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May 21, 2005

No Excuses

I just finished reading the article I was encouraged to read. (See the comments in the "Conversation with Husband" post...copy and paste that link.)

Well.

I have nothing now except a feeling of anger, shame, and frankly, nausea.

I cannot defend the actions of those soldiers, except to say that on page 1 of the article it was suggested that these soldiers were young and poorly trained. That is no excuse, I realize.

Why were the rules changed regarding treatment of detainees? Yes, we were all very angry about 9/11 and still are, but don't we also know that not all Afghans are Al Qeada?

I was prepared to cite history, that atrocities like this happen, "war is hell," comments of that sort. Prisoner abuse has been going on for a long time, long before the Geneva Convention came into being.

I was also prepared to say "If it saves more American lives, then so be it. They could have been sent to Egypt or Pakistan and gotten it a lot, a lot, worse."

But I won't, as anything I could say would just seem to be excusing what these soldiers have done.

I cannot, however, get away from the "young and poorly trained" comment, though. Keep in mind that many of these soldiers probably have not been exposed to the wider world view, they are young and probably have never ventured out of the U.S. They may be operating out of that same fear and anger that we all feel in the aftermath of 9/11.

That again does not excuse what is happening.

Yes, this is a much bigger story than Saddam in his undies. Thank you, Jessica, for bringing this to my attention. I have no answers, and I understand your anger and shame.

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