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Reversing the Islamic revolution in Iraq

By David T. Pyne
web posted March 7, 2005

In the history of successful revolutionary movements, there is often one date that is used to signify their triumph -- a turning point in which the correlation of forces shifted irreversibly in their favor. For the Communists, it is the Russian Revolution of October 24-25, 1917 which is most celebrated, but even hard-core Marxists will often admit that the October revolution would not have been possible had the revolution of February 24-29, 1917 that overthrew Tsar Nicholas II not preceded it. Months or perhaps years hence it will likely be remembered among the future Islamic revolutionary Shiite leadership of Iraq that it was on January 30th, 2005 that the Islamic revolution began in Iraq and that the country finally began to fall under its dogmatic control. To this historical analogy, it must not be forgotten that Adolf Hitler was also democratically and lawfully elected to power in Germany in accordance with the German Constitution of the time and that it took over a year for him to seize total power and proclaim himself Fuhrer.

Ibrahim al-Jaafari
al-Jaafari

A few weeks ago the final results of the January 30th Iraqi election were finally reported. The election results, now certified by the Iraqi Election Commission indicate that Radical Islamist parties loyal to the Islamic Republic of Iran, widely recognized as the mother of all state sponsors of terror, and anti-American in outlook won the election and will control at least 55 per cent of the new Iraqi parliament with the recent addition of eight elected representatives who recently agreed to join the radical Shiite coalition. Not much more than eighteen months after it crossed over into Iraq, an Iranian proxy organization -- the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq -- has all but succeeded in taking over Iraq and is on the verge of implementing its long-planned Islamic revolution in Iraq. Far from being a milestone of success for US foreign policy, the Iraqi election marked a massive defeat for the Bush administration's Iraq policy. This is due to the fact that the US-backed secular party of moderate, secular Iraqi interim President Iyad Allawi received a mere 13.8 per cent of the vote. Meanwhile, the Iranian-backed fundamentalist Shiite United Iraqi Alliance received almost four times as many votes enough to provide it with a majority of the new Iraqi legislative assembly which will convene later this month to pick a new Prime Minister -- reportedly Ibrahim al-Jaafari -- leader of the Iranian-backed al-Dawa party.

During Iraq's eight year war in which Saddam Hussein, backed by the Reagan-Bush administration was serving as a US proxy and fighting a war against the spread of Iranian Islamic Revolutionary terror, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and its military arm, the Badr Brigade, fought on the side of Iraq's bitter enemy, the Islamic Republic of Iran, killing hundreds of their countryman during the conflict. Since the war ended, the Badr brigade has staged cross border raids committing acts of terrorism on Iraqi soil. In March 2003, just before the US invasion of Iraq, Ayatollah Muhammed Baqr al-Hakim, who was then serving as the leader of a group called the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) and has since been assassinated, warned that if US troops stayed for more than a few weeks after Saddam was deposed, the Shiites would resist them by armed force. Since then, it has become clear that this was no idle threat as SCIRI and its allied Iranian-backed, fundamentalist Shiite groups have staged a two prong offensive in Iraq with one faction attempting to takeover the reigns of government by winning democratic elections while at the same time the other has fought a terrorist campaign led by Mohakta al-Sadr and his Mujadi Army to kill US troops and Iraqi ‘collaborators.'

Much like al-Qaida, SCIRI reportedly shares close ties with its benefactor, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which serves as Iran's intelligence arm and is tasked with spreading Islamic revolution throughout the Middle East. In May 2003, in furtherance of al-Hakim's threat of armed resistance to the US occupation forces, members of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and Islamic shock troops including armed factions of SCIRI and Al Dawa totaling approximately 2,000 men invaded Iraq. Their initial objective, which was largely achieved, was to take control of eleven major Iraqi Shiite-majority cities including Karbala, Najaf, Hillah, Kufah, Diwaniyah, Kut, Nasiriyah and Amarah and set up revolutionary committees similar to those established after the 1979 revolution in Iran. Their long-term objective was more ominous-- to seize control of Iraq and convert it into an Iranian client state. Also sent were several hundred fighters from the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Corps. These infiltrators were sent with large sums of money intended for weapons for the Badr Corps, controlled by SCIRI, and Quds Corps fighters from Iraq. A senior Israeli intelligence officer in Israel termed the new large-scale Iranian involvement in Iraq as "massive" and representative of an Iranian attempt to "Vietnamize" the country and establish widespread resistance against the American occupation forces.

By month's end, the US Coalition Provisional Authority recognized SCIRI as the chief representative political organization for the Shiites by awarding them fully one-third of the seats on the Iraq Governing Council more than any other Iraqi organization, this despite the fact that their members had not lived in Iraq since they fled to Iran in the early 1980's. A few months ago, SCIRI joined with the al Dawa Party and the Iraqi National Congress whose leader Ahmed Challabi, was exposed last year as an agent of Iranian intelligence who was found to have transferred intelligence given him by a member of the US Department of Defense so sensitive that it “could result in the deaths of hundreds of Americans.” Challabi was reportedly the primary source of bogus ‘intelligence' about non-existant WMD used by the Bush administration to justify their unprovoked invasion of Iraq.

For that and other reasons, he has long been a neocon favorite remaining so among some neocons even after his close connections with America's #1 enemy in the Middle East and his role in getting an unknown number of American soldiers killed were made public. This fact reveals the unprincipled nature of many neoconservatives and the disregard they have for the lives of America's fighting men and women. Together the aforementioned radical Shiite groups formed an electoral coalition given a moderate-sounding name--the United Iraqi Alliance--backed by the most influential Shiite leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Subsequently, Iraq's interim President Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer and interim Defense Minister, Hazem Chaalane, have alleged that as many as one million Iranians have entered Iraq in an attempt to “interfere in the Iraqi elections” and assist in the Shiite electoral takeover of the country.

As I mentioned in an article I wrote back in August 2003, the incoming Iraqi Prime Minister, Ibrahim al Jaafari, mistakenly referred to as a ‘moderate' in mainstream US news media accounts, is the leader of the political wing of a longtime Iraqi terrorist organization known as al Dawa. At the time, I argued forcefully that the Bush administration ban all extremist Islamic groups such as SCIRI and Dawa which had a history of committing acts of terrorism, arguments which obviously went unheeded by the White House. Some US intelligence officials have implicated his al-Dawa organization in the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, which cost the lives of two hundred and forty-one Marines. In addition, al-Dawa was directly linked to the death of American civilians in bombing attacks in Iraq in the years since.

In the months before the war the Bush Administration courted Al Dawa by including it among the opposition groups that would control postwar Iraq, in addition to providing it with military assistance and US training. One US intelligence officer described al-Dawa as being "like hard-core Vietcong." Yet when the US military invaded Iraq in March 2003, the leaders of al Dawa sided with Saddam Hussein in publicly urging Iraqis to resist the invasion by force of arms and kill the US invaders. Despite this less than two months later, representatives of al-Dawa were appointed by the US Coalition Provisional Authority to the Iraqi Governing Council. Then in late July 2003, Ibrahim al Jaafari, who has been tapped as the next Prime Minister of Iraq, was appointed the first interim President of the Iraqi Governing Council. In the months following the US invasion of Iraq, al-Dawa's affiliate, the Iranian-backed terrorist group known as Hezbollah, notorious for its terrorist attacks which have left hundreds of Israeli Jews and Lebanese Christians dead, openly declared its intention to target American soldiers and civilians in Iraq for assassination.

Back in August 2003, I wrote that “The ascension of a leader of a terrorist group which is likely responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers for which it is yet to be held accountable to serve as Iraq's first post-Saddam-era president, is a development whose ramifications have not, to the author's knowledge, been reported elsewhere. It serves as a major warning sign that post-Saddam Iraq will likely pose a far greater terrorist threat to the US than when Saddam Hussein was in power…The Administration would do well to stop abetting radical Shiite terrorist groups which comprise the new Iraqi Governing Council and are clearly "against us" to avoid the appearance of a double standard in its ongoing, perpetual "war on terrorism." The Administration's support of these groups will lead to a more dangerous and violent rather than a more peaceful Iraq.” When I wrote this Iraq was relatively tranquil, but as noted in a CIA report released early last month, it has been transformed into a terrorist haven since. The emergence of al-Jaafari as Iraq's first democratically elected Prime Minister is an even more disturbing development. The imminent Shiite takeover of Iraq is a natural outcome of the short-sighted Bush Administration's Iraq policy which has favored fundamentalist Shiite leaders and groups with a sordid history of terrorism from the start presumably because they constituted the most effective organized opposition to the rule of Saddam Hussein, who had banned them and fought to destroy these and other Islamist terror organizations while still in power.

Just last week, al-Jaafari pledged to offer terrorist leader Mohakta Sadr whom the US Coalition Provisional Authority said last year they wanted ‘dead and alive' for killing US soldiers and Iraqi civilians a cabinet-level post in his government. Is this really what the administration had in mind for Iraq? Al-Jafari has announced that he supports the continued presence of US troops in the country as long as necessary to subdue the Sunni rebels and in the process consolidate the gains of the January 30th Islamic revolution in Iraq so his Shiites don't have to shed their own blood to do so. The fundamentalist Shiites are now in the process of forming a ‘coalition government' not too dissimilar from the coalition governments formed in eastern Europe after the Red Army occupied the region in 1945 in which they will hold all of the positions of power. They are attempting to present a perceived moderate ‘face' like al-Jaafari (of all people) as the Prime Minister of the new Iraq in order to disguise the fact that the radical Shiites have just staged a revolutionary takeover of the country. Such coalition governments with leaders of revolutionary parties are never meant to last.

The radical Shiite parties of the United Iraqi Alliance coalition will now ally with the Kurds who control over a quarter of the seats and select a Kurd for the largely ceremonial position of President in exchange for getting their candidate for Prime Minister. Because the voting of the new three person Presidency Council must be unanimous both Iraqi Vice Presidents will be picked from the Shiite Islamist parties with one of them likely being a Sunni member of the Shiite Islamist coalition to make it seem more legitimate. The fundamentalist Shiites will hand out a few insignificant cabinet posts to Allawi and the Sunnis. Then after elections for a permanent Iraqi government are held in December 2005, the Islamists will take full control. Most likely the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution, the largest of the fundamentalist Shiite parties and the biggest winner of the January 30th election, will in accordance with a predetermined agreement with al Jafari leader of the al-Dawa party, takeover the Prime Ministership. The radical Ayatollah Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim who serves as the leader of the United Iraq Alliance will be the most likely choice.

In the interests of staying true to our avowed aim of fighting terrorism (which may appear hypocritical to some given its longtime tacit support for the leaders of the Shiite terrorist coalition which won the Iraqi election), the administration should declare the Iraqi elections invalid on the basis of an almost total lack of Sunni participation given that they constitute 20 per cent of the population. The US should then immediately move to prevent al-Jafari, Sadr and other leaders of the Shiite terrorist parties from taking positions of power in a new Iraqi government. It is essential to prevent these Islamists from writing the permanent Iraqi constitution, which they otherwise will be able to do given their new majority in the Iraqi parliament. Instead, the Bush administration should continue to back the more moderate and pro-US government of Iraqi interim Prime Minister Allawi.

The United States must not allow Iraq to fall under the control of Iranian-proxy terrorist leaders and should take military action including the execution of a military coup in concert with Allawi's forces if necessary to prevent this from happening. If we do none of the above, then we might as well admit the obvious--we have lost the war to Iran, which it was announced last week, has just formed a ‘united front' alliance with Syria against the United States. If we allow this de-facto Iranian takeover of Iraq to continue, this alliance will very soon be transformed into a three-power alliance of Iran, Syria and Iraq and the Bush administration will have succeeded by its ill-considered invasion and occupation of a previously non-threatening Iraq in uniting virtually the entire Middle East against us.

If we are unwilling to act to prevent this Islamic electoral revolution from being consolidated in Iraq, we might as well ‘cut and run' and bring our troops safely home because keeping our troops there for an indeterminate period of time will do nothing to change the negative outcome of this war unless US leaders have the courage to use them to support what few allies we have left in Iraq. Given Iran's imminent development of nuclear weapons, the US might be well-advised to conduct a massive strategic bombing campaign to not only target their WMD sites, but destroy their air force and cripple their entire military just as we did to Iraq during Operation Desert Storm thus largely eliminating this increasing threat to US national security. That would certainly make for a nice parting gift for the Ayatollahs so they don't misperceive a US military withdrawal from Iraq (except for the Kurdish north) as a sign of weakness.

David T. Pyne, Esq. is a national security expert who serves as President of the Center for the National Security Interest, a national security think-tank based in Arlington, VA. Mr. Pyne is a licensed attorney and former United States Army Officer. He holds an MA in National Security Studies from Georgetown University. Mr. Pyne also serves as President of the Virginia Republican Assembly. He also serves as a Contributing Editor to DefenseWatch magazine and to Soldiers for the Truth. David T. Pyne can be reached at pyne@national-security.org © 2005 David T. Pyne

 

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