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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 May, 2004, 08:59 GMT 09:59 UK
Iraqi abuse claims: Your views
Iraqi prisoners of war
Piers Morgan, the editor of the Daily Mirror has said that a soldier from the Queen's Lancashire Regiment has come forward to claim some UK troops abused Iraqi prisoners.

Mr Morgan told the BBC that the soldier had detailed four separate incidents of beatings and could name the people he believed were responsible.

A handful of soldiers, including corporals and sergeants, were thought to be blamed for the assaults.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed that the man had approached military police to discuss the claims.

Are you a serviceman who has had contact with prisoners in Iraq? Send us your views.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

Standing shoulder to shoulder - there's always a risk of splash back.
Tim H, UK

How would we react if we were solders in Iraq? If were honest with ourselves it would scare us.
John, North West

It would be interesting to know who took the picture, how the picture was taken and perhaps, what imaging software was used? The sad thing is, whether the picture shows the truth or not, damage has been done. Everybody's enraged by now.
Racel, Philippines

I was never one to believe in the theory of conflict of civilizations but it seems that the American and British forces are unloading their white man's burden on Iraqi citizens.
Uzair Shah, Lahore, Pakistan

I suspect that these particular photos are staged, but that this kind of thing (and worse?) is certainly going on. It appals me but doesn't surprise me.
Fiona Wilson, Sheffield, UK

I hope you stop trying to find excuses for the British and American troops
Shahira Sadek, Egypt

I think it's about time to admit that there was a lot of false information in this war starting from its cause. I hope you stop trying to find excuses for the British and American troops because they have committed a lot of awful things other than the ones in the pictures, for example the killing of hundreds of civilians. It's a real shame for the Western world and please don't try to say that the stories are staged as nobody will ever believe.
Shahira Sadek, Egypt

I don't find this behaviour from either Britain or America surprising. After 9/11 widespread discriminatory practices were used by Mr Bush and his administration passing laws to be able to hold people of Arab origin indefinitely, without being charged, without due process even if they were citizens. Now after being lied to over and over again by both leaders about the true reasons for occupying Iraq this isn't surprising. At least with Saddam you knew what to expect, he didn't lie to your face, he simply discriminated against everyone.
Layla, Iraqi in Washington, USA

One of my colleagues is Iraqi and he just returned back after a short visit to Iraq. He is a moderate Muslim and never supported this autocratic Saddam regime. But this time he told us how badly the innocent Iraqi mass people were treated by the so-called civilized US and Brit troops. Even if these pictures are fake, the fact of the abusive incidents to Iraqi people/prisoners will still remain true.
Navarene, Vienna, Austria

Why do people jump to a conclusion that the pictures are false right away? Anyway, it is not the main topic. The main topic is whether these abuses really exist or not from the British troops. If abuses exist, than people who are involved should be punished like the Americans have. Let's wait for the British investigation, although it is surprisingly very slow. Don't be ashamed to reveal the truth, as the British co-invaded Iraq to free them from abuses, etc by the old regime. There is a need to lead by example.
Jacob, Leicestershire

It is just appalling that something like this happened. The British army should be ashamed.
Dimitri, London, UK

The army deserves the benefit of the doubt, and our unconditional support and thanks
Adrian, Australia

We have the finest, most honourable and best trained army in the world. Our troops consistently excel in the most difficult of conditions, and do their country proud. Given their track record, and the price they put on honouring the country and regiment I do not believe these photos are genuine. Although it is possible that there are a tiny number of soldiers who would degrade someone in this way, the number of inconsistencies in the photos makes me feel the army deserves the benefit of the doubt, and our unconditional support and thanks.
Adrian, Brit in Australia

If these pictures are found to be fake then the Daily Mirror should be shut down. If you are to have a free press then it must take responsibility for its actions. The damage these pictures have caused to Britain and the soldiers in its army is incalculable. A simple apology will not suffice. Newspapers and journalists must be aware there are consequences.
Richard, Gerrards Cross, UK

Could this be only the tip of the iceberg? The pictures may be fake, but for those keen to investigate, go to Amnesty's website. They have recorded hundreds of cases of breaching the Geneva Convention by the coalition. (The first, of course, is the fact that this war is illegal).
SS

Blame the lawlessness. Why is there unrest? Because we invaded Iraq for no legal reason and Iraqis would like their country back. Most UK service personnel are ashamed at the heavy handed tactics of the US forces. Now, it's time to be ashamed for our actions. Regardless of the authenticity of these photographs, many groups have complained about the mistreatment of Iraqis. This certainly isn't an isolated incident.
Mark, Surrey, UK

There is an unwillingness to question "our brave boys"
Mike, London
The British armed forces have a long history of cover up, from the death camps in Kenya, to Bloody Sunday to the murders at Deepcut. The British Army has always been an utter disgrace, and the unwillingness to question "our brave boys" has allowed generations of soldiers to be converted into brutes.
Mike, London, UK

If these pictures are proven to be fake, which I believe they will be, then it would seem only just that Piers Morgan and the rest of his editorial team should be conscripted into H.M. Forces and posted to Iraq with immediate effect. Perhaps when they have personally experienced the brunt of the backlash from the Iraqi people, they may become more disposed towards treating our own fighting men and women with the justice they deserve.
Paul Hamer, Cumbria, United Kingdom

Has the circulation of The Mirror gone up since these photos were published? The gutter press should get back to "kiss and tell" and not "torture and tell" to increase advertising revenues.
Andy Black, London, UK

It seems odd that so many people have such firm views when there is still a great deal doubt as to whether the photos are real or total fabrication.
Antony Way, London

What can we expect? Most UK and US soldiers are uneducated school drop-outs. Well done to the Mirror and other independent media brave enough to show the realities of the so call democracy.
SK, Edinburgh

Terrible and disturbing if true, and an issue that needs to be resolved with haste. I have worked in the Middle East and such areas and to Ali in Cardiff - perhaps the "enlightened" West does need to be exposed, but so do the atrocious acts that are performed on a daily basis in a number of Arab and Muslim countries. Pot calling kettle black?
Piquet, Somerset

Our troops may lay claim to being the best in the world but that doesn't make them saints
Ferg, Sheffield, UK
Why so many people jumping to the army's defence? Wrong boots? Wrong hat? Didn't most of our troops pay a visit to the army and navy stores to buy the things that the army couldn't supply? Our troops may lay claim to being the best in the world but that doesn't make them saints. They are trained to kill and extract information.
Ferg, Sheffield, UK

Until the Daily Mirror reveals its source I would say that this 'evidence' is as believable as the intelligence that led us to war in Iraq. By the way, didn't Alistair Campbell work for the Mirror at some stage?
John, London, UK

I hope no-one has forgotten that last year a soldier from the 1st Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was arrested while trying to develop pictures he had taken of Iraqi prisoners being abused. The fact is that British soldiers have abused prisoners in Iraq. Whether the Mirror pictures are genuine or fake is not the most important question here. Even if they're fake, there's no reason to believe that the abuse suddenly stopped after the one case that came to light last year.
Jim, Cambridge

It was irresponsible of the Mirror to publish the pictures. They should have gone directly to the MOD. They could have still carried the story if they believed it to be genuine, but by publishing the pictures they have put more pressure on our troops where ever they are, and helped fuel further anti-British feeling across the world.
Julia, Northampton

Who gave the photos to the Mirror and who took them? This is what we should know first. Then I could be able to give an opinion. Today any one can make any photo one want
Baldo Alberici, Edinburgh UK

Well done Mirror, keep it up
Jim, London, UK
Piers Morgan had done a wonderful job in exposing the inhuman behaviour of allied forces, especially Brits who do most of the things in hindsight. We live in democracy and had every right to know the behaviour of forcedly occupier attackers. What right do Americans or Brits have to treat helpless prisoner as they have been treated. Well done mirror, keep it up.
Jim, London, UK

Whether these photos are genuine or not, at the moment the most embarrassing thing is the slowness of the British Government to react. Even the Americans have managed that.
Amy, Colombo, Sri Lanka

It does not matter if the photos are real or not the damage has been done.
George Melton, Gloucester UK

Shame on Britain! And shame on all Brits for casting doubts on the authenticity of the pictures. Shame! Shame!
Tim Sidney, Germany

What stopped the paper from quietly giving the photos to the MOD?
Geoff Prout, Harrogate
Faked or not, it's totally irresponsible of the Mirror to publish anything which places our troops in jeopardy. What stopped the paper from quietly giving the photos to the MOD, or was it paper sales and one-upmanship on other downmarket newspapers?
Geoff Prout, Harrogate

Irrespective of the content of the photos and purely from a technical viewpoint, when I saw them in the paper I did wonder if they were set up. The photos were taken with flash lighting but the camera must have a very high flash sync speed to not record such violent movements even in subdued ambient light. If the shutter is open for 1/60th or even 1/250th of a second I would expect to see some blurred movement either side of when the flash actually fired.
Malcolm Murray, Scotland

Firstly, as an ex-soldier I know I would not like to be treated in such a way. But, I believe the Mirror photographs to be fake and shame on them for putting more Brit soldiers' lives at risk. The world should not judge an entire army on the behaviour of a few 'mindless bad apples', but it will, with dire consequences for the troops on the ground, including my two young sons.
Mike, Crickhowell, Wales

As someone who is living, along with women and children, on a compound protected by barbed wire, concrete blocks, truck-mounted heavy machine guns and 24/7 police checkpoints, I have little to thank the Daily Mirror for. Whether real or fake, did the people who took these photos, or Piers Morgan who published them spare a thought for the fact that they would further endanger the lives of those Westerners, both military and civilian who are in the Middle East?
Mark, Saudi Arabia

Would it not have been more responsible of the Mirror to pass these photos to those in charge of our army, rather then publishing them when so many people have doubts about their authenticity?
Pete, UK

They should have gone straight to the appropriate powers for further investigation
SK, Bristol, UK
Wherever these photos have come from, The Mirror had no right to publish them. They should have gone straight to the appropriate powers for further investigation. The Mirror has now put British soldiers and civilians in Iraq, as well as those of us in the UK, in even more danger than before.
SK, Bristol, UK

These fake pictures do not surprise me. The British media is growingly anti-American and anti-Semitic. This is the spearhead of their new campaign against those fighting for survival and freedom in Israel.
Yossi Rosenberg, Jerusalem, Israel

One question that hasn't been asked with respect to the validity of the photographs : Who has access to high quality black and white film and developing labs ? I'm sure your average trooper doesn't - but what about those newspapers?
Richard Green, Putney, London

A lot of people seem to find this supposed abuse to be "disgusting" and "sickening". If it turns out to be genuine then the perpetrators should be punished. Personally I find the thought of our civilians being burnt alive, hacked to pieces and dragged behind cars far more offensive and can understand the bitterness that troops facing the true horrors of war must feel every day.
Neil Cork, Kings Lynn, Norfolk

Saying all soldiers are equally to blame and guilty of this crime is like saying all Muslims agree with and carry out suicide bombings. Ridiculous! We are perhaps united in moral bankruptcy. If true it is abhorrent, but vast swathes of the Eastern world would think this of the West anyway (just like West's tendency to see extremists everywhere). Moral hypocrisy perhaps?
Alfred Oresaba, UK

i am willing to bet, that somewhere there is a Muslim extremist, sitting somewhere with a digital camera and some supplies from the army surplus store, laughing his head off at the stunt he has just pulled off.
Peter Conaghan, Croydon Surrey

My brother is currently serving in Baghdad, scheduled to complete his second tour in Iraq. I am a Vietnam veteran and after his first tour in Basra and Umm Qasr we had a long talk. Based on what I heard there continues to be a lack of respect for the Iraqi people and their ancient culture but there are a considerable number of safe-guards to stop abuses. So if there are abuses they would seem to be isolated. That also appears to be the case in the British-controlled areas in the South.
JG, Chicago USA

I honestly don't believe those pictures are genuine - too many inconsistencies. The equipment, the setting, the state of the "prisoner" and of the "soldiers". Even the "kick" looks wrong. Someone is pulling our strings here, and unless this is exposed quickly, it will do enormous undeserved harm to the British troops on the ground in Iraq.
Jim Watkins, London, UK

Be the photos real or fake, I cannot believe that some people actually defend the actions portrayed in these photos. 911, friends and comrades killed in action, how a person is trained etc... nothing can justify what is being shown. I actually believe the British photos are faked, not to inflame the Middle East, or to dishearten the public in the UK, but they are put out so that they can be discredited and therefore defuse the situation the American pictures have caused... (cynical neh?)
Steve, UK

The public seem to be very easily swayed by the media
Isabel, Warwickshire
I think it's far too easy to say this photo and others like it are fake. How about we wait and see before we make a judgement. The public seem to be very easily swayed by the media. So fickle in fact that suppose similar photos were printed but with Iraqis torturing USA/UK soldiers, what would the reaction be then? It's highly likely the public would "assume" they were "authentic" based on their oh soo impartial thoughts!
Isabel, Warwickshire

The main problem here, as I see it, is that we no longer have a creditable source of truth. The government, the forces and the media all have heavily tarnished track records? Your guess is as good as mine as to who is telling the truth here.
Darren Nicholls, Tunbridge Wells, UK

I hope to God these pictures turn out to be false. If not, then the full weight of the law should be brought down upon the perpetrators. Sadly, even if they do turn out to be false they will almost certainly have turned a large section of Arabs against us, which we really don't need.
Paul, Studham, England

I hope to God that they've been faked. The thought of our soldiers torturing Iraqis makes me want to be sick. I'm so proud of our armed forces, and to see them subjected to cuts, over-stretching and now the media onslaught from this is very sad. If it is found that the picture is genuine then the highest punishment needs to be handed out, and seen to be handed out to the soldiers involved. If it is fake then the same needs to be handed out to the forgers. Any westerner captured from this point onward will get the backlash from this. Forgeries or not.
Anon, York

As it becomes clear our own British newspaper has fitted our troops up and spread hatred against the British people in the Arab world. I think the newspaper should faces consequences for this cowardly act against the British forces. Anyone who makes accusations without identifying themselves show they lack integrity and should be court marshalled.
Guy DuBarry, Liphook

What a propaganda coup for al-Qaeda
Graham Elder, Kent, UK

What a propaganda coup for al-Qaeda that so many people have been taken in by this rubbish. Get real people, and don't forget those that were murdered by "terrorists" in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia this weekend
Graham Elder, Kent, UK

The truck seen in the pictures is so clean because it is also used for Alien Autopsy procedures, another popular activity amongst image forgers.
Tim Aston, Tewkesbury GLOS

You can be sure these criminals will be found and brought to justice: court martial and jail. Quite unlike what history has shown us with the torturers and abusers of other armies and states; Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Pakistan, China, Russia... Before you condemn the US and UK armies you better look at the conduct of your own when things go wrong... you can never rid the army of monsters, its how you deal with them that defines the morality of an armed force.
Al, UK

Not one of your correspondents has made the point that the pictures were published in the US and UK press BECAUSE we are democratic countries. Many Arab states treat their people like this and they have no recourse to a free press. Even Israel has a free and unfettered media.
Vernon Moyse, Kings Lynn, UK

I'm sure it is a sad fact of life that a small element of soldiers from whatever country has behaved in this way for centuries. The good thing is that this time it has been exposed. There are brutal people in all walks of life but perhaps the army has more than its fair share of them due to the nature of the job, training etc.
Jocelyn, Portsmouth UK

It looks to me as if the photos have been staged
Ian, Bradford

It looks to me as if the photos have been staged. They are just too "clean" to have been taken in a war torn Iraq. What concerns me is the motive for taking them. I bet a lot of money has changed hands somewhere down the line! I find it hard to believe that a newspaper could be duped...but then maybe? No, it's not even worth thinking about!
Ian, Bradford

They are not fakes, there was suspicion of this before the photos even came out.
Greg Wilton, Reading

It looks to me like someone is trying to make us the "bad guy" once again. For any act of goodness, there is someone out there trying to knock it!!
Mrs, Croydon, UK

Those pictures show the "enlightened" Western World in all its glory. It makes you wonder how many of those cases have not been shown in public.
Ali, Cardiff, UK

Whether these pictures turn out to be true or not it seems to me that the harm is done as they have now been circulated all over the Arab world.
Alex, Oxford

The pictures are authentic. I am sure they are authentic
Ravi, Toronto, Canada

Shame on those commentators who blindly assume they are the real thing
Anon, Epsom, UK
I agree with Mick From Essex - these pictures smack of opportunism. I doubt they are real but are posed to maximise indignation against the Iraq war on both sides. Shame on those commentators who blindly assume they are the real thing.
Anon, Epsom, UK

The Daily Mirror's getting an awful lot of attention out of this don't you think? And they're milking it as much as they can. Have a think about it.
Greg, Cardiff, UK

Where is the Minister of Defence? Where is the Prime Minister? Is their Bank Holiday more important that telling us ashamed British Taxpayers living in Britain if these pictures have any chance of being genuine. Please show up immediately!! We need to know!
Imma, London

If British personnel have been involved in the torture of Iraqi detainees, then we should co-operate with the War Crimes Tribunal, however hard that may be. A more difficult question is what should be the consequences for Piers Morgan and Mirror journalists if the photographs turn out to be fraudulent.
Nick, Brighton England

Thanks for publishing the comments from people who feel that these acts of torture are justified. I would never have imagined that there would be people who held such a repugnant viewpoint, let alone people who dared to voice it in public. This might sound naive, but I had imagined that everyone would find the very notion of torture to be repulsive. I guess I was wrong.
Brendan, London UK

These photos contain a number of glaring inaccuracies
Anon, Leeds, UK
These photos contain a number of glaring inaccuracies. All that the army officers and the Times' photographer have said is true. I know this because I have significant contact with a lot of military hardware. I can say with certainty in my own mind that these pictures are staged. The rifle which the soldier is holding is too clean and unscratched to have been used, any soldier who had had even a little experience in the field would know that the quickest way to lose most of your kit is to leave all your webbing open as this soldier has done, indeed, this webbing seems in fact to be extremely out of date, as current webbing uses a "yoke" where the set in the picture has an assortment of straps. I could continue with this list ad infinitum, but suffice it to say that these pictures are certainly false.
Anon, Leeds, UK

What is as alarming as the pictures themselves is people's reaction to them. Despite the glaring inconsistencies in the photo in the soldier's equipment and the state of the prisoner himself (where are his bruises?), the British public has leapt to condemn the efforts of the British military in Iraq. The PR damage has already been done in the Middle East where no amount of proof will now persuade people that the photos are faked. However, it is not the photos themselves but the disgusting lack of respect and support for her majesty's armed forces that makes ME ashamed to be British.
Ed Goodfellow, Oxford, UK

If these photos prove to be false then can we please throw Piers Morgan in jail for endangering more lives in Iraq.
Pete, York

It would be interesting to know if anyone received publication money
MA, Glasgow Scotland
I think these pictures are disturbing whether they are genuine or not. If they are genuine, then these soldiers should be charged in a criminal court and dealt with most severely. If the photographs are not genuine then the government should take the soldiers to court. Either way, I have never seen such disgusting photographs. It would be interesting to know if anyone received publication money.
MA, Glasgow Scotland

In the US Americans are consumed with reality TV, perhaps it's time we see the reality of war and the world as it really is.
Martin Donovan, Smithfield RI USA

Their actions will likely be directly responsible for more American and Iraqi deaths
Matthew Huntley, Stockton, USA
After a proper inquiry, the soldiers responsible should be court-martialled, dishonourably discharged, and imprisoned. Their immediate superiors should be court-martialled for negligence of command. This incident will soil the image of the American military, and America in general for years. Those responsible have endangered the lives of all of their countrymen abroad, be they civilian or military. Their actions will likely be directly responsible for more American and Iraqi deaths.
Matthew Huntley, Stockton, USA

Before condemning the young reservists for their deviation or depravity, we should remind ourselves that armies and wars are an institutional negation of the rules of civilization; they teach and provide a venue for the youth to kill and destroy systematically, efficiently, with out guilt and with divine approval. Above all, decisions are made in a ¿kill or get killed' atmosphere. Many soldiers may also believe that Iraq was behind the events of 9-11, and this is 'give back' for that atrocity. War may be a necessary evil at times, but it must be done as a last resort and with near-unanimous national and international consent.
Thiruvengadam Ramakrishnan, New Orleans, LA, USA

Those photos should be shown so that justice can be done to those Iraqi POWS. Even though they are POWS, they are human beings too and should not be treated in such a barbaric manner.
Genevieve Lum, Singapore

What do people expect from the military?
Bogoni, Zurich
I really can't understand what all the fuss is about. What do people expect from the military? They are trained to KILL & they have probably seen & done things that none of us can ever imagine. The fact that the idio-democratic minded media are trying to self destruct their own country as usual by publishing pictures which are no different to any other conflict or war they have been involved in does not surprise me. Anyone who is shocked by the actions of the US & UK soldiers must be either very naive or a complete idiot. You go out there & see how you react to people who want to kill you!!!!
Bogoni, Zurich

Yes these photos should have been shown. However, before we can make any moral judgement based on these photographs, we need to examine them under context in which they were captured. First, we are dealing with war. Therefore to assume that these actions do not occur would be to invoke extreme naivety. Second, we need to temper these images with the fact that our troops are being humiliated, tortured and killed in much the same way. Finally, it is impossible to make any clear moral or philosophical judgement as we sit here in the comfort of our own homes. Soldiers are human beings being put to the test under extreme conditions.
Andy, Edinburgh, UK

The pictures and the story of this kind of abuse is disgusting. I'm proud to be an American but at the same time ashamed that our citizens could dehumanize the Iraqi people in such a way.
Adam Lujan, Albuquerque, NM

I am disgusted and ashamed of this idiotic treatment of Iraqi prisoners, most of whom are being held for questioning rather than crimes, and of our invasion on false pretences in the first place. I'm sickened that a few American snipers could site a long range scope on a child or woman's head and squeeze the trigger, as was reported from Falluja. You can bet we'll never see that reported on American TV. We're not even allowed to see the flag-draped coffins of our soldiers coming home. "It would be disrespectful" says the White House. I'm disgusted with the American press for their duplicity in this war.
David, Greenville, South Carolina

Such barbaric treatment should not be accepted
John, Chapel Hill NC USA
I'm outraged at this abuse at the hands of US and UK forces, and am glad the story has been given press attention. Without the pictures, I'm afraid that people would not have believed the allegations. Such barbaric treatment should not be accepted and those responsible should face severe penalties. Bear in mind that typically, actions of the lower troops in any organization reflect attitudes at the top, and thus, we should expect senior military personnel as well as government officials at the highest levels to take responsibility for this horrible situation.
John, Chapel Hill NC USA

Once again the reputation of many is ruined by the few. In general the British and to at least some extent the US army are professional, humane and would not abuse prisoners in this way. Remember that killing a combatant is totally different to humiliating a captive. We see this with the Muslim population as well, a few are terrorists and so a few extremists believe they're all bad.

The British and US soldiers involved should be treated severely for this, they individually help undo months of hard work, making the situation even more dangerous for their comrades. Hopefully these incidents will be a wake up call to those in the forces capable of such things and this will stop for good, for if not the US and UK are going to have a very tough time out in Iraq, and at home.
David, UK

The reaction from America has been disturbing. It's almost as though they didn't really want to react, and were hoping that it would go away. Also, another question is.... what were the Americans planning to do if CBS had not got hold of the story? Did the American army not know what was going on before CBS pointed it out?
Kartikeya, Bombay, India

The aim of this war is peace
Rachel Foye, Preston, Lancashire
These pictures are disgusting and true element of war, this shouldn't be happening at all. These troops are aware of why they are there. The aim of this war is peace, not that peace can ever be achieved by war but this is unnecessary evil. We have enough evil as it is.
Rachel Foye, Preston, Lancashire

I can honestly say that an average person in US is as appalled and disgusted as anyone else in the world. Individuals who have exposed this atrocity should be commended for their courage. They did this, at the risk of being labelled as "unpatriotic" by the media, and "Enemy combatants" by pro war business.
Saifullah Nizamani, Worcester, USA

These actions will cause more hatred against the west. Just proves the US are no good at peacekeeping. The UN must takeover before the situation gets worse.
Jim, London

Yes these revolting photos should have been shown, because seeing is believing. Several newspaper articles have reported abuse; however it is only images which have an impact. I suggest that those guilty of this conduct should be punished harshly and not given a couple of years in a comfy British prison.
Haider Al-Najjar, Iraqi in UK

Computers can do anything these days with pictures. What a funny coincidence that the Daily Mirror "happens" to get pictures at this time. As a Ex-soldier I am very very wary of the "truth" in the press.
Michael Topping, Leyland UK

They knew full well this has been going on for months
Anonymous, London
I have a friend that works for Amnesty international who was based in Iraq in August and reported that these terrible things were happening then, so why are the Army and US Forces pretending they are so shocked when they knew full well this has been going on for months.
Anonymous, London

I am amazed that anyone is surprised that American and British troops are torturing Iraqis. There is no such thing as a clean war and individual acts of brutality are inevitable especially when the more dominant country is beginning to lose control of the situation. Just think of the way America raped and pillaged its way through Vietnam.
Mark, Bristol

Shame on you Bush, Shame on you Blair, shame on UK and the US, the most "civilized" nations of the world! Show the pictures, bring out the reality.
Faraz, Canada.

I am aghast at the allegations. However, let's remember that it's unusual things that make the news: "Man bites dog" attracts more attention that "Dog bites man." Torture and sadism are still much lower among Western troops than many other armies.
Randy, Grand Rapids, USA

The UN should take control of Iraq
Ahmed Khan, Paris, France
The UN should take control of Iraq asap and try Saddam, Blair and Bush together for war crimes. Not only for these pictures but also for crimes against innocent people who lost their lives by the hands of Saddam, Bush and Blair. My questions is who is going to answer their deaths? The world should think
Ahmed Khan, Paris, France

I do not believe they should have been shown at this time to the whole world. As horrifying and disgusting as these photos are torture and inhuman cruelty are, and always have been, committed by both sides in every war. Showing these photos of American and British troops' despicable acts, while not showing the equally despicable acts committed by Iraqis, creates a false impression and fuels hate and bigotry.
Marianne, Madison, USA

Phew! What a lot of strong reaction! One question - are the pictures genuine or staged?
Phil, UK

Our politicians have displayed some dismay - I would like to hear "utter disgust." I, for one, am genuinely disgusted. Initially by our American "allies" brutality. And now we see British troops urinating on, and brutalising people. I'm ashamed to be British, ashamed to be associated with my nation. If I had the means and the money, I would give up my British nationality right now. Utterly ashamed.
Nick Allen, UK

What astonishes me about these vents is not just the merciless cruelty of the soldiers involved, but their abysmal stupidity. Have they no idea at all of the effects of acting in this horrible way? What it means is that as of this moment, the war is lost; all the deaths and wounds are wasted. That's what it means. We need to check the armed forces' recruitment processes. We can't afford to have halfwits in uniform, not in today's wars.
John, Edinburgh, UK

Laws for these two countries are different than the rest of the world!
Naim, Canada
Yes! Also there should be cases of war crimes under the auspices of UN against these US and UK soldiers. But I know this will not happen because laws for these two countries are different than the rest of the world!
Naim, Canada

The pictures should be shown. I think the world should know the reality.
Selina, Hong Kong

First we told the world we're going to war for the WMD - none were found. So, we told the world Saddam was a merciless tyrant and had to be removed - but apparently we are no better than him. I wonder what reason we should think of next to justify our war.
VJ, The Netherlands

If it's true they should have a whole regiment do the same to them a Court Martial would be a waste of time and money.
Ken Ellis, Norwich, United Kingdom

Human rights and respect are basic rights affordable to every human being, not just the Americans and the British. It is time they understand it.
Tabassum, Toronto, Canada

The simple truth, is that too much to ask for?
Grier Govorko, Los Angeles USA
Alright enough! The simple truth, is that too much to ask for? Politicians are liars, the mouths that speak for the military are liars, all of the corporate media use deception and lies to forge solidarity for the lies we're told. I guess these pictures don't lie huh. Wars are brutal, soldiers are brutal by nature of their jobs, and this is a brutal war run by brutal men based entirely on lies. ENOUGH ALREADY!
Grier Govorko, Los Angeles USA

Yes! Without these pictures shown to and seen by everyone, such barbarian behaviour will not be eradicated.
Beatrice, Vienna, Austria

Finally the picture of truth will come true which is hidden for long time during war.... the credit is totally has gone to the journalist who took the picture that proved they are part of humanity in addition to being honest doing their job.
Akas, Dundee, Scotland, UK

These pictures only confirmed the many stories I have heard my friends in Iraq, of atrocities on the hands of the Americans and British soldiers against Iraqis. At last, the truth is out.
Zaid Al-Hindawi, Iraqi in London, UK

Whatever it takes to bring them in line.
Ken Azad, San Diego, Ca

I agree that the photos should be shown and the perpetrators should be brought to justice. Your message board shows, however, how this makes people forget and ignore the countless other atrocities which aren't documented via photograph.
Chris, New York, USA

They are a disgrace to the uniform
Andrew Brown, Grafton USA
I am an ex-British soldier studying in the US. I am appalled by these soldiers' actions. They are a disgrace to the uniform. They have no excuse for their actions. Every serviceman knows the law of armed conflict. If they are found guilty they should be severely dealt with. They are not only a disgrace to the Army, they are also a disgrace to the nation.
Andrew Brown, Grafton USA

The Internationally deplored acts of some American and British troops on prisoners in Iraq is somewhat understandable in the lawless situation that pertains there. But it should also be seen in the light of the much more appalling acts perpetrated on members of the Coalition who have been trying to police the region and achieve peace.

Indeed the prisoners who have suffered such indignities have not suffered dreadful deaths at the hands of the Iraqi mobs, nor been paraded, post mortem, by having their bodies desecrated with dismemberment and drawn behind cars and lorries.

The international media and the Government have underplayed pictures of those events on grounds of public decency, but our troops have had to witness them. If the media have the honesty and impartiality they proclaim, and are not moved solely by the desire to seek wider circulation, the should equally reveal BOTH sides of the disaster that is Iraq's present plight.
Alan Jarvis, Southwold, Suffolk

More harm than good comes of publishing them
Ian, Loughborough, England
Whilst these allegations are totally despicable, more harm than good comes of publishing them. They should have been given to the authorities and the perpetrators punished. News of the outcome could then have been used in a more positive way than inflaming the situation. It's about time the tabloids got some common sense.
Ian, Loughborough, England

All those abuse pictures just reminded me of how horrible and inhumane a war and its participants could be. Those pictures might be the tip of an iceberg. We should all be ashamed.
Di , Seoul, Korea

The world is quite quick to kick America when they're down.. Yet when the photos of the Brits doing the same thing come out. The world is silent. Is it not the same?
RA, Cromwell, IL

Let the pictures be shown and the truth be known and we wonder why there is such hate for USA in the Arab world. Disgusting!
Brendan J Murtagh, Redford USA

Although these acts were committed by a very small minority, people, especially Iraqi people, should be entitled to view these pictures. For a country that was supposed to liberated from Human Rights abuses, this will devastate the coalition's reasoning behind one of their main objectives of the invasion/occupation.
Brendan M, Dublin, Ireland

I've noticed a curious difference between the two reports of torture in Iraq. The news media seem to be assuming that the story about the Americans is true, and about the British as "alleged". Isn't that odd.
Bob Harvey, Lincs, UK

A total abuse of power by these soldiers
Reinford Mwangonde, St Louis, USA
This a total abuse of power by these soldiers and its imperative that justice be met on them. This is against amnesty and the Americans would not want to be treated like this, why are they letting the soldiers treat the Iraqis in such a way? Thanks to the media for letting the cat out of the bag otherwise the world would not have known this story today. I think this should be stopped immediately because that is what will discredit America.
Reinford Mwangonde, St Louis, USA

I agree with opinion JS, Oxford: no surprise by such act, at all. Last year, I flew with group of US soldiers returning home from their base in Japan. They strongly resembled group of kids whose body someone stuck with a lot of muscle-material and tattoos. Since then, I am thinking when democracies really need to deploy such force.
K, Japan

I'm bemused by the fact that a lot of people seem to be of the opinion that "oh well, at least it wasn't as bad as Saddam". That may well be the case, and it may also be the case that acts of brutally like this were inevitable. However, none of these facts make it any less unacceptable.
Ali Asgur, London, England

A little humility wouldn't go amiss
Harry Calder, UK
A few of my pompous fellow Brits here would do well to remember that a few British soldiers have also been caught on camera torturing and degrading prisoners. A little humility wouldn't go amiss - it's not just those brash American colonials who sometimes lapse into savagery. We Brits have a long career of it too, as the pictures published today prove.
Harry Calder, UK

I agree it is wrong to torture innocent people, but I ask, what would you do to Osama Bin laden if you had the chance? Or to someone who had killed a member of your family - I know what I would do.
Andy, UK

It is a matter of honesty and fear of god, so that the world can realize the evil designs of us and it's allies because they have been wrongly and innocently made to believe that it is a war on terror with good intentions. People have the right to know what's going on and where, especially in such cases, where people's opinion about the policies of their regimes, can change the turn of events.
Noreen Nasir, Karachi, Pakistan

Yes photos of atrocities should be shown - maybe the images will penetrate the imaginary world of leaders who profess to be against terrorism.
Kathy W, Cincinnati, Ohio USA

Only a band of sadistic brainwashed barbarians could perpetrate such atrocities
Ali Al-e Ali, Tehran, Iran
Only a band of sadistic brainwashed barbarians could perpetrate such atrocities. I always hated Saddam for what he did in Iran. I can never forget what his soldiers did to our women and children in Iran. Yet, it is no time to gloat over inhuman treatment the Iraqi soldiers received at the hands of the US soldiers.
Ali Al-e Ali, Tehran, Iran

This is the way the so called civilized and cultured American behave.
Jacob Watson, UK

I read that one of the alleged perpetrators of this ghastliness is a prison guard in the US in "real life". So George Bush's "not in America" sounds not only naive but downright disingenuous. I have decided never to visit America again, just in case I smile whilst at an airport and get locked up.
Rory Macoy, Rochester UK

I see no difference in Bush and Saddam
Huda, Toronto, Canada
I see no difference in Bush and Saddam, they both have committed crime against humanity, by having torture chambers and mass killing of Iraqi people. The only difference is one was home grown the other is outsider.
Huda, Toronto, Canada

Its impossible to get rid of the cow boy instinct!
NT, England

These pictures are showing the way democracy and freedom are exported by Americans, British and their allies. Let's hope it will help to think about the lies of our politicians. Once again, not in my name.
Luciano, Geneva Switzerland

Of course. Too much has already been hidden away and locked up by the secretive Bush administration. Let's see what this war is really all about. Maybe we will not be as anxious to trump up reasons for another one in the future.
Dale Mincey, USA

Peace and liberation are achieved only through love and not by using material forces. The world already knows this.
Ash, Pondicherry, India

To bad such outrage wasn't shown when the Twin towers fell and those bodies of construction works were hung on the bridge and their poor dead bodies abused. Let our justice system handle the soldiers who did this to prisoners but those who live in glass houses, should not be the first to throw stones! God Bless our Troops!
Jean Mair, Morris, Illinois, Untied States of America

These torrid events hark back to times during the Second World War
ATM, London, UK
The more we know about what goes on behind closed doors the better. These are absolutely intolerable actions brought on by bad leadership from the president down to the lower level military leaders. These torrid events hark back to times during the Second World War and other conflicts that saw inhumane actions by all sides. Those involved should be brought to justice.
ATM, London, UK

These events no doubt will result in Iraqis using this as a reason to kill even more coalition troops. Even though it was wrong, their retribution will always be in the extreme, their treatment of prisoners would usually result in their prisoners deaths and as I understand it these "poor little Iraqis" are still alive, our niceties will always result in our troops being killed. It's a shame we cant play by the same rule book as used by the Iraqi terrorists.
PC, London UK

The US wanted the Iraqis to hand over those who killed and mutilated the four civilians Americans. They even bombed a city and killed more than 600 Iraqis to get the killers. Would the US now accept to hand those who committed the crime of abuse to the Iraqis? Is it really a two way street or it is the white man's way all the time?
Jamal Zaky, NY, USA

The photos of the abuses should not be downplayed by speaking of them as isolated individual cases and not representative of the army. The point may be right statistically, but culturally are an expression of the arrogance with which the British and the US establishment have acted throughout the last several years.

They visually portray the attitude of sub-human status accorded to Iraqis and many others by western hegemonic forces. They are the manifestations of a mentality that justified the deaths of thousands of Iraqi children as price 'worth paying'.
Farid Panjwani, London

Why would anyone take a photo of a wrongdoing?
Mark, UK
We do not know for sure if these pictures are real, why would anyone take a photo of a wrongdoing? Surely they would know that these things get out eventually. Do not forget we are in a war, and in war there is such a thing called propaganda......from both sides.
Mark, UK

The facade has been stripped away. The true face of imperialism is revealed. Doesn't this remind you of Vietnam?
Tanya, London, England

Blair says that these incidents were done by a few soldiers and one should not judge the American soldiers from this, but why do the Americans and British judge the Muslims as terrorists when only a few of them are really.
Amina, India

I am no longer supporting this war because of this. In fact I am interested in what Al Qaeda think. I think it's about time we listened to them before massive horror arises!
Stallone, UK

There has already been so much censorship in the United States we don't even hear about Iraqis and other non-US people dying. I think it is imperative to publish all aspects of this war: including those that are distasteful. Otherwise, how will people know what is actually happening in Iraq?
Anna, Lafayette, CO, USA

No-one should be surprised.
Don, UK
No-one should be surprised. Although American people are generally very pleasant as individuals in their own country, collectively they have this vision of being the master race and we know what this leads to. As far back as Vietnam, American troops were contemptuous of the locals (or gooks as they called them) and shot up friend and foe indiscriminately. Added to that, in both USA and UK uniforms and power sometimes attract the wrong people. Top brass in any country doesn't want to know.
Don, UK

I'm surprised at some of the naivety here. Historically, armed conflict brings out the best and worst in people. Incidents like this, though regrettable, are inevitable. To those that claim this mirrors the worst brutal excesses of the Ba'athist regime, get real.
James, Hampshire, UK

We don't know the full story behind these pictures but lets not forget what the Iraqis did to those they captured in Kuwait during the Gulf War.
Alex, Manchester

These are just outrageous. Although one does not talk for all, still no excuse for such misconducts. Those wrongdoers shall be put to trial in public courts for offending humanity and human rights. Good that liberation army did not liberate Iran.
AmIr Hossein, Tehran, Iran

The wrongdoings were committed in Iraq, so surely that is a matter for the Iraqi police. I hope that US and UK governments will cooperate in handing over the alleged culprits to the Iraq police.
Paul, UK

How can I defend my country from past or present atrocities?
Narda, Harlem, NYC, USA
The images needed to be seen, they are a reality of the world that we live in. The photos serve to discredit the simplistic war rhetoric of "evildoers" that the Bush administration has employed. Here, the press is cautious and muffled by 'patriotism', fear, and misinformation. How can I defend my country from past or present atrocities? What hope is there for change if I encounter an indifferent population that barely votes and doesn't bother to read?

It is my responsibility as a citizen to be held accountable for what my country does. Note that I praise(our) coalition troops for their bravery- they're mostly young kids that just want to go to school or seek better employment or are idealistic. That said, it the images are not acceptable, and it shouldn't be brushed aside as an isolated incident. We have no credibility and the war on terror is also a war on ignorance, arrogance and racism on ALL fronts (starting here).
Narda, Harlem, USA

To be honest, I am not surprised. I always think it such a joke when some Eton-educated frontman is interviewed as an army representative. We train these men to go out and kill for God's sake! What kind of mentality do you think that requires? Soldiers are the people who do the ugly inhuman stuff that enables the rest of us to live civilised lives.

It should not be surprising that "the enemy", or simply the "them", gets treated in this way. The real surprise is how well hidden this kind of (I suspect quite common) inhuman abuse is under the official veneer of "honour, love of country, bravery and patriotism".
JS, Oxford, U.K.

Are soldiers not taught the Geneva convention
Fatma Al Hamad, Kuwait
Are soldiers not taught the Geneva convention regarding prisoners rights? Is it the Americans think they are above such things? As alleged liberators, this makes them far worse than Saddam could ever be. Shame on you America. Show the pictures and more.
JH, Las Palmas

I have supported getting rid of Saddam because of what the regime did to Kuwaiti people in 1990, but we as Muslims will not accept the mistreatment of POW's. It's a barbaric act from people calling for "Human Rights"!!!
Fatma Al Hamad, Kuwait

Arrogant American people seed hatred around the world, and feel victimized when hurt. This is ridiculous.
Keven Chen, NY, USA

What makes it particularly shameful for the British is that, unlike the US Army, it is mandatory for all our soldiers to attend a presentation on the Laws of Armed Conflict every year.
Jamie, UK

Once thing to be noticed is that in America, incidents like these are brought to light, criticised and people held accountable, instead of just sweeping them under the carpet. I am sure not all societies are so forthcoming.
Rakesh, USA/India

This whole situation would never have occurred if only Tony Blair and George Bush had stated their true reasons for invading Iraq from the start. It seems to me that they just wanted to get rid of Saddam before he became too much of a problem.
JJH,

Does Mr Blair still dare to stand shoulder to shoulder with the crocodile teared President Bush on everything in defiance of the British public opinion?
Hyder Ali Pirwany, Okehampton, Devon, England

The Geneva Convention and humane treatment of prisoners only applies to those who are not our allies
Frank , London, England
What is everyone bleating about? The Geneva Convention and humane treatment of prisoners only applies to those who are not our allies, or are third world dictators, or repressive Arab regimes.

The U.S and (UK) are superpowers, can go where ever they like, bomb whoever they want to, and nobody has a right to challenge them. If you do then we'll accuse you of either supporting terrorists, or trying to gain WMDs and get sanctions placed on you, and then we'll bomb you.
Frank, London, England

Examine these photos closely and let their repulsive meaning sink in because they are a true, pictorial representation of what US policy in the Middle East all about-- and has been for years. And people wonder why on earth an incident like 9/11 took place.
Miriam, Pennsylvania, USA

Now, the world can see why Iraqi are angry and why they refuse US troops to be in their country. Is this the freedom which for US entered Iraq?
Rabea, UK

These pictures, if true, make me as proud of the British army, as the older generation of French, Poles or Russians might be of the Gestapo.
Michael Birbeck, Essex

If I were an Iraqi I would want to kill as many British and US soldiers as I could after seeing these disgusting pictures. Many deaths will result from this. The men who did it need to understand that because of them some of their comrades will be killed and disabled in retaliation. I hope this matter will stay in the news till we have found out who they are and seen their faces.
Jenny, London

As an Englishman, I am ashamed and disgusted by the behaviour of these individuals in both armies
Chris Norris, London, UK
The Arab world and in fact the whole world will be outraged by these acts. As an Englishman, I am ashamed and disgusted by the behaviour of these individuals in both armies. I truly hope that the authorities throw the book at them and lock them up!
Chris Norris, London, UK

People should see the real facts in Iraq and how much Iraqi people are suffering.
Miro, Egypt

Yes the pictures should have been published. I only hope that the investigation promised by my government does not stop at the level of the bottom-rung soldiers who showed up in those pictures. Where were the commanding officers? What exactly is the role of the civilian intelligence contractors? Who are those contractors answerable to? My fear is the government will conduct a show trial of these pictured soldiers, and the more troubling questions will remain unanswered.
Marie, Cambridge, UK (but I'm a US citizen)

The US is, on the whole, an arrogant country and is full of arrogant people. Too much power has gone to their head. These pictures do not surprise me at all.
Maz

It is interesting that the Mirror was the chosen publication for this revelation. I wonder how long the soldiers who took the photos hung onto them until they could find a suitably lucrative outlet? I would have been far more impressed if they had reported the actions as soon as they became aware of them. There is hardly a shortage of journalists or military police in Iraq.
Jamie, UK

I feel utter shame for being British
Kevin, UK
I've been a 100% supporter for the war ever since it started. But after reading the article on the BBC website today, I feel utter shame for being British. We are no better than Saddam at his worst. Will someone please re-invent 'compassion'. Are there any decent countries left? Can I live with you?
Kevin, UK







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