About That Can Of Worms, The Middle East
The Middle East is a real can of worms. Imagine trying to keep track of one or two of those worms as they craw through each other. One can imagine breaking the can down by political borders. The top 30% of the can is Saudi Arabia. The next 20% is Iran. Another 10% is Egypt, and so on. Each layer has its own political leaders, but they do not really represent “areas” so much as religions.
Iran is predominantly Shiite and is ruled by Shiite leaders. Syria is also led by Shiites. However, the country is 71% Sunni. Russia is allied with the Shiite leadership. Lebanon is hard to breakdown by religion because they have not been counted since the early 1930s. The reality of Lebanon is that its last president and is alleged to have been killed by Syria, with or without help by the Hezbolah (Shiite terrorists).
Iraq, like Iran, is predominantly Shia Muslim. Iraq was ruled by a Sunni minority, but now has a Shiite president. They have been strangely quiet in the Syrian uprising.
The Saudis, the United Arab Emirate, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, and Qatar, are ruled by Sunnis and are (or were) allied somewhat with us. There is one notable problem here. Al Qaeda is also Sunni. While we are at it, Afghanistan is 80% Sunni.
We try to ally ourselves with the Sunni led, oil rich countries who are opposed to the Shiite led countries. So the countries of Syria, Iran, see the US as its enemies. The problem is that so do a lot of our “allies.” Remember, al Qaeda is Sunni and so is the Taliban. A lot of the unrest or so called “Arab Spring” is caused by the Sunni oppression of the Shiite population and or simply the greed of their own 1%.
Now, enter the United States, who stands out like a sore thumb for many reasons, and what we do is apply a unifying force that unites Shiite Muslims and a large number of Sunni Muslims in their hatred for us. The best thing we could do is to simply get the hell out of there. The only REAL support we have over there is Israel, for which we pay dearly and the pun is intended. I believe we are primarily “friends” with the Saudis because it is economically expedient for THEM. We are, after all, their largest cash cow.
But, what about this Syrian thing? As I said before, Syria is ruled by Shiite Muslims. Their seventy percent Sunni population is revolting. Should we help the Sunni Syrians. The enemy of my enemy (Shiite Syrians) is my friend. Well, not really, If the Sunni Syrians are also anti American, we are simply helping the Sunnis who are aligned with al Qaeda OR the Taliban. As I said earlier, it is a can of worms. The bigger problem is that the population of the area is more allied along the line of religious beliefs than they are by whatever their passport says they are. Whatever is felt by a religious group in one country is felt by their religious brothers and sisters in all the other countries.
That places Iraq in Iran’s camp and threatens to explode sectarian violence throughout the Middle East. This would bring down the entire Persian Gulf. Do we really want to be in the middle of that? This could well be a Humpty Dumpty that we cannot fix. I just hope it is not too late to get out. The one toe we have in that great doorway to the Middle East is Turkey. Not pretty