...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Monday, May 03, 2004
      ( 1:19 PM )
The Beat Goes On

Joe, over at American Leftist, notes that the reports of American abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and other prisons in Iraq have been around for months. The recent horrific and unspeakable pictures of reservists taking pleasure and fun in the abuse of prisoners has only brought the subject into the mainstream this week. But it's been happening for quite a while now, including this report from January:

According to a report by Ahmad Sabri carried in
Tuesday's edition of the Jordanian newspaper al-Arab
al-Yawm, Iraqis who have been held prisoner by the
American occupation forces have been subjected to
most brutal forms of physical and psychological torture
in five large detention camps, particularly those at
Abu Ghurayb, west of Baghdad, and Umm Qasr, near
al-Basrah in the south.

What this, the earlier reports, and today's article by Semour Hersch indicate is that this isn't a "bad apples" situation. This is a systemic and institutionalized problem. The broader issue of how we can maintain our position as "liberators" in Iraq isn't even being discussed because...what's the alternative? This president and his cronies created a hellish situation for the entire world by invading Iraq, but most of all for the Iraqi people. He did it with the consent of most of the "opposition party" in Congress.

Though Democrats did not have a majority in order to actually stop anything, they didn't have to blindly go along with it. But they did. And so everyone of them is accountable for it. The question is, will we hold them accountable like we should? Ultimately, the fate of this country is in our hands. Do we allow men and women to stay in office who make grossly inept decisions that lead to situations like we are seeing in photographs coming out of Abu Ghraib this week - or do we vote them out and change things?

Does America's laziness and obsession with itself even trump human decency? We'll see, this November.

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