Abu Ghraib - Case of Lynndie England Term Paper

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Abu Ghraib - Case of Lynndie England

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In 2005, a 22-year-old female reservist who had been activated to service in Operation Enduring Freedom, Lynndie England, admitted to seven charges of infraction and breaking of the United States Military's rules for handling prisoners of war under her charge as a United States Military prison guard at the now well-known site of Abu Ghraib, Iraq (Daily Post (Liverpool, England, 2005, p. 6). Long before this 22-year-old reservist had ever heard of a place called Abu Ghraib, the prison had already come to the attention of the international media as one of the places where Saddam Hussein had allegedly abused and tortured his own countrymen (the Nation, 2008, p. 3). Even with the prison's long history of abuse and torture, it is difficult for most people to wrap their minds around what went so terribly wrong at Abu Ghraib that a 22-year-old female American reservist would lose touch with her inner most humanity, which arises from personal values and morals and lends itself to that which keeps us from crossing the line from anger to physical harm, to become perhaps the most infamous figure in the scandal for having posed in the now equally infamous photograph of herself and a naked Iraqi prisoner, bent, head forward, on his knees. Something, most people viewing the photographs muttered quietly aloud, must have gone terribly wrong there. Unfortunately, very little went wrong there, and if we look at the people, the events, and the circumstances we'll find that what transpired at Abu Ghraib is perhaps more common than those of us who have never been to war, or who have never grown up "Lynndie England," would like to think.

The Case of Lynndie England

Erich Fromm, responding to Raya Dunayevskaya on her question to him concerning feminism, machismo and communism, responded this way:

Term Paper on Abu Ghraib - Case of Lynndie England Assignment

feel that the male Social Democrats never could understand Rosa Luxemburg, nor could she acquire the influence for which she had the potential because she was a woman; and the men could not become full revolutionaries because they did not emancipate themselves from their male, patriarchal, and hence dominating, character structure." (Most of Fromm's letter appears in Dunayevskaya's Women's Liberation and the Dialectics of Revolution [Wayne State University Press, 1996], p. 242) (Anderson, Kevin, B., 2004, Logos't nal, foupnd online at (http://www.logosjournal.com/issue_6.3/anderson.htm)."

What this means is that a woman in the company of "revolutionaries," or, in the case of Abu Ghraib, a woman cannot achieve the maximum of her potential because in the presence of macho men, still struggling with their patriarchal "baggage," or those influences that prevent them from coming into the identity of their maturity. As we know, in some cases, this might not happen; in other cases, a man is able to put the patriarch in the proper perspective, and might emerge into maturity as an individual identity. Those men who successfully "liberate themselves of learned patriarchal patterns and tendencies will be able to come into their individuality and succeed beyond the restrictions of their fathers.

Now, how this applies to Abu Ghraib, is because here you have a young 22-year-old female reservist, who is in the company of men who have perhaps not yet moved beyond their patriarchal influences into their own maturity and identity. This contributes to the female's inability to come into her identity, fullness in potential, and her abilities are minimized and taunted by the presence of the men she worked with. Thus, when it became time to behave responsibly, intelligently, morally, both the men and women succumbed to their own personality traits and the influence those traits projected onto one another, and acted out rather than acting responsibly. It is what Fromm and Dunayevskaya are talking about in their exchanges.

When we look at the individuals who make up the reserve forces, the requirements for becoming a member of those forces, and look at, for instance, in the case of Abu Ghraib, Lynndie England and how she was portrayed on the news outlets that interviewed her (Philips, Stone, Dateline, NBC, 2005, television and online at (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9532670/).

The interview, seen on television, and a transcript of which can be found online at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9532670/,creates the image an immature young female reservists. It lends itself to the idea that the young reservists, men and women alike, were as good as their leadership examples, who should have served to help their young recruits fulfill their potential.

Philip Zimbardo at Stanford and Stanley Milgram at Yale conducted an… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Abu Ghraib - Case of Lynndie England."  Essaytown.com.  February 13, 2008.  Accessed July 9, 2020.
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