Friday, October 25, 2002

Saddam Gets Religion

Today Saddam Hussein, secular dictator of Iraq, issued a statement urging the Chechen fighters in Moscow to wage jihad instead of a struggle for national independence. Just as I deduced yesterday, the Chechens are not pursuing jihad after all. Their's is a struggle totally separate from the current clash of civilizations, and does not target Americans. Saddam is clearly afraid that this action will push Russia into the arms of our side against Iraq, and he is quite right to be.

This would be, if not for the context of human suffering, almost funny. Iraq and Chechnya, both nominally Muslim, secular states, are both claiming the mantle of Islam, trying to appear to be fundamentalists in order to gain the support of the Islamofascists. Indeed,
"The tyrant of the age, namely Zionism and America, and not Russia, or China or India are our enemies," Saddam said. He added: "Don't make them hate us and Muslims because of this." ... Describing Baghdad as the guardian of Islam, Saddam said he was making the plea "in order not to let Zionists and Americans take over the land of Islam." Saddam said the Russian Orthodox Christians had not been as zealous against Muslims, "not now or during the Soviet era." The Iraqi ruler said that by ending their siege, the Chechens would "make an accomplishment not only for yourselves but for Arabs, Muslims and humanity at large."
And the Chechen women participating in the raid wore Chadori, or Islamic robes similar to Burqa head-to-toe wrappers, in their early appearances. Of course, as time wears on, images coming out of the theater show the women in combat garb, as they get down to the grim business at hand.

So the truth seems to be, as much as the Islamic fundamentalists falsely attempt to paint their struggle as one reacting to American policies, the real struggle against a nation's oppressive, hegemonic foreign policy is the one that pits the Chechens against the Russians. The war against us is Jihad, the desire to annihilate us for what we are, not what we do.