That’s my feeling about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners and the ensuing scandal. There are no excuses for this kind of behaviour. None. And it has to be openly dealt with and stopped, immediately.
I’m hearing all sorts of disturbing things. That there are “two sides”. That it wasn’t an official American government policy, while torturing innocent civilians was an official Iraqi government policy. That most of the countries condemning the United States do far worse in their own prisons, and are just using this as another propaganda tool. Etcetera.
All of that may be true. But it doesn’t mitigate or excuse what happened, nor should it.
Excuses are unacceptable when they’re offered up by the enemy. We refuse to accept the Palestinian finger-pointing at the IDF every time there’s a terrorist attack, or the world’s babbling about “root causes” for suicide bombings in Iraq or Al Qa’eda terrorist attacks. We want sincere apologies without excuses. And even though we won’t get them, we keep demanding them.
So when the United States screws up, I don’t want to hear any nonsense like “yes, but…”. No buts. No excuses. Just outrage, apologies, and steps to fix it.
We have to hold ourselves to higher standards. Our “side” of the War on Terror must practice the ideals we preach. Otherwise, what the hell are we even doing?