Amazon Honor System

War * Support * FAQ
* Reproduction
* Write for
* Editorial policy

Road map to Baghdad and beyond

Writing's on the wall

March 17, 2003
The Iranian

The historically and literary minded will recall another event involving the British and the Spanish, immortalised in Tennyson's poem, The Revenge. The first line was familiar to generations of school children. "At Flores in the Azores, Sir Richard Grenville lay".

Grenville was one of the mariners (pirates in the Spanish view) so loved by Queen Elizabeth I. But the Spanish fleet in the Azores caught him and his little ship -- Revenge -- fought alone and to the death - a typically inspiring story of heroic British failure. The poem is full of anti-Spanish sentiment ("Let us bang these dogs of Seville, the children of the devil").

One wonders if Mr Blair will recite it to Jose Maria Aznar as they look out across the waters and consider how alliances change. Choosing the mid-Atlantic setting of the Azores, Tony Blair does not have to be seen running to the White House; Mr Bush tries to show that he is not directing it all from Washington; Mr Aznar gets his reward for co-sponsoring the resolution and provides another European figure to demonstrate that Britain is not alone on its side of the ocean.

The current situation has forced a remarkable turn of events forcing even the United States to compromise on its foreign policy agenda. Indeed, Mr Bush made an announcement on Friday that he was also going to release the long delayed "road map" for negotiations leading to a Palestinian state.

White House officials were even saying that the soon to be appointed Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Mazen, would be received by the President in due course. Even the United States has been forced into political bribery.

The proposal espoused by the current leaders is that Saddam Hussein should be given a chance to go into exile or face war. The White House spokesman Ari Fleischer made a point: "There is still time for Saddam Hussein to see the writing on the wall and to get out of Iraq."

The reference to the "writing on the wall" was particularly apt. It comes from a story in the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament in which Belshazzar saw writing predicting his doom appear on the wall during a feast. He was overthrown and killed that same night. Belshazzar was the son of Nebuchadnezzar, conqueror of Jerusalem and builder of Babylon and a king to whom Saddam Hussein compares himself.

It is a shame to see the UN becoming irrelevant for the sake of criminals and cowards. Neither characters espouse egalitarianism, nor liberate or are in any way icons of fraternity. To decimate the relevance of the UN for indicted war criminals such as Saddam is the greatest tragedy of this new century.

The Russians, Chinese and French will definitely regret their decision in a couple of week's time when liberation forces shall be garlanded in downtown Baghdad. Beware one and all; the liberation of Baghdad is drawing near.

The freedom of long suffering Iraqis is on hand and the polarization of this whole liberation objective counts as a despicable act of global diplomacy. The "the moment of truth", as Mr Bush's national security adviser Condoleezza Rice put it, is at hand. What "the moment of truth" means is abandoning attempts to get the elusive second resolution and taking a decision to go to war.

If any one talks to Iraqis the story is quite different; "Saddam is a killer," said Mohammed, an engineer from Baghdad. Speaking near the Seida Zeinab Mosque, a Shiite shrine on the outskirts of Damascus where many Iraqis have come to wait out a possible war, Mohammed said 99 per cent of Iraqis wanted Saddam gone and the 1 per cent that didn't were those connected to the regime.

Expecting to be back in Baghdad soon after the war, Mohammed predicted Saddam's fall would be rapid. "It will take two days of hell. I know my people. They will help the American army get rid of Saddam's government." Mohammed's wife Farah nodded. "The people will throw flowers on to the street to greet the American army," she said. "The people are very happy. It's only a matter of waiting now."

White House speechwriters have already started work on Mr Bush's address in which he will tell the American people that they are going to war. It is no more a language of diplomacy - it is the language of preparing people for war. A cursory glance at history bears testament to this statement.

Iraqi callous regime has brought this all upon itself this is the wrath of Allah on clemency cries of thousands of Muslims recklessly mutilated by Saddam. When tyrants like Saddam, who in his Anfal campaign used chemical weapons on Kurdish men, women and children, is defended by political Islam it is indicative of the deep malaise within that philosophy.

This ideology must free itself of the medieval constraints and tarnished reputation of being associated with authoritarians, who conveniently hijack the religion to suit their own demonic beliefs. As human beings endowed with the freedom of choice and action we cannot in good conscience rest our collective responsibility upon the shoulders of God or nature but ourselves.

For tyrants to appeal to the divine, as an absolution from their actions is a cowardly act for their citizens, whom they had shackled for so long, must hold them accountable. Saddam cannot escape from the wrath of his people and it is our obligation, as citizens of the free world and especially as Muslims, to make sure he does not.

Common sense and pragmatic rationalism seems to be a premium when Muslim peoples defend Saddam so vehemently despite his actions towards the Muslims populaces of Iran, Iraq and Kuwait. Until they shed the fanatical anachronisms of the past Muslims will continue to remain subject to the whims of tyrants like Saddam, who have a monopoly on the masses.

* Printer friendly

Does this article have spelling or other mistakes? Tell me to fix it.

Email your comments for The Iranian letters section
Send an email to Iqbal latif

By Iqbal Latif




Book of the day

The Threatening Storm
The Case for Invading Iraq

by Kenneth M. Pollackw

Copyright © All Rights Reserved. Legal Terms for more information contact:
Web design by Bcubed
Internet server Global Publishing Group