U.S. committed to what’s rightZarqawi vs democracy [Archives:2004/712/Opinion]

February 16 2004

By Jane Novak
For the Yemen Times

Terrorism has struck in Riyadh, Bali, New York, Kabul, Jakarta, and in Istanbul.
In the nine months since the toppling of Saddam's statue, al-Qaeda has been slaughtering Iraqis to protect Sunni Muslims from the scourge of democracy.
Al-Qaeda now faces an authentic coalition of the willing: 150,000 Iraqi security forces, 120,000 coalition soldiers, an Iraqi population that demands self-determination, and an American population that stands firm if bloody, in the face of scorn.
Iraqi officials and civilians have been executed by a series of searing suicide bombings. A letter from Musab al-Zarqawi, Bin Laden's close associate, was intercepted en route to Afghanistan. Zarqawi gives an update on al-Qaeda's status in Iraq. He reports: “We were involved in all the martyrdom operations.”
Presumably these murders included that of Sergio Viera de Mello and other UN workers, the 83 people shredded at the Ali mosque in Najaf, and many, many other innocent souls. Targeting the public is an acceptable tactic according to Zarqawi because “For those who are good, we will speed their trip to paradise, and the others, we will get rid of them.”The Iraqis reject these tactics, the goals of al-Qaeda, and this interpretation of Islam.
According to a recent Gallup poll, less than one half of one percent (0.3) of Iraqis prefers a conservative Islamic theocracy as under the former Taliban in Afghanistan. Twenty-nine percent prefer a system based on Sharia with consultation and public consensus. Thirty-nine percent prefer a multiparty parliamentary system.
Iraqis are fighting to protect Iraq and Islam from al-Qaeda. Iraqis work in the security services to protect their country, their religion and their neighbors. Zarqawi says this is because “army and police (are) connected by lineage, blood and appearance to the people of the region.
“Family ties, it seems, discourage indiscriminate shattering of the local population. Zarqawi is determined nonetheless that “Souls will perish and blood will be spilled.”
Zarqawi laments that he and his group have not been successful provoking a wide jihad in Iraq: “Our field of movement is shrinking and the grip around the throat of the Mujahidin has begun to tighten”. Our future is becoming frightening.”
There is no popular support and the Iraqi people he says “will not let you make their homes a base for operations. People who will “are very rare, rarer than red sulfur.”
This rejection of jihad and terrorism, the “splitting the regular Sunni from the Mujahidin,” Zarqawi blames on the Governing Council and the Americans, and not on the inherent humanity of the Sunnis. Even under occupation, Iraqis reject al-Qaeda.
Zarqawi observes that numerous deaths have not shaken the will of the US military, the US president, or the majority of the American people: “America”has no intention of leaving, no matter how wounded or bloody it becomes. “He calls for a new strategy beyond attacking coalition soldiers, civil leaders and the public: civil war.
The murder of Muslims is deemed necessary: “Targeting (the Shi'a) will make them show their rage against the Sunnis. “A rare compliment, Zarqawi believes “the Shi'a are a greater danger”than the Americans. The Kurds, “a pain and a thorn”will come last.
This civil war must come before “the sons of this land will be the authority. This is democracy, we will have no pretext.”
When, after all this death and destruction, democracy prevails, Zarqawi plans to leave Iraq and try again in another country: “If, god forbid, the government is successful and takes control of the country, we will just have to pack up and go somewhere else again.
And the whole world is at risk of a new neighbor. Much despised, America remains resolved on al-Qaeda's destruction and in defense of Iraq, humanity and Islam.

Jane Novak has published articles in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Iraq, and the United States.