Mongols and neo-Mongols

Daily: The Nation
Date: 27.05.04

“Ladies and Gentlemen: We got him”, said L. Paul Bremer, the coalition’s civilian
administrator of Iraq, on December 13, 2003. The news of discovery invited applauds.
Cheers and dance of happiness followed it. To that effect, from a “spider hole” Saddam
Hussain appeared instead of the alleged ‘Smoking Gun’— the prime motive to invade Iraq.  

Baghdad will remember two invaders. First are the Mongols (1258), who invaded to
annihilate it. The second are the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ (2003) — the neo-Mongols, who
came to build it but after destroying it, as it seems so. For that matter, the plumes of smoke
are an old phenomenon for Baghdad but the echoes of explosion are a new one. However,
the end result is the same: minarets of human skulls.

The Mongols never believed in accepting any suggestion or dictation from any ‘Union of the
Nations’ at any point. Similarly, the neo-Mongols did not believe in the United Nations to
arrive at a consensus to invade Iraq or not. Interestingly, they entered Iraq through a non-
democratic door but now they have been trying to deliver to the Iraqis ‘democracy at the

The Mongols confiscated sovereignty of the Iraqis in 1258. It was descended to the
Ottoman Turks in 1534 and then to the Iraqis on full Independence of Iraq from the British,
in 1946. Likewise, the neo-Mongols also seized sovereignty but they are ready to hand it
over back to the Iraqis by June 30, 2004. Hence, there is expected a transformation of Iraq
from totalitarian to democratic way of life.

The Mongols did not consider themselves to have been plunged into a quagmire in Iraq.
Conversely, the neo-Mongols deem so and are keen to involve the UN to enjoy a
honourable eviction. Very skillfully they changed the declared prime motive and later titled it
as a regime change: to liberate the oppressed from the oppressor. For the common Iraqis,
the reformation from despotic way to egalitarian way of rule is quite painful and bloody. Be it
the North Sunni Triangle or the South Shia Concentration, they construe the ‘liberators’ as
the ‘occupiers’. They regard the process of the ‘regime change’ and  ‘regime installation’ as
malafide. That is why, perhaps, they seem determined to stall it. For that matter, they are
even making strides to be hand in glove with each other despite their sectarian differences.
They want to retrieve their land to decide their future in their own way.

The Mongols were quite straightforward people. They hardly believed in keeping prisoners
in jails. Contrarily, the neo-Mongols have got no other choice but to rely on the prisoners of
the Abu Ghraib jail for the ‘information gathering activity’. The modern and awesome
intelligence agencies remained dependent on the brain scratching of the Iraqi prisoners to
extract some tip off. The information the absence of which has rendered the ‘Kingship of
the Willing’ vulnerable, back at home. Hence, the resultant chair-saving activity justifies the
display of an uncivilized face of the civilized world to rest of the world.

The Mongols used to believe in reaction, if provoked. Nevertheless, the neo-Mongols resort
to overreaction rather than reaction. An overreaction to the assassination of the four
American contractors in Fallujah and to the news of the weekly newspaper, al-Hawza, of
Muqtada al-Sadr, has plunged both Fallujah and Najaf on fire since the month, April 2004.
The Fallujah-Najaf phenomenon is counter-productive in nature and resultantly is a failure
of L. Paul Bremer to forestall and control the situation in Iraq. The recent assassination of
the President of the Iraqi Governing Council, Ezziddin Salim, seems to be an event of the
same chain of antagonism.

The Mongols never experienced a resistance based on suicide missions. Unfortunately, the
neo-Mongols have tasted it. They can complain that they were not aware of the same
before invading Iraq. It seems that they do not still know the concept of the ‘spill over effect’
of the events in Gaza and West Bank. The more the oppression in Palestine, the more is
the depression in Iraq can be found to add fuel to the flames.

The Mongols hardly looked for excuses for the failures or troubles they came across.
However, the neo-Mongols do so. They raise hue and cry on the pro-active involvement of
the foreign elements like Zarqawi. Consequently, the Iraqis have been cordoned off from
one of the neighbours, Syria. It is still to be seen when they will be isolated from another
neighbour, Iran.

The Mongols were not careful about restoration of their impression, once they committed
an ugly act. On the other hand, the neo-Mongols are conscious of this very fact. However,
the confession of Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, on absence of the Weapons of
Mass Destruction (WMD) and apology of Donald Rumsfeld, the US Secretary of Defence,
on prisoner’s maltreatment have so far failed to reverse the damage which has been done.
The former point is related to the legitimacy of the invasion, while the latter point reflects
the true value of the Iraqis in the sight of the invaders. After setting aside the confession
and apology as face-saving, these weak points are enough to incite any opponent to
counter-react. That is what is predictable for the foreseeable future in Iraq.

The Mongols used to abandon an occupied territory at their will. However, for the neo-
Mongols this may not be the situation. After emergence of the ‘Coalition of the non-Willing’,
certain friends from far territories, like Pakistan, have been impelled, somehow, to get
involved. The formula is based on the capitalist school of thought, that is, develop the
collective stakes! To that the next attached formula is: we will prevail together or we will
doom together. For a developed and economically independent country, a set back can be
tolerable but not for a developing and economically dependent country especially to
withstand the internal turmoil if so happens. Above all, if there has emerged a possibility of
finding a permanent friend, simultaneously, there has also emanated a likelihood of
meeting a lasting foe. Wiser are those who make fewer rivals than acquaintances, unlike
the Mongols who survive now just as a relic of history.

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