This blog depicts my personal analysis of the situation with ISIS, Iraq and how we have been a part of creating this chaos. It is my contention that when we became occupiers of Iraq in 2003, we did not have a deep enough understanding of this country and its peoples, its centuries’ old history, traditions and culture to be successful in helping them to become a stable, self governing body.
In 2003, after our successful military action, we made the major error of becoming occupiers of a country whose values are so different from the west, that we set ourselves up for failure from the outset. Our version of democracy is not compatible with a country like Iraq. For example, a 2013 survey based on interviews of 38,000 Muslims, the Pew Forum (Poll) on Religion and Public Life reported that 91% of the Iraqis peoples support Sharia law as being the official law of the land. As for corporal punishment such as the cutting off of someone’s hand who has been proven to be thief, 56% of Iraqis favor this. As to stoning someone found to be guilty of adultery, Iraqis approve of this by 58%. In Iraq (60%) – say honor killings of women are often or sometimes justified. This is in comparison to Turkey, a Muslim country, with a more secular governing force, where only 12% of the population favor being subject to Sharia law.
In addition, when the U.S. disbanded the Iraqi elite republican guard military in 2003, the U.S. was left with an ineffective Iraqi military that the U.S. military could not adequately train after almost 10 years of trying, loss of American military heroes and Iraqi civilians and billions of American taxpayer monies. In the first couple of battles against ISIS, the Iraqi military with better equipment, cut and ran despite the fact that they significantly outnumbered the opposition. In addition, they left behind vehicles, equipment and weaponry for ISIS collect and use.
This is verified by the following excerpts from a 6/2/15 Reuter’s report by Peter Van Buren:
“Iraqi security forces lost 2,300 Humvee armored vehicles when Islamic State overran the northern city of Mosul in June 2014, Prime Minister Haider al-Abad said in an interview with Iraqiya state television. Coupled with previous losses of American weapons, the conclusion is simple: The United States is effectively supplying Islamic State with tools of war the militant group cannot otherwise hope to acquire from its patrons.”
“In addition to the Humvees, Iraqi forces previously abandoned significant types and numbers of heavy weapons to Islamic State. For example, losses to Islamic State include at least 40 MIAI main battle tanks, as well as small arms and ammunition, including 74,000 machine guns and as many as 52 M198 howitzer mobile gun systems.”
Based on the above facts, we could stay for 10, 20, 30, 40 ,50 years using our military might, along with the risk of the well being and lives of our military men and women and Iraqi civilians at a cost of trillions of American tax payer monies, with the same unsatisfying results. Not even total annihilation of an insurgent entity would accomplish anything, because over time they would be replaced by others who could be even more militant and brutal. The more we insert ourselves in Iraq as a western military force, the more insurgent forces gain in strength with an increase in recruits.
The solution has to be a political one which meets the needs and wishes of all the Iraqi divergent groups which may not be to our liking. As long as whatever arbitrated agreement is mutually satisfactory to all parties while not being counter to our national safety, then any reasonable political consensus would mean a victory.
The following information on how Sharia law is incompatible with Western values, is from Wikipedia:
“Sharia or sharia law is the Islamic legal system derived from the religious precepts of Islam, particularly the Quran and the Hadith. The term sharia comes from the Arabic language term sharīʿah, which means a body of moral and religious law derived from religious prophecy, as opposed to human legislation.”
“Sharia deals with many topics, including crime, politics, and economics, as well as personal matters such as sexual intercourse, hygiene, diet, prayer, everyday etiquette and fasting. Adherence to sharia has served as one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Muslim faith historically. In its strictest and most historically coherent definition, sharia is considered in Islam as the infallible law of God. There are two primary sources of sharia: the Quran, and the Hadiths (opinions and life example of Muhammad). For topics and issues not directly addressed in these primary sources, sharia is derived. The derivation differs between the various sects of Islam (Sunni and Shia), and various jurisprudence schools.”
“Sharia is a significant source of legislation in various Muslim countries. Some apply all or a majority of the sharia code, and these include Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Yemen, and Mauritania. In these countries, sharia prescribed punishments such as beheading, flogging, and stoning continue to be practiced judicially or extra-judicially. The introduction of sharia is a longstanding goal for Islamist movements (ISIS) globally, including in Western countries, but attempts to impose sharia have been accompanied by controversy, violence, and even warfare. Most countries do not recognize sharia; however, some countries in Asia, Africa and Europe recognize parts of sharia and accept it as the law on divorce, inheritance and other personal affairs of their Islamic population. In Britain, the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal makes use of sharia family law to settle disputes, and this limited adoption of sharia is controversial.”
“The concept of crime, judicial process, justice and punishment embodied in sharia is different from that of secular law. The differences between sharia and secular laws have led to an ongoing controversy as to whether sharia is compatible with secular forms of government, human rights, freedom of thought, and women’s rights.””
In modern times, the Muslim community have divided points of view: secularists believe that the law of the state should be based on secular principles, not on Islamic legal doctrines; traditionalists believe that the law of the state should be based on the traditional legal schools;[reformers believe that new Islamic legal theories can produce modernized Islamic law and lead to acceptable opinions in areas such as women’s rights.”
UPDATED: This blog was updated on 9/9/2015.