To the editor,
Tori Marlan’s excellent story [“How I Learned to Hate the War,” September 30] about “Jake,” the returned national guard soldier who had been an interrogator in Iraq (and the nicest things ever said about the Chicago Police Department in the pages of the Reader), leads me to three comments not much related to each other:
(1) There is a difference between how occupying armies behave and how liberating armies behave. Compare the behavior of the Wehrmacht in France with that of the GIs who followed them. It’s clear that the U.S. forces in Iraq are behaving like occupiers.
(2) Jake says that he never had a non-Iraqi Arab in for interrogation. My other reading suggests that the suicide bombers are mostly from outside Iraq. These statements are more consistent than they first appear. It seems that most of the detainees are gathered in sweeps or are suspected in attacks on U.S. forces; the suicide bombings target Iraqis.
(3) Cheney and other right-wingers defend the treatment in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo with “They’re terrorists; they don’t have any rights.” Jake’s report shows how easy it is for a nonterrorist to be sent to Abu Ghraib.