You know, as hard as I am trying to be angry at the US Soldiers for abusing the Iraqi prisoners, I just cannot seem to justify that particular emotion. I mean, sure it is against the rules of the Geneva Convention to mistreat a POW. And sure it is beneath us as Americans to mistreat prisoners. We are supposed to be the “big brother” nation. We are supposed to set the example. We are supposed to do the humanitarian thing. We are supposed to do the right thing.
But I think America goes overboard with the humane treatment we do give our prisoners. While they are imprisoned, they get their three squares a day, free medical and dental care, free postal service, the right to any religious figure of their denomination (if possible,) plus what I am certain to be countless other benefits that we as actual American citizens don’t get to enjoy without paying for it. Cable TV perhaps?
So we kicked around some POW’s, punching them in the stomach or slapping them in the face. So we threatened some of them with sodomy, or perhaps their life while interrogating them. So we fired a weapon during an interrogation, with no intent whatsoever in hitting them. So we showed them the bottoms of our feet. Yes, as bad as these things sound, let us compare what they do and have done to our prisoners. They have raped our prisoners. They have broken the bones of our prisoners, severely disfiguring some of them. They have starved our prisoners. They have done these things without giving any medical treatment of any kind. They have killed our prisoners while in their custody.
Yes, we showed some humiliating photos of their prisoners. Some were nude, others were in compromising positions. Fine, get pissed. They show pictures of our citizens with knives to their throats. We see the severely swollen faces from the beatings they have endured. We see photos and videos of our citizen’s dead bodies being drug through their town. We rescued one of our citizens to find that she had been tortured, raped and beaten. She had broken bones, bullet wounds, infections. She was not given medical attention. She was not given humane treatment.
More recently we had a citizen who was captured and had his life threatened on video tape. Ask Lieutenant Colonel Richard Storr about the beatings, burnings, starvation and mock executions endured while he was a prisoner during the first Iraqi war. Constant threats of castration and dismemberment were a daily ritual then.
By comparison, I believe the treatment of Iraqi prisoners really is quite humane. Sure, it is juvenile and beneath us. But with that comparison, I simply cannot get angry at our troops. I think there are more important things to get pissed off about.