GLEN COVE, NY – There is a saying among old Iraq hands in the State Department that there are no good results in Iraq, only less bad ones. Recent events are proving this adage true. This is the result of the creation of new and artificial countries after World War I by the Wilsonians and the Masonic powers.
Iraq lies at the northeast corner of the Arab world. Turkey, a partially European country, borders it on the north; Iran, a Persian country, shares a long border with it on the East. Its Arab neighbors are Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. Syria and Saudi Arabia also share long borders with it.
Syria and Iraq have a history of rule by the fascist-socialist Ba’ath Party. They have some religious differences. Both have Christian minorities, but Syria’s is more significant. Two-thirds of Iraq’s Moslems are Shiites; almost none of Syria’s are.
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Saudi Arabia is quite distinct from Iraq. It is politically authoritarian, culturally backward, and economically stable–while Iraq is torn by strife but fairly modern.
Iraq and Iran share the Shiite form of Islam as a majority religion. Both have cultural roots in antiquity. Their similarities largely end there. Nearly 95 percent of Iranians are Shiites; Christian, Jewish, and Zoroastrian minorities have some civil rights. Since Iran’s 1979 revolution, other religious minorities and other forms of Islam have faced persecution, as have persons who lead secular lives. As a result, over one million Iranians have fled the country and now live in Europe and America. Before 1979, Iran was a progressive and enlightened country. Since 1979, it has regressed to a backward and repressive society.
When George H. W. Bush led the first war against Iraq, many criticized him for his decision not to conquer Baghdad. History has vindicated the wisdom of his decision. Unfortunately, during the period between the two Iraq wars, we did not act as gracious winners and try to rehabilitate Saddam Hussein. Instead, we drove him further away from us and toward uncivilized conduct.
Many Americans opposed the second war against Iraq because it was unjust, because they were pacifists, or because of base political calculations. The case for this war being unjust is very strong. Many supported this war out of fear that Saddam Hussein was more dangerous than he actually was, out of political reasons, or out of neo-con ideology.
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The war went well; although the transition to a new Iraqi government was slow, it too was reasonably successful. Then we started making colossal blunders. We decided to try to stop Iraqis from killing each other, which is impossible; it is also none of our business. We encouraged a vast purge of the old Iraqi ruling class. We thought we could steer the Iraqis into a form of government like that of Europe and North America; not surprisingly, we failed. Finally, instead of withdrawing in an orderly fashion, President Obama, who understands nothing about foreign policy, simply pulled the plug virtually overnight and opened the door to far greater evils.
Now the Kurds on the northern fringe of Iraq act as if they were an independent country, and they do a decent job at it. The old ruling class of Iraq, purged by the Shiites, is dominant in the north central area; from this location, they have started a civil war. They have made common cause with religious extremists in an adjacent part of Syria and threaten to create a de facto country out of parts of Syria and Iraq. The largest part of Iraq is turning to the religious fanatics of Iran as allies. All of this threatens to substantially expand the area of Islamic intolerance to a vast part of the Arab world. Saudi Arabia remains a paradigm of religious intolerance.
The situation does not have to be hopeless. If the one million Iranians in exile were to topple the Iranian government and return their country to the modern world; if Lebanon could return to its position as the financial capital of the Middle East and to three-way power sharing by Moslems, Catholics, and Orthodox Christians; if Egypt were to return its old elites (Moslem and Christian) to power; and if Israel were to abandon its domination over people it does not want in the country, Islamic extremism would be put on the defensive. The framework for a civilized Arab world could begin to re-emerge.
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