Mercy to the rapist soldiers February 23, 2007Posted by dorigo in news, politics.
I read in the news today that after James Barker, recently sentenced with 90 years of imprisonment, now a second soldier, sergeant Paul Cortez, will do 100 years of time for the horrendous crime they committed in Iraq, where they raped and killed a 14 years old girl, after killing the three members of her family.
Three other soldiers, Steven Green, Jesse Spielman and Bryan Howard, are still on trial. The first, being no longer in the military, will appear in front of a federal court, where he will face charges punishable with the death penalty.
These five men committed a horrible act. I am against the death penalty, but I have no objection to a long time sentence in cases such as this one. However, by reading the story, I cannot help feeling that the soldiers themselves are, in some way, victims. Sacrificial ones, to be clear.
The US waged war to Iraq motivating it with the false claim that the Iraqi regime possessed weapons of mass destruction – a fact that, even if proven true by itself would have meant nothing, given that no less than nine countries own nuclear weapons, US included. The United States are responsible for a horrible civil war (yes, we can say civil war now: many thanks to the Bush administration for allowing us to call it for what it is) which is killing tens of thousands of innocent civilians.
In the face of the astonishing level of death, destruction, and grief that the Bush administration has caused, the horrendous act of the five american soliders may well be put in perspective. Of course, it is tough to justify with the harshness of their job conditions the amount of violence they unleashed. But today, with a cold mind, one can say that if the five soldiers face 100-year charges, then those who sent those soldiers and tens of thousand more to bomb, destroy, kill, occupy and rule Iraq, should be charged with much more than that.
My job today is to think positively – the hard punishment of these soldiers is an act of democracy and justice. In the back of my mind, though, I can’t repel the thought that these sentences stink of a clumsy way to attempt to pacify our souls by showing us that the United States are a civil, democratic country, and that their army soldiers are indeed punished if they commit crimes abroad because they deserve it, and not for propaganda.
It still aches to remember the Cermis tragedy…