In "Abu Ghraib," Victor Davis Hanson gives an eminently sensible, informed, and worldly-wise assessment of how we should understand the recent ugliness that took place at Saddam’s old Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. To give the sense of his May 3rd editorial, I include just two paragraphs--the last sentence of which brings to mind at once Shakespeare and Churchill:
Right now we see only revolting pictures that properly shock our sensibilities. But because we do not know the circumstances of the interrogations, the conditions of confinement, or the nature of the acts that warranted imprisonment, we are also ignorant to what degree, if any, these men were responsible for horrendous acts--or if their clumsy interrogators were trying to shame and humiliate them to extract information to save other lives.
We who are appalled in our offices and newsrooms are not those who have had our faces blown off while delivering food in Humvees or are incinerated in SUVs full of medical supplies--with the full understanding that there will be plenty of Iraqis to materialize to hack away at what is left of our charred corpses. War is hell, and those who do not endure it are not entirely aware of the demons that are unleashed, and thus should hold their moral outrage until the full account of the incident is investigated and adjudicated.