The Vice President of the Jihad Watch Board, Hugh Fitzgerald, considers the wisdom of a continued American presence in Iraq:
The adventure in Iraq, which in its First Stage (the war to locate and destroy major weaponry and arms stores, and to overthrow one of the most sinister dictators around) was justified, in its Second Stage (bringing “democracy” defined merely as a counting of heads, which in turn will inevitably lead to — what, exactly?) of the “Light-Unto-the-Muslim-Nations Project is a colossal misallocation of men, materiel, money, and may do severe and long-lasting damage to morale of both the citizen-army (Reserves and National Guard), the regular army, and the citizens themselves, at the very moment when the utmost resolve is called for, because as there is no end to the Jihad, there can be no end to defenses against the Jihad, in all of its expressions, using all of its varied armory.
The bill for Iraq is now $300 billion. Well, long-suffering American taxpayers, suppose after the initial invasion and overthrow and discovery of weapons-caches that needed to be destroyed, American troops had left. American airpower (planes and missiles) could still be used as “equalizers” in order to protect, for example, the Kurds. Ammunition and weaponry could be selectively supplied. If the Sunni Sunni and Shi’a went at it (the former better trained and armed, the latter more numerous) — so what? Eventually some kind of modus vivendi would have been established, without Americans taking the casualties. In any case, I will ask again a pointed question:
Was the Iran-Iraq War a good thing, from the viewpoint of Infidels, or was it not? It was, of course, a very good thing, and should have gone on forever. The Saudis mistreat the Shi’a in al-Hasa (right where the oilfields are located); the Wahhabi doctrine views Shi’a as practically Infidels (Zarqawi, the “Palestinian” Jordanian, is hardly alone in his views); the Shi’a are killed by Sunnis all over Pakistan (many of the large landholders are Shi’a, so resentment is also class resentment, decked out in Islamic garb); the old Sunni elite in Lebanon does not look with favor on the upstart Shi’a. All of this could be brough into play if there is a kind of permanent jostling between Sunni and Shi’a in Iraq.
Suppose we had left a year ago. Internecine fighting. Eventually someone wins. That will happen in any case. Those who think that al-Sistani is a great democrat and the Shi’a are wonderful have another think coming. Al-Sistani supports elections because the Shi’a are 65% of the population. End of story. He is as much a Muslim, with the same views of Infidels (he will not, for example, meet with any for they are “unclean”) as the mullahs next door. The fact that he prefers that he, and other religious figures, remain outside the government does not make him a secularist. Islam must still be reflected in everything that is thought or said or done. He is not the Great Hope of Iraq’s Christians — they are more likely to find what solace they can in the old Ba’athists. The failure to understand all this is extraordinary. So much money, so much effort, so much heroism and sacrifice by American soldiers, and all based on a failure to analyze correctly what it is we should worry about (Islam, not the absence of “democracy” in the Middle East), and the necessary husbanding of resources — material and moral and intellectual — that will be required if, in the first place, Europe is to be rescued from islamization. This is not a fantasy.
Suppose of the $200 billion saved (and add to that another $100 billion for the next few years), that had all been put into energy projects, designed to take away from the Arab oil states the unmerited wealth that has allowed them to build and sustain mosques and madrassas all over the Western world, to buy up many diplomats, intelligence agents, journalists, and media outlets (or shares in major media companies) all over the world. Isn’t that more important than sticking around — certainly after the election next week — to do what? To train “Iraqi” forces? Will American soldiers be asked to live cheek-by-jowl with those forces in order to better “train” them — and how many will be treacherously slain by those whom they are training? What a nightmare for security. Would you like to be one of those American soldiers bedding down for the night in the tent next to all those nice Iraqis you are training? Would you like your husband, brother, son to do it? And which Iraqis? Will Kurds and Arabs fight together, or Sunni and Shi’a? How naive, how crazy, how oblivious not only to reality, but to the much larger question. This war, truly, is too important to be left to the generals, but also too important to be left to any civilians who, out of sheer laziness or complacency with clichÃ©s about “what all people want,” refuse to see, to plan, to do what should be done.
And the usual crew of phony “experts” at think-tanks, including such apologists as Shireen Hunter (for god’s sake, she is billed as the Director of “Islamic Studies” at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, which explains a lot, in the same way that the Middle Eastern wing at St. Antony’s in Oxford has managed to muddy the thinking of the other, less idiotic, “East European and Russian” wing of the same St. Antony’s — just look at how little Timothy Garton Ash understands Islam, or even thinks he needs to understand) do not help either.
And, to come to my main point, if only 1% of that money — say, $1 billion a year, were spent on anti-Jihad propaganda, in which Islam and its adherents are put on the defensive, constantly being asked to explain the teachings and tenets of Islam, what would that do to help educate the people in the Western world? But it is not happening.
Okay, deep-pocketed readers. Kindly think clearly the next time you are about to give money to some university, museum, hospital or anything else. Consider carefully what that art museum, hospital, or university will be like if Islam takes over Europe, and if the forces of Islam become more powerful everywhere. Then direct that check you were about to send elsewhere to the right address at Jihadwatch. And mention my name.