To Innocent Victims of Terrorism and of Afghan and Iraq Wars:
Let the people of the world be mad at me,
Let the tide of time run against me,
Tyrants must be exposed who
Torture and torment, agonize and brutalize
The innocent, the weak and the meek
American aggression against Iraq has stimulated the production of a host of scholarly works critical of the high-handed military action against Iraq on false and fictitious grounds without any provocation and in defiance of the consensus against war in the Security Council of the United Nations. Dilip Hero’s Secrets and Lies, Thomas Ricks’s Fiasco, Peter Gaibraith’s The End of Iraq, Frank Rich’s The Greatest Story Ever Sold—The Decline and Fall of Truth, and other works of exquisite scholarship candidly expose the lies and fraud that were perpetrated on the people of America to launch a war of choice against Iraq without any justification. None of the aforementioned distinguished scholars have attempted to analyze the Afghan-Iraq war from a Muslim perspective and its impact on Islam.
This book provides this missing Islamic perspective. The Middle East is the heartland of the Muslim world. These catastrophic wars would significantly influence the entire realm of Islam and its repercussions will be strongly felt from Indonesia in the East to Morocco and Mauritania in the West. The reaction in the Muslim world will significantly influence the course of international events in the future.
Chapter 1 explains the ideological, religious, and geopolitical factors that pushed President Bush to launch a meaningless military action against Iraq in April 2003.
Chapter 2 points out that the Afghans initially welcomed the fall of the extremist and repressive Taliban regime. They hoped, however, that the American-NATO invasion would bring an economic revival, improvement in employment opportunities, and the spread of modern education. They were disappointed when the American-NATO forces concentrated on military action, head-hunting, and killing civilians by relentless air strikes. Nation-building activities were completely ignored. The Afghans were thoroughly disillusioned and turned against the invading forces. This led to the revival of the Taliban, who have now emerged as a dominant political force and enjoy the full support of the majority of people of Afghanistan.
Chapter 3 critically examines the “Genesis of the Iraq War” and exposes the deliberate and concocted lies invented by the Bush Administration regarding Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) to justify the launching of military action against Iraq. The U.S. Congress and the people of America were duped to believe these blatant lies as gospel truth.
Chapter 4 describes the brutalization of Afghan and Arab prisoners in the Guantanamo Bay, Bagram, and Abu Ghraib prison camps. Prisoners in these camps were subjected to acute and stressful torture. They were also denied due process of law. These American prison camps have been designated as being similar to the Russian “gulags” of the Stalin era by Amnesty International. An attempt was also made in these prisons to break the faith of Muslim prisoners, to desecrate the Qur’an, and to denigrate Islam.
Chapter 5 highlights that while formal resistance by the Iraq army collapsed before the unmatched might of the American army, the people of Iraq, however, launched a spontaneous and intensive resistance movement, which nonplussed the American, British, and Coalition invading forces. The American occupation of Iraq has been perceived by the Muslim world as an attack on Islam. Hence the resistance movement in Iraq galvanized the Muslim Jihadists all over the Islamic realm and attracted a large number of foreign crusaders. Because of the intensity of resistance and use of high-tech weapons by the insurgents, the American forces failed to control it. The occupation forces engineered ethnic riots to break the resistance movement. When that failed they changed their tactics and adopted a “surge and bribery” strategy and relentless aerial bombardment to defeat the Iraqi struggle for freedom. This strategy has slightly reduced the intensity of insurgency but the situation is still very volatile. President Bush rejected the “diplomatic strategy” suggested by the Iraq Study Group.
Chapter 6 exposes the farcical nature of elections conducted in Iraq. They were based on a single constituency and used suspect electoral i-oils. They were also not monitored by impartial international agencies. The Constitutions of Iraq, i.e., the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) and the final Constitution that was approved by the Iraqi Parliament and later in a referendum of doubtful legitimacy, do not represent the spirit and ethos of the people of Iraq. There is also a deliberate effort in the Constitutions of Iraq and Afghanistan to marginalize the importance of the Qur’an as a source of inspiration in drafting the two Constitutions.
Chapter 7 reveals how some Christian and Jewish religious leaders are deeply prejudiced against Islam and consider it a grave threat to Christianity, Judaism, and Western civilization. Even some of the political leaders in Europe and America are hostile toward Muslim countries. This is substantiated by the opposition of some European leaders regarding the entry of Turkey into the European Union and the lack of firm American support for the establishment of a viable independent Palestinian state.
Chapter 8 stresses that the war against Iraq has been a disaster. It has shattered the unity of Iraq, completely destroyed its social and economic fabric, and has created one of the greatest refugee problems in contemporary history. It has been equally catastrophic for the economy of the United States that has been rapidly moving toward recession. It has traumatized American soldiers, who are morally distressed and suffer from stress disorders. Finally, the following points are emphasized in this chapter:
(a) The Jihadists should stop targeting innocent civilians in the West or anywhere else in the world. These excessive actions of violence violate the injunctions of the Qur’an and Traditions of the Prophet (SAW). The acts of violence distort the image of Islam as a religion of peace, compassion, and justice;
(b) The government of Iraq wants America to withdraw its combat troops in a phased manner. The United States should agree to do so at the end of its UN mandate in December 2008. This phased withdrawal of American forces may lead to political stability in Iraq and may also stabilize the geopolitical situation in the Middle East;
(c) The United States and NATO forces should change their strategy in Afghanistan from military action to nation building, using mainly Afghan labor and expertise from India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Turkey, and other Muslim countries, wherever they may be available. The exorbitantly expensive, luxury-loving Western experts should be avoided. The Afghans will be hostile to these Western experts;
(d) The Afghan-Iraq war also highlights the challenges Islam is confronted with in the twenty-first century. The West challenges the relevance of Islamic values, which are based on a seventh-century revelation, in the contemporary context. The West considers Islam a backward and regressive religion that impedes social, political, economic, scientific, and technological progress. The ruling elite of the Muslim world and Muslim scholars should reinvent the dynamic and progressive character of the Islam of the historic past that contributed significantly to the progress of human civilization and vigorously promoted the development of science and technology, inspired by the Qur’anic vision;
(e) Arab nations should transform themselves into a knowledge-based society. Invest heavily in education and particularly in the fields of science and technology and emerge soon in the ranks of developed countries in order to command respect in the comity of nations. They can accomplish it only if they restore the unity of knowledge, integrating the revealed with the rational.
Chapter 8 ends with the sad note that President Bush, though aware that the people of the world, America and the Middle East, were crying for peace, he refused to listen to the voice of the people and was totally insensitive to their pain and agony. He obstinately stayed the course and pursued it adamantly with catastrophic consequences. He relinquished his office with the American economy in deep recession, the country involved in two costly and disastrous wars, and America’s international image badly bruised and battered. He has thus left a “crown of thorns” legacy for President Barack Obama, his successor.