George W Bush is telling the Arab Media how sorry he and the American people are for the abuses caused to Arab prisoners by a few American soldiers.
This is a mistake. A HUGE MISTAKE!
As reprehensible as the conduct was of the few members of the US military in their behaviour to the handful of Arab prisoners, it was no big deal in comparison to the overall picture. What makes it real bad, is that it shows we can behave as despicably as them.
And more than that, it is small potatoes compared to what the Arabs do to each other. But to listen to the Arabs: it is the worst calamity to have fallen upon them since the Ten Plagues.
Where have the voices of the “downtrodden” Arabs been during the days of mass murder, torture and rape of Saddam? And where are the voices of outrage against ALL Arab communities which routinely practice torture and murder against their own citizens?
It is no secret, that when the Americans want to fully interrogate a prisoner, they allow an Arab state to do it for them.
Where are all the voices of moral outrage against the psychological and physical torture that is inflicted upon women throughout the Arab and Moslem world every day?
Where’s the outright condemnation for the murder, torture and ethnic cleansing carried on in the Sudan by an Arab government just named to the United Nation’s Commission For Human Rights?
The Arabs can spare the civilized world the theatrics and their crocodile tears. What the few Americans did to the prisoners was wrong. But in comparison to what the Arabs do to each other as part and parcel of their “normal” way of doing business was literally nothing.
I have said from day one: Let the Americans get in. Do what they have to do, and get out. The Americans have not yet seen much more than the tip of the iceberg of what the Middle East Arabs are all about.
By going on-air today (May 5, 2004) to offer his apologies for the vulgar acts of a few Americans, George W Bush is adding rocket-fuel to an already burning fire.
The Arabs will not see anything more in this spectacle of US contrition than weakness in America.
The Arabs will only view the words of the President of the United States as a sign of approbation in their belief that the USA is the Great Satan, and the guilt freely admitted to by the leader of the Great Satan has to be punished with Jihad.
By Bush going on Arab TV to wring his hands, he is giving disparate Arab and Moslem groups the reason to temporarily bury their differences to come together in an American hate-a-thon.
Where’s the benefit in that?
When Ehud Barak tried to do the right thing by unilaterally puling his troops out of Southern Lebanon in 2000, his gesture only emboldened the Arabs to further push the TERRORIST envelope. What was meant to be a demonstration of good-faith, became a show of weakness and an invitation to more violence.
This past week, the American military surrounding Fallujah installed Saddam Bathists to take over from the marines who were poised to storm the city. To me, this is only the first step by the Americans to disengage from Iraq.
The solution for America to save whatever face they have left in the Arab and Moslem world is to allow the Bathist Sunnis to establish themselves in the centre, the Shiites in the south, and the Kurds in the North.
Screw the Shiites and Sunnis. Make a deal with Turkey to leave the Kurds alone. And then do whatever is necessary to protect and defend the Kurds and all the oil wells that come with their northern territory.
When the late Syrian dictator Hafez Al Assad was threatened by members of the Moslem Brotherhood from the city of Hama (population of approximately 300,000); on February 2, 1982, he began a siege and bombardment of the Moslem Brotherhood enclave of Hama that lasted for 27 days.
No one was allowed to leave or surrender. Not even innocent men, women or children. After the shelling stopped, and Assad’s killing squads finished their ugly business, it is estimated that more than 30,000 to 40,000 people were murdered, with another 15,000 unaccounted for.
Hafez Al Assad never had to worry about the Moslem Brotherhood ever again. And neither does his son Bashir, Syria’s current dictator. This is what the Arabs seem to understand and respect most, since hardly a whisper of condemnation for this act of genocide could be heard from anyone.
The Middle East is about to implode. Saudi oil fields and their delivery systems are already under attack. The Gulf states are incredibly vulnerable to similar attacks. Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak is sitting atop a powder-keg. And the Americans are beginning to look like easy targets.
The only nation in the world (Israel) that can be called upon to protect American interests, democracy and modernity in the Middle East is under attack from the UN, the EU and the entire Arab and Moslem world.
None of this is good.
If there is anything the Americans can do to extricate themselves from this mess, that does not further empower the Arab world, it is to leave in a blaze of glory. Bush should beat the crap out of those who have shown the US the greatest level of hostility, withdraw to the north (the Kurds) and call it a day.
Iraq will convulse in a brutal civil war, where real prisoner-abuse will be the norm, and bloodletting will become a national pastime until at least one strongman wins control.
The Iranian Shiites will probably enter the fray, which will possibly invite a response by the Saudis, causing the Middle East to redesign itself. All of which will play hard on the oil thirsty industrialized world.
Maybe Syria, Jordan and Egypt will jump in as well. Maybe the nightmare can be contained in the Middle East. And maybe the democratized world will finally understand the absolute need to conserve existing energy, while discovering and developing new forms of energy.
As much as I try, I can see no other alternative. The Middle East will implode with or without the contrition of George W Bush. And when that happens, hang on tight, because the Arabs will be taking us for quite a ride.