Real Cost of War

What war does to people and nations. 'Cost' is much more than a monetary valuation. War really costs most of us our Humanity!

Thursday, April 28, 2005
On this day:

What does it do to soldiers and civilians?

Combat situations tend to turn ordinary men and women into brutes!

They are put into a situation where they are under constant threat, when not actually being fired at by the opposing forces, of injury or death. They are also barraged by their superior officers and NCO's with the concept that their 'enemy' is sub-human and unworthy even of any right to existence. This fits in well in their current fear-based thinking mode to allow for them to destroy the 'enemy' without mercy - so as to preserve their own lives and that of their companions.

If, in addition, the 'policy' coming down from the 'top' not only condones, but encourages, torture and indiscriminate killing of anyone who dares oppose them in any way, or who even happens to be anywhere near where the troops are in an area, things get much worse for the 'enemy' population.

This tends to make them rather brutal under any circumstances and leads to the following behavior:

From Signs of the Times:

Amnesty International: Torture and Abuse Continue In Iraq
April 28, 2005

AMNESTY International blasted the United States today for failing to launch an independent probe into Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison scandal, a year after images of abused detainees first shocked the world.

The London-based human rights organisation also condemned signs of fresh torture and sexual abuse in the country by the Iraqi prison authorities.

"People around the world will be recalling the horrific images they saw a year ago and wondering what happened to those prisoners," said Amnesty secretary general Irene Khan, noting that only a handful of low-ranking US soldiers had been prosecuted or disciplined over the outrage.

"But what was the role of those higher up, including, for example, the US secretary of defence?" she said, referring to Donald Rumsfeld.

A year after the dramatic revelations of sexual and physical abuse at the prison on Baghdad's western outskirts were leaked to the media, only five of seven US guards have been punished.

The senior commander of the US military in Iraq at the time of the scandal, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, was cleared on Saturday of any wrongdoing by a US military probe.

"The US government must set up an independent inquiry into all aspects of the USA's 'war on terror' detention and interrogation practices," said Ms Khan.

Torture was unacceptable and any government taking part in such abuse destroyed the values that it claimed to protect, she said.

"When a major power like the USA resorts to torture or ill-treatment, other countries may see a green light to follow suit," said Ms Khan in a statement.

The US-led invasion of Iraq was designed to end the suffering inflicted by former dictator Saddam Hussein on his people, but instead has led to new reports of torture carried out by the post-Saddam Iraqi security forces, Amnesty said.

In February, three men died in custody after being arrested at a police checkpoint, the rights body said.

The bodies "were found three days later, bearing clear marks of torture from beatings and electric shocks", it said.

The rights group also spoke about cases of torture carried out at Iraq's interior ministry and claimed that the US authorities were aware of them.

It cited one former prisoner, Ali Safar al-Bawy - an Iraqi resident in Sweden - describing how he was given an electric shock while held captive for three weeks in July last year. The man also alleged that a child prisoner had been sexually abused by Iraqi guards.

Amnesty International called for the anniversary of the publication of the photographs from Abu Ghraib "to be marked by the strongest condemnation of all forms of torture by the US and Iraqi governments".

"One year on, the US authorities must establish an independent investigation into the abuses and bring the perpetrators to justice."


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