My father was an Army man. That was his chosen career. He loved the Army, and served his country proudly in two wars.
In World War II, my father served in the Pacific. He would not talk much about the war, but after he died, I found his photos and witnessed second hand some of the horrors my father saw.
During the last 20 years of his life, my father began to have nightmares on a regular basis about some of the things he had seen, as well as some of the things he had done. These memories haunted my father for the rest of his life, especially the memory of a Japanese soldier he shot.
My father’s photos show the gruesome scenes of war. History tells of the death march the Japanese forced upon their prisoners and of brutality on both sides. War is brutal, and it brings out the worst in people, feeding on their fears, and sometimes putting too much power into young hands.
John Kerry has admitted to horrible atrocities he committed in Vietnam, and my father faced his own worst nightmare in war and found it was himself. While none of this excuses any aberrant behavior by American troops, it just reinforces what we all know: “War is hell.”
When the pictures of the Iraqi prisoners began appearing – looking like the same handfull of prisoners and the same few military personnel in every photo, I was disgusted by what I saw — never mind that these Iraqi men are prisoners because they are suspected murderers, criminals and thugs. That disgust deepens with every new photo I see. However, compared to the horrors my father faced, seeing a naked prisoner in a hood was not enough to outrage me. I was and am certainly disgusted with the officers in charge and the personnel that took part in the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, but compared to the atrocities of war, what I have seen in these photos so far is not an outrage.
I am outraged now. I just heard the screams of agony cried out when the head of American contractor Nicholas Berg was sawed off over a 30-second period by the lawless, godless, arrogant animals that shouted “Praise Allah” as they butchered an innocent civilian trying to help rebuild their country. Outrage is too puny a word for the deep, deep loathing I feel for these perpetrators of Evil. This premeditated, drawn-out horror is Evil in its most undiluted form. This horror cannot and must not be compared to a pyramid of naked Iraqi military prisoners in hoods.

I have heard unsubstantiated rumors of photos of rape and sodomy by our troops. According to today’s reports, some photos of this nature have been shown to Congress. Photos purporting to be of American soldiers raping Iraqi women turned out to be foreign porn – the fact the photos were not accurate was admitted by the paper that originally ran them… after they ran. Another photo shows a dead Iraqi and implies (with no proof) that he might have been beaten to death. If true, my disgust for those few American soldiers involved will deepen. I am outraged at the thought American soldiers might even think about raping a prisoner much less beating one to death. But nothing these few Americans may or may not have done will justify the grisly, ghastly despicable act committed in the name of Allah by those cowardly Iraqis who gleefully sawed off the head of civilian Nicholas Berg as he keened his death agony.
Related Story:Tolerating Evil


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