More than one-third of U.S. soldiers in Iraq surveyed by the Army said they believe torture should be allowed if it helps gather important information about insurgents, the Pentagon disclosed yesterday. Four in 10 said they approve of such illegal abuse if it would save the life of a fellow soldier.
In addition, about two-thirds of Marines and half the Army troops surveyed said they would not report a team member for mistreating a civilian or for destroying civilian property unnecessarily. "Less than half of Soldiers and Marines believed that non-combatants should be treated with dignity and respect," the Army report stated. About 10 percent of the 1,767 troops in the official survey - conducted in Iraq last fall - reported that they had mistreated civilians in Iraq, such as kicking them or needlessly damaging their possessions.
This is what happens when the rot sets in. In the absence of any hope of a real victory, the people of Iraq become little more than playthings for US troops. And I'll repeat again that I don't blame the troops themselves for this -- when you place any human being in an impossible situation, a psychological breakdown occurs. The environment shapes the troops, rather than the other way around, which was our stated objective. Despite his claims that Bush and the Republicans are the only ones who really care about the troops, they are destroying a generation of Americans just like LBJ and Nixon did in Vietnam. Those who are not killed or physically maimed in the war will come back emotionally broken with the inevitable result of destroyed families, mental illness and homelessness. And it's all because one man's ego will not allow him to admit his mistakes.
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