Thursday, February 23, 2006

Feb. 22, 2006

Morons Go to War

The Bush neocons treat democracy as though it's penicillin – a one shot cure-all for what ails the world. But it would have been nice if, before launching two wars in the Islamic world, they had checked to see if any of the world's problems were resistant. Had they taken the time and trouble to do so they would have quickly learned that at least one mean-ass bug – Islam – eats democracy for lunch.

Given the choice between the West's freedoms, and the lifestyles that inevitably spring from such freedoms, rank and file Muslims almost always gravitate back to familiar Islamic strictures once they taste often contentious, free-wheeling western-style freedoms.

A recent opinion poll taken in Muslim immigrant communities in England showed that 40% of those polled said they would favor laws that allow Sharia (Islamic) law to be applied within their communities rather than English law.

So, back to Iraq. Now that we are there all that's left to do is lose. And lose we shall. Here's why.

Don Rumsfeld likes to throw around the term “asymmetric warfare,” meaning conflicts in which the least powerful of opponents can trump the most powerful by employing grassroots, innovative and relatively small scale, even primitive, military tactics.

Which is precisely what minority Iraqi Sunnis are doing. But wait. That alone wouldn't do the trick. Our defeat requires one more element – which also could have and should have been foreseen: Just how crazy Shiite Muslims are about their faith. (And I mean crazy in both the enthusiastic and clinical senses)

Ah, now that does it. Combine those two ingredients and we have a recipe for US defeat.

No one knows better how to push Iraqi Shiite buttons than Iraqi Sunnis. Sunnis, in case you haven't been paying attention, are largely secular folk – kinda like reform Jews or cafeteria Catholics. Sunnis call themselves Muslims, but they are really Muslim-lite.

Shiites, on the other hand, are the fire-breathing religious right of Islam. During the decades the Sunnis ruled Iraq they kept a tight lid on Shiite religious expression because they knew that once those guys get on a religious roll there's no stopping them.

Well, the US took that lid off when they dethroned the Sunnis, and the Shiites are on a roll. Once again they can whip themselves into bloody messes once a year – oh joy. And once again they can visit their holy shrines. All of which is just fine with Sunni insurgents. Because nothing is quite as explosive as a bunch of born-again Shiites on an emotional roll. Just wind them up and they will burn, kill, burn and pillage anything in the path -- even one another.

Which is precisely why, at each critical stage of the US plan to turn Iraq into something resembling a civilized nation, the Sunnis pull a stunt like this:

LONDON, February 22 - A bomb attack in Iraq has badly damaged one of the holiest sites in Shia Islam, sparking furious protests, BBC reported. 

Thousands of Iraqis have gathered at the al-Askari shrine in Samarra, north of Baghdad, where two men blew up the famous golden dome in a dawn raid. (More)

Remember the uproar over those Muhammad cartoons? Well buckle up baby. Wait til you see how Iraqi and Iranian Shiites react to this, and future attacks on their holiest sites. It's as if someone blew the dome off the St. Peter's Church in the Vatican, or bombed the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. But this time it was done to a religious group that relishes blood-revenge. So, one might say, heads are gonna roll over this.

It's a tactic of desperation by the Sunnis. Suicide actually. The only hope Sunnis have of avoiding becoming the Palestinians of Iraq is to stop the formation of a Shiite dominated government. Beyond that they have no plan. Chaos is the only card they have to play and they will play it with a vengeance. The al-Askari shrine is just one of several dozen sites in Iraq revered by Shiites. Which means there are plenty of Shiite button pushing sites left to blow up should the Shiites calm down and get back to trying to form a government.

There is of coursea fatal flaw in the Sunnis' strategy. If they keep blowing up Shiite holy sites, Shiite radical mullahs will gain stature, eventually pushing aside the US-supported, suit and tie wearing moderates. Shiite militias, now armed with the best weapons and armor US taxpayers could provide, will make short work of Sunni insurgents – and their families. You might call it a civil war, but it will be a bloody, short one once the Shiites can take the gloves off.

Also, blowing up Shiite holy places will become an open invitation to Iran to step in and fill the void left when the US and Brits high tail it out there.

Therefore, the Sunni strategy contains within it defeat for both the US and Sunnis. While the Shiites will lose a few religious sites before it's over, they will win the big prize; control over half of what once made up Iraq, including much of its oil. The Kurds will get a third, also with oil.

And for all their trouble the Sunnis, (those who survive the civil war,) will get herded off to a barren, oil-less sand pile next door Sunni-dominated Syria and told by the Shiites not to let the door hit them in the ass on their way out.

After that the West will try to convince Syria to take care of their now impoverished Iraqi Sunni cousins, which of course Syria will refuse to do -- just as Israel's attempt to force Jordon to solve it's Palestinian problems failed decades ago.

So, there you have it. What a mess. Nicely done George, Don, Dick, et al. Before the events you morons unleashed finish unfolding, you will have gotten more people killed than Saddam, Osama, Milosevic and the Taliban combined.

But then of course, we wouldn't want to do anything that “let the terrorists win,” now would we?