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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Current Events > The Middle East > War in Iraq

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War in Iraq Operations Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and ongoing operations in the region.

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  #16  
Old 12 Aug 07, 21:44
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X. Iraq the Optimal "Change Template"

The "Global War on Terror/Terrorism" is actually a war against Islamic Jihad, but 'political correctness' and PR prohibit the Bush Admin from being so candid in labeling this war as such a title would be construed by many, and incorrectly, as a War on Islam in general, rather than IslamoFascists, Jihadists, and other extremists who are giving Islam a bad rap and threatened security.

Unfortunately, Islamic scripture via the Qu'ran, Sunna, and Hadith provide a 'Catch 22' as they contain numerous examples and injunctions encouraging Jihad~"Holy War" to spread Islam as well as the example of the Prophet Muhammad himself in leading armies in conquest. The first three hundred years of Islamic history is one of militaristic conquest and expansion of Islam to include over half of the current realm of Islam/Islamic World ~ Dar=al-Islam;
Empires of Islam
http://www.biblia.com/islam/history.htm

In his final words, Muhammad reminded his followers that 'the struggle' was to continue until the whole world embraced Islam or the Final Judgement Day arrived. His command has been echoed by many ever since;

"I was ordered to fight all men until they say 'There is no god but Allah.'"

Prophet Muhammad's farewell address, March 632

"We will export our revolution throughout the world . . . until the calls 'there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah' are echoed all over the world."

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, 1979

"I was ordered to fight the people until they say there is no god but Allah, and his prophet Muhammad."

Osama bin Laden, November 2001

http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,97480,00.html

Even today, we have key leader figures within Islam who promote Jihad with Qu'ranic sanction/justification;
http://www.islamworld.net/jihad.html

With a 1400 year old legacy of militaristic conquest and religious conversion~expansion it should be obvious that this kind of momentum and effort will not be turned around overnight. It should also be obvious that so long as there remains no legitimate contradiction to the scriptural injunctions of Islam promoting Jihad, this global conflict could go on forever. In a Grand Strategic sense then, the only way to really win the GWOT and remove the seemingly perpetual threat of Jihadistic attacks would to be to change the fundimentals of Islamic scripture, to encourage a 'Reformation' of sorts within the Theology of Islam.

This may not be an overnight process but it can only start once there are nation states of Muslims living under political systems of electorial representation balanced with universal and basic human rights of respect and tolerance of speech and religious expression. This is rare within the 'Islamic World' but only such a social climate will allow for a theological reformation to develop and take hold.

Iraq because of it's near balance of Sunni versus Shiia and it's larger than average level of education amoung its population is one of the few nations within the Dar-al-Islam that could serve as a "Change Template" to initiate the transformation of Islam into a more peaceful religion. Admittedly not an easy or quick task, but only by adjusting the form of secular governance can the West assist Islam to approach and address the needed Reformation. Regime change in Iraq, if done properly and with a longterm, grand strategic vision, in it's application, offers a program of change that can be copied and applied to other Islamic nations around the world and therefore offer the best chance for a lasting Peace from this portion of humanity.

Needless to say, there's a wealth of background material on Islam and it's history needed to support this thesis and such will be presented soon in another thread I'll start titled "Islam~Jihad~GWOT".
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Old 12 Aug 07, 22:07
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XI. Sending a Message to Saudi Arabia, & Co.

It was because of treaty defense obligations to Saudi Arabia and Saddam's implied threat of invasion of that country that the USA and 'Coalition' initiated Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. It was continuied protection of SA that we have undertook the Sanctions, Conditional Armistice of Iraq, and enforced the "No-Fly Zones".

Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia makes for a mixed bag of an "Ally". While one part of the Royal Saud family officially tries to engage in 'detente' and business dealings with the USA and West, the other half of the Royal Saud family supports it's obligation to Wahhabi fundimentalism by spreading this 'extremist' application of Qu'ranic theology abroad;
Branches of Islam
http://religion-cults.com/Islam/islam5.html

Not only does Wahhabism promote a very non-Western attitude of Islam, it's been the theological foundation of many of Islamic Jihads movements and leaders. Saudi Arabia strokes us with one hand and threatens our throat with the other. And this is common to other Islamic nations as well. Granted that many Islamic nations walk a tightrope with half their population relatively peaceful and aspiring to live with the rest of the world and the other half restive to instill stricter Sharia Law and Qu'ranic principles in their government while supporting global Jihad.

Just prior to our invasion of Iraq, Saudi Arabia cancelled mutual defense agreements with the USA and asked us to remove our military forces and not base any operations against Iraq out of it's national territory. By removing Saddam's regime from Iraq we removed the major military threat that Saudi Arabia faces from it's fellow Islamic nations, therefore removed the main reason we had for military support and co-operation with SA. Since Saddam's Iraqi military was larger and in many ways more powerful than Saudi Arabia's, we sent an implied message to SA that as easy as we brushed aside Saddam's military, we can do the same to Saudi Arabia's and hence the support the Royal Saud family has for ruling that nation.

This is obviously an implied message, one between the lines, and one that our current administration would deny and step far away from. But, it is an obvious unspoken "Statement" to any studied in Middle Eastern affairs. The message went not only to Saudi Arabia, but to other Islamic nations acting similarily. Observe how Libya quickly reversed it's course in the wake of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Last edited by G David Bock; 12 Aug 07 at 22:12..
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Old 12 Aug 07, 22:33
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Great thread Dave! The Saddam link to the 1993 WTC attack is the "Rosetta Stone".

OKC is really fascinating too. Richard A. Clarke noted that Terry Nichols had been on the Philippine island Cebu at the same time Ramzi Yousef was there...Maybe a coincidence.

The striking resemblance of OKC's John Doe #2 to Jose Padilla...Maybe another coincidence.

A big logical stretch to connect Saddam Hussein to OKC...But there are dots to connect.
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Old 12 Aug 07, 22:56
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Iraq has a Sunni population of 32%-37% and a Shia population of 60% to 65%. This is not a balance.

Saudi Arabia is South of Iraq. The first no-fly zone was in the North. It was put in place very specifically to defend the Kurds. The Southern no-fly zone was put in place after the Hussein put down the Shia uprising to protect them.
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Last edited by Duncan; 12 Aug 07 at 22:59..
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Old 12 Aug 07, 23:04
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Originally Posted by The Doctor View Post
A big logical stretch to connect Saddam Hussein to OKC...But there are dots to connect.
Especially big since Al'Queda has always been very quick to claim responsibility for any act of terrorism it is remotely involved with. It would be odd for them to choose silence in this one case. Also the courts stated that McVeigh's motivations were hatred of the government, his contempt for the Brady Bill, and revenge for Waco and Ruby Ridge.
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Old 12 Aug 07, 23:20
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XII. Campaign Location to Battle Islamic Jihad

Another of the unstated but implied Reasons, and one understandably 'denied' by the Administration, would be to open a front for combat on the Islamic Jihad ~ Global War on Terror. One would hope that the Bush admin was not so naive' as to think that an invasion of Iraq would not be like flypaper attracking flies, in that it would draw Jihadis of the region because of it's relative ease of access, but initial force levels during the invasion and occupation afterwards combined with restrictive rules of engagement leave one to suspect that either the Bush Admin underestimated the extent of Jihadist aspirations throughout the Islamic World or was over;y optimistic in dealing with and containing such when it came to Iraq.

Needless to say, one would hope, it could not be candidly admitted to the people/nation of Iraq that they were choosen to be the battlefield location of the GWOT, the site where the American presense would be the flypaper to draw Jihadis to their death and keep the conflict focused mostly, "over there", distracting resources of the Jihadis that might otherwise have been directed "over here". Such seems to be the aftermath result and one can't help wondering if there wasn't more intention for this rather than inadvertant happenstance. Unfortunately, there are a few things that suggest more the latter than the former.

The current Admin has not sought to increase troop strength "in theatre" sooner, nor lossened the constrictive 'Rules of Engagement'. There was not greater effort and urgency in rebuilding and arming the Iraqi national defense forces. There appears to have been no plan for measured response militarily to neighboring nations like Syria and Iran who facilitate the influx of Jihadists and weapons to Iraq. There was no effort to apply more effective securing of the border regions to infiltration of Jihadists and their weapons/supplies. One is left wondering if the Bush Admin is nearly inept as assessing the military situation, inept as determining competent military advance, or seeking to appear hard on 'Terrorism' while paving the way to assure the conflict goes on longer and more bloody than necessary.

I'll admit the above belongs more in a thread dealing with 'How' the war with Iraq has been prosecuted rather than this one dealing with 'Why', but it helps underscore that one Reason was to apply major military resources in a place and time that would expand the GWOT towards a nation state that was a clear supporter of Terrorism/Jihad in conjuction with dealing with a rogue nation that gave clear evidence it was in need of having it's dharma readjusted.

The war in Iraq is not a new war, it is a renewed one, a war that was on hold and might have ended with a Peace Treaty, but for Saddam's actions could not be, so had to be concluded before moving on to other agenda items. As such, it provided itself as a campaign site for taking the war to the Jihadis, in many ways and forms, and has become now a central battlefield in the GWOT~Islamic Jihad. In this way, conflict in Iraq is part of the bigger picture, and the forum for devising new and effective tactics and methods for the Grand Strategic goals of ending Islamic Jihad. Unfortunately, few in the Admin have realized this or been coherrant in expressing such and it may take a new administration to fully grasp why we are in Iraq and the potential for turning point that it could provide.

Once again, to better understand my point here requires a fuller grasp of Islam and Jihad than I've provided in this thread so this is another Reason that will be more clear once I've laid down a thread of material addressing "Islam~Jihad~GWOT" to put all this in better context.
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Old 12 Aug 07, 23:26
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Duncan;

Iran is near totally Shiia, all other Islamic nations are largely Sunni. Iraq is the closest and only Islamic nation approaching a balance of any sort between the two factions, especially given the demographics globally.
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Old 12 Aug 07, 23:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan View Post
Especially big since Al'Queda has always been very quick to claim responsibility for any act of terrorism it is remotely involved with. It would be odd for them to choose silence in this one case. Also the courts stated that McVeigh's motivations were hatred of the government, his contempt for the Brady Bill, and revenge for Waco and Ruby Ridge.
As I recall, AQ didn't jump out there and lay immediate claim to the "9-11" attack, 'We' were the ones claiming it was their baby.

As for Oklahoma City bombing, actually I'm suggesting more a linkage to Iraq via it's agent Ramzi Yousef who didn't mind "using" the NYC Jihadi followers of the "blind Sheik" who originally conceived a group of pipe-bomb attacks against judge, prosecutors, etc. who'd put their collegue in jail for murdering a Rabbi. Yousef, known to them as "the Iraqi", joined their group after calls to an uncle in Baghdad on how to make and apply pipebombs. You may want to read the links I've provided to be more informed on what you are trying to counter.
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Old 12 Aug 07, 23:39
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'Doc' (and others),

Thanks for the endorsement. I've invested more time and energy today on this than I should have and will have to return later. Obviously there will be no shortage of Quislings quibbling over points. Thing to remember is that all twelve need to be considered as a whole and ALL twelve (plus) need to be neutralized if one wants to have a case for for Iraq having gotten a pass and Saddam to have remainded in power to the present.
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Old 13 Aug 07, 00:24
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Okay folks,

No one is saying that Saddam didn't have a rap sheet as long as my arm. The guy was a bad dude, no question about that. But for real, is the kind of geopolitical upheaval we are in the midst of right now worth punishing Saddam because he was fudging on the rules containing him? Is it really worth the blood and billions we've spent just to say we took out some guy who was causing us some problems? Is it really worth being in a position where we can no longer even credibly threaten Iran with military invasion?
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Old 13 Aug 07, 01:44
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Is it worth it? I can't tell yet....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt Steiner View Post
Is it really worth the blood and billions we've spent just to say we took out some guy who was causing us some problems?
If it was, wouldn't North Korea be next on the "hit list?" Spooky.

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Old 13 Aug 07, 06:15
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congratulations on a great thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G David Bock View Post
'Doc' (and others),

Thanks for the endorsement. I've invested more time and energy today on this than I should have and will have to return later. Obviously there will be no shortage of Quislings quibbling over points. Thing to remember is that all twelve need to be considered as a whole and ALL twelve (plus) need to be neutralized if one wants to have a case for for Iraq having gotten a pass and Saddam to have remainded in power to the present.
Well done young man ,im sure this will provoke quite a bit of discussion, which knowing this forum, could go anywhere. Theres know doubt in my mind that this war was a continuation of the first gulf war, which is ironic as it is usually islamic nations who hold a large mortgage on sitting on greveinces for a long time , but , iguess with Saddam still in power, things were bound to come to a head eventually.



Am i right in saying that the current administration had for some time planned and thought out a invasion startegy should the diplomatic or strategic outlook in the region favoured another all out attempt to remove Saddam once and for all. I believe this was a factor when the bush administration implemented their pre-empetive strike policy knowing that too many nations had vested interest in iraq and surrounding countries . This would preclude another " Desert Storm " gathering of forces under the flag of the united Nations , acting to deter a illegal invasion. Saddam would not fall for that , so engaged in more estoeric means to hurt the US , whilst keeping them at arms reach as long as possible.

If the above is indeed based in fact , then the september 11 attacks would have convinced this administration that the policy of containment and only punitive punishment metered out by your previous government was flawed, and needed serious addressing , obviously in the form of a invasion.

So far, so good , were did it go all so wrong from here? I will be following this post to try and find out some answers for myself.

Once again, very well done.
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Old 13 Aug 07, 06:55
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Richard Clarke has been mentioned in this discussion and quite rightly but I've read his book too. Bearing in mind this was the guy involved in terrorism policy from Reagan to Bush Jr, he and his team felt there was no connection between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein and couldnt believe Bush and Cheney kept wanting him to find a connection between them. As for this issue about Saddam and Islamic fundamentalism. He used it for his own ends to try and garner support from the Islamic world against the co-alition. Up to that point people like Bin laden hated Saddam for the secualriust that he was and openly said so.
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Old 13 Aug 07, 08:03
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Originally Posted by Duncan View Post
Especially big since Al'Queda has always been very quick to claim responsibility for any act of terrorism it is remotely involved with. It would be odd for them to choose silence in this one case. Also the courts stated that McVeigh's motivations were hatred of the government, his contempt for the Brady Bill, and revenge for Waco and Ruby Ridge.
Actually al-Qaeda rarely claimed credit for anything until after 9/11. They did not even claim credit for 9/11 until after we had established the connection through banking transactions with the help of the UAE.

Courts are very bad at analyzing intelligence data.

The affinity between white-supremacist ultra-right-wing terrorist groups and Islamofascist terrorist groups is well established and documented. It extends all the way back at least to the 1940s.

That said...The linkage of al-Qaeda and/or Saddam Hussein to OKC is extremely tenuous.
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Old 13 Aug 07, 08:18
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Originally Posted by copenhagen View Post
Richard Clarke has been mentioned in this discussion and quite rightly but I've read his book too. Bearing in mind this was the guy involved in terrorism policy from Reagan to Bush Jr, he and his team felt there was no connection between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein and couldnt believe Bush and Cheney kept wanting him to find a connection between them. As for this issue about Saddam and Islamic fundamentalism. He used it for his own ends to try and garner support from the Islamic world against the co-alition. Up to that point people like Bin laden hated Saddam for the secualriust that he was and openly said so.
From The Middle East Review of Internetional Affairs (MERIA) December 2000 Journal: Volume 4, No. 4 - December 2000
Quote:
SADDAM HUSAYN BETWEEN HIS POWER BASE AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
By Amatzia Baram*

Editor's Summary: Iraq has continued to survive international sanctions and attempts to isolate itself in the decade following the war over Kuwait. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has used Islam and tribalism to maintain power at home, while playing off other countries and seeking humanitarian sympathy to weaken the opposition to his regime from abroad. The article surveys the current state of Iraq's domestic and foreign policies.

In the year 2000 the domestic and international position of Iraq's ruler, Saddam Husayn, was the most secure and promising since the 1991 Gulf War...

When the Ba'th party came to power in Iraq in July 1968 it was committed to the ideal of unifying the Arab states into one super-state...

Eventually, under Saddam Husayn, Iraq developed a new, Iraqi-centered and imperial brand of pan-Arabism. Its main message was that, due to its heroic and rich history, starting with ancient Sumer and Babylon and ending with Saddam, Iraq is the natural leader of the Arabs. As a result, everything that benefits Iraq will eventually benefit all the Arabs...

Another ideal professed by the new regime was secularism, or the separation of mosque and state.(2) Until the ascendancy of Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomeini in Tehran Iran in February 1979, this ideal was essentially adhered to in Iraq, even though the Ba'th regime did make changes over time toward involving Islam in politics more than one would expect from a secular nationalistic regime. Baghdad's policy went through a quantum leap when the Ba'thi rulers were pushed by the Islamic regime across the border to demonstrate that they were not, as Tehran claimed, anti-Islamic atheists.

After the government "Islamized" much of its rhetoric during the 1980-1988 Iraq-Iran War, President Saddam Husayn led the Ba'th party in introducing some Islamic principles into the Iraqi legal system. This started a short while before the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, when Saddam made clear that whenever laws clashed with the divine Shari'a, the former must always give way. One day before the Allied bombing began the fighting in January 1991, Saddam Husayn added the slogan, "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great) to the Iraqi national flag.(3)

During the war, Saddam's rhetoric was fully Islamized in a way unparalleled by any other Arab secular leader. By implication he presented himself as the modern-day champion of Islam (mujaddid al-din). He promised his warriors that when the battle commenced, God would give them victory as had happened in the seventh-century battle of Badr, when a tiny Muslim army defeated a multitude of Meccan idol worshippers. The president also invoked the memory of a pre-Islamic battle between the Arabs and an Ethiopian invading army that had marched on Mecca with war elephants. The invaders, he promised, would be defeated in the same way that the Ethiopians had been, through a miraculous, divine intervention.(4)...

Following the Iraqi defeat in the war, there was no sign of a return to rational, secular rhetoric. Indeed, in 1994, when the economic embargo resulted in serious inflating and unprecedented suffering among the vast majority of Iraqis, Saddam Husayn went further by introducing punishments such as severing the right hand for theft and the death penalty for prostitution, defining these penalties as Islamic. The Iraqi president also initiated laws forbidding the public consumption of alcohol and introduced enhanced compulsory study of the Qur'an at all educational levels, including in Ba'th party branches. The most amazing step in the same direction was the declaration, in 1989, that before his death the Christian Michel 'Aflaq, founder and chief ideologue of the Ba'th party had converted to Islam. None of the deceased founder's friends or family ever heard about such a momentous decision but this did not prevent the Ba'th secular regime from making this astounding post-mortem announcement.(5)

It is impossible to gauge the extent to which the "Islamization" steps helped the Iraqi president and his ruling elite stay in power by more effectively legitimizing them. It would seem, however, that such a far-reaching decision had to be based on a rational calculation that more emphasis on Islam would strengthen the regime's popularity...

In 1990-1991, Saddam Husayn also indicated that he saw himself as the potential leader of the whole Islamic world and, more dubiously, of the Third World. It is not clear how he hopes to achieve all of these ambitious goals even when he becomes a nuclear power and the second richest oil producer after Saudi Arabia. But there may be little doubt that he intends to try and achieve at least the inner core of this grand scheme.
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