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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Quick update--the Shi'ite option

This morning's Washington Post follows up on last week's critical stories and reveals that Vice President Cheney's office favors getting behind the Shi'ites and the Kurds at the expense of the Sunnis. The battle, then, is between Cheney and Hadley. The new story did not repeat what the same authors said last week--that the State Department was behind that option. (That always seemed awfully strange to me. Perhaps the source last week didn't want to show the Vice President's hand.) To back the Shi'ites without setting some pretty strict limits on their ambitions, I think, will be disastrous--but it sounds as if the Administration may indeed go that way.

See the much longer post on the Baker-Hamilton report, below.


earl said...

It's passing strange that Darth would support the Shi'ite/Iran option despite explicit instructions from his Saudi masters. Is there a chance that he's betting on better oil supplies from a Persian/Sumerian/Kurdish axis than from the clapped out Saudi fields??

J. said...

I agree - I can't figure out the logic of Iranian Shi'ites bad, Iraqi Shi'ites good; Iraqi Sunnis bad, Saudi Sunnis good; Syrian Sunnis bad, Lebanonese Shi'ites bad. There just is no regional strategy apparent, it's a state-by-state diplomacy action. It can't work, but those smart people in the White House must know something I don't.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the middle east. What the US in general seem to forget is that the Middle East is made out of old City-states, where blood, money and clan-ties are much stronger motivators than religion. Religion is just one of several levels of the local powerstructure. The civil war in Iraq is more the result of internal powerpolitics under Saddam Hussein, who was almost atheistic Sunni, than it is a real religious schisma.

Its the same in Afghanistan: The Taliban-movement we supposedly are fighting are actually a loose band of Pashtuni tribes who have joined together to fight the infidels. Hekmatyar propably doesnt have a religious bone in his body, yet after the failed US assassination attempt he has no problem hanging out with Mullah Omar.