Washington is sounding indignant about a report in Newsweek that American Prison Guards desecrated the Muslim Holy Book, the Koran, by flushing it down a toilet. In Kabul, Afghanistan, US military spokesman Colonel Jim Yonts is reported to have said, "Any disrespect to the Koran and any other religion is not tolerated by our culture and values." That sounds good, but Muslims and most of the world are not going to buy it.
The reputation of our country hinges on our credibility and that credibility is at an all time low right about now. The Muslim world is upset about reports that our prison interrogators will desecrate the Koran, the Muslim Holy Book, their bible if you will, to intimidate prisoners into talking. In some Muslim countries, desecrating the Koran is punishable by death and several reports say American Prison Guards, have shown disrespect toward the Koran and have even flushed it down the toilet.
A few decades ago no one would believe a report like that, but today nothing is unbelievable when it comes to what our country will stoop to.
Colonel David H. Hackworth wrote, "By April 2004, rapes and assaults of American female soldiers were epidemic in the Middle East. But even after more than 83 incidents were reported during a six-month period in Iraq and Kuwait, the 24-hour rape hotline in Kuwait was still being answered by a machine advising callers to leave a phone number where they could be reached." This is how we treat American women. This is a reflection on our "culture and values."
It is widely reported that many American military women serving in Iraq, need guards in order to take a shower because of fear of sexual assaults by their fellow soldiers. Washington wants the world to believe that some of these same troops would never flush a Koran.
American Soldiers have been indicted for raping Iraqi women, but we have no numbers and because we keep no numbers on the number of Iraqi women and children killed in this war, it should be no surprise that we keep no count of Iraqi women reporting that they have been raped by Americans.
The whole world has seen the photos of American troops sexually humiliating and torturing Iraqi terror suspects. We have all read reports of prisoners being beat to death in American run prisons in Afghanistan, but we want the world to know we would never flush the Koran down a toilet.
American citizens were horrified when they saw the photos from Abu Ghraib Prison, but we were only shown the tame ones. Senator Richard J. Durbin saw the photos our government wouldn’t let us see and he said, "There were some awful scenes. It felt like you were descending into one of the rings of hell, and sadly it was our own creation." Congressman Martin T. Meehan said, "I was obviously shocked and horrified to discover that the new photos are even more gruesome than those we have seen in the media." Now Washington wants the world to believe that our values and culture are such, that we would never desecrate a Holy book. Torture, sexually humiliate, and sexually assault, Yes. Desecrate, No
Our admitted acts in Bush’s War on Terror are so criminal that it is impossible for the White House to hold the line and say that what we are accused of now, the desecration of the Koran, never happened.
From the fact that we attacked Iraq because of fictitious Weapons of Mass Destruction, to the torture and killing of Iraqi and Afghan suspects, American credibility has been on a steady downward path. Today with the availability of cheap video cameras and the use of cell phones to send photos, the world’s media no longer has to rely on America’s major news outlets to see what in going on in the combat zone.
In both Iraq and Afghanistan there have been independent and Arab news sources broadcasting the horror of Bush’s Wars. Horrors the American people will never see here at home. The rest of the world sees the carnage taking place every day in Iraq. The bodies of children and their mothers are shown where they died. The horror of an Iraqi hospital can be seen all over the world, except in North America. In North America, we are not even permitted to see our own Military Hospitals on television, nor the flag draped coffins of our troops who have died in Combat.
Washington and even George Bush himself will try and spin this latest charge against our country, but today the United States has too much baggage from what we have already done, for anyone to take Bush’s denials seriously.
Jim Glaser [send him mail], a Marine Corps Vietnam War veteran and Commander of VFW Post 3869, works to educate the American public on the consequences of war. His personal website is James-Glaser.com.