Regions / Middle East & North Africa
When President Bush took the oath of office, one pledge he didn't make that he should have was to stop the torture.
Amid the orgy of self-congratulation over the bravery of Iraqi voters, officials and commentators have ignored the most important story of the election results: a Sunni electoral boycott that demonstrates a level of support for the insurgency in the Sunni triangle that is far greater than what the administration has admitted.
Largely unnoticed with the focus on the war and insurgency in Iraq, and overshadowed by an upsurge in violence in Saudi Arabia, terrorist violence is also on the increase in neighboring Kuwait.
It is now time for the United States to pursue the one policy option that has been missing from the national discussion of Iraq: the negotiation of a peace settlement with the insurgents that would involve the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops in return for the surrender of the insurgents and the reintegration of the Sunni region into the post-Saddam political system.
The Iraq War launched by the Bush administration 24 months ago is draining lives--U.S., Iraqi, and others--and treasure that should be devoted to other human needs.
With the nomination of John D. Negroponte to head the newly restructured intelligence system and the rather startling choice of the controversial and confrontational John Bolton as ambassador to the UN, Bush continues to show much less concern for world public opinion or credibility than for personal loyalty and a hard-right ideology.
Ongoing scandals of prisoner abuse by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq are fuelled by the Bush administrations criticism of the Geneva Conventions.
In the past 17 months, President Bush has undertaken a concerted effort to wrap his foreign policy in the folds of freedom and democracy.
Had Marla Ruzicka not died, she would be busy visiting survivors of the fifty people found dead in the Tigris River.
The level of trust in the U.S. military seems to have crashed--big time.