Chimpy, November 28, 2006:
We must lift up and support the moderates and reformers who are working for change across the broader Middle East.
And the reality on the ground.
Many secular and moderate activists in the Arab world, including Gaza, say their causes have been hurt by U.S. policies in Iraq.
Some moderate voices said they have been forced into silence out of fear that they were be associated with the United States, which analysts say is at an all-time low in terms of public opinion in many Middle Eastern nations, The Los Angeles Times reported Friday.
“What the United States did for the region is destruction for the forces who believe in democracy, rule of law and human rights,” Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza told the Times. “We are the real victims.”
Many Arabs say they do not believe the U.S. mission to stabilize Iraq has any hope of success and have called for the United States to withdraw its forces, the newspaper said.
U.S. President George Bush “mismanaged and brutalized Iraq too long to even hope for stability while the troops stay,” said Mohammed Sayed Said, an analyst at the Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo. “The reservoir of violence and bitterness and agonies is so huge that hoping for stability in the immediate future is self-deception at best.”