Barbara J. Stock
possible for a handful of men and women to bring shame and disgrace to
the greatest fighting force in the world? Is it possible for this small
number to embarrass a country of over 280 million people? Yes, it is and
and anger are very strong emotions and most Americans are feeling both
right now with a blanket of shame trying unsuccessfully to cover both.
pitiful plea of “we had no guidance” is falling on deaf ears. The
fact they had failed to have the Geneva Convention manual read to them
is a pretty sorry excuse. Embarrassed family members are claiming they
are “scapegoats.” Military Intelligence men told them to do it.
Every soldier is taught they are not obligated to carry out any order
they know violates the laws of common decency.
behavior prompts one simple question: Did they know right from wrong?
It’s not a difficult question. We are not asking these soldiers to
explain Einstein’s theory of relativity. Put simply, it is this: Did
they, at any time, wonder if humiliating helpless enemy prisoners and
taking pictures for posterity of them with their grinning faces up front
and center pointing at prisoners genitals just might be WRONG?
Didn’t it occur to any of those charged that what they were doing
would reflect on every soldier, marine, sailor, and American in the
world? From the pictures, it appears they were having far too much fun
to consider the consequences and repercussions of their actions.
the anger I feel has many facets. I am angry at those who carried out
these hideous acts--angry at those officers who didn’t pay
attention--angry at any officer who knew and looked the other way--angry
that those who did come forward were at first ignored, but God bless
them, they persevered and finally got the word out to someone who did
anger that these fools have given our enemy fodder to use against us for
months, perhaps years to come. Those ignorant soldiers have put the good
soldiers at higher risk as angry Iraqis seek revenge for what was done
to their countrymen. In one fell swoop, they destroyed much of the good
we have done in
. The only way to possibly have some recovery from this disaster is to
televise their court-martials and allow the Arab world to see how
deals with crimes such as these. We must prove to them that such
animalistic behavior is not tolerated in our military or our society. No
secrecy, no cover-ups, and no simple “reprimand” for the officers
who lost control over the troops they commanded. No cloak of secrecy for
gloating Arab networks show these photos nearly around the clock there
is no way to even calculate the damage that has been done.
any story such as this, there is always shame on one side and anger on
the other. But do the Arabs or even the Iraqis have a right to be quite
as outraged as they profess to be from inside their huge house glass? I
Jazeera, the favored Arab television
propaganda machine, showed dead American soldiers and smirking Iraqi
captors standing over their bodies claiming they had executed them after
capturing them. It was amusing then. It was acceptable to murder our
POW’s and show their bodies over and over again. “The Geneva
Convention,” it was claimed, “only covered POW’s that were
alive.” Of course, Arab TV showed live prisoners as well. They showed
our beaten and bloodied soldiers and thought it was wildly amusing at
without exception, our female soldiers who were taken captive, have come
forward and admitted they were raped repeatedly while in the hands of
good, Muslim Iraqis.
Arab world in general overlooked and ignored for years in
makes the actions of a few foolish soldiers pale by comparison. Where
was their outrage then? Where was the fury when Saddam slaughtered
100,000 Shiites in the South of Iraq? Where was the horror when he
gassed 5000 Kurdish men, women and children? Where was the moral Arab
Muslim indignation when Saddam’s sons were trolling in schools to find
the prettiest young Iraqi girls to take and rape and then dump in a
ditch when they were done with them? Did Arab television show those
videos non-stop? The crimes aren’t limited to what was ignored in
Arab world see nothing wrong with the execution of women as
entertainment in a soccer field like the Roman’s of old…thumbs up
from the Mullah and she lives--thumbs down and she dies?
righteous, holier-than-thou Arab world that claims to live its faith to
the letter treats its women like animals.
, supposedly one of the “civilized” Arab countries, left school
girls to die behind a locked gate the Islamic guards could have opened
to save them. Unfortunately, in their haste to escape the fire, these
children didn’t have scarves to cover their heads so they were left to
burn to death as their screams for help fell on cruel and deaf ears.
Better to die horribly then to have your head uncovered for a few
minutes and tempt a weak Arab man.
must be so unable to control their sexual tendencies that the very sight
of a woman’s ankle or uncovered face tempts them beyond their ability
to control themselves. Even the sight of a young girl’s uncovered head
will apparently drive them wild.
Americans are ashamed of the behavior of these soldiers. They have no
excuse. I don’t care if they received direct orders from a general,
military intelligence, or the president himself, what they did was
wrong. All those involved must be ferreted out and punished for their
actions and the shame they have brought upon this country and our
As to the “outraged” Arab world,
it needs to do some internal reflection on what it seems be able to
overlook when the crimes involve its own. When the Arab world actually
starts following the Geneva Convention and stops cheering the executions
of hostages and the bombing of school buses full of five year olds, then
it will have a right to be outraged. Until then, it has no moral right
to condemn the
for the actions of few ignorant reservists.