[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 14 May, 2004, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
How will Iraqi images affect coalition?
Iraqi prisoners of war
The abuse photos which appeared in the Daily Mirror were "categorically not taken in Iraq", the government have said.

The Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram told MP's that the truck shown in the photos has never been in Iraq.

The Mirror defended the authenticity of the pictures saying that there was no firm evidence that the photographs were faked.

On Tuesday Amnesty International claimed that UK troops had killed Iraqi civilians when they were under no apparent threat.

How will the prison abuse scandal affect coalition efforts in Iraq? What should happen to the Mirror? Send us your views.


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

It seems to me that a lot of people in the UK don't want to believe this so they've decided to indulge in the time honoured tradition of shooting the messenger. War by its very nature is a terrible blight that brings out the darkside in human nature. To paraphrase Nietzsche, when you stare into the abyss, the abyss looks also into you. No psychologist would be surprised to know the way this war has twisted the minds of some of our troops.
Colin Wright, UK

Anon, by "everyone" do you mean The Sun and The Star? That's not everyone pal. Those lower-than-the-sewer red-tops do not represent the views of the majority of people in this country however much they'd like to think they do.
Tim, UK

Soldiers have to dehumanise the opposition in order to be able to kill
Steph, England
The backlash has started. I believe that the reports of abuse are true, I do not however believe that the Daily Mirror's pictures are. But, in all the accusations against American and British troops there has not been a case of an innocent civilian, having his head brutally cut off for publicity, while the murderers revel in the bloodshed! Soldiers I believe have to dehumanise the opposition in order to be able to kill in the first place, that is the nature of war. There is no excuse for public murder.
Steph, England

I find it shocking that many misguided people seem to believe that the Mirror has committed a more serious crime than those troops and senior officers who have tortured captives. Do you wish to remain in blissful ignorance of what is being done in your name? The real criminals are Bush and Blair and they should be tried for war crimes along with Saddam Hussain.
David, Woking

If the public has any common sense they will note that these deaths have not been investigated and therefore that needs to happen before they start apportioning blame.
Kathy, UK

These allegations could be quite damaging if anybody is naive enough to believe them. This is more from the Iraqi rumourmongers who have manipulated the situation from the beginning and have taken abusive advantage of our democracy. I would have thought better of Amnesty and the Red Cross, maybe not of the Mirror.
Gill, Llandysul, Wales

Is it any wonder that both sides are learning to hate each other?
Anon
This is always the problem when people are dehumanised, and the responsibility lies solely with the media. Is it any wonder that both sides are learning to hate each other when all we see every day is how the 'other' side is so evil? Some individuals on both sides are violent and oppressive but the majority I'm sure are just normal, average citizens with jobs, families, hopes and fears and would all wish this stupid war would just disappear.
Anon

Pulling out is the coalition's only option left. Invading a sovereign country on false pretext was a grave mistake (as most predicted) and now Bush and Blair face the inevitable - defeat. You can't enforce democracy without understanding local mindset and respecting their culture and tradition. The only liberation these people really want now is from the occupying coalition forces!
Rakesh, London, UK

It's getting really tiresome listening to Amnesty and the Red Cross repeating verbatim what people say, and presenting it as fact without any corroborating evidence whatsoever, then to have the press repeat these groundless statements from supposedly "reputable" and "neutral" organisations. That's why it's so easy for a Pakistani to turn up in Australia, state: "I'm an asylum seeker from Afghanistan", and have the entire world press behave as if this is irrefutable fact. AI and the Red Cross are about as convincing as the "evidence" we were presented for Iraqi WMDs...
Alex Chiang, Australia

While I am not so naive as to insist that soldiers would never have used excessive force, I am quite sure that the Daily Mirror pictures were staged, probably in the UK. They may even recreate an event witnessed, but they are not action photos. Is the editor of the Daily Mirror familiar with the hoaxed "Hitler Diaries" scandal? He is repeating the mistakes of that episode.
Ian Murphy, Edinburgh, UK

It's disgusting that I have tax taken from me to launch an illegal and immoral war against Iraq
TP, UK

People here say it's not as bad as Saddam's torture. Well I'm sorry but the main difference is that the UK troops out there torturing Iraqis are being paid by me. It's disgusting that I have tax taken from me to launch an illegal and immoral war against Iraq by Blair and now I'm funding torture in Iraq. Enough is enough.
TP, UK

It proves to me that UK soldiers are every bit as likely to make mistakes as American troops. It shows up more when they do something wrong because they have a much larger fighting machine and generally are involved in more action. Nevertheless it is war and these things happen.
John Legrove, London, UK

If people are living in an environment where they are in constant fear of attack, they are much more likely to see everyone, including innocents, as an enemy. Doesn't anyone in charge pay attention to basic psychology?
Ami, Edinburgh

We have started a deadly cycle of violence against the Iraqi people
William, London UK
I was heavily opposed to the UK/US invasion of Iraq, but I'm actually very shocked and surprised at what 'our boys' have been getting up to. Ultimately, the entire legal basis for the war itself was very flimsy, so why do we expect those at the sharp end, the troops, to behave legally? We have started a deadly cycle of violence against the Iraqi people, which we can only halt by getting out of there.
William, London UK

May I suggest that the Sun has one of it's helpful "infographics" depicting the number of Iraqis dying/ being tortured during the average pre-Saddam and post-Saddam year. This may put the whole sorry mess in some perspective.
Hugh, Wolves, England

Its funny but I never hear Amnesty International complaining about the human rights of people in oppressive Islamic, or other, states and yet when its time to have a pop at the US/UK they are at the fore. I often wonder what they political agenda is and who funds them.
Barry, UK

Hands up all the people from Amnesty International who have taken part in military operations?? Sitting on the sideline throwing stones must seem like a good idea for people with nothing better to do. War is a messy business mistakes are made, that's the nature of war.
Johan , Wales

The political leaders back home lie and deceive citizens with the help of mercenary media?
Gaby Carballo, Barcelona, Spain
Abuse claims are no more than the true face of war made for profit. How can soldiers behave humanely in an inhuman environment when their political leaders back home lie and deceive citizens with the help of mercenary media? No decency at home, no decency at war. Get the lads out of Iraq and put George Bush and Tony Blair on trial for breach of international legality and human rights abuses along with Saddam Hussein (that old friend of the EEUU military).
Gaby Carballo, Barcelona, Spain

The US and UK governments have both missed a golden opportunity. They should have directed the CIA and MI6 respectively to produce the pictures and reports of abuse, let them both create a 'dossier', issued this to Bush and Blair to allow them to put in the spin and 'sex them down'. Then they could present it to the general public, the UN, Congress and Parliament with all the razzmatazz they issued the WMD dossiers. The outcome?..... What prisoners? What war? Iraq?
Tom Smith, UK

British & American conduct in Iraq is by design and a real, vivid & undeniably horrific example of cultural imperialism gone haywire.
Jacob Rumi, NY, USA

With the age of digital technology, we are seeing the ugliest side of war. I can't help but wonder if this is commonplace in war and we are only just know getting images of it because of technology. I wonder in how many wars have our soldiers been responsible for such abuses?
Ian, UK

The Daily Mirror will do anything for circulation figures
Christian Tiburtius, Reading UK
Many aspects of this affair are unclear, however one thing is certain - the Daily Mirror will do anything for circulation figures.
Christian Tiburtius, Reading UK

The calls for a civilian tribunal to review Military Abuse Claims is ridiculous. I come from a military family, and if a son cant understand what his father went through in warfare, how can a group of civilians bent on tarnishing the good name of the British Army.
David Hainsworth, Braintree, UK

It's difficult to know which is worse, the abuse taking place or the press for publishing it in such a sensationalist fashion. Neither serves any useful purpose unless the selling of newspapers could be considered useful. Ultimately what matters is the value we as individuals give to others and in this instance both servicemen and media are found wanting. The reason that Al-Qaeda and similar organisations are reviled is that they can be shown to value only themselves, it would be better if the press could rise above that level.
Malcolm Parker, Basingstoke England

This is a terribly shameful and sad event (if true and sadly there is unlikely to be 'smoke' without some cause).The issue is one of leadership and supervision in the army and should not be confused with the need of the war itself and the excellent job I'm sure most of our troops are doing. Inevitably these events it will be manipulated and exploited by the cynical.
Tony, UK

You have to face up to fact that British troops are occupying force, which no Iraqi wants. It is matter of history that no occupying force come out smelling roses. Don't forget that soldiering is a brutal business and soldiers are taught to kill professionally. It will be height of hypocrisy to pretend that armed forces will render humane services like Florence Nightingale.
N Krishnan, Bangalore India

It is a matter of shame and disgrace for humanity and not just for the people of Iraq
Sirjeel Aman, Hyderabad ,India
It is a matter of shame and disgrace for humanity and not just for the people of Iraq. It is time that Bush/Blair team to answer. My heart goes out for people of Iraq and soldiers who died fighting to bring peace and development.
Sirjeel Aman, Hyderabad ,India

I love the fact that everyone is claiming the Mirror are risking the lives of "our boys". Surely it is the participation in the oil war that is doing this?
Anon, UK

I have been reading The Daily Mirror Newspapers for 20 years and after what they done to our troops I shall not be buying that Newspaper ever again.
Sunjay Bhogal (ex- RAF), London, UK

Alarm bells should have rung when we were told the British Army would be better at "hearts and minds" policing because of their experience in Northern Ireland so the latest news comes as little surprise. My main worry is that these particular pictures will turn out to be fakes, and genuine reports of abuse will thereby be discredited.
Chris, London UK

Did Piers Morgan look beyond his paper circulation when he decided to print those photographs? The Iraq situation and Arab/West relationships are so finally balanced at the moment that his action can only further fuel each side's prejudices and anger. The attack in Gaza on the war graves may just be a start of the backlash. If Piers Morgan had any sense of decency he should have forwarded the photos to the appropriate authorities, if he believes they are real. If they are fake then his decision to publish deserves his damnation. His actions may have put people's lives at risk.
Vicky Swindells, Birmingham, UK

The contempt shown to Iraqi prisoners is also related to the contempt shown by the US and UK governments to the UN. By flouting the authority of the UN, these governments gave a clear message to their troops - we are above the law. Did Bush & Blair expect their troops to behave within the rule of law when in my view they don't?
M Anson, Buenos Aires, Argentina

No country or army deserves to be denounced for the mistakes of a few
R K, Kashmir, India

It is not difficult to see that it is an aberration, more than a generality. It has to do with the state of minds of a handful deranged soldiers in capable of sustaining life threatening pressures. They should be promptly punished. But let's not forget that wars are not fought in living rooms. There is collateral damage too. And there are lessons to be learnt. No country or army deserves to be denounced for the mistakes of a few.
R K, Kashmir, India

It's appalling to suggest that this matter should have been hushed up. Don't blame the Mirror for endangering our "lads" lives; it was Bush and Blair that sent our "sons and daughters" on an unjustified war to Iraq. In my view, they are responsible.
Brian Bailey, Winterthur, Switzerland

The service men and women of this country are risking their lives without proper equipment and supplies. If their behaviour toward POW's is a little bit irrational, that's their prerogative. The opposition would do the same, and moreover in my view they would commit greater atrocities. Support our troops to the full, with no expense spared, or get them out, not in two months, but now
Pete, UK

If a democracy does not prevent human rights abuses like these from happening, it shows an utter failure of democracy. This war, from even before it began, has been full of lies, propaganda, deception, and a willingness to cause human suffering on a massive scale, for who knows what reason. I think it is high time for regime change in the US and UK.
Beng Tang, Bracknell, UK

The issue has become so political that justice will be mis-served
Alycia Brashear, PA USA
I am afraid that the issue has become so political that justice will be mis-served. It is important that the investigations be carefully completed to insure that the guilty are brought to justice and the innocent are exonerated. This is not a time to "save face," but politicians rarely do something the right way just because it's the right thing to do.
Alycia Brashear, PA USA

Stop buying the Mirror. Stop voting for Tony. Finish the job properly without giving in to this fifth columnist propaganda
Keith Smith, Liverpool

Do you think that atrocities of this nature don't occur in every war, by whichever party happens to be in control at the time? All this "outrage" is in danger of overshadowing the real outrage - why, and how, we went to war in the first place.
Katy , Seattle, USA

One has to wonder at the motivations of the Mirror
Stephen, UK
Such revelations seriously undermine the effort of British soldiers to win the "hearts and minds" of the Iraqi citizens. If the allegations are true, then those responsible should be brought to justice, but one has to wonder at the motivations of the Mirror for publishing the pictures.
Stephen, UK

Haggling about the Daily Mirror will not help. The US photos in themselves are disastrous and have been acknowledged as such even by Bush and Rumsfeld. As a key part of the "me too" coalition Britain now has to live with those pictures, like it or not. Lie down with dogs and you get fleas.
Dave Smith, Wellington NZ

The Daily Mirror should be held responsible for every coalition soldier or Iraq killed as a result of the pictures, which have only fanned the flames of hatred. Where was the apology when the four Americans were butchered. Double standards indeed?
Keith, Kent, UK

Why won't the UK government publish the Red Cross letter which informed it about unacceptable practices? This is not spin, this is plain and simple censorship of unwelcome information. With such practices it is not possible to take Tony Blair's claims about honesty and transparency seriously.
David Pavett, London, UK

Hoon should be asked to deny or confirm that interrogation of prisoners has been "outsourced" to civilian contractors and whether or not these contractors have been allowed to issue instructions to serving military personnel.
Ken, UK

Publication of any confidential Red Cross report would compromise their efforts to monitor and reduce abuse
Andy Irving, UK
Publication of any confidential Red Cross report on abuse would compromise their efforts to monitor and reduce abuse in many troubled countries. Such activities would be reduced, if not, cease, if it was believed that their reports would be made public. The media is not the only way, nor necessarily always the best way, to highlight and improve human rights abuses.
Andy Irving, UK

Why blame the messenger? Who sent these young men and women to Iraqi. Did they even know Saddam or Iraqi before they were sent there by Bush and Blair. The blood of all the fallen Iraqis, Americans, British and the rest should be put on these two wild west characters. Soldiers are emotional wrecks they do not even understand why they are in Iraqi
Oli Farley, London, UK

Of course the report should be published. And those responsible for sitting on the report sacked. And the man responsible for putting British troops into Iraq, Prime Minister Blair, should resign. But do not expect this to happen any time soon.
Jack, London

The torture of Iraqi prisoners was bred in a culture of arrogance-complacency that is teaching us, through stupefying 'bushisms', that Arabs are incapable of democracy and therefore inferior. They are trying to justify an illegal and unjust war into which the international community has been coerced.
Dimitri, Thessaloniki, Greece

Are there any POWs left in Guantanamo? If so when are the conditions that they are being kept in going to be investigated? The recent reports lead one to believe that they may already have been tortured to death by cowardly American savages.
J, Berry, UK

I am an ex-serviceman who served during the Gulf war 1991 and was called up on reserve service for the Iraq war. Fortunately I have never been in a situation to witness such abuse and torture to fellow human beings. How dare we dictate how authorities in other countries treat their people when we "liberate" them and do exactly the same. Anyone found guilty of this should be tried in the country which the crime was committed and face whatever punishment is seen to be fit there
Andrew, Staffs

Trial by media is never appropriate
Kevin T, Alton, UK

Trial by media is never appropriate - and especially when it will inflame a sensitive situation and put our troops at greater risk. If the Mirror has hard evidence, it should be turned over to the authorities so that the wrong-doers can be appropriately punished.
Kevin T, Alton, UK

If these allegations are true then I believe that they are due to sending British troops to the wrong place to do the wrong job. The tenuous legality and justification for this campaign has tainted the moral strength of our troops. They already feel guilty of wrong doing, just by their presence in Iraq. If the Government had any clear insight, it would recall our Troops and leave the Americans to suffer the consequences of their misguided actions.
Stuart, UK

I am amazed at the reaction of some of the people. First they go and invade a nation against international law. There are dictators all around the world supported by the US and UK. Then they humiliate the population because they have weapons of mass destruction and the population don't. Then they are concerned about how these pictures are going to endanger their sons and daughters. Let me remind them that their sons and daughters are no more precious then the Iraqi sons and daughters who died in the Rumsfeld "shock and awe" show. May I ask these people to please think logically!
N. Kahn, Canada

I am a retired British Airman. We are sent without choice to defend our government's stupidity. We are faced with being shot at and also abused - we have the right to defend ourselves. We are soldiers trained to kill. We are there and we need the support of our people back home - there are too many so called do gooders. War is war, and I would not risk one more soldier's life in the coalition
Brian Bevan, Tayug, Philippines

Some soldiers on both sides behave like this in every war. They are evidence of a side of human nature that we must do everything to exclude. We could start by avoiding military invasions accompanied by pompous repetition of dubious reasons which are later shown to be false to no one's surprise. Everyone seeing this - imagine your own son as victim.
C Nightingale, Felixstowe England

Yes it is legal and moral duty of media to bring things before the public equally to balance between bad and good. I think the world media has now got collective responsibility to help concern international organizations to investigate these matters further and revealed further images of such barbaric actions that have been concealed from us until now. We do not want be kept in dark.
Sayed Fatimi, London UK

Well Done the Daily Mirror. As a supporter of the war on the grounds of outing a dictator, and not of the weapons nonsense, I am utterly appalled at these pictures. But would the government have let the British people know what was happening, I think not.
Dave Cranny, Liverpool , UK

Is there nothing our gutter press won't stoop to do in order to sell more papers. The editor should go, whether or not the pictures are forgeries - which I suspect they are. In Britain we have the concept of innocent until proven guilty - not trial by the tabloids.
D Phillips, Manchester, UK

Having served in many locations around the world and seeing the treatment of other POW's and detainees nothing that has been said or shown leads me to believe that the so called mistreatment of prisoners is actually fact. British Squaddies are professional to a tee; this is nothing more than a propaganda ploy. Now the lives of our own troop have been placed under even greater risk thanks to these photos.
Shaun Gibson (Royal Engineers 1988 - 1998), San Antonio, TX, USA

If true, these Soldiers are war criminals
U. Hamster, Bremen, Germany

If true, these Soldiers are war criminals, so they have to be taken to the International Criminal Tribunal. The British Government should save their last piece of credibility.
U. Hamster, Bremen, Germany

Having experienced violence from the police in the States and being treated in inhumane ways just for being a protester, it seems obvious that soldiers would behave in similar fashion. It happens in all wars people dehumanise their victims.
Thomas Baker, Halifax

What is clear is that the British and American forces have been discredited and therefore need to be withdrawn. There are many other ways to supply peacekeepers to the area, through the UN, or other nations. But one does have the feeling that the Iraqis in particular are capable of looking after themselves and that the presence of the Americans is only unhelpful at this point.
Martin, SF, USA

The Editor of the Daily Mirror should be sacked with immediate effect he doesn't give a damn about our lads, he just want to show how clever he is.
Ted Cain, Whitstable, Kent, UK

Ted Cain, do you have any original thoughts or do you always parrot The Sun?
Ken, UK

We have just given the likes of al-Qaeda another reason for an atrocity!
Sue, Leyland

Whether these photos turn out to be forged or not, don't the press or the armed forces serving in Iraq realise that the whole western world is balancing on a very thin knife edge? I am appalled if the pictures are true, but if this is an effort by the media to attract readers then, thanks for putting our lives at risk at home or abroad! One question, when the Iraqi people captured some Chinese and American soldiers, pictures didn't show them balancing on buckets with wires connected to them or being urinated on? We have just given the likes of al-Qaeda another reason for an atrocity!
Sue, Leyland, Lancashire

Whatever the Daily Mirror's view is on the war, the just or unjust reasons, whether the pictures are real or not real, they have put sons and daughters in real danger, both abroad and at home. I really do hope the circulation figures were worth it.
Leon, Bracknell, UK

If the allegations are upheld, the Queen's Lancashire Regiment should be disbanded and its colours and previous honours destroyed. Because regardless of the achievements, bravery and sacrifice of many of our soldiers, the principles that many have died to uphold are destroyed by these actions, if true.
Bob Jones, UK

In my view these photographs are a hoax. The Mirror and more importantly its editor has been totally wrong in publishing them. This will undoubtedly result in casualties amongst our brave and honest armed forces.
Roy Manning, Oxford

In a world full of double-standards, I think this is the worst example of all. We get angry at the abuse of people in Iraq, but then expect no one to blink an eyelid when our troops do the same.
Alex, UK






Name
Your E-mail address
Town & Country
Comments

Disclaimer: The BBC may edit your comments and cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published.


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific