Friday, August 12, 2005

Bad News From Iraq

I've been looking for good news in the War on Terror, but recently I have been unable to find much. Here, Diana West in the Washington Times worries about the impending institution of Sharia law which will likely be mandated by the new Iraqi Constitution:

Monday, Aug. 15, promises to be a great day for sharia, or Islamic law. It marks the end of the constitutional wrangling in Iraq, and the beginning of the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the West Bank. Both events fought for, facilitated, even micromanaged by the United States — should expand the domain of Islamic law, which codifies female inferiority and religious inequality.

I don't know a better way to quantify the two events. By day's end, Iraq, if it settles as expected on a draft constitution based in sharia, and Gaza, as a new sector of the already sharia-vested Palestinian Authority, will have joined the community of nations at odds with the free world.

That sounds crazy, too. But no more so than the thought of American troops fighting off Iranian-supported death squads to shore up a government led by a possible Iranian agent — Ibrahim Jaafari, the Iraqi prime minister and leader of the Tehran-allied Dawa faction.

It sounds fantastic, but the notion comes from the serious-minded Carolyn Glick of the Jerusalem Post, who recently wrote:

"Both US and Iraqi officials — Shi'ite and Sunni — have since the inauguration of the Iraqi Governing Council in the summer of 2003 stated repeatedly and matter-of-factly that he [Mr. Jaafari] is an Iranian agent."

Mr. Jaafari spent years under Iranian protection during Saddam Hussein's regime; he also just concluded a three-day visit to Tehran where he sealed oil, military and tourism deals. I don't recall hearing any word on ending Iran's recognized sponsorship of terror and unrest in Iraq.

If Sharia winds up as the law of the land, or possibly even the "inspiration" of the law of the land, in Iraq, we will have fought for nothing. We will have poured tens of thousands of lives and hundreds of millions of dollars, and an infinite amount of blood, sweat and tears, into the sand, for nothing.

Here, from Reuters, comes news that the Shiites (the majority Islamic sect in Iraq) are demanding an autonomous region within Iraq. Oh yes, and the area they want all to themselves, just so happens to be "oil-rich":

NAJAF, Iraq (Reuters) - With four days left until Iraq's leaders have promised a draft constitution, powerful Islamist leaders made a dramatic bid on Thursday to have a big, autonomous Shi'ite region across the oil-rich south.

(Pastorius note: Islamist" is a nice way of saying Islamofascist, or in other words, one who will wage Jihad in order to establish Sharia throughout the world.)

The head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) spelled out his demands to tens of thousands of chanting supporters in the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf.

But minority Sunni and secular opponents, as well as rival Shi'ite Islamists in the coalition national government, swiftly poured cold water on an idea that fueled fears about sectarian battles over oil and Iranian-style religious rule in the south.

Some saw it as a negotiating tactic ahead of a self-imposed deadline on Monday to present the draft to parliament; a top Shi'ite negotiator, who dismissed the demand made by SCIRI chief Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, said 16 points were still in dispute.

It was unclear whether the row -- and continued arguments over the extent of Islamic law -- would delay delivery of a text that Washington hopes can help quell the Sunni Arab insurgency.

The crucial issue is the nature of federalism and the quest for wording to satisfy Kurdish demands for continued autonomy in the north, Shi'ite hopes for some new autonomy in the south, and also address concerns among Sunni Arabs and others in the center that they not be left with a rump Iraqi state deprived of oil.

"If we can deal with that ... we should finish in the next few days so the draft will be ready on time," Bahaa al-Araji, a senior Shi'ite on the constitution drafting panel, told Reuters.

"If there were Shi'ite and Sunni regions it would simply entrench sectarianism and destroy the unity of Iraq."

Hakim, a striking figure in clerical robes whose long exile in Tehran make him a figure of suspicion for many Sunni Arabs, was backed up in his demands at the Najaf rally by the leader of the Badr movement, formed in Iran as the armed wing of SCIRI.

"They are trying to prevent the Shi'ites from enjoying their own federalism," Badr leader Hadi al-Amery told the crowd, which had gathered to commemorate the assassination two years ago by a car bomb in Najaf of Hakim's brother, the former SCIRI leader.

"What have we got from the central government but death?" he said, recalling decades of oppression under Sunni-dominated rule from Baghdad, most recently by Saddam Hussein.

"We think it necessary to form one whole region in the south," said Hakim, a major force in the coalition that came to power in January's election, secured by U.S. military force.

But Laith Kubba, spokesman for Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari, an Islamist from rival Shi'ite party Dawa, said: "The idea of a Shi'ite region ... is unacceptable to us."

"It's a bad idea," Kubba told Reuters.


Yet despite the initial cold shoulder, it may be significant that Hakim made his announcement hours after meeting Iraq's top cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, in Najaf on Wednesday.

Though Sistani, who rarely appears in public, has typically made no comment, his backing could be vital and some political sources close to Islamist thinking say there is broader support, well beyond SCIRI, for the autonomy project in years to come.

Could this be the rise of a new Ayatollah? Notice the people he is surrounded with have support in Tehran.

But wait, there's more. It seems that a U.S. citizen, who is accused of ties to Osama Bin Laden, now works for the Iraq's government. From Newsweek, via Jihad Watch:

Aug. 10, 2005 - A former Washington-area man accused in court papers of being the “American contact” for an Osama bin Laden “front organization” is now believed to be working for the new Iraqi government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, two U.S. law-enforcement officials and a longtime associate of the man tell NEWSWEEK.

Tariq A. Hamdi, who allegedly delivered a satellite-telephone battery to bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1998, has left the United States and has told associates he is currently employed in the Iraqi Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, said the government officials, who asked not to be identified because of pending legal charges against Hamdi.

Hamdi's precise status with the Iraqi foreign ministry could not be immediately determined. But one of the U.S. law-enforcement officials said that federal prosecutors were concerned enough about Hamdi’s current status that they undertook a legal review with the State Department to determine if it would prevent them from charging him with federal crimes because of diplomatic immunity. But the prosecutors determined that his diplomatic status was “irrelevant” because the crimes they were considering charging him with took place before the current Iraqi government even existed, the official said.

Hamdi, an Iraqi-born American citizen who formerly lived in the Washington suburb of Herndon, Va., and worked for an Islamic think tank, has long been under scrutiny by federal law-enforcement agents in connection with a broader, three-year long probe into a web of Islamic charities with suspected terror links.

Are we going to let these guys beat us? This is no time for us to be worrying about Iraqi soveignty. This is the time for us to be worrying about the future sovereignty of Western Civilization.

In World War II, we did not beat the Nazis and then allow Nazis to run the new German government. We "deNazified" Germany. We wrote their constitution. We put their government in place. Democracy and sovereignty was a reward won over time.

In Japan, we eliminated the dangerous elements of the Shinto-inspired Japanese terrorist fanaticism by mandating that the Emperor of Japan could no longer legally be declared a God. This along with Democracy helped create a new mindset for the Japanese people whereby the Emperor, and therefore the state, were no longer worth dying for.

These are the kinds of measures we ought to be using now. But, maybe the reason we are not using such measures is because we have designated this a "War on Terrorism" instead of a War on Islamofascism.

Am Islamofascist, or Islamist, is a person who desires to see Sharia implemented as the law of the land, throughout the world. An Islamofascist believes that violent Jihad is an acceptable, and potentially necessary means of establishing Sharia and Islamic supremacy.

If we clearly understood that such an ideology is our enemy, then there is no way we would allow "Islamists" to sit in the Iraqi coalition national government, and there is no way we would allow even the discussion of implementing Sharia as the law of the land in Iraq.

This is absurd. How can we allow this to happen?