Karpinski Says Israelis Were at Abu Ghraib
Brigadier General Janis Karpinski alleged Sunday that Israeli interrogators were active at Abu Ghuraib prison. She said she even met one who admitted his nationality to her. AP reports her saying,
‘ “I saw an individual there that I hadn’t had the opportunity to meet before, and I asked him what did he do there, was he an interpreter — he was clearly from the Middle East,” Karpinski told British Broadcasting Corp. radio in an interview broadcast Saturday. “He said, ‘Well I do some of the interrogation here. I speak Arabic, but I’m not an Arab; I’m from Israel.’ “I was really kind of surprised by that … He didn’t elaborate any more than to say he was working with them and there were people from lots of different places that were involved in the operation.” ‘
The similarity of techniques used to humiliate and break Arab prisoners at Abu Ghuraib with those employed by the Israelis against the Palestinians has long suggested an Israeli connection to close observers of the Middle East. Karpinski’s statement nails it down. Of course, it was all denied by the Israeli government, the Iraqi government, and probably will be by the US government, because the charge is an explosive one in the Middle East.
The US has no standing to promote democracy or liberty in the Middle East from the point of view of most in the Arab world, because the US supports to the hilt the large-scale theft of Palestinian land and the expropriation and impoverishment of the Palestinian people. One can only imagine how 19th century European-Americans would have responded to a claim by Mexico’s Santa Ana, who reduced the Alamo, to be spreading liberty in Texas.
That the US employed Israeli expertise in its torture of prisoners at Abu Ghuraib would, for most Arab observers, only underline American illegitimacy in the region and the true nature of its enterprise in Iraq–not bringing democracy and liberty but rather stealing sovereignty and rights, and visiting humiliation on locals.
The complete failure of the United States to act as an honest broker in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the ever more rapacious demands of the ruling Likud Party in Israel for Lebensraum in the West Bank (at the least) are major engines of the terrorism directed toward the United States. Recent 9/11 Commission findings reported that Usama Bin Laden wanted to move the attack on the World Trade Towers up to May in order to respond more directly to the Israeli crushing of the Palestinians. (This finding was largely buried by the US press, since the standard–and wholly ridiculous–story in the US is that al-Qaeda doesn’t care about the Palestine issue.)
The Likud, with its racist attitudes toward Arabs, has dragged the US into one disaster after another in the Middle East, endangering the US homeland and helping create the long-term disaster at Abu Ghuraib.
Dick Cheney’s ape-like breast-beating about strong US action reducing terrorism notwithstanding, terrorism is getting worse and worse. The reason is that you need a two-pronged approach in counter-insurgency. You have to move violently against the violent, but then you have to deny them public support by winning hearts and minds and turning off potential recruits and enablers. Cheney’s approach, like that of the Likud, fails miserably on the second count. The Iron Fist can cow people for a while. It cannot stop a powerful movement like al-Qaeda as long as things like the Israeli annexation of half the West Bank and the US torture of prisoners at Abu Ghuraib alienate the wider Muslim public and make them willing to tolerate al-Qaeda in their midst.