Monday, July 10, 2006

They're going to tell you... just shut up and let the judiciary process take its course before we jump to conclusions about our soldiers in Iraq. The latest out of Baghdad is a horrible story about the rape and murder of a young Iraqi girl and three members of her family.

Abu-Garib, Gitmo, Haditha...ladies and gentlemen the war on terror has taken a nosedive. I know these young men are out there in the worst conditions imaginable, but this sort of behavior is unexcusable. We're not talking about a random shootout, we're talking about the continued violation of human rights by invading forces in a country that hasn't done a single thing to us.

Islam might be the biggest threat to the West right now, but our ill-informed policy and this evil war are a very, VERY close second.


Red Tulips said...

I totally agree with you.

I also wrote a post on my blog re: this all.

However, we should not be measuring our morality by the yardstick of the Islamists. The yardstick we measure our morality by should be higher than the depravity of the Islamists. This is not the "soft bigotry of low expectations," because I do not believe other world agencies have the right to hold America to different standards. However, we ought to expect more of ourselves. We should not be proud to be "better than the Islamists." Any comparison with the Islamists is itself a mark of shame upon America.

And so it is with a heavy heart that I read some of the comments on Little Green Footballs, where posters will justify torture by saying "we're better than the Islamists."

Since when did the bar for human rights get set so low?

Red Tulips said...

Actually I want to edit myself. I mostly agree with you.

I do not believe that the American or Western behavior is a "close second." More like a DISTANT second. But we still should hold ourselves to higher standards and NOT be okay with torture.

Berdo said...

I totally DISagree with this entire line.

Yes, terrible story. And yes, awful behavior that must be punished - on this we agree.

But this is not an EVIL war - and certainly not because of this. And it's not taking a nosedive either.

This is a war that drove out a horrible tyrant who committed far worse atrocities, WITH intent, for far longer than any rogue American solider ever could. Ask the Kurds how they feel about this being an evil war. You might feel very differently after that.

With all the good intentions in the world, it is beyond condescending to assume that we can reach a higher standard of morality than anyone else.

This reminds me of an exchange I once saw where a journalist was making the case (this may have been on Real Time with Bill Maher) that we should not be in Iraq - and mentioned schools being burnt down by terrorists of a good example of why we should not be in Iraq. When you're down to pointing the finger of blame not at the people burning down the schools, but at the people trying to build them, than I think it speaks volumes about your personal bias than it does about any on-the-ground facts. I get the feeling you hold to a similar perspective...

Clemens said...

Berdo, et al.:
It's not an evil war (give or take a few assumptions). Nor is it a moral equivalency test. What it is, is a break down of discupline among our elite combat units including their officers. Or at least, that is what the second ranking army officer in Iraq has concluded. For any American, that should be a sign that something isn't working right. The only thing worse than an evil war, is a war fought for the best moralreasons, but incompetently.

Or so I read. I could be wrong.

Sam said...

"This reminds me of an exchange I once saw where a journalist was making the case (this may have been on Real Time with Bill Maher) that we should not be in Iraq - and mentioned schools being burnt down by terrorists of a good example of why we should not be in Iraq."

The point was that before we showed up, there weren't Jihadists burning down schools. Before we showed up, there was no need to rebuild schools. For as shitty a place as Iraq was, it at least had the highest school enrollment rate in the developing world and the highest literacy rate in the Arab world.

Berdo said...

Sam -

Not for women! As it is - the first schools open to women are being built in Iraq right now - by us.

The terrorists burning down these schools are doing so because they fervently believe that women should be uneducated and doomed to a life of subjugation and possible abuse.

I'm sorry - I don't buy the "high enrollment" rates in Iraq pre-US invasion as any kind of virtue in this case.

TonkaManOR said...

If you think this is the only war where this kind of thing happened, then you are mistaken. We hear more about this now, because the media is there to report it. Don't believe that this never happened in WWII or the Korean War. We only started to hear about such things happening in Vietnam after the fact.

Is part of the problem that we don't prepare our young troops for conflict? I can't answer that, since I'm not there.

I also don't condone it, but if we aren't there for our troops, who is?

Just my .02.

GayConservativeLiberal said...

Of course we know that this has happened before, but we have to support the human beings caught in the middle of this war, not our soldiers who flip out and do heinous things like this.

TonkaManOR said...

Ah, but see, you said "flip out", so are you saying that maybe it happened because of insanity? Why would they do this, if they didn't think they could get away with it? It's a thin line and we're saying they are quilty before proven so........