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The news from the States has been terrible recently. I am able to listen to WAMU via the Internet and sometimes listen to NPR Morning Edition, and I also try to read the New York Times online. The reports on prisoner abuse and now wider reports about CIA interrogations are just chilling. Now I remember why the Viet Nam war was so maligned. Now I remember why there was no cheering return for the soldiers coming back and why there were jeers of “Baby Killers!” May Lai and other atrocities had ruined the reputation of the soldiers and what they were doing there. Now the same thing has happened to the US presence in Iraq.

It is, I guess, the nature of war. One begins with high ideals, but it appears easy to be swayed by your enemy’s bad behavior. They have concentration camps; we can have concentration camps. They fire bomb Desden; we drop nuclear bombs on inhabited cities. They act like savage terrorists; we can do the same.

When I was coming up to taking my solemn vows I had to get rid of all my accumulated wealth. I was able to give a couple of sizable gifts to the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition, and now I am so glad that I was able to do so. The world should be free of torture, and it is just very sad to discover that my own government is now a main participant in perpetuating it.

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