Friday, August 13, 2004 -- JUSTUJU / The Quest
-- By Hashim Syed Mohammad Bin Qasim, Riyadh
WITH a tough election campaign in progress, and a possible defeat at the hands of democrats in November 2004, President George Bush of USA is facing a severe dilemma and some very tough choices. The choices between wielding a brute power to solve the Iraqi freedom fighting crisis, or to seek a political dialogue, thus compromising the military doctrines and ego of current Pentagonists -- The military planners and players, to whom no US President can ignore.
If the growing confidence, actions, and jingoism of US military is any indicator of the way life is lived in White House today, it seems that USA has fallen back in to a pseudo-military rule. A military dictatorship, and a nation-wide safety paranoia is ruling the minds and hearts of Americans. Even seemingly innocent hobbies of yesterdays are considered to be acts of terror. Like beautiful and scenic city skyline photography and videography within the US borders is now becoming a Mata Hari venture.Since attacking Iraq, in April 2003, without any plausible justification and legal writ, USA has come a long way in understanding the limits of its and its allies sheer military might. The adventure has been very expensive, and it has led to many American leaders carrying a bowl seeking a charity from the oil-rich countries of the region, asking to forego enormous debts owed by Iraq. This very fact bespeaks volumes about the overall economic feasibility of Iraqi assault and regime change consequences once defined by USA and UK defying the whole world opinion. Then add to this difficulties caused by the freedom and resistance movements in a smooth flow of oil supplies from the “captured” Iraqi treasures, and its effects on the rising world oil prices.
Fast forward, now we see almost a final battle taking shape within the borders of Najaf. The young fiery leader Muqtada Sadar is ready to write another chapter in Islamic history, following in to the footsteps of the martyr Imam Hussein and his caravan 1,325 years ago. The lands of Iraq are once again ready to be irrigated with bloods of a militarily weaker side, that refuses to be cowed down, assuring a moral and political victory for all times to come. It is estimated that over 500,000 persons would be directly affected by this final battle in the Najaf. Many of them could die as a result of a ruthless and all out assault.US has already used most heavy handed tactics in its current campaign, tactically aided by Israel and UK, especially in the Urban warfare and in the questioning of the captured Iraqis. Heavy bombardment of Baghdad, Basra, Fallujah, and Najaf, has resulted in to a large number of casualties and deaths, that still remain to be accounted for. Any independent news-agencies, not following the US line of propaganda have been forced out, and now the world can hardly see what is actually happening in Iraq. Apart from Qatari independent Arabic Channel of Al-Jazeerah, Iranian reporters too have been held to black out every thing. Karbala bombings of civilians on 10th of Moharram a few months ago, and similar other incidents failed to achieve their objectives: Making Sunnis and Shias rise against each other. It is widely believed that those incidents were part of old and tried British tactics of “divide and rule”, likes of what they practiced in Indian sub-continent earlier, disrupting the Hindu-Muslim peaceful lives during their rule of India.The new Iraqi puppet regime, led by Mr. Iyad Alaawi, is speaking “his master’s voice”. The tone and aggressive style adopted by that regime over the past few days is clearly indicating that it is playing a drama scripted by the occupation forces. On the other hand the heat is being turned on for the previous American protégé, Ahmad Al Shalabi. He is certainly privy to such American secrets that it un-nerves them, and they would like to silence him in one way or the other.
On the other hand, Muqtada Sadr seems to be certainly putting himself and his followers in to a hole, from which there is no escape except to die with honor, an end so much sought by Shia Muslims in such circumstances.
US would possibly try to avoid an indiscreet tell tale MOAB type bombardment. Therefore it is probable that the whole city of Najaf and its center where the Muslim fighters are gathered would be cut off from all the civil amenities, and food and water supplies, using some sort of smoke, and shock waves bombs to flush them out of the sacred Hazrath Ali Mosque compound. The fighters cannot last long without food, water, and fighting supplies.
It is high time that such carnage of Muslims be stopped, and Muslim countries led by Pakistan, OIC, and Arab League, move a Security Council resolution to let this crisis be solved through peaceful negotiations. It is such a shame, that while the world is making a hue and cry for perceived atrocities within Sudan, the continued carnage by occupation forces in Iraq is going on without a UN condemnation. UN today is headed by a weak leader who seems to be lacking an equal and balanced world vision and a courage to move the UN to any urgent agenda unless guided by the sole super power, and apparently he has no clear legal agenda to solve many of the volatile problems facing the world.
If Muqtada Sadr and most of his large number of followers die fighting today, they will live forever in the history of Iraq and of Islam, carving a forceful permanent comment about the inaction of Islamic Ummah (the Muslims at large), and brutality of Americans. What USA and its allies seem to ignore is that for Shia Muslims such sacrifices are only an assurance to a promised beautiful world hereafter. This would also further sow the seeds to an all time mental, moral, and intellectual resistance to Americanism and Israel from Iraqis and Muslims all around the world.
A living and undoubted clash of civilization would finally dawn, clouded by the smoke billowing from the US military assaults using its best of the forces and equipment, in space, in the air, and on ground. When this smoke clears, a dangerous anger would prevail. Americans would be, therefore, wiser to withhold their fire this time, and let the politics take its course.
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Mr. Hashim Syed Mohammad bin Qasim, based in Riyadh, is a Global Analyst, Writer, Researcher, Sociologist, and an Information and Communication Technology Consultant. In Riyadh, he also represents Online International News Network (OINN), Islamabad. He can be reached via email at email@example.com