I don't believe Americans truly realize the seriousness of the destruction of the golden mosque in Samarra by Sunni Islamic militants. That attack just may have been my own personal turning point in supporting the nation-building phase of the Iraq War.
A bloody backlash to the bombing of a Shia Muslim shrine appears to be pushing Iraq closer to all-out civil war. A day of violent revenge has seen more than 130 people killed and dozens of mosques desecrated. In the worst incident, some 47 people were murdered when militants stopped three buses carrying workers being taken to a brick factory near Baquba.
I supported the use of force against Saddam Hussein and his evil regime and welcomed his downfall. I was proud beyond words of our men and women who helped the Iraqis topple the huge icon of their dictator, Saddam. I rejoiced with many other Americans on that Sunday morning when we learned that the Butcher of Baghdad was captured by our boys as he hid in that dirty spider hole.
However, after all the work helping -- and paying for -- the rebuilding of Iraq; after all the Americans killed in attempts to secure Iraqi neighborhoods from terrorists and violent insurgents; after hearing so many Iraqis griping day in and day out about an American occupation (parroting verbatim the attacks of the American and European left), perhaps it's time to say to these ingrates: "Keep it up and we're going to pack up and leave. Period."
The damaged mosque in Samarra may well be a symbol of the disintegration of Iraq as a nation-state. Perhaps they will decide to split the country into three parts -- Sunni, Shiite and Kurd. Perhaps that is the only solution. Perhaps not. It would send a signal to Iraq's neighbors that the time has come to gobble up the war torn fledgling nation.
Should that occur, the Turks would eventually take Kurdistan as theirs, the Iranians will take the Shiite section, and most probably the Syrians -- ruled by the Sunni-dominated Ba'ath Party -- will confiscate the Sunni territory. Perhaps that is the answer. Perhaps not.
I know, based on my own heritage as an Arab, that these people are not capable of sustaining a democracy. That's right. I'm saying it. They have neither the disposition or the wherewithal to sustain a modern democracy. They live in the 12th Century while existing in a 21st Century world. In the 12th Century, even the British and French were unprepared for democracy. My grandfather, an Arab, knew in 1917 that life in the Middle East was a one-way ticket to nowhere. He came to America with nothing and thanked God for it.
The Shi'ites, of course, blame the Sunnis for the destruction of the golden mosque in Samarra last Wednesday. The sectarian violence that has followed is seriously jeopardizing the chances of forming a government of national unity.
Iraq's main Sunni Muslim bloc has already pulled out of negotiations, blaming the ruling Shi'ite alliance. The Iraqi government -- dominated by Shiite Muslims -- has canceled all Army leave and imposed a daytime curfew in Baghdad and other provinces.
Meanwhile, many Americans who supported the invasion of Iraq are becoming disillusioned. I'm not talking about the liberal-left. If they did not control the mass media, they would be irrelevant and insignificant. By Americans, I mean the men and women who love this country; who would die for this country; who believe in God, Country and Family. It is these folks -- the real Americans -- who are becoming disillusioned.
They see strife in a nation that should be rejoicing at the chance to start over. Iraq is being blessed with a second chance. And it is America and our allies who are providing that second chance with blood, sweat and tears.
Those becoming disillusioned see violence and death because some idiot cartoonist drew a picture of Muhammad wearing a bomb atop his head. They see a people -- the Palestinians -- given the opportunity to form a democratically elected government, and those people use their votes to empower a group of terrorists and thugs.
They sit openmouthed in front of their TV sets watching and listening to a group of international thugs and despots using the United Nations to sully the name of the United States of America. They hear of a former Vice President standing before a room full of oppressors in Saudi Arabia denigrating the United States and its Commander-in-Chief.
And why? Just so that a nation of religious Neanderthals can have a new democratically elected government in a spanking new nation -- Iraq. And the Iraqis spit in our collective eye. They call us occupiers, but plead for us to remain. This is madness. Madness.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.