May 01, 2004
One Iraqi's Reaction to Abu Gharib
From Iraq the Model, Omar gives his thoughts on the news from Abu Gharib:
Every time I see these pictures that show some American soldiers and officers abusing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners I feel very upset and disgusted. Many of you wanted to know how we feel about those crimes and the people responsible for them and my opinion is simply this: those soldiers must be brought to justice and punished.
There are tens of thousands of coalition soldiers in Iraq, and of course not all of them are pure angels; they’re tough warriors among whom we can find the good and the evil, and the evil are always less but unfortunately, they draw more attention just like a small black point on a white paper and this applies to any group of human beings anywhere on this planet. That’s why we should not generalize this to the whole coalition soldiers. I’m not trying to defend the coalition here; I just want to show my point of view in an objective way.
The way the Arabic media handled this incident reminds me of the way they handled the barbaric crime in Fallujah a month ago, they tried to show that all the people in Fallujah supported that crime which they called “resistance” and now they’re trying to make Iraqis believe that all the soldiers of the “occupation forces” are involved in this atrocity and that every single soldier in the coalition can’t wait to seize the chance to humiliate Iraqis.
The media seems to be always trying to exaggerate things and to describe any violent action from Iraqis (or Arabs) as “resistance” and any violent action from the coalition as “crimes of the occupiers” to make a good story that sells or that serves their masters' objectives. Anyway, this is not the subject I want to talk about today. I want to tell you that I felt great relief when I saw and heard the highest-ranking officials in the coalition apologize to the Iraqi people for what a small group of their soldiers did and assuring us that there will be serious investigations to expose those who committed the atrocities and to punish them the way they deserve.
What happened was awful, that’s true but I feel comfortable with the good intentions of the coalition leaders and people who rejected the crimes against the detainees. Let me tell you this, under the past regime Iraqis were the victims of worse atrocities (by the hands of Iraqis) everyday but no one could say a word about that, now, nothing can be hidden from the people and no one can get away with his crimes. For the first time, law is starting to govern our country and this will force anyone to think twice before he plans to harm someone or break the law in any way.
The crime was a step backwards but the way it’s being dealt with is-in my opinion-a step forwards on the way to strengthen the trust between the coalition and the Iraqis because this will help putting an end to many of the (conspiracy theory) supported ideas that many Iraqis have in their minds and this will tell Iraqis that the Americans are not hiding facts about their soldiers behavior here and once they feel that something wrong is happening they will move to correct it.
I have included his post in its entirety, but you may want to go over and let him know how sorry we are about what has happened.
May 1, 2004 at 01:33 PM | Permalink
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Every time I read that blog I pray that he's closer to the rule than the exception. If he, his brother, Zeyad and Alaa are indicative of Iraqis we have much more reason to be hopeful than our media would lead us to believe.
Thanks for pointing me to this, as I've been kind of reluctant to see for myself.
Posted by: cbk at May 1, 2004 4:44:13 PM
I am amazed at their forbearance. I'm not sure I would be that reasonable either, but I'd like to think I would. The Iraqis are an amazing people - it makes me so angry when people say democracy can't work over there. It's so patronizing and so unfair.
Posted by: Cass at May 1, 2004 5:09:49 PM
Come out of your houses and your mosques and assist in the rebuilding of your nation. You are a brave, proud and celebrated people. Do not hide now when your liberation is at hand.
And I spit into the wind once more...
Posted by: spd rdr at May 1, 2004 10:42:37 PM
I believe he is the rule, but we hear the
'exceptions' all the time, so we have been brainwashed. He knows from his observations that the MAJORITY of the coalition are NOT like that.
If he can see it, so can others.
And I do hope that those who did this are brought up on charges. Seems to me that the British also had some misbehavior as well.
Posted by: Cricket at May 2, 2004 2:07:15 PM