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There Are No “Good Guy” Radical Islamists in Iraq

Radical Muslims

As Iraq spirals into a Sunni verses Shite Muslim religious war political correctness run amuck has blinded the western news media and the policy makers in the Obama administration to the fact that there are no “good guys” in this Muslim on Muslim war.

Both sides are Islamic supremacists who will turn their guns and roadside bombs on the West once they have finished off the other side.

The blood thirsty ISIS political movement that is fighting to establish a new radical Islamist “Caliphate” in Syria, Iraq and beyond is Sunni in origin. ISIS has already established a radical form of Islamist government based on Sharia law in the territory it controls and begun the persecution of Christians.

In the northern city of Mosul, site of one of the first major victories for ISIS militants, witnesses told CNN on Sunday that the group removed statues of the Virgin Mary and used vehicle-mounted loudspeakers to announce that it had decided to form Islamic Sharia courts in the city.

For anyone stepping out of line the punishments are harsh. Isis believes in crucifixion and the amputation of limbs for criminal acts. Limbs are cut off for minor offences, opponents made to dig their own graves, singing and music are strictly forbidden, this in the words of the UK Express’ Adrian Lee “is the chilling vision of the medieval society ISIS extremists today seek to impose on Iraq.”

But those who think the alternative of making common cause with Iran and its Shite allies in Iraq is a better alternative should consider exactly who they are joining as de facto “allies.”

Despite its pledge to support Iraq's stabilization, Iran trained, funded, and provided guidance to Iraqi Shia militant groups, according to a recent report by Obama’s own State Department.

Iran’s principle political and religious ally in Iraq, and make no mistake in the Muslim world the two are inextricably linked, is Muqtada al-Sadr. Al Sadar is a radical Shia cleric who leads the Mahdi Army militia and who looks to the Islamist government of Iran for inspiration and funding.

"The little serpent has left, and the great serpent has come," that's how Muqtada al Sadr, described the US overthrow of Saddam Hussein. 

In the aftermath of the US overthrow of Saddam, al Sadr was one of the principle leaders of the deadly attacks on US forces and then Col. (later Major General) Dana J.H. Pittard went so far as to publicly state that the goal of the US was “the destruction of al Sadr's militia, and then kill or capture al Sadr himself."

Al Sadr was never captured or killed by the US and remains, along with Ali al-Sistani and Ammar al-Hakim, on the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. The idea that supporting him and his version of radical Islam is akin to supporting the Soviets over Hitler is belied by history and our own experience in fighting the Mahad Army in the aftermath of Saddam’s defeat.

As far back as 2004, the UK Telegraph reported that US intelligence sources believe al Sadr was funded by "donations" from pilgrims - not all of them voluntary - and from hardline ayatollahs in Iran.

In 2004 al Sadr’s Mahadi Army precipitated a fight with Iraqi police in Najaf who were soon reinforced by 1,800 US Marines and eventually two battalions of the US Army.

The result of the 2004 fight for Najaf was a stalemate dictated by politics and religious sensibilities for the Imam Ali Mosque, the center of Shite religious observance, and the center of Mahadi Army’s weapons caches. 

Back in 2004 the UK Telegraph reported an Iraqi policeman saying, "We are all volunteers in the Mahdi Army now… At my police station, the policemen and the Mahdi Army stand side by side. Of course I will fight the Americans if they come here." So much for the idea that 250 US “advisors” are going to prop-up the current government of Iraq or stiffen the spines of the Iraqi security forces.  

In areas the Mahadi Army controlled, such as Najaf and Diwaniya, opponents were assassinated and Sharia courts were established. The Sharia courts were run by judges sent from the Shite religious capital of Najaf and punishments such as 80 lashes for stealing and drinking alcohol were carried out by court police. Dancing was prohibited as was singing and even reciting nursery rhymes.

Between the Shite radical Islamists such as the Mahadi Army in Iraq and the ayatollahs in Iran and the Sunni radical Islamists of ISIS there are no “good guys.” Obama’s policy makers like President George W. Bush’s before them have failed to grasp the real lesson we should have learned from the rise of the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The enemy is not a nation state or a government, but the idea of Islamic supremacy deeply ingrained in Muslim culture. 

Unless American policy makers recognize and admit that this is not just a war against various terrorist movements that seek to control governments, but a war of ideas between radical Islam and the western ideals of tolerance and freedom of thought, speech and religion the battles occurring in Iraq today will be refought in our own streets tomorrow.

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