Saturday, March 13, 2010
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
What's the Deal with Muslims and Pigs
I realize that pigs are unclean in Islam, but...well, lets start with this event:
Police Investigate Ham Incident At School
April 19, 2007
LEWISTON, Maine --Police are investigating as a possible hate crime an incident in which a ham steak was placed in a bag on a lunch table where a group of Somali students were sitting.
A Lewiston Middle School student was suspended after the incident, which happened April 11.
Superintendent Leon Levesque said the incident is being treated seriously and police are investigating. The center for the Prevention of Hate Violence is working with the school to devise a response plan.
The incident is the second of its kind in Lewiston in recent months. Last summer, a man rolled a pig's head into a mosque in Lewiston, which has a large Somali population. A court later ordered the man to stay away from the mosque.
Here is an article in the local Lewiston newspaper, which I think places the incident in a larger context of harassment toward the Somali students based on their religion.
Still, how an act can be a "hate crime" if it wouldn't be a crime at all otherwise is beyond me, but I never understood hate crime laws anyway.
Which brings me to the question of Muslims and pigs. Why is it that people from Islamic cultures so famously can be so gulled by pigs and pig by-products. Ham is also forbidden to Jews as well, but only for eating. No one would think to offend a Jew with a pig. He would use symbols like swastikas that carry an underlying threat of violence. There isn't the notion that Jews become unclean before God because a pig (or a pig effigy) is near them.
I offer the famous British Piglet ban.
In Texas, a Muslim congregation built a mosque next to a pig farm and then tried to drive the farmer away. So he responded by holding pig races every Friday.
These are a few among many minor incidences (we'll leave aside for now the major ones) that founds the bias among Westerners that people from Islamic cultures are irrational (that they attach a magical import to symbols and offenses), and treat them appropriately ("Don't offend them, they might kill someone.")
If I'm missing a larger issue, I sure wish someone would point it out to me.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Scroll to the end of the article to read about the inflated media reports of the lack-luster crowds of Sadrite protesters.
On murder-suicide bombings:
The mass casualty suicide attacks, which have incited the Shia population to support sectarian violence in the past, have been absent from Baghdad since an attack at a Shia market on March 29th. Al Qaeda has conducted several attacks in the provinces, most notably a chlorine gas suicide strike in Ramadi and conventional suicide bombings in Kirkuk and Khalis. The Ramadi attack, the eighth chlorine attack in Anbar province, was another attempt to break the Anbar Salvation Council, a grouping of Sunni tribes and former insurgent groups opposed to al Qaeda's Islamic State of Iraq. The Khalis strike was intended to stir up sectarian violence in the mixed Sunni-Shia province of Diyala, while the Kirkuk strike was an effort to pit Kurds against Arabs in the contested and oil rich northern city.
On jihadis and insurgents:
The Baghdad Security Plan has resulted in the death or capture of three senior al Qaeda operatives over the past week.
Multinational Forces Iraq deployed a Stryker Battalion to Baqubah, the provincial capital, and since has been conducting a series of targeted raids, clearing operations, search and destroy missions and some permanent presence missions in the Diyala River Valley north of the city. The latest operation resulted in 30 terrorists killed and another 28 captured. The raids also uncovered an al Qaeda in Iraq training facility and 25 weapons caches.
Western Iraq Mission:
In Mosul, over 179 insurgents were captured and eight killed during operations over the past week. Violence in Niwena province has increased since U.S. and Iraqi forces shifted towards Baghdad. In Anbar, Iraqi and Coalition forces are pushing outward from the larger cities and towns into the rural farmlands that snake along the Euphrates River Valley.
Shi'a Militia Busting:
Operations are ongoing in Diwaniyah, where elements of Muqtada al Sadr's Mahdi Army fled after the announcement of the Baghdad Security plan. The split in Sadr's Mahdi Army has left a large segment of that group looking to reconcile with the Iraqi government. The extremist elements of the militia have reestablished themselves in Diwaniyah, and security in the city is said to have been deteriorating ever since. The Iraqi government and the Coalition are pursuing the Mahdi Army holdovers remaining in Diwaniyah. Thirty-nine Mahdi fighters have been captured since the operation began on April 6, and several have been reported killed.
CMAR II says "Check it out".
Greyhawk @ Mudville Gazette posts on how the Iraq Liberation Critics have been rooting for the failure of the Iraq mission from the beginning
Greyhawk cites a long list of prominent reporters declaring the battle for Iraq lost within days of the start of the fighting.
Incidentally, it didn't start with Iraqi. NY Times columnist, R.W. Apple, declared Afghanistan a "quagmire" within three weeks of US soldiers arriving on the field of battle. That was October 31, 2001...SEVEN WEEKS after 9-11.
The following is probably my favorite part of the post . Greyhawk cites a March 2003 post by a "peace activist" entitled 'Bush Wins': The Left's Nightmare Scenario
That's right. Remember those complaints that deposing Saddam was hypocritical because he was not the "most evil" dictator in the world? Well, don't suppose that meant the people saying that actually wanted anything done about those other evil tyrannies. It was just a ploy.
But this outcome is less likely than many assume, and the antiwar movement would be well advised to plan for a third scenario: "Bush Wins."
In order to prevent such an eventuality, the movement needs to work overtime now to inoculate the American people against...the "mirage" of democracy that will likely be planted in Iraq after a short war.
Even more discouraging, when I asked a senior organizer why the movement doesn't expand the focus of protests to include regimes like Sudan's, which is prosecuting a decade-long war of slavery and genocide, she replied that she feared President Bush would agree with protesters, and use their arguments as a pretext to invade Sudan next.
It's past time to question the patriotism of the American detractors of the war against Islamofascism.
Anyway, check out Greyhawk's post.
"not because I'm against religion, but because I want to safeguard religion. Some politicians ask me how could you say such things while you're a clergyman. It's because I'm a clergyman that I want to defend my religion."IraqPundit notes:
Jamaleddin, who praises the virtues of dance and soccer (unlike Al Sadr, who regards soccer as a Zionist plot), believes that Iraqi secularism was reflected in the national reaction to the Iraqi singer, Shada Hassoun. Her recent triumph on "Star Academy," the Arab world's version of "American Idol," was wildly celebrated by all Iraqis regardless of sect.
This could have something to do with Sadr's desperate ploy yesterday to call for attacks on US troops on the anniversary of Saddam's fall.
heh heh...If Sadr wants the US out, he should return to Iraq from Iran and lead the fight himself.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Recounting a conversation with co-workers in which they proposed that the U.S. was behind the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, he says:
"Well, thanks, you just made me a worshipper of America. I stopped believing in God. Because if what you are saying is true, then America was in fact capable of convincing thousands of Sunni youth from outside Iraq to not just kill Shias but to die in the process as well. Definitely America has supernatural power in order to be able to convince such a huge number of suicide bombers and therefore the statue of liberty and the casinos of Vegas are God. America Akbar!"
I suspect there those of you out there with an annoying tendency to apply logic to these things. You are probably wondering how it is in America's interest, after spending lots of money and blood on a democratic government and installing "puppets", to now spoil everything by stirring up a civil war. Oh, you silly superstitious logicians! Let me clue you into a recent conversation that America, the Great Satan, had with an Arab:
Arab: "But, Great Satan! How does stirring up chaos and civil war in Iraq help your ingenius evil plan to steal Iraq's oil? No one can get oil out of Iraq in all that mayhem!"
Great Satan: "Ha ha ha! Silly Arab! Don't you understand anything? I don't care if another drop of oil comes out of the Middle East. At any time, I can just have my oil companies and car companies start making those cars that run on cooking oil. I could have done that a long time ago, but I kept the designs away from the public because that would have been "good" and I don't do good. I never do good and I never let good things happen. If something good happens it is either a trick of mine or an Arab did it and I cover it up. Don't you get it? Causing trouble is FUN! Fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN!"
That's the reason I attacked Pearl Harbor and blamed the peaceful Japanese and why I caused 9-11 and blamed that famous pacifist Osama Bin Laden. Why do you think I faked the landing on the Moon? Because tricking people is FUN. Remember when Columbus "discovered" America? Even that was faked. There's no North and South American continents and there never were. If you sail West, you you'll arrive at mini-mart in Karaikal, India. (We've been calling the people Columbus found "Indians" but you gullible people never caught on. ha ha!)"
I'm not going to say who was behind that original hoax, but I will say that those Muhammed cartoons nearly blew the lid off the whole thing. I guess I got a little carried away in the thrill of it all. So I blew up the shrine to distract everyone. See? I'm always doing stuff to distract people. (You noticed, I'm sure, people all over the Muslim world stopped protesting anything as soon as they heard about it and went back to drinking tea.)"
Arab: "Wow. That's amazing!"
Great Satan: "That's nothing. Someday I'll tell you how I faked the discovery of electricity!"
Sunday, February 19, 2006
The Basic Rules For Deserving and Receiving Apologies
A Primer On Apologies and Culpability
Here is a truly ignorant statment about the Muslem Cartoon Protests:
Both the Danish newspaper and the protesting Muslims are wrong.
Maybe this is true, or maybe not. I don't think the newspaper was wrong considering the context as described by the editor. Even if you think publishing the cartoons was wrong, it is simply not true that they are EQUALLY wrong.
Even if you think that the Danish newspaper owed Muslims an apology on the morning after the cartoons were published, the newspaper does NOT owe Muslims an apology anymore.
Let me explain the basic rules of owing and receiving apologies:
- If you are offended, you have the RIGHT to ASK for an apology. You do not have the right to RECIEVE an apology. True apologies can only be freely given.
- If you go ape, that is, if you freak out in an outrageously offensive manner totally out of proportion to the offence, then you might even POISON the ability for you and those sharing your cause to RECEIVE an *honest* apology.
When that happens, the only apology you can possibly receive will have all the intrinsic meaning of the soothing words a cop gives to someone threatening to jump off a ledge. It is just words meant to calm down a maniac. It will never be an true apology after that.
- Furthermore, if you act that way, then you no longer even DESERVE an apology. You deserve only REBUKE instead. And that is all Muslims as a whole deserve anymore. Why? Because their leaders and spokesmen have failed to rebuke the outrageous behavior of Muslims.
Christians call this "excommunicating". It means essentially, "throwing someone out of your community" and an excommunicated party is consigned to Hell (unless he gets a chance to repent and be accepted back into the community).
Muslim leaders haven't done this with the outrageous behavior of the protestors, or the murder-suicide bombers or others who murder in the name of Islam. They haven't stated the obvious, that martyr is killed for his Faith. He does not kill himself. They have not repudiated the belief that Paradise awaits those who offer such a repugnant sacrifice to Allah...or even declared that such an act does not weigh in their favor. Instead, the Islamic leaders and the public faces of Islam have excused and justified those actions. Consequently, Islam's banner has been hijacked by the whoever is willing to act the most insanely and brutally in order to attract the attention of cameras.
So, now when reasonable Muslims ask for an apology, it is like asking for money from someone while there is a big guy with a black mask and hunting knife behind him who is your friend. You may not be doing anything threatening, but the threat is there anyway.
- However, simply being Muslim at an individual level does not cause your owe an apology for the maniacs protesting the cartoons. If you have always repudiated beheaders and other killers who claim to share your religion, you stand with the rest of the reasonable world: neither owing or deserving an apology.
Now you know.
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Check it out.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Re: The Jordanian Newspaper's Report that the Bombing in Iraq killed American ForcesNote: Dishonest Khalid did not respond to this.
Has the newspaper issued a retraction and admitted that the evil insurgency in Iraq killed mostly Iraqis rather the evil Kaffirs? Or do they continue to erroneously report that the insurgency is mostly killing "occupiers". You fail to recognize that the reason Jordanians support the insurgency is BECAUSE the liked Saddam. In their case, support for the insurgency is NOTHING BUT love for Saddam in thier hearts. Just like Saddam's Orphans in Iraq.
Re: Salam PaxNote: Khalid promised to respond to my challenge for him to name three things that make him happy Saddam was deposed. In return, I promised to give three reasons I wish the US had not invaded Iraq. The LIAR Khalid has never fulfilled that that promise.
Rather than address what Salam has said, you accuse him through his parents. However, UNLIKE YOU Salam was critical of Saddam before he was deposed, he was critical of him during the invasion, he was critical of him immediately afterwards, and he was critical of him ever since. He certainly didn't become an apologist for the US or the new Iraq government to do that as you would know if you read his early blog. Suggesting Salam Pax is an opportunist is either serious ignorance or an evil slur.
YOU on the other hand are Palestinian, and Palestinians DID receive benefits under Saddam that were not available to ordinary Iraqis.
YOU ALSO have given NO REASONS that make you glad Saddam was deposed...ever you haven't even mentioned Saddam's trial. That is why I say you are a Saddam apologist.
Re: JeffreyThen I wrote:
I think he is non-religious. Perhaps in YOUR understanding of your religion, YOU think gays should be beheaded. There is no reason to think Jeffrey would think that.
I also wrote:
well i dont knwo if salam knows about this -well i hope not, otherwise he would be a fatter liar
You haven't shown a single way in which Salam Pax has lied. Even if he knew that that Jordanian newspaper had its head up its butt it would not be a lie to report what it said.
On the other hand, you stood spouting your "democratic rights" before a judge who you believe could be righteously murdered by an insurgent. So who is the real liar here??
[Khalid said] "i talked (many times) about my opinion about kiling civillians on one hand and attacking police and national guard and the occupation troops on the other hand and the deference between them"
Unfortunately, you don't acknowledge that the same people organizing the one
are organizing the other as well.
Strange that--although you can unjustly differentiate between car bombs that kill police and those that kill civilians going to work--you are not willing to accept that harm to non-culpable people by the US forces, ING, and IP occurs because of the insurgency that targets civilians, civil servants, and utilities: who in short, are targeting any level of Iraqi society that can't get them first. They could have chosen to go after only "the occupiers" but early on discovered that would likely get themselves killed so they now hit mostly "soft" targets as this religious former Republican guard insurgent -who began organizing jihadists and Ba'athists under Saddam's orders- explains.
[Khalid said] i am just saying maybe, because if the goal of explosions is to kill civillians then the best place to go would be mecca mall for example, or Abdon mall, or any of the big malls in amman that has thousands of people in them with no security measurments at all
I think it is obvious that they wanted to kill innocents in places that were --what they ignorantly and wrongly thought to be-- American. Unfortunately (and this is the way capitalism generally works) those hotels with American names were owned by JORDANIANS. And it is typical that when your friends the terrorists attack "occupiers" they hurt mostly the ordinary people.
Because they are "are brain-less crazy men that just wake up
one day feeling like bombing themselves and killing others" because some evil
Saddam Orphan or al-Qaeda stooge told them it was a short-cut to Paradise.
The "Jordanian" as you call him is as much a Saddam Orphan as the former Republican Guard and Fedayeen Saddam that are aiding him. Saddam let him in, healed him, and sent him to the North of Iraq to conduct assassinations against Kurdish leaders where he couldn't touch them personally. There are no "good insurgents" and "bad insurgents". After the US leaves, whether the insurgents want Saddam to return or an Islamic caliphate, they know they will have to kill many many Iraqis to take control of Iraq. So they kill Iraqis now: ING, IP, their families, and ordinary people going to the wrong mosque.
By the way, Khalid, given your stated opinions about killing IP and ING and government officials, were the IP wrong to suspect you as a terrorist??
Khalid never answered this question. I wonder why??
This is some of Khalid's response:
Dear Cmar, you are about to face sentense of banning too, watch ( and wash) that mouth.you had some good point in the comments you posted, i deleted them all except one because they all had either bad language or false accusations to me. :)
Well as anyone can see now, I used no bad language. That was another Khalid (Saddam's Sausage Boy) Jarrar LIE.
As for false accusations? Khalid, say what those false accusations are and if they are false I will humbly apologize. I wouldn't want to smear the Jarrar good name anymore than what the Jarrars themselves have done already.
as for salam: he would be a liar cause he used the rumor about the newspaper to say that Jordanians love to see Iraqis being killed, and that is an unbelievably terrible lie, what does he want, an arab-arab general civil war?
No Khalid. An Arab-Arab civil war is what YOU want in Iraq after the US leaves and you have said so in effect. You don't really think the elected Iraqi government (or as you all it, "the Puppets") is going to be deposed without a fight do you?
Salam pointed out that in a recent poll Jordanians support suicide bombers in Iraq and Israel. The fact they their media consistently pretends that these attacks do not kill Iraqis is NO EXCUSE.
The fact is that Jordanian commentators immediately came out saying that the attack in Amman was reprehensible but human bombs in Iraq and Israel were great!
Salam Pax is not alone in his truth-telling. Hammorabi pointed this out as well. For you to excuse those Jordanian newspapers and Jordanian attitudes in general is reprehensible because YOU KNOW BETTER. (*cough*liar*cough)
as for the judge, when i said these thignsto him i was being sarcastic, totally, like: ( isnt this the crap you tell us all the time since the war? how come i am in prison for surfing the net then? ).i dont support killing judges or any civilian or any person that helps building the country positively. but i cleared that already haven't i? :) it's getting funny, maybe i should copy paste this part at the end of every post:) with a note "for Cmarii"
Hmm...did that judge...
[to whom you gave the following defense, when you were locked up in the hoose-gow for being a suspect terrorist,
"I was practicing my democratic right of viewing people’s opinion about a certain topic on a site that people visit from all the countries around the world to give their opinions"]
...know you were being "sarcastic"? Because if he didn't then it's not sarcasm...its a LIE.
It didn't seem "sarcastic" the way you described it. Its sounded desperate. (*cough*lying coward*cough*)
As for which Iraqis it is alright to kill, maybe you should clarify it again, because (despite what you say) I'm still having trouble pinning you down precisely except that the government officials, the Police, and the ING are PUPPETS.
So spell it out. Which of these Iraqis is it okay for the insurgents to kill, Khalid?
- Government officials?
- Judges?? (If you answered yes to the three above, why not judges?)
- Children in restaurants?
I am hereby banning myself from commenting at Khalid's site. There is no point when he isn't even going to be honest about what he truly thinks.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
"...there remain suspicions over how he has managed to become an expert, seemingly, on every conflict since the second world war; it is assumed by his critics that he plugs the gaps in his knowledge with ideology.
"Chomsky says...'the best scientists aren't the ones who know the most data; they're the ones who know what they're looking for.'"
Note that he has accepted that the criticism is true, but he has spun it as preferable!
He is saying the following in a remarkably appealing way that never would have occurred to me:
It is better to have an ideological agenda than to know actual facts about a subject.
What a great way to frame your faults! I think he might well be the smartest man on Earth!
Maybe he could give me some tips for my next interview! :D
Thursday, October 27, 2005
A clarification of terms: Bloghdad
Iraqi blogosphere just wasn't cutting it.
Bloghdad obviously includes the bloggers living in Iraq. It also includes Iraqi expatriates and their children living and born in other countries. It includes milbloggers in Iraq. It includes sites devoted to Iraqi bloggers and the events in Iraq like this one and IBC whether or not they are hosted by Iraqis. When blogs devoted to many different things, or to politics generally address the situation in Iraq as Sandmonkey does or TRP does or the still-mourned Chrenkoff did with his Good News from Iraq posts, they are also part of Bloghdad. It also includes the Comments sections of Bloghdad and their participants.
And, Yes, Bloghdad is full of tourists who pass through and just admire the scenery.
Bloghdad was/is the name of a now dormant blog by the Italian journalist, Enzo Baldoni, a journalist who was killed by brave freedom-fighter terrorists in Iraq last summer. Slate once used the term in a very small way to refer to its columns on the war. The word is essentially up for grabs, and it's service is now desperately needed. So I'm calling it out of Reserve status.
Bloghdad. Add that to your glossaries.
Good Morning, citizens of Bloghdad!
Someone sent me a email recently to ask if there were any Iraqi soldiers or police in Bloghdad (obviously she didn't use that term). I had to confess that I didn't know of any. The first time an Iraqi security professional starts to blog, it will be like Salam Pax's first post. If someone knows of one or notes the first to come out, please let me know. Bloghdad has for too long been without a lawman.
Of course, the godfather of Bloghdad is Salam Pax, the original Baghdad blogger, who seems to have once again descended to the Underworld. But as gods are want to do, he will surely rise again. I'm working on a Who Is Salam Pax post. So stay posted, get posted, whatever.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Thursday, October 13, 2005
A Glossary for Reading Zawahiri's Letter to Zarqawi
NOTE: I originally posted this at IBC. I usually only post short stuff there as an outlet to sudden blogging urges, and I save my more extensive posts for here. But I didn't realize this post was going to be so long when I started. Posts at IBC tend to get pushed aside pretty quickly in favor of the next day's post. So I thought I would mirror it over here, because I like it and I think it is even useful.
Some people might not be Islamic/Middle Eastern scholars like me or Juan Cole, so I thought I ought to provide an explanation for terms that Westerners are not familiar with:
Praise and blessings be upon the Messenger of God, his family, his Companions, and all who follow him It is traditional for extremist Islamists like Zawahiri or Faiza Jarrar to offer gratuitous praise to a lot of people who have been dead for 1300 years. He also offers praise at this time for maniacs like Zarqawi who bring the good news message of the butcher knife to the hapless Iraqis, idolatrous infidel NGO workers, and anyone doing anything to improve living standards in Iraq.
Sunna of His Prophet The religion of Islam. It is also the supposed religion of the "turncoat deviants" (see below).
Greatest Criminals and Apostates In the Heart of the Islamic World "Criminals" are the Western soldiers. "Apostates" (in this case) are the Iraqis working for a free, prosperous, democratic Iraq whether they be Kurds, Sunni Arabs, or Shi'a Arabs.
Hadiths of the Messenger of God The Quran and other traditions surrounding Muhammed's activities and sayings.
Caliphate Essentially, a Muslim state run by a civil and religious leader considered to be a successor to Mohammed a representative of Allah on earth: the Muslim pope with a territory-expanding army. During the 90s, the was what Saddam was marketing himself as. Since there can only be one caliph (ala the movie Highlander), al-Qaeda didn't line up at the time to join Uncle Saddam's great religious plan.
Levant Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan; all the regions to the east of the Mediterranean between Turkey and Egypt. Also, a type of leather, but I don't think Zawahiri means that since I don't think he cares whether his dreamed caliphate is founded in heavy coarse-grained leather. It also means "to leave hurriedly with unpaid debts" which is more likely what that Ba'athist, rejectionist, anti-American poser Raed did when he sneaked off to live in one of America's swankiest cities.
Hijaz Essentially, Saudi Arabia around Mecca and Medina. Let his reference to this area be instructive to those who say OBL's only initial beef with the US was the troops protecting SA from Saddam. Israel is also too darned close to those holy cities and for some reason that is the US's doing.
Idolatrous Infidels Westerners, and I suppose the teensy Christian communities in Iraq. We'll have no truck with this "People of the Book" nonsense. I mean, we we're not crazy about the theologically error-prone majority of Muslims. Nope. It's safer just to sort them all in the pile of bodies labeled "Kaffirs" and move on.
Traitorous Apostates Sunni Muslims (whether Kurd or Arab) working with the Idolatrous Infidels to build a free, stable democracy in Iraq.
Turncoat Deviants Iraqi Shi'a.
Spearhead of Jihad What used to be the murder spree against democracy in Afghanistan and is now the same thing moved to Iraq.
Tenets of the Secularists, Detractors, and Inferiors Essentially, free and tolerant democracy. Secularists are of course those who don't want muttawi harassing them on the streets. Its anybody's guess who the "detractors" and "inferiors" are, but chances are YOU are one of them.
Pure Way of the Prophet Piles of dead turncoat deviants and traitorous apostates.
Sublime Goal of the Prophet For Zawahiri to get the heck out of Kashmir and to start heading up that caliphate in the Levant.
Imam al Husayn bin Ali Grandson of Mohammed and, ironically, a central figure to Shi'a Muslims. While escaping from Caliph Yazd, he and 200 followers were trapped near Kufa and slaughtered on the October 10th, 680. The wickedly Turncoat Deviants see his death as having sacrificial value.
Abdallah bin al-Zubair (Zubayr) A fellow tribal leader with Ali and the son of one of Mohammed's "companions". He chose not to join Bin Ali. But after Ali's massacre, Mecca was in general free-for-all insurrection. In the course of things Bin al-Zubayr went to Mecca and led an insurrection against the Syrian caliphate. He was massacred there.
Abul Rahman bin al-Ashath An 8th century military commander of the Umayyad Empire that lead an insurrection against al-Hajjaj. He was defeated and fled to what is today Turkey.
Typical of the confusing Muslim history of this era, al-Hajjaj was also a Muslim and so were the Umayyad caliphs. However, al-Hajjaj, conquered Mecca and maintained control over it with legendary cruelty: the original Saddam Hussein. The Umayyad caliphs and their agents typically play the role of the enemies of of the good-guys in Muslim history.
Note that all these heroes lived and died during what's known in the West as "the Dark Ages". To the jihadis, a hero doesn't count for anything unless he died at least 800 years ago. Gene Roddenberry, had a better ear for this kind of thing:
When people in the TV show Star Trek would rattle off names of great people, he would deliberately throw in something recent like "That man is considered a great philosopher on this planet; in the vein of Plato, Lincoln, and Duraben of the Indleblatt system."
The Hour of Resurrection The moment of the bodily resurrection of believers. According to the Quran, this happens sometime after Jesus comes back, defeats the anti-Christ and his followers, ends all wars, and brings in an era of peace. Until then, we need to butcher every unbelieving S.O.B. Christian we can catch.
Shura methodology Literally, this means "consultation". This is supposed to be how Arabian tribes before Mohammed selected leaders and made major decisions: by "consulting" with the Muslim community. Zawahiri states that for al-Qaeda in Iraq to rule their Iraqi caliphate without the popular support of the people ("minimum support", really) would be contrary to Shura.
Of course, Zawahiri also says that the Taliban, for which al-Qaeda was the military armed force, did not do much consulting with the Muslim community in Afghanistan. Nor does there seem to be much consultation with the people in ultra-religious Saudi Arabia and Iran. I don't recall Hezbollah being to interested in input from those who disagree with them (or as they are technically referred to: "traitorous apostates"). There is a principle in Islam that embodies this paradox: it's called irony.
Sharia amirate Sharia kingdom or Islamic theocracy. Zawahiri says Iraq's Islamic theocracy would be "a political endeavor in which the mujahedeen would be a nucleus around which would gather the tribes and their elders, and the people in positions, and scientists, and merchants, and people of opinion, and all the distinguished ones who were not sullied by appeasing the occupation and those who defended Islam." Hmmm...no doubt the Iraqis that fit that bill will be top-shelf indeed. Too bad for the "scientists, merchants, and people of opinion" who don't make the cut.
Ulema The mullahs taken as a whole. Zawahiri tells Zarqawi not to make too much of doctrinal differences (for the time being) regardless of how contemptible they might be (good advice for to guys like Zarqawi, I'd say). The reason for this, Zawahiri says, is that "there may be...a heresy or an inadequacy in [a sect] which may have something to give to jihad." That is, "they can still die for us in our struggle for control of Iraq."
Umma The worldwide Moslem community taken as a whole including traitorous apostates, turncoat deviants, and heretics who have fallen into error.
Matridism The ("heretical" per Z.) Maturidiyyah school of the Sunni sect, founded by Abu Mansur al-Maturidi in the 10th century. One of the four schools of the Sunni Muslim sect. The Sunnis believe that the rightful first successor to the Prophet was his father-in-law, Abu Bakr, rather than Ali ibn Abi Talib, his cousin and son-in-law. This split occurred in the 7th century.
Asharism The ("heretical" per Z.) Ash'ariyyah, founded by Abu al-Hasan 9th and 10th centuries and continued to be developed into the 11th century. As this site describes it, "an attempt not only to purge Islam of all non‑Islamic elements which had quietly crept into it but also to harmonize the religious consciousness with the religious thought of Islam."
Salafism Wahhabbism, the religion of OBL and Zawahiri and God. It was founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab in the 18th century and stated that every sect founded after around 950 AD is tainted and heretical. They don't like to be called Wahhabbis and they don't like to be called a sect. They are pure Islam; true Islam. They have the knife, who are you to argue about it?
Hanafism A Sunni legal school on which the Ottoman empire was based in the fifteenth century. Zawahiri notes that it was a doctrine of wicked Matridism.
Incidentally, although Zawahiri is willing to overlook (for now) the error of some Muslims, since he thinks he has to as most Muslims are Matridi or Ashari, he assures us that that doesn't mean he is for cottoning the "hypocritical traitors who are in allegiance with the crusaders", but says we shouldn't talk so much about that.
About this point, Zawahiri goes right over the top in showing off his oh-so-intricate knowledge of every Muslim in history. That's when I realized, "Oh my gosh! Zawahiri is a smarty-pants." ...or to use another term: he's an annoying nerdy git. He's one of those guys who is so anxious to prove that he's the one who knows everything so don't bother trying to debate him. Remember Al Gore in the first 2000 Presidential debate? That's Zawahiri. The plank up this guy's butt has a plank up it's butt.
I'm laughing my head off imagining Zarqawi (I presume it is Zarqawi even though Zawahiri "cleverly" tries to throw us off track in case the letter were intercepted or found) sitting in his smelly garage apartment, having to change houses every night, trying to organize the next car bomb, NOW having to read this pompous diatribe from a guy who is hiding so far back in a cave that he can't even get T.V. (but somehow is swallowing every Internet boilerplate rumor about Iraq) telling him how to run his insurgency, pushing his lame writings on him, while he hits him up for money! "Hey can you toss me a $100,000 or so?"
Serves him right!
Mullah Muhammad Omar The reclusive leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan, which banned the sale of birds in the market because they insisted on being so unIslamic as to sing. Zawahiri says that although Omar is one of the heretical Hanafists, yet "he stood in the history of Islam with a stance rarely taken." Brother, you can say that again.
Izz Bin Abdul Salam A 7th century Shafi'i scholar. Zawahiri says he was also a hated Ashari, which I guess could just as well be true although it seems anachronistic to me.
al-Nawawi (Abu Zakariyya Yahiya Ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi) A 13th century Syrian scholar. Also an Ashari (according to Zawahiri).
Ibn Hajar (Imam Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar Al-'Asqalani) An 8th century Egyptian scholar. When he was 9 years old, he memorized the Qur'an. Unfortunately, an Asharist, although once again: anachronistic?.
Nur al-Din Bin Zanki Predecesor of Saladin who united Syria against the 2nd Crusade in the 12th century. Asharist.
Salahal-Din al-Ayyubi Saladin. Say no more. Asharist. Kurdish (which is a double whammy).
Sayf al-Din Qatz I'm not entirely sure about this one, but I think he is referring to Saif ad-Din Ghazi I who helped defend Damascus during the Second Crusade in the 12th century. He "fell into errors, sins, and heresies".
Rukn al-Din Baybars Administrative official in the Mamluk Sultanate, a 14th century Egyptian Islamic kingdom who oversaw the creation of an ornate version of the Quran and restored a mosque. He seized the throne from his Sultan, naming himself Baybars II, and was executed 11 months later when his boss came back. He died theologically in error.
al-Nasir Muhammad Bin-Qallawun Baybars's boss who executed him (see above). He finished the Madrasa of Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad ibn Qalawun in Cairo. He ruled for thirty years after taking his throne back from Baybars II. What is significant to Zawahiri is that he unfortunately "fell into errors, sins, and heresies".
Muhammad al-Fatih Sultan of the Ottoman Turks who conquered Constantinople in the 15th century. Theologically in error.
Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiya A 13th century Sunni scholar who spent much of his life in a Cairo prison for teaching that God was a corporeal being. Despite that, Zawahiri gives him his props for urging Bin-Qallawun (see above) to go on jihad.
Jamil al-Rahman The leader of the Afghanistan Wahhabi party Jama`at Ahl-al-Kitab wal-Sunna (in 80s-90s Afghanistan, "party" means army) who split off from the Hezbi Islami party in 1985. He was assassinated by an Egyptian gunman in 1991, and al-Kitab, subsequently defeated by the the Hezbi Islami, fell apart. Z. says al-Rahman was killed and his "movement shattered" because it failed to address "the realities on the ground." Hmm...it was an assassin. Granted he didn't see that one coming, but...whatever.*
You know what, Zawahiri? Here's a news flash from the ground:
IT'S NOT THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY!!
* Kat from The Middle Ground takes a shot at what Zawahiri was getting at:
Al-Sharq al-Awsat An Arabic language newspaper in London.
Here Zawahiri is warning Zarqawi that his puritanical purification of the ranks might end up getting him betrayed or killed by one of their own allies, destroying their efforts, if he does not refrain from enforcing his version of Islam wherever he goes and on all who come to contribute to the effort.
Abu Rasmi I don't want to speculate about who Abu Ramsi is. It is not an uncommon name. I could presume it is someone Z. thought was connected but that doesn't narrow things much. What is significant about this guy however, (laughing) is that Zawahiri gave him one of his books to try to get it published. Nothing came of it. Now Z. has lost his original manuscript and wants to get the book back. Anyone want to take bets on the likelihood that Ramsi chunked the book in the trash as soon as he was out of eye-shot?
Zarqawi: Hey, Zawahiri just sent me a letter (rolleyes). Can you send him his stupid manuscript back to him? He's lost his copy and he's driving me up the wall about it.
Ramsi: Yeah, right! Like I'm gonna carry that jihadi confetti through customs. I tossed it.
Z: He says you told him you were going to try to get it published?
R: He wouldn't get off my case about it, what would you do? Finally, I said 'Fine. Give it to me and I'll show it around.' But I didn' t mean it. No one's going to publish that crap. Anyway, you should have seen it. If you wanted to bottle pomposity, you could squeeze it from those reams.
Z: You're telling me? I told you he sent me a letter, right? He wanted me to know all the books he's been writing lately. If he really wants to do something for the cause, why doesn't he drag his aging can over here and strap on a martyrs vest. Oh. By the way. He's asking for money again.
R: Dead beat.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Raed Jarrar & CMAR II: A Correspondence
The truth, as it turned out, was that Raed was about to apply for a work permit in the Imperialistic United States, and his blog comments section had attracted the lowest denominator in supporters of the Iraqi Insurgency. His brother, an insurgent supporter himself, had been arrested by the Iraqi counter-terrorist team just for perusing Raed's comments section for a few minutes. The police spent two minutes reading the bile posted there, and were convinced anyone who would read it must be a hardened bomb-planter. Obviously, his blog as it stood was not going to look good for his upcoming Green Card interview.
Raed is not Iraqi although his mother is. He is "Palestinian" because, I guess, that's what his father is. Most of his life has been spent outside of Iraq too. He cares little for Iraq or Iraqis as I judge from his blogs. He cares about Arab National identity. For those who don't know Arab Nationalism is the Fascism of the Middle East. It is a KEY reason that the region has slipped steadily toward the 19th century for the last 50 years.
This is MY side of a correspondence I had with Raed when he contacted me because I am a contributor to Iraqi Bloggers Central. He informed me that unless the said site stops identifying him as a Ba'athist on its sidebar or proves that he has at sometime joined the Ba'athist Party that he will sue me personally in court for making untrue statements about him. He did not quote any specific instances in which I state something about him that is untrue. Apparently, he sent the same emails to Jeffrey and Mister Ghost.
I began replying to him because I hoped to learn more about his specific background: the ways exactly his family benefited under the Saddam regime and so forth.
An so we begin:
Dear, dear, Raed,
Thank you for the heads up about your upcoming nuisance suit.
I would be anxious to correct any statement I have made about you that is untrue, but you must specify exactly *what* I have said that is untrue (as you will be required to do in court).
I don't recall ever saying you had joined the Ba'athist Party, so I can't take that back. I have said that you are a Saddamist and a Ba'athist. But in a practical sense, one no more needs to join a party to be a Ba'athist than one needs to join the American Socialist Party or the Iraq Communist Party to be a Socialist or Communist. I myself have been accused of being a "neoconservative" many times in the comments section of my blog (here -- you should check out the update section of that post) while in fact I am not a member of any political party of that name or any other and never have been (I don't have the time).
Of course, if your law suit ever comes to trial, I will bring as evidence the fact that your brother Khalid was suspected of being an insurgent by the Iraqi authorities simply for *viewing* your blog for a short time...these were officials who, according to Khalid's own testimony, could barely speak English and knew nothing of your blog beforehand, but they only had to read a few articles to be assured that they were these were the words of one who yearned for "The Return".
If you don't like being thought of as a Ba'athist, you should stop talking like one. Personally, I *don't* think you are merely a Ba'athist. I think you are a cheerleader for any dictatorship anywhere in the world: Saddam, Iran, Syria, Arafat's corrupt regime, and most recently the military dictatorship of Imperial Japan (prior to WWII).
Raed, unfortunately I'm not sure how this law suit will ever come off. Not even Jeffrey or Mister Ghost know who I am, nor do I know who they are or if they have ever met each other. So, as you can imagine, there is no way I would ever willingly provide my personal identity to a fellow-traveler and, in my opinion, financier of the black-hole-minded monsters blowing up cars on the streets of Iraq and targeting the families of Iraqi civil servants.
Keep up the good work my Ba'athist friend. No doubt you have proved to be valuable bait for the Iraqi authorities to identify the terrorists in their midst.
Raed responded with various insults and repeated claim that my statements were libelous, and more insults in an attempt to get me to give him my personal information. While his first missive was very legalistic, this next one was a positive barking rant. I responded:
Dear, dear, Raed,
Wow! Respond to the (current) morose and confused Raed, and get a reply from the (classic) off-his-lithium, drunk-off-his-ass Raed. Cool!
"1) [quote from Raed informing me that calling him a Ba'athist when I know he is not a Party member is a crime in Iraq]
In that case, you should sue me in the Iraqi courts. Welcome to America, Raed!
[quote from Raed that I should preface calling him a Ba'athist the words "in my opinion]
You sure do sound like a Ba'athist to me. (Ba'athism: The National Socialism of the Arab world!) You apparently also sound like a Ba'athist to the Iraqi security forces whose job it is to track down Saddam's Orphans (the violent sort however - not the "shaking his tiny fist at the world" sort like you).
Actually, you sound like a young man mourning his missed opportunity to slip Uncle Saddam a big slurpy tongue -- but that's just my opinion, of course. I don't have any evidence that you tried to join the "We Stuck Our Tongues Down Saddam's Throat Club" (WSOTDSTC), but were denied admission because you were too old.
Thanks for the permission to express my right of free speech, but I'll take advantage of it any way I please, thank you very much.
[quote from Raed that no one knows who I am (even my father) and everyone knows who he is (including my mother): he is Raed Jarrar]
"World-famous crack-pot and alcoholic extraordinaire!" "Boy-whore of murdering, kidnapping, criminal swine." "Bum-rugger and subsister on the mongrel dogs of the world" (like some kind of canine Jeffrey Dahmer). Yes, Raed, we all know you.
[Raed ask why don't I just give him my attorney's contact information.]
Because you are in bed with and financing (with what you don't steal from that kitty you call a "charity") the midge-witted crocodiles who kill decent Iraqis whenever they can find them. I would no more hand over my personal contact information to you than pet a rabid squirrel.
Besides all that, you don't have a case, and merely conversing with you is plenty of entertainment for me. [Note: As it turned out I overplayed my hand in saying this.]
Now that I have answered your questions, I have a couple of questions for you. Please don't take too much time to respond:
- How are you paying your U.S. attorney?
- Is your capitalist father fronting the money, O Principled One?
- Or is the money coming from your "charity"?
- Did you read this post of mine from last year? I'm curious about the
special benefits you and your family may or may not have received from
Saddam while the rest of Iraq languished under the U.N. sanctions.
- Could you please refute or elaborate on the claim that Palestinians and other immigrants (including yourself) received special stroking from the government in order to buck-up Saddam's homicidal regime?
In his next email, Raed says he is responding to me because I am only adding to the evidence against me.
He says he has never read my blog because he does not read junk. He denies that he or his family have any connection direct or indirect, political or financial with the Iraq leadership and that I should beware making accusations without proof. [Note: Since to my knowledge Raed has never held a real job, where the avowed Socialist Raed gets his money is certainly worth thinking about. He's never mentioned robbing banks for a living or anything. So someone who works for a living must be giving it to him.]
He says he will sue me not under Iraqi law but under US law which takes into account the danger my claims place him in Iraq. He says his attorneys will take his case on the prospect of me paying damages to him and his attorney fees as well. (hee hee) He expresses his love of the American legal system.
And so my long response was:
Raed, Raed, Raed,
Well, "proof" one way or the other is what I'm trying to obtain. But you didn't quite answer my question. I can't believe you haven't read my blog, because if you think merely calling you a "100% National-Fuhrer-Approved, Uber-Ba'athists R Us" is libelous, you should definitely read every line of my blog for important evidence in your case.
In order to make things easier for you to answer question #2, I'll paste the text of what I've been told: [I quote from here:]
So how 'bout it? Can you confirm, deny, or elaborate on any of this? Did you or your family receive perks that were unavailable to average Iraqis based on your father's Palestinian status? Can you provide anymore information on advantages that Saddam provided to foreign Sunni Arabs and especially Palestinians?
Yes, usually I do [love the US legal system]. And I'm touched that you are an admirer of the American system. But from what you are saying, I'm thinking that someone may be taking advantage of you. Have you ascertained that your counselors' legal education consisted of more than watching every episode of the "Ally McBeal" TV show? Let me give you a broad overview of the definition of libel (in most jurisdictions):
The statement(s) must be published to at least one other person other than you the offended party. The statements must be "of and concerning" you. People reading the statement(s) must identify it specifically with you.
Well, that certainly applies.
The statement(s) must actually harm your reputation, instead of being merely insulting or offensive.
This is the first place you're going to have problems. See, your blog does far more than anything I, or anyone else, could say or do to identify you as a Ba'athist, as a Saddam wet-dreamer, as one who is filled with nostalgia for the old regime. As evidence, Iraqis who never heard of me thought the same thing when they monitored Khalid reading your blog. So you see, I have not harmed your reputation. The Ba'athist that lives in your mouth has already done that beyond any further damage.
The statement(s) must also be a false statement of fact.
What does that mean? They must be provably untrue. Name-calling, hyperbole, etc. is explicitly identified as being unprovable and so, is not applicable to a libel claim. In other words, you can't sue a person for calling you a name....such as Ba'athist. Because, even though it is a self-evident implication from your blog, it cannot be proven true or false.
Finally, the statement(s) must also have been made "with fault".
That's a complicated term. It means something like "you should have known better". "Fault" is determined primarily on the status of the plaintiff (that's you). In your case, people in the public eye, such as well-known individuals and people involved in specific public controversies, are required to prove actual malice.
That is another specific legal term which means someone positively knew his statement was false or recklessly disregarded the truth or falsity of his statement. Well, Raed, as you have told me, you are a very well-known individual. Not only do I not KNOW you are not a Ba'athist (or even whether or not you joined the Ba'athist Party), I firmly believe you are one in your heart. Nor have I recklessly disregarded your claims that you never joined the Ba'athist Party since as I have stated, it doesn't matter. Your Ba'athism is evident in your blog: that you gloat when harm comes to the elected Iraqi government, you rail against its viability, authenticity, credibility, and value, and you gleefully prophesy an Iraqi civil war. In fact, you stated that you not only expect a civil war, but that the U.S. should pull out and let that happen (have you deleted that post?).
Raed Jarrar = Ba'athist...and a host of other names I could provide.
[Raed also demanded I prove he has mishandled his charity's money. He warns me that I could be charged with the crime of not reporting a crime in progress.]
Okaaay, I will attempt to prove it if I can. Send me copies of all your paycheck stubs, tax records (you say you have "personal funds" -- so you have paying job, right?), PayPal bank account balances, and receipts since September of 2004. Mind, I don't know whether it is a crime for you take money from this charity for personal use. I can't imagine who has jurisdiction over it if it were. I doubt you've legally registered it as a non-profit organization. In short, these aren't public funds. If you spent most of it on a vacation with your girlfriend, that's probably the business of no court in the world unless you have failed to pay some required income tax. I doubt the cretins who sent you money would care one way or the other.
Also, in America, there is usually no law requiring anyone to report "a crime in progress" (except in some cases with stock brokers and lawyers). But, I don't know, after you send me all that stuff, perhaps I'll have a cause to report something to somebody.
I find it interesting that you have twice now neglected to deny that you are a financier of the terrorists either in providing them with food supplies or in direct funds. Which brings me to your penultimate statement:
[Raed urges me to put my trust in the US legal system and assures me that my personal information will stay between our lawyers.]
I'm already suspicious of the quality of your "lawyers", and anyway you would certainly have a right to any information your attorney has. Nevertheless, I want to assure you that I will never, never give personal information to a fellowtravelerr and financier of those walking apollyons that murder Iraqi civil servants and their family members for $1000 or less...who kidnap retarded children and force them to be murder-suicide bombers...who even trick their own compatriots into being murder-suicide bombers. These people are bottomless pits without evidence of humanity, and if someone chooses to provide aid to their cause (even as only an apologist), what possible assurances could that person give anyone?
[Raed says that if I took back my misstatements we could converse civilly and be friends.]
Actually, we've already conducted a far more civilized dialog with each other than I ever would have thought possible -- and that only happened (in part) because of the statements I've made about you. Without those statements we probably would never have conversed at all. For that reason alone, I'm not inclined to stop.
[There...I blew it right here. Raed cease to continue serious discourse because of that statement.]
But I'm not unreasonable. I'll tell you what, here is how you can make me change my conviction that you are a Ba'athist. On your next post on your blog write a detailed list of things happening in Iraq today that make you glad Saddam was removed by the Coalition forces. I'm not asking you to be happy with everything happening in Iraq today. I would just like to know what makes you happy Saddam is gone.
For example, if I were talking to Khalid, I would point out that he is now able to read blogs that disagree with his government, that he can legally have a blog of his own of that sort, and that if some errant police officer arrests him for that, he can say that it is his right to do those things...and saying that will get him released.
So how about you? What makes you happy that Saddam is gone?
Raed tells me I am a nobody and to say hello to my mom and dad (if I can find him), and that he will not have anything more to say to me unless I give him my personal information. See? I got cocky and went too far. But I take a shot anyway:
Dear Ba'athist Raed (a.k.a The Terrorists' Fluffer),
Who am I? Apparently, I am the savager of the reputation of the highly regarded Raed Jarrar (world-famous crack pot and alcoholic extraordinaire)!
Things you didn't say in your last email:
- Any denial that you and your family received special perks under the Ba'athist regime.
- Any of the proofs I requested that your "charity" is a not a personal vacation fund/car-bomb kitty.
- One single thing that makes you glad Saddam is gone.
I presume your silence springs from an uncharacteristic seed of honesty.
Raed responds with a similar email and says that I will never move him from his "anti-Ba'athist/anti-Occupation ideas". Another comment about my mom and dad. But I'm not giving up yet. Maybe I can still draw him out:
Dear Ba'ath-boy (a.k.a. Saddam's Monkey),
My name is Keith Myass
(the last name is French so you have to put the inflection on the second syllable)
My address is the carbuncle on the dog's butt of your "good name". I realize that's not a precise location because your good name has two dog's butts -- one on each end.
Now that I've answered your question have there are some other things you have so far failed to note in your emails. In addition to:
- No denial that you and your family received special perks under the Ba'athist regime.
- None of the proofs that your "charity" is a not a personal vacation fund/car-bomb kitty.
- Not one single thing that makes you glad Saddam is gone.
- You neglected to note whether you have a job or if the "personal funds" you mentioned came from Daddy (Warbucks) Jarrar or from your Raed's Romantic World-wide Spree charity.
And since when have you ever staked out an "Anti-Ba'athist position?? That's pathetic.
If you are not a Ba'athist then please explain this picture of you and Saddam together:
Now Raed is just sending the same email over and over. I keep trying:
I loved the reference in your last post to the "mistakes" Saddam made. LOL At least 300,000 mistakes buried in mass graves. Not to mention all the money (designated for food and medicine) that Saddam stole to pass extra pats to Palestinians and other Arabs with foreign visas...and the constant fear Iraqis lived in that they might DREAM something revolutionary (but you didn't have to worry about that.).
That's a good one.
So the answer is that you you can't think of ONE thing that makes you glad Saddam is gone.
Talk to you later, Saddamy!
P.S. My mom says she DOES remember you! I'm attaching a picture she had of the two of you.
Raed resent his previous email (without the mention of my mother this time).
I gave the project up for lost.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Was The Iraq War Discretionary?
12 Reasons Why It Wasn't
At the end of 1941 we had been attacked by Japan. Hitler, perhaps presuming we would be busy with Japan anyway, declared war on the U.S. Well, that's what we remember now. Actually, the next day after it was reported, the German government denied that it had declared war on the U.S. At the time, the U.S. went to war against Germany because it was believed that Germany had materially supplied Japan in its invasion of the U.S. or actually helped it as described quite well here. So was the war on Germany based on lies?
Lets assume full hindsight. Was the war with Germany discretionary? That depends on what the meaning of "discretionary" is.
Germany was not an "immenent" threat to the U.S. She was at war with her former ally the USSR on her Eastern flank and at war with the British Empire to her West. Thanks to 50 destroyers supplied to Britain at a crucial moment in 1940, the Battle of Britain had failed. And thanks to the discovery of RADAR, the Germany luftwaffe was neutered.
But the US strategists couldn't have been sure of all that at the time, could they? What they were looking at was the possibility that Britain or the USSR would form a truce with Germany essentially making a truce with both a certainty. Western Europe would be dominated by a poisonous collectivist political philosophy of National Socialism. Where that didn't dominate, it's flip-side, Communism, would. National Socialism was already gaining ground in Argentina and Uruguay. And they still believed Germany was providing material support to Japan with whom we were in a non-discretionary war.
Just because a danger isn't imminent doesn't mean taking it on is discretionary.
- Is it especially likely a foreseen danger will persist until it is imminent?
- Will the forseen danger be more difficult to solve in the future?
- Will the danger be more dangerous in the future.
If the answer is Yes to all three (as was true of the Nationalist Socialists), then talk of "imminence" is absurd. It is worse than choosing to only buy house insurance "when a hazard seems immient". It is more like only calling the police when the prowler outside your house has actually gotten through the open window.
With that in mind, was the war in Iraq discretionary? Here are 12 reasons why it was not.
1) 9-11 seriously upped the ante on the threat of terrorism. In the three months afterward, the U.S. lost 1 million jobs. The ultimate effect of 9-11 actually made the almost 3000 lives lost on that day insignificant. It was the equivalence of fighting a war by undermining the money-supply with counterfiet currency. Another similar attack or two could conceivably remake the economic map of the world. U.S. tall buildings could be made impractical by being made a likely target. U.S. cities could be uninhabitable by the threat of a dirty bomb. Anthrax in the mail slow a postal system to a halt.
2) 9-11 exposed the hopelessness of treating terrorists as mere criminals. The terrorists had governments that harbored them safe from U.S. prosecution. They didn't have ulterior motives like bank robbers (who wanted money) or rapists (who wanted to brutalize and get away without being identified). There existed a statistically small but numerically imposing number of people who wanted only to kill us and die. It was inevitable that they would get us unless we "got" them first in some way.
3) Saddam Hussein had invaded two neighboring countries in less than a decade. I'm not going to debate the U.S.'s support for Iraq during the 1980's because 1) Such scenarios are over-blown and 2) they are irrelevant to discussion of whether the 2003 invasion was discretionary.
But every square mile of oil-rich territory Saddam obtained, made him more dangerous by making him better financed to quell dissention in territories he controlled and to attack his neighbors for more oil-rich territory.
4) After being driven from Kuwait in 1991, Saddam was required to verify the destruction of his WMDs and the destruction of the infrastructure and documentation to create them them. His failure to do so - caused the major intelligence agencies of the world (including France) to conclude he retained them.
Actually the invasion of Iraq provided two categories of invaluable knowledge:
- That there were likely no enormous stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in Iraq which would otherwise tie down U.S. resouces worrying about them in a post-9-11 world.
- That Saddam was hiding equipment and documentation to restart his WMD programs after the world looked the other way.
5) The world was about to look the other way: the U.N. sanctions were erroding and would likely have been lifted by now.
6) Like certain other Middle Eastern nations such as Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, Iraq was harboring known international terrorists.
7) Saddam had employed terrorists against the U.S. in 1993 when he employed a third-party assassin against former President George H.W. Bush.
8) The U.N. sanctions were a being used by Islamic and Arab Nationalist extremists to recruit terrorists such as the ones Saddam was feared to potentially employ.
9) 1-8 placed the U.S. is an untenable situation. Saddam was too dangerous to "let out of the box" and the box itself was making the U.S. and the world increasingly unsafe by radicalizing Muslims and Arabs. And 9-11 had shown, that Saddam would not need a powerful army to strike at the U.S. anyway.
10) The invasion of Iraq relinquished the necessity to keep U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia (which was Usama bin Laden's original causus belli for the World Trade Center attacks).
11) Just as the invasion of Afghanistan helped to make the U.S. Pakistan policy something besides hopeless, the invasion of Iraq re-stirred the pot of democratic momentum in the Western Middle East which had begun to clump since 1991 with tyrannical Iran and Iraq competing for the role of Anti-U.S. and financially supporting worst actors in the West Bank, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. It is no accident that the fall of Baghdad led to Libya getting serious about disarmament, to the Lebanese felt confidence in standing up to Syrian control of their government, and to Saudi Arabia and Egypt at least making a pretense of democratic reform.
12) Although the successful invasion and remaking of Afghanistan is said to have been "a certainty" now, it wasn't in 2002. The same terrorists now said to be being created by the invasion of Iraq, were then being created by the invasion of Afghanistan (which were previously being created by the Iraqi sanctions that "kept Saddam in a box"). Afghanistan was said to be a potential "quagmire" (a term first used in the New York Times for the Afghanistan invasion on October 31st, 2001).
Winning a pitted war against the Muslim and Arab extremists would have been quite difficult in Afghanistan, especially with other nations in the region supporting them. It had no seaports or international airports for ferrying in supplies. It had no highways connecting the Eastern and Western regions. It's people were already shown to tend to be belligerantly fractous and backward.
Taking the battle to Iraq, weakened the enemies of liberal democracy in the region and moved the battle to a modern, accessible theater where it really is a certainty that we will ultimately win if we don't beat ourselves (as the French did against the Germans in WWII).