Some similar things to what I have been saying from Pat Nolan, president of Prison Fellowship.
Let me be clear: I believe this is not typical behavior of our soldiers.
However, that is the way it is being portrayed by the radical Islamists. As
Charles Krauthammer points out, these photos (which could well be mistaken
for homoerotic art funded by the National Endowment for the Arts) appear to
validate the propaganda of the radical Muslims, who portray Western
civilization as sexually perverse. Yet thirty years before the sadistic humiliation of Iraqi prisoners, the
same behavior was exhibited at Stanford University. The New York Times notes the parallels of the treatment of Iraqi prisoners with the treatment of graduate students designated as inmates at the hands of their fellows graduate students designated as “guards” in the infamous Stanford study in
1971. As John Schwartz of the Times describes it, “Within days the “guards” had become swaggering and sadistic, to the point of placing bags over the prisoners’ heads, forcing them to strip naked and encouraging them to perform sexual acts.” Their professor was so profoundly shocked by this behavior that he stopped the study after six days, rather than two weeks he had planned.
None of us should feel smug. While we all hope we would not have taken part in such abasement of our fellow human beings, we are all stained with original sin. Alexander Solzhenitsyn said that “the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.” It is only by restraining these base impulses that we can be civilized.
But what has been done to teach the youth of this nation, both military and civilian, the importance of self-restraint? With messages from movies, television and radio beating a constant refrain of “There are no rules,” “Make your own road,” and “If it feels good do it,” should it surprise us when young people act on those impulses?