The Iraqis shoot the Americans, they torture them, and then get shot some more. The cat is chasing its tail and it ain’t gonna stop any time soon.
On the treatment of the Iraqis:
Such treatment is anathema to American notions of freedom, American prohibitions on “cruel and unusual punishment” and American concepts of universal human rights. Such treatment, also, is insanely counterproductive – the only way we can win the peace in Iraq is by winning hearts and minds. We cannot win hearts and minds by acting like Saddam.
The AP quotes al-Abally as saying “This is democracy? No Iraqi would have thought the Americans were capable of this.”
The solution to the problem of armed Iraqi resistance is not “direct and decisive force.” President Bush seems to be a man who knows how to deal with such problems only by hitting back. That is not the solution required now. The problem of Iraqi resistance will not be solved by torturing anyone, or by breaking down ridiculous numbers of doors, or by holding Iraqi civilians at gunpoint. The problem can only be solved through mutual respect and accomodation.
Why does President Bush want its own Belfast? Why does it want its own West Bank or Gaza? Why does it want its own Algeria?
You’ll remember, of course, that the Northern Ireland problem was solved only through mutual respect and negotiation. You’ll note that the Israeli-Palestinian problem currently shows improvement, not through the use of overwhelming force, but through the use of handshakes and smiles. And you’ll remember that Algeria marked the final nail in the coffin of French empire.