Quotes Of The Day

1 comment February 22nd, 2007at 09:13pm Posted by Eli

From an excellent Vanity Fair piece about an Abu Ghraib detainee and the post-sadist guard who befriended him:

Ben Thompson, the guard:

I believe that there is always an opportunity to connect with other people, to look another person in the eye and to see them for who they really are. I think we should never allow a situation, no matter how complicated it is, to mask our ability to sympathize or to prevent us from feeling the suffering of other people.

Yunis Abbas, the prisoner:

He was a very honest soldier, because he told me, always, “You and all those guys inside the camp, I know you are not guilty.” And he [would] always help me out, help the prisoners, [bring us] food or blankets or T-shirts or socks. He always wanted to help, because he loved Iraqi people. He told me, “We need peace. Me and you, we are brothers.”

We need more like this. A lot more. (Speaking of which, their story is told in the soon-to-be-released The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair.)

Frankly, I can’t think of anything we could do at this point that could give the Iraqis fond feelings towards the United States. Except possibly in the Kurdish areas, everyone in Iraq has been tortured, raped, wounded, killed, afraid for their life, humiliated, or just plain fucked over… or knows someone who has. Maybe not always directly at the hands of Americans, but everyone understands that we are responsible. Iraq may someday have a truly democratic government, and it may someday have a pro-American government, but it will never, ever have a truly democratic pro-American government.

(Thanks to baconpowder for the tip!)

Entry Filed under: Iraq,Prisoners,Quotes,War

1 Comment

  • 1. Ruth  |  February 23rd, 2007 at 7:28 am

    Very hopeful. I have this cynical steak that assumes the Darth element will take this as a lesson that more hardening and pre-brutalization will need to be incorporated into training prison guards.

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