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Hattiesburg American Watch: Prison Torture - The pen of enlightenment in a state of disrepair. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Hattiesburg American Watch: Prison Torture [May. 28th, 2004|01:49 pm]
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[music |Letter after Letter...]

I found the following letter in Yowyowsarton's LJ about how prison abuse isn't all that bad. It's from theHattiesburg American I decided to respond as follows.


U.S. soldiers deserve medals

In the May 21 edition of the Hattiesburg American, both columnists on the Opinion page, in their own way, attempted to deal with the much-publicized actions of the American soldiers who allegedly were to blame for mistreating the prisoners in their custody. As I completed reading Kathleen Parker's column, I found myself sitting in front of my computer typing a response before even deciding how to present my remarks.

To Kathleen, Ricardo Pimentel and anybody else whose opinion falls into the category of "shame on America," I have this to say to you. First, unless the press reports it, we have no idea what happens in Iraq. Second, why do no pictures of slain or blown-up Americans grace the covers of any newspapers? I don't mean just those people who have been taken prisoner, but any American or ally who has died during his daily battle to help someone who is adamantly determined to harm him or her?

We have lost 750-plus soldiers thus far in Iraq at the hands of people who do not even appear to our soldiers as the enemy. But only those Americans who were mistreated after capture have been spread out in clear view for Americans lucky enough to still be on sacred American soil. My theory is this: Perhaps those soldiers who are responsible for the cruelties to those captives just tired of seeing their comrades in arms being ambushed and slain by an enemy who has no idea what the Geneva Convention is.

"Do unto others" and "Turn the other cheek" may be effective phrases when you try to teach your 6-year-old to play well with others. But in times of war, "An eye for an eye" makes more sense. Perhaps if more pictures of slain Americans - or even a portrayal of how America would look if we didn't have soldiers to defend us - might change some minds. It's easy for someone who has never been in the military (I haven't either) to judge the actions of someone in the position our American soldiers are in. But being there and seeing first hand must be horrendous.

We should give those soldiers a medal; give them a few days off with pay to reflect on a job well done and praise them when they come home with parades.

Missy Collum, Petal


MY RESPONSE:
It seems fitting that a May 27th letter advocated people during war forget “turn the other check” and memorize “an eye for an eye.” How easily anger and war make people neglect the message of their Savior. Vengeance is the LORD’s, or so they say.

The pictures of slain Americans so many are calling for are not hidden by some Liberal media conspiracy, but by our leaders. To show clearly what they are putting our citizens through (still for undetermined reasons), would likely enflame the peace movement. We who work for peace want the government and big media to show you exactly what our government is doing to our citizens.

Also, most do not simply ‘judge’ those whose smiles appear next to terrified prisoners. We don’t condone these actions, but understand that in the anarchic, violent, uncertain situation our government created, many act out in ways they otherwise wouldn’t. The torture and humiliation is endemic, a social problem created during war (not just this, but most wars and occupations in history). This is why the Just War Doctrine says war is only a last option. Everyone involved (except the rich making billions on the blood of the rest of us), is forever scarred.

The torture in Iraq includes sexual assault, with one teenage boy being reportedly raped by an American translator and prisoners being forced into sexual acts; and religious abuse, as detainees reported being forced to curse Allah and praise Jesus.
It has been reported that all of this is simply a day’s work, going back to the School of the Americas. I doubt Jesus is proud of how he’s being used.
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Comments:
From: ceridwen
2004-05-28 09:18 am (UTC)
I think you also need to mention that two wrongs do not make a right. The violence and degragation need to end somewhere, and being that "great nation" we claim to be, it should be us treating the prisoners fairly, not forcing deprived acts on prisoners for our own amusment.
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