Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald comments on the Sharia leanings of Iraq’s new Constitution:
The Shari’a in Iraq will be akin to the American Constitution — the final authority against which all laws will be measured. Great.
This was all perfectly predictable. It was completely expected, even if the Constitution is tinkered with to keep some people happy (Sunnis and the Allawi camp, who on this matter are to be supported), and to keep the Americans around a bit longer to do more fighting and dying, to train more of the “Iraqi army” (a/k/a the Shi’a militia in uniform), and especially to leave some of that military equipment that the Americans are just dumb enough to leave — anything is possible with the kind of people now running, with such wrong-headed self-assurance, foreign policy. Condoleeza Rice may be unable to speak or understand simple Russian, as her performance on Russian television proved, but she has some sense of Communism. However, during her latest visit to Israel she praised Abbas for nothing and hectored the Israelis (also for nothing). She made clear that she hasn’t the faintest idea about what the siege of Israel is all about, or the Islamic sources of that particular local Jihad, or how borders are irrelevant, and only “darura” — the doctrine of necessity that may stay the Arab hand — will prevent another war. The mavens of State are self-assured and yet at the same time not nearly self-assured enough — not enough to recognize that their greatest intelligence failure was about Islam itself: its contents, its instruments of Jihad, its worldwide threat.
For if they did realize it, they would be seeking ways to leave Iraq, not to “leave when the Iraqis tell them to leave,” as Jaafari has said. Jaafari is, of course, an Islamic Da’wa Party member since 1968. That is the same party that has been on an American Terrorism List. He also spent the decade 1980-1990 in Iran, apparently without losing his appetite for Islam or Muslim rule, and is prepared to install a Shi’a-run pseudo-democracy, one which, while it is very far from what educated Westerners understand as democracy, apparently is good enough for some of the people in the Administration (who by prating so much about it only show that they themselves have so little understanding of what real democracy is). That we now have entirely inadequate leaders, here as elsewhere, is clear. That there may be some — junior officers, Congressional aides, the odd Congressman or newspaper columnist, who do understand what is at stake — is slim consolation for the colossal misallocation of resources, the colossal damage to equipment, the colossal squandering of money, the colossal harm done to our armed services which have done quite enough, and more than enough, to try to make the best of a foolish policy that continues because those at the top lack the ability to show, in the slightest, that just perhaps maybe quite possibly almost certainly they misunderstood the nature of Islam, and the nature of Iraq itself. Iraq is a three-vilayet state that, if it were to split into those vilayets, or exist not as a strong nation-state but as a constant source of future Sunni-Shi’a tension and even combat, would thereby provide a splendid boost to American efforts. Yet it is so far not even understood, much less contemplated: to divide, demoralize, and otherwise damage the forces of worldwide Islam, and to make Islam less attractive to Believers and Infidels alike.
Encouraging the Sunni-Shi’a split is something that our ambassador, who may be a kind of “Muslim-for-identification-purposes-only” Muslim, Zalmay Khalilzad, cannot bring himself to recommend, and will never do so. Yet the Americans have nothing to lose, and a good deal to gain, from seeing an incipient Sunni-Shi’a civil war. That is not something to be deplored. It is something that is to be observed, exploited, taken advantage of — and certainly not prevented. Should we have prevented, or tried to halt, the Iran-Iraq War? Of course not.
They are also missing the opportunity that Iraq presents to help foster a non-Arab sovereign state, that of a free Kurdistan, and thereby to raise the whole issue of Arab supremacist ideology within Islam and to encourage that theme among non-Arabs. This could lead quite possibly to demands for greater autonomy, or more, among the Berbers of North Africa (and not incidentally, help to split Berbers and Arabs within the Muslim population currently threatening the French within France), and could have other consequences as well. The very phrase “Arab world” is inaccurate and tendentious, as the acute Lebanesee blogger at www.eccelibano.blogspot.com has noted. It is the kind of thing that only those who accept the Arab Muslim narrative of the Middle East and North Africa would possibly promote. It is time to cut that little notion down to size. A free Kurdistan will help do it. It would also be a permanent worry for Iran, Syria, and yes, Turkey, too, a country which will not be in the E.U., and has nowhere to turn except to the United States. We have ways to get the Turks to accept a free Kurdistan, by telling them it will make the case for Kurdish independence in Anatolia not more, but less, compelling — for the Kurds can now move to Kurdistan, if they wish for national self-expression.
But until there is some willingness to reconsider this “democracy” project, the waste will continue. And if this goes on for more than another few months, there is no chance the Republicans will be returned in the next election — even though, as we all know, at present the Democrats, or all who have spoken, seem to be, if anything, even worse.
It’s an extraordinary situation, the failure of people who learned about Communism to learn about Islam. They rely on a handful of the Higher Apologists — that means Bernard Lewis and his most uncritical acolytes, those who see nothing wrong with his continual self-contradictions, his minimizing or scanting of the subject of non-Muslims under Muslim rule, his desire not to antagonize all those personal and professional colleagues in Istanbul or Amman, his generous hosts from an Osmanli princess here to a Hashemite prince there, that have at times turned his head, much to our collective chagrin, and led in Iraq to a quite unnecessary sacrifice of American lives. This is intolerable.
The Constitution, whatever it is, hardly matters. What matters is getting out. No “Marhsall Plan” as Jaafari complacently requested. No more being used by those who have their own agendas — all those “nice” Iraqis, who were and are quite content to see America transform their country, first by getting rid of the regime, then by pouring in money and fighting, and now by sticking around to make everything hunky-dory in what is clearly an impossible situation. And of course none of these Chalabis and Ambassador Franckes and Istrabadis and the rest of them would like the Americans to decide that what we really must do in order to combat the worldwide Jihad is not hold Iraq together at all.
Of course they wouldn’t like that. Of course it will horrify them. But however beautifully they may speak English, however plausible their pitch, one finds in the end that like so many “nice” Muslims, they will not dare to recognize, or to admit to, what Islam in the end is all about. Embarrassment, filial piety, practiced taqiyya-and-kitman — whatever it is, there it is. And we have to part company with them now. We did our bit for them. Nearly 2,000 men killed, and nearly 15,000 wounded, many severely, and hundreds of billions of dollars spent.
No, it’s time for a change — a change in the policy, a change that relies not on continued innocence about Islam, but on a transformation of understanding. Are the people at the top up to it? We have seen no signs of it, but perhaps they are simply keeping their counsel.
One hopes. One devoutly hopes.