|04KUWAIT1477||2004-05-10 14:44:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Kuwait|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 001477
1. SUMMARY: Kuwaiti commentators continued strident
criticism and outrage at revelations of the abuse at Abu
Ghraib. A prominent conservative commentator notes with
satisfaction that the abuse scandal has resulted in the
"postponement until further notice" of the issuance of the
State Department Report on Human Rights Practices. Some
writers continue to recognize the transparency and dispatch
with which U.S. authorities are dealing with the revelations
of abuse: Abdullah Khalaf wrote in independent Al-Watan
(5/10), "In comparison with Arab prisons, where prisoners
are incarcerated and never heard of again, at least in this
case the story, when it first appeared, appeared through
American sources." END SUMMARY.
2. "In The Footsteps Of Saddam Hussein"
Dr. Abdul Muhsin Jamal wrote in independent Al-Qabas (5/8):
"It is ironic that the emergence of the prisoner abuse
scandal in Iraq coincides with the issuance of the State
Department's Annual Country Report on Human Rights
Practices. However, since the credibility of the United
States after the Abu Ghraib allegations is currently at its
lowest, the issuance of the report has been postponed until
further notice. The abuse committed was deliberate and
sanctioned by military intelligence. All Arabs, whether
represented by governments, peoples, or human rights
committees, must move fast to release Iraqi prisoners and
replace American guards with Iraqi ones. Our hearts go out
to the Iraqi people, who were first brutalized by Saddam's
regime with the full support of powerful states, and are now
brutalized by the occupation."
3. "Damn This Sort Of Thinking"
Ahmad Al-Sarraf wrote in independent Al-Qabas (5/9): "No
army around the world can guarantee how their troops will
behave at all times and in all places. The same goes for the
American [military] command, but they can be blamed for any
shortcomings and they can impose punishment. To close an eye
to such practices would be unforgivable. It is the right
sort of democracy that exposed the abuse in Iraq, and it is
precisely such democracy that can remedy the fallout and
attempt to prevent it from happening again. That is how
nations learn and develop."
4. "From Abu Ghraib ... With Love"
Mohammed Al-Qatma wrote in independent Al-Qabas (5/10):
"Leaked pictures depicting abuse of Iraqi prisoners deserve
the following observations: 1) these pictures prove that
American occupying forces are no different from any other
occupying forces; 2) the crime is not in the pictures, but
in the occupation of Iraq and the extent of hatred toward
the Iraqis; 3) the pictures exposed similar practices
perpetrated by Israelis against Palestinians; 4) George
Bush's team feels hatred laced with Judeo-Christian contempt
toward Arabs; 5) the abuse scandal broke out at a time when
Washington was insisting we clean up house and start
reforms; 6) the pictures depicting torture and abuse will
constitute a new era of hatred towards the Americans in
general; 7) the failure of the American policy in Iraq
reached new heights, especially when the military command
decided to cooperate again with members of the former Baath
5. "Torture Is Back"
Abdullah Khalaf wrote in independent Al-Watan (5/10):
"American and coalition forces are facing grave dangers in
Iraq, but the situation will become even more dangerous
after news and pictures of abused Iraqi detainees were
leaked. Despite world condemnation, this issue will be
resolved eventually by investigations, human rights
organizations and the law. In comparison with Arab prisons,
where prisoners are incarcerated and never heard of again,
at least in this case the story, when it first appeared,
appeared through American sources."
6. "The Chicago Sermon"
Adel Al-Qassar wrote in independent Al-Qabas (5/9): "In
light of the inhumane acts committed by American soldiers
against Iraqi detainees, many Islamic organizations in the
United States called for the resignation of Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Naturally, the American people
were shocked by such incidents, whereas the Arab American
community dealt with the issue in a realistic and balanced
manner. The incident seemed like a test for both parties.
When the 9/11 incident occurred, Muslims all around the
world beseeched the world not to blame the rest for the
mistakes of a few. And now, when a small group of American
soldiers commit heinous crimes against Iraqi prisoners, the
American public opinion is calling for the case to be
7. "An Apology?? An Overthrow Of American Foreign Policy Is
Faisal Al-Zamel wrote in independent Al-Anba (5/10): "The
efforts of the American administration to ensure security
[in Iraq] have failed. Rather, they have led to spreading
hatred and resulted in killing Americans. Also, with the
high rise of oil prices, Washington looks like it is heading
toward ruin. Good intentions are not enough to justify these
large numbers of mistakes. If spreading democracy will end
up with events similar to the Iraqi prisons incidents, then
the amount of frustration toward all this is unimaginable."
8. "Muqtada: Symbol of Sacrifice"
Dr. Sami Naser Khalifa wrote in independent Al-Rai Al-A'am
(5/8): "Muqtada Al-Sadr's mistake was that he undertook
peaceful resistance in order to attain a sincere national
demand, which is to free Iraq from foreign occupation. By
his transparent, ideological and nationalist political
rhetoric, Al-Sadr has become very close to Iraqis in
particular and to the wider Arab and Islamic world in
general. By turning to Iraqis and asking them to continue
with their peaceful resistance, he proved the extent of the
enemy's stupidity. He exposed the ugly face of the
occupation, and dedicated country-wide national rejection
for the occupation, at whatever cost. He explained that the
misery of the Iraqis was due to the occupation's greed for
Iraq's wealthy resources. What makes Al-Sadr a symbol of
sacrifice, is that he said `NO' to the occupiers when all
other former opposition figures failed."