Skip to comments.Arabian nightmare
Posted on 10/29/2003 8:14:15 PM PST by TexKat
This week's upsurge of violence in Iraq, coinciding with the onset of Ramadan, shocked opinion in the Arab world. There was grief that so many of the victims were civilians and dismay at the targeting of international humanitarian aid workers. There was criticism of US security failures. There was anger that resistance fighters could be so careless of the lives of ordinary Iraqis.
The Baghdad attacks were judged to be a "political mistake" as well as a crime that could be used to justify and prolong the occupation. Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, a time of self-denial, frugality, piety and sacrifice. But few among the ulema hold that such sacrifice may include suicide bombings or indiscriminate, mass murder.
Historically, Ramadan is propitious for Muslim victories; it is a good time to die, to be "martyred". Sadly, this Ramadan offensive, if that is what it is, is also another example of how Islamic belief, tradition and practice can be cynically hijacked for political purposes. This week's carnage is an affront to Islam and its principles.
Arab ambivalence and confusion over the Iraq conflict is deep-set. Most people in the region opposed the US invasion and blame Washington for the ensuing instability. Most, in theory at least, want the Americans to leave. But opinion is divided over whether that departure should come before, or after, Iraq has been properly set to rights.
Arab governments fear the ramifying, Lebanon-style chaos that might follow a too hasty US withdrawal. Some have good reason to worry that they would become the next targets of a triumphant radicalism. Conversely, Arab leaders are not doing very much to help. Their financial contributions at last week's Iraq donors' conference were parsimonious, as the Iraqi delegation's chief, Iyad Allawi, complained.
There is understandable reluctance to embrace the US-created governing council in Baghdad - but little in the way of concerted pressure for a more rapid political devolution. There is no appetite at all for sending Arab troops to boost the newly UN-mandated security operation. Indeed, the US and Britain continue to suspect Syria and others of covertly supporting anti-coalition fighters.
There is another reason for this Arab ambivalence. Regional autocrats fear a successfully democratised Iraq could weaken their base by example. Efforts at political reform in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait, while welcome, are but partial remedies. If it is right that Iraqis should control their own country's destiny, then it is right that other Arab peoples should be able to do so, too.
It would be tough to be on the "Arab Street" about now.
Count on it. The only thing we know for sure is a free Iraq will roil every nation in the Middle East.
One place to start would be to stop calling these killers resistance fighters. That would help narrow the range of cognitive dissonance that permeats the region and it's people. I mean Arabs mainly, but Guardian reporters can be included.
Given that the Guardian is a leftist organ, they might have actually applauded the Nazis' march through France, just as other leftists did in 1940. This viewpoint would have been based on Uncle Joe having entered into the Molotov-Ribbentropp pact a year earlier.
The anti-American, anti-Israel, pro-muslim terrorist Guardian just can't repeat this lie often enough. It must be second only to Israel's "cycle of violence."
The only hijacking going on is committed by muslim terrorists in their satanic fury to kill Jews and Christians.
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