Friday, April 20, 2007

Shi’ite vs. Sunni?

From Conn Hallinan at Foreign Policy In Focus

In its campaign to divide and conquer, according to journalist Seymour Hersh, the Bush administration has ended up bolstering “Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.” Hersh quotes Martin Indyk, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, as saying, “The Middle East is heading into a serious Sunni-Shiite cold war. The White House is not just doubling the bet in Iraq; it’s doubling the bet across the region. This could get very complicated.” “Blowback” has already happened. As Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations wrote in The New York Times, “Who cannot remember that to contain the so-called ‘Shiite Crescent’ after the 1979 revolution, the extremism of the fundamentalist Salafi movement was nourished by the West—only to transform into Al-Qaeda and the Taliban? Why should the same policy in the same region procure any different results now?”

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