05/04/2004: Reuters carries....
an interesting article on the Iraqi abuse scandal: Iraq Abuse May Undermine U.S. 'War on Terror'
Abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers feeds Arab and Muslim fears that the "war on terror" is part of a broad effort to humiliate them and plays into the hands of extremists like al Qaeda, analysts say.Truly, the incompetence of the bAdministration in this matter has been staggering.
While experts say the war in Iraq and the "war on terror" are not necessarily related, the maltreatment of Iraqi prisoners will hurt efforts to rein in global terrorism and blurs the distinction for many who already question U.S. motives, credibility and respect for human rights.
"Those Americans who mistreated the prisoners may not have realized it, but they acted in the direct interests of al Qaeda, the insurgents, and the enemies of the U.S.," said Tony Cordesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies who has held various positions in government.
"These negative images validate all other negative images and interact with them," he said in a statement, citing "careless U.S. rhetoric about Arabs and Islam," failures to stabilize Iraq, continued Israeli-Palestinian violence and fears the United States is out to dominate the Middle East.
Anthony Lake, President Bill Clinton's national security adviser, said the abuse could erode relations with Muslim allies pivotal to counterterrorism efforts but who "have to operate with one eye on their streets."
"The photos of the humiliation of the prisoners is a metaphor for the larger problem. What has always most fueled animosity toward the West and the U.S. in the Middle East has been the sense of humiliation and therefore rage," he said.
Len on 05.04.04 @ 11:47 AM CST