Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Friday, August 01, 2003
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There has been a lot of talk about internationalizing the occupation of Iraq by bringing in other countries' troops under a UN mandate. Stephen Zunes of Foreign Policy in Focus writes in the Asia Times that this would be a good idea:

Four theses on a campaign that could use opportunities created by the invasion and occupation of Iraq in a creative way: a campaign to turn the administration of Iraq over to the United Nations:

1. A United Nations administration would be more likely to bring peace and stability to Iraq.

2. Turning over control of Iraq to the UN would be in the best interests of Americans.

3. The United Nations could succeed in such an effort.

4. Such a campaign is winnable.

Not surprisingly, there's a bit of skepticism in the Muslim world about all of this. In Islam Online's Ask the Scholar section, someone asks:

The U.S. is trying to convince the U.N. and its allied countries to send international forces to Iraq. This is obviously due to the Americans’ inability to face the Iraqi popular resistance forces alone. What is the ruling on fighting the international forces that enter Iraq?

The response:

Scholars agree that it is an individual obligation to use all possible means to defend the homeland against invasion. This means that not only men have to fight, but also excused people, such as women and the old, must participate.

In addition, any external forces that go to Iraq to support the U.S. invasion inside Iraq are considered invaders as well. Hence, they are to be treated in the same manner as the U.S.-led forces; the invaded people must resist them by all possible means.
If international forces are sent to Iraq by U.N. resolution to maintain peace and security in the country, without extending any support to the invaders, then the popular resistance forces in Iraq must not fight them. If, on the other hand, they have gone there to support the invaders and add legality to their occupation of the land, then they are in the same position of the invaders and should be resisted by all available defense mechanisms.
Sending international forces to Iraq has two possible interpretations:

First, they are support to occupation. In other words, the international forces would be placed as shields for the U.S. and the British forces in Iraq. In this case, it is permissible to fight them.

Second, they are sent to evacuate U.S. and British forces from Iraq and giving the reins of power there to the Iraqis themselves. In this case they are not to be fought. Rather, the way should be paved for them to carry out the mission they are assigned with.

But if they stay for a long time with the presence of the U.S.-led forces in Iraq, then they must be fought and dismissed.

Any UN peacekeeping force will have to walk a very fine line. If their involvement is perceived as occupation, then there will be serious trouble not just for the troops, but for any Iraqi who helps the occupiers. As WaPo reports today, an Iraqi father was forced to execute his informant son. Likely not the last such incident:

In the simmering guerrilla war fought along the Tigris, U.S. officials say they have received a deluge of tips from informants, the intelligence growing since U.S. forces killed former president Saddam Hussein's two sons last week.
But a shadowy response has followed, a less-publicized but no less deadly theater of violence in the U.S. occupation. U.S. officials and residents say informers have been killed, shot and attacked with grenades. U.S. officials say they have no numbers on deaths, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the campaign is widespread in a region long a source of support for Hussein's government. The U.S. officials declined to discuss specifics about individual informers...

Lists of informers have circulated in at least two northern cities, and remnants of the Saddam's Fedayeen militia have vowed in videotaped warnings broadcast on Arab satellite networks that they will fight informers "before we fight the Americans."

Another fatwa, dealing with the issue of assisting the occupation:

In the eyes of Shari`ah, assisting or cooperating with the oppressor is basically rejected in Islam, regardless of whoever happens to be the victim of oppression. This is because Almighty Allah warns us against any sort of cooperation that will lead to spreading evil and mischief on earth. He says, “…help ye one another unto righteousness and pious duty. Help not one another unto sin and transgression…” (Al-Ma’idah: 2) Thus, assisting and cooperating with the oppressive forces in killing and capturing innocent people is absolutely haram (forbidden), as it is a grave crime and heinous sin.

Taken as a whole, none of this bodes well. Involving the UN might just be a bandaid, and we should get out of Iraq as quickly as possible to save Iraqi, American and other lives. I think this is dawning on the US now:

L. Paul Bremer, touring the Iraqi Foreign Ministry with some of the council's 25 members, told reporters that organizing elections by this time next year was "not unrealistic." Bremer previously had stated that elections would be held at the end of 2004 to replace the council...

Here's hoping.


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