The American soldier is different from all other soldiers of all other countries since the world began. He is the advance guard of liberty and justice, of law and order and of peace and happiness", Root declared, capturing the spirit of historical inevitability and "national greatness", as president Theodore Roosevelt called it that swept the country as it routed the forces of a decadent Spanish empire from the Caribbean and the Pacific.
— Secretary of state Elihu Root 1899
The civilized people of my planet have shocked after seeing the photos of the treatment of Iraqi prisoners by the US and UK soldiers in Iraq. They used every method to demoralize the holy spirits of the prisoners but failed to achieve it. The classic movies of the USA and UK always propagated about cruelty, ruthlessness, barbarism, and physical torture of the Hitler’s era and now they have also indulged in that mania. The nation which has conquered the Mars has fallen the blind alley of darkness, ignorance, and adopted all the tactics of old great conquers like Chenigez , Halaoko, and the last not the least the rule of Roman empire to curb or control the popular insurgence or revolution in Iraq. Gross human rights violations have accompanied every attempt, throughout history, to put down insurgencies by force. We need to look no further than Kashmir to see that we are as morally culpable. The truth, to quote Lord Acton’s immortal phrase, is that "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely".
The entire sordid saga is an embarrassment. President George W Bush has denounced the mistreatment of Iraqi inmates by US soldiers as "abhorrent". There will be investigations, people will be brought to justice." But it is not enough Mr. President. Do some thing more to punish all the Dracula, butchers of the simple and pure humanity. It appears that God’s country, as Ronald Reagan once described his nation, is finding it hard to ensure human dignity in its valiant crusade of freedom for the peoples of the world. A fresh spectacle of Western depravity is unfolding in Iraq.
Photos of the treatment of Iraqi prisoners have shocked the world. This notion is a constant throughout US history. "I believe that God planted in us the vision of liberty," declared president Woodrow Wilson as Washington entered World War I. "I cannot be deprived of the hope that we are chosen, and prominently chosen, to show the nations of the world how they shall walk in the paths of liberty.
The new US military chief of prisons in Iraq apologized for the illegal or unauthorized actions. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice earlier expressed "the United States’ deep sorrow over the US troops’ abuses against the Iraqi prisoners". The US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has been testified in an open session on the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. The anger among the people and members of the even ruling party in America is demanding the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld. An internal Pentagon report catalogued evidence of "sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses of Iraqi prisoners" by US forces.
ABU GHRAIB REPORT FINDINGS
1). Detainees/prisoners threatened with loaded pistol.
2). Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees
3). Pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair
4). Threatening male detainees with rape; allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell
5). Sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick, and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee
6). Heavy Inmates beaten and excessive sexually abused
7). Prisoners photographed/photo session in sexual/inhuman positions
8). Detainees/ prisoners threatened with dogs, sexually abused and gang raped
9). Prisoners were kept naked in cells, in darkness and without facilities
10). Prisoners were held for prolonged solitary confinement in cells with no daylight
11). The actions of coalition forces in arresting suspects appeared to go beyond any legitimate use of force
12). Prisoners were beaten, in many cases leading to death
13). Soldiers fired on unarmed prisoners from watchtowers, killing some
14). The ill treatment was widely tolerated, especially with regard to extracting information from Iraqis
15). Methods of physical and psychological coercion were used by the military intelligence to gain confessions
16). Arresting authorities entered houses usually after dark, breaking down doors, waking up residents roughly, yelling orders, forcing family members into one room under military guard while searching the rest of the house and further breaking doors, cabinets and other property.
17). Sometimes they arrested all adult males present in a house, including elderly, handicapped or sick people
18). Treatment often included pushing people around, insulting, taking aim with rifles, punching and kicking and striking with rifles.
19). The report also says some troops told the Red Cross that 70% to 90% of those detained had been arrested by mistake.
The report concludes there have been serious violations of the Geneva Conventions governing the treatment of prisoners of war.
Criminal charges have been filed against six soldiers in relation to the abuse shown in the photos, while six senior officers have been reprimanded and many official inquiries have been initiated in Pentagon, USA. Major General Geoffrey Miller, the new US military chief of prisons in Iraq, said some interrogation techniques used on Iraqi inmates would be halted and promised it would not happen again.
Amnesty International, 13,000 Iraqi people are imprisoned here at the moment, without trial, their families not allowed to meet them. In thousands of cases the families do not even know that some of their loved ones are locked up in here.
The latest report of Red Cross says abuses had been committed at a number of facilities not just Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, which is the focus of allegations against US soldiers. Other facilities where mistreatment allegedly occurred include al-Baghdadi air base, Hubbania camp, Tikrit holding area, the defence ministry and a presidential palace in Baghdad.
Iraq mistreatment: US strategy or glitch
Now people around the globe are of the views that the recent prisoner abuse was conducted on the instructions of high brass of military generals and high command in the Bush administration. The man brought in to run the Abu Ghraib prison is Maj Gen Geoffrey Miller, the man who ran the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Major-General Geoffrey Miller of Guantanamo notoriety, he has been running the infamous Camp X-Ray, in Cuba being investigated for human rights abuses by the U.S. Is it coincidence or planed strategy? The British are not far behind in the vulgar game of military pedagogy. There are allegations that British soldiers abused Iraqi prisoners. Here, it seems the practices of post-game, beer-drunk brawling of British soccer fans have provided the inspiration for military conduct. The British army put into practice so-called sensory deprivation techniques designed to break down a prisoner’s resistance before and during interrogation. Those techniques involved isolation, subjection to white noise, hooding, sleep deprivation and physical hardship, such as being kept standing or keeping arms spread out.
When news of these methods came out, as they did quite quickly, there was uproar in the House of Common and House of Lords in UK. The rules are blurred in Iraq in ways never seen before. It might be called the first privatized war of modern times. The British Army is now investigating at least 10 cases of abuse of Iraqi prisoners of war. The White House has known of the tortures at Abu-Ghraib for some months now. Brigadier-General Janis Karpinski, the lady in charge of the Abu-Ghraib operations was suspended in late January. The matter would have been quietly hushed out of public sight had there not been a leak and had CBS not run the program. According to Amnesty International.
Now US President George W Bush has asked the Pentagon to make sure that appropriate action is taken against those responsible for. So far, severe reprimands have been issued to 6 officers and non-commissioned officers who served in supervisory positions at the prison. A milder letter of admonishment was issued to a seventh officer.
There is growing sentiments of anger, distrust and hatred among the people of the Middle East and in the Muslim’s countries against the USA. The behavior has been condemned by the Muslim world and beyond as abuse, an atrocity, a breach of international conventions, or even torture.
With the scandal over the abuse of prisoners in US military custody in Iraq still growing, the administration of President George W Bush appears to be shaken to its very core. The abuse at Al Ghraib has made the US look like just another tinpot power in history. Its most serious challenge now is the transfer of power. The US should be judged in this crisis not by what happened, but by what it is doing to make amends and minimise the scope for recurrence. Americans will not be able to live with this image of themselves for very long, for it outrages their most cherished beliefs. So it’s no surprise that the Bush administration has begun to respond by remedying some of the catastrophic mistakes it made in its first days in Iraq. The most important has been the formation of an Iraqi brigade, led by an ex-general in the Iraqi army, to take charge of Fallujah. Its entry into Fallujah was greeted by residents as a victory in their fight for freedom. It’s also helped defused tensions in Fallujah and minimised the chances of a renewed flare-up. Coalition authorities have also shown considerable sensitivity to Iraqi Shia sentiment in coping with the rebellion led by the young Shia cleric Muqtada al Sadr.