Nobody Wants To Touch This

That was the sentiment of the family of one of the soldiers charged in the abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison. They feared that a railroad job was in progress, and sought to get their side of the story out. The full story is in Mr. Hackworth’s Web site out of frustration, leading him to cooperate with a consultant for “60 Minutes II.”

“The Army had the opportunity for this not to come out, not to be on 60 Minutes,” he said. “But the Army decided to prosecute those six G.I.’s because they thought me and my family were a bunch of poor, dirt people who could not do anything about it. But unfortunately, that was not the case.”The kicker is that a laundry list of folks new about the story, and didn’t break it:

He shared his frustration in his March 23 e-mail message to Mr. Hackworth’s Web site, writing: “We have contacted the Red Cross, Congress both parties, Bill O’Reilly and many others. Nobody wants to touch this.”

Less than five weeks later, images of his nephew – interviewed on “60 Minutes II” with Mr. Lawson’s help – would be shown around the world. Far from untouchable, the story would become unavoidable.I found a news post on the Hackworth web site where someone named Steve cut to the heart of the matter.

Understanding the culture of your enemy is of the utmost importance to every soldier serving on a foreign battlefield. Today, we are engaged in conflict with a people who’s ways and values are far different from anything ever learned in this country. We really dropped the ball in Iraq with the recent photographic evidence of reservist screwing around with enemy POW’s.

It does not matter that what transpired was not really torture. To an Iraqi man, being stripped naked and ridiculed by a woman is an insult worse than death. Women are second class citizens in Iraq and to have one meter out this type of treatment to an Iraqi man will only strengthen the resolve of the Iraqi people to resist. In my opinion, everything we have accomplished in Iraq has been blown to hell by these MP’s and the officers who obviously were not supervising their commands properly. It really astounds me that today, after a century of warfare with foreign culture that this lesson still has not been learned by those planning the operations. This event, no matter how trivial in physical damage can have devastating effect on our mission in Iraq.Then he offers the following advice for damage control:

Can damage control be done by the military? Possibly. First, the United States Military needs to pull every woman soldier out of Iraq. I know this sounds sexist, and is not politically correct but political correctness can go to hell when the lives of our grunts are at stake. Next, although I appreciate the job done by Army Reserve personnel, these individuals would be better used loading trucks than guarding enemy combatants. Part time soldiers just don’t have the training and leadership of the regulars. This situation in Iraq is not a weekend drill or two weeks at Camp Grayling. Lastly, the soldiers that created this situation have to be brought to task for what has transpired, and we have to present proof to the people of Iraq that justice has been served. One more important thing can be done…let’s educate our fighting men to the culture of our enemy.

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4 Comments

  1. Christopher Cross May 9, 2004
  2. cj May 9, 2004
  3. Marc May 9, 2004
  4. McGehee May 9, 2004