Voice in the Wilderness

The news about the "war on terror" your local newspaper won't print.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Now that's how to support the troops

Is this the kind of American values the war was supposed to bring to the people of Iraq?

Let's let the New York Daily News tell the story:
In front of a cheering male audience, two young women wearing only bras and panties throw themselves into a mud-filled plastic kiddie pool and roll around in a wild wrestling match.

At one point a man in the audience raises a water bottle and douses the entwined pair.

At another, a "referee" moves in to break up the scantily clad grapplers.

A young blond lifts her T-shirt to expose her breasts. A brunette turns her back to the camera and exposes her thong undies.

These scenes, taken from 30 photos leaked to the Daily News, could have been snapped at an out-of-control frat party.

But this happened a world away from any American college.

The photos were taken in Camp Bucca, the military prison at Umm Qasr in the hot sands of southern Iraq near the Kuwaiti border.
This, however, wasn't the most egregious behavior, according to the article.
[O]ne participant described less-benign behavior.

Two sergeants, she said, told her "they had been lending out their room for soldiers to have sex" - a serious infraction of military regulations.
We have learned that the woman who displayed her, shal we say, exuberance, has been punished. And news of this incident may go a long way to stemming the Army's recruiting deficits.

So, you may ask, who are we in the wilderness to pass judgment on the brave men and women who are defending democracy in the face of constant danger every day. For another, isn't this better than implicating our nation's bravest in a prisoner-abuse scandal?

Plainly put, we do neither. Nor do we react to this news with anything more than wry titters. Frankly, we suspect that this kind of behavior is not confined to the good men and women, and true, posted to Camp Bucca. We suspect that brave soldiers have been doing this kind of thing since Og the Caveman took a mace to his neighbor over a water dispute 50,000 years ago.

No, our concern is on another level. It's one thing for a jittery public to be wringing its hands over the future of the Middle East, the oil supply, and the implication of the Iraq war on global terrorism. But that's small potatoes compared with the clear and present danger: This war is so hellish that our troops are being morally corrupted. The shame! The shame!