By Naguib Mahfouz
At a time when all eyes are fixed on horrible images showing the indiscriminate torture of Iraqi prisoners by US occupying forces we must not forget the reaction of American society to these inhuman practices.
Although no one can minimise the magnitude of the horror of the crime that is in violation of all laws and defies all cultures, what we see in the US today is uproar over what the photos revealed. This must be seen as an important development, for it suggests that human civilisation is still intact and has not slipped to the level that the pictures represent.
We must remember who published the photos; he was also American. This undoubtedly is an expression of human civilisation rising above those who committed such brutal acts, standing smiling before the cameras.
I am closely following what is happening in this story. In the not so distant past a US president was forced to resign, though his crime -- that of spying on rivals and lying to his people -- was less severe than presiding over torture. What should we think of a president who lied to his people several times when he claimed the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and then again when he hid from them the crimes against humanity committed against Iraqis by his forces?
Based on an interview by Mohamed Salmawy.