In a Duluth News-Tribune commentary by Michele Naar-Obed, the Christian Peacemakers Team member — who is volunteering as a humanitarian worker in Iraq — reports on abusive acts by US soldiers she and her colleagues collected from residents of that country. Naar-Obed insists that her words are not motivated by malice or any desire to smear the military: “I have no proof that these acts are widespread or systematic or that they are ordered by high-ranking officials. I only know that these ragtag peace groups have collected enough testimony to be disturbing.”
Over the past months, teams of five to seven volunteers have traveled throughout the country listening to the stories of people as they are slowly being released from U.S. detention camps and compiling testimony of abuse and torture during military sweeps and inside the camps.
Though the military denies any widespread or systematic wrongdoing, I think we should ask how many examples it takes to be enough. In my opinion, enough have been collected for this to be considered a national disgrace.
Grab a hanky and read. Also take a gander at this piece from the UK’s Guardian about American soldiers terrorizing and abusing journalists:
Although Reuters has not commented publicly, it is understood that the journalists were “brutalised and intimidated” by US soldiers, who put bags over their heads, told them they would be sent to Guantanamo Bay, and whispered: “Let’s have sex.”
At one point during the interrogation, according to the family of one of the staff members, a US soldier shoved a shoe into the mouth one of the Iraqis.
The US troops, from the 82nd Airborne Division, based in Falluja, also made the blindfolded journalists stand for hours with their arms raised and their palms pressed against the cell wall.
“They were brutalised, terrified and humiliated for three days,” one source said. “It was pretty grim stuff. There was mental and physical abuse.”
He added: “It makes you wonder what happens to ordinary Iraqis.
My advice and plea: Contact your lawmakers via the Congressional Switchboard, 202-224-3121. Call the White House, even, at 202-456-1111. Urge the pols to do all they can to stop these atrocities.
And also consider that perhaps the situation in Iraq is now too far gone, the damage the US has inflicted upon the nation is far too widespread. Newsweek reports that if US troops leave, Iraq inevitably will fall into civil war. Good going, Georgie. I say bring in the United Nations — it is all too apparent that the US’s motives are not pure, its desires selfish, its tactics inhumane. Bring in the UN to clean up the mess and restore some sort of sanity and self-determination to the Iraqi people.