Spengler has a strong article on the culture of cruelty and torture in the Middle East, with lots of references, over at his blog. In the wake of President Obama's solecistic* speech to the so-called "Muslim world," it is vitally important that we take off the blinders about the sort of violence permitted (although, yes, there are other interpretations) by that religion:
"In countries where torture is habitual, unexceptionable and embedded in everyday life, it is foolish to imagine that our armed forces might conduct successful operations without employing torture as a matter of normal practice."
Let you think he's condoning torture as policy, note his exhortation:
"We must leave the Muslim world to its own destiny rather than to attempt to engineer a happy ending. "
Fascinating stuff, leaving plenty of room for rumination and debate.
*solecistic: benighted, catachrestic, inerudite, unable to read well