[R-G] [P] Islamic Rage and Acts of War
adar at bsdshell.dyndns.org
Wed Feb 5 20:13:54 MST 2003
(No war in Iraq - http://pnews.org/)
"We are not against the American people," said a young member of the
Shi'ite "Party of God" as quoted in SACRED RAGE: The Wrath of Militant
Islam, by Robin Wright [1985, and revised in subsequent printings - 2001]
"We are agaisnt oppression and injustice. The fire of Islam will burn
those who are responsible for these practices [against Islam]. We have
been dominated by the U.S. government and others for too long." A leading
Shi'ite academic put it another way: "The extreme expressions of
fundamentalism are expressions of despair." [Wright]
All religions are subject to extremist elements. Religion is inherently
extremist because it is philosophy and behavior predicated on faith for
which there is no concrete supportive evidence. The degree of faith can
determine the degree of self-sacrifice and harm done to others but it is
not the cause of terrorism; it is merely an extreme mechanism for
responding to oppression.
Islamic fundamentalism and the jihad we are experiencing against the U.S.
and others is directly proportional to their despair and hopelessness.
"The more people who die for our cause, the stronger we shall become."
"We shall export our revolution to the whole world. Until the cry `There
is no God but God' resounds over the whole world, there will be struggle."
THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS WHAT THEY ARE CLAIMED or APPEAR TO BE
I am not going to suggest that Saddam is a nice guy. He would like to see
Israel destroyed. Of course Israel bombed Iraq to destroy Saddam's nuclear
capability while Israel maintains it's own nuclear capabilities and about
200 nuclear bombs. So it is easy to see why Saddam might have a grudge
against Israel and an expression of that dislike is his financial
assistance to Palestinians. That is not a reason to support a war that
will kill a lot of Iraqis.
And Saddam, who is called "the butcher of Baghdad" is demonized and
compared to Hitler by George Bush (the "butcher of Washington"), who with
American bombs managed to kill more Afghans while destroying the Taliban
government than al-Qaeda (not the Taliban) managed to kill on 9/11.
[Excerpts from an article by Stephen C. Pelletier, formerly the CIA's
senior political analyst on Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War and professor at
the Army War College from 1988 to 2000 - "A War Crime or an Act of War?"
- New York Times, (January 31, 2003)]
WAR CRIME OR ACT OF WAR?
"It was no surprise that President Bush, lacking smoking-gun evidence of
Iraq's weapons programs, used his State of the Union address to
re-emphasize the moral case for an invasion: "The dictator who is
assembling the world's most dangerous weapons has already used them on
whole villages, leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind or
"The accusation that Iraq has used chemical weapons against its citizens
is a familiar part of the debate. The piece of hard evidence most
frequently brought up concerns the gassing of Iraqi Kurds at the town of
Halabja in March 1988, near the end of the eight-year Iran-Iraq war.
President Bush himself has cited Iraq's "gassing its own people,"
specifically at Halabja, as a reason to topple Saddam Hussein."
"But the truth is, all we know for certain is that Kurds were bombarded
with poison gas that day at Halabja. We cannot say with any certainty that
Iraqi chemical weapons killed the Kurds. This is not the only distortion
in the Halabja story."
"I am in a position to know because, as the Central Intelligence Agency's
senior political analyst on Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, and as a
professor at the Army War College from 1988 to 2000, I was privy to much
of the classified material that flowed through Washington having to do
with the Persian Gulf. In addition, I headed a 1991 Army investigation
into how the Iraqis would fight a war against the United States; the
classified version of the report went into great detail on the Halabja
"This much about the gassing at Halabja we undoubtedly know: it came about
in the course of a battle between Iraqis and Iranians. Iraq used chemical
weapons to try to kill Iranians who had seized the town, which is in
northern Iraq not far from the Iranian border. The Kurdish civilians who
died had the misfortune to be caught up in that exchange. But they were
not Iraq's main target."
"And the story gets murkier: immediately after the battle the United
States Defense Intelligence Agency investigated and produced a classified
report, which it circulated within the intelligence community on a
need-to-know basis. That study asserted that it was Iranian gas that
killed the Kurds, not Iraqi gas. The agency did find that each side used
gas against the other in the battle around Halabja. The condition of the
dead Kurds' bodies, however, indicated they had been killed with a blood
agent - that is, a cyanide-based gas - which Iran was known to use. The
Iraqis, who are thought to have used mustard gas in the battle, are not
known to have possessed blood agents at the time."
"These facts have long been in the public domain but, extraordinarily, as
often as the Halabja affair is cited, they are rarely mentioned. A
much-discussed article in The New Yorker last March did not make reference
to the Defense Intelligence Agency report or consider that Iranian gas
might have killed the Kurds. On the rare occasions the report is brought
up, there is usually speculation, with no proof, that it was skewed out of
American political favoritism toward Iraq in its war against Iran."
However this is one of George Bush's favorite stories about Iraq in order
to demonstrate how "evil" Saddam is - even if it isn't true......
Hank Roth (TheGolem)
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