How To Have Your Croissant And Eat It Too

By Garner Ted Armstrong

The French, Germans and Belgians have contributed nothing to the struggles in Iraq, but they fully expect to be in on the spoils.

The almost frantic pace kept up by Secretary of State Colin Powell in his meetings with the foreign ministers of 23 European countries was laced with conciliatory statements. After affirming that the United States and the UK would assume the leading role in a post-Saddam Iraq, Powell quickly added, “this is not to say that we have to shut others out and not to say that we will not work in partnership with the international community and especially with the United Nations.”

This had to be music to French and German ears. Both the French and the Germans have done a screeching 180 degree turn in the past days; now mouthing bland statements about hoping the war is over soon, with the coalition forces the victors, and that there will be few casualties. Several of the European leaders said they wanted some kind of “an organizing role” after the Iraqi regime is removed; that only “some kind of an international imprimatur on the occupation can avoid continuing bitterness in the Middle East.” 

Remember the French foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin? He was instrumental in leading the charge against the US and UK; the French threatened to veto ANY new resolution which would have seemed to give legitimacy or UN authorization for war.

Later, when asked on a major television interview whether he hoped the Coalition forces would prove victorious, de Villepin refused to answer. He just sat there with his mouth shut. Now, some weeks later, he says, “When the time is ready, we believe that the United Nations should have a central role to play.” Tossing Powell and the US a bit of the croissant, he generously said that such a role might be “phased in.” Oh, Good! The French Foreign Minister thinks he might allow the US and UK to take care of the nastiness sure to follow the collapse of the regime; there are allegedly thousands of little children who have been trained to take up arms and fight; thousands of Iranian irregulars are said to be infiltrating into Iraq; thousands of Saddam’s soldiers are shedding their weapons and uniforms and fading back into the civilian population, and then, when it seems the country has at last been mostly tranquilized, voila! Here come the French!

The French would not want to place any of their soldiers into a cauldron of violence, of guerrilla warfare, of terrorist bombings and ambushes.

They would prefer to wait until Iraq seems relatively quiet. Then, they want their businessmen from Elf Aquitaine, Total, and many other companies in on the ground floor. They want to be directly involved in the “oil for food” program under the auspices of the UN, which would give the big French oil companies contracts which would earn billions of euros! (I have already shown how many of the oil producing countries, led first by Iraq, were using their dollars to buy euros, and what this could cause to the US and the global economy if OPEC followed suit).

After Powell said he felt there was a “coming together of the trans-Atlantic community” to cooperate on rebuilding Iraq, Mr. de Villepin said, “I think we should be very pragmatic.” When are the French not pragmatic? Incredible. After acrimony, hurled insults and threats of a veto, the French government now wants to have its croissant and eat it too.

They may have a surprise coming.

If anyone envisions a placid, peaceful, democratic Iraq; a pro-western Iraq divested of its weapons of mass destruction, freed from its brutal regime of torture, cooperating with the US and UK, as well as Europe, he should think again.

The Islamic religion is the basic underpinning of Iraqi history, education, society and thought. As previously reported, there is an Iraqi “Ayatollah” who is said to have a force of about 1,500 men who is waiting in the wings in Iran, ready to go to Iraq once the fighting stops. The Coalition has been extremely careful in insuring the religious infrastructure of Islam is retained; the last report I heard was that they had not even returned fire when fired upon from the ancient and “most holy” (to Iraqis) Ali Mosque. An ayatollah is above an imam. An imam merely recites the Quran, while an ayatollah is believed to be directly in touch with Allah, to receive messages from the Islamic god.

The glaringly obvious difficulty in any post-Saddam regime is how to bring three major conflicting groups together, plus including who knows how many “tribal leaders” from north to south. Clearly, the Kurds, Sunnis and Shias will all want to have their say.

See those precious little brown-eyed children, smiling up at US Marines who are handing them candy? Their young minds have already been pre-programmed. In a few more years, they will be exactly like the shouting, fist-clenching, arm-waving rioters in the streets of Gaza and Jenin. The boys will be infused with fanatical hatred of all things Western; with reverence and mystical awe of Islam; with the concept that death is the gateway to paradise, where one may enjoy every imaginable physical, sensual pleasure. Their imams will have been railing against the “desecration” of their “holy ground” by foreign “infidels” and ambassadors of the “great Satan,” the US. They will have been brainwashed (and there will be enough footage and still pictures to enforce the process) that their fathers and mothers suffered brutally under a foreign “aggression and occupation.” Revisionists – liars all – will completely rewrite history.

The young will swallow it whole.

The coalition may succeed in regime change – to a degree.

Following World War II, many a writer wondered whatever happened to the tens of thousands of burgermeisters, gauleiters, teachers, policemen, Nazi Party staffers, card-carrying industrialists and businessmen who had been a part of, and had actively supported Hitler’s regime. They simply melted into the civilian population. Thousands went to Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Spain and other countries. Many went underground inside Germany.

The same questions must be asked about Iraq. The other day, when some Aussie soldiers discovered a party headquarters “stacked from floor to ceiling” with arms, including new Russian and Chinese AK-47's and SKS’s, they secured the arms stash, intending to use it to “equip a future Iraqi army.” Of course, Iraq will need all kinds of law enforcement personnel.

Where will they come from? In many cases, probably in most cases, they will come from the ranks of those who have been loyally serving the Saddam regime. The “Denazification” program in Germany was turned over to the Germans themselves by 1947; two short years following the end of World War II.

When one views the headlines of newspapers all over the Islamic world today; from Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen, Syria, Gaza, Egypt, Iran and many other countries; headlines which shout hideous lies such as “US Marines massacre helpless civilians,” or “American soldiers shooting women and children,” one must stand in begrudging admiration at the propensity for lying which is a part of the Islamic modus operandi. A few minutes listening to the Iraqi “Information Minister” who, as his country is being overrun says his soldiers have the coalition forces “surrounded,” even daring to name various cities which have already fallen, so the citizens of Baghdad will believe the lie that “victory is at hand” for the brave Iraqi army.

Understanding this mindset is critical.

The coalition may succeed in changing a regime. It will never succeed in changing a religion. And, by its very tenets, that religion is combative, expansive, militant, and dedicated to the spread of Islam by whatever means necessary. A major tenet of Islam is JIHAD, or “Holy War,” in an effort to bring the entire world under the Islamic religion. 

When the Islamic armies swept across the Middle East in ancient times, subdued North Africa, Spain, Turkey, Albania and part of the Balkans, the conversion to Islam did not come as a result of patient missionary teaching. It did not result from education, reason, or example. Instead, it came at the edge of the sword. The caliphs IMPOSED the religion of Muhammad on conquered peoples.

Do not think for a moment that a part of the post-Saddam contingent of nation builders will be made up of Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Episcopalians and Congregationalists.

In short order, thousands of those who have committed brutal acts will manage to deceive their interrogators, and will once again wear the badges and uniforms of a new Iraqi government.

Like new wine in old bottles (wineskins), or a fresh patch on an old pair of pants, the result will not be pleasant. Jesus said, “No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.

“Neither do men put new wine into old bottles [wineskins]: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved” (Matthew 9:16,17).

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