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From Liberty Hall to Abu Ghraib: the paradox of American values

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When the Abu Ghraib story broke in the media, there was a frenzy of activities in the United States to control the damage that resulted from this incident. There were some denials, some justifications and some admissions and regrets. But in most of these activities, the behaviour at Abu Ghraib was described as un-American; Americans did not torture; Americans are committed to the values and principles advocated in the American documents of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.

This article surveys claims of the superiority of the American nation in comparison with American behaviour, especially in the context of the war on Iraq.

Keywords: Abu Ghraib; American values; George W. Bush; Haditha; torture; war on Iraq

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Dean, Academic Research and Higher Studies, Yarmouk Syrian University.

Publication date: 2008-10-24

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  • The International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies is a new peer-reviewed, tri- annual, academic publication devoted to the study of modern Iraq. In recognition of Iraq's increasingly important position on the world stage, the time is right for a new journal dedicated to scholarly engagement with the country.
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