By now, everyone pretty well knows that Arab societies base everything on power and perceptions of power. In part, that is why so many Freepers and conservatives got their panties in a bunch because it appeared in public like "apologizing" was a sign of weakness.
Ah, my friends. You aren't thinking like an Arab. The "street" and, indeed, the leadership doesn't trust much of what we say---they only look at what we do. It would have made no difference if Bush formally apologized and sent each detainee a bouquet of flowers---the "street" would see that as a sham, a pretense, a distraction from the "real" policy.
No, I suggest something else. That the Arab "street" and especially the "resistance" has taken from those photos a message we didn't intend to send, but one that strikes fear into the very heart of them---a message of pure power and dominance. The submissive positions of these "tough" Iraqi men under the heels and attached to the leashes of WOMEN (and relatively small women, at that) sends a very powerful message to the "street."
Don't screw with the Americans. Oh, they'll "apologize," be we know that when the hearings are over, and the attention is off, they can do what they want.
Maybe we should do more of this.
*MSNBC reported in "The Secret War" that "as American armored columns pushed down the road to Baghdad, 400-watt loudspeakers mounted on Humvees would, from time to time, blare out in Arabic that Iraqi men are impotent." The Feyadeen, the article reported, could not bear to be taunted (especially about their manhood) and rushed out to attack . . . and be killed. ?What you say is many times more important than what you do in this part of the world,? says a senior U.S. psy-warrior.
While we're busy being outraged,
Has anyone noticed that we virtually walked into Najaf this week, unopposed? Al-Sadr did nothing---in fact, he moved his operations into the British zone, after all his bluster! Has anyone noticed that Fallujah is quiet? Very few roadside bombs/suicide bombs in the last couple of days. This could all change, but it is eerie that when a message of power is sent out all over the Middle East---unintentionally on our part---it resonates. Big time.
Sorry. I'm all for saving soldiers' lives and if that means sexually humiliating a few prisoners, so be it. If Rumsfeld is responsible for results like the above, he shouldn't resign. Are the people who want Rumsfeld to resign calling for the whole chain of command from him down to the individual soldiers involved to resign? (crickets) I thought so. The people below Rumsfeld are just as culpable as he is including the Joint Chiefs of Staff down. So, unless you want the complete collapse of the chain of command, shut the hell up.