Perspective on a Very Foul Affair

I’ve been wanting to write about the recent revelations about the abuse of Iraqi detainees by coalition forces. I’ve been reluctant because I was finding it hard to indicate that there were important differences between this abuse and the abuse that was common in pre-liberation Iraq
(and much of the rest of the Middle East) without being misinterpreted as understating the severity of the coalition behavior.

Fortunately, Michael Young has written an editorial that says what I wanted to say. Please read it.

There is no perfect governmental system. All of them will be abused. The best we can hope for is a system that will get things right most of the time, and can correct its errors and improve over time. These abuses have been identified and are being addressed. That’s what should be learned from this.

People who use this episode as confirmation that America came to abuse Iraqis, rather than to liberate them, are drawing the wrong conclusion and are missing the point.

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