Document Sample
					         “How dare this Administration blame its misdeeds on enlisted
                      personnel from a Reserve unit?”


                                                  The True Meaning of Abu Ghraib
                                                                            BY AL GORE
GEORGE W. BUSH promised us a foreign policy with             recruits for Al-Qaeda, it undermines the international      they drag the good name of the United States
humility. Instead he has brought us humiliation.             cooperation that is absolutely crucial to defeating         through the mud of Saddam Hussein’s torture
    He promised us “honor and integrity.” Instead,           terrorism. Thanks to his contempt for any person,           prison?
he has brought deep dishonor to our country, and             institution, or nation who disagrees with him,                  The soldiers who are accused of committing
built a durable reputation as the most dishonest             George Bush has actually exposed Americans to a             atrocities are, of course, responsible for their own
President since Richard M. Nixon                             greater, rather than lesser, danger of attack by            actions, and if found guilty, must be severely and
    It’s been less than three years since the events of      terrorists.                                                 appropriately punished. But they are not the ones
September 11th, 2001, when we had the good will                  The President has created more anger and                primarily responsible. Private Lynddie England did
and empathy of all the world, when a leading French          righteous indignation against Americans than any            not make the decision that the United States could
newspaper ran a headline proclaiming, “We Are All            leader of our country in 228 years, by insulting the        ignore the Geneva Conventions.
Americans Now.”                                              religion and tradition of other nations, and by
    Today, that good will and empathy have been              pursuing policies that have resulted in the death of            AMERICA’S GREATEST EXPORT has always been
squandered, replaced by horror and disgust at the            thousands of innocents. President Bush said recently        hope, hope that through the rule of law, people can
pictures from Abu Ghraib.                                    that the war in Iraq is the central front in the war on     be free to pursue their dreams. Hope that democracy
    How did we get to this point? To begin with,             terror. It’s not–but it has become the central recruiting   can supplant suppression. Hope that justice, not
from its earliest days in power this Administration          office for terrorists.                                       power, can be the guiding force of society. Our
has sought to destroy the foreign policy consensus               The current Bush team is endangering the lives          moral authority in the world derives from this hope.
that has guided America since the end of World               of our soldiers and sharply increasing the danger               It is precisely America’s moral authority that is
War II. Our time-honored strategy of containment             faced by American citizens everywhere in the world,         our greatest source of strength. And precisely this
was to be abandoned, in favor of a radical new               including here at home. They are enraging hundreds          authority has been recklessly put at risk.
theory called pre-emption.                                   of millions of people and embittering an entire                 In my religious tradition I was taught in the Book
    And what they meant by pre-emption was not               generation of anti-Americans. Our nation is at risk         of Matthew, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”
the inherent right of all nations to act against an          every single day.                                           We now face a great challenge restoring America’s
imminent threat, but rather the assertion of a uni-              What happened at Abu Ghraib prison, it is now           moral authority in the world. One of the most tragic
lateral U.S. right to ignore international law at will,      clear, was a natural consequence of this Adminis-           consequences of these official crimes is that it will be
and launch military action against any nation, even          tration’s purposeful dismantling of constraints on its      very hard for any of us, as Americans, to effectively
in the absence of an imminent threat.                        power, its virtual war on our system of checks and          stand up for human rights elsewhere.
    The Administration’s frequent use of the word            balances. Abu Ghraib flows directly from the abuse               This Administration has shamed America and
“dominance” to describe its strategic goals is partic-       of the truth that characterized the Bush Adminis-           deeply damaged the cause of freedom and human
ularly noteworthy, and disturbing. An American               tration’s march to war, and its abuse of the trust          rights everywhere. I believe we have a duty to hold
policy of domination is as repugnant to the rest of          placed in the President by the American people in           President Bush accountable. As Lincoln said at our
the world as the ugly photos showing the domin-              the aftermath of September 11th.                            time of greatest trial,“We, even we here, hold the
ation of helpless, naked Iraqi prisoners.                                                                                power and bear the responsibility.”
    Dominance is as dominance does. It isn’t really a            PRESIDENT BUSH himself set the tone for our
strategic policy at all, but rather a seductive illusion     attitude toward suspects in his 2003 State of the               These remarks are excerpts from a major
that tempts the powerful to satiate their hunger for         Union address. He noted that more than 3,000                speech on the Abu Ghraib scandal by former
yet more power by striking a Faustian bargain. And,          suspected terrorists have been arrested in many             Vice President Al Gore, in which he called for the
as always happens sooner or later to those who               countries. And then he added, “And many others              resignations of several top Bush Administration
shake hands with the Devil, they find out that what           have met a different fate. Let’s put it this way. They      officials. The full text of Mr. Gore’s May 26 remarks
they have given up in that bargain is their soul.                                                              ”
                                                             are no longer a problem to the United States ... He         is available at
    One of the clearest indications of the impending         promised to change the tone in Washington, and
loss of one’s soul is a failure to recognize the existence   indeed he has.
of the soul in those over whom power is being                    George W. Bush has refused to honor the
exercised, especially the helpless, who come to be           Geneva Conventions, just as he has refused to honor

dehumanized and degraded.                                    UN treaties, the opinions of our allies, the expertise           YES! I WANT TO HELP SPREAD THE WORD.
    Ultimately, dominance is not just unworthy of            of our own top military leaders, the role of Congress
America. It is an illusory goal in its own right. Our        and the courts, and what Jefferson once described            NAME                                                   EMAIL
world is unconquerable because the human spirit is           as “a decent respect for the opinions of mankind.”
unconquerable. Any national strategy based on                    How dare this Administration blame its misdeeds          ADDRESS

domination is doomed to fail.                                on enlisted personnel from a Reserve unit? How dare
                                                                                                                          CITY                                                   STATE                             ZIP
    And our current strategy has indeed failed. Not          they humiliate our nation in the eyes of the world
only does it create enemies for the United States and        and the conscience of our own people? How dare               OCCUPATION*                                            EMPLOYER*

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