The Long Ignominious Slide to Defeat in Iraq
The worst nightmare for the American occupation has occurred. Portions of the Iraqi Shiite majority have risen in revolt. Full-scale civil war may be just around the corner.
The armed uprising by Shiite militias in four Iraqi cities, including the Baghdad metropolitan area, was well coordinated and deadly. The rebellion cost the lives of eight American soldiers and countless Iraqis. The revolt consisted of followers of militant cleric Moktada al-Sadr, who has militias numbering in the tens of thousands across Iraq, Although the American occupation had forbidden the bearing of arms, the militants brandished many weapons, including rocket propelled grenade launchers. They took over the streets, occupied police stations and attacked American forces.
Ironically, one of the motivating forces behind the bloodshed was censorship by the United States, a country that prides itself on the freedom of speech enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Last week, U.S. occupation authorities closed down Al Hawza, Sadr's newspaper, charging that it had incited violence in Iraq. Yet the paper did not advocate attacks on Americans. As the U.S. authorities put it, the paper was guilty of "false reporting." That type of justification is eerily reminiscent of rhetoric from the Communist Soviet Union. The closing of Al Hawza, symbolic for many Shittes, ignited street protests that mushroomed and became more volatile by the day, culminating in the uprising.
Sadr, always hostile to the U.S. occupation, apparently now believes that peaceful Shiite demonstrations should be replaced by armed insurrection. He urged his followers on, stating that, "there is no use for demonstrations, as your enemy loves to terrify and suppress opinions, and despises people. Terrorize your enemy, as we cannot remain silent over his violations."
If the rebellion spreads within the Shiite population, which such events seem to portend, even senior U.S. military commanders admit privately that the chances dwindle drastically of keeping Iraq this side of the abyss. The U.S. civilian authorities in Iraq tried to put a brave face on the mayhem by opining that the rebellion made up only a small portion of the Iraqi population. But that proportion could grow over time in both Shiite and Sunni areas as the U.S. retaliates muscularly for the attacks by Shiite militiamen and the burning, dragging and hanging of corpses of already dead U.S. armed mercenaries by the Sunnis in Faluja. Such precipitous U.S. actions may very well incite a escalating cycle of violence-attack and counterattack-that could turn the bulk of the Iraqi population, both Shiite and Sunni, against the U.S. occupation.
Yet even if the "silent majority" of Iraqis remain supportive of U.S. forces, as the civilian occupation authorities claim, it may not be enough to save the American war effort in Iraq. The guerrillas know that the key to winning any guerrilla warfare is to undermine support for the war in the stronger party's homeland. In the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong, with significant support among the peoples of South Vietnam, were able to prolong the war long enough to exhaust the American public at home and prompt an eventual U.S. withdrawal. Similarly, in the American Revolution, the revolutionaries were able to eventually exhaust the British with the support of only one-third of the colonists. Thus, if even a minority of the occupied country's population is actively hostile to the outside power, a foreign occupation can fail. If the majority supporting the outside power believes that the armed minority will be around a lot longer than the occupiers-not an illogical belief given the short attention span of past U.S. nation-building-its support, out of self-preservation, may be very lukewarm or tepid. So the silent majority may be silent indeed.
Another major problem confronting the U.S. occupation, which was illuminated by the Shiite uprising, is the unreliability of the U.S.-trained Iraqi police and civil defense forces. Those forces fled at the sight of the heavily armed Shiite militias, allowing them to take over checkpoints and police stations. The idea that security in Iraq can be turned over to such forces is no more than a bad joke.
Adding to the reluctance of Iraqis to help occupation forces, foreign allies are unwilling to send added troops to help the United States try to control the chaos (in fact, one ally is already bailing out of the effort and another is grumbling being deceived) because of the Bush administration's pre-war arrogance and the prospect of retaliatory terrorism on their homelands. The Bush administration's balloon, filled with triumphalist hot air a year ago as U.S. forces entered Baghdad, has finally burst.
Ivan Eland is the Director of the Center on Peace and Liberty at the Independent Institute in Oakland, California and author of the book, Putting "Defense" Back into U.S. Defense Policy: Rethinking U.S. Security in the Post-Cold War World.
Topics: Conflicts And War, Iraq
pretending to be a Muslim yet again. Pathetic.
I don't buy your cop-out that the U.S. is the main source of oppression for Muslims. The worst thing that my government has ever done to the Muslim world would not compare to the systematic and daily denial of rights by Muslim rulers. So it boggles the mind that the Muslim world can hate some non-Muslims so much, since their own cause them more misfortune. And I believe that it's weakness that keep people in most Muslim countries from getting rid of their leaders. Blame where blame is due.
Regarding my "1 billion collectively decided" comment, don't whine to me if your own brethren have failed thus far from eliminating terrorism. Muslims need to accept the responsibility of reforming their societies, because American can't do it for them.
As far as your suggestion that Americans are in danger when travelling overseas, I thank you for confirming my point, if only in part. I said before that your kind of bigotry that you displayed here pervades the Muslim world, to the point that I could be a victim of a random act of violence based solely on my nationality. As much as Muslims in America face discrimination, it just doesn't compare with bigotry within the Muslim world. This is the kind of environment of intolerance that is the root of terrorism. No offense buddy (well actually, I don't care lol), but y'all need to fix things on that end.
One other thing, my young friend. The people of the Philippines endured many atrocities of a dictator as bad as your typical Muslim despot. But it all ended after 20 years when Filipinos collectively decided to topple their oppressor. And they succeeded in large part without the use of force (i.e. suicide bombers, kidnappings, blowing up babies in trains, etc.). So what's the Muslim world's excuse?
Let me guess, it's those evil Israelis and their "humiliating checkpoints". Oh yeah, and Fox News and Zionist-controlled Hollywood.
THE 20 SOMETHING HOTHEADS THAT THE MORE THEIR BRAVADO, THE LONGER THE AGONY FOR ALL CONCERNED.
LET THE SELF-APPOINTED AMBASSADORS TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND STEP BACK, THAT IS THE BEST WAY TO
GET COALITION TROOPS TO EXIT IRAQ. THIS IS NOT VIETNAM BECAUSE NO OTHER SUPER-POWER IS BEHIND
TO SUPPORT THE ARMY OF MAHDI. AL-SADR WOULD RATHER SACRIFICE IRAQI LIVES THAN GIVE UP HIS GRAB FOR POWER. ALSO, NO PERSON SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO HAVE A PRIVATE MILITIA. THAT IS NEITHER DEMOCRATIC OR ISLAMIC. PRIVATE MILITIAS ARE CREATING CONFUSION IN AFGHANISTAN AND IN IRAQ.
IS IT ANY WONDER THAT IT IS SO DIFFICULT TO ESTABLISH DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW IN ISLAMIC COUNTRIES. IT'S A CRYING SHAME.
In the meantime, a top aide to al Sadr has been captured by U.S. forces. I'd much prefer that to be OBL, but this will suffice for now. Alhamdulilah. ;)
Classic good cop bad cop routine. Not that it matters, liars and hypocrites are so easy to spot here pretending to give a damn about anything but themselves.
So far I have been called a liar, and now a hypocrite. Hmm...I hope the artist formerly known as thinks of something new because really it doesn't affect me at all. Sticks and stones.
Allah knows me, and I surrender myself to him alone. Only he is worthy of praise, the exalted; and only from him do I seek forgiveness and mercy.
Muslims here are quick to call?? Muslims where?? Here...or over there? Up there!??
You make no sense ... Can you not see your own hypocrisy, how you ACCUSE Muslims for not speaking out against certain individuals, yet you on your own words come here and defend the excrement which visits this site - 'Red Blooded American' making excuses for him?
Your logic is flawed, and by coming here and pointing fingers at people makes you think that you are going to like I've said before, "win people's hearts and minds,", then you are basically doing one of two things -
You come here to yap on the way you do because you find enjoyment in being the ruthless self centred American which you are with your twisted comments,
You have no life even though your lost cause comments are not accepted by anyone. Because of your self-righteous attitude, you have become nothing more than a brainwashed, naturalized American with the inability to admit that you are WRONG...that this war is wrong, that your generalizations of Muslims are presumptions and not facts, that you of all people with your own words have acted in hypocrisy.
EVERYONE...Nick Cameron has no case, he is scrounging the way he has always done before...to him Muslims have committed atrocities against everyone, but no one else has ever committed atrocities against Muslims! And he uses 9/11 as his excuse, and motivation for this way of thinking.
Ah, so Hudd D'Alhamd the racist has decided to pipe in. After all, he is the Muslim who enthusiastically proclaimed Filipinos and East Timorese to be dogs and prostitutes. But instead of owning up to his own flaws, he has decided to shift his guilt of bigotry onto others while claiming that all he was doing was "vehemently defending the cause of Islaam". Why our young friend Hudd qualifies his racism as a defense of religion is an interesting question. Naturally, such a claim would be unreasonable unless racism is part of Islam.
Of course, perhaps our young friend Hudd is feeling a bit ashamed now for his behavior, which is why he's trying to censor me in order preempt further embarrassment. Censorship is a typical tactic of tyrants, so it is ironic that Hudd has called for such things under the guise of "democracy". Fortunately for me, he poses no such threat to me since he lacks the charisma to be a tyrant.
As for Akbar Khan, he lies yet again when he claims that I make excuses for Red blooded american's prejudices. The plain truth is that I criticized Red for his comments. However, I did add that Muslims who attack non-Muslims for bigotry while ignoring the bigotry of their brethren, as he has done with Hudd, are hypocrites. And Akbar Khan knows that I've called him out as one, which is likely why he feels the need to continuously lie about me.
I will conclude with the following observation. Sometimes it takes courage and fortitude to confront members of your own community when they are wrong. It's this willingness to remain self-critical that keeps America strong. Based on what I've seen here, many Muslims unfortunately seem to lack this strength. If this a common problem in the Muslim world as I believe it may be, then the Muslim world will never muster the strength to check American power.
Salaam to those who support Truth. ;)
What on earth are you talking about? If you read my comments closely instead of skipping every 3rd word or so, you'd know I never claimed that Filipinos had anything to do with East Timor. And yes Marcos was a dictator, but how does this relate to the bigotry of Muslims on this site?
Fact is that Muslims here are quick to call out out other people for being prejudiced, but turn a blind eye when their own brethren are wrong. But just in case you're not reading carefully again, I'll put it simply:
Many Muslims here are hypocrites who lack the fortitude to confront bigotry from their own kind.
Wassalaam to ya, Ahmed!
The artist formerly known as Nick is making an excuse for Red Blooded American and claiming that we are hypocrites for responding to this individual's stupid comments.
The truth comes out about the artist formerly known as...
I still wonder did the editor shut me out of this site keeping this despicable life form active and merry? Let's vote for it, to have a real democracy, would the visitors on this site rather see, Nick Cameron's anti-Islamic and fascist pro-American mental defecations or having Hudd D'Alhamd vehemently defending the cause of Islaam and teach those bastards that take a sling at Muslims a well taught lessen. By the way another gutty guy is missing from the comments: Ahmed Ashgher! Whatever happened to him too?! Is this an Islamic site or a site sponsored by Nick Cameron? If Nick doesn't like how he is treated for his mentally deficient comments he can leave and go on a Judeo-Christian site and vomit his venom on Muslims there wher he has an approving racist audience like himself. Racism is of many kinds, Nick's racism is the hypocritical one, hidden, that you don't know when it lashes at you under the cover of morality, democracy, human rights, etc. How can a pig like this be allowed to post and forbid it from your Muslim brothers. Nick Cameron is supporting this site or the Muslims?
Peace be upon you.
You american fascists are a disgrace to the human race.
Long live a free Iraq, especially from murderous american terrorists and their proxys.
You know, it's not a good thing for you to insult an entire group of people for the conduct of a few. However, I believe that most Muslims here will have no moral right to attack you for your prejudices, since all of them chose to remain silent when one of their own racially attacked Filipinos and East Timorese.
So if any Muslim who said nothing about their own brother decides to criticize you, then he or she is a hypocrite with a double standard.
I pray everyday that Allah will make his will known to the leaders of the nations, to return them to some kind of reason. I cannot believe the level of ignorance, and absolute stupidity that is in play, to jump into a bloodbath, invade a nation and have no plan on what to do when they "win". A year ago, I remember the bitter laughter when it was announced that the war was over and the US had won. I remember thinking, they can't be that stupid as to think that this is over. They were. How utterly sad.
To all you red blooded americans, you claim you are patriots? If so, I suggest you demonstrate this at the voting booths. And are you so shallow as to lay the latest bloodbath on the doorstep of Islam? HA! What would YOU do if a foreign government blew up your house, TO SAVE YOU? You would be in the street with the gun you keep in your pickup gunrack so fast it would make heads spin. It would be your patriotic duty! How dare you point to these people and claim yourself superior. We caused this bloodbath with our arrogance and absolute ignorance, and it will be up to us to end it, by swallowing our stupid pride, and appointing a civilian governing body to supervise general elections. Only then will we be allowed to gather our tattered dignity. We will be paying for this collosal blunder for many years. I only hope that we might repent soon, and win forgiveness from the country we have wronged. Allah forgive us all.
From one proud American!!!
I BELIEVE THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS STUCK THEIR HANDS IN THE FIRE AND WILL PULL IT OUT TOO LATE!
THE SHIAS AND THE SUNNIS WILL COME TOGETHER AND RID IRAQ OF U.S. SUPERVISION.
MURDERER SHEIKH AL-SADR BY SHIELDING HIM FROM
THE LAW. THIS MAN HAS ORDERED THE MURDER OF A
RIVAL SHEIKH ABDEL MAJID KHOIE IN APRIL 2003 JST AFTER RETURNING FROM EXILE IN ENGLAND. SHEIKH
KHOIE WAS SAFER IN SO-CALLED KAFFIR ENGLAND THAN IN THE MASSJID IN IRAQ!! IN ORDER TO ESCAPE FROM THE RULE OF LAW, SHEIKH AL-SADR WOULD RATHER SEE THE WHOLE OF IRAQ IN FLAMES. THERE ARE ADVANTAGES IN HAVING ILLITERATE FOLLOWERS. SHEIKH AL-SADR IS TRYING TO MAKE A GRAB FOR POWER
AND A GRAB FOR THE OIL REVENUES OF IRAQ AND WOULD NOT MIND BECOMING THE NEXT AYATOLLAH SADDAM. IS EVERYBODY SO STUPID AS TO LET THIS CRIMINAL GET AWAY WITH ALL THIS. THERE ARE ONLY TWO SANE PERSONS IN ALL THIS TAMASHA: AYATOLLAH SISTANI WHO HAS CALLED FOR PEACE AND NEGOTIATION AND THE IRAN-BASED GRAND AYATOLLAH HOSSEIN ALI MONTAZERI
WHO HAS CONDEMNED AL-SADR AND HIS MEHDI ARMY. AYATOLLAH HOSSEIN SAID THAT IMAM MEHDI (WHO IS THE 12TH OF THE SHIA IMAMS WHO DISAPPEARED IN THE IRAQI CITY OF SAMARRA IN THE 9TH CENTURY AND THE SHIAS AWAIT IMAM MEHDI'S SECOND COMING)WOULD NEVER FOMENT AN OPPORTUNISTIC DIVISION AND DISUNITY NOR CONDONE VIOLENCE IN HIS NAME. OBVIOUSLY, ILLITERATE FOLLOWS OF AL-SADR DO NOT KNOW THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY OR THE FACT THAT THE SENIOR AYATOLLAHS WANT THIS VIOLENCE OF AL-SADR ENDED. THANK GOD THAT THE AMERICANS KNOW AL-SADR FOR THE MURDERER THAT HE IS. BISMILLAH.
So are the "lessons" that America shouldn't operate in regions that neighbor China? I see no relation to Iraq.
May Allah SWT grace the peoples of Iraq the final victory and chase out the infidels.
As I write, thousands of Iraqis are marching to Fajullah to deliver needed food and medical supplies to their fellow countrymen who are under siege by the American military. For once George Bush is a uniter.
I know very little about Moqtada al-Sadr but I pray for an all-out-state-wide revote by both Shia and Sunni. This is a seemingly sad pray but it is necessary for the future of other nations American may whish to "Make a regime change" in.
This is also a very sad time for the world because war and military aggression is about as out dated, as a belief in vampires. War will never be the solution for our inability live in peace together.
American by definition has become what it has always preached against. It is now applying the satanic Darwin theory of the strongest and the fittest.
What more can by said here. Many pray for bright sunny days but rain is a necessary element to replenish the soil. American must leave Irag to the Iraqi people, not the Shia, not the Sunni but the people of Irag.
Peace be upon you all!
I can only pray that the innocents caught in the cross-fire do not suffer too much. I feel that that longer American coalition remains the more chaos and longer the healing/rebuilding after they leave.
The personality arrogance of current Bush/Dick Cheney regime tell us that for pullout some other President needs to be elected.