Does Allah Love an Arrogant and Boastful President?
by Robert Gaiek
No disaster, unless it has been preordained and recorded in the book of records, can ever befall the earth nor your own selves. Behold, all this is easy enough for Allah. Know this so that you may not despair for the good fortune you lost, nor exult unduly because of the blessings bestowed upon you. Allah does not love the arrogant and the boastful.
-- Qur'an, Al-Hadid, 57:22-23 Translated by Aneela Khalid Arshed
It is Sunday and the president struts across the White House lawn toward the suppliant band of reporters. One asks if it is too late for Saddam Hussein to leave town. He would like to ask, is it too late to stop the Slaughter? The president replies: "You know, Mike, I -- he had his chance to go into exile. I gave him a 48 hour ultimatum to leave the country so that we could disarm Iraq peacefully; he chose not to go into exile." He is very pleased that "we have secured the southern oil fields." He is, after all, a great champion of environmental concerns.
Fox News exults in the good fortune of our nation in the first days of the Slaughter by announcing that only 9 oil wells are on fire. Our arrogant and boastful president has elected to risk the lives of Special Forces troops to secure the oil wells first; the most precious of the spoils lusted after by the dark princes of the empire. The executives at Haliburton scramble to prepare their plans for "reconstruction," should the victory be swift. They work on Sunday, no doubt, as their expression of "support for our troops," eager to gobble up the precious spoils. Others will bring food and medicine for the liberated victims of 12 years of sanctions.
The president is relaxed and renewed from his retreat to Camp David. He sleeps peacefully, casually bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders. In his dreams he groans like the mighty Atlas of mythology, with a background of glowing mushroom clouds lighting up the horizon of a faraway city. The gods applaud the unleashed destruction of the powerful Zeus. The Tower of Babel meets the JDAM.
But wait: the president cautions that war in Iraq "could be longer and more difficult than some have predicted." Who predicted that swift victory, Mr. President? Could it be that this is just one more time that you have misled the American people? Could it be that your unnamed "official spokesmen" have propagated this false impression? Is doublespeak the new language of democracy?
Perhaps your biblically infested dreams of a quick win convinced you to try to "decapitate" the evil Saddam with a billion dollars worth of cruise missiles. Surely, you thought, without their leader the generals would email in their pleas to surrender. George Tenet had plans and bags of money for the swift and bloodless (for us) victory in Afghanistan. Surely these evil ones in Baghdad will just as quickly surrender, being the first to volunteer to dance before the cameras, pockets bulging with cash from the CIA.
Intelligence reports claim that the Iraqi leadership is in chaos. No one seems to be in charge. Has anyone in that brain trust running this war thought that the hapless Iraqi army is more dangerous without leadership? You have bombarded them with ordnance and leaflets telling them they would die an awful death if they did not surrender. Your witches brew of destruction may have created an instant army of lawless terrorists fighting for their lives. You flirt with opening Pandora’s box like a three-year-old playing with a box of wooden matches. The flame cast a hypnotic trance. Flickering shadows play on the smiling faces of the dark princes of new democracy. They are eager to soon lie out the new plots brewing in their high tech cauldron. The acrid smell of sulfur fills the darkness.
You are marketed as a bold leader, but you are blinded by your own moral clarity. Caution is the disease suffered by wimps like your father. As commander-in-chief, you ordered our troops to hurry toward Baghdad, leaving their flanks and rear guard unsecured, recklessly ignoring the "pockets of resistance." And a maintenance unit, with a young woman in the ranks, lost it’s way in the dark and was captured and some executed. The Iraqis broadcast "gruesome images," according to Fox News, of brutality and torture inflicted on my fellow Americans. They will not show it because, as I believe in my deep-rooted cynicism, the propaganda value is much greater in just speaking of the "disgusting images." It has value to inflate the polls that show support for the Slaughter.
I was once a soldier. I feel rage, based on what Fox News tells me. But I hear on BBC America that the dead soldiers may be the work of outraged Iraqi citizens. Two governments issuing propaganda. Who to believe? I used to be able to trust my government, in the ignorance of youth.
It might be that the pressure placed on field commanders to rapidly advance caused a breakdown in the tight discipline required for nighttime movements. How many casual mistakes will be made in this rush to quick and overwhelming victory? We have paid $400 billion for this awesome military machine just this year, and I feel cheated already. War is not a horse race for the "snacking" viewers of the grand Slaughter. The mistakes and accidents are multiplying at an unacceptable rate.
I listen again to the president speak, after church he is quick to tell us. He looks groggy and responds haltingly to questions. He has no script, no teleprompter, and no wire in his ear. He evokes an image of Sisyphus rather than Atlas. He is the leader of the free world, but he makes no sense. He is quick to say that he prays: "for God’s comfort and God’s healing powers, to anybody, coalition force, American, Brit, anybody who loses a life in this—in our efforts to make the world more peaceful and more free." There is no mention of the dead and wounded Iraqis already sacrificed for "Operation Iraqi Freedom." The gunslinger daydreams about firing his six-shooter into the dust, commanding the evil villain with a mustache to dance.
He is asked about the soldiers in captivity, but he ducks by trying to claim he has not yet been briefed. He warns that Iraq must "treat our prisoners humanely," and here he hesitates, "as we are humanely treating the prisoners of Iraq." Has he been briefed to not mention the Geneva Convention? Did a vision of Guantanomo Bay flash into his foggy brain? Perhaps he remembers a briefing about two prisoners bludgeoned to death in Afghanistan. No matter: "we’ve got a game plan." Thanatos has work to do.
And Basra is days without electricity and water, but the citizens will have to wait before exploding in gleeful exuberance. The "pockets of resistance" must be eliminated at Umm Qasr, the port city, before UN aid can be brought in safely. The plan is not flexible enough for such minor details. Read the fine print in the "Liberation Plan."
Russia has now been loudly and publicly denounced for "aiding and abetting our enemy" by selling GPS jammers and night vision goggles. This could be reason for another "diplomatic" war--this Russian lawlessness. The Iraqis have no right to have defensive weapons. Our missiles can only be used to strike those targets WE deem worthy of destruction. They have no right to see in the dark as we do. They are screwing up the game plan. Fox News naively questions why the UN Security Council should not be called to account. Our list of enemies grows. There are many scores still to be settled with the unwilling and the unable. At first the list was small: just those nations aiding and abetting terrorism. But it is now clear that more is required. The New World Order has no room for dissent, neither from citizens nor disobedient sovereign nations.
In your rush to victory, Mr. president, take a moment to read the passage in the Qu’ran I have selected for you. You clearly do not understand the wisdom found in the Bible. It is more likely that you subscribe to the recent words of your Christian Brother, Chuck Colson:
"The doctrine of just war, we must remember, flows out of the Christian command to love your neighbor. It is an act of love to wield the sword against evil and against threats to innocent lives. A justly fought war against Saddam Hussein will be…just such a war."
Allah is not our enemy, as some self-ordained Christian leaders proclaim. There must be something in the water in Crawford, Texas that breeds boastfulness and arrogance. But Bob Woodward warns us he does not have to listen, "Because I am the president."
Bob Gaiek is a former Captain in the Army Infantry, with a 15 month combat tour in Vietnam, earning a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Two Air Medals. He owns his own video production company. He is actively against this illegal war. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org