Violence has escalated yet again in Iraq and the core of the agitation again appears to be Muqtada Al Sadr, a rotund, self-important, self-ordained cleric, self-declared leader of a Muslim Shiite sect that has morphed into a full-scale terrorist army.
It appears that in their efforts to spread the essence of the all-peaceful, beneficent and humankind-loving aspects of their brand of the Muslim religion they also have to wipe out all the other denominations. The Sunnis in particular are targets since they held power in Iraq while Saddam Hussein was in charge and we all know what that means.
So the Sadr Army as it is called has been on a rampage lately, blowing themselves up with total abandon, and trying to take as many of their countrymen along for the ride as possible. Since US troops are trying to keep the peace in that area long enough for some cooler heads to prevail, and a true coalition government to take hold, we are losing our people as well.
War is full of tragedies, intended and otherwise, but one of the true tragedies of this war is that Al Sadr is even alive at this stage of the game and creating so much havoc. It also is incomprehensible considering the extent of the damage he is causing that we haven't just shot the fat SOB and been done with it.
What do our talking heads at the State Department think is going to happen if we take him out ... people will get mad at us, riot for a few days and burn some of their stuff? Hell, those guys will do that if they don't like what their wives made them for dinner that night, so what do we care?
We had Al Sadr, who by-the-way had a murder warrant out on him for killing a rival cleric, in our grasp three years ago, but against the advice of every person who ever was in a dirty fight, we allowed him to go free. I still don't understand why, but we did and this is what we get for showing him the true Christian spirit.
Al Sadr has proclaimed himself to be a cleric, primarily because his father was a cleric. But his father actually went to school to study his religion, and was an integral part of the structure.
Al Sadr is one of those guys who thinks he can live off of the deeds of his father, even though he never accomplished a tenth of what his father did. We can only wonder if his father would have preached this level of violence and destruction as a means of spreading his religion.
Regardless, I have been saying for years now, and I thought I was saying it to the right people, that there is a way to take Al Rotundo out of the picture without even harming a hair on his roly-poly head, but no one seems to be taking the hint. So let's just get this out in the public arena and see if it flies.
As many of you are aware, there is a strict prohibition in the Muslim religion for eating or touching any product that comes from a pig, since a pig is considered the ultimate unclean animal. (The Jewish religion has a similar prohibition, but it is not quite as strict in some circles. Personally, I think it is a millenniums-old response to trichinosis, a terribly painful disease that came from eating uncooked pork, and which is no longer an issue in most areas of the developed world, thanks to the invention of fire and antibiotics, but that is another issue.)
In the Muslim world, the prohibition on touching a pig or any pork product is so extreme that to do so carries the penalty of preventing the person who does the touching from entering Muslim paradise. In other words, touch or be touched by anything that comes from a pig and kiss those 72 virgins good-bye forever.
Many of us also are aware of the story making the rounds on the internet about the American General Blackjack Pershing dealing with Muslim insurgents in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War. Pershing is said to have lined up 50 insurgents for execution, and ordered the firing squad to shoot 49 with bullets dipped in pigs' blood. Then they were dumped into a grave where they were covered with the offal, intestines, blood and body parts of slaughtered pigs.
The one who wasn't executed was allowed to return to his brethren to spread the word. He did.
After that, things went quiet in that part of the world for 50 years or so.
I have Googled this story, and while it can't be determined that Pershing himself was on the scene, his commanders certainly were and it did happen.
So here is what I have been proposing in private.
First we assemble a highly skilled squad of snipers. OK, the Marines, Army and Navy all have such teams in place so we can check that off.
Next, we make a film of them prior to going out on their missions, sitting around a campfire, where a pot is full of liquid pig fat and blood.
The squad members, who have their faces shrouded just like the Sadr army does, ritualistically dip their bullets into the liquid fat and blood, then go out on the mission.
The mission is not to shoot Al Sadr, just to shoot his bodyguards and other members of his army, with bullets dipped in pigs' blood and pigs' fat.
Now, I am not a scholar of the Koran by any means, but I did read a section of it recently that says the ban on touching pig parts comes into play if the touching is done intentionally.
So, to take away any doubt, we give the film of the snipers preparing to shoot their targets with bullets dipped in pig fluids to Al Jazeera, the PR firm that films Al Qaeda bombings and other terrorist acts. We encourage Al Jazerra to broadcast the film around the Muslim world, so there can be no doubt that anyone who follows Al Sadr is going to be shot with bullets dipped in pig fluids.
That should settle the intent issue.
Then we make good on our promise. We shoot those fanatics, we film our guys doing it, and we broadcast the film so every single one of their friends and family members know that the late, great terrorist is now in the Muslim version of hell and will remain there forever.
Then let's see how long Al Sadr can keep his army intact.
Extreme? Chancy? Maybe. But it sure as hell has to be better than what we're doing now.
Friday, October 27, 2006