Reputation of America

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Proud to be an American?

Today’s CNN front page story? A group of physicians ascertained that America committed war crimes by subjecting prisoners to torture, from electric shocks to beatings to sodomy.

“There is no longer any doubt that the current administration committed war crimes. The only question is whether those who ordered torture will be held to account.” – retired U.S. Major Gen. Antonio Taguba

It’s difficult to be proud to be an American when you realize that you are the bad guys. If life were a movie, we’d be the villains. Yes, we started out fighting evil people like Osama Bin Laden, who made it no secret that they sought our destruction, that they wanted and still want to kill as many innocents as possible.

When I was growing up, Superman was still popular. Truth, justice, and the American way – all things good, all things worth fighting for.

But we’ve lost our way. Literally.

I wonder if Superman would ever repudiate the American way. Truth, justice, and… ?

How do we fix this? An apology would be a start, followed by holding accountable the commander in chief of the United States military for war crimes committed at Abu Ghraib. After all, it happened on his watch, by his order, and ultimately, he is responsible.

War crimes are defined in the statute that established the International Criminal Court, which includes:

  1. Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, such as:
    1. Willful killing, or causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health – guilty.
    2. Torture or inhumane treatment – guilty.
    3. Unlawful wanton destruction or appropriation of property – guilty.
    4. Forcing a prisoner of war to serve in the forces of a hostile power
    5. Depriving a prisoner of war of a fair trial – guilty.
    6. Unlawful deportation, confinement or transfer – guilty.
    7. Taking hostages

The United States – our country, my country, is guilty of 5 of the 7 major war crimes established under the Geneva Convention and the International Criminal Court. The leader of a nation and commander of the military that is responsible for the commission of war crimes must be held accountable.

Will that ever happen? I doubt it – and until it does, we’re still the bad guys.

“Loyalty to my country? Always. Loyalty to the government? Only when it deserves it.” – Mark Twain

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