Letter to the Editor: Regarding the prison scandal with common sense

Editor:

In light of the ignorance displayed in Ahmed Barakat’s May 26 column, “Americans need to re-evaluate their definition of liberation,” it is my duty to bring some common sense to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. The column wasn’t unpatriotic-it was ignorant, hypocritical, and so void of astuteness it was almost comical. Therefore, I’ll gladly take up Barakat’s counter argument challenge with ease. It’s a shame that a white guy like me has to educate someone on common sense regarding his cultural background and the present situation in his homeland.

First of all, Barakat makes no distinction between Saddam’s victims and Iraqi insurgents. The same people in custody in Iraq are from the same camaraderie that tortured Barakat’s family, yet he complains about the way they are treated. The only right and privilege the prisoners are denied is to continue the murder of innocent Iraqis like Barakat’s family. Why is Barakat mad that the torturers of his family are mistreated?

Secondly, what acts of violence and cruelty are Barakat referring to? This is a war; there are prisoners of war and those prisoners of war have to be interrogated for information for the safety of troops and innocent Iraqis.

Stripping prisoners naked and humiliating them is part of the process. Mild physical abuse may be permissible. I would object to extreme measures of torture, such as electric shocks, cutting, whipping, hanging and other harsh methods. But hurting an individual’s self-esteem? I’m all for that. That’s the worst that has happened, as far as I know from reliable news sources.

No one has been killed in the prison, so what’s the big deal?

Thirdly, I am very upset that some of our servicemen and women have taken souvenir photographs. It sets a bad example and is very immature. However, I’m even more upset that Barakat and others like him are making such a fuss now when they were practically silent as U.S. troops hung from a bridge or when Pvt. Jessica Lynch was raped repeatedly by her captors. Where’s your outrage, Barakat?

Finally, if Barakat or his family thinks that U.S. troops are no different from Saddam’s henchmen, which is the message he’s implied in his article, then they never lived under Saddam’s rule.

What do you expect?

Since the economy is doing well, liberals are looking for an issue to discredit President Bush, even if they have to provide moral support for Saddam’s murderous gangsters or others who wish to kill Americans.

Bart Gatrell

Graduate Student,

International Relations