Bush's 'Stroke of the Pen' Will Not Salvage America's Image

The notorious reputation that Bush has achieved for the United States has run straight through his first term and is on the threshold of lasting through his second!! During this period, America has ranked at the very top of threats to world peace. As has been stated to the Financial Times by former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, “Even the Europeans feel that the United States has become the most serious threat to global stability.”

Bush’s signing of a law on the torture of prisoners was to whitewash the uncivilized activities of the CIA, whether they occurred on the territory of America, Europe Iraq or Afghanistan! With the number of American prisons and the “services” they offer growing around the world, Bush will soon accomplish the remarkable task of having such prisons surpass even the number of McDonald’s restaurants!!

Around the world, the cries of the most honorable people to close the prison at Guantanamo have gone unheeded, which is a place where inmates have died as a result of direct or indirect torture and due to intimate violations (sometimes leading to suicide)!! It is outrageous that death is the only salvation from the horrors of such brutal physical and psychological torture at one of the “wonders of the world,” which is a place that none of us would care to visit!

And what of the Guantanamo inmates imprisoned without due process, who after years of imprisonment are finally released?! What of those who having proved their innocence are released without apology or any admission of error?! Instead of making amends, the decision was taken to sign even more futile “counter-terror” laws that fill people with skepticism and suspicion, and turn America into a police state that spies even on its own people!

I don’t know whether the brutality of torture which leads to suicide- which violates human dignity and every known taboo – was permissible in America before this recent decision to ban the practice! But I do not believe that this late in the game, this decision will manage to salvage America’s reputation.

Today there is a growing feeling around the world that it is America that poses the greatest danger to world peace, and that its prisons violate the law and human dignity. Because of its decision to impose democracy through the dropping of bombs, it is likely to prove exceedingly difficult to change America’s image with the stroke of a pen!

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