Back to Homepage
Font Size : 12 point 14 point 16 point 18 point
:: Issues > Iraq
US to shore up support for Sunnis
The idea of a struggle between good and evil has become an even more inappropriate way to look at the Middle East: The visits highlight the administration’s longer-term strategy to build a broad alliance of Sunni Muslim states to offset Tehran’s growing regional
Share with Facebook Facebook Share with Digg Digg Add to Yahoo bookmars Yahoo
Share with Delicious Share with reddit reddit Add to StumbleUpon bookmarks StumbleUpon
Share with Mixx Mixx Add bookmark to Google Google Bookmark and Share
Friday, November 24,2006 00:00
by WSJ
The idea of a struggle between good and evil has become an even more inappropriate way to look at the Middle East:

The visits highlight the administration’s longer-term strategy to build a broad alliance of Sunni Muslim states to offset Tehran’s growing regional ambitions. Since the spring, the U.S. has sought to increase cooperation between traditional Arab allies like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, including developing joint maritime patrols and a regional missile-defense shield for these countries.
The man most antithetical to the regional ambitions of Iran is to be hanged in the Spring (unless he can keep the appeal process alive past his seventieth birthday on April 28, as septuagenarians cannot be hanged under Iraqi law). The US now wants to protect the Baathist remnants from Shia militias that have infiltrated the Iraqi security forces and are likely being aided by Iran. They were once the bad guys, who’d oppressed the Shia majority in the south and the Kurds in the north. They also oversaw the deaths of over half a million Iranians in the Iran-Iraq War. Now the Sunnis are valuable in that they must serve as a counterweight to Iranian influence in the region. Of course, they’d been serving that function prior to the US-led invasion in 2003. Now, the threat of a regional Shia ’alliance’ extending from the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean Sea has the Bush administration trying shore up support from the rest of the Sunni-dominated Islamic world to the south and west to counter that alliance (although the Assad’s Alawite regime in Syria isn’t a natural ally of a Shia dominated Iraq and Iran).

Excepting Saddam, Israel is the big loser in the Shia ascension and civil warring occurring in Iraq:

Arab diplomats from ally countries are pushing Washington to be much more assertive in promoting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
The promotion of peace that these Arab governments are angling for is not one in which Israel forces out its own Palestinian population, takes Jerusalem, and extends the tremendously effective security fence around Israel’s entire land perimeter. They want the peace that is turning over the Gaza Strip and West Bank to a Hamas-led government that is complicit in the continual rocket fire into Israel that comes from these new acquisitions and a free flow of Palestinians into Israel.

Sunni leaders plan to try and condition any agreement with the US toward Iran and Iraq with a pledge by the US to stop actively promoting democracy in the region:

They are also expected to advise the White House to scale back efforts to promote democracy in the region, arguing that they could lead to more extremism.
Self-determination in the Islamic world is exactly what we don’t want. Islam isn’t compatible with democracy or the Occident. The continuation of such quixoticism might land us with an Egypt under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood, an overthrow of the House of Sa’ad and uprisings in the kingdom’s resource rich east where Shiites are in the majority, increased control of Lebanon by Hezbollah politicians, and the general empowerement of the Arab street, which is more hostile toward the US and Israel than its current governments are. By dropping such a dangerous agenda, we might also be able to get more cooperation from Syria, which is majority Sunni but ruled by the Assad family, which is quasi-Shia.

These Sunni leaders also oppose the neoconservative approach toward peace in the region which argues that peace can only "be achieved through the removal of dictatorial regimes such as Saddam Hussein’s..." If we’d rolled into Baghdad in a matter of weeks, demolished the Baathists and most of Baghdad, captured and killed Saddam and his sons, and then exited Iraq and left it in a state of chaos, we might have at least been able to sufficiently scare other Middle Eastern governments into cracking down brutally on Al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations with the promise that if they refused, they’d be next. Seeing the US stuck in the miasma that is Iraq, unable to quell the increasing ethnic violence taking place there and despised internationally for having gotten itself involved, the threat that scared Qaddafi in Libya has dissipated.

Alan Jackson must really be confused now. I’m at a loss as to what should be done next, and hate trying to speculate because I realize how complicated the situation is and how uninformed I am, but do so anyway.

Facilitating partition seems much better than carrying on about some sort of unified Iraq, but why al Maliki would want to share any of the oil wealth with the the Sunnis or why the Mahdi militias would let him is beyond me. Cutting our losses and drawing down while pouring the money saved into a Manhattan Project-like effort to obselesce oil strikes me as the best way to go. Let Israel do what it needs to do to secure itself and stop clammoring for ’peace’ with the Palestinians. Let the Israelis take care of Iranian ambitions if they want. If we got out of the Middle East and became independent of Middle Eastern oil, then Israeli nuclear threats against Iran would be something we could afford to acquiesce to.

Posted in Iraq  
Related Articles