Americans and others across the globe have been horrified each time new allegations of human rights abuses against detainees or civilians in Iraq by U.S. forces surface.
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly reports that American forces hold a dim view of the people they are there to, in President Bush's words, liberate and protect.
The Pentagon has released the findings of a survey of what soldiers and Marines in Iraq think is right and wrong. The report says more than a third of the troops approved of torture in certain situations. Most would not turn in a buddy who mistreated Iraqi civilians, and only around 40 percent said Iraqi noncombatants should be treated with dignity and respect.
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In our war-time rhetoric we have dehumanized the Iraqi people. It should come as no surprise then that American troops hold such views. And in a war where it is difficult to tell which side the civilians are on - and in most cases it is not the American side - it must become easy at some levels to forget that all people are entitled to basic human rights and protections. This failed war - one that was never moral to begin with - creates new and more frightening ethical dilemmas with each passing day. Those that sent our American troops to Iraq have much to answer for.