Ghandchiقندچي IRAQ-End Theocracy before it is Too Late

Sam Ghandchi


U.S. first supported Islamist forces in Afghanistan in an attempt to end Soviet-backed government in that country and later when Soviet Union itself fell apart, the U.S. still supported the coming to power of Taliban in Afghanistan, thru Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, viewing it as an alternative to Islamic Republic of Iran.


U.S. later regretted its strategy in Afghanistan that ended with Taliban rule in that country. And this is how later, following the Sept 11th WTC attack, U.S. and the allies had to get into a full-fledged war in Afghanistan, to finally end the Taliban rule in country.


It seems like U.S. is making a similar error in Iraq. True that Condoleezza Rice recently noted that U.S. should not make the same mistake it did when leaving Afghanistan to itself after the exit of Soviet Union, allowing the fundamentalists to take over with no serious challenge. But just having U.S. forces in Iraq does not mean the same fate can be avoided in Iraq.


The issue is that allowing a theocracy to form and strengthen in Iraq with the help of the U.S., is empowering the Shi’a Islamists to get hold of the state in Iraq, where they did not have a popular support like Iran of 1979, and Islamists’ coming to power, is more like the case of Taliban in Aghanistan, thanks to the U.S. help.


It is really irrelevant whether the Iraqi theocracy is a puppet of Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) or is on its own. Taliban was even an enemy of IRI but its friendship for the Western secular democracies proved to be short-lived and actually was a disaster for the West and the U.S. in particular. Theocracy *is* the problem in the Middle East and should be ended.


The Western assistance in regime change in Iraq from the beginning allowed the Shi’a theocracy to grow as an alternative favored by the West, and this is how they gained popular support, and not vice versa, as I discussed in detail over two years ago in an article where I wrote:


“The Islamists have always tried to deceive the people that the West is behind them, to gain legitimacy, and to dissuade people feeling helpless that there is no choice when the world's major powers want to keep mollahs in power in the Middle East. Many mollahs point to the support of the West for Saudi Arabia as a proof that the West wants Islamism in the region.” []


And I noted in another article at that time, how the Shi’a Islamists try to use intimidation and threats, to make the people subservient to their goals, when using freedom to kill freedom [].


Today possible partitioning of Iraq will further help the Shi’a theocracy to get established in one region of that country, which later can easily be used as a launch-pad by Shi’a militia, to invade other regions of Iraq or other countries in the region.


Whether one agrees with the invasion of Iraq by the U.S. in the first place, the question today is about the best strategy for Iraq to move forward. In my opinion the best strategy is to support the formation of a *secular* state in Iraq, before it is too late to stop the growth of the virus of religious state in Iraq.


If Iraq ends up with two Shi’a and Sunni religious states and one Kurdish state, the two resulting religious states will be worse disasters than a religious state like Saudi Arabia, because they will each be another Iran, where a former secular state of over hundred years history, turns into a religious state, and such retrogression means destruction of productive forces that will be forced to go back, and the result will not only hurt Iraq but the whole of Middle East will be damaged because of such development.


The priority in Iraq is not federalism, with or without the support of Shi’a mullahs of the South, rather formation of the secular democratic state must be the number one goal in the agenda of any progressive force in Iraq, and especially all progressive forces in the Middle East should pay utmost attention to stopping the development of two more theocracies, before it is too late. Democracy without secularism in the Middle East is as meaningless as secularism without democracy.

Hoping for a Secular Democratic State in the Iraq,


Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher


November 1, 2006




Text in Persian





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