Red White & Blue Hens

College students in Delaware who think right is right, and left is wrong. We study hard, party hard, and play hardball.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Abu Ghraib

Here is a piece I wrote at the apex of the Abu Ghraib controvery (although it's a little rough and a bit outdated):


  • At 1:27 AM, Blogger M. McKain said…

    First off, thank you James for your service to our country. I know you said your piece is rough, but it seemed to be well-written and from the heart; no one can say what the situation is like on the ground better than someone who is there, and it is always fascinating to read or hear about experiences, no matter how difficult that may be.

    I think the problem so many of us on the Left had with the Abu Gharib incident was that it was so counter-productive to our mission there. It is difficult to win hearts and minds when images like that are all over the news and when things like that are going on. The buck stops at the top; ultimately in a military hierarchy the commander-in-chief is responsible, even if he lacks first hand knowledge of the situation on the ground. Certainly bad seeds appear in any group, but it is a breakdown in discipline that allows it to occur and to be ongoing. Memos from Gonzales essentially condoning the use of torture and arguing that the Geneva Convention did not apply did not help the situation any in PR terms.

    In spite of investigations clearing the top brass of responsibility, as leaders they should have been willing to take that responsibility on their own accord, even if they were not directly involved. That is the burden of leadership. Unfortunately, Bush and his friends seem content enjoying the power without recognizing the awesome responsibilities that accompany it.

  • At 8:32 PM, Blogger Jubilant James said…

    First off, thank you for the nice words. Always nice to hear that.

    Second, myself and others in uniform couldn't agree more that what happened was oh-so counterproductive to our mission. It represented a clear breakdown in discipline, although I wonder how the civilians who lambast those soldiers would have handled a similar situation. What also represented--on an ever more dangerous level--a clear breakdown in military discipline was the incident involving Sgt. Akbar. In March of '03, prior to the invasion, Sgt. Akbar of the elite 101st Airborne Division killed 2 of his comrades in a grenade attack. A failure of discipline on all accounts. However, no one on the Left called for Rumsfeld's head on a stick, or Bush to be impeached. So how come when 2 American soldiers are killed by a fellow comrade the Left is silent, yet when a few Iraqis are mishandled, the Left is in an uproar?

  • At 12:23 AM, Blogger Anne Bacca said…

    Now that Lynndie England has pleaded "guilty" to the accusations of abuse at Abu Ghraib, but now has inserted an interesting "twist" to her plea (the fact that she was deprived of oxygen at birth), do you still support your fellow comrades in Iraq who obviously committed these horrific acts against their prisoners? Can you (or any other Republican out there who feels strongly on this) honestly tell me that you have respect for those soldiers when they cop a plea stating that because there was a loss of oxygen 22 years ago to her infant body that England not be held responsible for her actions? I find it very hard to swallow the fact that she may receive a less severe punishment due to her mental shortcomings. Though I have no problem with those with mental deficiencies being employed, I do have a problem when it becomes a matter of the degradation of our national pride and an issue of abuse of our fellow man.


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