I have a sister, Cathy Ponsell, who has a son that is a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan, my nephew.
Published 3:46 pm Wednesday, May 19, 2004
One of Cathy's old college professors, who is quite liberal, wrote her a note asking what her son, Steve, thought about the treatment of the prisoners in Iraq that has occupied the national news for the last week.
The following is her reply. I thought your readers may appreciate what she said as much as I do. I thought I was probably the only one who felt the way she does. She expresses my thoughts exactly.
You asked what Steve said he thinks about the abuse of the prisoners. I did not ask him. You can be assured that he is as appalled as I was. I would have been skeptical of the news and would not have believed the reports had I not seen the pictures.
I would have thought it was some overzealous, bleeding heart liberal trying to make political hay. I cannot put into words the shock, disgust and shame I felt when I saw those pictures when they were made public. I hope and pray that the investigation goes high enough to bring anyone and everyone to justice who was aware of what was going on and did not move to stop it. Let the chips fall where they may. I also pray that those who are innocent of wrongdoing will not be caught up in the same net as the guilty. Some will have to wait for God's judgment. I am sure that none of us who are not there can understand the extreme difficulty our men and women have experienced, and the impact of being received not as liberators, but as a despised enemy, to be spat upon, jeered at and have to live in constant fear for their lives. To see the horrible reality of Americans charred, and hanging from a bridge while other humans dance, cheer and celebrate. However horrible, I cannot understand how in anyone's mind that there would ever be a reason to treat another human being as some of the prisoners were treated.
This appeared to be a sadistic act perpetrated by a few in a secluded area which I am afraid is heavily influenced by the breakdown in our culture where anything goes. It appears from the pictures that it was more for the gratification of the group who administered the abuse than to 'prepare anyone for interrogation.' There is no clear distinction now in America of what is wrong and what is right and seems less clear when under extreme war conditions. I know in other wars that we have been guilty of some horrible acts. There are criminal acts on occasion wherever our people are located. Horrible acts happen daily in the United States also. Some that are being defended tooth and nail as 'freedom of speech' or 'art.'
I can only imagine what the future will be for our grandchildren. On the other hand, the other 99.9 percent of our men and women in the service of our country are in greater danger now because of these few people who unfortunately represent us. The other 99.9 percent deserve our support now more than ever, to let men know how proud we are of them and how thankful we are that they are there to defend us when few will voluntarily put themselves in harm's way for anyone or for our country. Those who will not step up for the country will enjoy the freedom provided by the sacrifice of a few and are often the most vocal in criticism for our country.
I think that your colleagues are correct about the irreparable harm that has been caused by proving the claim many nations have that we are infidels. Before they had empty claims, now they have the proof. We do have infidels among us and we pay homage to many of them by watching their movies, listening to their 'music,' buying their materials, reading their literature and electing them to office. We are all human beings with the innate tendencies for evil and self gratification. We are very easily influenced and have very definite 'herd' mentalities. Our future generation is being indoctrinated with the ever-expanding explicit media trash.
Our only hope as a nation, I believe, will come when we turn back to God and begin to work against the evil that is in our midst. May God be merciful to us and our children, bringing this nation together under His care.