Monday, September 03, 2007

Injustice In Iraq

Recent footage from prison camps in Baghdad uncovered harsh living conditions for those detained there. The prison camps consisted of outdoor tents made of wire mesh and covered with plastic sheets. Some of the prisoners were not even fully clothed and fervently protested their innocence, claiming that they had been in prison for years without even having been seen in a court room or by a judge. According to Iraqi Vice President Tareq al- Hashemi, these tented camps now hold 2,779 prisoners who were removed from over-crowded Iraqi prisons. Although the camps are said to have air-conditioning and 24 hour electricity, no official seems willing to take the responsibility in getting court dates for the prisoners. A General at the prison stated, "The prisoners arrived just a month ago. It is not our fault that some have been held for a year or two years without going before a judge." The situation seems slightly more hopeful in light of the fact that Hashemi visited the prison camps in an attempt to form some semblance of order and that his office gave footage of the injustices at the camps to a global television agency to be broadcast. But when will the situation be rectified? And why does it happen in the first place? If a large-scale public imprisonment occurred in the U.S. on these same terms it would be corrected immediately, or so I would like to think; at the very least people would be up in arms about the injustice happening around them. Why, then, are things so different in a country like Iraq- and will they ever change? Is this injustice proof that a new government is not enough to change the social ills in a society, or is Iraq actually on a slow progression toward a better system?

6 comments:

MadMax said...

I am outraged that we have so many humanitarian do-gooders right now crawling all over these prisons camps looking for human rights violations while our troops, our heroes, are fighting and dying. Oh and by the way our brave men and women also live in tents without electricity or air conditioning.
These prisoners are not there for traffic violations. Many of them are murderers, they're terrorists, they're insurgents. Some of them have American blood on their hands. And here we're so concerned about the treatment of those individuals.
I would guess that these prisoners wake up every morning thanking Allah that Saddam Hussein is not in charge of these prisons.
When he was in charge, they would take electric drills and drill holes through hands, they would cut their tongues out, they would cut their ears off. We've seen accounts of lowering their bodies into vats of acid. All of these things were taking place.
This was the type of treatment that they had -- unspeakable acts of mass murder, unspeakable acts of torture, unspeakable acts of mutilation. I suggest that we put things in proper prospective and get on with the things that count. This should include the preservation of Democracy in Iraq and the continued pursuit of terrorist cowards who wish to do us harm.

aditi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aditi said...

If one assumes that they are prisoners that have committed atrocious crimes, it is possible that one feels less sympathetic to their situation in comparison to all those other people who are suffering grave inhumanities due to no fault of their own. However, the prisoners have a right to a trial and it is only just that they are tried before a court. The fact that some of them are probably innocent and falsely accused of crimes they did not commit heightens the injustice taking place. It could be compared to Guantanamo Bay where many individuals were put into prisons for years due to having supposed links to the AlQieda which were never confirmed. Something must be done to give the prisoners the trials that they deserve and then let the Supreme Court be the judge of their actions. The fact that they are spending years of their lives in cells when some of them are possibly innocent is atrocious.

Nikki M said...

How can you talk about the "preservation of democracy" in Iraq if you're talking about human rights in relative terms? Should we really use the treatment of people under Saddam Hussein's regime as a starting point? I don't think so. Maybe these people are murders, may be they do have American blood on their hands. But guess what, some of our American soilders have exactly been benevolent. And what is happening to the soilders who committed those disgusting acts at places like Abu Ghraib? Do you think they're being held without trial in those conditions? If we're serious about bringing democracy to Iraq lets start with the expectation that Iraqi's deserve the same rights we enjoy.

MadMax said...

Here's the deal. When you are using your soldiers to uphold a nation trying to become a democratic nation like we are doing in Iraq, or sending your special force into areas where they will be shot on sight if caught, or your soldiers are clearing out a nest of terrorists anywhere in the world, you are not playing cops and robbers. There is a really big difference. Do you really think terrorists are just confused and mixed up criminals who deserve their day in court? Bull!

We are not sending our soldiers around the world to arrest someone for stealing a car! This is called War. Get a clue!

The whole objective in Iraq is to help that government keep a lid on things while they hammer out how to make their country operate whilst the terrorists fight to the death to prevent a democratic state from being born and surviving in the Middle East. The terrorists see Iraq' s Democracy as a huge threat to their way of life.

The point here is that trying to give a Middle Eastern terrorist rights to a lawyer and the ability to see classified evidence is ludicrous. Since when do prisoners of war get trials? I don't remember my professors talking about American soldiers on trial during WWII. Oh the Nazi war criminals went on trial after the war...they were brought before a military tribunal specifically for that purpose. And I don't remember reading that the U.S. was forced to provide classified evidence to those on trial. And besides it occurred AFTER the war and focused on War Crimes. It was a War Crimes trial.

Kat said...

Madmax, you get a clue! You write that our troops are fighting for both their lives as well as a new Iraqi government, yet you speak of these "middle eastern terrorists" in the prison camps like they are inhuman, monsters! Not all of the people in the prison camps are guilty of crimes. You seem to catogorize all Middle Eastern people in Iraq as either terrorists or those fighting for democracy. Things are not so black and white. Regardless of if every person in these prison camps are guilty or innocent, they should still have basic human needs like food, shelter and clothing. Wouldn't you want those if you were placed in a prison camp? If we want a democracy to work in Iraq, if we want to make steady progress in winning the war in Iraq and getting out of there, and if we want to became a favorable country in the Eastern worlds eyes again, we need to stop these terrible prison camp conditions! I'm not saying let them all go, but treat them better.