Quote Of The Day: Riyahda-yada-yada Edition
-- Ralph Peters
Peters' advice to put a stop to the Faud dysfunctional dynasty's ongoing efforts to push us around is the obvious conclusion of his larger argument: We are not in a war against Islam. Israel is not the target. Nor are we. We are simply players in a larger, unstoppable war between Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims.
The question isn't "How can we stop it?" We can't. Even delaying the confrontation may come at too high a price. The right question is "How do we make sure we're on the winning side?"Peters is putting his money on the Shia -- there are more of them, they are more dynamic and they're more than eager to attack the Sunnis who have subjugated them for centuries. Does that mean siding with ... gulp! ... Iran? Not necessarily.
Equating "Shia" with "Iran," then writing off the Shia option would be strategic idiocy (in other words, business as usual). Instead, we need to ask ourselves how we can wean the region's Shia - including restive young Iranians - from Tehran's breast.Then we support an Iraqi Shi'ite like al Sadr? Or other Shia who could easily turn to Iran, which is supplying sophisticated weaponry (explosive-formed penetrators) to kill our soldiers?
Peters' point isn't that it's going to be easy; it's that the war is going to come, and if we're supporting Sunnis like the Saudis and the Sunni militia in Iraq, then we're going to be on the wrong side of history.
Our position as the sanest country on earth is really pretty simple: We try to get them not to fill the oceans with blood by battling each other (it's the moral thing to do), but if they do let loose (and us asking them not to might just support the fighters, not the peace-makers), we stand back and let them wallup away.
Our role then is to take care of the injured and displaced, to protect the flow of oil no matter who's controlling the fields, and get ourselves into position to bring about, and benefit from, peace.
Do read Peters' essay. It's probably the most important punditry out there today.
Hat-tip: Real Clear Politics
Related Tags: Foreign relations, War in Iraq, Islam, Sunni, Shia, Saudi Arabia