Soon after President George Bush used the term “Axis of evil” to describe nations he thought were supporting terrorism, the phrase died because it offended so many.
Now Britain’s Foreign Secretary is saying even the term “war on terror” was not useful….and may have done more harm than good.
“Ultimately, the notion is misleading and mistaken,” David Miliband said. “Historians will judge whether it has done more harm than good.”
George W Bush’s “war on terror” may have played into the hands of violent extremists, David Miliband has warned.
By Alex Spilliusand Matthew Moore
The Telegraph (UK)
In what will be seen as an thinly-veiled attack on the outgoing US president George W Bush, the Foreign Secretary said that presenting the conflict as a battle of “good and evil” may have done more harm than good.
His comments came as a senior Bush administration official admitted for the first time that a Guantanamo Bay detainee was tortured during questioning over links to the 9/11 attacks.
Susan Crawford, who oversees the tribunals for terror suspects at the US base in Cuba, said she believed the interrogation of Saudi national Mohammed al-Qahtani amounted to torture.
She said the frequency and the adverse effect of the torture on Qahtani’s mental and physical state persuaded her that military questioners had crossed the line from harsh interrogation to illegality.
Mrs Crawford told the Washington Post she did not refer the case for prosecution as “his treatment met the legal definition of torture”.
Ahead of a speech at one of the hotels at the centre of the Mumbai terror siege in India, Mr Miliband wrote in an article: “The more we lump terrorist groups together and draw the battle lines as a simple binary struggle between moderates and extremists or good and evil, the more we play into the hands of those seeking to unify groups with little in common.