Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Remember General William Boykin?

Oh, you all remember him. He was the guy who got promoted last fall and then it was discovered that he's going around in his spare time talking about how his Christian God is so much more righteous than the God of Islam. Remember? He came this close to saying the "C" word ["crusade"]. Here's how Newsweek reported on it at the time:
WILLIAM BOYKIN is the general who has recently been appointed to a senior Defense Department post. Over the last two years the general has given dozens of addresses to evangelical Christian groups in which, describing his battle with a Somali (Muslim) warlord, he has said: “I knew that my God was bigger than his God. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.” He has also repeatedly explained that America’s enemy was “a spiritual enemy ... called Satan.” The enemy will only be defeated, he added, “if we come against them in the name of Jesus.” A few more of these and Osama bin Laden won’t need to make videos anymore.
Newsweek Opinion Piece
I'm sure we can all agree that General Boykin's words, at the very least, are not good for Arab-American relations. Gosh, what if it was folks like him who ran the interrogations at Abu Graib and other sites in Iraq? Well, WIRED is reporting that General Boykin, our latter-day crusader, was involved in the planning of interrogation methods.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army general under investigation for anti-Islamic remarks has been linked by U.S. officials to the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal, which experts warned could touch off new outrage overseas.

A Senate hearing into the abuse of Iraqi prisoners was told on Tuesday that Lt. Gen. William Boykin, an evangelical Christian under review for saying his God was superior to that of the Muslims, briefed a top Pentagon civilian official last summer on recommendations on ways military interrogators could gain more intelligence from Iraqi prisoners.

Critics have suggested those recommendations amounted to a senior-level go-ahead for the sexual and physical abuse of prisoners, possibly to "soften up" detainees before interrogation -- a charge the Pentagon denies.

Of course, our relations with Muslim nations can't get much worse.

How about a new slogan for this Presidency? Bush ran last time on being a "uniter not a divider." Perhaps what he really meant was that he'd unite the world against us?