Discussion in 'Politics' started by FRuiTY PeBBLe, Apr 9, 2003.
how about US interference ?
A statement of your own, very good moosafee.
You are comparing apples to oranges as usual. I am no about to get all of this with you it has been explained to you time and time again but due to your thick skull, I will not waste my time.
You mean the interference that blew out the oppressive Saddam? Where was the "helpful" Iran before that took place?
I truly hope that Garner is just playing the PR game and does not believe what he is saying. Thsi interview could not have been more clear to anyone with two weeks experience in the Middle East.
The quote "let us wait until it happens." is the Arab way of saying "when hell freezes over". For all the popular view of Arabs as violent animals, they are among the most polite people on earth. In Arab culture it is supremely rude to directly contradict someone or explicitly shut them down.
"Shiite scholars will decide on the right person to [run Iraq]." Could there be a clearer statement that (a) Shiite fundamentalists intend to control government, (b) there will be no democracy and (c) the US will have no role in vetting the government? And the Shiites are organizing militias?
I fear the US military is being hamstrung by the same blend of naivete and politcal correctness that resulted in the Iran we have today. It is far better in my judgment to get control of these clerics now, rather than wait until they have formed organized militias and pose a true challenge. There are clerics who are willing to play ball with us. We have facilities at Gitmo for the others.
Resurgence of the Shias
Another reason for bringing in the UN
Thursday April 24, 2003
US and British politicians predicted before the war that indigenous Iraqi leaders would emerge to fill the post-Saddam, post-Ba'athist power vacuum. That process is now indeed gathering pace but with results both unanticipated and potentially inimical to coalition plans. All over non-Kurdish Iraq, Shia clerics and their followers are taking de facto charge of towns and neighbourhoods while well-meaning American consuls scratch their heads and debate democracy in Irbil. In Najaf and Kerbala, in Kut and Nassiriya, and in the suburbs of Baghdad and Basra, Shia civil control is becoming the new political reality, distinct from and largely independent of the occupation authority. On one level, this nascent, unfettered Shia bid for local self-determination after years of repression is a positive outcome of the war. But on the national level, it may yet come to present a serious challenge to US-British hopes of inclusive, integrated statehood.
The reviving power of the Shia was dramatically symbolised this week by the pilgrimage that drew hundreds of thousands of faithful to the Kerbala shrine of Imam Hussein. Shia leaders, nominally representative of 60% of the Iraqi population, deny that they seek to dominate Sunni and other minorities or create a theocracy on the Qom-Khomeini model. But nor do they speak with one voice. One emerging leader, Sayed Muqtada al-Sadr, son of a grand ayatollah murdered by Saddam, is said to want to use the supreme religious authority of the Hawza al-Ilmiya centre in Najaf to obtain greater political leverage. In this he and many in a younger, more militant generation are at odds with Grand Ayatollah Ali Hussein al-Sistani, the chief marja (religious authority) of Shia Islam. Al-Sadr's men are blamed for the recent murder of a leading clerical exile, Abdel Majid al-Khoei, favoured by Tony Blair and who like al-Sistani urged cooperation with the US. There are other powerful factions, too, such as Iran-backed Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim and the al-Badr brigade. And then there are interlopers such as Mohammed Mohsen al-Zubaidi who has disconcertingly (for the Americans at least) declared himself Baghdad's new political boss.
The Shia barely exist as yet as a coherent national political force; and like Iraq as a whole, they may yet fragment irretrievably. But even under the anti-clerical Saddam, religious devotion was already reviving, a trend now visibly accelerating. If broad, unifying points of agreement can be discerned at the present moment, they are that the Shia will not again allow themselves to be subjugated; they will uphold the tenets of their faith (strictly or loosely interpreted, according to their lights); they will oppose perceived collaborators and secularists such as Pentagon favourite Ahmad Chalabi; and most plainly of all, they will not submit for long to American rule.
The Shia have not turned hostile yet. But in time, if their aspirations are frustrated and they are denied a leading role in Iraq's future governance, they surely will. That breakdown may in turn suck in Iran and affect Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, too. Such destabilising scenarios are hardly new. What is truly novel is the now freely admitted failure of the US to anticipate this Shia resurgence; its feeble efforts to scapegoat Tehran's mullahs; and the embarrassing cluelessness of Jay Garner, the ex-general currently puzzling, glue-pot in hand, over the myriad broken pieces of the Iraqi mosaic. Hamstrung by legal ambiguities and its own ideology, the US risks losing the political initiative. The case for the UN taking charge grows more urgent by the day.
A less biased version of what's going on:
Iraqi cleric not seeking Iran model By Paul Martin THE WASHINGTON TIMES
BAGHDAD â One of Iraq's leading Shi'ite imams said yesterday that he is not pressing for the country to imitate Iran, a Shi'ite Muslim nation dominated by hard-line anti-Western clerics.
"We are close to Iran, but it is not necessary to adopt the same model as Iran to run the country. We are separate from them," Imam Hussein al-Sadr told The Washington Times in his first interview with a Western journalist.
The imam was holding court as he sat on flat floor cushions in his modest home near Baghdad's al-Kadoum mosque, where a great-grandson of the prophet Muhammad was entombed 1,300 years ago. An imam is one of the three leading figures in the Shi'ite religious hierarchy. Mr. al-Sadr, 51 and with a gray beard, is the son of the most famous Shi'ite "martyr" of the Saddam Hussein era, Mohammed Sadiq Sadr, who was killed by the regime in 1980.
Soon after the regime fell, the neighborhood known as Saddam City â where more than a million Shi'ites live crammed in poverty â was renamed Sadr City, after Mr. al-Sadr's father. Mr. al-Sadr urged Americans to remain "until the security is re-established in all the country" and a new government is put in place. "I cannot say how long the U.S. troops should stay here because that depends on the new conditions in Iraq,"he said. "There is no nervousness or tension about their staying, and there is no conflict with them in Iraq."
Long repressed under Saddam's Sunni Muslim-dominated government and representing at least 60 percent of Iraq's population of 24 million, the Shi'ites have split their religious loyalties among at least three leaders. Iraqi Shi'ites also share a religious bond with Iran, the only other Muslim nation with a Shi'ite majority. However, Iraqi Shi'ites are Arab, not Persian like their Iranian counterparts, and have a strong identity as Iraqis.
U.S. military and intelligence officials said in Washington yesterday that they were watching for signs that Iran might be promoting anti-American demonstrations or other challenges to U.S. authority in Iraq. "We have concerns about Iranian agents in Iraq," said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer. "We have made clear to Iran we oppose any outside interference in Iraq's road to democracy."
The potential influence of Iraq's Shi'ites was demonstrated this week by a three-day pilgrimage in the holy city of Karbala that ended last night. It included ceremonies with swords, chest beating, ecstatic dancing and ritual chanting. The pilgrimage, attended by at least 1 million worshippers, had been banned under Saddam's rule.
Mr. al-Sadr said that Shi'ite leaders were concerned at this time with helping stabilize the society and meeting its humanitarian needs. "After that, I cannot say what will happen." The imam also said that being part of the government was not their main goal, though he did not rule out Shi'ite religious participation.
In Karbala, worshippers completing the pilgrimage expressed skepticism of, if not hostility toward, the U.S. presence. Thousands participated in anti-U.S. demonstrations yesterday, carrying banners with messages such as "No to America, no to Israel, yes to Islam." The pilgrimage to mourn the prophet Muhammad's grandson Hussein was organized by a center of Shi'ite learning known as the Hawza al-Ilmiya.
Since Saddam's ouster, the organization has been sending out volunteers to guard banks, get power plants back on line and set up checkpoints. The Bush administration is keen on helping establish a broad-based, democratic government in Iraq, with representation from Shi'ites, Sunnis and Kurds. However, there are fears that majority rule could bring theocracy, not democracy, and may not necessarily be friendly to U.S. interests.
"We want the country ruled by Shi'ites, but in a good way," said Ali Bahadilly, a worshipper in Karbala. "But the main thing is for us to feel human again." Another worshipper outside Karbala's Hussein mosque, the focus of celebrations this week, said, "We wish to be ruled by a man who suffered a lot for Shi'ites in Iraq." He was referring to another Iraqi Shi'ite leader, Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, a longtime resistance leader. Many of the worshippers at the Hussein mosque also expressed support for Mr. al-Hakim, who is considered more radical than Mr. al-Sadr, and Imam Ali Sistani, from Najaf, the country's other main holy city.
what the hell was this war about?
freeing the iraqi people?
there are over one billion people in china that dont live in a free society, north koreans have waited over 50 years to have someone come free them (but of course bush's policy is one of diplomacy with them, why?) we just spent $50 billion dollars, plus possibly another hundreds of billions of dollars over the next five to ten years in iraq, when that money would have been much better off helping people here. what happened to the "u.s.a. first" motto? if you ask me, people that are fanatically pro-war are the ones that are unpatriotic themselves. of course, the anti-war protestors annoy me even more, they have no idea that what they're saying and doing is actually causing more people to be for the war because of the idiotic things that they do and say.
protecting the u.s. from an imminent attack?
still waiting, possibly a few have been found.
Get a clue.
Besides the obvious liberation aspects:
1. The security of the region;
1. The oil, no not to steal it, a ridiculous and unfounded premise (Yes, the industrialized world, including China, needs that oil);
3. To reduce the aspirations of al-queda and other terrorist groups. Instead of the ludicrous liberal mantra of "it'll cause more terrorism," the opposite is true. After the Afghanistan and Iraq operations, the leaders of these lunatics will think twice before escalating their crazed desires. Check the time line between the attack on Libya and the next airplane hijacking, although yes, it was a bad one (Lockerbie);
4. Palestine- Notice how all of a sudden all the parties are more interested in getting some plan for statehood implemented? I wonder if the previous mentioned conflicts, plus 250,000 troops in the area have anything to do with it. Remember Tolkien's quote from the Hobbit: "If a live fire breathing dragon lives in your neighborhood, it would behoove you to figure him into your plans." (loosely paraphrased);
5. Middle East - the days of liberal pansy assed presidents of this country with their attendant weak and ineffective foreign policy - are over.
Your statement makes sense and yes I see the irony. 9-11 was a shocker to our country and unfortunately we have had to do some things that kind of made little sense to the naked eye so to say. Arabs are cut from a different cloth as we all hopefully know but the bottom line is that they are to be dealt with aggressively so these leaders know that we can come in a tear shit up bottom line. I personally feel that homeland security is an issue and as time passes we have continued to forget that. Iraq is looked at as a very strong regime and for us to take them down meens a lot in that region. I approve of our countries stance it makes sense to me and I will support any other war in that region which will hamper the progress of terrorists.
Our biggest mistake was to have the UN go in looking for WMD, we should have just stepped in and taken them down and went straight for Iran, leaving the rest of the world in shock. But I am a warmonger and have been wanting to shed a ton of blood since we were attacked so I may be a little biased.
I know KymarFye disagrees with me on this, and I have a lot of respect for his opinions. But I think there is a lot of evidence accumulating that we are letting things slip away from us in Iraq. Possibly the reason is we have no experience at occupying hostile countries. The looting looked bad and should have been anticipated and prevented. Our attitude was basically, let them blow off a little steam and WTF do we care if they trash businesses favored by Saddam's thugs. Instead, we ended up looking like idiots and we exhibited an inability tocontrol things.
Next we allowed the Shiites to get a foothold. We should have put the whole place under lockdown and curfew. Instead we have a million potential jihadists getting marching orders and getting their blood up. Now we seem to be just sitting around while they go out and start taking control of banks, power plants and even having the audacity to set up road checkpoints, all things we should be doing.
The shit will hit the fan at some point and we will face an awful decision, the same decision that Jimmie Carter, a former Naval officer, didn't have the balls to make in Iran when the Shah fell. Do we send our troops out into the streets to restore order, even if it means they have to mow down tens of thousands of Shiites, or do we just basically abdicate to them? With Iran, we didn't even have to do the killing, the Iranian military was only too willing to do it. Here it looks like we'll have to do it.
That is the reason I have been saying we have to get control early on and put these clerics on a short leash. Better to do that and be criticized than have to face the other alternative. But I fear that ship has sailed.
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