This past week, the entire world was introduced to disturbing, appalling, and pathetic pictures of American soldiers humiliating and abusing Iraqi prisoners of war, in the Abu Ghraib prison south of Baghdad. The pictures prompted the military and the Departments of Defense and State to investigate, and these actions were condemned by every politician, including the president, on both sides of the political spectrum; as they should be. These pictures showed naked Iraqis, forced to being put in sexual positions, as well as a hooded man who was taped with wires and was forced to stand on a box. He was told if he fell off the box, he would be electrocuted. These actions brought up a debate about what is and what isnt acceptable in the interrogation of prisoners of war. The bottom line is these acts were the actions of six to twelve American soldiers, not the American military. They are not condoned by anyone in our country, for they do not represent American values and ideals. But even as President Bush expressed his sympathy to the Arab world on Arab TV and gave his apology to moderate Arab leaders and Iraqi citizens, and even as the American military immediately vowed to take action against these few individuals who did this, the French newspaper Le Monde has called American troops Iraqs new Saddam. Lets get something straight: over 700 American soldiers have died to free a nation from a ruthless tyrant. American taxpayers have spent hundreds of billions of dollars, and will continue to do so, to supply Iraq with enough food, water, electricity, power, and energy, to get their country up and running after three decades of neglect. The Iraqi government gassed and slaughtered over 750,000 civilians and no uproar happened, yet six American individuals embarrassed some prisoners of war, and were the worlds biggest bully? When Saddam Hussein was asked in 1998, why he would order the rape of the wives of men who opposed him, he stated, What else do you expect, if you oppose the regime? Yet, when six Americans get too rambunctious, our entire government looks into the situation to hold these people accountable. We did not feed Iraqi civilians into wood chippers. We did not make civilians drink molten lead. We did not put a rat on their stomach, and place a kitchen pot on top of it. That was the man we were sent there to remove. While these actions of a few individuals are cruel and un-American, there is no comparison, much the way there is no perspective throughout the world. Just recently, Sudan won an election in the United Nations main human rights watchdog, even after all of the ethnic cleansing and genocide in Sudans Darfur region, where millions of non-Muslim Africans have been killed by the Islamic Sudanese government. Their government, not six individuals, did these actions. No uproar is heard. In fact, their actions are overlooked. Syria, a sponsor of terrorism, has a Security Council vote, and Libya, an oppressive dictatorship, is actually in charge of Human Rights within the United Nations. Saudi Arabias secret police recently locked the doors to a girls college dormitory, after it caught fire, out of fear the girls did not put on their veils before fleeing the burning building. Over 560 girls were locked in the dormitory when it burned down. No mention is made of that. Of course, bad behavior does not excuse bad behavior, but these backward countries have been legitimized, even after all the ethnic cleansing, genocide, mass murder, rape, and torture of millions of their citizens. While European and Arab media outlets are gleefully enjoying this opportunity to demonize all of America, no mention is made that when Iran, an enemy if there ever was an enemy, suffered a devastating earthquake killing thousands, it was the United States who offered to help. No mention is made that when a train crashed in communist North Korea, a nation actively trying to acquire nuclear weapons, it was the United States who offered help. Instead, there is a double standard. Instead, they focus in on the actions of six soldiers against ten or so prisoners. Nobody with a right mind condones what those six soldiers did to the Iraqi prisoners. But things have yet to be taken into context. In a war, irrationality can sometimes flourish, and people are bound to cross the line. These actions do not represent the majority of the brave and honorable American troops, who have been called to do unprecedented things. Americans are not just actively trying to secure and stabilize Iraq, but these 19 and 20 year old kids are being asked to pave roads, serve food, and build schools, and in one case, an American Marine was asked to coach an Iraqi high school soccer team. The undignified actions of a few should never taint the honorable and noble mission of the mass, and while we willingly continue to hold the highest standard for human rights, we are given the shortest leash. Is there a double standard? Yes. Will we complain to any large degree? No, thats not our style.