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Key US Official says that US 'Goal' in Iraq is ...Islamic Rule

by Jared Israel

[Posted 7 May 2003]


Speaking at the American Enterprise Institute a few weeks before the invasion of Iraq, George Bush, Jr. said:

"Arab intellectuals have called on Arab governments to address the freedom gap so their people can fully share in the progress of our times...[A] new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example of freedom for other nations in the region." [1]

Washington, we are told, wants to foster secular democracy in Iraq, but alas, the Islamists are resisting: [2]

[Excerpt from the Chicago Tribune starts here]

...[The] more radical leaders are boldly challenging Washington's plans for a secular, democratic future for the country.

On Friday, about 100 top Shiite clerics gathered in Baghdad to demand the creation of an Islamic state where music, television and all Western influences would be banned. "

[Excerpt from the Chicago Tribune ends here]


Secular, Washington style...


Since people in the U.S. have been primed to believe the above story, it's a good thing very few have seen the following, from the BBC: [3]

[Excerpt from the BBC article starts here]

"US 'should back Islamic Iraq'
By Steve Schifferes
BBC News Online, Washington

Noah Feldman, a law professor from New York University, will be advising the future Iraqi interim authority on how to design a new constitution.

He will be working for retired US general Jay Garner - Iraq's interim leader - in the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance. He told BBC News Online that in his view the US should support democracy in Iraq even if it was a not a secular democracy.

Speaking in Washington before departing for the region, he argued that the separation of church and state, although a central part of the US constitution, might not be appropriate for a country which was overwhelmingly Muslim. And he said that he believed the US Government was broadly united on this goal, citing comments by White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, who cited Turkey's Islamic democracy as a good model for the region."

[Excerpt from the BBC article ends here]

Given that there is no shortage of supply of law professors eager to oversee the writing of the constitution of a new state, it is clear that whoever got this job would have ideas and goals consistent with those of the US foreign policy establishment.

Given the aggressive US posture in Iraq, if Washington wanted Iraq to be a secular democracy, surely Mr. Feldman would have said so, and firmly, rather than conceding before he started that, "he believed the US Government was broadly united on this goal" of giving Iraq an Islamic government with no separation of church and state, meaning, apparently, the imposition of Shariat, or Muslim religious law, in a country where it had not previously been in force. [4]

This interview, posted on the Website of the BBC, appears to be a clarion call to the Islamists: the US needs you to apply pressure so it can appear to give in to what it really wanted to do in the first place. And that is reflected in the BBC's unusually apt headline, "US 'should back Islamic Iraq'.

If this BBC article is accurate, then the claim made by proponents and opponents of US policy alike, that the invasion of Iraq is the beginning of a US attempt to move Muslim states away from religious rule towards a more 'Western' kind of government - this assumption is false. The US-led Empire is perpetrating a fraud of immense proportions.


You will find the truth in Istanbul


I have made an extraordinary accusation. Surely, to support such an accusation we would prefer to have more than general statements from one BBC interview.

It would be better if a) Feldman pointed to some existing country and/or political group as a model, the better to judge what he is aiming to accomplish in Iraq and if b) we had other evidence, besides this one interview.

And fortunately we do have more.

In the BBC interview, Feldman is quoted as citing what he calls "Turkey's Islamic democracy" as his model for Iraq. And he claims that others in the foreign policy Establishment uphold the Turkish model as well, witness remarks by White House press spokesperson Ari Fleischer.

Moreover, in other interviews, Prof. Feldman also offers Turkey as his model. For instance, talking to CNN last month, he praised what he called the "Islamically-inclined people" working in Prime Minister Erdogan's government in Turkey as "serious Muslims, who are also committed to true democracy..." [5]

By examining Feldman and Fleischer's remarks about the political situation in Turkey, we can get a concrete idea of what they actually advocate. This can give us a benchmark for judging the real goals of the US foreign policy establishment, not only regarding Iraq, but as regards Muslim populations in general, because Turkey is a trendsetter. It is a beacon to the peoples of Central Asia, all of whom are Turkic speakers. The Uzbeks, Kyrgyz, Turkmen, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz in Central Asia, the Uighurs in Western China, and the Azeris in Azerbaijan - all look up to and identify with Turkey as the most successful modern incarnation of the Turkic peoples. Turkey also has strong historical ties to populations in the Caucasus and the Balkans.

The media and US leaders claim they are trying to bring secular democracy to the Muslim world. The editors at Emperor's Clothes editors have argued that the US-led Empire's real goal is to foment Islamic fundamentalism with the aim of using the Muslim populations in Central Asia and the Caucasus to destabilize Russia, China and India. By examining what the US empire is really doing vis a vis Turkey, we can get a better idea of who's right - us, or the US foreign policy establishment.

So let's look at what Prof. Noah Feldman and Press Secretary Ari Fleischer have said - and done - about Turkey, starting with their amazing claim that Turkey is an *Islamic* democracy. Let's take a good, careful look.

I can tell you, it doesn't look good.

[To be continued...]


Jared Israel
Emperor's Clothes

[Footnotes and Further Reading Follows Appeal]


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Footnotes and Further Reading


[1] Headline: George W. Bush Delivers Remarks At The American Enterprise Institute Annual Dinner Speaker: George W. Bush, President Of The United States President George Bush Delivers Remarks At The American Enterprise Institute Annual Dinner, Washington Hilton February 26, 2003

[2] -- Copyright 2003 Chicago Tribune Company Chicago Tribune April 23, 2003 Wednesday, Chicago Final Edition Section: News; Pg. 1; Zone: C Length: 1504 Words Headline: Imams Exercise Newfound Clout; Mosques Gaining Postwar Power Byline: By Paul Salopek, Tribune Foreign Correspondent. Tribune Foreign Correspondent Tom Hundley In Qatar Contributed To This Report

US 'should back Islamic Iraq' By Steve Schifferes BBC News Online, Washington

[4] Islamic rules apply to areas that are left to personal discretion in most societies. Consider, for example, these elaborate requirements for intimate personal hygiene. [Scroll down to the subhead, 'Rules of Toilet'][Takhalli

While Shari'a, or Islamic law, may not currently be enforced with the ferocity of the Taliban or the Saudi Arabian government in all Islamist states, keep in mind two things.

A) Wherever it is enforced, it subjects *all* citizens to the rule of men whose authority derives from Islam and who are trained in its ancient teachings. This leads to very sharp conflict, for example in places like Nigeria. To understand what motivates the non-Muslims who are resisting Shari'a in Nigeria, consider the case of Adama Yunusa. This 19- year-old had sued her fiancÚ, Isa Katagum, for impregnating her and refusing to marry her. So: we have Ms. Yanusa, 19 years old, that is, little more than a child, and Mr. Katagum, perhaps not much older. And we have a personal tragedy, small, but very real for these young people. What do they need? They need some intelligent help from their elders, so they can resolve the mess they have gotten themselves in. How did the Shari'a court deal with this little tragedy?

First, Ms. Yanusa could not, of course, meet the Shari'a requirement to produce four male witnesses who could confirm that she had had sex with Isa Katagum. So the Shari'a court threw out her charges. Second, since she was pregnant, and it was therefore apparent that she'd had sex with *someone,* the judges, in their exercise of 1300-year-old wisdom, found her guilty of the crime of fornication. She was sentenced to 100 strokes of the cane, to be administered publicly, after the baby was born. [Scroll down to, 'Sharia: Woman Gets 100 Strokes Over Pregnancy']

B) Once Shari'a is in force, its severity can increase according to the rulings of religious authorities and/or the mood of the Islamic population. And in States governed by Shari'a, the *only* views that count are those of Muslim men

[5] Show: CNN Newsnight Aaron Brown 23:00 April 9, 2003 Wednesday Transcript # 040901cn.V84 Section: News; International Headline: Pentagon Officials Caution Dangerous Days May Yet Lie Ahead Guests: Noah Feldman, Hisham Melhem, Imam Hesham Al Husainy

Note added April 27, 2004 - For more on what lies behind the Iraq war, see Jared Israel's series, "How the Lies of Scott Ritter Reveal the Strategic Goals of the Bizarre Iraq War"
Part 1 is posted at


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