Without doubt one of the greatest benefits of being Muslim is that we have a Book to live by. It is tantamount to a Constitution, except it is more authoritative than any constitution to us, since we believe that it is also the word of God, and not the word of men. TV Evangelist Pat Robertson reportedly said that Muslims worship the Qur’an, which is not true, and that Muslims cannot have loyalty to the US constitution since we have absolute loyalty to the Qur’an, which is only half true. The US constitution does not contain anything prohibited by the Qur’an, and does not in anyway, contrast or conflict with the truths and principles elucidated in the Qur’an as both noble and praiseworthy, and also to be followed. Unlike some other faiths that claim preeminence in the United States and that pit religion against government as a naturally antagonistic disposition, Islam does the exact opposite. We have no Caesar unto whom we are obliged to render something different than what we are obliged to render unto God, except worship to whom we render only to God. In Islam, only the righteous can rule legitimately. That means that Muslims are obliged to not only honor our righteous leaders, but also to obey them. The Qur’an does not set Muslims up for confrontation between God and government, since we believe that God is the Creator of government and the Creator and lover of mankind. We also believe that the legitimate righteous leader is God’s protection, or canopy set over us, and that this righteous human authority is His (God’s) authority, expressed through human agency, over the believing people, and so we love, obey and protect our righteous and legitimate leaders. Whereas we do not believe that any human being can have Godlike perfection and power, we do believe that God conferred the right of human governance within this realm upon the righteous, and that in so doing, He spared us the perplexity of questions that are preoccupied with, and that engender separation and conflict between God and man in respect to the world, human beings and human governments. That doesn’t mean that righteous leaders are also perfect leaders. It simply means that Muslims are not generally anarchists, and are prohibited from pursuing, or participating in public scandals, as a means by which to achieve political objectives.
These beliefs might be important distinctions between Islam and other monotheist sects, since Muslims believe that the Qur’an guides us to the truth and whereas it cannot address specifically every situation that we as people, individuals, groups, or nations might encounter, it does provide us with a basic criterion by which we can assess and reasonably ascertain the truth about many things. That is why the Qur’an is often referred to as “Al-Furqan” or “the” criteria. It is a foundation upon which Muslims are obliged to discern right from wrong, truth from falsehoods, etc. We believe that it is effective in this respect, to the extent that we do not allow our hearts, and passions to cloud our reasoning, or to become our “gods” creating a competing method of judgment, logic, wisdom, or overall goal to that presented within the pages of the Qur’an. The Muslim is guided to seek the truth, and to oppose evil, even if that evil originates within our own selves, our families, among friends, or loved ones. We are taught to respect and obey authority unless it becomes corrupt, tyrannical and oppressive, and then we must work to change, and/or reform the government, or that authority.
There is a type of oppression explained to us within the Qur’an that is shared by evil people who are friends and protectors of one another in acts of oppression and injustice. Whereas these people may bicker and compete among themselves, they are equally evil in some respects, and equal also in their capacity to be good, to the extent they know what “good” is, and desire it. The Qur’an teaches us to be careful of their evil, since their influence is great, to the extent that the impact of their evil is not limited to their own inner circles. It reaches out to also oppress, and hurt the innocent, those who have no influence, and who are subject to the power of tyrants and oppressors even though they are innocent of complicity in their crimes. Whereas Democrats and Republicans might appear to be torn by partisan bickering over Iraq, the truth is that both sought to destroy Iraq, and the difference in approach was not a matter of principle, but rather it was a matter of expediency. This is the type of oppression identified within the Qur’an that effects good and evil alike, innocent and guilty, which is injustice. One argues that the supreme moral difference between the two Parties, Republicans and Democrats, is invading a country based on lies, under the false pretense of a war, and bombing and killing those same people, based upon lies, as an exercise in law enforcement, the disturbing irony is that one has the gall to ask the other for an apology for what he said.
Recently Democrats have resurrected a document known as the “Downing Street Memo.” It has been resurrected and given a new lease on life because Democrats want to portray it as a “smoking gun” claiming that it proves that the Bush Administration “fixed” the intelligence on Iraq to suit US policy. Whereas they talk a great deal about the “fixing” they say very little about the policy, and that is why they can’t get much traction. If the intelligence fixing was an evil that caused lies to be manufactured, and sold to the public as a cause for war, the policy must have also been equally evil. Who can explain to us that it was wrong to believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and that Iraq posed an imminent threat to US security, when the US Congress, under the Clinton Administration had made regime change in Iraq a primary feature of US foreign policy, supposedly for those very reasons? Do they want us to believe that our Congress earmarked billions of dollars for the destruction of Iraq in the 1990s, after the Gulf War, yet did not believe that Iraq posed a serious threat to the US? Where did the billions go, and for what purpose was it used? The US Congress, during the Clinton administration, appropriated billions of US taxpayer dollars to be paid to various entities and agencies, not all American, to create a cause for war against Iraq, and to work to destabilize the Iraqi government from within. Clinton didn’t veto, or oppose the Bill. In the meantime he bombed Iraq at will, and as often as he could under the pretext that Iraq was attacking US and British planes patrolling the “no fly” zone. Iraqi civilians were killed in these attacks, yet Clinton’s administration was not charged with falsifying the facts as a pretext for carrying out illegal military attacks against Iraq, or human rights abuses for killing and maiming Iraqi civilians, or for violating the Geneva Conventions that prohibit such activity. The Democrats and Republicans turned their heads because they knew that Iraq was being softened up for the war to come, because it was US policy, Clinton’s US foreign policy, to destroy Iraq, and to replace Saddam Hussein. We know now where the policy originated, and why Clinton and the US Congress approved and legislated and funded that policy. The Democrat’s never mention Israel’s role in the development of that policy, nor do they say much about Clinton’s willingness to break all of the rules of US diplomacy and international law to accommodate Israel’s insistence that Iraq must be attacked, and Saddam Hussein removed from power, (See http://www. www.israelieconomy.org/strat1.htm).
If we are to impeach Bush for allowing these policy goals to be accomplished on his watch, however it was accomplished, even considering that someone lied to the President, what should we do with those who scripted and funded the policy, who also bombed, killed, and violated international law, and the Geneva Conventions? Are only Republicans accountable? Even if we accept the Democrat’s theory that the lie was the crime, and not the policy, or the war, Democrats are hard pressed to demonstrate any Democrat opposition to the fake intelligence. Were they negligent? The New York Times issued an apology saying on its front page, “Mea Culpa.” It was within the pages of the liberal New York Times, that Times writer Judith Miller introduced and promoted the fake intelligence on WMD, claiming the charge that Iraq had WMD and a nuclear weapons program had been manufactured in collusion with the Pentagon’s man, Ahmed Chalabi. A Washington Post article preceded the New York Times apology, where Israeli analysts said they had exaggerated the intelligence they supplied on Iraq, most specifically about the purchase of supplies for the manufacture of nuclear weapons from Niger, and attributed their lying to “over zealousness.” The Washington Post is not a “conservative” newspaper, and neither is it considered a “Republican” newspaper, yet they published the Israeli pronouncement of guilt, and they had also published the faulty information. Who told lies to the American people, and the world about Iraq? Was it the Bush administration or was it Judith Miller, Ahmed Chalabi and Israeli intelligence? Or was it the New York Times and the Washington Post? Was it Bill Clinton, the US Congress? The point here is not that there is no fault. The point is that the lies that were told which caused our children to be put in harms way, more than 1700 of them killed, and countless numbers of Iraqis killed, maimed and terrorized, and billions of US taxpayer dollars to be squandered, is not solely the fault of the Bush administration. The loss in US credibility and prestige didn’t start under the Bush administration. It began with Clinton’s economic sanctions of almost exclusively Muslim countries, the Holocaust in Bosnia, American consent for the shut down of democracy in Algeria and the massacres of the Algerian people who had voted Islamist into power. It began with the Camp David meeting that resulted in the Palestinian intifada, and the faces of starving Iraqi children who were dying from curable diseases because the US under the Clinton administration, wouldn’t allow medicines to be shipped to Iraq. We began our fall from grace with statements made by then Secretary of State Madeline Albright who acknowledged the suffering and dying of the Iraqi children, and responded saying, perhaps this pressure will cause the Iraqi people to get rid of Saddam Hussein, or to rise up against him, knowing that Hussein, following Desert Storm had massacred many of the Iraqis for attempting to overthrow him, and that many had dome so at the behest of the US.
Now we know that even the UN, that majestic body of self-righteous warmongers, who wants to hide their unanimous vote for war behind a claim of deception, even though they had the proof of the deception within their own UN inspections reports, was skimming off the money sat aside from oil for food sales to save those children. It is important to keep that in mind. If we allow the Democrat’s, the media, the Israelis, the UN and others, to cast all of this blame on Bush, it means that what they did, their role in all of this was acceptable. It means that they are not equally accountable, and that other schemes to get the US embroiled in wars of convenience can be carried out, and that rather than justice, we will be treated to another serving of political infighting, at the expense of, and in replace of the truth. What about the UN? They had the repots of their own inspections teams saying that Iraq’s nuclear capability had been destroyed and mostly accounted for. Why did they pass 1441 unanimously without any condition that inspections are held for a reasonable number of days, and that facts and results must be verified by an independent entity, etc.? They had an opportunity to incorporate checks and balances into the resolution for inspections, but they did not. Why hasn’t the UN taken up the issue of “rendering” and “torture” in Egypt and other Middle East countries? Why have they left open this door to torture while they claim to be appalled by what allegedly is taking place in Cuba and Iraq? Is what is happening in Darfur any less important than what is happening in countries that are accepting prisoners captured in other sovereign countries and holding and torturing them?
There are many questions still surrounding the Iraq war and the cause for war, and also the war on terrorism. The Downing Street memo only raises a few. For Muslims, the bigger questions make the Downing Street memo seem like little more than Bush bashing, and an attempt to punish Bush for being elected in 2000, and re-elected in 2004, in spite of the fact that it was the people of this nation who elected and re-elected him, which says a lot about the Democrat’s view of democracy. America must pull together if we hope to recover from years of rotten foreign policy towards the Muslim world that has caused us to lose our footing in the world, and to become isolated. This isolation, more than anything, threatens our national security, and also our economy.
The real challenge for the Muslims of the world in respect to Iraq is not a challenge to get Bush. The challenge is to reform our national and international institutions, to help righteous, and good people get elected to public offices, and to limit the media to reporting and not creating news, and intelligence and causes for us to act upon, and especially not causes for war. We need to bring our children home from Iraq, yet we also need to make sure that the Iraqi people can make, and sustain peace once our troops have withdrawn. We don’t need another Rwanda, Screbenica, or Haiti. Along with negotiating the constitution, the Iraqis might also need to start negotiating, perhaps under the auspices of the OIC, an end to sectarian strife that threatens unity and peace in Iraq. The goal for everyone might be to limit damage, and to get the US out, while simultaneously leaving in place an Iraqi government, and people who are poised for the peace and prosperity that they have paid for literally, with their lives. We owe them something. Such a solution will require everyone’s cooperation, including the so-called insurgents, and an end to the Democrat’s attempts to get Bush, at the expense of not only Iraq, but also the truth. The Qur’an also teaches us that the words of God are fulfilled in both truth and justice. We cannot dispose of one, seeking a fast track to the other. Without the whole truth, how can there be real justice, and without justice, how can there ever be real peace?