Speculation is swirling today in Washington on the question of the best military solution in Iraq. But the fundamental question is not a military one, rather a political one: how to implement a regime in Iraq that will be moderate and internally consistentâ€”that will not fall under its own weight and that will not be antithetical to American interests.
President Bush succeeded in overthrowing a dictatorship, but failed in implementing democracy, and never despite so many failures fails to question whether democracy is viable there. Perhaps a better solution is monarchy.
Consider the other legitimate monarchies in the Middle East: Jordan and Morocco, both of which remain Muslim, neither an enemy of the United States.
The king of Iraq would be Sherif Ali bin Hussein, born in 1956; he is a descendant of the Hashemite family; traditionally that family has held the position of â€œSharif of Meccaâ€ responsible for administering the Arabian holy places (for 1,000 years, from the year 900 until 1900). During byzantine maneuvering, his family was tricked by the British into rebelling against Ottoman rule in 1913 (prelude to WWI). They are descendants of the grandfather of Prophet
Muhammad (s), Hashim ibn Abdul Manaf, and of Sayyidinal Hasan (ra), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (s).
Sherif has a valid claim to the throne as the descendant of Iraqâ€™s King Faisal I (ruled 1921-1933), Ghazi (ruled 1933 to 1939), and Faisal II (ruled from April 4, 1939 until his murder in a July 14 (Bastille day) coup in 1958). This coup which murdered Faisal II and most of his adult family, and dragged his body behind a car, led directly to the succession of brutal dictators (Colonel Abdul Karim Qassim, Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, then Saddam Hussein, each one murdered by his successor) that lasted from July of 1958 until the US invasion in March of 2003.
Many Iraqis of all backgrounds maintain affection for this king. He is directly descended from Sayyidina Ali (kw) and Sayyidinal Hasan (ra), therefore he lives close to the heart of Shiâ€™a belief, and will have support from them on a religious level. He has the loyalty and affection of the Kurds (who are in any event not a direct party to the spiraling violence), and as a Sunni Arab he has the loyalty of the Sunni Arabs.
Held out as a solution to the chaos prevailing today, all should welcome him like water at a fire.
Iraq is now divided into eighteen provinces. Perhaps it would be better to reduce the total number of provinces for easier administrationâ€”seven. All aid money from the outside could be divided among the provinces, with a large percentage allocated to those who have lost loved ones or been injured by the violenceâ€”to prevent them from further violence and to give just rewards to them.
The system would be a â€œfederalâ€ one, with a large degree of autonomy for each province–the king would have overall sovereignty. Each province has to give allegiance to the king, but otherwise they are able to implement their own rules for living–this is a system that would intrinsically acknowledge the vast differences between the lifestyles of the peoples of Iraq.
America would have to let go of the oil that is in Iraq, not seeking to use that oil for itself as â€œrepaymentâ€ for its visit to Iraq. In this justice there might be peace, and certainly America would be better off with a single king in charge of Iraq instead of the volatility we see from the fractious and violent mutually opposed parties that now wrestle for control of that country.
Some are saying we have tried 120,000 troops, why not try 20,000 more. Wasnâ€™t there another war 40 years ago where we poured additional troops in, time after time? It is not cost effective. Washington spends almost 2 billion dollars a week in Iraq, while the insurgency, according to a November New York Times report by John Burns and Kirk Semple, subsists self-sufficiently by means of organized crime on â€œ$70 million to $200 million a year from illegal activities.â€ The insurgents might not win physical ground, but in terms of the strategic interests of the United States, every day the US army and marines eat food and water shipped from the United States to Iraq is a huge victory for all of Americaâ€™s enemies.
The maximum number of soldiers mentioned today for the â€œsurgeâ€ in Iraq is 50,000, which would bring the total number of US â€œcoalitionâ€ troops in Iraq to less than 200,000. Isnâ€™t this number just prima facie astronomically insufficient? New York Cityâ€™s police department comprises about 40,000 people. In the United States nationwide in total there are about 1,000,000 people who work in police departments (according to a North Carolina Wesleyan College report available online).
According to that same report, there are approximately 67,080 police officers in California (which is the same size as Iraq). American soldiers generally donâ€™t speak Arabic, donâ€™t understand Iraq or Islam, and are fighting a war, so to win they need to be much more than only 200,000 troops. Traditional counterinsurgency doctrine (according to website of Juan Cole, President of Global Americana Institute) calls for 20 troops per thousand population. According to online CIA statistics there are 26,000,000 people in Iraq. Therefore President Bush requires 520,000 to fight successfully against the ongoing insurgency, and he has to pay dollars on the penny against what the insurgents are paying for the same war. He may keep a lid on the violence, but the price for America will push beyond doubt the reality that his administration has dramatically undermined global American interests.
That money and focus, spent in New Orleans, would be dramatically more beneficial to America.
Some may say Iraq has its own police, but the response is, why are those police using the authority vested in them to go to mosques, pull people out, and burn them to death?
Some may say look what the Iraqis did to their last king, and the response is, look what that brought them. How many Iraqi funerals since the king’s funeral? Let us stop that cycle of death now.
So neo-cons can criticize President Bushâ€™s military tactics of how best to force democracy on a culture where it will never fit. But instead, think on the political level; now we have tried democracy, why not try what traditionally has worked in the Middle Eastâ€”does our nation want another Jordan, another Morocco, or instead (as Americaâ€™s current fantasy-based policies’ collective trajectory will reasonably land us) to a clone of pre-911-Afghanistan?