The Curse of Pan-Arabia

(Wall Street Journal) Fouad Ajami - The logic of Abu Ghraib isn't the logic of the Iraq war. We should see through the motives of those in Cairo and Amman and Ramallah and Jeddah, now outraged by Abu Ghraib, who looked away from the terrors of Iraq under the Baathists. There are amends to be made for Abu Ghraib, and those are owed the people of Iraq. Yet here we are paying the Palestinians with Iraqi coin. Those concessions have already been taken as the compromises of an America now in the throes of self-flagellation. Our goals in Iraq are being diluted by the day. We haven't always read Iraq right, but if we abdicate the burden and the responsibility - and the possibilities - that came with this war, our entire effort will come to grief. We haven't stilled Iraq's furies, and our gains there have been made with heartbreaking losses. But in the midst of our anguish over Abu Ghraib, and in our eagerness to placate an Arab world that has managed to convince us of its rage over the scandal, we should stay true to what took us into Iraq, and to the gains that may yet be salvaged.

2004-05-13 00:00:00

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