Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Another excellent column by Anne Appelbaum, Willing Torturers (, about American soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners. She says, "In fact, it is not difficult to create a situation in which ordinary soldiers of any nationality feel entitled to mistreat prisoners of war. All that is needed is a sense that the ordinary rules don't apply, a situation more formally known as the absence of the rule of law. In totalitarian societies, the rule of law is always absent, by definition. But even in democracies, the rule of law is often suspended during wartime." And this is just as true for women who happen to have power in these situations as it is for men (although women are far less likely to have that power, and far more likely instead to be victims).

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