Sunday, May 27, 2007

Who Fights for Freedom in Iraq? Who is Guilty of Torture?

On the eve of this Memorial Day, if one chooses not to wear blinders, it is not difficult to discern who is fighting for freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan, and who the real torturers are. AP reports from Baghdad:
American forces freed 42 kidnapped Iraqis — some of whom had been hung from ceilings and tortured for months — in a raid Sunday on an al-Qaida hideout north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

Pajamas Media surveys the blogosphere's reaction to a grusome Al Qaeda torture manual captured by U.S. troops in Iraq. Readers are forewarned that violent images accompany this story and those linked to it. Newsbusters, quoted by Pajamas Media, asks the obvious rhetorical question:
"Given the media’s fascination with what American soldiers were doing at Abu Ghraib, is it safe to assume that the same level of attention will be given to what our enemy is doing? Or, would that be too much like journalism?”

Sadly, already this weekend, American soldiers have given their lives fighting to protect the freedom that so many Americans take for granted, and which so many Iraqis have never known. Faced with their sacrifice, the sacrifice of so many who came before, and all those who will come after, what can one say or do? Perhaps President Abraham Lincoln gave the most eloquent answer, on November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the national cemetery in Gettysburg:

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.


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