Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

Tear It Down, Mr. Bush

Summer 2005

On this most sad anniversary of the discovery of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison at the hands of U.S. troops, the Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) reiterates the plea it made over a year ago to tear down the infamous prison rather than let it stand as a monument to hatred and anti-American feelings. At that time, when the scandal was first revealed to the world, the JWV went on record saying that: "Any future use of that prison by Iraqis and Arabs would very likely and logically be deemed to reflect only presumed American abuse rather than Iraqi torture. It should not be allowed to remain standing as a reflection of the perversion of American values rather than reflecting on President Bush's call for the introduction of democracy in the Middle East. JWV calls upon our government to do this right and eliminate the possibility of a monument dedicated to the hatred of America from becoming a tourist attraction." A year later, it is more important than ever that the U.S. and new Iraqi governments combine to eliminate this reminder of scandal and abuse that could become the focal point of anti-American sentiment in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East. We applaud the news that the Army is preparing to issue a new interrogations manual that will bar the abuses perpetrated at Abu Ghraib, but condemn the fact that to this point, it is almost entirely the privates and sergeants there who have had to bear the brunt of punishment for those abuses, while their superiors have been exonerated from blame. Now more than ever it is important to tear down this symbol of abuse, rather than leave it as a monument to be exploited by those who would look to harm us and demean the U.S. effort to bring peace and democracy to this troubled part of the world.


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