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Sensible Opinion About Iraq

(Sept. 11, 2003) Statement by Walid Phares, Ph.D.
Professor of Middle East Studies
Florida Atlantic University

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"Those who want to seize Sunni power and establish an Islamic fundamentalist regime in Iraq are no one else than the Wahabi, read al-Qa'ida and company. In fact, thousands have poured through the borders of Saudi Arabia. Significantly, a Saudi Jihadist told al-Jazeera today, that many Islamists are crossing the border to fight in Mesopotamia. But you have the 'other' fundamentalists, i.e. the Shi'ite Islamists.

Let's not forget that the radical clerics of Iran want an Islamic Republic in Iraq, and that Hizbollah of Lebanon has pledged to 'support' the Iraqis 'if they decide to resist.' If the Wahabi want a Caliphate in Baghdad, the Hizbollah wants a Khumani in Najaf. Both are anti-American, both reject any Arab or international recognition of the new Iraqi government.

Now read the events under the light of this objective alliance: If you wish to keep the moderate Arabs out of Iraq, you blow up the Jordanian embassy. If you want to threaten the international community you blow up the UN site. And if you wish to pressure the Iraqi Shiite into submission and fear, you kill their leader. Deja vu? Yes, in Lebanon back in 1982. Embassies, multi-national forces and a President -- Bashir Gemayel -- they were methodically eliminated so that the ground would be left open to Hizbollah, all other terrorists and eventually the Ba'athist troops of Assad."

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