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May 26, 2004
Is It Really Such a Bad Thing?

by Gillette aka Hassan[uddin] Khaja

One overriding theme of the invasion of Iraq that George W. Bush keeps appealing to is that of democracy. The WMD justification for the invasion was abandoned in light of the absence of such weapons. There was also an absence of evidence of a presence of Al-Qaeda until the U.S. invaded, after which a security contractor named Nick Berg ran into Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. At this point, Nick Berg's decapitation is must-see video.

At the very least, according to what war advocates tell us, the U.S. got rid of a brutal dictator and will be installing democracy. Few liberals - Muslim and non-Muslim - can really argue with this, however much they hated the means in which this democracy was achieved. However flawed it might have been, in light of the prison abuse scandal, few of us can say that Saddam Hussein was better than what the U.S. envisions for Iraq.

Of course, democracy might work in Iraq, but what kind?

One of the justifications for the invasion of Afghanistan was to rid the Afghan people of a brutal government that oppressed people. But, it would be useful to put the form of government that was in place in context.

The most important reform that the Taliban brought about was that it disarmed the population. The Constitution says that bearing arms is a democratic "right of the people." However, can we say that disarming the Afghan population, a population that had been in a constant state of war for years - and remains as such, was a bad idea? The emergence of the Taliban represented a great infringement on civil liberties, but they brought security.

The use of a strong government in times of crisis has been justified on this side of the world as well. The Supreme Court, in 1919 - during World War I, in Schenck v. U.S. upheld the indictment of a man who gave literature to two draftees encouraging them to leave the Army. What else was the PATRIOT Act other than an effort by the Bush Administration to subvert civil liberties in because we were at "war?" Of course, this war happened to be against "Mozlems" and "Ay-rabs," but that's beside the point.

Let us assume for a second that the Administration is genuinely interested in democracy. The conundrum that the current administration finds itself in is the possibility of violent factionalism. Saddam Hussein's solution, a brutal dictatorship - which succeeded in bringing security - obviously failed, however much the effort to overthrow him was unjustified. The question is whether or not the government that assumes power - clearly not on June 30th, but later on - can quash the insurgency, as well as quash any impending insurgency by the Kurds, without resembling Saddam.

Unfortunately, the five-step plan fails on this count. The lead cause of this crime is the continued painting of anyone that opposes the U.S. as "terrorists." However, if the Kurds want a state, and it isn't granted to them by non-violent secession, it can only happen by violence. A strong government - one that Iraqis will clearly be averse to - will naturally emerge to crush any Kurdish insurrection.

And the cycle of dictatorship will start again.

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Gillette said

Here's a riddle: how do you get people to stop commenting on gillette's articles?

get him to write a politically-oriented one.

on May 26, 2004 3:56 PM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

About your comment...I feel your pain. =)

But to tell you the truth I didn't agree with you, which is why I didn't want to comment. (Say something good or don't say something at all).

The Qu'ran is very clear on 'Don't take kaafirs as protectors over you'(that's not a direct quote). But rather than relying on themselves, the Iraqis gladly welcomed in a non-muslim force(I really shouldnt use non-muslim I should say anti-muslim) to oust the very man whom that same country supported and set against them. Now of course, other than the prospects of looting their oil, America has its own power base right smack in the middle east and next to the caspian sea. Making it all so ever much harder in uniting our Muslim countries.

So maybe in the short term eye things seem better, but what about Muslims and the middle east as a whole...and what about the uncertain future of their own country.

U.S. hypocracy is rampant. 12 years of sanction brouth that country from riches to devastation. there was something like a 92 percent literacy rate before the sanctions. Also, depleted uraniu from U.S. shells were causing over 3000 infant deaths and deformations PER MONTH. Iraq, unlike Kuwait was not alowed to purchase the machinery capable of cleaning it up.

All of this leading to what. I would say as Imam Zaid Shakir said 'Saddam still gets to drink bottle water while the people drink sewage water' -- referring also to the sewage/water works plants which were destroyed and again...not able to be fixed due to restrictions of parts from sanctions.

Either way...everone will get there justice done in the end. Allah, subhanna wa taala is ever watchful.

Waslaam Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

Waaleikum Asalaam warahmatullah Wabarauatk

on May 26, 2004 4:27 PM
Gillette said

"But to tell you the truth I didn't agree with you, which is why I didn't want to comment. (Say something good or don't say something at all)."

measured disagreement is always good. but i'm not sure where we disagreed.

on May 26, 2004 11:59 PM
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