Monday, July 6, 2009

Abu Ghraib

I cannot stomach this world. I cannot stomach myself. It makes me sick.

I just watched a chilling documentary about the Abu Ghraib Prison Scandal that disturbed me out of my bones. Disturbed is too light a word for the effect those events had. Walking out of that classroom, I was a zombie, silenced by the sickness I saw. How can anything else matter when you see something like that? Your humanness is essentially destroyed. I did not commit those crimes, but I am one of the body who did.

Abu Ghraib is a prison in Iraq. There American soldiers sexually, physically, and psychologically tutored Iraqi "prisoners"...prisoners in quotes because it was found out that only approx. 90% of the people detained there were guilty of any crime. These American soldiers did horrendous things to these "prisoners"--putting them into sexual positions, telling them to masturbate, forming human pyramids, putting women's underwear on their heads--all while they were naked. They put a leash around the neck of one "prisoner" --a female American soldier held that leash--he was naked. Another guy was hanged strappado style, not from the neck, but from the arms, usually resulting in the dislocation and breaking of the victim's arms. This man was already dead before this was done, but it was not found out til later. They claimed he had a heart attack to cover up the issue.

These were American soldiers..who did this. Not "foreigners" not anyone who we would deem "the outsider"...but American people. People we relate to, people who were serving their country. This was their spectacle, their joy. They are part of my race..the human one.

Are we really like this? How much of Abu Gharaib is emulated in our hearts? In our own lives? When we harbour hostile thoughts towards others, judge others, say and do inappropriate things are we emulating what are only the foundations of Abu Gharaib? I'm so scared. I shake, I tremble. I'm so scared because we are sinful people and are so capable of hurting each other, and do. I'm frightened by this human capacity. I'm so frightened. We can not handle this freedom of choice that God gave us. We can not.

The American soldiers committed these crimes because they believed that the "prisoners" had wronged them, had wronged their own people. God tells us to love our enemies. "Never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God." Righteous anger. Our anger, our jealousy, our pride..our anger is NEVER righteous. Ever..that's why we do not have a right to retaliate against others.

God heal all those involved and save us from the sickness of ourselves.

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