Tags: Pat | Robertson's | Lie; | Leaving | Iraq

Pat Robertson's Lie; Leaving Iraq

Wednesday, 31 August 2005 12:00 AM

However, there are occasions when not only the rule against assassinations can and should be broken, but also the assassination should be applauded. Had Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin been assassinated when they began their campaigns of mass murder of innocent people in their own and other countries, it would have prevented the deaths of millions of innocent people.

Chavez and Cuba's Fidel Castro certainly do not fill the shoes of those two monsters – Hitler and Stalin – even if they are opponents of the U.S. government. We can only hope that Chavez and Castro will be peacefully removed by their own people.

Robertson's lying to the public about calling for Chavez's assassination is not the first time a minister has blatantly lied. For example, Jesse Jackson lied 20 years ago when he denied calling New York City "Hymie town." Later he admitted the truth and apologized for it. It is especially outrageous when clerics lie. Robertson made his statement for public consumption on the Christian Broadcasting Network. Jackson made his in a private conversation with a New York Times reporter. Both then engaged in cover-ups.

The danger and consequences of covering up have not yet been fully appreciated by many who should know better. It is far better to admit an error, apologize and go on from there than to say the incident never happened.

What everyone should now do, particularly clerics, is to denounce Robertson for lying and demand that he acknowledge he did indeed lie about calling for the assassination of Chavez.

President Bush recently summarized his views on our getting out of Iraq with the statement "As Iraqis stand up, Americans will stand down." The president believes that the Iraqi army now being trained by the U.S. military and other nations will, sometime in the future, be able to quell the insurgency that is killing American soldiers every week and an even greater number of Iraqi civilians. Until the Iraqi army is able to take on the insurgents, the president believes, the U.S. military will have to do the job and accept the consequent military casualties.

I think the president is wrong in his analysis, while I believe he was right to authorize the original invasion of Iraq based on the information provided to him and the Congress by George Tenet, former director of the CIA. If the Iraqi army – battle-hardened in an eight-year war with Iran in the 1980s and trained for two wars against the U.S. and its allies in 1991 and 2003 – is not prepared now, it will never be able to stand up and fight.

How is it possible for 20 percent of the Iraqi population – the Sunnis – to terrorize and kill thousands of their fellow Iraqi citizens – Shia – with impunity and military precision?

The three groups in Iraq – Kurds, Sunni and Shia – loathe one another. Iraq is not a country. It is three tribes engaged in an ongoing civil war. The presence of the U.S. will not change that. The inability of the three groups to agree on a constitution underscores the lack of support by the three groups for the idea of a unified Iraqi state.

The Sunnis, who were Saddam Hussein's supporters and provided his brown shirt thugs imposing his rule on the Kurds and Shia, torturing and killing those who dissented, support a secular government, while the now dominant Shia support the theocratic government.

The proposed constitution envisions a theocracy, rather than a secular democratic form of government. The Times described the proposed constitution, pointing out its failures:

"Under the new constitution, Islam would become the official religion of the Iraqi state, and be regarded as ‘a main source of legislation.' Clerics would more than likely sit on the Supreme Court, and judges would have broad latitude to strike down legislation that conflicted with the religion. Clerics would be given a broad, new role in adjudicating family disputes like marriage, divorce and inheritance. Under most interpretations of Islamic law, women enjoy substantially fewer rights than men."

So while the Sunnis are killing Americans and the Shia have asked us to remain in Iraq, it is the Sunni support of a secular government in the negotiations on the constitution that our government has supported, until those proposals were rejected by the Shia and Kurd negotiators.

The negotiators have failed to obtain a consensus in support of the proposed constitution, and our government is now in the unenviable position of supporting the Shia theocracy enshrined in the new proposed constitution to be voted on. It is ridiculous, to say the least.

President Bush should announce that whether or not the October 15 referendum on the Iraqi constitution passes, U.S. troops will begin the following day to stand down and withdraw from the country, hopefully by December 31, 2005, but in no event no later than August 2006. That announcement may prompt the Iraqis to come to their senses and begin to cooperate with one another in secularizing their government.

Our announced withdrawal may also cause the U.N. Security Council to authorize a U.N. replacement of the U.S. troops with soldiers from other U.N.-affiliated countries such as Germany and France which have avoided any military involvement to date.

The new U.S. mantra should be "We are out of here by the end of the year."


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However, there are occasions when not only the rule against assassinations can and should be broken, but also the assassination should be applauded.Had Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin been assassinated when they began their campaigns of mass murder of innocent people in...
Wednesday, 31 August 2005 12:00 AM
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