Iraq Violence - A Logical Approach to Finding Peace, an Ummah - A

The nightmare activities in Iraq has seemed to all the leaders in America to be beyond solution. President Bush seems incapable of understanding any concept other than "stay the course" and he may be the only person still in America who thinks we could really win in Iraq. He still speaks of creating a democratic government and society there, which seems to show total lack of understanding of reality.

The Iraq Study Group recently (12/06) released its conclusions regarding trying to lessen the losses we face in Iraq, conceding that there is really no possibility that we could ever "win" in the sense of any of the claims initially claimed as being the reasons for invading Iraq.

But their findings were immediately ignored by President Bush, even though they were generally quite logical at accomplishing what they desired. But their goals and expectations were necessarily limited to start with, because they needed to provide conclusions that the Bush administration might consider acceptable to actually implement, regarding their long held attitudes.

This concept is not limited by that restriction, as I see no reason to have to please President Bush. My two desires are to return as many American Military Personnel home alive and uninjured, and to give Iraq a valid chance of avoiding complete chaos in a massive civil war.

I note the ironic detail that such a civil war and wild insurrection could never have even started except for the United States invading and removing a very vicious but very effective government. No civil war, or even significant sectarian unrest, could have happened due to the extreme repressiveness of the Saddam regime prior to the war we started.

This presentation was first placed on the Internet in September 2006.

This proposal can and should be instituted immediately. It is centered on the Muslim leaders of different Iraqi groups centering their awareness on the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and ONLY acting to please the Prophet and Allah (PBUT). If those leaders see that they MUST act in ways that are in accordance to what the Prophet certainly requires, THEY will find solutions to their many disagreements.

I believe that this concept has at least a 50-50 chance of complete success, of an entire cessation of all of the incredible sectarian violence that is now Baghdad and Iraq. There are a number of very important aspects of this plan, which will each be briefly outlined here.

  1. Preamble: Nothing associated with America would or could have any involvement in these proceedings, including the existing government which was set up by Americans and which is seen by many Iraqis as a puppet government to the Americans. Mr. Zbigniew Brzezinski (12/15/06) expressed a relatively similar concept on the Charlie Rose Show, but not quite as focused as this one is.

    The 30 participants described below, of an Ummah meeting, and their leaders, need to know ahead of time that there are only two possible outcomes of their efforts;

  2. Americans cannot participate in any way. Not in the slightest way, of even being in the vicinity. Security personnel must NOT be American, they might be Chinese or any non-Muslim society. It must be recognized by all Iraqis that whatever might be achieved would occur entirely and completely by Iraqis themselves, and that no specific sectarian group had any advantage or disadvantage during these efforts.

  3. A very secure facility is needed, such as Abu Greib if it is currently vacant. A remote hotel in a desolate region might even be better. However, it must not be a 4-star hotel. And it cannot be in a neighborhood where any outside influences or communications were possible. It should be the equivalent of a 2-star hotel, not excessively comfortable, such that the participants would have personal incentive to get their work done. I might suggest Medina in Saudi Arabia as a reasonable possibility. I do not think that either Jerusalem or Mecca would be suitable for this effort, except if the meetings were to be actually held in the Kaaba.

  4. Several hundred vetted Swiss workers, or the equivalent, absolutely impartial hotel, food service and medical personnel are needed as support workers. Including Medical personnel. NO entertainment, communications, or conventional staff workers of any of the participants would be permitted.

  5. An Ummah would be formed. Ten Sunnis would be selected, and ten Shias and ten Kurds, by each of their own leaders, by whatever method they wished, whether election, appointment or assignment. It seems like it would make sense that Sistani would choose around 5 of the Shias and al-Sadr maybe choose three others. Similarly for the other groups, where tribal leaders and other recognized leaders selected the participants. This would result in a group of individuals who were not necessarily "representative" but able to intimately represent important leaders. This would represent an Umma in the Tradition of Muhammad (PBUH).

    If some aspects of agreement were achieved, it is critically important that each of those participants could then fully inform their respective leaders, and that each leader would then publicly speak to his own followers regarding complying with the agreed to issues.

  6. This means there would be a total of 30 people inside a meeting room. There would be 32 chairs set up for them, in a discussion circle. There would be three groupings of ten chairs each, each grouping in a quadrant of the discussion circle. In the fourth quadrant, the two chairs would be bigger or better than the others, and/or raised up on a raised platform, while all the rest were identical in every way. No one would ever be allowed to sit in those two chairs that are more elegant. All participants would be informed that those chairs were for Abraham and Allah (PBUT) to personally participate, so that they could intimately witness the discussions that would occur. All participants would then constantly be aware that both Allah and Abraham (PBUT) were intimately involved in the process of trying to save their country from disintegration.

    At any time when conversation changed to argument or confrontation, someone present would remind everyone there of the chairs providing the presence of Abraham and Allah (PBUT), and ask if they wanted Allah and Abraham (PBUT) to be witnessing such behaviors.

  7. The different groups would likely choose to sit together, and there would be a pattern of rotation so that each group and each individual would have equal opportunity to sit in a chair nearest to Allah or Abraham (PBUT).

  8. The room would have another feature in it, a squarish blanket on the floor in front of all the chairs, with a substantial (150 kg or 330 pound) smooth roundish dark stone resting upon the middle of it.

    Somewhere around 590 AD, the very young Muhammad (PBUH) was present in Mecca as four very important tribe leaders argued over which had the right to carry the Black Stone to replace it in the wall of the Kaaba. Since that stone and the Kaaba were centrally important, both socially and religiously, to each of them, it seemed that a tribal war could develop over the argument over who would carry it. Muslim Tradition says that young Muhammad (PBUH) spoke up and suggested that they get a strong cloth, place the Black Stone upon it, and then all four could lift corners of the cloth, permitting them all to equally carry it. This incident is considered to have tremendously increased Muhammad's (PBUH) stature as a diplomat, and from then on, he was regularly consulted about important subjects.

    The presence of this blanket and large stone in such an obvious and central location in the discussion circle would constantly remind all about this story that they each very intimately know where Muhammad (PBUH) had found a way to resolve an apparently insoluble conflict. In this case, three of the corners of the blanket would be in front of the three groups, Shias, Sunnis and Kurds. The fourth corner is to indicate that Allah and Abraham (PBUT) will participate by carrying the fourth corner if the three groups can each find some way of carrying theirs.

    The power of this image to Muslims is indescribable. WHILE these discussions proceeded, if the Iraqi newspapers regularly published artwork demonstrating what their leaders were then doing, all Iraqis would immediately get a sense that they were certain to succeed! That it was just a matter of a few days and all the sectarian violence would end. That their individual lives would IMMEDIATELY get far safer and happier!

    The presence of that blanket and stone would also ensure that every participant would attempt to participate in finding solutions. NONE would want to be known as one that denied carrying their corner of the blanket, either to the Iraqi public or to Muhammad, nor to Allah nor Abraham. (PBUT)

  9. There would be extreme security around the facility, where no one could bring in any weapon of any sort, and those 30 people would be quarantined until they eventually came to some agreement as to what to do with their country. The participants would NOT be allowed to have attendants or handlers, except for the impartial and disinterested Swiss personnel.

  10. There would be NO "rules" and no contact of any kind with Americans or with anyone else outside the facility. If there were any messages of any sort that needed to be sent out of the facility, the (neutral) Swiss handlers would carry a message to the desired destination. NO significant contact with ANYONE outside until all of the participant groups and individuals agreed that it was time that they each needed to discuss possibilities with their own specific leaders and peoples.

  11. All people inside the facility would not be aware of anything going on outside, under any conditions. They must be free to negotiate as broadly as possible. That means that no telephones, radios, Internet or TVs.

  12. In the situation where one of the participants was acting or speaking in ways that were detrimental to the success of the effort, at least fifteen participants would have to agree to sign a document, which would be taken by the Swiss personnel to the leader of that individual. That leader would then have the opportunity to either retain that individual, replace him, or ask for further explanation from the participants. The outside world would never know about such situations.

  13. Once the participants all agree that it was time to contact their superiors, the Swiss would provide secure phone or messenger service for them to individually contact their superiors confidentially.

  14. In this event, once all of the superiors have agreed to whatever decisions they came to, there would be multiple simultaneous press conferences, by each group and by each faction leader, all confirming that they came to agreements that they all accept.

    This should provide direct instructions from each leader that no further sectarian killing or other bloodshed would be encouraged or tolerated.

    As part of this aspect, the participants might agree to allow different forms of government to exist in different areas.

  15. At this point, the American government and the American troops would be given instructions, by either the assembled participants or by the several outside leaders, either to stay or to leave, or to go to specific areas or to leave specific areas alone. There will be no recourse on this. Whatever was decided would have to be fulfilled.

  16. Each faction of the country, and each individual, would then be informed, over following days, of all the decisions and how they would affect that group, both good and bad, and also why that decision was agreed to. There must be NO uncertainty on the part of any group regarding whatever this group decides.

  17. The 30 participants might then meet for an additional time, now for a very symbolic reason. In a gesture of cooperation and celebration, they might meet to actually raise that blanket and carry that stone! To do this, an additional gesture of cooperation would be involved. Of the ten participants from each group, three would be selected from each group, and that group of nine MIXED participants would be given the honor of carrying the fourth corner, in the place of Abraham and Allah. (PBUT)

  18. The different parts of the country could adopt different or same laws, with the only requirement being that there be peace and safety in each area for all Iraqis, and that anyone living in that area knows what laws apply there. In that way, if a person does not like sharia law that might be adopted in one Province, he could move to a different Province.

  19. Regarding this, once these agreements are made, and accepted by each of the Iraqi leaders and the Iraqi public, a provision must be added that changes to the laws could only happen at one-year or two-year intervals, such that residents can reasonably expect to know whatever laws will be enforced in that Province.

  20. The 30 individuals, or their assignees, must then agree to meet on an annual basis, to review how things have gone and whether any adjustments might need to be made. This grouping is to forever be "informal", NOT as a bureaucratic government, but essentially just representing the views and positions of the specific leaders of the country.

  21. The resulting structure may or may not be "democratic" but it would provide the best chance of daily safety for all Iraqis. The thirty participants, with guidance from their leaders, would collectively and individually make requests regarding the American soldiers, and the US must then comply with whatever requests are made of them.

  22. In the event that the 30 participants could not arrive at mutually agreeable conclusions, they would each be then permitted to leave to personally visit with their own leaders. The leaders could then issue statements regarding whether another set of talks might be more productive. If not, then full civil war would seem a certainty. If a second round of discussions were agreed to by all, another chance of saving their country might still be possible.

Link to a A Logical Approach to Ending the Iraq War and Violence, an Ummah Computer Translated Arabic

( iraqwara.htm )

This concept is based on the view that if the respected leaders of all of the different factions in Iraq all find cause to support whatever they agree to, they would be the only realistic locus of power where common Iraqis would follow.

It is also based on the concept that all the leaders of all the factions now have a clear recognition that truly a horrible future awaits Iraq if they are unsuccessful at achieving agreements. If any one of the leaders chose to disavow this fact, a civil war is probably unavoidable, and the continuing existence of their own power-base might easily disappear in the process. Therefore, the various leaders currently should have excellent motivation to supply suitable participants for this effort. It is therefore felt that a rather high chance of full success is achievable.

Each of these outlined sections has fairly clear expansion toward actual functional systems and methods.

I also realize that the news media will be picking this apart to no end. If the sum total of what they have to work on is "Abraham", the "Lord of Abraham", and three groups of men who all would not dare offend either of them, my thought is that even the media, whether in English or Arabic, should not be able to find many "skeletons in the closet". So if news media coverage of this effort all came across as "pure", where no one could find any "selfish motives" anywhere, and ALL could only find Devout motivations, I am hoping for much value to actually even bypass the meeting itself and go directly to both the Iraqi populace AND Muslims around the world.

I am essentially trying to point out to them that Muhammad "found a relatively simple solution to an impossible problem" regarding carrying the Black Stone, and then CHALLENGING them to see if they can do the same!

From maybe twelve different subtle ways, I am trying to create an environment where none of the participants would dare fail. THEY would know that the Iraqi public would have thought through "Muhammad did a similar thing. Our leaders are smart and we respect them, and they are Devoutly Muslim. In their meeting, they will even have the direct assistance of both Abraham and Allah. How could they fail us now?"

If you were to be a participant in such a meeting, wouldn't YOU be extremely aware that you didn't dare let Abraham down, especially since he is RIGHT THERE. You also didn't dare let Allah down. You didn't even dare let the Iraqi people down! And if it should turn out that such a meeting failed, it would surely be quickly known WHO was the obstacle, and you would NOT want to be known as the one person who caused your country to then disintegrate!

This presentation was first developed in late October 2006, and placed on the Internet in early January 2007. Numerous attempts were made, by postal letters and e-mail, to get several dozen influential (American) political leaders to at least consider this concept, but none ever even responded to me.

In order to apply this concept, it would ultimately be necessary to get it to the Iraqi people and their leaders, and it should NOT seem to have any tinges of America associated with it. Therefore, this specific presentation, in words, would seem to have limited value.

Instead, I see it as very valuable to assemble a short (30-second to one minute) videotape presentation, where 9 or 12 (or 30) individuals would walk in a room which had the chairs already arranged in the discussion circle, as well as the blanket and stone in the center. There would be NO script at all, as none of the individuals would say anything in this videotape. They would simply bring flowers, and pause momentarily before the chairs of Abraham and Allah and respectfully place their flowers near those chairs, and then take their seats.

There would be a voice-over which described the action. For the initial American audience, that voice-over would be in English, but the critical second version would be identical except with the voice-over in Arabic.

That videotape would be provided to al-Jazeera television as well as all major Iraqi newspapers. The rest would then be up to the Iraqis, although some individual such as Kofi Annan might offer to make the arrangements to locate and set up a suitable meeting site.

This would then require 9 or 12 or 30 actors who would not have any speaking roles. My thought was that the Political Science students from some University might be offered some extra credit if they did some research regarding the exact appearance that Sunni, Shia or Kurdish leaders might wear for such an occasion and to then make such clothing to wear. The students should also study how each leader might most respectfully walk and act, regarding the idea of being in the presence of their Lord. This is in parallel to the thought that Christians would similarly act quite differently if they believed that Jesus Himself was to be Present where they were to meet.

If the actors/students could make a credible presentation of how each participant might act honorably and respectfully, Muslim viewers of that videotape might accept it as a potentially useful concept.

From there it would be up to the Iraqis.

This entire concept is based on a process that I developed for our Church in 1996 for counseling regarding marital disputes and disputes between neighbors. The following is a reasonable description of that earlier process.

Beginning in 1996, our Church has used a rather unique method for discussing marital disputes and those between neighbors. We prepare an office with four chairs, the standard one behind the desk and three others. Two are rather generic, and usually folding chairs, which are placed about 5 feet apart and we place a "privacy screen" (a portable partition) between those two chairs. In front of both chairs, around ten feet away, we place an upholstered chair (from a living room). The husband and wife are greeted and then asked to sit on the folding chairs, where they cannot see each other but can only hear each other. I usually note that we are in a Church, which is a House of the Lord, so I think it is then reasonable when I tell them that the Lord Jesus has been Invited to sit in the upholstered chair in front of both of them, such that He might help in resolving their issues. I ask them to never speak to each other but only to the Lord Jesus. Once this is understood, I then ask each of them, in turn, to describe to Jesus what the situation is. It is amazing how polite and pleasant people are when they are speaking to a chair in which the Lord Jesus is Sitting! There are virtually never any harsh words or anger in any comments, but instead quite carefully chosen and concise and clear descriptions of how each sees the situation. My function is in principle as a "referee" in case anyone would ever say anything that might not be appropriate in front of the Lord, but that never yet happened! My other function is to ask very simple questions, specifically "Please describe to the Lord the current situation", "Please describe to the Lord what changes you think would improve your situation" and "Please describe to the Lord what changes you are willing to make toward improving the situation" (in that order).

It has been astounding at how effective this has been! There are NO harsh words or nasty comments, and I have only rarely had to even say "Ummm" when someone started to say something that might not fully be respectful.

This is in contrast to the usual "evil looks" at each other, the accusations, the anger, and the rest that generally exist in a confrontational atmosphere of standard marital counseling sessions. And that "standard" approach rarely has the two leaving in much better mood or attitude than they came in, each often just wanting to have a chance to "vent" at the other!

There is no comparison between the two! Some couples leave arm-in-arm! I am not aware of any other Church that uses this approach, but I think they certainly should!

It is probably obvious how I morphed that into the Iraq solution concept, only now having two chairs for the Lord and Abraham, and not currently seeing any reason to provide "privacy screens" between the sects. That could always be added if desired.

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