A recent statement by British MP George Galloway, staunch critic of the Iraq war:
"The real question is, after the evidence of Sykes-Picot 1, are you ready to accept Sykes-Picot 2? What does Sykes-Picot mean to the Arab world? Nothing except division, disunity, weakness, and failure. Two of your beautiful daughters are in the hands of foreigners - Jerusalem and Baghdad. The foreigners are doing to your daughters as they will. The daughters are crying for help, and the Arab world is silent. And some of them are collaborating with the rape of these two beautiful Arab daughters. Why? Because they are too weak and too corrupt to do anything about it. So this is what Sykes-Picot will do to the Arabs. Are you ready to have another hundred years like the hundred years you just had?"
Wow. Eugene Volokh has a whole post about the bounds of permissible speech as it relates to treason. That's not what I want to focus on.
Galloway used the perfect imagery to rile up the Arab world. If he was a leader in the insurgency, he'd no doubt have gotten his troops "fired up." He invoked the two most offensive themes in most of the Arab world: imperialism and sexual degradation.
Sykes-Picot was a British and French agreement to split up the Middle East in 1916. This agreement is still cited as the beginning of the imperial influence in the Arab homeland. Alluding to a Sykes-Picot II is a way of implying that the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq is not only about conquering that country, but taking over the whole Arab world.
Invoking the image of rape is the perfect way to grow the insurgency. Sexual degradation of an Arab leads to a response far stronger than any other form of insult. Abu Gharib was that bad because of the type of disgrace, because there was a sexual component. And nothing is worse than mistreating Arab girls.
In parts of the Arab world (not all) mistreatment of an Arab woman can lead to her death to restore the family honor. In those parts, it's imperative on Arab males to protect their women. What choice do these people have now instead of defending their "daughters?"
This type of irresponsible rhetoric sickens me. Thank G-d it hasn't gotten this bad in the US. Yet.