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Reader comment on item: The Roots of Iraq's Rebellion

Submitted by Seth J. Frantzman (United States), Apr 13, 2004 at 19:21

As always Mr. Pipes gives us a handful of honesty. As the European Powers expanded, with their advanced military technology they came to dominate the entire globe by the 1890s. But where were the Europeans not ascendant? Everywhere the Islam existed Europe had trouble. And it wasn't just trouble it was the incessant fight against rebellion and harassment, as Gordon found out all to sadly at Khartoum. The only way the Europeans found to deal with Islamic intolerance was to put Muslim rulers over them. The French magistrate in Egypt was but the first of many Muslim loving Europeans, right down to Lawrence of Arabia and Glubb Pasha.

In North Africa the truth be told the Italian, French and Spanish administrations never got beyond the coast and insipient tribal rebellions never ceased. In the Sudan the same was true of English rule. In Egypt it was the maintenance of King Farook and native Muslim royalty that kept the British from being attacked. In Palestine the British also employed native rulers like Haj Amin Al Husayni, and even so they suffered the Arab revolt in 1936. In Syria the French also employed native officials. Turkey refused to be dominated by the Europeans and Ataturk immediately broke the treaty of Sevres, forcing out the Greeks and Italians. In India England also employed native officials and preferences for Muslims in order to keep the Muslims from Jihad. And England was, of course, defeated in Afghanistan(1840) and at Kut in Iraq(1915?).

Let us complete our survey of Colonialism and Muslims society by analyzing the FACT that European rule was never extended to 'holy' Mecca. That in fact the English quickly handed over Saudi Arabia to the House of Saud and handed over Jordan and Iraq to King Faisal and his brother. Iran was never controlled by Europeans either, with the exception of spheres of influence granted to Russians and English during the 'great Game'(see Hopkirks marvelous study of the period). The Europeans also turned to Sheiks and other minor nobility to carve out Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. Perhaps Aden/Yemen was the exception. In Africa we find that Ethiopia was never dominated(except briefly in the 1930s). Somali tribesmen were never defeated. The Sahara was never truly penetrated. The only true exception to this, and we must marvel at it, was the Russians. The Russians, probably due to their willingness to fight barbarism with barbarism quickly cleansed the Muslims of the caucuses(although even Stalin was not successful in Chechnya despite the deportation). The Russians also were quite effective in crushing and subjugating and then settling Kazakhstan and the other 'stans' of central Asia.

So why the European failure to take over Muslims lands? Despite what we learn of the terrible colonization of 'native peoples' we actually find the European sensibilities in the 1800s were not so different then today. They wanted to spread civilization and in most cases they weren't willing to resort to barbarism and tyranny to do so. We find the English in particular were not willing to confront force with force, rather they loved using native troops. In ding so they frequently found that alliances with Muslim potentates was easier then subjugation. Is this because Hindus and pagans loved to be subjugated in Africa and India? No. The truth was simply that the Hindus and Pagans had no tradition of intolerance, and hence they were not all willing to die for their beliefs. Yet in Islam we see the obsession with not being ruled by non-Muslims. And we find in the European mindset a flaw that meant they didn't dare to confront Muslim terror.

How do I draw this conclusion? Well let us view the example, recently explained in 'Jefferson's War', of the Barbary Pirates. These savage slave traders enslaved Europeans for hundreds of years and although European countries maintained larger and more modern arsenals the countries being preyed upon like Spain, France and England REFUSED to confront the terrorism. We pretend that terror is a modern Muslim phenomenon but this is not the case. Terror is THE way that Islam deals with non-Muslims, it is through enslavement, rape and genocide that Islam has always dealt with its enemies, hence the reason no religious minorities exist in Muslim lands.

And how does the European react? The European preaches tolerance and diversity, even in 1800, in the face of an enemy who only seeks intolerance and enslavement. This is the reason that it took the only nations to ever confront Islam have been the Mongolians and their slightly Asiatic descendants the Russians. It was the Mongol mindset that led the Russians to sweep down upon the Khiva and subjugate it. But even the Russians suffered from an inability to confront barbarism. The Russians refused for hundreds of years to stop the Khivans from enslaving and raping thousands of Russians a year from 1500-1800. Why? Because of the typical European aversion to use the hammer against the enemy. Had it been Poles or Bulgarians invading Russia every year and enslaving young girls the tsar would have been quick to fight. And the same goes for the French merchant ships. had it been Spaniards enslaving the French rather the Barbary pirates the French would have fought to the death for their famed 'pride'. But Europeans have a sickness, a psychological inability to fight terror with terror, to fight enslavement with enslavement. The last Europeans who were willing to fight with tenacity against barbarism were the Romans. It was the Romans who sowed salt into the sands of Carthage. And why did the French not respond to Tripoli tan pirates in the same way? Obviously the French had the military ability to deal with them. But the psychology of defeat, the taste of subjugation was in the French mouth, just as it was in the Spanish and English mouth, an inability, a knee-jerk inability to confront militant Islam as it existed in 1800 and as it exists today.

So how does this relate to the article on Iraq. Because Mr. Pipes summed up what I have explained by showing the natural abhorrence of Islam for non-Muslim government. America's invasion and 'occupation' of Iraq is a first. It is a FIRST for a European country. It is the first time we have been willing to use take over a Muslim country and govern it. For 1500 years, since the birth of Islam, Muslims have been subjugating, enslaving and governing non-Muslims, raping and enslaving young women, stealing young boys from mothers in eastern Europe(the Janissaries) and so on. And yet although Europeans whether in Spain or Serbia seem to have had a penchant for allowing themselves to be taken over by Muslims they have never been willing to do the same to their enemies. Probably it is a deep memory of being enslaved and subjugated that has kept Europe from its willingness to extend rule over Muslims, as if Europe has already bowed down to Allah. So we see finally it took Americans, just like it took Americans in 1800 to beat down the Barbary Pirates and it took America to crush Fascism and it took America to crush communism, once again the ENTIRE WORLD must watch as America shows everyone how it is done, how Islam must be confronted, how Islam also can be subjugated and ruled and occupied, and how Islam can be reformed. Every 20 years in the 20th century the World has turned to America for guidance...nay saving...and once again America is giving the world the proper medicine.

So when Mr. Pipes says:
"I therefore counsel the occupying forces quickly to leave Iraqi cities and then, when feasible, to leave Iraq as a whole. They should seek out what I have been calling for since a year ago: a democratically-minded Iraqi strongman, someone who will work with the coalition forces, provide decent government, and move eventually toward a more open political system."

I disagree. I say its time to show Muslims that we aren't afraid to rule them. I say its time we show Muslims that we are willing to do to them what they did to us for 1500 years. I say its time to show the world that Islam can be beaten, subjugated and then rolled back. I say its time to use the Iraqis but use them correctly. We should employee the Kurds against Fallujah, the Sunnis against the Shiias and the Shiias we should just expel. And as we let them fight each other, we can meanwhile begin bringing in Christian missionaries to convert the Iraqis. We should study how Islam was able to convert the Albanians to the Hindus or how they are converting Philippines today and we should use their tactics in Iraq. Once Iraq can be made a Christian country then we even start settling Palestinians in Iraq to solve that problem as well. After all the Palestinians allied themselves with Hussein in 1991. That would be my recipe.

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Daniel Pipes replies:

Interesting analysis, but Britain surely did not "hand" Arabia to the Wahhabis.


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