Tuesday, May 04, 2004

How dare you listen to someone!

America is a great country. If you have an idea for a business, you can pretty much go ahead and do it. That entrepreneurial spirit is one of the things that has made us the great nation we are today.

Here in Maine someone came up with a neat idea. He created a hotline for people to vent. For $1.99 a minute, people can call a sympathetic listener and just vent about whatever is bugging them. A little different, but not a bad idea.

Well, as you can guess, someone felt this was encroaching on their turf and is trying to put a stop to it. The President and CEO of the Community Counseling Center in Portland has written the Attorney General in Maine to investigate this business for the possibility of practicing unlicensed psychotherapy.

Good lord, are you serious? He's not advising these people, just listening. Byt the same token, this lady should have every bartender in the Greater Portland area investigated as well. What a joke.

The new horrors at Abu Ghraib

As the investigation into the torture of Iraqi prisoners continues, the latest Army report is sobering to say the least. Violations by the US prison guards include:

Upwards of a dozen soldiers are facing various charges relating to these acts.

Now, my revulsion over this has little to do with the prisoners themselves. If the tables were turned, they'd probably do worse to us. And, as ex-Baathists, I am sure they have. No, my revulsion is because we are BETTER than these scum, and acts like this contravene everything we as Americans stand for.

Abu Gharaib was a black hole under Hussein. Thousands of people disappeared behind it's walls to be tortured, murdered and dealt with in obscene ways that pale the actions of these US soldiers. Our liberation of Iraq from this regime was meant to expunge those days for good. But now, sadly, we have lost that, as these renegades within the Army have stained the walls of Abu Gharaib all over again.

Christopher Hitchens at Slate makes an excellent point: What does this do to the front-line soldier that has been trying to minimize casualties: It destroys any good will they may have forged with communities. And in a war that has been executed on the cheap by this Administration, good will is something we desperately need to keep a hold of.

These soldiers need to be prosecuted to the maximum extent. What they did spits on everything a US soldier is supposed to represent. They're an embarrassment to their fellow soldiers and to their country.

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