Much has been made in Washington about so-called “neo-cons” and their presumed connection to the Mearsheimer-Walt fantasm, that “unified Israel lobby.” But the two lobbies that have mattered most in the tarbaby Iraq disaster are the Americans who, instead of seeing Islam as it is, have either cheered for the Shi’a (sometimes without quite realizing it), and those who wish to do the bidding of Sunni Arabs in Iraq.
In the former category we have many who write for My Weekly Standard: Reuel Gerecht, the ineffable Stephen Schwartz, and less naive than the others but still a cheerleader for the Iraq business, Amir Taheri. Others who have thought the Americans have a stake in making Iraq safe for Shi’ism, rather than in weakening the camp of Islam by allowing Iraq to dissolve into permanent sectarian and ethnic hostilities (at whatever level), include Fouad Ajami and Vali Nasr. Indeed, the latter’s soft-voiced presence at one of the military schools no doubt inhibits his colleagues even from considering the idea that the task of American policy is not to strengthen this or that branch of Islam, but to do nothing to dampen, and to do everything to exploit for the sake of Infidels, the sectarian and ethnic divisions that present themselves on a platter in Iraq.
In the latter category we have the so-called “realists” of the James Baker school. These people are Yesterday’s Men, who knew little and cared less about Islam, and who continue to think of the problem as manageable if only we throw Israel to the wolves — or rather, if only we do as the Sunni rulers of Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia wish us to do. Yet they themselves and their countries continue to be described as “staunch allies” of the United States. Baker is a Sunni Arab man — that is, he’s all in favor of listening and believing Mubarak, and Abdullah, and above all the daggers-and-dishdasha plutocrats of Riyadh, when they tell us (and what else would you expect them now to be telling us?) that:
1) we have to stay in Iraq or somehow arrange a conference that will allow in other — i.e., Sunni– Arab forces. In other words, we must shore up the Sunnis in Iraq, lest the “Shi’a crescent” solidify; and
2) we must push Israel harder and harder to give up more territory in order to win a victory for our “staunch allies” among the “moderate” Sunni forces — “moderate” Saudi Arabia leading the pack — so that they can win back those on the Sunni Arab street who may be tempted to see Iran and the Shi’a as their champion against Israel.
All perfectly predictable, all perfectly plausible — if you ignore the promptings and full menace of Islam, and in so doing fail to understand that we should work to divide and demoralize the camp of Islam in Iraq and outside Iraq (if it is allowed to happen within Iraq, it will automatically happen outside Iraq). Those two points make sense if you fall for the latest scheme to have the Americans and Europeans, in the hope of buying time, devote their efforts to winning hearts and minds, or to something else as yet unthought-of: throwing Israel to the wolves, not for the first time and not for the last.
Wouldn’t it be useful for the Lands of the Infidels, if in addition to the pedagogic spectacle of Sunnis and Shi’as in violent conflict over power in Iraq, that that conflict would have spillover effects in neighboring countries, and as the Shi’a-Sunni battles in Iraq are observed by Muslims, there will be inevitable repercussions, in Pakistan, in Bahrain, in Kuwait, in Saudi Arabia, in Lebanon, in Afghanistan, even possibly in Yemen.
And the same split might be observed among those who, in this country, have failed to take “weakening the camp of Islam as their goal” but rather, in supporting the “good” or “moderate” or “less political” Muslims, with some favoring Shi’a, and some Sunnis, and others favoring a class they describe, without more, as “moderate Muslims.” In this corner one would have Gerecht, Kagan, Kristol, Schwartz, Vali Nasr, and others who found all those Shi’a in exile — Chalabi, Makiya, Rend al-Rahim Francke, Allawi, attractive figures, secular figures who have spent decades in the West and who, even when they were in Iraq, were part of a Baghadi intellectual (and social) elite, from families prominent even before the arrival of Saddam Hussein, and who often benefitted from the Jesuit-run Baghdad College, which allowed them to become, in a sense, more secular,less narrowly Islamic, than would have happened had they remained in the schools of Muslim Iraq. These people managed to convince so many — Bernard Lewis and Richard, among those not in the government, and Cheney and Wolfowitz in the government — that the Americans would be greated as “liberators,” that wonderful things would happen as that “liberated” Iraq would express its gratitude toward the Americans in unfeigned and permanent friendship, the whole country now to be skillfully guided politically and rewakened morally by such people as the political figure Ahmad Chalabi, the writer Kanan Makiya, and many others. It also helped that Fouad Ajami, the one Arab commentator whom members of the Administration trusted, a Lebanese Shi’a by descent, was also an enthusiast for the American takeover of Iraq. That this would lead to one “wonderful” thing — the transfer of power to the Shi’a from the Sunnis — should have been clear. What was not understood is that is what these plausible Shi’a supporters wanted, and they were prepared to ignore, or had forgotten, or as by-now thoroughly Westernized men themselves could not quite believe, the nature of Iraq, the aggression, the hostility, the refusal to comrompise with political enemies, the meretriciousness, the deep and permanent hostility toward Infidels — none of which should have surprised them, but these secular westernized people got their own country wrong, got the nature of Islam itself, and the attitudes that naturally arise in societis suffused with Islam, wrong.
But if in this corner were those Americans persuaeded or inveigled by the unrepresentative representatives of Shi’a in Iraq, in that corner were all those still so wrongly described as “realists.” These were and are not “realists” but rather, appeasers of Islam, those who for years made not a move to diminish OPEC revenues, who still seem oblivious to such weapons of Jihad as Da’wa and demographic conquest (the islamization of Europe is something of which they appear to be entirely unaware, or at least unconcerned), and include the usual suspects — Scowcroft, Brzezinski, James Baker. If these people were opposed to the Iraq War, they were opposed for all the wrong reasons. They were opposed not because they knew that Bush was so obstinately stupid that he would actually seek as a goal the very opposite of what he should have been seeking to achieve, and to squander lives, money, and materiel in order to dampen sectarian and ethnic divisions rather than recognizing that such divisions are ancient and unavoidable (for Islam does not encourage any spirit of compromise with one’s enemies but rather a mentality that sees victor and vanquished) and from the Infidel point of view are most welcome. These “realists” were or are not happy about the Iraq War, but for all the wrong reasons — that the transfer of power to the majority Shi’a weakens Sunnis in Iraq and offends Sunnis outside Iraq, and that it worries “our Egyptian friends” and “our Jordanian friends” and above all “our Saudi friends.”
Let them go at it. Let those in this country who fell for the Shi’a arguments and who still think that Al-Sistani is practically Albert Schweitzer go to polemical war. This includes the contributors and editors at My Weekly Standard — see Fouad Ajami’s remarks in his last book, the one tellingly titled “The Foreigner’s Gift,” when it should more accurately have been titled “The Infidel’s Gift.” But of course Islam is the one subject Fouad Ajami will not touch, can not touch, and that is why he has had his uses but is severely limited now in his value in explaining things to us: he can’t touch the main subject, and won’t. Let these men go to polemical war against the Baker-Scowcroft-Brzezinski brigade of completely unrealistic “realists” — unrealistic because they still remain, after so many years, unable or unwilling to comprehend the real nature of Islam and the islamization of Western Europe (which is surely the most important problem, after the possible acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran).
Let them knock each other out, checkmate each other.
Meanwhile, those who are disappointed and alarmed in their own ruling classes and elites who have failed to study Islam and failed to instruct others in the nature of Islam, and have already gone off to study on their own (and their numbers are increasing every day), are giving new, legitimate meaning to that otherwise obnoxious bumpersticker: Question Authority.
When the “authorities” are at the level of such former CIA analysts as Michael Scheuer or Reuel Gerecht, or such former high officials as James Baker, Brzezinski, Scowcroft, then their authority deserves to be questioned — from first to last. They have not earned, and in fact they have un-earned, any claim on our attention or respect.