October 09, 2006

The Shia Revival

I picked up one book called The Shia Revival at a local bookstore. Just curious you know, and while flipping through the pages, I found a literal cornocopeia of information and analytical data that was instantly familiar yet also unknown to me. Familiar, in that I knew of the events described in the book, yet unknown because the revelations, comments, and critical analysis pieces concerning these self-same events were nothing I had ever seen, heard, or thought of before. Quite enlightening, it is as if reading Steven Den Beste for the first time. Everything becomes so clear, you start to think in different ways and manners that you never did before. New paths open for you. But enough of the generalities, let us go to the specifics.

The book outlined three specific factions in the Shia south. The first is Sistani, the Greater Shia moderates, the clerics in Najaf and metropolitan Baghdad areas. The Shia clerics, to be specific. Then there is Al Sadr, not to be confused with the Badr brigade. Al SADR derives his power not from religion, he has not the scholarly requirements for such and you will find testimony to back that up from Iraq the Model. Al Sadr is the socialist party, to correlate it to American politics. His father worked with the downtrodden Shia poor in the South as well as Shia in the slums of Baghdad. His power is one of maintaining destitution, and focusing the rage of the uneducated, the ignorant, the prejudiced, and the poor. All the worst qualities of humanity, combined. Al Sadr uses Anti-Americanism to focus the rage of his social network, as well as gain Sunni Baathist help. It would not be illogical for Al Sadr to provide the Sunni Baathist and Al Qaeda sunni terrorists with inside intel on Shia defenses, in order to gain support amongst Sunnis, and thereby enlarge his political power. Al Sadr is an enemy to Iraq, an enemy to the US, and an enemy of humanity. The very best fate that he should receive is a hanging, in a public square. But that is not the solution. The solution is hanging him and then replacing him with American prestige and power, honor and strength. The honey and the blade, in other words.

Sistani is interesting in that he went to great pains to reduce Shia reprisals as well as give Fatwas telling all Shia, men and women, to vote even if the husbands of women had told them not to vote. Sistani made it their "religious duty" to do so. Quite a conflict, won't you say. Which is higher, the duty of a woman to be obedient to her husband in Islamic culture, or the duty of Muslims to their clerics and Islamic commands?

Sistani wanted the Shia to vote because by doing so, they show their dominance and numbers. Thereby building a foundation for Shia recognition and power. It is nothing sinister, after all, the Shia just want to get in on the goods before it disappears. All of the Shia are united in this goal, against Sunnis and any others who would challenge them. Remember, Arabs think this way. Me against my brother, me and my brother against our neighbors, me and my brother with our neighbors against the foreigner. Regardless of how much the Shia may fight amongst themselves, and they do a lot of that, they will band together to fight the Sunnis, the terrorists, the Americans even, as well as whoever gets in their way. I mean it in only a general sense, not in a specific. Which means, don't bother telling me that there are individual Shias or factions that like Sunnis or even Americans. It's all been factored into the greater equation already. The same applies to Syria and Iran. The Sunnis in Baghdad hate Iran. Yet Syria Baathist Sunni (enclave) will ally with Iran, the shia crazy dudes, to fight the US. It is quite logical based upon how Arabs think. In fact, it is quite logical based upon just common basic humanity. All humans behave in this manner when death stares them in the face. And boy would I like to see what Syria and Iran would look like when they stare absolute annihilation based death in the face, but ah I digress into wishes.

I mentioned a third faction. The book called it the SCIRI faction, or the Badr Brigade as I term it. Historically, it is an interesting tale. Because what created the Badr Brigade, was not Iran, but George Bush's father. When the Shia rebellion was crushed in Hilla, they had no allies other than their Iranian brothers of the common faith. So they formed long lasting ties of blood, IN BATTLE. Remember what I said about ties formed in battle. They are almost unshatterable. And this applies to the US fighting with Iraqis by our side (Iraqi death commandos), as well as to anyone else fighting with Iraqis. When the Democrats talk about how the Iraqi Shias are allied with Iran and going to have an Iranian dominated Iraq, it is a subtle propaganda ploy in order to confuse and befuddle you, as well as to demoralize your will to fight in this conflict. Not supporting the Shias in the first place brought on their alliance with Iran, so if you do as the Democrats demand and not support Iraqi shias more, well let us just say if you understand causality, that the conclusion would be obvious. I won't go into the details because this isn't about Democrat propaganda, but about the truth, so suffice it to say that by using logical deduction, you will find the truth 95 times out of a hundred. The last 5% is owned by the Demon Murphy, nobody can say with certainty that A is going to happen 100% of the time, because it never does, you know. Not with "him" around.

The Badr Brigade, given their alliance with iran, attracts most of the religious fanatics. The taliban guys who want to ban everything. You hear about it from Iraqi bloggers who live in Basra. The British are doing nothing. Either because they are incompetent, not trusted by the US High Command, were not given orders, or are afraid to do something because of political correctness issues, or just because they fear being executed by the British government if something bad happens and they kill a Badr murderer and thug. The Arabs despise people with power, but with not the will to use it. In fact, I'm pretty much the same way. The British stand around and watch as students and women, natural supporters of any liberal revolution, are executed, terrorized, and beaten, and the British do NOTHING. On a political level, and not a personal level, that is such a waste to me. This has nothing to do with honoring the sacrifice of the British. And everything to do with pragmatic analysis concerning what policy to take or not take. Even Patton had to objectively and callously decide which unit gets chosen to be risked for annihilation in order to attain the greater goal. You are not worthy to lead, if you are unable to objectively consider the benefits of people under your command, how they are doing, and to what purpose they are best suited for. The British, should not be in Basra and the south, not as occupation and security forces anyway. The truism that if you want to get a job done well, call the Americans, is still true. Not even the British or the Canadians are the equal of the United States Marine Corps. It is quite an objective statement, I assure you. There have been times that a Marine unit was told to hold a position, and they did, but ended up with 99% casualties. There was only one, count it, ONE, combat effective at the end of that battle. That is the real deal. I may be wrong, in that Canada has stories like this as well, or the current British in recent history. I am after all, not very well acquainted with British or Canadian military history. That may be because they don't have anything after WWII, but you never know.

All the Marine angels of death and mercy, as well as the Army commandos, are fighting the Sunnis. None are available to check our base of operations, in the south. God, that is like so not logistically secure. But it isn't about the British, it is about the Badr Brigade. They have close ties with Hizbollah. In fact, Al Sadr has close ties with Hizbollah, if only because Al Sadr is a useful tool for people to use as a strawman and barking dog. Even Sistani used him, to help his negotiations with the Americans. All Sistani had to say was, "hey if you don't like my policies, just consider the alternative *points to Sadr*". A very effective diplomatic ploy, something the State Department must have forgotten when they were teaching basic diplomacy. The Badr Brigade, thus, is the army of Iran inside Baghdad. When the SCIRI gained seats, they infiltrated the government with their paid lackies and goon squads. They are the ones executing Sunnis and initiating revenge killings. It is not Sistani.

Now, the way the Sunnis view things, is almost diametrically opposite. The Sunnis accuse Badr and Sistani and anyone else with ties with Iran, as being shills of Iran. Basically, the Sunnis believe that if they kill enough people, they will get America to leave and cease supporting the Shia. When that happens, then they will have a chance to win back their power. After all, intimidating the Shia is what every Sunni majority has done and succeded, do you not know? Iraq is the ONLY Arab Shia nation. Iran is Persian, not Arab. With such a success track intimidating the Shia, and having the Shia back down from confrontations, why would not the Sunnis see Saddam's massacre techniques as being the way to go? Like a dog, it will do what it has been trained to do. What it knows that it will be rewarded for.

The Sunnis are the ones that believe in a greater Iraq, meaning a unified Iraq, with a strong central government. The "central" being Baghdad, and the Sunnis of course. It is very logical, in a way, which is why the book is such a treasure. It all makes SENSE. The Sunnis believe that the Shia can't run the country without the Sunni. They partially right, since the Sunnis had the majority of the bureacratic institutions, especially since their area contains Baghdad, the seat of power. The Baghdad area has a lot of cosmopolitan people not loyal to "tribes". This means less corruption and clan politics. Which makes better government.

The reason why the Sunnis accuse the Shia of being in league with Iran, is because they view the Iraq-Iran war with a jaundiced eye. They saw it as a Sunni vs Shia conflict, in which the Shia south of Iraq ain't real "Iraqis", and therefore it is really Sunni vs all Shia action. They have fitted the facts with their logic. The Sunnis DO NOT want Iran to divide up Iraq. So when Badr Brigade asks for a "federation" (confederation in American terms), with autonomous Shia areas in the South, the Sunnis are crying a river of blood and virulence in response. This explains even the Sunni boycott of the elections. Since the Sunnis believed that Iranians were in league with Shia Iraqis, and that the Shia were not fit to rule nor was their population all that much greater than the Sunnis in Iraq, the Sunnis obviously thought that Iran would bolster the Shia cause by sending in "fake Iraqi shias" across the border to pad the election results. So obviously the Sunnis would boycott, on the basis that by not voting, the total vote result would be under the 60% or even 50% mark, because after all, the Shia aren't that large a proportion of Iraq's population right?

You have to remember, Sunnis and Shias don't pay much attention to facts or scientific data. These are Arabs we are talking about, and there is no way to think of them in any other way and not be called prejudiced. Rumours are the Arab's bread and butter. It is their culture, I can't do anything about it. If they believe that Allah sent giant poisonous spiders to Fallujah to smite the infidel US Marines, I can't make them disbelieve it. (Al Qaeda cleric supporter, said that btw)

To the Sunnis, when the Americans say that the Shia are like 60% of the population, the Sunnis are going "you are bullshitting me, there is no way, Saddam killed too many of the Shia for there too be that many in Iraq.

So, Sunnis accuse Shias of being pawns of Iran, in order to galvanize Iraqi support for a unified Iraq. Shia accuse Sunnis of supporting Baathism, return to Saddam days, and terrorism, in order to acquire political support. Same game, different sides.

The book also mentions some notable political leaders like Ibrahim al-jaffari and the first prime Minister of Iraq. Since their names are hard to recall and the comments hard to remember, I'll skip that section of the book.

This book must be chunk full of revelations that I have paraphrased and redescriped. The great majority, perhaps as high as 90% of the things I have written, were directly sourced from the book. And I only read about 20 pages. From a book with at least 200. Imagine what else is in there, if this was in the middle of the book!

I can't remember anything else of note worthy interest to say, except that the author described Iraq as nearing and even being in a state of civil war. With the things he describes, it is a lot easier to believe such a charge. I was not convinced of the label civil war, simply because people didn't know jack about internal Iraqi politics, and were just making assertions left and right without any reasonable explanations for why they are right. The book clearly describes the rift between Iraqis. Of whichever faction you may imagine. It explains the corruption in the South, the thuggery and the stealing and the nepotism. And it explains how Baghdad residents are more cosmopolitan, tolerant, and etc. I would have liked to hear the author's views on Kurdistan, because Kurdistan is the wild card in the three way free for all that is Iraq. Three ways locally. Include Syria, Iran, and America, and that is six ways. Include Saudi Arabia and... well you get the picture.

A lot of Americans are arrogant and ignorant, enough to at least believe that if we left, the terrorism and terrorists would stop. Are the Shia just automatically going to lie down and submit to Al Qaeda and the Sunni baathists if we leave? I think not. This ain't about America, people. Nobody kills their brother, sister, and children because of "America". We are not the central element in everybody's lives, regardless of how much the fake liberal paladins wish it to be with their "moral high ground" philosophy.

Bookworm has doubts about the future of democracy in Iraq, given Arab culture and the way people in that region thought. Everyone has doubts, it is natural, and even healthy as it forces you to reevaluate your current actions in order to optimize them. In that light, I would like to say that I think the best course of action the US should do, the most optimum action to forestall civil war or end it in furtherence of a good nation, is for Bush to execute Al Sadr. Disarm the militias of Al Sadr and either kill them, strip them of property, or send them to Iran. After that has been done, send another division or two to the Baghdad slums and the city of Sadr. Purge Al Sadr's network, like you purge suicide cells in the US, using intel and cloak and dagger techniques. Replace Al Sadr's network with your own. Then tell the Shia, that if they don't get with the program and get rid of Iran, they will have the United States to deal with, as an enemy. Such an ultimatum backed by lethal action perpetrated against Al Sadr, an enemy of both SCIRI the Badr Brigade as well as Sistani, conveys a very effective threat and demonstration of power. It forces Sistani to choose sides. It forces Badr Brigade to consider their allegiance to Iran. it would be much harder for the Badr Brigade to play a double game where we protect them, while they serve Iran's interests in sabotaging US actions and plans in Iraq.

After the US does this, we go to the Sunnis and tell them that if they keep killing people who we don't want to be killed, we will support more fully the Shia parties. We will give them free reign to purge the Sunnis, as we purged Al Sadr. This will help convince the Sunnis to stop fighting, it will help convince them that the US is a serious mofo and should not be ignored nor frightened out of Iraq. It also gives Sunnis a bit of a hint that the US can be on their side (with the elimination of a Shia faction called Sadr), instead of just on the Shia side. So when the Sunnis see a benefit to an alliance with the uS, they will stop killing Shias sooner and cooperate, safe in the knowledge that the US is helping them. (because that is the goal, ally with the Sunnis against the Shia. Ally with the Shia against the Sunnis. Ally with the kurds against everyone)

After we made the good deals with the Sunnis, we should go to the Shia, and tell them that we are openly impowering and arming Sunni police commando squads, aka death squads, that are loyal to the central government. If Badr continues to play the double game of pitting US vs Iran and Iran vs the US, we will treat them as the enemies they are, and command the Sunni Police Commandos to take them out, permanently. Sistani will be pressured immensely by this, because he will not have expected the US to support the Sunnis against the Shia, and without US support, the Shia cannot transmute Iraq into the image of peace and Shia glory that Sistani envisions. Without US support, both sides will have a blood bath that will never end, Sistani knows this. He will be with us, if only because without us, Sistani will never get what he wants. We will use his support to gain the loyalty of the moderate Shias, turning Moderate Shias against SCIRI, the Badr Brigade arm of Iran. Therefore we increase our own influence in Iraq, while decreasing the influence of our enemies. Two birds with one stone throw.

The basic philosophy is simple. Use America's power as a leverage and threat, in negotiations, to get the Shia to do what is good and to get the Sunnis to do what is good. The Kurds already know what is good, they need no interference from us. To convince the Sunnis that they need to get with the plan, we give them hints of support and ally with the Shia. To convince the Shia to stop corruption, we support and ally with the Sunnis.

These are the specifics and the general goal that we should pursue, given the new information I have received.

Personally, I think it makes a lot more sense than the cries of "civil war", America is causing terrorism in Iraq, and Iraqis need to STEP UP, and the other grossly distorted rhetoric you hear in the American media and even Bush's office. Bush did not say anything that I have said, literally, almost nothing. He is the President, does he not have access to greater resources than me? Does he not have access to the leaders of Iraq personally? So how come Bush doesn't share this knowledge? Unless he doesn't have it? If he doesn't have it, aren't we up the shit creek without a paddle, hrm?

That's why I say that things will get really interesting once Bush is out of office. Sure, things can get worse, but they can also get infinitely better. It will be a roll of the dice, and let us count that Lady Luck will favor the United States of America whenever we had two choices, and had to pick one. Certainly she has in the past, with Washington, Truman, Teddy Roosevelt, and Bush instead of Gore in 2000.

Let us pray to the Greatest Power in the universe, that Lady Luck will continue her favor of the great and just United States. For the good of the world, and for the good of humanity.

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