Americans need to re-evaluate definition of liberation

As I was sitting on my couch the other day in a moment of tranquility, I picked up the remote to glance over the NBC news. I caught a glimpse of the photographs of Iraqi prisoners being abused in the Abu Ghraib prison.

Suddenly, I emerged into a flashback memory of my mom telling me stories of her experience and upbringing in Iraq as a child under the rule of Saddam Hussein’s autocratic regime. The pictures of prisoners being stripped naked, piled on top of each other with bruises and blood marks and guarded by human flesh-eating dogs seemed to parallel a recollection of my mom’s regarding what happened to her father. He was tortured by Saddam’s secret police in the early 1970s in the same Abu Ghraib prison, which was the chamber of scourge, fear and death that claimed thousands of lives of many of Iraq’s finest men, women and children.

These pictures in my mind left me contemplating the barrier that separates our supposed freedom-based cause for being in Iraq from the former ruthless dictator’s intentions of fear and brutality that he inflicted on these innocent people for more than 30 years. What has become of our cause?

People might criticize me and call my claim unpatriotic, but I would like those people to tell me how the counterargument is patriotic in any way. My target audience is not the senior White House officials-I can assure their interest isn’t within these photographs, only the means by which these pictures were brought into existence. Rather, I would ask this of every American who solely believes in the spread and adopting of true humanistic values.

We, as human beings, know that the most effective procedure for imprinting memory permanently into another person’s mind is through cruel violence and inhumane methods that will leave the victim with thoughts of nothing other than everlasting humility and pain. This is the same humility and pain from which the people of Iraq have recently been trying to recover after many years of merciless persecution.

These people yearn for the same rights and privileges that every American enjoys. We, as Americans, need to protest this act of aggression. This is not a situation about homeland security, Sept. 11 or being true patriots for our country. It is about the violation of basic human rights.

For every American who abstains opposition to this ruthlessness, he or she is defecting to support the democratic values on which this country was founded. Justifying these violent acts would contradict our whole basis of morality, which would leave us with no definition of “right,” “wrong,” “good” or “bad.”

What is our purpose for being a democratic country and spreading our values of justice and freedom if they cannot be differentiated from the cruel-hearted values of dictatorship and brutality?

Our actions in Iraq provide liberation in its most tyrannical form, mercy at its cruelest state and democracy subjected to fascist reformation. The irony in this tragic conflict is that Saddam Hussein is, at this moment, seated in a room under treatment that correlates with the self-benefits of a prisoner of war. Meanwhile, people are being tortured, interrogated and intimidated in the same prison where Saddam once played a significant role that took effect. It has now transformed into his legacy where Americans carry out and fulfill to his satisfaction. More antagonism and enmity will be concurred from the Arab world in proportion to the lack of responsibility taken by the perpetrators who committed these acts through the blood of the innocent Iraqis, Americans and other people foreign to the country.

At what point in our effort to free these captive people of a former totalitarian regime did the definition of liberation take a new form of complete malice and disregard toward the free will of another human being?

We, as a nation, must act quickly and effectively to prevent this chaos from occurring again-and we must act now.

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