Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Seeding the Clouds of the Climate of FearI've been outraged at the reports of the atrocities committed by U.S troops at Abu Ghraib prison. I don't think "atrocities" is too strong a word. I've also been reluctant to tune in to hear the inevitable cacophony of right vs. left rhetoric spewing from the cable news networks. These acts cannot be justified or rationalized in any way. There can be no debate. Our army has shamed the nation and has helped further unwind the thread-bare mantle of righteousness our leaders have wrapped themselves in to justify our petulant unilateral actions. I am sure the perpetrators will be punished but the damage can not be repaired. The disgusting snapshots of U.S. troops abusing prisoners will be the lasting images from this war. It's serendipitous that I've been listening to this year's BBC Reith Lecture given by Wole Soyinka on the current Climate of Fear gripping the world. The fourth lecture, A Quest for Dignity, is particularly relevant to the torture of prisoners at Abu Gharib. Who can look at those images and not see how the soldiers there were robbing these prisoners of their dignity. How can we expect the Muslim world to view us as the grinning immoral monsters captured on film presiding over the torture of helpless prisoners. Regardless of the tactical and strategic outcome, we have lost the war in Iraq.


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