To the editor:
I am writing in reference to the "On the Street" poll published May 1, which asked "What should happen to the U.S. soldiers accused of torturing Iraqi prisoners, should the accusations prove true?"
One man said he thought the U.S. soldiers accused of abuse "should be congratulated considering they (the Iraqis) ... blew up our World Trade Center." This statement is based on factual error. It needs to be pointed out again what all credible news organizations have repeatedly explained: The Sept. 11 attacks were committed by al-Qaida members, and to our knowledge Iraqi soldiers and civilians were in no way involved.
More troubling to me was the response of a young woman who stated, "Since they've tortured some of our soldiers, it's the same thing." This statement seems to imply that humiliation, abuse and torture of captives are acceptable or justifiable when motivated by feelings of vengeance. This is untrue. Abuse of the weak, no matter who they are, by the strong is immoral and unethical and is always wrong.
I am deeply embarrassed by these allegations of abuse. This behavior by our soldiers reflects terribly upon America and shames our national character. We are rightly called out as hypocrites. Our ideals of freedom and justice have been dishonored.
I love America and am proud of our ideals. For our country to rise above this shame, these soldiers should be court-martialed immediately, and the government should offer a sincere apology to the people of Iraq and the world community.