Perspective On The Torture At Abu Ghraib
Ya know, like most people, I’ve think the torture of prisoners in Iraq was nothing less than despicable. As a matter of fact, last week I called for court martials & prison sentences for the people responsible.
That being said, the media’s general reaction to this situation has been staggeringly overwrought & monstrously overblown. This week, because of what went on at Abu Ghraib prison, I’ve heard us compared to Hitler & Saddam, calls for Rumsfeld to resign, heard that our reputations will never recover, comparisons to concentration camps & Mai Lai…
Please, what a load of sanctimonious hyperbole that is.
Sorry, a few poorly supervised soldiers got out of a hand and tortured people. And who knows? Maybe this is more widespread than we thought. Maybe there are a few contractors or CIA guys involved.
So what are we doing about it? Well, we cleaned house at Abu Ghraib, changed our procedures, and everyone from Donald Rumsfeld, to Condi Rice, to Colin Powell, to Bush himself has very publicly come out and either apologized or said this is wrong.
Yet and still, we’re getting all this hand-wringing, mainly because we’re afraid the Arab World is going to flip out over this.
First off, somewhere around 10%-15% of the Middle-East already thinks we’re the “Great Satan Zionist Sons Of Pigs And Monkeys” so it’s not as if we have to worry about dropping any lower in their eyes.
As for the rest of the region, let’s put this in perspective. Are we really worrying that people from Egypt, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, etc, are too ill informed and ignorant to tell the difference between the US and their own rulers? These people live in countries where torture 5 times worse than what we saw at Abu Ghraib is the rule, not the exception — is rewarded, not punished — and you’ll die of old age before you ever hear anyone apologize for it. When are the Mad Mullahs Of Iran or the Saudi Princes going to apologize for torturing their people? Better question, when are they going to stop torturing their people?
The reason what happened at Abu Ghraib has been such a big sensation is because it is such an aberration and so out of line with American values. So the apologies and changes we’ve made were appropriate, but so is a little perspective…