Keith Ellison, the new Muslim Congressman from Minnesota, “advocated quick U.S. withdrawal from Iraq,” according to this article.
My view exactly. Yet I am not a Muslim, and do not wish Islam and its Jihad well. Does this mean that I am dead wrong in my views, because I appear to agree with Keith Ellison, or he with me? Or is it something else? Is it what one might understand better if we stand back and think what, objectively, would happen if the Americans withdrew?
I think as soon as the Americans withdraw, there will be all kinds of shrill cries in Iraq, coming from both some Sunnis and some Shi’a, for the Americans not to go. The Sunnis will realize that it is the Americans who are protecting them from the Shi’a militia. Other Sunnis, possibly a majority, will be delighted, for they are convinced that somehow, though outnumbered three-to-one by the Shi’a, they possess the necessary training, the organization, the ruthlessness, and the ability to count on Sunni volunteers coming from Syria (70% Sunni, though Shi’a missionaries from Iran have been given free rein by Bashir al-Assad), Egypt, Jordan, and of course the Gulf. And they are relying, too, on equipment and money coming from the Saudis, who similarly supplied Saddam Hussein during his war against Shi’a Iran (why, I even know someone who painted over the markings on the American-supplied Saudi tanks then shipped to Iraq), not to mention the tens of billions that the U.A.E. and Kuwait “loaned” Saddam Hussein for his Sunni Arab crusade against “the Persians.”
And some of the Shi’a, too, will suddenly be eager to have the Americans stay, for they calculate that they need the American soldiers to stay and fight and die just a little longer — as long as they stick to killing Sunnis. And of course the training those Shi’a volunteers are receiving for what the Americans call the “Iraqi” army and the “Iraqi” police is also valuable. And finally, the longer the Americans stay, the more stuff — money, projects, and above all military equipment — is likely to be given to, or fall into the hands of, the Shi’a-dominated Iraqi government. Others, such as Moqtada al-Sadr, never cared for the Americans, and still others, including those disinclined to disarm the militias (“those Americans can’t be serious, can they?”), may now feel it is time for those heretofore amazingly pliant and gullible Americans (well, no longer the officers and men, but the civilians in Washington whom those officers and men have been taught to unquestioningly obey) to leave.
And what will happen in the Muslim world? Oh, crowing, of all kinds. Crowing from somewhere in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Yes, we won, we won, the Americans have had to leave. And that apparently is what some in the Administration are so scared of.
But they need not be. For if they leave, and when they leave, the natural centrifugal forces, whirring away, will cause Sunnis and Shi’a to be unable to compromise. Or if they do enter into any kind of compromise, it will immediately be broken by one side or the other or both, for it will be impossible for the Sunnis to accept their new status, and impossible for the Shi’a Arabs to share power and money in the way that the Sunnis demand. And if the Americans think that enlarging the pie by giving potentially-rich Iraq even more American — i.e., Infidel — money will bring about that spirit of compromise that is so foreign to, and so inimical to, Islam, they are only proving that their ignorance of Islam and the psychology of Muslims is nearly total. And being unable to compromise, they will fight.
And Muslims being Muslims, and Sunni Arabs regarding the land of the most glorious Abbasid Caliphate as important to their own history and their own identity, will never permit the Shi’a, those quasi-Persians, to win Iraq, and will offer their co-religionists every aid. And so will the Shi’a in Iran, which is not the same thing as saying that the Shi’a Arabs will necessarily wish their own state to be incorporated into a larger Shi’a state ruled from Tehran, just because they accept such aid — money, men, materiel.
And as the American squandering of resources — men, money, materiel — is replaced almost overnight by a situation in which the squandering of resources is that of Muslim states and peoples whose money, men, and materiel are now being used up, the shrill voices expressing delight over “the defeat of America” will grow fainter. And as the conflict reverberates, as for example when the Shi’a in Bahrain, or Kuwait, or Al-Hasa become inspired by the conflict in Iraq to act up, and then to bring down the Sunni Arabs behaving as those Sunni Arabs will, and as the Sunnis in Pakistan attack, as they will, the Shi’a in Pakistan, and as Hizballah volunteers possibly march off to help fellow Shi’a in Iraq (and seen off at the station — the one existing in their imaginations — by deliriously happy Christians and Druse and even Sunni Muslims), and as the unstated American goal becomes, it is clear, no longer that messianic foolishness about making Muslim states happy and prosperous, but rather working to exploit the natural fissures — ethnic and sectarian that are most obvious in, though hardly limited to, Iraq — all sense of triumph over America, of having defeated America, will fade.
And then there is the matter of an independent Kurdistan. That too, spells trouble for the Arabs and for the unity of Islam. For Islam has always been a vehicle for Arab imperialism. Anwar Shaikh rightly titled one of his analyses of Islam “The Arab National Religion.” An independent Kurdistan (with arrangements made for an enclave for Iraqi Christians, their safety to be guaranteed, on pain of loss of all American support, by the people and government of Kurdistan) will not only unsettle the Kurdish regions of Iran and Syria (causing migraines in both regimes) but ideally would raise, for non-Arab Muslims everywhere, the promise that they too might throw off Arab domination. Think only of the Berbers in North Africa, and think too of the Berbers in France, who might be turned against the Arabs in the same immigrant population, with useful results not least for the French security services.
The spectacle of internecine warfare not only promises to divide and demoralize the Camp of Islam. No, it will also serve as a Demonstration Project to Infidels. Let them see how, without well-meaning Infidels to bring aid of all kinds and to keep the peace and to prevent one side or the other from behaving with their wonted barbarity (just read the reports of the corpses found murdered by Shi’a or Sunni militias or insurgents or irregulars or, for that matter, by members of regular army and police units), Muslims treat each other.
For time now needs to be bought, and Infidels tutored in the ways of Islam. There is no better way than to remove the controversial American presence in Iraq that so gets in the way of a clear-sighted view from a distance, a pisgah-sight of Islam, that many Infidels need.
Oh, there’ll be much mafficking among Muslims when the Americans leave. It will last a week, maybe a month, maybe two.
But not longer. And if the Administration has any sense, it will turn its attention to Western Europe, just as soon as the more-in-sorrow withdrawal is first announced and then quickly put into effect (with possibly just a very small force left in Kurdistan to help protect the Christians or oversee their exodus to Lebanon or possibly the “West Bank,” but only as part of a population exchange with local Muslim Arabs). It will turn its attention to checking or disrupting in Europe the campaigns of Da’wa, and to changing immigration policies and supporting those in Europe who wish to do the same, and to engaging in propaganda to demoralize the camp of Islam and Jihad. (Hint: Karen Hughes is not the right person for this job; Ali Sina, and Wafa Sultan, and Ibn Warraq should be consulted at every step on the staffing, and on the lines of information and argument to be disseminated; no more “life in America for Muslims is great” and no more rock music and other wonderful examples of Western decadence that do nothing to win or at least unsettle minds.)
So yes, I agree with Keith Ellison that the American forces should leave Iraq forthwith. But not for the same reasons.
Who do you think is right? Do you think an American withdrawal will be a victory for Islam, or do you think an American withdrawal will not only conserve our reserves, preserve or halt the degradation in the quality of our armed forces just in time, and help to divide and demoralize the camp of Islam and Jihad?
There are those who are indifferent to Islam, but not indifferent to the environment. Such people may have no interest in, or be completely unaware of, both the menace of Jihad and how important it is to reduce the OPEC oil revenues which supply the “money weapon” that is one of the main instruments of Jihad, without which the building and maintaining of mosques and madrasas all over the West, and the vast campaigns of Da’wa, and the employment of armies of Western hirelings to promote or defend Islam and the agenda of Islam, in government, in business, in the media, in the universities, would not be possible. But objectively, in their desire to rescue the world from environmental degradation, they are the allies of all those who are most concerned about the worldwide Jihad, or its local components.
And those who worry about the Jihad, and have concluded that the most important task is to reduce the use of oil and gas, may have little in common with members of some environmental groups, but objectively they will work for the very same goal — a goal which will be pursued by some to save the natural world, and pursued by others to save, in a sense, the manmade world, or at least the world made somewhat better, somewhat more interesting, by all those names to be found in, say, the Index to Jacques Barzun’s “From Dawn to Decadence.”
In similar fashion, some of those who want the Americans out of Iraq do so for reasons I deplore and abhor. One such person is Keith Ellison. But the policy in Iraq that he desires is exactly what I desire. For I know what will follow, and I welcome it. He does not know. He, just like many Sunnis in Iraq now convinced they will win, or like those people in the West who are convinced that “of course Iran will just take over” — doesn’t know what societies suffused with Islam are like. No compromise. Victor and vanquished. Until another despot comes along, to rule over this or that segment of what was once, but is unlikely to ever be again, Iraq.
And may both sides win.