Skip to comments.U.S. Blood Is Not Buying a Free Iraq
Posted on 08/18/2005 5:43:44 AM PDT by Irontank
Members of the Bush administration have repeatedly told Americans that Iraq is becoming a free and democratic society, but that claim is proving to be false.
"Our mission in Iraq is clear," stated President Bush before a military audience at Fort Bragg during his nationally televised address on June 28. "We're hunting down the terrorists. We're helping Iraqis build a free nation that is an ally in the war on terror. We're advancing freedom in the broader Middle East. We are removing a source of violence and instability, and laying the foundation of peace for our children and our grandchildren."
"The work in Iraq is difficult and it is dangerous," continued Mr. Bush. "Like most Americans, I see the images of violence and bloodshed. Every picture is horrifying, and the suffering is real. Amid all this violence, I know Americans ask the question: Is the sacrifice worth it? It is worth it, and it is vital to the future security of our country."
Roughly two weeks after the president offered that assessment, Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari made a pilgrimage to Iran, where he laid a wreath at a shrine to the late, unlamented Ayatollah Khomeini, the revolutionary theocrat responsible for the abduction and imprisonment of U.S. citizens for 444 days in the late 1970s. Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a Shiite Muslim who lived in Iranian exile during the 1980s, heads the radical Islamic Dawa Party, which is closely aligned to the Iranian regime. Iran, recall, was famously described by Mr. Bush as a key player in an "axis of evil."
The Dawa Party's spiritual leader is Iranian-born Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, a near twin of Khomeini in both appearance and ideology. Prior to being named prime minister last April, al-Jaafari told the German magazine Der Speigel that "Iraq should become an Islamic state." Asked if his government would institute harsh Islamic Shari'a law, al-Jaafari replied: "Yes that is only natural in a country that is populated mainly by Muslims."
During his visit to Iran, al-Jaafari signed several bilateral accords. One accord was a military alliance wherein Iran will provide arms to Iraq; Iran will provide border security between the two countries; and the two countries will share intelligence. "This is a new chapter in relations with Iraq," enthused Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Aref during al-Jaafari's visit. Agha Panayi, an Iranian intelligence official, has offered a similarly enthusiastic assessment: "Throughout Iraq, the people we supported are in power."
"The Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq's next-door neighbor, has benefited in every way from President George W. Bush's decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein," observes BBC News Baghdad correspondent John Simpson. "It's probably the best thing that has happened to Iran since the Islamic Revolution there in 1979."
Roughly 1,800 American military personnel have died to date in Iraq. Thousands of others have been wounded, many of them left invalids. Tens of thousands of Iraqis, including countless innocent civilians, have been killed. And in exchange we see that Iraq, rather than becoming a free, pro-Western society, is falling into the hands of a radical Muslim government aligned with Iran, a terrorist state hostile to the United States.
"Worth it"? To Iran, obviously. Americans who have lost loved ones in Iraq will likely differ with the president's accounting.
Elevating Terrorists to Power
Instead of hunting down terrorists, U.S. policy in Iraq has facilitated the hiring of terrorists as political leaders in Iraq, including some of the worst elements of Saddam's former ruling Ba'ath Party.
From the outset, the U.S.-led path to a new Iraqi government was implemented poorly, with the Bush administration choosing former Ba'athist Party assassin Ayad Allawi as interim prime minister for Iraq. Allawi had a long history as an assassin for Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist Party and as a terrorist leader who targeted civilians.
"If you're asking me if Allawi has blood on his hands from his days in London, the answer is yes, he does," Vincent Cannistraro, a former CIA officer, told the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh. "He was a paid Mukhabarat agent for the Iraqis, and he was involved in dirty stuff." Hersh reported that an unnamed Middle Eastern diplomat fingered Allawi as part of a "hit team" in the 1970s that assassinated Ba'ath Party opponents in Europe.
Allawi left his post as European head of the Mukhabarat (the Ba'ath Party equivalent to the Soviet KGB) in 1975, and eventually began working for British Intelligence. In 1992, Allawi switched to the CIA, perhaps because his Iraqi National Accord (INA) organization received covert funding from U.S. taxpayers. In 1995 alone the INA received at least $5 million. Those tax dollars financed the same kind of terrorist attacks against Iraqi civilians that the Bush administration is now condemning. According to the London Spectator, the INA attacks could "only be termed terrorism against civilians. In 1994 and 1995 a series of bombings at cinemas, mosques and other public places in Baghdad claimed up to 100 civilian lives."
The Bush administration promoted Allawi to Iraqi interim prime minister in 2004, just days after Allawi personally executed as many as six handcuffed and blindfolded prisoners with his pistol, according to two witnesses interviewed by Australia's Sydney Morning Herald.
Building a Radical Islamic State Aligned to Iran
Ibrahim al-Jaafari took over nominal control of Iraq in April 2005 from CIA-asset Ayad Allawi after the January 2005 national elections, in which Allawi's party of former Ba'athists polled a distant third with just 14 percent of the vote.
Dawa is politically aligned with the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), a radical group that enjoys a close relationship with Iran's revolutionary Mullahs. Retired U.S. diplomat Peter W. Galbraith observes that SCIRI's militia, the Badr Corps, "now works closely with Iraq's Shiite interior minister, until recently the corps' commander, to provide security and fight Sunni Arab insurgents."
Writing in The New York Review of Books, Ambassador Galbraith points out that "Dawa and SCIRI are not just promoting an Iranian-style political system they are also directly promoting Iranian interests." Al-Jaafari signed a number of agreements during his visit to Iraq to cement an alliance between the two nations, including a military alliance. Prior to the al-Jaafari trip, Iraqi Defense Minister Sadoun al-Duleimi pledged in a joint July 7 press conference with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Shamkhani, that "Iraq will not be the source of insecurity or instability for any of its neighbors, and nobody can use its lands to attack Iraq's neighbors." Shamkhani said that Iran's policy was to wean the Iraqi army away from American influence by "giving equipment to the Iraqi army and that the aim is to found an independent Iraqi army."
The two nations also signed agreements on a new oil pipeline between the two countries which would carry 150,000 barrels of Iraqi oil east every day within a year, along with agreements for Iran to provide wheat, electricity, and $1 billion in foreign aid.
One would think that this development would alarm the Bush administration, given that Bush termed Iran part of the "axis of evil" against which the United States was supposedly fighting. Apparently, Iranian terrorism is no longer a concern. U.S. ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad told the Washington Post after the two nations signed the military alliance: "It's not U.S. policy to advocate or promote a hostile relationship between Iraq and Iran." So much for President Bush's pronouncement nine days after September 11, 2001 when he told a joint session of Congress: "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."
Building, Not Fighting, "Islamo-Fascism"
"It may be the ultimate irony," commented Ambassador Galbraith, "that the United States, which, among other reasons, invaded Iraq to help bring liberal democracy to the Middle East, will play a decisive role in establishing its second Shiite Islamic state."
Saddam Hussein's regime, like most others in the region, treated its domestic opponents with shocking brutality. And like most of its neighbors (or, for that matter, most governments everywhere), the Iraqi government under Saddam was riddled with corrupt cronyism. But unlike Iran or Saudi Arabia, Saddam's Iraq was relatively secularist and actually imposed relatively few burdens on religious and economic freedom.
This is decidedly untrue of the regime being created in "liberated" Iraq. Much of the new "freedom" in Iraq being touted by the Bush administration comes from talk about the new constitution being drawn up by a Bush administration-influenced constitution drafting committee. The new constitution employs loads of pleasant-sounding platitudes, but its "Bill of Rights" is a much closer match to the old constitution of the Soviet Union than it is to the U.S. Bill of Rights (see page 18).
The U.S. Bill of Rights offers unqualified guarantees regarding vital rights such as the right to freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly. This is demonstrated in phrases such as "Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech or of the press." But the Iraqi Constitution like the Soviet Constitution of 1977 "grants" these rights in one phrase while taking them away with a subsequent clause in the constitution.
For example, Article 26 of the draft of the Iraqi "Bill of Rights" stipulates that "freedom of the press, printing, publishing, media, and advertising are guaranteed," but then takes away that guarantee in the next clause by stipulating "and the law regulates the exercise of these freedoms." Of course, if the government can regulate the press by "law," then there is no freedom of the press. Tyrannies have always done this. The Soviet Constitution of 1977 decreed that "citizens of the USSR are guaranteed freedom of speech, of the press" but then stressed that "enjoyment by citizens of their rights and freedoms must not be to the detriment of the interests of society or the state."
Likewise, Article 21 of the draft of the Iraqi Bill of Rights claims that "freedom of organization meetings, peaceful demonstration, and parties is guaranteed in accordance with the law," but then stresses in Article 11 that "it is forbidden to construct civil society organizations whose activities are aggressive" or "harmful to the interests of society." The phraseology is similar to the old Soviet Constitution's language claiming that "rights and freedoms must not be to the detriment of the interests of society or the state."
The draft of the Iraqi Bill of Rights is full of Soviet-style language on individual rights where rights appear to be "given" to individuals, but are taken away by nullification clauses elsewhere in the document:
Iraqis have "freedom of religion" guaranteed in Article 20, but Article 22 states, "all thought based on sectarianism [and] accusations of apostasy are forbidden."
Article 13 stipulates that "the privacy of houses is protected," but then says "except in accordance with the law."
Article 8 says that women have "equality with men in all fields" but only when it doesn't disturb "the provisions of the Islamic shari'a."
Another key similarity between the Iraqi Constitution and the Constitution of the former Soviet Union is its codification of socialism as a form of collectivist "rights."
An early draft of the Iraqi Bill of Rights enumerated collective "rights," which empower the state to strictly control people, much like the Soviet Union or Ba'athist Party socialism previously practiced in Iraq. These provisions which may be added to a portion of the completed Iraqi Constitution include:
Socialized housing: "The state shall provide housing for those citizens with limited incomes either by constructing free and appropriate houses or housing blocs or by giving them grants and loans to build their private housing, granting priorities in accordance with need." (Article 17)
Socialized agriculture: "The state shall take the necessary measures to realize the exploitation of land suitable for agriculture, stop desertification, and work to raise the level of the peasant and help farmers and their land ownership in accordance with law." (Article 17)
National industrial planning: "The state shall bear the responsibility for growth, developing production and services, building a solid infrastructure for the economy of the country, and providing services." (Article 18)
State guaranteed employment: "Work is a right for every Iraqi citizen and a duty for him." (Article 12)
Socialized medicine: "Iraqi citizens have the right to enjoy security and free healthcare." (Article 9 this provision is in the present draft of their constitution)
Isn't it ironic that President Bush campaigned against socialized medicine in the United States, but American soldiers are now dying so that it can be imposed in Iraq?
Likewise, the Bush-Cheney ticket campaigned as a strong proponent of the Second Amendment, which guarantees that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." But American soldiers are dying so that it can be infringed in Iraq. Article 17 of the Iraqi Bill of Rights stipulates that "Citizens are forbidden to possess, bear, buy or sell weapons except with a permit issued in accordance with law."
And it's more than odd that provisions of the proposed Iraqi Constitution give the Iraqi government unlimited power over the people and are reminiscent of Fascist policies. Benito Mussolini, the revolutionary socialist who devised the system known as Fascism, described the foundation of his system as follows: "Everything within the state; nothing outside the state; nothing against the state." Article V of the earlier draft of the proposed Iraqi Constitution transposes this Fascist formula into a radical Islamic key:
The Iraqi people are one people, unified by belief and the unity of the homeland and culture. Anything that exposes this unity to danger is forbidden.... The state shall take responsibility for combating moral and behavioral depravity and encourage people and agencies to spread virtue, providing it help and support. The state shall ensure harmony between the duties of woman toward her family and her work in the society and equality with men in the fields of political, social, and economic life without conflicting with or disturbing the provisions of the Islamic shari'a.
Neo-conservative commentators typically describe the Iraq war as a campaign against "Islamo-Fascism" a label meant to invoke the "Good War" against the original Axis. However, the draft of the Iraqi Constitution illustrates that the Bush administration has sacrificed hundreds of American lives in the cause of building Islamo-Fascism, rather than fighting it.
The JBS is a little too vastly Hilary for me.
Private homes are inviolate except in accordance with the law? That's crazy! Thankfully, we live in America where no judge ever issues a warrant to search anyone's home or confiscate anyone's property. That only happens in Islamic states.
This is what happens when America goes abroad in search of monsters to destroy, to steal a line from one of our Founding Fathers.
If we had been seeking out this monster we might have found it before it found us. If I read you correctly you're saying we shouldn't have responded to 9/11?
You are living in the past, there is no longer an "abroad", transportation is not what it use to be.
We responded to 9/11 - in Afghanistan, where bin Laden was holed up.
dam liberal propaganda
So the principles of our Republic no longer apply in a changing world? We should instead interpret them to fit new and modern scenarios? Sounds a little... liberal... to me.
Liberal? That might be the first time anyone has ever accused the John Birch Society of being liberal
bookmark for later.
The Birches and Cindy Sheehan, Hillary. Moveon.org etc,
are all the SAME !!!!
We have to start ignoring the left which has clearly allied with the radical muslims.. And use whatever is neccessary, including bringing back the shame techniques like Lynnie England was using to bring freedom to Iraq. Then as a model that will spread around the region.
The left fought so strongly to stop the shame techniques from being used, because they are such an effective way to break down the Arab psyche and compel them into submission.
Not this s**t again...
Yes, damn those liberals over at the John Birch Society!
I didn't realize that we went over to Iraq just to end up handing it over to the Iranians.
If this war is against Islamofascism, then what good does it do us to end up with an Islamic regime in Iraq, particularly an Islamic regime allied with the mother or all terrorist regimes, Iran.
The JBS and MoveOn.org are the same?...Those groups could not be much more different...although they do agree on Iraq...although using the American military to "plant" democracies in countries that have been fighting tribal wars for 5000 years does strike me as the sort of utopian, Great Society-like thing of which liberals like MoveOn.org would actually approve
We have crossed swords with the Muslims going back about 200 years.
We really didn't have a sustained problem with them till we violated the principle of not becoming entangled in foreign matters, by getting so deep into bed with Israel.
If being right means that I'll go along willingly while Bush and the Neos hand Iran the victory they've been lusting after for 20 years, then I'd rather be wrong. However vile Saddam was, we eliminated one of the Middle East's sole reliably secular states, only to replace it with another Islamic Republic? I'll pass, thanks.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.