The “Temple” of Ignorance: A Response to Ken Temple on Dhimmis, Jizyah, and Islam, Part III
Originally posted on the Quran and Bible Blog
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
“Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.”
– The Quran, Surah At-Tawba, 9:29
This is Part III of the response to Ken Temple’s poorly researched diatribe about the Islamic concepts of dhimmis and jizyah. Here, we will give a short history lesson to Temple regarding the real reasons for the American-led Gulf War to “liberate” Kuwait from Saddam Hussein. Temple’s shameless promotion of America’s dirty politics is truly sickening, as we will see.
Unveiling the “Temple” of Ignorance: The Gulf War
Regarding the Gulf War, Temple repeated the same drivel we hear from biased western, and in this case, American, sources about the “goodness” of America or the western world in general, and its allies. We are told how the Americans heroicly “liberated” the Kuwaitis (and for sure, that was the feeling even among many Kuwaitis at the time), and then “left” them to enjoy the benefits of their new-found “freedoms” (the reality, of course, is that America has maintained a permanent presence with its military bases and continues to support the absolute monarchy). So let’s look at the facts on the grounds, and sift through the shameless and mindless repetition of the pro-western mantra that people like Temple routinely use.
To fully understand the dirty politics that led to the Gulf War (and also the second Gulf War as well), we need to go back to the late 1950s. As far back as 1959, Saddam Hussein was part of a CIA-sponsored plot to assassinate General Abd al-Karim Qasim, who was a member of the infamous Baath party. The CIA maintained very close ties to the Baath party due to its anti-Communist policies, even while it was attempting to overthrow Qasim, and was instrumental in Saddam’s rise to power.
It is also well-known that Saddam Hussein had American support in his war against Iran (1980-1988). As film director Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick stated in their book The Untold History of the United States:
“[t]he Reagan administration had cozied up to Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, removing Iraq from the State Department list of terrorist states and backing it in its war on Iran. Even Saddam’s use of chemical weapons to crush Kurdish resistance had elicited little protest. Following a clumsy attempt by the United States to pin that crime on Iran, Bush [Sr.] extended an additional $1.2 billion in credits and loans to Saddam while Kuwait demanded that Iraq repay the money it had borrowed to wage war against Iran.”
So not only was Saddam Hussein an ally of the Americans, he was also an ally of the Kuwaitis as well. Both provided financial assistance to give Iraq the upper-hand in the devastating Iran-Iraq war. Not only that, but the Americans provided intelligence, logistics, and satellite imagery to the Iraqi army, even when it was using chemical weapons such as sarin and mustard gas against the Iranians.As for Saddam’s motivation for the invasion of Kuwait, the reasons were two-fold. First, as already stated, after the Iran-Iraq war ended, Kuwait demanded the repayment of money that it had loaned to Iraq. Second, Kuwait manipulated the price of oil, which caused the price to drop, severely hampering Iraq’s ability to pay its debts (which had reached $40 billion by that time). Third, Iraq and Kuwait had been involved in a border dispute ever since Kuwait gained independence from Iraq in 1961.
When Saddam approached the Americans for help in his conflict with Kuwait, he was assured by US ambassador April Glaspie that President Bush (Sr.) wanted good relations with Iraq and “had ‘no opinion’” on the border dispute with Kuwait. Not only that, but the Ambassador plainly stated that Kuwait “had been no friend of the United States”. This kind of double-dealing has sadly been part and parcel of the foreign policies of many western countries.
But the most sickening part of the whole saga was how the war on Iraq was sold to the American public. In one of the most shocking and putrid acts of propaganda ever conducted, the Bush administration, in league with the Kuwaiti royal family, used a 15-year old girl’s testimony to sell the war to “liberate” Kuwait. Her name was “Nayirah”. She was a “nurse” in a hospital in Kuwait and supposedly witnessed Iraqi soldiers barging into the hospital and throwing babies from incubators to the floor, leaving them to die. The “testimony” was hard-hitting and did the job. But it was later discovered that she was lying. Not only that, but she was actually the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US. The Bush administration knowingly used this false propaganda to justify the war! Of course, this doesn’t mean that Saddam Hussein was not a war criminal. The Iraqi occupation of Kuwait would have definitely seen atrocities committed against the Kuwaitis, but if that was the impetus for the Gulf War, then why didn’t the US and its allies attack Saddam when he gassed his own people or when he used chemical weapons against Iran? Why did the Americans condemn one form of war crimes, but look the other way when another form occurred? The reason is simple: they didn’t care about human rights violations, unless it was politically advantageous.The Americans and their allies also handsomely rewarded countries that supported the resolution to bomb Iraq, and severely punished those that didn’t. For example, one of the poorest countries in the Middle East, Yemen, was denied $70 million in aid from the US, while Saudi Arabia expelled 800,000 Yemeni workers.
Even the perceived Iraqi threat of an invasion of Saudi Arabia was based on a pack of lies. It is documented that shortly after the invasion of Kuwait, Dick Cheney (the future vice president), Colin Powell, and Norman Schwarzkopf met with King Fahd and showed him “doctored photos” of thousands of Iraqi troops and tanks along the Saudi border with Kuwait. These photos were exposed as fraudulent by Japanese and American news agencies. In fact, Stone and Kuznick note that “[t]here is no evidence that Saddam ever intended to invade Saudi Arabia.”
These facts make the following deceitful and simplistic assessment of the Gulf War by Temple all the more outrageous:
“[t]he USA in Kuwait was a temporary thing, we helped them rebuilt [sic] their country, allowed freedom of thought, and left. To this day, the Kuwaiti people love George H. W. Bush for getting Saddam out of Kuwait.”
It is hard to put such a ridiculous assessment into words. First, as already mentioned, the USA never “left” Kuwait. In the present day, it maintains at least 8 military bases in the tiny country. Second, there really wasn’t that much “rebuilding” needed. Kuwait is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Third, to say that the USA “allowed freedom of thought” is one of the stupidest things Temple has ever said. Kuwait was and has remained a monarchy before and after the Gulf War. Nothing changed. The Americans did not care about the freedom of the Kuwaitis. They cared only about establishing their domination over the Middle East. In fact, they needed to go to war with Iraq and save the Kuwaiti regime at that point. As Stone and Kuznick explain, New York Times reporter Judith Miller described what was termed the “nightmare scenario” for the US and its allies:
“…an Iraqi withdrawal [from Kuwait] that would leave Saddam in power and his arsenal intact, especially if it were accompanied by calls for elections to determine Kuwait’s future political structure. […] The ruling Sabah family in Kuwait would either be toppled or have its powers sharply constrained. U.S. plans to establish a long-term presence in the Gulf region would be thwarted.”
Spreading “freedom of thought” was not on the list of priorities for the Americans. This is a fact, and no amount of shameless propaganda from the likes of Temple will change that.
Also, perhaps Temple can explain why the USA has continued to support dictators, drug lords, and even terrorists throughout the Middle East and also in Latin America for decades, if it was so interested in “allowing freedom of thought”? I have a feeling he will be unable to provide any reasonable excuse. Such is the way with ignorant pro-western propagandists like him. The list of brutal regimes supported by the USA (see note #16) includes the Shah of Iran (who overthrew the democratically-elected prime minister of Iran), General Augusto Pinochet of Chile (who also overthrew a democratically-elected government), and even the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia!Not only this, but during the Gulf War, US forces actually committed war crimes against the Iraqis as well. Incidents such as the “highway of death”, and the use of depleted uranium were examples of such activities. As Stone and Kuznick explain, depleted uranium’s:
“…radioactivity and chemical toxicity would produce cancers and birth defects for years. Victims may have included U.S. soldiers…”
What makes this even more outrageous and a definite war crime is that depleted uranium was also used in the second war with Iraq (the so-called “Operation Iraqi Freedom”). So while the people of Iraq were freed from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein (even though he was supported by the Americans for 30 years), they had to contend with the health consequences of American military firepower, such as birth defects in infants. One can find many images of horrendous birth defects, but we will not show them here due to their graphic nature (see note #20 for some examples).
So in contrast to the romanticized revisionism of ignorant propagandists like Temple, the reality is that the Gulf War was the result of devious and dirty politics, and not a genuine concern for human rights and freedom.
This concludes the three-part refutation of Ken Temple’s idiocy, incompetent research, and flat-out lies. Temple’s penchant for copy/paste research, using biased and equally incompetent sources shows that he is a propagandist rather than a truth-seeker. His bias against Islam leads him to present information about it from sources that are openly hostile and biased against it. There is no effort at objectivity or fairness. In short, the “Temple” of Ignorance has been shattered and left in ruins, as it should be.
And Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) knows best!
 This is not the first time Temple has spread such propaganda. See here for more examples, and my responses to him, which he ignored: https://bloggingtheology2.com/2019/04/26/islamophobia-trojan-horse-amidst-the-right/comment-page-1/#comment-5805.
 Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick, The Untold History of the United States (New York: Gallery Books, 2012), pp. 473-474.
 Ibid., p. 474.
 Another example is Operation Paperclip, when the United States recruited Nazi scientists in the aftermath of World War II. After fighting the Nazis alongside Stalin, the United States was now using the Nazis to fight the Soviets! Of course, the Soviets were doing the same thing.
 Stone and Kuznick, op. cit., p. 476.
Here is a clip showing the “heartbreaking” testimony of this girl: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmfVs3WaE9Y
 Stone and Kuznick, op. cit., p. 477.
 Ibid., p. 474.
 Stone and Kuznick, op. cit., p. 478.
 Regarding the Khmer Rouge, Nicolas Davies of “Salon” states that:
“[w]hen President Nixon ordered the secret and illegal bombing of Cambodia in 1969, American pilots were ordered to falsify their logs to conceal their crimes. They killed at least half a million Cambodians, dropping more bombs than on Germany and Japan combined in World War II. As the Khmer Rouge gained strength in 1973, the CIA reported that its “propaganda has been most effective among refugees subjected to B-52 strikes.” After the Khmer Rouge killed at least 2 million of its own people and was finally driven out by the Vietnamese army in 1979, the U.S. Kampuchea Emergency Group, based in the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, set out to feed and supply them as the “resistance” to the new Vietnamese-backed Cambodian government. Under U.S. pressure, the World Food Program provided $12 million to feed 20,000 to 40,000 Khmer Rouge soldiers. For at least another decade, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency provided the Khmer Rouge with satellite intelligence, while U.S. and British special forces trained them to lay millions of land mines across Western Cambodia which still kill or maim hundreds of people every year” (Ibid.)
 Stone and Kuznick, op. cit., p. 478.
This atrocity is very similar to the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam (https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/).