May 01, 2004

ANGUISH

Remember those parents of kids in your high school who were totally oblivious to what their kids were doing? My kid would never do drugs / binge drink / sleep around / do anything remotely bad. And we kids and the other parents who had a clue never knew how to point out to the parents that Susie was a slut or Bobby was a stoner. They were going to believe whatever they wanted to believe, despite any evidence to the contrary.

I don't want to be in denial like one of those parents.
But I also don't even want to think about this.

The soldiers in my Army, in the America I live in, would never do something like that. My soldiers don't think humiliation and torture is funny or a joke to take photos of and send home to your high school buddies. My soldiers know that our situation in Iraq is already precarious enough without fuel like this to add to the fire.

Not my solders. Oh god, why did they have to do this?

Deskmerc expressed enough anger for both of us, but what I'm left feeling is sadness. I just feel so utterly let down and betrayed by the handful of soldiers who have put an ugly, ugly dent in our nation's reputation.


Dear soldiers of Abu Ghraib prison,

I am an Army wife who values soldiers over just about anyone else. I jump to your defense against all complaints, emphasize your strengths over your weaknesses, and would defend your honor until the day I died.

And you repay me with this?

We have a job to do in Iraq, one that is hard and time-consuming and must be done center stage in front of the whole world. Do you understand that? The whole world is watching us, waiting for us to mess up so they can release the triumphant I told you so! they've been sitting on. No one is watching the insurgents, making sure they follow the rules and play nice; they're watching you. And you gave them exactly what they were hoping for.

You gave them a spectacle.

See, your stupid prank, your treating POWs like frat pledges, is going to have major repercussions. We're already feeling them here in Germany, when a German wife last night expressed her dismay at knowing she'll have to now work twice as hard to convince her family and neighbors that the Americans are working for good in Iraq. You see, the Germans love this story. I'm sure the French are thrilled as well. And the Arabs -- those backwards folks that we've insisted we're better than -- now have one up on us.

"This will increase the hatred of America, not just in Iraq but abroad. Even those who sympathized with the Americans before will stop. It is not just a picture of torture, it is degrading. It touches on morals and religion."

"Abu Ghraib prison was used for torture in Saddam's time. People will ask now what's the difference between Saddam and Bush. Nothing!," added Saudi commentator Dawoud al-Shiryan.

Do you see what you've done? I'm forced to agree with a Saudi that you are no better than Saddam. Do you understand how that makes me feel? Do you understand how badly you have let me down, let all Americans down?

In a just world you'd be made to make your own little naked pyramid, but instead you'll all go to jail to sit and think for a long time. In the meantime, the rest of our Army's soldiers -- those whose reputation you've sullied -- will have to work twice as hard to make up for the damage you've done. You betrayed your fellow soldiers and your country when you put fun and games ahead of your Army Values. And you betrayed this one Army wife, who might think twice next time before jumping to all solders' defense.

I hate you for that.

Sarah

Posted by: Sarah at 05:22 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 663 words, total size 4 kb.

1 You are so right in your anguish. I am furious with these mental midgets with guns. It is like a building being made with little toothpicks and a third of the way complete. Along comes a clueless self absorbed worker who bumps the whole thing down and now they have to start all over. They can't even blame the actions on 18 yr old male testosterone 'cause it was a middle aged woman at the forefront. If nothing else I guess this has the left scratching their forehead!

Posted by: Toni at May 01, 2004 10:15 AM (oC8m2)

2 AMEN!!! Somebody didn't get it in Basic that when one of us messes up, WE ALL PAY! We need to nail their hides (and those who were allowing this to go on) to the wall in a very public way. But you know what? The good side of this is that we know that these vermin are the HUGE exception. The facts that we are so outraged, that they will be held accountable, and that so many others are doing their jobs so well is what makes this country not perfect, but great.

Posted by: Lyana at May 01, 2004 10:24 AM (ps81A)

3 This is why they need more women on the front lines. Rational thinking and reason might help balance out the hyper-masculinity, ego trips, and testosterone spikes that led to this.

Posted by: Mediocre Law Student at May 02, 2004 03:05 AM (U1xiF)

4 Hate to do the "I told you so" thing, but yes, like the parents who cannot admit their child would do something wrong, you are in major denial. Did you not see the photo of the soldier hooked up to the torture wires? Torture by electrodes is not accomplished by a few bad soldiers acting up, is not some "huge exception". This is SOP for torture, you have to be trained to do it, the equipment has to be procured, set up, maintained. It is time for you to WAKE UP to the ugly reality. Inside the US there are more people in prison per capita than in any other country, and outside, with its troops all over the globe in other people's countries, the US gov. runs torture regimes.

Posted by: florian at May 02, 2004 05:58 AM (tlX2n)

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