Liberation of Mosul: Resistance Will Never Shake Hands with the Devil
According to the Iraqi state TV, some nine months into the invasion of Mosul, the ISIL collapsed in the city after the army regained control of al-Nuri Grand Mosque where its ringleader Ibrahim al-Samarrai, also known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, proclaimed himself the so-called caliphate shortly after the flashpoint city fell to terrorists in June 2014 and became their de facto capital in Iraq.
The Iraqi government now says it has liberated the entire flashpoint city – despite some sporadic clashes in nearby areas. According to the defense ministry, “no region in Mosul is under the ISIL terrorists’ control,” even though the Takfiri group has some territory and a substantial presence across Iraq as an insurgency with wicked acts, stemming from a distorted interpretation of a great religion.
They might even plan and commit terrorist acts again, because they will never learn that theirs is a lost cause. The people of Iraq, the army and the resistance front, however, will undoubtedly continue to withstand further assaults in the future. If one thing is clear, it is that terrorists cannot defeat Iraq’s new-found democracy and national brand:
It was around the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that Iraqi officials were saying their goal was to recover the al-Nuri Grand Mosque by the month’s end, saying it would be a huge symbolic victory, and proof of ISIL’s downfall. The Iraqi military finally recovered the area around the mosque. This is a decisive victory, and indeed “the end of ISIL in Iraq” as Prime Minister Hayder Abadi famously put it after liberation.
By liberating the city from terrorists, the Iraqi government set an important and powerful example of the sanctity of life and the rule of law: a symbol of what Islam really stands for, not what some evil-doers would like to pretend it is about. The Takfiri group of ISIL, with a perverted religious agenda, is the rebuttal. By destroying the al-Nuri Grand Mosque, a place of worship, it proved beyond any doubt that terrorism has no religion.
A reminder that the US government cannot and should never be allowed to exploit the ISIL war opportunity to advance its xenophobic and Islamophobic agenda in the United States and beyond. This is particularly important as President Donald Trump’s disgraceful and discriminator Muslim ban, which was partially reinstated by the Supreme Court earlier this week, has just gone into effect.
Under the law, only those who could demonstrate a “bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States” would be allowed entry. According to the US government, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nephews and nieces are not considered to be “bona fide” relations! This has created much uncertainty for Muslims and others seeking to travel to the United States from the six countries – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – covered by the revised travel ban that Trump issued in March.
This extremely restrictive law does not comfort with International Law and International Humanitarian Law. It is arbitrary and racist, and certainly not tied to any legitimate anti-terrorism purpose worldwide. It remains clear that the authoritarian purpose is to discriminate, disparage and condemn Muslims, slamming the door shut on so many who have waited for months or years to be reunited with their families.
Which leads us to the question of what is the Trump White House really up to? There are a few potential scenarios. Trump likes to portray Muslims as terrorists, dangerous, bloodthirsty criminals. He is fond of casting them as threats to national security. He’s also fond of depicting those who fight terrorism in Iraq and Syria as threats to America’s regional interests. Going after Muslims on US soil or imposing sanctions on Iran, Syria and Russia fits into his worldview.
Trump has other, more extreme foreign policy proposals up his sleeve as well. As a candidate he proposed ending America’s endless war on Islam. Now he is sending even more troops to Syria all while delegating decision-making powers on US commanders to shoot down Syrian jets and target pro-Iran volunteer forces along the Syrian-Iraqi border. The whole idea is to prolong the war and justify America’s military presence and occupation.
The problem is, neither Iraq nor Syria nor their allies are willing to stomach Trump’s fundamentally flawed strategic formula and grandiose assumptions. The allied forces have just liberated the city of Mosul from ISIL, and there is no reason to think they will stop there. The first of these surely is that they don’t want American troops and Pentagon generals everywhere, using Iraq and Syria as testing ground for bombs; the second, they are capable of defeating the devil; and the third, they can secure civilian populations and facilitate a stable, representative government in both Iraq and Syria.
And keep in mind that the striking rise in the number of civilian casualties caused by US airstrikes suggests that the US presence is hardly welcomed anywhere. One look at US military attempts at the folly of fighting terror, nation-building or post-conflict stabilization and pacification in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Afghanistan should settle the issue. They never pass the logical fallacy test.