Letter: America has a higher standard



In his Jan. 18 letter, “Double standard exists,” Eric Anderson argues that Americans must respect the sensibilities of our enemies while our enemies abuse the sensibilities of Americans, and asks why. (Anderson is correct; a blatant double standard exists, but he should be glad for it).

There will always be a visible difference between the actions of enemies when their levels of respect for humanity differ, but our nation strives to take the moral high road when forced to choose.

While we’ve come close to abandoning our level of decency on occasion — recent examples include the torture of prisoners and illegal intrusion into the private lives of our own citizens during the Iraq War — we’ve always risen above such lapses to again exemplify the honor for which our troops have given their lives. Such vigilance includes continually guarding against individual lapses, such as the recent incident when a few Marines allegedly urinated on bodies of Taliban members in Afghanistan. Their frustration is absolutely understandable, but that does not make what they did acceptable. If we stoop to the Taliban’s level, we will become what they are now; that’s why a double standard exists, and as long as they show no respect for life, we must strive to make sure we always do.

Roy G. Wilson