law take its place. This whole affair is a huge embarrassment to the U.S. because some of their soldiers are guilty of actions that are degrading to humanity and to their nation. That said, perhaps we need to focus our thoughts and our energies into trying to understand the reasons why, and then to do everything possible to ensure that such behavior is not repeated.

Vile as it was, there has been a lot worse, and unfortunately there is every indication that the situation in Iraq has not yet reached rock bottom. For those that are up there on white horses waving the flag of human rights and of purity, step down and rejoin the real world that struggles daily with the degradation of humanity no matter which way you face.