Project Reader Reaction
A recent Project: Reader Reaction question asked for observations related to recent events in Iraq. Some responses:
“I don’t agree with the treatment of the prisoners. And they didn’t behead the man for revenge; those people would have found a reason to do it no matter what. A lot of people do not understand that those radicals are not following any religion. … We need to be able to fight the war and not worry about the collateral damage. Again, prisoners should not be mistreated, but they should not be given better food etc., than the Americans who are over there fighting.
“I think the news media should cut down on the amount of coverage of the pictures. It was wrong, but now all the fanatics have a new reason to do what they are doing and the continuing coverage is just a reminder to them that … they can use (the prisoner abuse) for an excuse. Remember the innocent people who died on 9/11 just for no reason but to bring terror to the U.S. of America.”
— Dan Toledo, Clovis
“Nick Berg was Jewish. It seems strange that the newspapers, CNN and even Fox News have not (prominently reported) this fact. You can read about it in the Stand For Israel Web site.
“In recent memory we saw another Jewish captive beheaded, Daniel Pearl. Nick’s being Jewish is probably the reason why he was detained by authorities trying to avoid any independent Israeli-sponsored actions in Iraq. It is the reason why he should not have been in Iraq, and why they offered to fly him out of Iraq.
“His being Jewish also points out one of the reasons why we are there. Terrorism against Israel is sponsored from this place toward any nation (that) supports the right of Israel to exist. They beheaded Nick Berg. People of the same mind also slaughtered a pregnant mother and her four young daughters in cold blood in Israel just a week ago. But I am not reading about that atrocity in our media outlets either.
“People who respect the God of the Jews must not hide their eyes and their recognition of the enemies of the Jewish people. There was a holocaust, and the same influences are in the world today. We ignore that fact at our own peril.”
— Carolyn Spence, Clovis
“The news media are making far too much of the Iraqi prison abuse. We have just as much abuse here in the good old U.S.A. that goes unnoticed or ignored by the press. In no way do I condone the prisoner abuse, but when do we see more pictures of the good we are doing over there? It is amazing how little coverage the Berg murder is getting in the Middle East.”
— John Frey, Clovis
“The prisoner abuse is appalling and the people involved should be punished, but where is the outrage from the Muslim world over what some of their people have done in the name of peace, resistance and revenge?
“It’s OK for them to execute a civilian who is trying to help rebuild their country and it’s also OK to attack a convoy, burn the people who were in the vehicles and then display the bodies by hanging them in public. It’s OK for them to hide their faces and attack their fellow countrymen for working with the United States while trying to rebuild their country.
“This is becoming another Vietnam with the inability to determine who is the enemy, who wants us there and what we’re really trying to accomplish. We could be in Iraq for another 10 years and make little progress.
“They wanted to be rid of Saddam Hussein and we did that for them. To show their appreciation, they shoot our soldiers and bomb everything they can find. Why? Because they consider us infidels.
“Let’s get out before we lose too many more of our brave men and women and give the country back to the Iraqis with the understanding that since they wish to live in the fifth century, the next time any terrorist attack is linked to them, we’ll bomb them back into the fifth century, And that goes for any other Middle Eastern country that backs terrorism.
— Jeffrey Greene, Clovis
“I support our servicemen 100 percent. With the exception of a few, they are doing what they enlisted to do. The abuse situation is very sad and the end has not been heard.
“I opposed our invasion of Iraq from the start. We are strong enough to whip any nation but there has to be some planning after the job is done. This (planning) was not there in this war.
“My feeling is that it was a political ego thing with President Bush that did not work out.”
— Mac McDonald, Clovis
“I don’t agree with utilizing more force than necessary to extract information from terrorists. It’s shameful that the liberals are using this information to stereotype the military and jump on the John Kerry ‘I hate Bush’ bandwagon though.”
— Richard Lopes, Clovis
“I am very upset about the acts of abuse and the showing of the abuse of the prisoners in Iraq. I don’t think any of the pictures should be shown to the public, and the death of the American civilian is the result of what happens when the newspapers and television news reporters want to shock the United States citizens.
“Our news doesn’t just stay in this country so the reporters should be aware of what the consequences are when they air out dirty laundry. … I for one do not like to see pictures like that and our children see the pictures when they are aired on the news. Is this what we want our children to see our soldiers doing? Why don’t the reporters show the good the soldiers are doing in Iraq? This is what I would like to see (and) for our children to see.”
— Ardyth Elms, Clovis
“I hope they bring (Berg’s) murderers to justice. His murder is part of the hornet’s nest we’ve gotten into in Iraq. I’m reminded of a saying attributed to Mark Twain:
“‘When we realize we are all mad, then life makes sense.’”
— Brent McBee, Clovis
“It is a shame this issue has surfaced at this time, with all that the U.S. is trying to do for that country. Of course there is a great deal of publicity, because it is the United States. What about the way the Iraqis have treated the citizens, and combat troops of the U.S., and other nations that are assisting? It is all right for them to rape and torture, and show pictures/videos of what they have done. Where is the justice?
As was stated in (Thursday’s) paper by columnist Walter Williams: ‘Any soldiers that are to be court-martialed for anything, it should be stupidity — stupidity of permitting photos to be taken of what they were doing.’
“Also the (U.S. military personnel) that were photographed could have said ‘no’ when they were supposedly given orders to do these acts.”
— H.M. Richards, Clovis
“This is a critical question, which should seem to be taken more as ‘How do we know it was just a few bad apples?’ Do we take their word for it? What has the government so upset about something they’ve known about for some time is that someone let it out of the bag. That person will not be knighted, promoted or exalted. He/she will be led to the slaughterhouse once identified. And of course … the higher-ranking people who are really responsible will only be given a slap on the wrist and reshuffled into the vast unknown. …
“In Britain, the head of the military establishment would resign to show how seriously the government considers prisoner abuse. But in our system, it isn’t a matter of where the buck stops, it’s ‘What buck?’”
— Gerald Majewski, Clovis