Letter: Glorifying a criminal

By The Daily Illini

In Elie Dvorin’s column yesterday, he propounded beliefs that are not only driven by skewed, extremely partisan morals, but also completely averse to progress toward stable peace in Iraq and the Muslim world. How he could possibly agree with the murder of a helpless human being is beyond me. Where are your “conservative values” like mercy, compassion and justice? The situation only necessitated restraint and the call on the appropriate systems in place for dealing with this kind of situation. Instead, the U.S. soldier decided to kill the unarmed Iraqi insurgent in a fit of vengeful anger. This is courage? Dvorin goes on to denounce Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch as “leftist human-rights watchdog groups.” The mission of these groups is to “work to promote all human rights” and to “investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable.” If, according to Dvorin, these are only leftist values, then the right has a lot more problems than we thought. The justification of this crime with descriptions of atrocities committed by the other side is severely flawed as well. If we are taking our cues from wartime morals and ethics of ruthless terrorists, we need to re-examine why we are in this conflict to begin with. Our reasons for going into Iraq, according to the current administration, have been moving more and more towards a theme of spreading tolerance and democracy. How does such brutal treatment of a vanquished enemy exemplify these righteous causes? How are we to instill these ideas into the Iraqi conscience if we aren’t able to follow them ourselves? The United States and the rest of the Iraqi Freedom coalition must instigate change by example. The conflict of ideologies in the Middle East is much deeper than the violence itself. The truth of the matter is, we cannot change the Muslim world’s perception of us at the end of a gun.

Everett Phillips

freshman in LAS