Iraq - the cradle of civilization and fabled seat of the Abbasid Khalifa - is about to be liberated for the second time in less than a century. The current military operation represents a major inflection point in its history, perhaps in the history of the Middle East, and possibly in world history. Future historians will judge how Iraqis will greet the new liberators. But historians have already passed judgment on the first liberation.
On March 11, 1917, Lieutenant-General Sir Stanley Maude and his Anglo-Indian Army of the Tigris entered Baghdad. The campaign to invest Baghdad took place against the backdrop of the First World War. It seemed to have had no clear strategic objectives except the fulfillment of the new prime minister's desire to capture the fabled city of the Arabian Nights. In retrospect, the invasion of Iraq gave the government of Lloyd George the opening to invade Palestine, Syria and Lebanon.
The campaign was the brainchild of Sir Mark Sykes of the Arab Bureau in Whitehall, a novice with less than two years of executive experience. Sir Mark asked General Maude to read out a proclamation couched in "high-flown phrases of liberation and freedom, of past glory and future greatness," according to British historian David Fromkin. The commanding general commanding assured the people of Iraq, "Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators." He continued, "O people of Baghdad, remember that for 26 generations you have suffered under strange tyrants who have endeavored to set one Arab house against another in order that they might profit by your dissensions." 
It proved difficult to govern Iraq and General Maude was put in the awkward position of having to preach self-rule while discouraging its practice. He cabled London that local conditions did not permit employing Arabs in responsible positions, "Before any truly Arab facade [sic] can be applied to edifice, it seems essential that foundation of law and order should be well and truly laid."
What General Maude had discovered was that Mesopotamia was a place where 75 percent of the population was tribal "with no previous tradition of obedience to any government," and a place with a long history of power struggle between the Shias and the Sunnis. Eventually, vague rumors, constant unrest, and repeated killings took their toll on British nerves.
Three young army officers were killed in Kurdistan in 1919. An experienced official sent by the Government of India to replace them was killed a month later. Six British officers were killed in the spring of 1920. Later, two political officers were abducted and murdered. The Iraqi desert was full of raiding parties, and one British officer was led to believe that the only way to deal with the disaffected tribes was "wholesale slaughter."
More chaos was to follow in the months to come. Posts were over-run, British officers killed and communication killed in the Middle Euphrates region. Colonel Gerald Leachman, a leading British officer, was shot in the back and killed on the orders of the tribal sheikh who was hosting him during a gathering of the tribes. The news of his killing led to further tribal uprisings along the Euphrates and north and west of Baghdad.
In the summer of 1920, a one-time junior officer in the Arab Bureau in Cairo and now a celebrity, Colonel T. E. Lawrence, commented acridly that the Turks had been better rulers. He said the Turks kept 14,000 local conscripts employed in Iraq and killed an average of 200 Arabs in maintaining the peace. The British had deployed 90,000 men, with airplanes, armored cars, gunboats and armored trains, and killed about 10,000 Arabs in the summer uprising.
On August 7, 1920, The Times demanded to know "how much longer are valuable lives to be sacrificed in the vain endeavor to impose upon the Arab population an elaborate and expensive administration which they never asked for and do not want?"
The revolt was brought to an end in February 1921, but Britain had suffered nearly 2,000 casualties, including 450 dead. Many attempts were made to analyze the mysterious revolt in the Iraqi desert, since the British had been told that the Arabs would appreciate British rule. Confessing total ignorance about the locals, an official argued that the enemy facing the British was "anarchy plus fanaticism, devoid of any political aspect."
The Mesopotamian provinces of Baghdad and Basra were the first to be conquered by the British from the Ottoman Empire. In the autumn of 1917 General Sir Edmund Allenby invaded Palestine and on December 11, he and his officers entered the holy city of Jerusalem through the Jaffa Gate. Prime Minister Lloyd George regarded it as a Christmas gift, and wrote that Christendom had regained "possession of its sacred shrines." French General Henri Gouraud entered Damascus in July 1920. After kicking Salahuddin's tomb, Gouraud exclaimed, "Awake Saladin, we have returned. My presence here consecrates the victory of the Cross over the Crescent."
In a few years, the Arabs were rioting in Palestine and rebelling in Iraq at a very inconvenient time, when the economy of the Empire was collapsing and when the Crown's time, energy and resources were needed to revive it. An exasperated Winston Churchill, who had taken over the mantle of Britain's colonial policies in the Middle East, was to tell the British government that it was spending millions for the privilege of sitting atop a volcano. Lamenting on the British experience in Palestine, the "last lion" was to write, "At first, the steps were wide and shallow, covered with a carpet, but in the end the very stones crumbled under their feet."
Much has changed during the past century. A former colony across the Atlantic has eclipsed Britain, and is the new home to an empire on which the sun never sets. The armies of the new empire are now invading Iraq, with the armies of the old empire in tow. The soldiers are marching in, bearing the gift of democracy. However, unlike General Maude, General Franks will not ride into Baghdad on horseback, but in the air-conditioned comfort of modern armored vehicles, after having used the firepower of five aircraft carriers to invest Baghdad.
The tactics of liberation have changed as the empires have changed places, but the objectives remain the same. Iraq remains the lynchpin to the Middle East, and whoever controls Baghdad will control the Middle East. As the French say, "the more things change, the more they stay the same."
 David Fromkin, A Peace To End All Peace, Avon Books, 1989
 Quoted in Stephen Fidler, Financial Times, March 14, 2003, p. 4.
As Salaam Alaykum:
Peace to Iraq
Also, from the perspective of an outsider, if a member nation of a hypothetical "Muslim Treaty Organization" was sheltering a group of fighters who had attacked the US, Russia or China (just for example) then the other members might not think the organization was maybe should a good idea for themselves perhaps - if the attacks were made without their consent, that is. Surely, things like that will happen from time to time - the lack of consent situation, especially where independent fighters are concerned.
Please remember also that (speaking of zealots) Israel has had some zealots before, who once talked the people of Israel into attacking the "puppet regime" of Rome - or something like that. This is just my opinion but I am thinking that if somebody expects God to win their wars for them, then they ought to let God do the long-range planning - I am thinking that "letting God do the planning" might be achieved through observance of religion, good manners, good deeds, good intentions, aversion to greed, aversion to lust, offering assistance to neighbors and so on. Again, my opinion here is offered with good intentions.
As Salaamu Alaikum.
how wrong to compare the Afghanis with the Iraqis.
Iraq has a sovereign
state,an army ,police,scientists,university teachers,intellectuals....etc
they are very acquainted with the history of the middle east as well as the plans of the imperialists and their greed.they are also aware of the suffering of the Palestinians for over 50 years now.they feel that they are being fought by the same power that humiliate,kill and ignore the rights of the Paletinians.It will be hard for them to trust uncle sam.
Bismillahir rahmanir Raheem
I'm a Danish muslim, and I feel very sorry about the whole Iraq-situation. First of all let say that I do not support Saddam and his regime. But neither can I support the killing on innocent muslim brothers and sisters. I belive that what is going on is a lesson that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala is teaching us. This is a wake up call for the muslims - don't you see that this is a war against Islam???? The killings of Palestine(need I to say that Israel haven't been following any UN-resolutrions for 35 years??) the killings in Checneya, the killings in Afghanistan, the killings in Kashmir, the killings of x-yugoslavia, the killings of muslims in in indoneesia(when muslims want a independant state the get killed) plus the U.S assasinations of muslims in Yemani. Should I continue?? no need to. The muslim world needs to stand united and fight for our rights to fight for paradise - Insha Allah
1)Lion Of The Desert-After Omar Mokhtar.
2)Hero Of Modern Arabs.
3)Father Of Liberation Palestine.
Victory is yet to come.Loyalists and braveness counts.
His military was attempting to mustard gas the Iranians they were fighting in a Kurdish village. The Iranians were known to have nervous gases, and according to autoposies the innocent Kurds were most likely killed by a toxin that affected the nerves.
Therefore it could have been any side that caused these deaths. (both sides were supplied these atrocious substances by the USA).
Saddam is a brutal inhumane dictator, but no more so than Hosni Mubarak, Gaddafi, or Ariel Sharon's treatment of Palestinians in Apartheid Israel).
According to Ramsey Clark, Bush & the US administration has put more people in prisons and sent more inmates to death row (as governor of Texas), imprisoned people at Guantanamo Bay without trial or charge, imposed crippling sanctions on Iraq that has killed over a million innocent people, & bombed several countries.
Currently, as in the Gulf War, he is using ammunition made from depleted uranium, effectively radiating the people and land of Iraq and even his own troops.
1 out of 7 US soldiers suffered Gulf War syndrome due to the uranium, and expect many more to come home with it after this attack.
This war is about OIL. In fact yesterday 2 large contracts to control the Iraqi port and build oil refineries were given by the US to the US, One being a company of Cheneys.
Saddams biggest mistake was nationalizing Iraqs oilfields, cutting off the hand that had put him in power in the first place.
In the Gulf War (1991) it was Saudia Arabia and Kuwait who paid for the war; they got the money by increasing their oil production and prices. The only people that profited from that war was the US: the 7 oil companies that operate in Saudia Arabia and Kuwait are American and each receive 5O% of the oil revenues.
This attack has nothing to do with Sept 11, it was planned by Cheney & others before Bush was awarded o
Any action should have an intention , without an intention its called insane.Now what is intention of the U.S. leadership in this war.? Is it really the liberation of Iraq, Is it to stop Saddam from using the WMD's..?
For 8 years since 1980 , during the war between Iraq and Iran what was U.S.'s stand.In 1983 Mr.Rumsfeld himself went to Baghdad and met Hussain and even called him a "very gentle person". Its the U.S. who supplied Hussein with the nerve gas and chemical weapons to use against the Kurds and Shi'ats.
The U.S. was worried when Iran crossed over to Iraq and almost captured the south most city of Basra which is close to Saudi and Kuwait, They where concerned about the oil supplies which the Saudi and Kuwait was pumping them regarly. Its that major concern which made them allies to Iraq at that time and helped Saddam to fight against Iran and control the Kurd uprising in the North.
At that time the same regime in Saudi and Kuwait was financially helping Iraq.
This is the background... Now what is the U.S. talking about oppression and WMD and nerve gas, when they only supplied with all of them.
In simple terms after the war the bankrupt Iraq was threatened by the Kuwait and Saudi regime to repay the loans which then resulted in Saddam attacking Kuwait to get rid of the Royal rule there.
U.S. as very clearly played a double role here.
Now what is sudden emergency of U.S. to attack Iraq. The inspection process by the U.N. was going very strong and Saddam was giving away one by one of the records but then suddenly U.S. backed off and started was b'coz the intention of U.S. was not to get rid of WMD's but to physically invade Iraq and put a puppet Govt there so that it suck all the Oil in Iraq soil.
The Kuwait and Saudi Govt who are again puppet Govt of U.S. don;t know the grave mistake they have done. I am running out of space here.
However, It is not Allah (God) who commands us to look the other way when we see another Muslim commit injustice.
It is our pride and refusal to see who we have become.
It is truly a sad time for Muslims in history.
Has anyone bothered to ask the Iraqi's what they want?
Would you prefer to live under Saddam or under American rule?
will anybody hear?
"Civilization is rooted in justice, and the consequences of oppression are devastating. Therefore, it is said that Allah aids the just state even it is non-Muslim, yet withholds His help from the oppressive state even it is Muslim."
Shaykhul-Islam ibn Taymeeyyah
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