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The Forum > Article Comments > Overcoming anti-Americanism and Obama's Abu Ghraib > Comments

Overcoming anti-Americanism and Obama's Abu Ghraib : Comments

By Matthew Holloway, published 20/1/2012

The culture that leads to abuse of enemy combatants lies outside the US Army.

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...The most basic tenet of Democracy is, that the voice of the people is acknowledged and obeyed. There is no place more obvious, overruling the peoplesí voice is exposed, than the Afghan/Iraq war. These engagements have less legitimacy than the Vietnam war, which was opposed by the vast majority of the populations of Democracies, whose voices were totally ignored to the end. Democracy is dead on this point alone!
Posted by diver dan, Friday, 20 January 2012 9:46:23 AM
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The most powerful countries of any era suffer the same national-centrism - that is seeing other countries as a function of their own policies. Or measuring countries against the assumed superiority of their dominant culture.

Such superpowers in the past have included Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome, China, the Mongols, Arabs, Ottomans, Spain, France, Germany, Russia, Britain, Soviet Union and now the US.

One distinction though is the US loudly admits its errors, unlike the rest (as it has done in the Great Urination Incident). This US trait of honesty leaves it open to easily laid criticism - where the US even furnishes the photos.

The lack of such a tradition of honesty in say China allows such countries to be charmingly inscrutable no matter how many tens of millions they kill at home.

Another difference with the US is that its culture is under the microscope because that culture is genuinely popular worldwide. This is by means of such US inventions as Hollywood, the PC and the iPhone.

Oh for a taste of alternatives - Stalin's or even Putin's popular film industry anyone? :) Chinese pop songs?

Planta
Posted by plantagenet, Friday, 20 January 2012 2:46:29 PM
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The Taliban cuts off the noses of women who flee their abusive husbands, murders teachers who dare to teach girls how to read and write, stones people to death, and publically hangs people from goal posts before soccor games.

You can shoot them, blow them up, burn them to death and even bury them alive.

But it is just shocking if Marines piss on them.

The world is going mad.
Posted by LEGO, Friday, 20 January 2012 3:02:22 PM
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War is the culprit. In the time of battle it is somehow permissible to kill by any means available. That's war. But it's also inhumane, and in our heart of hearts, we know that.
So we piss on the dead bodies, and why not? Weren't they just now trying to kill us? Animals!
Unfortunately, for the rest of any soldier's life he/she will have to continue to consider his/her enemy/victim as a lesser human. How else can they reconcile what they have done.
So the killing keeps on killing, long after the survivors return home.
And yet we continue to glorify our armies. The contradiction embedded in honoring what we know to be wrong and cannot stomach is part of why military life is so rife with anti-social, and often criminal, behavior.
Posted by halduell, Saturday, 21 January 2012 9:30:25 AM
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