Michael's Dispatches

Treatment of Prisoners

20 March 2009

Before I lived in Germany and Poland for about six years, the Army taught me German and some Polish.  And so there were countless conversations with older Germans and Poles, and I heard earfuls of stories.  The older Germans were very respectful toward our "Greatest Generation," but pretty much hated the Russians because of their brutality.  The theme nearly always drifted to the very humane treatment we afforded German prisoners, while the Russians killed them off.  We even had German prisoners working on farms, and after the war, many Germans returned and married American women!  But the Poles didn't like the Germans or the Russians because of the very same reasons.  They had been mistreated, but the Poles have great respect for America because we treated them well.  Americans are extremely welcome in Poland, but that place sure is cold.

It is extremely heartening that so many soldiers have reached out to me privately about the torture issue.  Most do not seem to want to enter the fray publicly, but most also seem to share the same aversion to maltreatment of prisoners.  Not because any of us are softhearted about the enemy; I'll likely see dozens more enemy killed this year and I never feel bad for al Qaeda or Taliban.  They chose to fight.  They chose to attack us or help attack us on 9/11 and at other times.

Please see this article from a military professional from our Greatest Generation. He dealt with a fanatical country that sneak attacked us at Pearl Harbor, and who used suicide attackers.  And we won.


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