Friday, June 10, 2005

Iraq: Now and Then

The following pieces come from the New York Times and from American Thinker, with compilations by Hugh Fitzgerald, via Robert Spencer at We includeihemt here in support of our thesis that the only reasonable and moral position one can take in the struggle for the spread of the revolution of Modernity and the implacement of universal human rights is that of William Walker's colonial conquest and a Modernist Stalinesque rule in pre-modern lands until such time as primitive people are assimilated into the general matrix of human progress, regardless of how much they might dislike it, and until such time as they know nothing else. We advocate the French Revolution's path of destroying the old guard and its entrenched privilege by force. Anything short of total success is inhumane. And to achieve this goal we must form a Leninist-style political party of dedicated professional revolutionaries who will coldly go to the struggle with only one objective: Complete victory. Humanity deserves nothing less.

This dual piece on Iraq, then and now, might only be useful to the next group who go to war against Islam if in our current struggle we don't pay attention to the lessons provided by Bostom, Fitzgerald, and Spencer below the NYT article, if we don't pay attention to the past as so clearly laid out in the second part of this installment.

Who decides what is good and what is bad? Only in a modern democracy can the average man or woman make that decision individually and personally. Those who are born into the slavery of Allah do not have that choice. We have a choice whether we wish to extend the benefits of Modernity to the whole world or whether we will simply keep to ourselves what we have and hope others who do not share our modern world-views will leave us in peace to live as we wish rather than turning on us in violence to restore the order of their world, a primitive world in contradiction to ours. If our world is good, then we have a moral duty to spread the advantage to all; but if ours is simply an alternative to primitivism then we have nothing but shadows and illusions, and we should consider giving that up in favor of Islam, a passionate psychosis that adds certainty and order to a chaotic world of the mind. If Islam is good, we owe it to our children to provide them with that benefit. If it is not good we must stop it from destroying the minds and lives of Moslem children who do not have any choice in the matter of thought. We see below that islam in Iraq is set in cement, that nothing will change there without force, slavery, and Stalinist repression of the old and evil culture. If what we have is good, we must pay the price of imposing the good on those who will resist. Islam will not change. Look at the stories of now and then, and imagine the future if we do nothing more than allow the rot to continue.

From the New York Times.
Q&A: Iraq's Militias
Published: June 9, 2005

Despite repeated U.S. requests for them to disband, Iraq's various ethnic and sectarian militias continue to exist, and in some cases, are on a path to being recognized as part of Iraq's security apparatus. On June 8, for example, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani praised an Iran-trained Shiite militia known as the Badr Organization and the Kurdish peshmerga security force. The continued operation of these militias raises fears among experts that security responsibilities in Iraq will increasingly be enforced not by a unified, U.S.-trained army, but by a diverse group of potentially feuding militias that could deepen the nation's sectarian divisions.

The larger, more established militias, such as the Badr Organization and peshmerga, are tied to Iraq's leading political parties, organized along sectarian lines, and enforce order in their respective regions.

What is the Badr Organization?

It is the Iranian-trained wing of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), the largest Shiite party in Iraq. During the U.S.-led occupation government's crackdown on militia groups in 2003, the 10,000-strong militia changed its name from the Badr Brigade to the Badr Organization of Reconstruction and Development and pledged to disarm. The group, however, has reportedly remained armed, and today operates mainly in Shiite-controlled southern Iraq, where a number of regional governments are dominated by SCIRI representatives. One of Badr's recent offshoots is a feared, elite commando unit linked to the Iraqi Interior Ministry called the Wolf Brigade. Sunni leaders have recently accused the Badr Organization of revenge killings against Sunni clerics and unlawful kidnappings.

The Mahdi Army.Loyal to the young, anti-U.S. cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, this group of thousands of armed loyalists fought U.S. forces for much of last year before agreeing to an October 2004 ceasefire. Recent news reports suggest the militia, which controls much of Sadr City, a Baghdad slum of some 2.5 million Shiites, may be regrouping and rearming itself. Muqtada al-Sadr has refused to participate directly in the Iraqi government, though some of his followers were elected to seats on the Iraqi National Assembly.

What risks do the militia and commando units pose?

Some experts question their allegiance to the national government, because they are generally drawn exclusively from sectarian or ethnic communities, whether Sunni, Shiite, or Kurd. In Iraq, as anywhere, increased sectarian tension can result when members of one ethnic group or community are charged with policing and arresting another. "There's a concern that what they're creating [are] armed militia[s] with no loyalty to the national government," Hammes says. "I think it's better to go with an organized national army, because otherwise you get militia[s], and that's a first step toward a civil war." Some experts also predict rising tensions between Iraqi army officers and leaders of semi-sanctioned militia. Others fear that a Shiite-led Interior Ministry may seek to purge its ranks of Sunnis, which could prompt them to join the insurgency.

--by Lionel Beehner, staff writer,

Iraq's Jihad: Past as Prologue

At the American Thinker, Andrew Bostom publishes some revealing quotations from 1920s British consular official Gertrude Bell, collected by Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald. I would have written "Is it history? Or today's headlines?" were it not for the fact that today's mainstream media outlets are ignoring the jihad character of what is happening in Iraq.

Baghdad, March 14, 1920

It's a problem here how to get into touch with the Shiahs, not the tribal people in the country; we're on intimate terms with all of them, but the grimly devout citizens of the holy towns and more especially the leaders of religious opinion, the Mujtahids, who can loose and bind with a word by authority which rests on an intimate acquaintance with accumulated knowledge entirely irrelevant to human affairs and worthless in any branch of human activity. There they sit in an atmosphere which reeks of antiquity and is so thick with the dust of ages that you can't see through it -- nor can they. And for the most part they are very hostile to us, a feeling we can't alter…There's a group of these worthies in Kadhimain, the holy city, 8 miles from Baghdad, bitterly pan-Islamic, anti-British…Chief among them are a family called Sadr, possibly more distinguished for religious learning than any other family in the whole Shiah world….I went yesterday [to visit them] accompanied by an advanced Shiah of Baghdad whom I knew well.

Baghdad, September 5, 1920
We are now in the middle of a full-blown Jihad, that is to say we have against us the fiercest prejudices of a people in a primeval state of civilization. Which means that it's no longer a question of reason….The unthinking people, who form the great mass of the world, follow suit in a blind revolt against the accepted order. They don't now how to substitute anything better, but it's clear that few things can be worse. We're near to a complete collapse of society -- the end of the Roman empire is a very close historical parallel. We've practically come to the collapse of society here and there's little on which you can depend for its reconstruction.

Baghdad, November 29, 1920

We are greatly hampered by the tribal rising which has delayed the work of handing over to the Arab Govt. Sir Percy(Cox), I think rightly, decided that the tribes must be made to submit to force. In no other way was it possible t make them surrender their arms or teach them that you mustn't lightly engage in revolution, even when your holy men tell you to do so…

Baghdad, December 18, 1920

The Council is aware and Sir Percy has constantly impressed upon them, the vital need of getting down to the formation of a native army to relieve ours. No Govt. in this country, whether ours or an Arab administration, can carry on without force behind it. The Arab Government has no force till its army is organized therefore it can't exist unless we lend it troops. Mesopotamia is not a civilized state, it is largely composed of wild tribes who do not wish to shoulder the burden and expense of citizenship…

NOTE: I would like to thank Hugh Fitzgerald for kindly bringing to my attention "The Letters of Gertrude Bell", [Volume II, New York, 1927], and also providing me with all the specific excerpts I have used save for the two letters regarding the Nestorians (Assyrians), i.e., the letters of May 20 and October 10.

Dr. Bostom is an Associate Professor of Medicine, and the author of the forthcoming The Legacy of Jihad, from Prometheus Books (2005).

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