Studying the destruction of Iraq

Category: Americas, World Affairs Topics: Iraq, United States Of America Views: 2227

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, center right, speaking via video link with the Iraq Study Group.

With 79 major recommendations on Iraq, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Afghanistan and al-Qaeda threat, the bi-partisan Iraq Study Group headed by Jim Baker and Lee Hamilton concludes that "The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating. There is no path that can guarantee success, but the prospects can be improved." 

It calls for new and enhanced diplomatic and political efforts in Iraq and the region, and a change in the primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq that will enable the United States to begin to move its combat forces out of Iraq responsibly. The 140 page report concludes that "If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences could be severe. A slide toward chaos could trigger the collapse of Iraq's government and a humanitarian catastrophe. Neighboring countries could intervene. Sunni-Shia clashes could spread. Al-Qaida could win a propaganda victory and expand its base of operations. The global standing of the United States could be diminished. Americans could become more polarized."

One of the most important conclusions of the report asserts "The United States cannot achieve it's goals in the Middle East unless it deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict and regional instability. There must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the United States to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts: Lebanon, Syria and President Bush's June 2002 commitment to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. This commitment must include direct talks with, by and between Israel, Lebanon, Palestinian - those who accept Israel's right to exist - and Syria. 

The report acknowledges that the Bush Administration strategy has failed dismally in Iraq creating a situation that cannot be improved. The report does not look into the invasion of Iraq. Nor does it talk about weapons of mass destruction, the main reason for the invasion. It also does not credit al-Qaeda for the majority of 180 daily acts of violence. Rather it blames the shia-sunni conflict, the militia, the power struggle among rival shia groups, the involvement of Iran and Syria and the apathy of other neighboring countries along with the criminality for the chaos prevailing in the country.

Who is to be blamed for this state of the affairs? The report does not elaborate. Why has Iraq been brought to this situation? The report does not answer. How much the Bush Administration should be blamed for this anarchy? The report does not ask.

If such a study could have been done before launching the invasion, certainly the US could have saved, according to some estimates, a two billion dollar expense a week. In addition we would have saved the lives around one hundred soldiers, about five thousand civilian murders and destruction worth billions every week. 

Who is paying for all the mess created by this war? American tax payers have already paid over four hundred billion dollars as well as Iraqis whose national wealth is being wasted to keep up the chaos.

The report does not offer any sign of hope to the people of Iraq. It gives a way out to the US combatant troops to leave the country as early as 2008, while maintaining the US presence in an advisory capacity in all it's sectors. It states that the presence of US is essential for the survival of Iraq as a country. It hints that the sectarian rife is so deep in Iraq that without the presence of a country like the US, Iraq would not be able to sustain itself.

If Iraq disintegrates as a country, it would have severe implications for the world at large, the report admits.

The report rightly looks at the US interests in Iraq and makes recommendations for securing and strengthening those interests. It definitely portrays a realistic picture about chaos, death and destruction and it identifies groups and individuals who seem to be part of this deadly reality. 

Regardless of what happens to the recommendations, Muslims must look at this report in an objective fashion. Muslims who believe that Islam must be given an opportunity to guide people in all aspects of life must realize that violence in Iraq has reached a level where faith is unable to provide any inspiration to the warring factions to resolve their differences amicably and negotiate a settlement that would help them retain their dignity.

The lust of control seems to be so strong that all norms and dictates of Islam pertaining to the life of human beings have been forgotten. What is worst is that religious scholars and leaders are part of the problem and not the solution. They have allowed the hatred to reign supreme in the streets of Baghdad for whatever reason.

Those who justify violence against occupying forces have also violated all rules of resistance. The biggest casualty in this on-going sectarian war is Islam. Despite the facts that mosques in Iraq are full with devotees daily and the rituals are at their highest peak, yet the faith as a source of healing has lost all significance. 

It is this damage that would last for centuries. Everything that Prophet Muhammad stood against has become the norm and the irony is that it is being done in the name of religion. A nation devoid of values will always be an easy prey to outsiders. Iraq will remain dependent on others for its survival as long as it does not resolve its conflicts internally. The bloody legacy of Saddam Hussein coupled with the new legacy being created by the warring factions would continue to reside in the minds of this and coming generations. A country so rich in its natural and mineral resources would squander all to satisfy its lust for revenge.

Regardless of the presence or absence of US forces, the Iraqis must learn to live at peace with each other. It is only through the respect of Islam and through sincere negotiations that problems can be solved. Failure in Iraq will be in fact the failure of Muslim leadership that has refused to turn to the true teachings of Islam to resolve its problems.

Following are excerpts from a letter from Iraq Study Group co-chairs James A. Baker III and Lee Hamilton:

--- "There is no magic formula to solve the problems of Iraq. However, there are actions that can be taken to improve the situation and protect American interests. Many Americans are dissatisfied, not just with the situation in Iraq but with the state of our political debate regarding Iraq. Our political leaders must build a bipartisan approach to bring a responsible conclusion to what is now a lengthy and costly war. Our country deserves a debate that prizes substance over rhetoric, and a policy that is adequately funded and sustainable. The president and Congress must work together. Our leaders must be candid and forthright with the American people in order to win their support."

--- "No one can guarantee that any course of action in Iraq at this point will stop sectarian warfare, growing violence or a slide toward chaos. If current trends continue, the potential consequences are severe. Because of the role and responsibility of the United States in Iraq, and the commitments our government has made, the United States has special obligations. Our country must address as best it can Iraq's many problems. The United States has long-term relationships and interests at stake in the Middle East, and needs to stay engaged."

--- "In this consensus report, the 10 members of the Iraq Study Group present a new approach because we believe there is a better way forward. All options have not been exhausted. We believe it is still possible to pursue different policies that can give Iraq an opportunity for a better future, combat terrorism, stabilize a critical region of the world and protect America's credibility, interests and values. Our report makes it clear that the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people also must act to achieve a stable and hopeful future."

--- "The Iraqi Army is making fitful progress toward becoming a reliable and disciplined fighting force loyal to the national government. By the end of 2006, the Iraqi Army is expected to comprise 118 battalions formed into 36 brigades under the command of 10 divisions. Although the army is one of the more professional Iraqi institutions, its performance has been uneven. The training numbers are impressive, but they represent only part of the story. Significant questions remain about the ethnic composition and loyalties of some Iraqi units specifically, whether they will carry out missions on behalf of national goals instead of a sectarian agenda. Of Iraq's 10 planned divisions, those that are even-numbered are made up of Iraqis who signed up to serve in a specific area, and they have been reluctant to re deploy to other areas of the country. As a result, elements of the Army have refused to carry out missions.

"The Iraqi Army is also confronted by several other significant challenges: Units lack leadership. They lack the ability to work together and perform at higher levels of organization the brigade and division level. Leadership training and the experience of leadership are the essential elements to improve performance. Units lack equipment. They cannot carry out their missions without adequate equipment. Congress has been generous in funding requests for U.S. troops, but it has resisted fully funding Iraqi forces. The entire appropriation for Iraqi defense forces for FY 2006, $3 billion, is less than the United States currently spends in Iraq every two weeks.

"Units lack personnel. Soldiers are on leave one week a month so that they can visit their families and take them their pay. Soldiers are paid in cash because there is no banking system. Soldiers are given leave liberally and face no penalties for absence without leave. Unit readiness rates are low, often at 50 percent or less."

--- "The state of the Iraqi police is substantially worse than that of the Iraqi Army. The Iraqi Police Service currently numbers roughly 135,000 and is responsible for local policing. It has neither the training nor legal authority to conduct criminal investigations, nor the firepower to take on organized crime, insurgents, or militias. The Iraqi National Police numbers roughly 25,000 and its officers have been trained in counterinsurgency operations, not police work. The Border Enforcement Department numbers roughly 28,000. Iraqi police cannot control crime, and they routinely engage in sectarian violence, including the unnecessary detention, torture...

Iraq Study Group Report: Executive Summary

Dr. Aslam Abdullah, is the editor in chief of the Muslim Observer, director of the Islamic Society of Nevada and the acting chairman of the Muslim Council of America.

  Category: Americas, World Affairs
  Topics: Iraq, United States Of America
Views: 2227

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Older Comments:
very Amazing article! looklike the writer has few idea about hudood and he thinks he knows it all.
about your stories: woman sentenced for 101 (one O one :)) lashes for adultry because she was pregnant. to comit adultry you must be married first(not divorced)! and if she is married woman, how do they find that the baby is not from her husband? the next story started "woman accused"!!! sounds the writer doesn't know in hudood, you do not accuse! you bring clear evidence.

this is not the right area to learn about hudood but I will just highlight little bit about and may Allah helps you.
Hudood is THE ACT of carring hard punishment in Islam on those who did wrong with CLEAR evidence against them. then you just can not use the term "hudood violation". you can use Allah's strict Rules violation or sharia violation!
Hodood has the right people to carry it. not anybody can carry hudood, the people who does that in Islam are called Ahl Alhal wa Alakd. this people must know first what's hudood means, the purpose of it and when it should be used. also they should be known as FEAR NONE BUT ALLAH people.
as one brother mentioned in his post, there is no 4 withnesses on rape (I'm sorry, it's laughable to read that in your article :)). if there are 4 withnesses in rape, then the punishment should be carried on 5 people not one. because those are not withnesses, those are people who helped an oppressor. in Zina, you should produce 4 withnesses and that's because carrying Had on adultry or fornication require clear evidence. if one of the withnesses is untrustable person, the judge can order the punishment of all the 4 and leave the accused go home.
I'm not pakistany and I don't know what's going on in Pakistan or Bangladesh but I'm proud with them as my brothers and sisters in Islam. as far as I know, there are good scholars in those countries and I have some doubt on the motives of the writer. finish reading please?...

So if their is a country named Kurdistan with Mosul or Kirkuk as its capital.

Turks will come into play and try to limit its autority. But with a US base in Kurdistan Turks will be limited in their approach.

But will not be alone in it and syrians and iranis have the same objectives.

Now how will the oil flow out from Kurdistan.
will it be able through old pipelines via syria or turkey or will it be shipping out via Persian Gulf via hostile new born shia mjority state of Basra. Or trucked via new sunni state of iraq.

Now there is traped oil fields.

And if peaceful Kurdistan another, btw strong warrior nation more or less like Pashtun of Afghanistan gets all of this oil wealth.

All 3 countries turkey, syria and iran are going to be lossers. Turkey can easily break.

Therefore Turks will definately have to send major troops to their border and there inside kurd turkey, which is semi autonomous wunder Kurds.

Turkey will be in major crisis.

and if allowed secular turkey only buddy b might g etdefeated.

I loved yr article and hiting the nail right on its mark that we Muslims have lost our way and teaching of our Prophet Mohammad SAW and our leaders thru out the Muslim world have never thought of anyone else except their own agenda. We keep blaming the rest of the world for our problems and till we dont look at what we are doing in our own house, its is fruitless to even write one more article blaming USA/or any other country for our problems. I suggest that we wake up and smell the coffee.

The author writes "If Iraq disintegrates as a country, it would have severe implications for the world at large, the report admits.".

Frankly, the only interest western world in the Middle East is the free flow of oil; the rest is of little or no importance to the rest of the world; the world can live without visiting the pyramids and archaelogical sights of Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt. Other than oil, Middle East has no importance, except to the people who live there.

The report also mentions that the global position of US will be diminished. Guess what. It is already diminished; nobody cares for US, not even in the western world; I doubt NATO will be around in 10 years.

As far as Iraq is concerned, it is already finished as a nation. US will be forced to end its involvement in Iraq, but Iraq will not be a pacified nation for quite a long time; it will be a playground of Iran, Syria, Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Middle East may be a powder keg, but nobody cares as long as the terrible consequences are confined to the Middle East. Russia, China, Iran, Syria and even France love US being grind down in the sands of Iraq for a long time, so that they can pick up the remaining pieces on the cheap; essentially these countries would have defeated US without firing a shot of their own.

Poor Iraq. Too far from God but so near to US (i.e. occupied by US).