If it wishes to prevail in Iraq the United States must investigate the crimes committed at Abu Ghraib and that those civilian and military leaders found responsible should be held accountable.
I site the following in support of my position.
On Wednesday US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the following about our struggle in Iraq.
"The metric really should be for Iraqi citizens: Do they feel better about their lives today than they did yesterday? And do they think they're going to feel better about their lives tomorrow than they do today?"
"And so I think this is trying to get more of the people who have been shooting to stop shooting and work with us,"
In other words the key to Iraq is winning the hearts and minds.
I believe that this makes it urgent to we follow the recent comments by General Taguba who investigated these crimes who demanded that United States investigate the crimes at Abu Ghraib and that those civilian and military leaders responsible should be held accountable.
The reason for this is that until there is a thorough investigation (General Taguba was not permitted to investigate higher level culpability) there can be no justice and without justice on this matter it will be difficult for the Iraqis to trust us, it is exactly this lack of trust that feeds the insurgency.
In other words a thorough and complete accounting on this matter is an essential part of our war fighting strategy.
If the US administration is not prepared to investigate the leaders in these criminal acts it is in effect deciding not to prevail in Iraq.
The call from General Taguba.
"From the moment a soldier enlists, we inculcate loyalty, duty, honor, integrity and selfless service. And yet when we get to the senior-officer level, we forget those values. I know that my peers in the Army will be mad at me for speaking out, but the fact is that we violated the laws of land warfare in Abu Ghraib. We violated the tenets of the Geneva Convention. We violated our own principles, and we violated the core of our military values. The stress of combat is not an excuse, and I believe, even today, that those civilian and military leaders responsible should be held accountable."
A key tenet of democracy is equality before the law, as a member of the Coalition of the Willing, we soldiers are inevitably are guilty by association and are equally duty bound to ensure that justice is served both for the sake of both justice and to clear our own good name.
It is for the above reasons I call upon the the United States investigate the crimes committed at Abu Ghraib and that those civilian and military leaders responsible should be held accountable.