Tag Archive for Iraq

Dalia Mogahed Goes On MSNBC And Praises Bush’s “Moral Stance”

DaliaDalia Mogahed is an establishment Muslim we have written about previously and one of those we refer to as “professional Muslims” This is a group which includes self-described experts on everything and everybody from Morocco to Indonesia, political and civil rights activists, “interfaith” and community leaders, and even a few comedians. What they all have in common is that they managed to turn the Muslim religion into a profession. By simply being a Muslim (we know of one case in which the person was never a Muslim until he was offered an opportunity to participate in US State Department propaganda campaigns if he claimed to be one) a variety of opportunities that were not otherwise available are suddenly a quick and easy path to a career, business opportunity, or  mainstream media attention.

This week Mogahed was invited to appear on MSNBC’s Meet The Press to discuss Islam, “Muslim opinion” and terrorism in the wake of the Paris Attacks and a rise of overt, anti-Muslim bigotry in the US, particularly among Republican Party candidates and their supporters. The invitation was intended to make the silly Chuck Todd appear as that rare cable news host who would invite an actual Muslim to speak. To that extent, the interview served its purpose. Mogahed immediately began the interview by praising George Bush Jr. The first question was about US public reaction today as compared to after 9-11 to which Mogahed answered as follows:

Syria, Russia & The Arabs According To An Arab-American Shabih For Empire

US-troops-in-Iraq--007

“For whatever reason”

Whether on his twitter feed or in his never ending churning out of repugnant opinion pieces in the guise of objective analysis, ever since Russia stepped up to play a central role in blocking US imperialist designs on Syria, including a potential Libya-type bombing campaign, the empire’s most dedicated Arab-American Shabih Hussein Ibish has been regularly bashing the government of President Vladimir Putin. Writing in the Hariri family-funded website NOW Lebanon, Ibish begins his latest anti-Russia rant (Russia is no ally for the Arabs) by dismissing those Arabs calling for closer ties with Russia “who are, for whatever reason, fed up with United States.” For the Senior Fellow at the American Task Force On Palestine (ATFP), which functions as a two-man, Arab-wing of the pro-Israel lobby, it always begins with the assumption of a virtuous US government, unlike all other governments, in its pursuit of an altruistic foreign policy. This assumption is not to be questioned or challenged lest you be dismissed as “anti-American”, “extremist”, or, at best, “unreasonable” and “ill-informed.” But for the unreasonably reasonable, politically astute Anglophile on the Potomac it’s simply unfathomable why Arabs may be fed up with US foreign policy. After all, US “interventions”, bombings, and invasions are always carried out in the best interest and for the well-being of Arabs.

Listening to House Arabs is bad for career

From rabble.ca:

On the day the U.S. invasion of Iraq started in March 2003, Michael Ignatieff was having drinks with Kanan Makiya, a fellow academic at Harvard, at Casablanca restaurant in Cambridge, Mass. Makiya was the Iraqi exile who reportedly told the Bush administration that the U.S. would be greeted in Iraq with “sweets and flowers.”

Years later, when Ignatieff finally admitted his error on Iraq, he conceded he had put too much faith in his Harvard friend’s predictions.

 

An Open Letter To All Arabs And Muslims In The U.S. That Supported The War On Iraq

To those who supported the war on Iraq,

To those who opposed it because it was merely “bad policy” or a “mistake”,

To those who opposed invading the heart of the Arab world because it was not in the “American national interest” to do so, but not because it was an unprovoked, illegal, and immoral  war on our beloved Iraq,

To those who criticize the war for incurring a heavy cost in “US treasure” and ignore the loss of human life, or even if you mention both together in one breath,

To those who parrot the line it was wrong, but now that “we’re there” we should “finish the job”,

To those who did not condemn it as a monumental crime against humanity,

To those who did not call for the arrest and prosecution of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, and the other war criminals,

To those who tell us we ought to take pride in John Abizaid as an accomplished Arab-American,

To those Arab and Muslim Americans who told us to vote for Bush in 2004,

To those who took pictures with Bush, invited him to mosques, or had an iftar dinner with him at the white house,

To those who continue to show deference and respect to US officials responsible for the war or invite them to their banquets and galas,

To those who ignore or rationalize the unthinkable scope of death and destruction inflicted on our Iraqi sisters and brothers,

To those who offered religious or political justifications for the war whether you wear a suit and tie and sit in an ivory tower or don the cloth and a turban to sermonize in a Mosque,

To those who simply choose to remain silent and ignore Iraq entirely,

And to those who now tell us it’s time to forget about it and move on, the occupation is “coming to an end”,

To all of you,  Ikhras Says F*** YOU!

Secular and Religious Pro-War Housies

Kanan Makiya

Instead of disappearing from the public eye and hoping his collaboration with Iraq’s invaders would be forgotten, Brandeis University professor Kanan Makiya still has the audacity to run his mouth on Arab affairs. He recently spoke at Missouri State University about the ongoing Arab revolts, dictatorship and autonomy.

Makiya’s speech, titled “The Fall of the Dictators: What’s Next?,” which was presented in [Missouri State University’s] Plaster Student Union, provided a look into the similarities and differences between the various protests spreading throughout the Middle East. It was sponsored by the Middle Eastern studies program.

A close friend to Ahmad Chalabi and believer that Chalabi could’ve been Iraq’s Nelson Mandela, Makiya has played an prominent House Arab role that contributed to the humanitarian and ecological devastation of an entire country. He had told George W. Bush that Iraq’s invaders would be greeted with sweets and flowers. He made an infamous statement about Shock and Awe: “those bombs are music to my ears.” Makiya wrote in the Guardian about a month before the Iraq war:

Are the enemies of a democratic Iraq, the ‘anti-imperialists’ and ‘anti-Zionists’ of the Arab world, the supporters of ‘armed struggle’, and the upholders of the politics of blaming everything on the US who are dictating the agenda of the anti-war movement in Europe and the US, are all of these people to be proved right?

The anti-imperialists, anti-Zionists and anti-war movement were eventually proven right after all. A million Iraqi corpses later, Makiya has been attempting damage control to salvage what’s left of his legitimacy.

True, I underestimated the self-centeredness and sectarianism of the Iraqi ruling elite put in power by U.S. military action in 2003.

I never imagined the breathtaking incompetence of the American occupation.

Everything [the Americans] could do  wrong, they did wrong.

Too little too late.

It is remarkable to note how influential House Arabs think they are. They imagine that once they tell the slavemaster what s/he wants to hear they’ll actually have say in how the master runs the show. Makiya was one of many self-deluded House Arabs who thought that lending an Iraqi face to the invasion of Iraq would entitle him to tell the US how far it should go.

“I did not want to see the United States micromanage Iraqi affairs because, I feared, that is where things might go wrong,”

Husham Al-Husainy leading a pro-war demonstration

Makiya is not alone in these self-serving delusions of grandeur. He is one of numerous other pro-war House Arabs who advocated for war against their home country only to realize later they were used by the US. For example, Husham Al-Husainy, who had led pro-war protests in 2002 and 2003, complained a mere two months into the occupation:

“This is insulting,” said Imam Husham al-Husainy, an Iraqi Shiite leader who runs the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center in Detroit, which is aligned with the Supreme Council on Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a group that is based in Iran and has so far kept at arm’s length from the American government-building effort.

“We don’t follow others,” Imam Husainy said in dismissing as “yes men” the members of the Pentagon-assembled team. “Where is the democracy if you’re just dictating our ideas? That’s not democracy. Don’t impose it on us.”

After having cheered for the war, Al-Husainy changed his mind:

I think the policy of the Pentagon is not wise … They don’t listen … The words go in one ear and out the other.

Ali Allawi, who has known Makiya since college, described Makiya, Al-Husainy and their ilk best:

Ahmad Chalabi, Kanan Makiya, all of these people became media stars, but their influence on decision making was next to nothing. I can’t believe that a person like Wolfowitz or Cheney or whoever it was in the neocon cabal would allow themselves to be manipulated in this way. They are far too cynical. They have their own agendas. And these agendas were boosted by Iraqis who seemed to be singing from the same song sheet. The Iraqis gave them credibility, gave them substance. But I don’t think they were influenced by them.

Collaborators like Makiya and Al-Husainy damage the Arab-American community’s political standing here and contribute to the death and displacement of millions overseas. On a moral level, they encourage them to adopt subservience to the empire and to turn a blind eye to atrocities the US commits against their brethren. They make the argument that it is acceptable to align with the empire if its interests coincide with their own. They make it appear palatable to suspend morality and to ignore the empire’s vicious history. These types should be tried by the Iraqi families who lost loved ones to the war. Until then, they ought to ikhras.

Iraqi Lemons

The arrogant, racist words of a former Shin Bet agent (and aren’t all Zionists arrogant and racist?) on collaborators once again describe to the dispensable nature of collaborators’ services:

You squeeze the lemon and [when] it’s got no juice left, you throw it away.

One Iraqi collaborator with the US occupation of his home country took “twelve bullets in his stomach and leg” for his masters. But he still can’t afford $1,100 for his home rent.

Informed Imperialism is still Imperialism

Slate’s Anne Applebaum tries to present more thoughtful analysis than that of Charles Krauthammer on intervention in Libya. Applebaum attempts to represent the so-called peaceful alternative to the more hawkish Krauthammer. Her reasoning on why Arabs aren’t welcoming US intervention in Libya:

Why the Arab anxiety about American and Western help? Why the reluctance among our allies? The answer can be summed up in a single word: Iraq. Far from setting “an example for the entire region,” as Krauthammer puts it, Iraq serves as a dire warning: Beware, for this could be the fate of your country. When the U.S. military entered Iraq, we knew nothing about the Iraqi opposition, except what we’d heard from a couple of exiles. Our soldiers didn’t speak Arabic and hadn’t been told what to do once they got to Baghdad. Incompetence led to chaos, which begat violence: Tens of thousands of people died in an eight-year civil war.

It’s amazing that eight years into the war on Iraq, and US mainstream media is still acting as an unpaid PR agency for the US government.

Rendition For Mubarak: Hand Him Over To The Iraqi Resistance

Now that Hosni Mubarak has been ousted by the Egyptians what should happen to the former dictator?  His three decades of corruption, brutality, and repression are well known, but it doesn’t appear he is likely to stand trial for his crimes against the Egyptian people.  The Egyptian revolutionaries were merciful towards their former tyrant, and are happy to just see him leave.  But even if the Egyptians are content with him relinquishing power and getting out of their lives, there are others in the Arab world who might also want to put him on trial.

Mubarak’s list of crimes extends beyond the borders of the country he ruled.  He collaborated with the Zionist entity against the Arab world for his entire tenure.  His intelligence services were enlisted as sub-contractors for the CIA in a rendition to torture program for young men from various Arab countries.  In the last few years his collaboration with the rulers of the Zionist state to impose a siege on the Palestinians of Gaza amounts to complicity in crimes against humanity.  And he has spent the last year of his rule building, with the help of the American military, an underground steel wall to snuff out whatever life was left in Gaza.  He also found time to help stir sectarian strife in Lebanon.

And then there is Iraq.  Mubarak played a key role in the 1991 war on Iraq.  After Iraqi troops entered the Kuwaiti province altering the regional balance of power and igniting a “crisis” for the Western imperialist powers there was an opportunity to resolve the situation and bring the incident to a quick resolution.  It was Mubarak, acting on instructions from the American administration that scuttled all diplomatic efforts to prevent the internationalization of an inter-Arab issue, and then sent his army to join the Western military coalition that invaded the Arabian Peninsula and systematically destroyed Iraq.  His thugs and business partners were rewarded handsomely for their political prostitution.  The US and the American oil-colonies in the gulf erased about $20 Billion worth of debt.

Mubarak’s role in the US war on Iraq was part of his slavish subservience to all US diktats, and one of the reasons that saw Egypt’s formerly prominent role in the region diminish to that of a vassal state.  The Egyptian people never understood why their country would be allied with the US against Iraq, just as they couldn’t understand why Egypt should be allied with Israel against the Palestinians.  We know that in the 1991 war the Egyptian soldiers who were forced to participate were cheering on the Iraqi forces as they launched missiles on occupied Palestine 48.  This disconnect between popular opinion and official policy increased the alienation of the regime from its own people, and was a contributing factor to the decades of built up resentment which culminated in the popular revolution.  During the uprising it was evident that the Camp David regime’s regional role was one of the factors that contributed to the Egyptian people’s alienation from the regime.

It’s only natural that the toppling of the Egyptian dictator be celebrated across the Arab world.  The celebratory Arab mood from Morocco to Bahrain is not only an affirmation of Arab Nationalism, but also a reaction of an entire nation that has been impacted by the tyranny and treason of Mubarak.  Nowhere has this impact been more devastating than in Iraq.  The Iraqi people have yet to wake from an over 20-year nightmare for which the Mubarak regime bears some responsibility along with the other Arab traitors and tyrants that will inevitably, sooner or later, meet the same fate as that of Mubarak.

Since the Egyptian revolutionaries are content with letting Mubarak leave the country, and Iraq remains occupied and administered by a US installed puppet regime, let’s start a new rendition-to-resistance program that leads to Mubarak being handed over to the Iraqi resistance fighters so they can exercise their own right to put him on trial for his crimes against the Iraqi people.

Eboo Patel, get over Mayor Bloomberg already

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has:

  1. Supported Israel’s war on Gaza;
  2. Demanded the resignation, which resulted in the firing, of Debbie Almontaser from leadership of the Khalil Gibran International Academy. The EEOC found that the New York Board of Education violated her civil rights and owed her $300,000 in damages;
  3. Defended Terry Jones planned burning of the Qur’an;
  4. Supported the war on Iraq
  5. Supported George W. Bush after his criminal invasion of Iraq and addressed the Republican National Convention in 2004.

In what must be either militant etiquette or opportunistic collaboration with the empire, some Muslims are willing to ignore all the above just so they could thank Bloomberg for stating that the First Amendment applies in the context of Park51. Eboo Patel wrote:

Every time the forces of intolerance made a move to marginalize Muslims, the forces of inclusion in America rose up to defend us. In the process, Muslims learned that we have some pretty unlikely allies … There were prominent Jewish figures like Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who made an impassioned call for a canopy of religious tolerance that extends over every geographic area of New York City and includes all its diverse communities.

Ikhras strongly urges Eboo Patel to stop feeling flattered by Bloomberg’s awareness of the First Amendment and to think about this quote by Malcolm X: “I can’t turn around without hearing about some ‘civil rights advance’! White people seem to think the black man ought to be shouting ‘hallelujah’! Four hundred years the white man has had his foot-long knife in the black man’s back – and now the white man starts to wiggle the knife out, maybe six inches! The black man’s supposed to be grateful? Why, if the white man jerked the knife out, it’s still going to leave a scar!”

Of course, Eboo Patel may not believe that quote is applicable at all to Muslims since he indicates in the same article that Muslims don’t have it that bad. That could be true if one leaves the Muslim victims of US foreign policy out of the analysis. This distancing between Muslims here in America and there in occupied countries reflects the odious stance many Muslim Americans have come to embrace, the idea that Muslim Americans and their pursuit of the American dream are more important than the lives of Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and other countries in the grip of US empire. It follows from this thinking, for example, that Mayor Bloomberg’s support of Park51 is more important than his disregard for the lives and livelihoods of Gazans. It is illogical that the US could really respect American Muslims significantly more than it respects Abu Ghraib detainees, victims of drone attacks in Pakistan and Palestinians whose flesh burned with white phosphorus. This line of politics is immoral and ultimately self-defeating.

Interfaith dialogue is admirable and necessary, but meaningless and harmful if void of addressing the political issues of the day. Interfaith dialogue that fails to confront Zionism and imperialism, and it almost never does when carried out by House Muslims, is akin to interracial dialogue that fails to address white supremacy or the Klan, for example. As Faris Giacaman eloquently stated in the Electronic Intifada “when it comes to cases of colonialism, apartheid, and oppression, there is no such thing as ‘balance.’ The oppressor society, by and large, will not give up its privileges without pressure” – pressure which House Muslims, by definition, fail to apply. We don’t need that kind of interfaith dialogue, and Eboo Patel may want to consider connecting to other faiths in a way that doesn’t do the anti-colonial cause disservice.

The Press Release ADC Never Issued About The Wikileaks Document Dump

ADC denounces the US government’s cover up of torture, rape and murder by Iraqi authorities, as whistleblower site Wikileaks recently indicated. ADC is horrified, though not surprised, at the revelation about the murder of civilians at US military checkpoints during the occupation.

ADC condemns in the strongest possible terms the US government’s denial of body count claims and its cover up of the violent, unjustified deaths of about 150,000 Iraqis as per Wikileaks.