Nel's New Day

June 22, 2014

Religious War in Iraq, U.S.

Former Dick Cheney, the noisiest of the current chicken-hawks urging the U.S. to resume an Iraqi war, said in 2003:

  • People are wrong to think that we need several hundred thousand troops after military operations cease.
  • “[The United States] will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.”
  • “Our ability to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process would be enhanced.”
  • The Kurds, the Sunnis, the Shiites will come together in a democracy, Cheney told Tim Russert on Meet the Press, because “they have so far.”

“They understand the importance of preserving and building on an Iraqi national identity….  The prospects of being able to achieve this kind of success, if you will, from a political standpoint, are probably better than they would be for virtually any other country and under similar circumstances in that part of the world.”

No, none of this happened. Bush/Cheney pushed the well-trained Sunni military out of leadership and put the Shiites into control through the leadership of  Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, leaving the country torn apart.  Bush/Cheney destroyed the country’s infrastructure and replaced its government with another corrupt, brutal government.  Bush/Cheney put the Al-Qaeda in power because the Sunnis were not part of the government. Bush/Cheney went in with no plan and then signed an agreement to get out of Iraq before leaving office.

The $25 billion that the U.S. put into training and equipment for the Iraqi military paid for abuse of Iraqi civilians, primarily Sunnis, through unlawful raids and arrests, torture, and indiscriminate shelling.  The best summary of what happened in Iraq comes comedian Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show.

Despite his brutality, Saddam Hussein had kept an uneasy peace among the three separate identities in the country for almost 30 years. When Bush/Cheney removed him as leader, the rift became violent. Injured Sunnis were left for dead in a Shia hospital, and Sunni families who came to get the injured Sunnis were also in danger of being killed. Sen. John McCain said in April 2003 that the Shias and Sunnis had no history of discord. The U.S. totally failed to understand that this rift has existed for 1300 years, that Iraq was only labeled as a “country” in 1920 because Britain wanted its oil.

For a short time in 2008, Gen. David Petraeus demanded that the Sunnis be included in decisions, but this was soon dropped. A Sunni organization in Syria called ISIS made themselves popular with food and healthcare drives in the villages. ISIS built a fortune of over $2 billion after it took over some of the Iraqi banks this year, becoming the richest terrorist group in the world.

ISIS isn’t alone in its attacks on the Iraqi army. Although many Sunnis are disturbed by the ISIS violence, the group’s collaboration with local militias, including Ba’athist and Islamist sects, has made it easier for them to overtake a number of cities. Most of the media reports only on ISIS, but people in Iraq report that it is just one faction in a popular rebellion against Maliki’s corrupt government. For them, there is no other option.

Eleven years after the Bush/Cheney invasion of Iraq, most people have figured out that the U.S. isn’t going to plant “seeds of democracy” in a religiously war-torn nation. President Obama has announced that the U.S. would not intervene in Iraq until the Iraqi government makes concessions to the Sunnis. Yet he has already chosen sides with the Shiites by promising 300 “military advisers,” who will receive combat pay, to help the government fight against the Sunnis. The U.S. has already also increased its “intelligence and surveillance assistance” and continues to supply arms to the Shiite government, assisting the “genocide” against the Sunni population.

Religious and ultra conservative leaders in the U.S. are opposing any involvement in Iraq: Pat Robertson bashed the Bush/Cheney war on The 700 Club by agreeing that Hussein kept “those warring factions in check.” He added, “It’s unfixable. Those simmering animosities have been there for centuries.

Glenn Beck admitted he was wrong and the liberals were right for opposing the invasion:

“You were right. Liberals, you were right, we shouldn’t have…. Not one more life. Not one more life. Not one more dollar, not one more airplane, not one more bullet, not one more Marine, not one more arm or leg or eye. Not one more. This must end now.”

Fox network’s Shepard Smith criticized the people who were wrong in the first place and now want the U.S. to go back into Iraq. Megyn Kelly scolded Cheney for his op-ed criticizing President Obama for his Iraqi policy by telling Cheney how wrong he was:

“Now with almost a trillion dollars spent there with 4,500 American lives lost there, what do you say to those who say you were so wrong about so much at the expense of so many?”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) talked to David Gregory on NBC’s Meet the Press today about the Bush/Cheney mistakes.

Much as I would like to think that these people have suddenly become sane, the intent may be to show up the war-mongering establishment GOP by siding with the over 80 percent of people in the United States who think that the U.S. needs to stay out of Iraq.

Historian Crane Brinton describes three phases of revolutionary change countries typically follow:

  • People revolt and the old order is overthrown.
  • Revolutionaries, the people who overthrew the old order, become oppressors themselves and use violence to stay in power.
  • People revolt against the revolutionaries to restore the peace and tranquility they used to have during the old regime.

When order is restored, the best parts of revolution are preserved. Iraq’s old order was overthrown in 2003. The country is still in the second, violent, phase. The Iraqis have to revolt against this violence to escape a cycle of radicalism and terror. The U. S. needs to stay out of the process.

To support the current Iraqi regime is to support Iran. When the Iraqi soldiers defected, Iran sent the Revolutionary Guard to help Maliki, increasing Iraq’s independence on Iran. Anything the U.S. sends to Iraq may easily go on to Iran.

Even some of the Shiites want the U.S. out of Iraq. In a sermon Friday, Nassir al-Saedi, loyalist to Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr, said that their group will attack the U.S., “the occupier,” if it comes back. Tens of thousands of al-Sadr’s militia, the Mahdi army, paraded through the Baghdad streets yesterday.

The U.S. needs to concentrate on the domestic terrorists in our country. The Ku Klux Klan is organizing a military-style combat training for its members to participate in a racial civil war. At this time, existing and new KKK members now overseas and leaving the military will be leading these trainings. One of the women in the KKK said, “The Klan is a Christian organization, so they get to read the bible and they enjoy going to rallies and they get to play with kids their own kind.”

The Klan is starting to develop its followers in the same way that ISIS did—by helping people. Part of their agenda is to volunteer for neighborhood watch programs. KKK members dropped flyers in Chesterfield County (VA) that stated, “You can sleep tonight knowing the Klan is awake.” The klan may appear to be small at this time, but it will be joined by angry violent groups with almost unlimited supplies of guns because of lax laws in the U.S.

Conservatives will do anything they can to keep the KKK in business. After U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced  that the DOJ is bringing back its committee on Domestic Terrorism, the extremist right wing came out in force. According to their beliefs, white supremacists using violence and terrorizing communities for their political agenda are exercising their free speech rights. They are “patriots.”

Extremists claim that Holder’s committee is a war on white men while bombing abortion clinics and killing doctors is just showing that you disagree with them. Cliven Bundy was merely exercising his rights not to pay his debts; the government was the terrorist, according to the radical right. In 2009, DHS issued a report that identified white supremacists as the greatest threat to national security, and the far right went ballistic.

Membership in the KKK has tripled since President Obama was elected the first time. Members claim that it’s a “non-violent, Christian organization.” The past six years has seen a constant diet of vicious, racist diatribes not seen since Herbert Hoover’s Southern Strategy to attract Southern racists to the GOP. Republican candidates use openly racial language in an attempt to win votes.

Parallels between Muslim fundamentalists and U.S. Christian right:

  • Motivated by extreme religious beliefs
  • Tend to have antiquated ideas about the role of women
  • See themselves as “soldiers of God”
  • Harbor strong homophobia
  •  Vigorously defend their way of life by using violence if necessary

About a half century ago, a Catholic president promised to follow the constitution and keep his religious beliefs separate from his political views. Since Ronald Reagan was elected president, far-right religious candidates have become more and more fanatical about incorporating the Bible into political decisions until the radical Christian fundamentalists have started to force everyone in the country to follow their beliefs.  Like the Shiites, these legislators are the religious fanatics who protect the domestic terrorists.

We need to turn back to a democracy instead of a theocracy like Iraq. Our government—including Congress—needs to start protecting “our homeland” from “our” domestic terrorists before the Christian fundamentalists take over U.S. cities by force.

1 Comment »

  1. Powerful.


    Comment by Lee Lynch — June 22, 2014 @ 10:32 PM | Reply

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