The story of the Iraq prisoners being tortured in Abu Ghraib has hit the mainstream media the past few days, most notably on the CBS show 60 minutes II. The appalling photos of American and British troops abusing Iraqi detainees have caused considerable and entirerly appropriate outrage, both here and throughout the Arab world.
While the Military and the Bush Administration try to spin the story by saying that this is an isolated event, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the abuse of prisoners is both widespread and sanctioned by high level authorities. It is also worth considering the idea that the behavior of US and British troops in Iraq is partly the result of longstanding racist beliefs in Western culture. Depictions of Arabs in Western culture are limited almost entirely to negative stereotypes. To learn more about discrimination against Arabs and what you can do about it, check out the website for the American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee.