Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald explains why American democratization efforts haven’t worked in Iraq:
A commenter on this website recently exclaimed: “I’ve just about had it with arguments for the war from so-called “conservative” commentators like Mark Steyn.”
And from the boys in the Democracy-Is-On-the-March grants-getting business all over Washington. And from most at National Review. And from cheerleaders at My Weekly Standard. And from Victor Davis Hanson. And from Amir Taheri. And from all the rest who cannot see that tarbaby Iraq makes sense for Infidels if and only if those ethnic and sectarian divisions in Iraq, and then outside Iraq, are not healed by Infidel troops. In any case, those divisions cannot be healed; once Saddam was gone, all the rest became inevitable. It is only a question of how much more squandering of men, materiel, money, and morale the Administration decides to indulge itself in, because it wants the wit to know how to explain to the world, or to itself, a withdrawal — but the scripts have been provided here at Jihad Watch many times.
No. So far for the truth about Iraq, one realizes there has been only one place to go to. For two and a half years the same things have been repeated here about Iraq, about Sunni and Shi’a, Arab and Kurd. The obvious good sense of the recommendations has continued to be overlooked. The loyalists of the Administration still can’t quite admit that there have been two great failures:
1. The failure to understand Islam, and the promptings, scope, instruments, and full menace of the Jihad to what is still the civilization of the West.
2. The failure to understand Iraq, and why conflict between Arab and Kurd and between Sunni Arabs and Shi’a Arabs is inevitable. For the Kurds, having gotten used to their autonomy, have no intention of ever again submitting to an Arab supremacist ideology, and are dead set on obtaining independence as soon as they can. The Sunni Arabs will never recognize that they constitute 19% of Iraq’s population, and will never reconcile themselves to the loss of political and economic power to the Shi’a. The Shi’a Arabs were perfectly prepared to embrace “democracy” for one reason: they knew that they constitute 60-65% of the population, and purple-thumbed democracy would insure a transfer of power to them. That is the only reason that they support going through the ballot-box in Iraq.
Those two failures continue to explain the tarbaby of Iraq.
Then there are human failures — the inability of so-called “conservatives” (whatever that word now means) to quite grasp that support for Bush’s policy has been mistaken. That confusion is compounded by the fact that so many are urging withdrawal for the wrong reasons. All this causes some to cling to, and make unconvincing arguments on behalf of, the fiasco of Tarbaby Iraq.
It won’t wash.
Robert Spencer published an article before American troops entered Iraq explaining why a democratization effort there was futile. Dated postings here show that ever since Saddam Hussein was captured, Jihad Watch staff members have been urging the Administration to withdraw from Iraq — because that capture, following upon the killing of his two sons and the successful round-up of his main officials, made inevitable the Sunni-Shi’a fight for power. It is not a matter of “mistakes” made here or there, as some would argue. The basic error lies in thinking that anything other than coercion could ever make the Sunnis accept the loss of power to the Shi’a. Or that anything other than coercion would make the Shi’a be willing to behave as if they hadn’t suffered for decades, for the entire history of modern Iraq, from the Sunni rule, sometimes more and sometimes less disguised, sometimes more and sometimes less onerous.
It is long past time to recognize the nature of Jihad, and therefore the utter impossibility of ever winning Muslim “hearts and minds.” They can be temporarily bought, by continuing to spend vast sums — throwing it to Iraqi “contractors” who have been making out like gangbusters and cannot quite believe how easy it is to become the recipients of billions (supplied by American taxpayers who have no way, apparently, to stop the runaway train of the Bush policy of spending hundreds of billions that could so much more effectively have been used in energy programs that would have diminished the money weapon of the worldwide Jihad).
It’s a problem, the inability of so many to part with the Administration when it has been capable of grasping this Iraq nonsense. Just don’t want to give MoveOn.org a supposed victory. But it would not be a victory. A withdrawal would not be a victory for the soi-disant “left” in America — not if it causes the camp of Jihad, with which that Left so often identifies, to become divided and demoralized. Not if it allows the spectacle of internecine Muslim warfare to make Infidels everywhere aware of the real nature of Islamic societies, where only the iron fist can control the aggression that adherents of the belief-system of Islam naturally exhibit. Better to have them put on a display of that aggression in Dar al-Islam against one another — to use up their money, their men, their materiel, so that the Infidels can realize that not Chalabi and Allawi, not Prince Hassan or Saad Eddin Ibrahim, not Prince Bandar with his port and his cigars, not any of these smooth, plausible, entirely unrepresentative representatives of Islam, are anything but a misleading facade.
Eventually those who have been so wrong will — they have already started — to start making sense. And the sense that they will have to make will consist of them echoing, to one degree or another, what has been steadily presented here, for at Jihad Watch for 2 1/2 years, in great detail. They will never acknowledge that they were ever wrong, but will gradually introduce a greater truth into what they do write. And they will never acknowledge what they learned by coming here, as so many of them do.
Fine. Let them echo.