Public officials and people from each US coasts tend to side publically against such immoral acts but the majority in America is not supporting the war on Iraq for higher, moral causes but just blind revenge for 9/11.
That’s sad. The true definition of a hero is someone who does what he knows is right, despite the cost to himself. I think Darby qualifies in that regard.
I’m not sure where you’re getting “majority in America” from the article. It’s clearly referring to just one particular small town. Sivits’ parents are obviously blinded by their love for their son, and the others in the town are blinded by pride. The real crime here is that nobody in the upper chain of command will take responsibility for this. It’s becoming more and more obvious that the orders to abuse the prisoners came down from the top.
Whistle-blowers get lots of mud and shit splattered on them. It’s a horrible fact, but it’s a fact. The kid who shouts “The emperor has no clothes on!” is hated and derided as a trouble-maker, because the facts are embarrassing, disturbing.
I’m saddened to see this happening with something as obvious as torture and prisoner abuse, but it happens all the time to whistle-blowers in corporations. The companies fire them, defame them, engage in character assassination and worse, all to protect the company’s (or the evil-doers) own self interests.
Add to this the horrible notion of “Our country, right or wrong!” and I’m not surprised. Saddened immeasurably, but not surprised.
What a terrible message we are sending to our children. If you see a wrong and try to right it, you will be persecuted while the offender is honored. If we learn nothing else from this bungled fiasco of a war, perhaps it should be that war brings out the worst in humanity and must be avoided whenever possible.
"The Real America supports torture "
Uh! Real Danes too. A recent survey, made on basis of the recent torture Iraqi torture scandal, showed that more than 25% of Danes supported torture. So if you think I’m obnoxious it’s just because you haven’t met my dear fellow citizens.
Well he should have kept his identity anyonymous. No culture likes ratting on. Even supposedly “law abiding” ones like the US. I remember my american high school how no one cheated of others… it was considered a serious offense. (to us its a minor one.)
Apparently these same morals of honesty and abiding the law aren’t too necessary beyond US borders ? Truly sad precedent.
I’m from the general area (Johnstown, PA actually) and knew a number of people from Somerset County in my younger days. There is, I think, a particularly insular attitude in the region that doesn’t want to know much of anything about the outside world and assumes the worst about what it does know.
Casual racism, homophobia and rampant jingoism remain a fact among a significant proportion of the population there. Amongst this group, they have only the barest understanding of Iraq and its relationship (or lack of same) to 9/11, no concept whatsoever of what Islam is about and no particular interest in educating themselves about these subjects.
I ran into the attitudes expressed in the article many times, as far back as as the '70s, most often from males who left their little dying coal town to join the Army or Marines, and who come back to explain to their relatives, after a few months stationed on a base in some other part of the world, and without ever really interacting with the local population, that “these people don’t have the same respect for life that we do”, or telling anecdotes carefully selected to reinforce the idea that “we” are civilized and “they” are not. And the locals lap this up, because it’s direct communication from someone they know, not the perceived liberal claptrap dished out by the media. And since “they” are not civilized, why treat them as if they were?
That said, I don’t buy the argument that the views quoted in the article represent the “Real America”, or even necessarily majority opinion in the little corner of Appalachia referred to in the article. Plenty of folks my age from that area were utterly repulsed by US behavior in Viet Nam, and, I think would share the same attitude toward the adventure in Iraq. Likewise, if their voices are not heard, it could be because they rejected the insular attitudes of the region (and the lack of work) by simply moving away. Lastly, there is no way of knowing how many quotes the author left out, or whether the ones included were truly representative of all the persons interviewed.
So where’s Darby’s Medal of Honor citation gotten off to? If the nation truly believes Darby did the right thing don’t we owe him some appreciation? It seems that we’re just letting the guy twist in the wind.
It may not be much comfort to him now, but history has a way of honoring such herores as Darby.
Hugh Thompson witnessed the My Lai massacre and managed to save lives. He didn’t remain silent about what he saw. He’s just now being honored. Here’s a link to the story that 60 Minutes did on him this month: