Sep 28, 2005 — By Patricia Wilson
ANKARA – Turkish women challenged U.S. envoy Karen Hughes over the Iraq war on Wednesday, giving Washington’s new image shaper her second critical reception on her Middle East tour after a similar encounter in Saudi Arabia.
The guests invited to an Ankara museum by the U.S. embassy politely but firmly refused to be swayed by the encouraging message Hughes is trying to spread among Muslims in her job as undersecretary of state for public diplomacy.
“You cannot bring in war for the sake of peace.
The United States cannot interfere in the democracy problem and solve it through war,” argued Feray Sazman, a women’s rights leader.
Human rights leader Hidayet Sefkatli Tuksal told Hughes she saw fear in the eyes of women and children in photographs from Iraq every day and it left her feeling “wounded and insulted.”
“This war is really, really bringing all your positive efforts to the level of zero,” she said.
Hughes, who has visited Egypt and Saudi Arabia, listened on Tuesday to criticism from Saudi women blaming the U.S. media for portraying Muslims as terrorists and Arab women as downtrodden.
An interview with [ex pro Iraq war Blairist British MP] Oona King has this answer to the question from Emma Brookes on whether her position on Iraq has changed:
“It has changed because of what happened in Louisiana. I think that it is incredibly profound; it shows that America has no grasp whatsoever on the activity needed to rebuild a destroyed city.
And if they can’t do that in their own country, then it’s obvious why they can’t do it in Iraq.
So … I regret that we went to war with a country that has shown itself to be incapable of the very basic actions required to deal with post-conflict resolution.”
(Guardian, September 12, 2005)