Exposing Torture Essential

Response to Chicago Tribune’s “The Trenches of Our Culture Wars”

Victor Davis Hanson implies in his column that liberals no longer care for people, writing, “the left has often adopted a condescending attitude toward the so-called people, trivializing the folks in the trenches in assorted uniforms and camouflage who supposedly need guidance and moral enlightenment by their elite betters” (“The trenches of our culture wars,” Oct. 7).

Hanson claims that because the left supports efforts to uncover fully the abuses at Abu Ghraib, they somehow are acting as “a privileged group” which “speculates about abstract issues, and then others must concretely bear the consequences of this contemplation.” How can he label as “abstract” the issue of innocent Iraqis being tortured at the hands of American soldiers supposedly freeing them?

The torture that occurred is what makes it harder for soldiers “to win the hearts and minds of civilian populations,” not the disgusted and shamed reaction of Americans. The focuses of the media and the ACLU in exposing this inhumane treatment shows the world that Americans do not accept their soldiers acting brutally. Even though Hanson would rather us applaud our troops blindly in an effort to protect them, he fails to see how letting this issue go will ultimately invite any people who capture American soldiers to do unto them what they did unto others.