The Iraqi Problem - an Overview and Solution

by Village Idiot 24 Replies latest social current

  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot

    Much has been said about Muslims and Iraq but little historical information has been given to understand the context. Context is important in understanding anything especially with regards to conflicts. Islam and the conflict in Iraq requires knowledge of at least four different parties with a general understanding of their ideology.

    Islam was founded around 622 C.E. by Muhammad who claimed that he was a prophet sent by God (Allah).

    Fast forward to his death. Muhammad left no male children to succeed him, only daughters. His followers wanted a successor to take up the position of their prophet but two groups disagreed as to how it should be done.

    Shias believed that Muhammad's son in law was chosen by Allah as his successor. Sunnis believed that his successor should be elected by tribal leaders.

    So a fight ensued between the two and continued throughout the following centuries up to this day.

    Iraq is made up of Sunnis who are 37% of the population and Shias 60%. Under Saddam Hussein the Sunni minority dominated the Shia majority. After the war started by George Bush the Shia majority came to power and started persecuting the Sunnis. Both have been persecuting each other throughout Iraq's history.

    Kurds, who are mostly Sunni, are a separate ethnic group who cover portions of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. They have been fighting for independence in all those countries except for Iran.

    Now for the origins of ISIS who is a horse of a different color. Their history is important to understand how and why this situation has unfolded.

    Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab was the ideo/theological ancestor of ISIS, Al Queda,  the Taliban, Boko Haram and ISIS.

    Wahhab was an 18th century Islamic scholar who believed that the majority of Muslims were apostates and therefore not true Muslims. The movement that he founded is known by outsiders as Wahhabism but they use the term Salafi. Wahhab's major peeve was that Muslims were practicing idolatry. His concept of idolatry was far more strict than most Fundamentalists. It included the Muslim practice of having shrines, monuments and tombs of various saints and martyrs and the pilgrimage of those who revered them.

    Wahhabism is also much stricter in the rest of its practice than the majority of Muslims.

    Wahhab went to make a deal with the Saudi sheikhs who ruled what today is Saudi Arabia. His deal was to offer political legitimacy to their rule in exchange for Wahabbist domination of religious affairs. That deal has remained in effect for 300 years to this day. Even though they make up no more than 20% of Saudi Arabia's population they effectively rule it even to the point where a government official was removed after giving a mild criticism of the sect.

    Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia is the main source of money, fighters and suicide bombers around the Muslim world. They are said to make up about half of ISIS's fighters. These individuals are the product of an education starting in grade school where America, Israel and others are constantly demonized. They are the most fanatical of all Muslims.

    So ISIS invades Iraq and what do they do? They impose their own rules which includes women wearing the Burkha - completely covering their bodies and the Niqab - a veil covering their face except for the eyes. This is not normal for most Muslim women who customarily wear a scarf on their heads.

    They destroy sacred monuments ("idols") particularly those of Shias. I remember watching on video the detonation of explosive charges on "The tower of Jonah" (Yes, the Old Testament prophet) which was sacred to Christians and Muslims. It was a tall tower similar to the Washington monument. There one moment, gone the next.

    I have seen videos of suicide bombers inside of mosques (presumably Shia mosques). A group of worshippers standing one moment, a flash the next, people lying on the floor right after that. 

    I can go on and on but the point is that they are not regular Muslims.

    Now what?

    Any solution needs to take into account the Shia/Sunni division which simply means that you will never be able to form a nation that forces the two to live together. You have to take into account the Kurds fight for independence which is not tied in to religion. You need to take into account the fact that ISIS was able to spread rapidly because the demoralized Sunnis had been persecuted by the Shias for years including death squads where Shias drill into the heads of Sunnis.

    In my opinion one needs to create three separate nations where everyone should be happified [sic!] to have their own sovereign state. Anyways the boundaries that exist now are artificial boundaries that are the product of British Imperialism which had no concern for creating peaceful separation of all warring parties.

    This requires boots on the ground for a temporary period of time, preferably no more than a year or two. The Kurds will be happy and become an example to the other two groups. And more importance, Wahhabism in any form will not have fertile ground in which to reproduce.

    Demonizing all Muslims will only drive them, the young in particular, into ISIS hands. One needs to handle the situation with 'soft power'. Blasting away will only strengthen ISIS even if 90% of them would be initially killed. That is what happened to the Taliban. Initially destroyed at first but resurrected and more powerful today (people tend to resent you when you blow up wedding parties with drones.).

    So what do you think? 

  • Simon

    Do you imagine that if 3 separate countries were created for the 3 groups that each would live peacefully next to the others? That they wouldn't want to take over the other lands from those non-true-believers / blasphemers etc?

    What would happen to anyone living within those countries who ever questioned anything?

    The answer is never allowing any country to be ruled by a theocracy.

    All this talk of attacking ISIS making them stronger is nonsense IMO. Just show what they do (they do that themselves) so that the world can see what they are like and then bomb them. They are weak and getting weaker.

    Giving them a country to rule is not the right solution IMO, it's too much wishful thinking of "and they all lived happily together forever more".

    I should add that I think THE worst thing the west does is prop up the most extremist of governments in the area which are the Saudi's. Stop buying their oil, stop selling them arms.

  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot

    I believe that the other three groups would take care of ISIS if they had the resources, the Kurds in particular, then the Shias. However, if you allow the Sunnis and Shias to live together nothing will ever be solved. 

    Giving them sovereign territory should dampen their desire for war against each other, which they are practicing now, but if they want to fight by mere virtue of their existence let them. One thing's for sure, they would not mess with the Kurds.

    As far as theocracy is concerned all those nations range from almost secular to virulently theocratic e.g. Wahhabist Saudi Arabia. Eliminating such a concept is ideal but real world politic won't allow it in the foreseeable future.

    Edited to remove a sentence. 

  • Las Malvinas son Argentinas
    Las Malvinas son Argentinas
    A huge geopolitical blunder in my opinion.  This is what happens when British and French diplomats set arbitrary lines down after the Ottoman Empire collapses and attempt to place Hashemite monarchies in their place.  Jordan is the only one that survived because it wasn't really a country in the first place - just isolated desert oases on the ass-end of Palestine (which was a part of Syria itself).  Who knows what would have come out of that mess if this hadn't been done, but I think I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.  
  • Jonathan Drake
    Jonathan Drake

    I think I stated elsewhere that I honestly believe the solution is the eradication of all religion. Make religion illegal. It'd take a few decades of fighting no doubt but eventually people wouldn't know the words Islam, Christian, or Jew (in the religious sense, not saying kill all Jews). 

  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot

    @Las Malvinas son Argentinas:

    Las Malvinas, the British and French were arbitrary, the US, or whoever is there, does not have to be. My solution takes into account what the British erroneously did.

  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot

    @Jonathan Drake:

    As an atheist I wish that authoritarian religions - conservative Judaism, conservative Christianity and Islam - did not exist but imposing that by warfare as you suggest will only make them stronger. And where are we going to get the resources to deal with 1.5 billion people spread out over 49 countries (and that's where they're the majority)? 

  • insidetheKH
    ISIS/ISIL is just one of the last symptoms of a decaying world religion that is walking on its last legs. Islam will implode and not survive this century
  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot


    "Islam will implode and not survive this century"

    That reminds me of the Watchtower article that said this world would not survive by the end of (last) century.

    You underestimate the power of religion. 

  • LoveUniHateExams

    The more I've looked into the nightmare that is Iraq/Syria, the more I've been impressed with the Kurds. They seem to be making a good go at democracy. They have bravely been fighting ISIS hordes.

    You're suggestion, VI, of three separate states makes sense. I can see one major problem: I'm not sure if the Sunnis would be that enthusiastic about wiping out ISIS. If ISIS remained, they would never be satisfied with their allotted area. I believe their motto is 'remaining, expanding' - in other words their borders will always be bloody. As long as they exist, they'll be constantly at war with everyone else.   

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