Updated: 5/16/2006; 3:26:23 PM.

Current events
Post-9-11 events and analyses


daily link  Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Uncle Sam: Jekyll or Hyde? "I think that the Bush administration has a Jekyll-and-Hyde problem—a contradictory attitude toward the war on terror. On the one hand it has wholeheartedly embraced the view that America must change its image in the Muslim world. It wants to stop being seen as the supporter of Muslim tyrants and instead become the champion of Muslim freedoms. President Bush and his secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, are transforming American policy in this realm, and while some of the implementation has been spotty, the general thrust is clear and laudable. ..

But while Dr. Jekyll makes speeches by day on Arab liberty, some nights he turns into Mr. Hyde. There is within the Bush administration another impulse, a warrior ethos that believes in beating up bad guys without much regard for such niceties as international law. Excessive concern for such matters would be a sign of weakness, the kind of thing liberals do. Men like Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld see themselves above all else as tough guys. ..

Tough tactics in a darkened room in Abu Ghraib are not going to stay dark in a world of tiny cameras and recorders. And it's not just technology that's different, it's human attitudes. Today, when you release prisoners from Guantanamo, they don't return quietly to their villages in Waziristan. They hire lawyers, talk to human-rights organizations and organize public protests. And in a war for hearts and minds, the benefits of the intelligence gained might well be outweighed by the cost to America's image. Dr. Jekyll needs to explain this to Mr. Cheney, I mean Mr. Hyde. .. "

  10:36:21 PM  permalink  

 
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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 3:26:23 PM.