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March 9, 2010

Iraq Votes

Roy Meachum

The world was warned that results of the Sunday Iraq elections will be along when they’ll be along: in days or in weeks; the way things go in that part of the world. Everything, they believe, depends on the One God, a literal translation of Allah.


In the Muslim Holy Book, the Quran, every discussion of anything in the future – from weddings to going for an ice cream – must be conditioned by insha’allah – if the One God wills it.


In any event, Sunday’s election results remain entirely in Divine hands. Reading about Iraqi parties, their objectives and independent politicians, to the Western mind, the article of Muslim faith is true: men are weak and Allah is strong.


In the end, the exercise in democracy as taught under the guns of America and its allies, is essentially meaningless.


As long as approximately 100,000 U.S. troops remain in the country – once rigidly ruled from London, from World War I until 1958; enforced by aircraft and machine guns while Iraqis had only rifles if they were lucky – the entire Islamic world will not trust Washington; pouncing on a word in President George W. Bush’s early war speeches: crusade.


From Morocco to Indonesia and the Philippines, the Islamic faithful view American presence in Afghanistan and the former Mesopotamia as striking against their religion. Not realizing the Christian attitude has changed, because theirs remains a proselytizing creed; they seek all the converts possible, short of using the scimitar; they can never trust anyone outside their creed. They will not believe we’re going until we’re gone.


Throwing away the Quran, several caliphs threatened Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians with death if they did not switch to followers of Muhammad. They were dead wrong. Nothing in the faith the Messenger of God taught permits harming non-believers.


Before our Judeo-Christian society condemns Islam for the sins of a radical few, it should examine the role of Christianity toward other faiths; even within Nazarene ranks, thousands lost their lives for different interpretations of Jesus’ revelations.


In the final analysis, because the soldiers of the coalition are strangers, their reforms will wash away; after they depart, false prophets, like Ahmed Chalaby, will be dealt with. He was the Iraqi Shiite who pushed Washington into war by announcing Saddam Hussein and both his notorious sons would be dining in a Baghdad restaurant one night; the White House summoning Air Force jets and missiles proved disastrous. None of the three was there. Although America was not fully prepared, the invasion was on!


In addition, thrust into a position of power, Mr. Chalaby personally torpedoed Iraq’s army, the largest in the region – save Iran’s. I have few words strong enough to condemn the stupidity of the U.S. administrator who disbanded the only force that might have restored stability to the invaded nation.


But playing the hand we have been dealt, as poker veterans say, we were on the losing side when Washington tried to dictate to the Middle East and force its nations into our curious brand of democracy. It will never work in a region where God decides everything. He is still real there, unlike the Western nations where he’s as frequently rejected as accepted.


On the gut level, we can never understand Muslims. There’s a school of thought that condemns Islamic leaders for not speaking out against Islamist radicals. They don’t recall few voices were raised to protest the treatments of Jews and blacks in the 1920s when the Ku Klux Klan rampaged on the national scene. When the last bed sheet was stuck into a drawer, racism and cruelty lingered to few protests.


Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have not only objected, but those countries have, on the record, enacted anti-terrorist laws and task forces. And in all those nations, there are multitudes who believe Washington wages war on their faith. In Syria, Lebanon and Iran, the numbers are much, much larger.


In the coming weeks, dismiss the analysts and soothsayers who offer deep thoughts on Sunday’s elections; as soon as American forces depart, supposedly at the end of next year, Iraq will follow ancient Mesopotamia’s example and put their lives together the way they want to live.




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