Even in the 1950s, President Eisenhower was concerned about what he called a campaign of hatred of the U.S. in the Arab world, because of the perception on the Arab street that it supported harsh and oppressive regimes to take their oil.
The effort to blur the lines between Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib reflects a deep misunderstanding about the different legal regimes that apply to Iraq and the war against al Qaeda.
When the Islamic revolution began in 1979 under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, it aroused considerable admiration in the Arab street. It presented a model of organised popular action that deposed one of the region’s most tyrannical regimes. The people of the region discerned in this revolution new hope for freedom and change.
The difference between political terror and ordinary crime becomes clear during the change of regimes, in which former terrorists become well-regarded representatives of their country.
When the United States aligns with dictatorships and totalitarian regimes, it compromises the basic democratic principles of its foundation – namely, life, liberty and justice for all.
I think freedom for Palestine could be an incredible source of hope to people struggling all over the world. I think it could also be an incredible inspiration to Arab people in the Middle East, who are struggling under undemocratic regimes which the U.S. supports.
Disappointment over nationalistic authoritarian regimes may have contributed to the fact that today religion offers a new and subjectively more convincing language for old political orientations.
The stability and security of authoritarian regimes cannot create but terrorism and violence and destruction. Let us accept the choice of the people. Let us not pick and choose who we would like to rule their future.
It is also right that we continue to consult with front line workers and the public to ensure that targets are reasonable and achievable, that measurement regimes are proportionate and that the targets take full account of the other reforms that are under way.