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The Iraq War through the Lens of Muslim History

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Message Lewis Lafontaine
The Iraq War through the Lens of Muslim History

The President of the United States has acknowledged that things are "bad" in Iraq. The United States chose to invade Iraq believing that the Iraqis abandon Sharia Law which has served Islam well for hundreds of years in favor of a Western style of democracy. This endeavor is doomed to failure.

Jesus was crucified by the Romans and subsequent to his death Peter, his fellow Apostles and followers were relentlessly persecuted by Rome until the conversion to Christianity of the Emperor Constantine in the year 313. From the advent of Christianity Church and State were separated. This separation was exacerbated with the advent of the Protestant Reformation which resulted in many schisms within Christendom and hundreds of years of violence.

In the year 610, Muhammad reported receiving the words of the God from the Archangel Gabriel and wrote them down in what became known as the Koran. Several years later Muhammad and his followers would conquer Mecca in battle thereby uniting Church and State. Unlike in the West the separation of Church and State is a historically and culturally alien within Islam.

The concepts of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights are as foreign to Moslems as the concepts of Sharia Law and Fiqh are to Christians.

It is time for the United States to recognize some fundamental facts about Islam.

"Take not to yourselves friends of them, until they emigrate in the way of God; then if they turn away seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take no friend nor helper from among them" ~ Sura 4:89

At the death of the Prophet Mohammed a schism developed between Sunnis and Shiites over the legitimate successor to Mohammed. The depth of this schism between Shiites and Sunnis must not be underestimated and ought to be used to the advantage of the United States. In the Koran there are indeed admonitions for faithful Moslems to attack the Crusader (Christian) and the Jew but more importantly the Prophet Mohammed condemned the Apostate of Islam as a greater threat than either Crusader or Jew.

Approximately 85% of all Muslims are Sunni and Sunnis are the dominate population of Saudis Arabia, Egypt and most other Arab nations. Sunnis are also the majority in non-Arab Turkey and Afghanistan. Sunni Muslims constitute most of the Palestinian Muslim population.

Iran is the only nation with an overwhelmingly dominate Shiite population. Iraq, Lebanon and Bahrain have large Shiite populations. The mixture of Sunni and Shiite populations in Iraq and Lebanon and the fact that they view each other as Apostates goes far in explaining the secular violence in these respective countries.

Prior to the United States choosing to go to war with Iraq Saddam Hussein (a Sunni) represented a buffer that protected the Shiites of the Arabian Peninsula as well as Israel from the Shiite dominated Iran.

"International incidents should not govern foreign policy, but foreign policy, incidents" ~ Napoleon

The tragedy of the United States first pre-emptive war in its history is that in geopolitical terms the United State broke what was not broken. Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaida with support from the Taliban in Afghanistan attacked the United States and not Saddam Hussein.

As a matter of fact Osama Bin Laden despised Saddam Hussein. When Kuwait was invaded by Saddam, Osama begged the Saudis not to allow U.S. Military bases on the Arabian Peninsula that would be used to evict Saddam from Kuwait. Osama offered his mujahideen forces that had already defeated the Soviet Union in Afghanistan to defeat Saddam and liberate Kuwait.

Osama is a Sunni who was born in Yemen but raised in Saudi Arabia. He is a devout Sunni who considers the secular Sunni Saddam Hussein an abominable Apostate. As a Sunni Osama also has a natural antipathy towards the Shiite Iran. The Saudi Arabian refusal to accept Osama's offer to fight in behalf of the Saudis against Saddam prompted Osama's flight to Afghanistan from Saudi Arabia. The United States would renege on its promise to abandon its military bases in Saudi Arabia at the conclusion of Operation Desert Storm. This would cement the hatred Osama Bin Laden has of the United States and the Saudi house of Fahd since in the Koran Mohammed prohibits the establishment of any foreign military forces on the Arabian Peninsula.

There was never an Islamic attack upon a U.S. embassy, vessel or American soil until after the establishment of permanent U.S. military bases upon the soil of the Arabian Peninsula.

"A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic." ~Joseph Stalin

Saddam Hussein is an unsavory character but a breath of fresh air compared to Josef Stalin who was an invaluable ally to the United States in defeating Nazi Germany.

Americans forget that Saddam made his bones in fighting Iran from 1980-1988. It was Saddam who fought the Ayatollah Khomeini with the encouragement and support of the United States. In the first four years of war with Iran Saddam Hussein suffered 250,000 dead troops. In comparison the United States has had fewer than 3000 casualties in its past four years of war in Iraq.

Saddam hated Israel but he hated the Apostate Iranians even more. A great irony is that fact that had Saddam possessed WMD he would have been far more likely to have used them against Iran than the United States. This is fundamental to understanding how to "fix" Iraq.

"Force is the midwife of every old society pregnant with a new one" ~Karl Marx

The United States will never gain a military and political victory in Iraq using its current mode of fighting. Victory with reliance upon high tech weaponry and the avoidance of a high body count (of U.S. forces and the civilian population) is doomed to failure. Like the Battle of Stalingrad only the use of overwhelming force i.e. the firebombing of Bagdad and Fallujah can assure a military victory.

As in post war Germany and Japan military victory would need to be followed up by giving billions of dollars in economic reconstruction aid to Iraq once the enemy has unconditionally surrendered. Currently the United States spends billions of dollars reconstructing enemy territory before the enemy has surrendered.

Prior to 1945 the United States never lost a war. The Civil war was won with the burning of Atlanta. Dresden and Cologne were firebombed in Germany. The dropping of "Little Boy" on Hiroshima and "Fat Man" on Nagasaki brought Japan to her knees. Civilian casualties inflicted upon enemies of the United States have always been crucial in attaining victory. Since 1945 the United States has fought "politically correct" wars and has never won.

The United States must reestablish a buffer between the Arabian Peninsula including Israel and Iran.

To do this the United States must abandon the fantasy of democracy in Iraq and reinstate a Sunni strongman to bring order to Iraq and stand up against Iran. Democratic elections have been held among the Palestinians and in Lebanon. Hamas won Palestinian elections and Hezbollah won a large block of seats in the Lebanese Parliament. Does the United States have any realistic reason to believe that its enemies will not win democratic elections in Iraq?

This would bring us full circle back to the geopolitical position prior to the U.S. intervention of troops in Iraq. While an eminently practical solution geopolitically this would be a poison pill domestically for the Bush Administration to swallow.

There is a second alternative to "fixing" Iraq but the second alternative demands that the makers of U.S. foreign policy and the American public ask a most provocative question: Why does the United States need to fight and die in Iraq to protect Israel?

"It was in our power to cause the Arab governments to renounce the policy of strength toward Israel by turning it into a demonstration of weakness." ~ Moshe Dayan

The mid-term elections served as a mandate by the American people demanding the United States remove or substantially reduce its military forces from Iraq. This will create a power vacuum and it is an axiom of international politics that power vacuums are always filled. The question is: Will the power vacuum be filled by Iran or by a nation state that supports the interests of the United States?

Prior to the mid-term elections in the United States Israel had two of its soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah forces based in Lebanon and subsequently endured missile attacks by Hezbollah forces across the Israeli border with Lebanon.

Israel retreated from Lebanon. Israel did not even achieve their most minimal goal of the release of their soldiers who were taken hostage by Hezbollah. The Israeli retreat was due in large part by pressure from the United States insisting that Israel not be the catalyst for a wider war in the Middle East.

This humiliating defeat on the part of Israel and the inability of the United States to win in Iraq is a source of great succor to our enemies. Imagine: Two nuclear Super Powers unable to defeat insurgents who possess no nuclear weapons, tanks, planes, navy or high tech equipment. This is truly shock and awe!!!

The mid-term elections in the United States changed the dynamics of the Israeli-American relationship. If the United States cannot establish a situation in Iraq where the Iraqis step up so the United States can step down then it is time for Israel to step up so the United States can step down.

The kidnapped Israeli soldiers have not been released by Hezbollah. Hezbollah is reconstructing its missile sites and reinforcing its military forces and bunker positions in Lebanon. The Israelis have witnessed both the winning of over 30 seats in the Lebanese Parliament by Hezbollah and tens of thousands of Hezbollah supporters demonstrating in Beirut for the overthrow of the current Lebanese government which is supportive of the interests of the United States.

Israel must bring their kidnapped soldiers home to Israeli soil either alive or in body bags.
Israel cannot allow Lebanon to fall into the hands of Hezbollah. The very survival of Israel as a nation would be threatened if the Shiite Crescent extended uninterrupted from Tehran continuously through Lebanon to the Israel's northern border.

Israel must destroy Hezbollah. Hopefully this can be done the active support of the Lebanese Maronite, Greek Orthodox and Melkite Greek Catholic Christians and the tacit support of the Sunni and Druze Moslems in Lebanon and thereby establish a secure Lebanon which would constitute a buffer against potential Iranian aggression. This objective will only be obtained by the shedding of Israeli blood.

With the elimination of Hezbollah in Lebanon and the removal or substantial reduction of U.S. troops from Iraq the Iraqis would be forced to make a decisive decision: Make peace with each other or to destroy each other.

The United States would then be free to focus on the destruction of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. It is a known fact that members of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban operate in Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan.

With the United States preoccupied in Iraq the government of Pakistan has negotiated a treaty with the warlords of northwestern Pakistan in which the Pakistani government agreed not to send troops into northwestern Pakistan to attack Al-Qaeda or the Taliban.

Adding insult to injury, Pakistan who ostensibly is an American ally refuses to allow U.S. troops into northwestern Pakistan to attack forces of Al-Qaeda or of the Taliban. Remarkably there is little outrage from the American public over this farcical situation.

Once free of the yoke that is Iraq the United States must focus on the destruction of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. American public opinion will support this objective since the United States cannot afford to lose the War on Terror.

If we lose the battle with Crassus and Pompey
I won't need a horse,
and if we win, we'll be riding
Cilician ships from Brundesium. ~Frankel
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"True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else." - Clarence Darrow
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