/* News Ticker Head info ------------------------------------------------ */

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

First Thoughts on Iraqi Prison Abuse

From an essay I read online today:

"The current military prison abuse scandal, which is in many prominent ways a sexual abuse scandal, is an epiphany. For it manifests the reality of our culture. To see the generals and Rumsfeld himself--all from a prior generation--grapple in disbelief with the magnitude of the prison abuse scandal is to see a tremendous difference in generational formation. For a prior generation, which benefited from growing up in a culture with a conservative sexual moral consensus, it is hard to believe that professional soldiers would indulge, photograph, videotape, and take great pleasure in perverse acts. But it is not hard to believe for those of us who grew up in a different culture in which fornication and sexual license became a way of life."

There are three sides to me on this issue.

One part of me is frustrated with the obvious election-year politics of this episode which has turned something negative into an all our media feeding frenzy which has lost all perspective.

A second part of me says very much what Secretary Rumsfeld said today: I did not do this. The actions of a few do not speak for the many. This does not make me bad or evil.

But there is a third part of me that wonders if this isn't a good time to reexamine some of what we are as a society. I'm not talking about the "why do they hate us" rhetoric of the left, who would die of exasperation if we actually tried to end some of the things that cause many mainstream Muslims to hate us (rampant abortion, near-pornographic entertainment, moral laxity in general, and a la carte spirituality). But, a more internal, "where have we strayed from our original intent" conservatism.

We no longer practice Orthodox American Democracy here. Is it any wonder that the power and draw and allure that convinced so many millions of people to immigrate here is no longer visible? Yes, we are "better than [insert name of small third world country here]" in so many ways, but we have lost much of our moral compass. We have neglected, "reformed", redefined, and re-thought so much of what we were, that its hard to remember where we even started.

I'll have more, later, I'm sure, but the paragraph above spoke much to me today...


Post a Comment

<< Home