During 2004, the world is going to witness a remarkable struggle in Iraq. On one side, it is going to see the United States struggling to impose a secular regime as per advice of the promoters of war. On the other side, it will see the struggle of the Iraqi people to get rid of the U.S. occupation and live by Islam under a truly representative rule.
Three obsessions led the U.S. into making the strategic mistake of occupying Iraq: i) settle personal scores with Saddam, ii) control natural resources, and most importantly iii) cow other Muslim states into total submission.
The US did not realize the extent of Iraqi’s desperation after living under Saddam’s godless rule and the US murderous sanctions for years. It made the strategic mistake of occupation as a result of looking only at Iraq’s weakness and international isolation.
The godless regime of Saddam could go even to kill its people for Israel, just as it did so to please the US with a decade long war on Iran. The U.S. could have avoided the hard job of sustaining occupation, provided its administration had mustered enough sanity before giving two green signals: one to Israel on June 7, 1981 to attack Iraq’s nuclear facilities and other to Iraq shortly before August 2, 1990 to invade Kuwait.
The US is now destined to fail in achieving a “huge boost” for the promoters of “the war of ideas” because it cannot establish half as godless a rule as the world witnessed under the Baathists. Those who scoff at the concept of power in Islam don’t know what they’re talking about. But those who think this is a done deal don’t know its requirements in Iraq and elsewhere.
If Iraq is going to be made to work as a model of secular “democracy,” the world will have to accept being reasonably hypocrite like the advocates of clash with Islam. It will have to settle for its second-best dream –” a return to secular tyranny –” in order to avoid the first-class nightmare of modern age: an Islamic Iraq. That is what the world has exactly done in the case of Afghanistan.
The US is destined to fail in convincing Iraqis with the twisted logic that they should accept a system that “does not mandate Sharia law as the constitution,” but accepts Islam as “the official religion of the state and …an important basis for legislation and governance.”
Do you see the confusion: Islam is the “basis for legislation,” but there is no place for Shari’ah. This confusion is not even conjecture, let alone idea.
Even the “moderates,” whom Friedman wants to promote as allies of the West, admit that Shari’ah “is the essence of Islam.” Muqtedir Khan stressed this point in his PBS debate with Daniel Pipes in 2003.
The warriors have yet to take some time off their promoting a war within and on Islam to explain how Islam could be a source of governance and legislation without any reference to Shari’ah. It proves that the classifiers of Islam, the scare mongers of its threat, are not even aware of its ABC.
Leaving some “moderates” aside, Muslims will never accept Islam’s “symbolic place in governance.” It is obligatory that they live by it, not to use it for symbolic purposes. By now they have taken enough lesson from their groping in the dark for the same reason of limiting themselves to slogans and symbolism.
For the advocates of war, it is very easy to quote a Muslim writer out of context to give the impression that like all Muslims, Iraqis “are not brothers –” there are problems [they] inherited from…history and social makeup.” But it is very difficult to show Iraqis united under the banner and with the bond of much trumpeted secularism.
In short, the serious threat to the US struggle in Iraq is not the “Baathist thugs” or “Islamists,” but the advisors of war to the US administration. What they now promote as freedom and democracy are well exposed covers for hiding the crimes of the US establishment against humanity and the real objectives behind the direct occupations.
According to Frum and Perle, “We must discredit and defeat the extremist Islamic ideology…the great evil of our time, and the war against this evil [is] our generation’s great cause…. There is no middle way for Americans; it is victory or holocaust.”
What the warriors on Islam’s way of life need is total solution –” annihilation of a people. If Hitler could not succeed in this kind of struggle, no one will.
Can these promoters of war accept their responsibility and share in the U.S. crimes against humanity? If they can, we will witness a break in hostilities and may see an end to the so-promoted “clash of civilizations.” If they can’t, they will keep the U.S. bogged down in the Iraqi and other quagmires of occupation till the shortest lived empire breathes its last.
Notes:. Thomas Friedman, “The War of ideas, Part 3,” the New York Times, January 15, 2004. . Debate: Islam and Democracy by Daniel Pipes & Muqtedir Khan, PBS "Wide Angle"July 15, 2003. . Ibid, Thomas Friedman . David Frum and Richard Perle, “The End of Evil: How to Win the War on Terror,” December 2003.