Over the past couple days more allegations have surfaced about the US using Abu-Graib style interview techniques in their prisons in Iraq and Guantanamo. Why is this such a problem when it’s the modus-operandi of most Middle Eastern nations?
Well, to blunt… The United States of America is not a Middle Eastern nation. I find it ironic that in the Bush Administrations’ epic quest to bring democracy and “freedom” to the Middle East, they are in fact pushing it further towards anarchy and at the same time dragging their own reputation down to match.
There was a time, not too long ago, when America was truly a beacon for Human Rights and Freedom… that has now apparently ended. Now we see proof that war brings out the worst in people, and governments, and the war on terror and war in Iraq is no exception.
Since 9/11 we have seen the introduction of the Patriot Act (a many similar laws in other countries including Canada and the UK) which has lead to the unlawful detention of dozens if not hundreds of innocent people with no legal basis or recourse whatsoever.
Then we had Maher Arar, the Canadian who was stopped at JFK when on his way home to Canada and sent by US authorities instead to Syria where he was imprisoned and tortured.
Then we had Abu Graib… a new low for the USs’ image abroad. Now they didn’t just send people away to be tortured… they’re doing it themselves.
Then of course there was the Marine in the Mosque in Falluja.
And now we hear that the same was possibly going on in Cuba and at other prisons in Iraq *since* Abu Graib? Never mind the image it portrays to those the US is trying to impress with its’ values in the Middle East. The rest of the world will now start to wonder just what qualifies as “limits” to the US Administration.
If there is a silver lining to this it is that the American public seems to have taken this second accusation very seriously. Abu Graib was passed off as a one-time event… but now that similar accusations are popping up elsewhere some serious questions are being asked.
I don’t think any reasonable American, no matter what their political stripe, would want their government to endorse the torture of a prisoner. At least I hope not… because the alternative is a much steeper dive into the same conflict and violence that they are preaching to stop in the Middle East.