Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi
When asked by the Australian ABC Radio whether I think this is a Christian war against Islam and Muslims, I said: NO! This is a war led by an American administration driven by greed, religious conviction, and arrogance. Please read a recent book titled "Made in Texas" and availble via Amazon.com to understand what I am talking about.
The trouble is that not every Muslim and Arab understands matters this way. Unlike the last Gulf War, the only soldiers fighting this war are Protestant Christians. I try to explain things to my readers. Fortunately, I am helped by the millions of Chris-Protestant demonstrators going in masses, even in the same countries invading us. I always point to the pro-peace poll numbers as evidence.
An Australian lady called the same day the interview was broadcast. She obviously did some research to get my office numbers. What she told me touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. "Not on my name!" she said. Not on my children name, and certainly not on my religion's name this war is conducted. Thank you for telling your fellow Muslims and Arabs this truth. Please, in the name of our same God, keep fighting to spread this message. I know it is an uphill battle, but I promise you I will go in every demonstration, and your promise me to tell the world about us, the good, decent and peaceful Christians of the world."
I promised her.
Again, yesterday I was dining with my wife in a Chinese Restaurant, here in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. A Pilipino waiter came to me with my last article in his hand and asked: You work for Arabnews? I read your article today, I read all your articles. I just wanted to tell you, I am touched. His name is: James.
I was touched, too, and my wife smiled and said: How much did you pay him to impress me?!
And today, I read your emails. I read Annie, Britta, Margarette, Cynthia, Steven, Michael, Kevin, Scott, Smith Jr. and felt assured once more that it is not a Civilization war, it is not a Christian-Islam war, it is not even and Anglo-Saxon war. It is simple, a war led by fundamentalist, oil men and warmongers in Washington and London to advance an over-ambitious religious, political and business agenda.
I wish Hell's gates will be closed soon, but I am a realist. I know it won't until it burn all, including those who opened them. It is a sign of our desperation that peaceniks like myself would wish for fire to burn those who started it, first. Maybe, then, the bad guys will see they have no option but to pack their "weapons of mass destruction" and leave.
As for Saddam and his gangs: May they burn in Hell together with all who brought us into this mess, including our own. Only then, we could hope for peace to prevail, as well as freedom and prosperity of our region. Sorry, for the angry tone, because I am.
Finally, I was asked, what your alternative to this war is. I said: the Iraqis should have been incited to act on their own and supported. This is what exactly happened after 1991 war, but only the first part. Bush Sr. urged them to rise, and promised them support. When they did exactly that he left them in the care of Saddam's forces. Would you blame the Iraqis not to trust Bush Jr. this time?
Only locally grown solution could work. Iraq an American state, what may work in there, might not work here. Besides, Iraq is like a company with many shareholders. Neighbors have a stake as much as Iraqis on how the new Iraq is shaped. They should be consulted, too. Who organize such consultation? I believe the world community represented in the UN should be the organizer and supervisor of this process, not just America and the UK.
Consulting Iraqi opposition groups and Zionist like Pritchard Perle and Paul Wolfitz, and depending on the vision of fundamentalists and oil hawks like Cheney and Rumsfeld is what brought us to this. The quick and easy fix, the easy money, and the welcoming Iraqis were all "carrots" to tempt the "intelligent" President and Prime Minister into this trap.
As for the best governing system for Iraq and the region, I think Margrettes said it best in her email (bellow): "While the American Constitution works in America, I don't believe that it is made for all cultures. It is a document born of Western liberal humanism, itself a product of centuries of the distillation of philosophy, theology and thought, so why do Westerners assume that it can easily be transplanted into non-Western cultures?"