“We should bring our troops Home to achieve our Iraq Policy goals” - A Republican Neocon view
Many readers would be appalled by this headline. Have we switched our loyalties and moved to the Democratic camp? Not exactly, but we are getting beneath the skin of our Iraq policy and coming up with the same conclusion as our Democratic rivals, but with an opposite reasoning. Here is our case:
When we were attacked on 9/11, our adversaries were Islamic terrorists. They did not attack us as Sunnis, but as Muslims. All Muslim without exception, both the Shiites and Sunnis celebrated this attack. The Shiite Hezbollah as well as the Sunni Hamas distributed candies and made those noises made by rolling one’s tongue over the lips that Arab ladies are famous for when expressing joy (Yimach shmo...).
The Middle East is getting ripe for a bloodied Sunni-Shiite civil war, so it is high time for us to “cut up and run”. We have cut up the unity of the Sunnis and Shiites in the Middle East, and the fireworks are about to cross the critical mass into a full blown regional Shiite-Sunni civil war - we should not be caught up in this cross fire. This is the right time to withdraw to our aircraft carriers in the Gulf, and to our bases in the region and limit our operations to Aerial bombardment of Sunni cities in Iraq on behalf of the Iraqi Shiites and later the Nuclear facilities in Iran on the request of our Saudi “allies”. But before that we need to be out of the crossfire. We rest our case - We should bring our troops Home to achieve our Iraq Policy goals.
Both the Iranian Shiite Mullah regime and Saddam's Sunni regime did not conceal their glee at the horrors of 9/11.
But for all visible purposes, Operation Infinite Justice that was re-christened Operation Enduring Freedom was launched not against the Sunnis, but against our adversaries who attacked us as Muslims. After trashing the Talibs in Afghanistan in November 2001, we motored our way into Baghdad in April 2003, after just a 21 day offensive. Our strategy in this War on Terror became articulate only after our victory over Saddam. Why did we not attack the Hezbollah in Lebanon, much less we did not put Iran's nuclear pursuing Mullah's anywhere on the agenda in the initial days of the War on Terror?
The Shiite substratum of our Stratagem of the War on Terror
Although no one stated it, immediately after 9/11, we went after Sunni regimes first the Taliban in Afghanistan and then the Sunni regime of Saddam Hussein. The Shiite substratum of our stratagem was not visible initially as our allies against the Pasthoon dominated Tailban were the mainly Sunni Tajik Northern Alliance. The division there was ethnic Tajiks against Pasthoons, both being Sunnis. But the Iranians gave their tacit support to our action against this Sunni Taliban regime. This was the first victory for the Shiite substratum of our stratagem.
Then came the ratcheting up of the WMD case against Saddam, while then being silent about the Iranian nuclear program. The Iraqi WMDs were their alright and made their way into Syria. But Saddam’s progress towards weaponizing WMDs was far less than that of the Iranian Mullahs even in 2003 or for that matter in 2001. Then why did we not take on the Shiite Iranian Mullahs first?
Victory against any enemy is easy if we divide the enemy
Our answer – victory against any enemy is easy if we divide the enemy. And easier so, if we back the weaker enemy faction against the stronger. The unseen part of the Shiite substratum of our stratagem in the War on Terror was and is precisely this! In the Muslim world the Shiites are the weaker underdog as against the Sunni – although both the Shiites and Sunnis are equally murderous. And our strategy is to pit one band of murderers against the other. We did not mention the Iranian WMDs, so as not to set the Shiite Iranian Satan against us till we toppled Sunni tyrant Saddam. With the kind of Shiite blood Saddam had on his hands, we could expect the Iranians to give us tacit support while we packed off the common enemy – Saddam. Yes even the Iranians guessed that it was they who were being surrounded by our Marines on their Eastern and Western borders (as also near their northern borders - Uzbekistan).
After we disposed off the Sunni tyrant, we followed up by disposing off his Sunni army, with the bold step of dismissing the entire Sunni dominated army of the defeated Baathist regime. A significant part of the Baathist army being sort of secular, might have switched sides after our victory to stabilize Iraq against the Jihadist insurgents that streamed in from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, etc. the Baathist military would have backed us more so to continue being the strongest native Iraqi military force albeit from then on under American command.
This was illustrated by the negotiated surrender of the Baathist Iraqi Sunni general to the marines who gained the biggest Sunni province of Al Anbar in March 2003 without firing a shot! The Sunni army would also have co-opted themselves into our efforts to secure Iraq – they would have done this not out of any love for us, but from a motive of keeping a check on the restive Shiite populace from going overboard as the Shiites had demonstrated by stomping Saddam’s statue in Firdos Square and defacing his murals and portraits across the Shiite majority areas of Iraq. Acts that rattled the Sunnis to no end.
Then why did Ambassador Paul Bremer not consider this option of co-opting the Baathist Sunni dominated military, and took the step of dismissing the entire million strong Iraqi Army? Because our aim of going into Iraq was to put power and guns into the hands of the Shiites, build a Shiite army and police. The Kurds already had their Peshmergas and they enjoyed their whiff of freedom since 2001 in their autonomous region to the north. The Shiites had no formal army, although the Badr Brigades and the Al Mahdi army were there informally as the mailed fist of the Shiites.
But we gave the Shiite arms the respectability and a formal garb, by enlisting them in droves into the new Iraqi army. The Sunnis were consciously kept out. Ever heard of Army recruitment centers in Fallujah, Tikrit, Qaim, etc? The new recruits came mainly from the Shiite South and the Kurdish north. This prepared the fertile ground necessary for the unstated goal of ours to pit the Shiites against the Sunnis.
You might wonder why we are saying all this, and how does it help to defeat the enemy. It does in a very strategic way. It does so by leading the enemy into a dilemma. With this being known as it already is to the enemy - do the Sunnis now fight the Shiites or us. If they do not fight the Shiites; the Shiites will gain the upper hand in Iraq. If the Sunnis fight the Shiites, they need to fight us too, as we are in there on the side of the Shiites (whatever the pious declarations of Condi, Dubya and other White House Officials of being non-partisan in Iraq).
For all that the democrats’ carping against the White House, we would say that the White house has been a Right House in this war with this masterly and unstated Shiite substratum of our stratagem. The terrorists call the White House a Black House, our poser is that it is the Right House?
Now we come to the Title of our Analysis - We should bring our troops Home to achieve our Iraq Policy goals. If we do so now, we would set the full fury of the Sunni insurgency and the Shiite dominated army and police against each other. The Kurds will limit themselves to securing the mixed city of Mosul for themselves by chucking the Sunnis out. The Kurds want the Arabs out of their zone – be they Sunni or Shiite. But the main theater of the Iraqi civil war would be the Baghdad area and other mixed Shiite-Sunni towns of Central Iraq like Al Madian, and Baquba. The Shiites will exert their utmost will to drive the Sunnis out of Baghdad and secure the capital for themselves and through this the legitimacy to rule over the Sunni provinces.
We miss the point when we see the Al Mahdi Army gang-lord Muqtada Al Sadr stating that he is against federalism and the division of Iraq – a demand which the main Shiite militia the Badr Brigades support. Federalism is also the view of one of the two main Shiite Ayatollahs – Ayatollah Hakim. The other Ayatollah Sistani is silent, but others do the talking for him. These two Ayatollahs who are for federalism and want a semi autonomous and ultimately an independent Shiite Iraq are the moderates. Sounds unbelievable? Yes it does.
But what does Muqatada want – an Iraq where the Sunnis are equal partners of the Shiites? The Sunni tyrant murdered his father and hundred of thousands of Shiites, Sunni Baathists stormed and severely damaged the holiest Shiite shrines at Najaf and Karbala in 1991 to quell the Shiite uprising against Saddam. That first attempt on our part to pit the Shiite against the Sunnis was not allowed to work its way out by us, as there was no immediate threat to our homeland. We had not imagined that the Islamofascists would ever attack us they way they did on 9/11. Our post 9/11 strategy has been to back the Shiites to the hilt against the Sunnis to the bitter end, and what better place to start with than where the Shiites are a majority tyrannized by a Sunni despot – Iraq.
In this scenario the fiercely anti-American Muqtada wants us out of the way when he starts his blood feud with the Sunnis. If we withdraw his veneer of claiming that he has nothing against the Sunnis will come off.
So what next for us? Today the Shiite army has not yet reached that critical mass where it has the firepower to crush the Sunni insurgency utterly. But it has enough firepower to keep the Sunnis engaged in a long draw out war of attrition which they will eventually win if we use our air-power to strafe Sunni cities like Fallujah, Tikrit, Baquba,Qaim, and if things become too hot for our Shiite allies to bomb the cities in the Sunni heartland to rubble.
This will not be well received by our Sunni Saudi “allies”, and so we may as well have to let our Iraqi Shiite allies to be bled slowly in a never ending cycle of Shiite-Sunni violence.
This would bring in Shiite Iran into sending more and more of its irregular Basij into Iraq to fight the Sunnis leading to a cry of help from the Saudis for us to act against Iran.
A catacomb of insurgencies where the Iraqi Shiites ask for our help against the Iraqi Sunnis and the Saudis (Sunnis) also ask for our help against the Shiite Iran serves our policy based on the unstated dictum - victory against any enemy is easy if we divide the enemy, and easier so, if we back the weaker enemy faction against the stronger. If we do withdraw from Iraq now, we would be doing precisely this – We have divided the enemy – the Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq, and further and the Saudis and the Iranians into backing their proxies in Iraq, in a war that is now spilling over to Jordan and will soon spill across to Kuwait, Bahrain, the Shiite dominated provinces of Dhahran and Al Khobar in Saudi Arabia, and if the Bashar al Assad regime is destabilized in to Syria as well.
Our next goal is to destabilize the Assad regime. The UN report on Syrian involvement in the Rafik Hariri murder is going to help us in doing this. The Middle East is getting ripe for a bloodied Sunni-Shiite civil war, so it is high time for us to “cut up and run”. We have cut up the unity of the Sunnis and Shiites in the Middle East, and the fireworks are about to cross the critical mass into a full blown regional Shiite-Sunni civil war - we should not be caught up in this cross fire. This is the right time to withdraw to our aircraft carriers in the Gulf, and to our bases in the region and limit our operations to Aerial bombardment of Sunni cities in Iraq on behalf of the Iraqi Shiites and later the Nuclear facilities in Iran on the request of our Saudi “allies”. But before that we need to be out of the crossfire. We rest our case - We should bring our troops Home to achieve our Iraq Policy goals.
War on Jihad team