Critics don't understand situation in Iraq

May 14, 2004

Dear Editor:

I'm disheartened by the opinions being expressed by individuals who don't truly understand the situation in Iraq.

Yes, the troops that mistreated the prisoners should be punished for what they've done, but in the military that is handled on a brigade level, and those that took part are punished. Their commanders aren't punished, unless they were actually involved or were aware of the actions. I don't really think that the president and the secretary of defense where in Abu Ghraib at the time of the incident, so why is it their fault?

As far as the Red Cross' statements about the inhumane treatment of prisoners, they should try representing the U.S. troops as well as the Iraqi prisoners.

Have you considered how the Iraqi people feel about the safety of the prisoners? You should, you may be surprised.

I spent most of last year in Iraq. My Military Police company actually turned in U.S. soldiers for mistreatment of prisoners. Was President Bush blamed then? I don't think his name was ever mentioned.


As for the inhumane treatment, the prisoners get hot food and ice before the U.S. troops. We lived on MRE's for four months, a lot of times on one meal a day, days that were around 145 degrees. We watched the ice trucks pass our tents and go to the prison yard for delivery to the prisoners.

Prisoner safety? I've spent several nights in Abu Ghraib as the Iraqis dropped mortars (small bombs) over the walls killing the same prisoners that everyone is so concerned about. I watched the U.S. medivac choppers fly in to take these prisoners to our hospitals, to save their lives.

I've given what food and water I had to these same prisoners, and they've thanked me over and over for the U.S. being there.

When the war started, Saddam emptied the prisons into the streets. Think of the meanest, most heartless individual in the world, men that have killed hundreds, serial rapists, people that catch children out after dark, pour fuel on them and set them on fire, this fits the profile of a lot of the prisoners in Abu Ghraib.

It's not all about profit and oil, when people are oppressed and slaughtered without prejudice by their government, the U.S. has always helped. Why would we stop now?

If you think things should be different, you have a chance to change things, the military takes volunteers all day long. Before opinions are formed, be sure the whole story is understood.

Jason Warinner


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