Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Missing soldiers found 'slaughtered'

The mutilated corpses of two young American soldiers were found today in Iraq. According to the Associated Press, "an Iraqi official said Tuesday the men were 'killed in a barbaric way.' Al-Qaida in Iraq claimed responsibility for killing the soldiers, and said the successor to slain terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had 'slaughtered' them."

Probably just getting even with us for putting the Koran on a toilet at Gitmo. Thank God for the Geneva Conventions.

The atrocities allegedly committed by American soldiers against innocent Iraqi civilians are intolerable. And we should prosecute any offenses to the fullest extent of our law. We are not animals.

But while we worry about whether captive terror suspects are comfortable and well-fed -- and never embarrassed or made angry -- their buddies are disemboweling, beheading and/or mortally torturing their prisoners-of-war.

All wars have had their atrocities. Both sides have failed to play by the rules at some time. That's the reality we must accept when we're at war. We needn't relish the idea of wholesale slaughter of innocents, and we should prosecute it where we find it, but we probably spend too much time quibbling about creature comforts at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib and not enough decrying the butchery on the other side.


Chancelucky said...

Sometimes, I believe there are really only two sides in any war. Those who respect life and other human beings and those who don't. I do think it's sometimes necessary to kill in order to defend and protect. In any war, the color of one's uniform doesn't necessarily determine which side you're on.
It made me ill to read what happened to these young men.

SingingSkies said...

One of the distinctions is that when we become aware of atrocities allegedly committed by American soldiers, they are a source of soul-searching and, yes, shame for ourselves and our leaders. It is part of who we are that we care that others are treated with respect.

When the atrocities are committed, and claimed, by Al-Qaida adherents, they are celebrated as a glorious act furthering their cause.

As ambivalent as this is going to sound, I'm not sure it helps us in the long run, though, to decry the depravities committed against our people. Those in support of Al-Qaida seem to gain credibility when we cry out in pain. That is one of the goals of the terrorist acts they commit.

I'm really not advocating that we ignore these acts completely (sure sounds that way, though, doesn't it?), but it also seems to work to our disadvantage to put them in the spotlight.

I long for the day when the perpetrators, more precisely the animals, who think so little of human life are rendered toothless and brought to justice.