Animal Defenders of Westchester

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Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704


Stung by U.S. troops who burned scorpions alive

Published in Syracuse Post-Standard, Jan 07, 1993

Our military men and women are struggling proudly in the face of serious dangers to bring humanitarian aid to needy and helpless Somalis.

How ironic it is that our troops, as seen on the national media, amuse themselves on this mission of mercy by burning scorpions alive.

Admittedly, a soldier's killer instincts must be heightened during dangerous missions; this is concomitant with the psychology of armed forces. But a cruel diversion, such as the torture of a small creature, goes far beyond combat readiness.

It is sadism, an illness we usually associate with our enemies.

The scorpion we saw writhing in agony on NBC's Nightly News could have been dispatched quickly and humanely with a boot heel, but somehow the soldiers in question do not yet understand that mercy and compassion are the underlying principles of Operation Restore Hope.

It is with concern for America's national pride, the international reputation of our armed forces and for compassion's sake that I ask the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff to state that torture has absolutely no part in any U.S. operation.

Rob English


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