WAR OF CIVILIZATIONS?….From Baghdad, Riverbend provides the view of the Iraqi street on the Newsweek/Koran incident:

We’ve seen enough blatant disregard and disrespect for Islam in Iraq the last two years to make this story sound very plausible.

….Detainees coming back after weeks or months in prison talk of being forced to eat pork, not being allowed to pray, being exposed to dogs, having Islam insulted and generally being treated like animals trapped in a small cage. At the end of the day, it’s not about words or holy books or pork or dogs or any of that. It’s about what these things symbolize on a personal level. It is infuriating to see objects that we hold sacred degraded and debased by foreigners who felt the need to travel thousands of kilometers to do this. That’s not to say that all troops disrespect Islam ? some of them seem to genuinely want to understand our beliefs. It does seem like the people in charge have decided to make degradation and humiliation a policy.

By doing such things, this war is taken to another level ? it is no longer a war against terror or terrorists ? it is, quite simply, a war against Islam and even secular Muslims are being forced to take sides.

By the time this is all over, I suspect the Pentagon is going to be sorry it ever made a fuss over the Newsweek item in the first place. Every reporter in town is now going to start investigating this stuff, and the results are not likely to be pretty. Stay tuned for a fusillade of deeply researched stories about allegations of religious desecration by American troops starting in about a week.