Behind the Green Gates

Feline doppelganger observes and comments on war, literature, sex, mankind, biology, Afghanistan,
tree-hugging, music, art, God and gods, America, books, politics and the return of the Florida anole.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Abu Ghraib: After the Scandal

Army medic Salvatore Esposito's tour of Abu Ghraib prison with the 344th Combat Support Hospital becomes less the journey of redemption that he had anticipated and more of a fall from grace. His initial goal to erase the travesty of the actions of Charles Graner and Lynndie England becomes harder and harder as his exposure to radical insurgents hardens his heart towards the Iraqis. Why, he wonders, did they not fight Sadaam the way they were fighting the U.S.? How was he supposed to experience the peace of Islam when its history was so violent and treacherous? Given his poverty-stricken and abusive childhood surrounded by hard-working immigrants he assumes he has an understanding of downtrodden cultures and that such empathy will see him through. But long days of giving out high quality aid to men who are charged with killing Americans, women and children and dealing with their insolence finally leads him to insult Islam and start a riot. In examining his conscience while awaiting his military punishment, he struggles with his Christian faith as he begs himself to see the Iraqis as men instead of monsters. In the end, he accepts his imperfections but realizes that his soul is perhaps no less conflicted than those who perpetuated the outrageous abuse that put every U.S. servicemember in a bad light forevermore.

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