I am appalled by the testimony of violence contained in the hundreds of thousands of Iraq-related military documents released this week by Wikileaks. I feel as though I have witnessed just a small piece of what it is like to live through the catastrophe Iraq experienced following the 2003 U.S. invasion. These stories should be on every television, in every paper, especially the revelations – in their own words – that United States soldiers were complicit in torture sanctioned by their commanders.
These undeniable, tragic facts must be addressed as we struggle to “turn the page” in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I grieve at our government’s lack of response to these violations of our moral compass as a nation.
There is a vital lesson for us to learn here: In order to avoid further shocking revelations from Afghanistan, the Obama administration must take seriously its promised Afghanistan policy review scheduled for December. Instead of simply getting a progress report on the misguided military escalation, our leaders must abandon the same failed approaches that led to these horrors in Iraq, and embrace non-military steps leading to the complete removal of all U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan.