[EDITORIALS]Shame, then foot-draggingIt has been 12 days since the media first exposed the inhumane abuse of Iraqi detainees by U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison that outraged the entire world. But the U.S. government continues to hold the position that the incidents of abuse were those involving individual soldiers, and the misguidance of a few military superiors was responsible for the deeds. U.S. President George W. Bush has said these incidents did not damage the objective or rationale of the war in Iraq.
After publishing the scandalous photos of prison abuse by U.S. military men and women, domestic media in the United States voiced shame at such atrocities and called for the resignation of the defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, and others who were responsible. But no one is coming forward to say they would bear the responsibility.
The U.S. government’s arrogant attitude is another reason for the world to be outraged. This is not Saddam Hussein, not the Nazis during World War II, not the Japanese Imperialists, but a democratic nation, the United States, which has been emphasizing integrity and human rights all around the world, and has been committing such appalling acts. Moreover, for the United States to insist that these immoral actions in time of war were an aberration of only a few soldiers and continue avoiding responsibility only adds to the world’s disappointment.
As one of the closest allies of the United States and a nation that is gearing up for the dispatch of troops to Iraq, it is distressing for us to see that the United States is becoming a target of denunciation by the world. We only hope that the United States will take the responsibility. We hope that the United States will be supported not for its military force but for its moral superiority.
International organizations such as the United Nations Human Rights Commission should take over the investigation of the abuses. The United States needs to solve the post-war problems with the UN and the international community, and not merely rely on its own power. The UN must also realize that the response to terrorism is not an agenda confronted only by the United States, but also by the world.
The United States must change its ways so that nations that support its policies, and allied countries that are dispatching troops to Iraq, will not be harmed by this scandal.