The pictures we are seeing, and the ones to come, are being used in an election year (would they be treated as seriously if it were not an election year?) to weaken us and to destroy our resolve. We are being held to a higher standard than most of the world - certainly the Middle Eastern world - holds itself. It is good and right to have such a high standard, but not good if that standard is one-sided and undermines what we are trying to achieve in Iraq.
If Rumsfeld resigned immediately and if President Bush followed Friedman's advice, nothing would change. The insurgents would not stop shooting Americans. The mullahs would not stop preaching hate and eternal damnation for all things American. The Arab press would not begin editorializing in favor of democracy. Dictatorial regimes would not suddenly see the light and stop abusing wrongly imprisoned people. All that matters is victory. Anything less is defeat - for the United States and for those in Iraq and elsewhere who yearn to breathe free.
No one other than our coalition members will help us. Freedom is a lonely battle, but if the United States doesn't lead it - sometimes imperfectly, but mostly with honor - who will?
The Washington Times carried a valuable story (May 8) headlined, "Prison Torture Common in Mideast, Survey Finds." In it, Musa Keilani is quoted from the Jordan Times: "We in the Arab world did know what was going on in Abu Ghraib (prison) when Saddam was in power: summary executions, dismemberment and torture of the worst kind we ever heard of in modern times. It is true that few in the Arab world talked about it and scant attention was given to international organizations' criticism of the gross violations of human rights in Iraq while Saddam was in power."
And we think apologizing is going to change such attitudes? It won't, but total victory might. Let's get on with that and engage in the psychobabble later.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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