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Insiders Speak about life in gitmo and elsewhere...

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    Insiders Speak about life in gitmo and elsewhere...

    I must say these poor guys sound very dangerous...

    NEWSLINE Back From Camp
    Two Pakistanis deported on terrorism charges talk about their incarceration at various camps in Bagram, Kandahar and Cuba, upon their release.

    By Amir Mohammad Khan

    Detainees at the American naval base in Guantanamo, Cuba, at Bagram airbase, and in Kandahar, endure immense psychological and physical torture at the hands of US marines, says Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, the latest prisoner to be released from Camp Delta. An Afghan national with Pakistani citizenship, Abdul Rahim was let go after a US military tribunal cleared him of suspected terrorist links. He landed at Bagram Airport in Kabul along with 16 other detainees on April 18, where he was handed over to Afghan authorities. He finally reached his home in Peshawar on April 21.

    Visitors pour into Dost's residence at Spena Ware in Peshawar, anxious to greet their kinsman who has been away for more than three-and-a half years. But all those eager to focus on the salacious details of Abdul Rahim's incarceration are in for a surprise. Choosing not to dwell too much on the torture he suffered at the the hands of his detainers, he talks about the literary work he produced during his confinement at the camp. The author of 19 books, Abdul Rahim laments the fact that his work was seized by prison authorities and has not been returned as promised. "My literary work is my intellectual property and nobody has the right to refuse me my property," he says. "I don't expect justice from both Pakistan and the America. But I want the US to return my poetry and prose."

    A graduate of Hadiqatul Uloom, Peshawar, Islami Markaz and Jamiaa-al Asar, the slim and long-bearded Abdul Rahim said prisoners in Cuba were not allowed to write for the first 14 months of their incarceration. After this period was over, they were provided stationery to pursue literary activities. "I wrote a Pashto translation and explanation (tafseer) of the Quran, Pashto poems containing about 25,000 verses, a book on Pashto grammar, fundamentals of hadith, fiqah in poetic form, literary essays on the life of Kochis (Afghan nomads) and on belief. But the US authorities took my papers away, telling me they would be returned upon my arrival at Bagram Airport," Abdul Rahim said. "They lied."

    Rahim, along with his younger brother Badr Zaman, was arrested by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) on November 17, 2001, from his home in Peshawar. "The ISI handed us over to the US on February 9, after two-and-a half months of interrogation at Peshawar, where we were kept in solitary confinement," he says. "The marines transported us by ship to Bagram first and then to Kandahar, before sending us on to Guantanamo. Our family members remained in the dark about our whereabouts after our arrest. It took them seven months to find out where we were."

    Badr was subsequently cleared at a hearing at Camp Delta military tribunal and was sent home six months before Rahim. "I kept silent about my ordeal on my return because I thought the US would cause trouble for my brother," Badr said.

    Now free to talk about their ordeal, both brothers do not mince words about their experiences. "Prisoners at Camp Delta endure extreme psychological stress," says Abdul Rahim. "The interrogators are ill-mannered. They insult the inmates and threaten them with death. They make the prisoners sit in rooms decorated with nude pictures. And sometimes inmates are exposed to freezing temperatures."

    Adds Badr Zaman, "About 40 to 50 inmates lost their sanity due to immense psychological stress. These prisoners are kept in the Delta block of the camp, and are mostly Arabs, Chechens and mujahids from other central Asian republics."

    Say the two brothers, "The most terrifying place is Bagram airbase and Kandahar." Both claim to have undergone extreme torture at these locations for two-and-a half months, before being transported to Cuba. "At Bagram Airbase, there was no water available for ablution purposes. We were not allowed to sleep and dogs were constantly on guard, barking at us. We were hooded during interrogation and were not allowed to straighten up whenever they took us somewhere. We had to keep our heads low, with the marines locking our chained hands behind us. Sometimes, the marines would conduct a random search of our cells, and throw the Quran around, like an ordinary notebook, after rifling through its pages. They also used to throw the Quran down from upper stories to their colleagues. We were also not allowed to offer our prayers in congregation or to talk to each other. Even during interrogation, we were only allowed to answer in the affirmative or negative. Though we were allowed joint prayers in Kandahar, the marines started insulting us by storming the congregation, pushing us to the ground amidst our prayers, and frisking us. Our beards were also shaved in Kandahar, a practice repeated five times in Guantanamo as well."

    According to the former prisoners, food was a always insufficient at Bagram, with only MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) meals available. The meat was not halal and we could only eat the biscuits," says Badr. Many stopped eating due to depression. At Kandahar, inmates were only fed on a diet of dried, half-wheat bread.

    According to Badr and Rahim, the condition of prison cages in Guantanamo was better than those in Kandahar and Bagram. "The three by 2.5 metre cage contained a steel toilet, a steel block serving as a bed, and water was provided for ablution purposes," says Badr. "However, the toilets were uncovered. Later, inmates were provided with a hardboard sheet, which afforded them a modicum of privacy. Prisoners had to say their prayers, relieve themselves, sleep and eat in the same cell. As in Bagram, the food at Guantanamo was insufficient."

    According to Abdul Rahim, incompetence and the ethnic and religious biases of the appointed translators during interrogation, seriously compromised the prisoners' chance of a fair trial. But despite these circumstances, the morale of prisoners was high. Inmates used to chant 'the lion is coming' in Arabic and Pashto when they were handcuffed or shackled for interrogation. Lions are kept in chains - we are lions," they would chant. Inmates also found the naivety of the US marines laughable. Says Badr, "They would ask silly questions, like: 'Were you recorded on any computerised systems when you travelled from Peshawar to Islamabad?'"

    Only three Pakistanis and 105 Afghans now remain at Camp Delta. These include former Taliban leaders: the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, Abdussalam Zaeef, the governor of Herat, Mulla Kherullah Kherkhwa, the deputy minister of defence, Mulla Fazil, and the former ruler of northern Afghanistan, Mulla Noorullah Noori.

    Says Rahim, "Abdussalam Zaeef has been cleared by the military tribunal and is awaiting transportation to Afghanistan. He is being urged to support the Hamid Karzai government, but might choose to seek political asylum in a third country." According to Badr, charges against the Taliban deputy minister of defence, Mulla Fazil, have been proved. He has been sent to Camp-5, reserved for those found guilty by the military tribunal. Badr, Mulla Zaeef and Mulla Kherullah Kherkhwa were transported to the US naval base on the same aircraft on May 1, 2002. Badr claims Zaeef would often discuss the circumstances in which he was arrested in Pakistan. "Mulla Zaeef was extremely resentful of Pakistan's role in his arrest, and intends to file a writ against the Pakistan government for violating diplomatic norms and handing him over to the US, despite the fact that he had been granted political asylum," he says. "The US interrogators went on to continuously grill us about Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and Mulla Omar, but we denied having any knowledge about, or any links with all three."

    Before their arrest, Badr and Rahim co-owned a gemstone and laundry soap business. Both businesses went under during their confinement. Rahim now urges the Pakistani government to return the precious stones they seized from his home when he was arrested. An MA in English from the University of Peshawar, Badr was also a lecturer at a local college. Abdul Rahim was the editor of three Pashto and Dari language magazines, Zerai, al-Ihsan and Daawat during the '80s, besides being a regular contributer to local Pashto dailies. Badr also reported for these magazines. How the brother's will now earn a living is a big question mark.

    E-mail: [email protected]
    How can a man die better than facing fearful odds for the ashes of his fathers and the Temple of his Gods?

    Re: Insiders Speak about life in gitmo and elsewhere...

    The new concentration camps.
    You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!


      Re: Insiders Speak about life in gitmo and elsewhere...

      Some updates..

      Desecration of the Holy Quran common at detention camps

      Staff Report

      WASHINGTON: Contrary to White House “spin,” the allegations of religious desecration at Guantanamo published by Newsweek on May 9, 2005, are common among ex-prisoners and have been widely reported outside the United States, an online peace group has alleged.

      According to, “Several former detainees at the Guantanamo and Bagram prisons have reported instances of their handlers sitting or standing on the Koran, throwing or kicking it in toilets, and urinating on it. Prior to the Newsweek article, the New York Times reported a Guantanamo insider asserting that the commander of the facility was compelled by prisoner protests to address the problem and issue an apology. One such incident (during which the Koran was allegedly thrown in a pile and stepped on) prompted a hunger strike among Guantanamo detainees in March 2002.”

      The New York Times published on 1 May 1 this year referred to an interview with a former detainee, Nasser Nijer Naser al-Mutairi, who said the protest ended with a senior officer delivering an apology to the entire camp. The newspaper wrote, “A former interrogator at Guantanamo, in an interview with the Times, confirmed the accounts of the hunger strikes, including the public expression of regret over the treatment of the Korans.” The hunger strike and apology story is also confirmed by another former detainee, Shafiq Rasul, interviewed by the British daily Guardian in December 2003. It was also confirmed by former prisoner Jamal al-Harith in an interview with the Daily Mirror on 12 March 2004. The toilet incident was reported in the Washington Post in a 2003 interview with a former detainee from Afghanistan:

      According to the Post, “Ehsannullah, 29, said American soldiers who initially questioned him in Kandahar before shipping him to Guantanamo hit him and taunted him by dumping the Koran in a toilet. ‘It was a very bad situation for us,’ said Ehsannullah, who comes from the home region of the Taliban leader, Mohammad Omar. ‘We cried so much and shouted, ‘Please do not do that to the Holy Koran.’ “ Also confirming the toilet incident is testimony by Asif Iqbal, a former Guantanamo detainee who was released to British custody in March 2004 and subsequently freed without charge. He said, “The behaviour of the guards towards our religious practices as well as the Koran was also, in my view, designed to cause us as much distress as possible. They would kick the Koran, throw it into the toilet, and generally disrespect it.” The claim that U.S. troops at Bagram prison in Afghanistan urinated on the Koran was made by former detainee Mohamed Mazouz, a Moroccan, as reported in the Moroccan newspaper, La Gazette du Maroc on 12 April this year. Tarek Derghoul, another of the British detainees, similarly cites instances of Koran desecration in . Desecration of the Koran was also mentioned by former Guantanamo detainee Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost and reported by the BBC in earlier this month.
      How can a man die better than facing fearful odds for the ashes of his fathers and the Temple of his Gods?


        Re: Insiders Speak about life in gitmo and elsewhere...

        And another one...

        Prisoner alleges Holy Quran desecration

        ISLAMABAD: An Afghan who spent three years at Guantanamo Bay prison said on Tuesday that interrogators at the centre frequently desecrated the QUran, which prompted a hunger strike and a US apology.

        Abdul Rahim, 40, said during an interview on AVT Khyber television, a Pashto-language private channel, that abuse of the holy book was routine. “Abuse of the Quran was done routinely particularly in the early days of detention,” Rahim said. His claims could not be independently verified.

        “They would throw the holy book on the ground, trample upon it and tell the prisoner under interrogation no one could stop them from doing that. The news of sacrilege sent shockwaves among the prisoners and all of us went on a hunger strike. We declined to participate in the interrogation and also did not eat anything for many days,” he said. Rahim, according to the interviewer, said the hunger strike ended only after senior American officials apologised for the desecration.

        “All of us ended the hunger strike except for a Palestinian. It was due to our efforts and sacrifices that we restored the honour of the Quran,” he said.

        The interview follows a retraction from Newsweek magazine, which alleged desecration of the Quran by Guantanamo interrogators and this had included throwing a copy of the holy book into a toilet to rattle Muslim prisoners. The report sparked a storm of protests throughout the Muslim world. In Afghanistan 14 people were killed. Rahim said he had arrived back in Pakistan after he was freed from Camp X-Ray last month. He was captured in Peshawar by Pakistani intelligence in 2001 and handed over to US custody.

        Rahim also said prisoners were kept in harsh conditions and in cages. “The cages were made of steel and also the beds on which we used to sleep. At times we created lots of noise by thumping the steel cages that would disturb the Americans.” Rahim said often when Americans walked though the passage between the cages prisoners would spit on them. One prisoner threw a glass of urine on them also, he said. afp
        How can a man die better than facing fearful odds for the ashes of his fathers and the Temple of his Gods?


          Re: Insiders Speak about life in gitmo and elsewhere...

          Give them time they will cook up a flimsy argument.


            Re: Insiders Speak about life in gitmo and elsewhere...

            And some more....people feel free to ad..

            HRW U.S.: Abu Ghraib Only the “Tip of the Iceberg”
            (New York, April 27, 2005)— The crimes at Abu Ghraib are part of a larger pattern of abuses against Muslim detainees around the world, Human Rights Watch said on the eve of the April 28 anniversary of the first pictures of U.S. soldiers brutalizing prisoners at the Iraqi jail.

            Abu Ghraib was only the tip of the iceberg. It’s now clear that abuse of detainees has happened all over—from Afghanistan to Guantánamo Bay to a lot of third-country dungeons where the United States has sent prisoners. And probably quite a few other places we don’t even know about.

            Reed Brody, special counsel

            Human Rights Watch released a summary (below) of evidence of U.S. abuse of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, as well as of the programs of secret CIA detention, “extraordinary renditions,” and “reverse renditions.”

            “Abu Ghraib was only the tip of the iceberg,” said Reed Brody, special counsel for Human Rights Watch. “It’s now clear that abuse of detainees has happened all over—from Afghanistan to Guantánamo Bay to a lot of third-country dungeons where the United States has sent prisoners. And probably quite a few other places we don’t even know about.”

            Human Rights Watch called this week for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the culpability of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and ex-CIA Director George Tenet, as well as Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, formerly the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the former commander of the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba in cases of crimes against detainees. It rejected last week’s report by the Army Inspector General which was said to absolve Gen. Sanchez of responsibility.

            “General Sanchez gave the troops at Abu Ghraib the green light to use dogs to terrorize detainees, and they did, and we know what happened, said Brody. “And while mayhem went on under his nose for three months, Sanchez didn’t step in to halt it.”

            Human Rights Watch also expressed concern that, despite all the damage that had been done by the detainee abuse scandal, the United States had not stopped the use of illegal coercive interrogation. In January 2005, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales claimed in a written response during his confirmation hearings that the prohibition on cruel, inhuman, or degrading (CID) treatment does not apply to U.S. personnel in the treatment of non-citizens abroad, indicating that no law would prohibit the CIA from engaging in CID treatment when it interrogates non-Americans outside the United States.

            Human Rights Watch said that the U.S. government was still withholding key information about the treatment of detainees, including directives reportedly signed by President George W. Bush authorizing the CIA to establish secret detention facilities and to “render” suspects to countries where torture is used.

            “If the United States is to wipe away the stain of Abu Ghraib, it needs to investigate those at the top who ordered or condoned abuse and come clean on what the president has authorized,” said Brody. “Washington must repudiate, once and for all, the mistreatment of detainees in the name of the war on terror.”

            U.S. Abuse of Detainees around the World


            Nine detainees are now known to have died in U.S. custody in Afghanistan—including four cases already determined by Army investigators to be murder or manslaughter. Former detainees have made scores of other claims of torture and other mistreatment. In a March 2004 report, Human Rights Watch documented cases of U.S. personnel arbitrarily detaining Afghan civilians, using excessive force during arrests of non-combatants, and mistreating detainees. Detainees held at military bases in 2002 and 2003 described to Human Rights Watch being beaten severely by both guards and interrogators, deprived of sleep for extended periods, and intentionally exposed to extreme cold, as well as other inhumane and degrading treatment. In December 2004, Human Rights Watch raised additional concerns about detainee deaths, including one alleged to have occurred as late as September 2004. In March 2005, The Washington Post uncovered another death in CIA custody, noting that the case was under investigation but that the CIA officer implicated had been promoted.

            Guantánamo Bay, Cuba:

            There is growing evidence that detainees at Guantánamo have suffered torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. Reports by FBI agents who witnessed detainee abuse—including chained detainees forced to sit in their own excrement—have recently emerged, adding to the statements of former detainees describing the use of painful stress positions, use of military dogs to threaten detainees, threats of torture and death, and prolonged exposure to extremes of heat, cold and noise. Ex-detainees also said they had been subjected to weeks and even months in solitary confinement—at times either suffocatingly hot or cold from excessive air conditioning—as punishment for failure to cooperate. Videotapes of riot squads subduing suspects reportedly show the guards punching some detainees, tying one to a gurney for questioning and forcing a dozen to strip from the waist down. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has told the U.S. government in confidential reports that its treatment of detainees has involved psychological and physical coercion that is “tantamount to torture.”


            Harsh and coercive interrogation techniques such as subjecting detainees to painful stress positions and extended sleep deprivation have been routinely used in detention centers throughout Iraq. The Schlesinger panel appointed by Secretary Rumsfeld noted 55 substantiated cases of detainee abuse in Iraq, plus 20 instances of detainee deaths still under investigation. The earlier report of Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba found “numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses” constituting “systematic and illegal abuse of detainees” at Abu Ghraib. Another Pentagon report documented 44 allegations of such war crimes at Abu Ghraib. An ICRC report concluded that in military intelligence sections of Abu Ghraib, “methods of physical and psychological coercion used by the interrogators appeared to be part of the standard operating procedures by military intelligence personnel to obtain confessions and extract information.”

            CIA “Disappearances” and Torture:

            At least 11 al-Qaeda suspects, and most likely many more, have “disappeared” in U.S. custody. The Central Intelligence Agency is holding the detainees in undisclosed locations, with no notification to their families, no access to the International Committee of the Red Cross or oversight of any sort of their treatment, and in some cases, no acknowledgement that they are even being held, effectively placing them beyond the protection of the law. One detainee, Khalid Shaikh Muhammed, was reportedly subjected to “water boarding” in which a person is strapped down, forcibly pushed under water, and made to believe he might drown. It was also reported that U.S. officials initially withheld painkillers from Abu Zubayda, who was shot during his capture, as an interrogation device.

            “Extraordinary Renditions”:

            The CIA has transferred some 100 to 150 detainees to countries in the Middle East known to practice torture routinely. In one case, Maher Arar, a Canadian in transit in New York, was detained by U.S. authorities and sent to Syria. He was released without charge from Syrian custody ten months later and has described repeated torture, often with cables and electrical cords. In another case, a U.S. government-leased airplane transported two Egyptian suspects who were blindfolded, hooded, drugged, and diapered by hooded operatives, from Sweden to Egypt. There the two men were held incommunicado for five weeks and have given detailed accounts torture, including electric shocks. In a third case, Mamdouh Habib, an Australian in American custody, was transported from Pakistan to Afghanistan to Egypt to Guantánamo Bay. Now back home in Australia, Habib alleges that he was tortured in Egypt with beatings and electric shocks, and hung from the walls by hooks.

            “Reverse Renditions”:

            Detainees arrested by foreign authorities in non-combat and non-battlefield situations have been transferred to the United States without basic protections afforded to criminal suspects. `Abd al-Salam `Ali al-Hila, a Yemeni businessman captured in Egypt, for instance, was handed over to U.S. authorities and “disappeared” for more than a year and a half before being sent to Guantánamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. Six Algerians held in Bosnia were transferred to U.S. officials in January 2002 (despite a Bosnian high court order to release them) and were sent to Guantánamo.
            How can a man die better than facing fearful odds for the ashes of his fathers and the Temple of his Gods?


              Re: Insiders Speak about life in gitmo and elsewhere...

              Daniel Pearl says hi.....
              Boycott Venezuelas State owned Citgo.

              Buy Royal Dutch Shell gasoline!


                Re: Insiders Speak about life in gitmo and elsewhere...

                US has no credibility left the amount of abuse and torture they are comitting they are shooting themselves in the foot the world is now seeng with all this self publicised abuses what a corrupt and filthy government the US has.

                I heard many times US is spending millions on public relation campaigns in the middle east and rest of the world to show themselves in a good light


                  Re: Insiders Speak about life in gitmo and elsewhere...

                  Frontierpost And another one

                  Did Newsweek really err?
                  Linda S. Heard
                  There are violent street demonstrations in Afghanistan, Egypt and Yemen, while Muslim leaders, including Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi have demanded that the alleged perpetrators be held to account. Saudi Arabia was the first Arab country to register its indignation with the White House soon followed by Pakistan, Yemen and the 22-nation Arab League. United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had promised to seriously investigate the matter when, lo and behold, Newsweek’s editor has popped his head above the parapet to suggest his magazine may have got it wrong. Apparently, a Pentagon spokesman told the publication that the military has found no evidence that such desecration ever took place. So that’s all right then. Everybody can go home and forget about it. But before Rice goes back to her piano practice between photo-ops in Iraq, her boss to his golf and tree-sawing, and Dick Cheney to his dilemma over who next to invade, there is just one minor problem.
                  There have been several previous reports on similar lines, mostly ignored by the mainstream media. Tarek Dergoul, one of the British detainees released from Guantanamo, told Amnesty International: “One of the interrogators brought a cup holder for four cups with two coffees in the cup holder. He then deliberately placed the Quran on top of the coffee.
                  “He put his folder on the desk and then grabbed the Quran with his feet upon the table and read it like he was reading a magazine. He made jokes about the Quran…” A Human Rights Watch report states: “Detainees also complained about interference with their ability to pray and the lack of respect given to their religion. For example, the British detainees complained that when the Qurans were provided, the guards ‘would kick the Quran, throw it into the toilet and generally disrespect it’.” A Newsmax report on prisoners released from Camp Delta quotes Mohammad Al Musawi as complaining of being humiliated by guards. “They forced me to take all my clothes off, and female prison guards were whispering and laughing at me,” he said, adding “late at night, drunken female soldiers used to come and trample on the Quran…”
                  A January 19, 2005 Associated Press story written by Sam Hananel quotes lawyers as describing Kuwaiti detainees as emaciated and abused. One of the men’s lawyers Kristine Huskey said a Muslim detainee had been made to watch a guard throw a Quran in the toilet. The Daily Mirror recounted the story of another released British detainee Jamal Al Harith in an article titled: “My hell in Camp X-Ray” dated March 12, 2004 thus: “One unit used force-feeding to end a hunger strike by 70 per cent of the 600 inmates. The strike started after a guard deliberately kicked a copy of the Quran.” So whereas Newsweek may be flagellating itself and publishing a litany of mea culpas, what about Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Newsmax, the Associated Press and the Daily Mirror? Are their accounts wrong too?
                  Indeed, Newsweek’s U-turn is nothing less than an insult to our intelligence. I would go as far as to say it has probably been leant on by the powers that be in an attempt to avert a global religious and political divide. If so, that isn’t a bad thing you might conclude.
                  There has been enough hatred, enough bitterness and enough deaths. But coming out with transparent cop-outs isn’t the right way of repairing wrongs. Put simply, the United States must begin to hold its soldiers, intelligent agents and mercenaries (sorry, contractors) publicly accountable, not to mention the Pentagon suit mob and its attorney-general embroiled in a torture memo controversy.
                  The world reeled at the horrendous abuse meted out to detainees at Abu Ghraib but what happened? A few ignorant, sadistic lowlifes were made to take the fall leaving their superiors unblemished.An unarmed wounded Iraqi insurgent is shot in cold blood in a Fallujah mosque, captured on film by an embedded cameraman, but the perpetrator gets away with it. He followed rules of engagement, they said. An Italian intelligence officer, Nicola Calipari, is shot dead at a checkpoint by US soldiers, his precious cargo, journalist Giuliana Sgrena, wounded, yet, according to the Pentagon, their guys did nothing wrong.
                  According to Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers, acting for more than 40 victims of torture and unlawful killings by British forces in Iraq, the British government is being similarly evasive. Shiner claims that in both Britain and the United States “a state of collective national denial and therefore relative silence persists. Those responsible have not been charged for war crimes murder, torture and outrages upon personal dignity or otherwise held accountable”. If the United States is serious about its Muslim World Outreach programme it must take a long, hard look at those who believe they are doing its bidding and hold them accountable. A war on terror cannot be fought with terror. If America wants respect and cooperation from the Muslim world then it must extend the same courtesies.
                  And rather than deny such incidents have occurred, the Bush administration would do well to investigate, severely punish the offenders and offer its sincere apologies to the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims. There was recently a televised debate in Qatar as to whether the “war on terror” was a euphemism for a war on Islam. An audience vote showed an almost down the middle split with the no’s having the slight edge.
                  “I don’t think it is but if the bigoted and irreligious within the United States army’s ranks are allowed to get away with using the Quran as a tool for psychological torture, then the day will inevitably come when there will be a seismic shift in the perceptions of moderate Muslims. It is up to the Bush administration to ensure that day never comes. For if it does, the prediction of Arab League chief Amr Mousa that the gates of hell will open may loom ever larger.
                  Politically, the Muslim world is currently divided but those who attack Islam and its holy book will inadvertently create a united force with which to be reckoned.
                  Linda S. Heard is a
                  specialist writer on
                  Middle East affairs.
                  How can a man die better than facing fearful odds for the ashes of his fathers and the Temple of his Gods?