January 10, 2014
Obama and the Sunni-Shiite War : The U.S. tilt to Iran is upsetting allies and disrupting the Middle East. (Fouad Ajami, 1/10/14, WSJ)
[B]y deeds of commission and omission, the U.S. is caught up in a deadly sectarian struggle between Shiite Iran and its "sister republics" in the Arab world on one side, and the Sunni order of Arab power on the other. Mastery of the arcane details of the Shiite-Sunni schism may not be an American specialty, but over the last two years this president and his advisers have placed the U.S. on the side of Iran and its Arab satraps in Lebanon and, now, Iraq.Iran planned and prepared for this fight. Its role in Lebanon dates to the early 1980s, when the regime of Ayatollah Khomeini found fertile soil among the Shiites of that country. Iran formed the Hezbollah militia in the country's south and in the Bekaa Valley to the east. Hezbollah fighters, newly urbanized young men in search of financial patronage and a sense of mission, came to think of themselves as soldiers in Khomeini's a Shiite notion involving ordained supremacy. The Sunnis had their Arab nationalism and ties to the Arabs of Egypt and the Gulf; the Christians had their sense of Lebanese identity and their ease with the West. With Iran at the head, this was the Shiites' opportunity to conquer their self-contempt and sense of isolation.
When W decided to remove the Sunni boot from the Shi'a neck in Iraq and call for the sort of self-determination that empowered Hezbollah in Lebanon it was all over for our former Sunni "allies." Now it's just a matter of counting the days. It's democrats vs authoritarians and we all know how that always ends.
Posted by Orrin Judd at January 10, 2014 6:07 PM