Monday, May 10, 2004

Sick to the Stomach

By now, everyone has heard of the torture and humiliation that Iraqi prisoners underwent at the hands of American soldiers. I guess you're all as horrified as I am by the cruelty and inhumanity of their acts. It makes me sick to think that people are capable of treating other human beings like this.

Here is an extract from The New Yorker - you should read Hersh's article.

Here is the full report of Maj. Gen. Taguba on the alleged abuse of prisoners by members of the 800th Military Police Brigade at Abu Ghraib Prison in Baghdad.

I remember reading a few years ago about the My Lai massacre - which was perpetrated during the Vietnam War (the story was broken by the same Seymour Hersh whose article on Abu Ghraib appears in The New Yorker) - and thinking that such a tragedy couldn't happen in this modern era. Surely lessons had been learned, and military culture had changed with the times, and the military system had become much more transparent - but I guess that was pretty naive thinking.

What is wrong with people, and with the military system, that things like this can happen, and people can treat others with such contempt and senseless cruelty?? Could this just have easily happened if the prison had been under Australian control rather than American?? How can Western society possibly judge other "rogue" nations when our "civilised" Western society acts like this??


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