Heading toward a bloody civil war

Iraq has been the ideal magnate for the ex-Afghani warriors to mount campaigns.

Apoll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News revealed that most Americans believe Iraq civil war is likely. More than 70 percent are pessimistic about the prospects in Iraq. Nearly 60 percent believe the United States is failing to restore order.

In the Arab world there is a general consensus that civil war in Iraq already is raging on sectarian lines. Sunni insurgents are targeting Shiite and Kurds. Shiite militias are targeting Sunnis.

The picture is not clear cut because of the presence of jihadis/suicidalist coming from neighbouring countries, who are predominantly of the Salafist, Sunni and Wahabi strands of Islam. Their literature indicates that their aim is to scupper the American project for democracy in the Middle East, and the restoration of the Islamic Caliphate System, which would mean, in practice, the installing of a Caliph (a religious person of highest status) in Baghdad, Damascus or Cairo. The Caliph would rule over all the Islamic World, and in the long run, the whole world. This is based on the premise that the entire world will turn to Islam through conquests, conversion and persuasion. The Islamic law and penal codes will be rigorously applied.

This is the grand plan of extremist groups such as Ansar al-Sunna, Hizbu Tahrir, Hizbu Takfir, and Hizbu Tahjir (the party that advocates the expulsion of non-Muslims and secular Muslims from Muslim lands). All four are active in recruiting and brainwashing the youths of Britain.

 Iraq has been the ideal magnate for the ex-Afghani warriors to mount their campaign against the U.S. forces in Iraq. Their methods include beheading, suicide bombing, car bombs, throwing grenades at wedding parties and funeral processions, sniping, hurling mortar shells against buildings, buses and other civilian targets. The objective is to spread terror and chaos, and force the occupiers out of Iraq. The ultimate long-term aim would be the spread of Islam everywhere, and ultimately the creation of a global Islamic State.

Iraq would be the first stage of this grand design, where the killers masquerading as fighters against the occupation have targeted and murdered accountants, builders, doctors, nurses, patients, lawyers, teachers, professors, Mosque Imams, Iranian pilgrims, contractors, interpreters, and the list goes on. Suicide bombers detonated themselves in mosques, churches, bakeries, hospitals, funeral processions, wedding parties, restaurants and so on.

Fifty-seven passengers on a bus were murdered in February 2006. Fifty-eight bodies were recovered from the Tigris River. More than 160 Kurds were murdered in the northern town of Irbil. Sixty Kurds were murdered in Kirkuk and 140 in Hilla. The victims are mainly Shiites.

For every American soldier killed, more than 60 noncombatants are murdered by fellow Muslims.

This is done in the name of Islam. It is time for the Arab and Muslim world to speak up. Silence is not an option. Do we want these murderers to succeed? These Jihadis believe that upon death they go to paradise. 

Nobody can deny, except Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush, that Iran is heading relentlessly toward civil war.

It is also clear that there is no military solution to the problem; only a political solution. This requires massive diplomatic efforts. Both Sunni and Shiite leaders need to be told of the options available if they don’t come to an agreement.

One option is to divide the country on sectarian grounds under the federal umbrella. Iraq will not work as it did under Saddam Hussein.

Nehad Ismail is a United Kingdom-based commentator on Middle Eastern affairs. Please send comments to [email protected].