The War in One Minute
The violence in Iraq is not a civil war. It is a proxy war in which Iran and Saudi Arabia/Eygpt are wrestling for control of the Persian Gulf and the hearts and minds of the region’s Muslims.
I never thought I’d say it, but in this war, the Saudis are our friends.
A quick and dirty timeline:
• 1979 -- Establishment of Islamic Republic in Iran is a big win for the Shia and big loss for Sunnis in a zero-sum game for Muslim preeminence.
• 1980/now – Wahhabi/Salafist Sunnis step up mosque construction program and propagation of the faith to counter Shia ascendancy.
• 1979/89 -- Saudi royal family attempts to curry favor with United States and kill off pesky Wahhabi/Salafist extremists by encouraging holy war against Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
• 1980s/2000s – Sunnis and Shia mount history’s most violent PR campaign to win hearts and minds throughout the Middle East. Sunni Hamas blows up Israeli civilians. Shi’ite Hezbollah blows up Israeli children and U.S. Marines.
• 1982 – Iraqi socialist dictator, Saddam Hussein, invades Persia in ongoing bid for pan-Arab leadership. Iran “wins.”
• 1990 – Iraqi socialist dictator, Saddam Hussein, invades Kuwait and threatens Saudi Arabia in ongoing bid for pan-Arab leadership. All Muslims agree Saddam is a nuisance.
• 2002 – Sunni Taliban defeated in weeks by U.S. forces. Sectarian government in Kabul relieves pressure on Shia Iran.
• 2003 – Iraqi socialist dictator, Saddam Hussein’s regime defeated by U.S. forces in days. Sectarian government in Baghdad relieves additional pressure on Shia Iran.
• 2004/now – Shia Iran encourages instability in Iraq to tie down the United States and establish Shia client state. Shia Hezbollah attacks Israel to solidify leadership for rivalry to liberate al Quds. Hamas and Fatah, backed by Iran and Saudi Arabia respectively, extend the proxy war to the West Bank and Gaza and fight each other to the death.
• 2005 – Iran reveals nuclear weapons development program. Targets include: Israel, Saudi Arabia, the rest of the world in that order.
• 2006 – Iranian agents, on orders of apocalyptic Iranian President Mahmoud Armoredinnerjacket, destroy the Al Askari mosque in Samarra, Iraq and successfully convince Iraqi Shia that they are Shia first and Iraqi Arabs second. Hilarity ensues. BTW, the adjacent shrine to the Twelfth or "Hidden" Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, is undamaged.
The score thus far: The Shia 600, Sunnis 1 and the Shia have the Big Mo.
Today, Shia radicals in Tehran, in the Maliki government in Baghdad, and in the Democratic Party of the United States all favor the removal of the last obstacle to Shia domination in the region: U.S. forces.
Our evil friends the Saudis, the closest thing we have to real friends in the “international community” Israel, and a few remaining stalwarts in the Republic Party of the United States, are all determined to stop the Shia momentum once and for all.
The focus of this rivalry is now in Lebanon and Iraq generally, and the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad specifically.
Predictions: The Maliki government will not cooperate with the suppression of Muqtar al Sadr’s Iran proxy force, the Mahdi Army. The United States will find credible evidence of Iranian involvement in Iraqi instability in a bid to reawaken Iraqi nationalism against Persian interference and as a pretext for military action that reveals the fecklessness (and weakness) of the Islamic Republic.
This action could include the cut off of refined gasoline to Iran and the capture of the Straits of Hormuz to secure world oil shipments. This will be supported by the Russians, Chinese, Saudis, French, and just about every other critic of projecting American power, (except for the Democrats who, along with the other perennial losers in foreign affairs, the Palestinians, will elevate their outrage one more to 11). Such action plays to strengths as the U.S. military is far better at capturing and securing geographic targets than it is at patrolling civilian neighborhoods.
And all the while, the Saudis will continue to flood the market will crude and drive the price if oil lower so as to starve the Iranians of revenue while keeping the global economy humming. (Isn't it odd that the price of oil has dropped by a third while the instability in the region as increased?)
Taken together, these actions will:
• Refocus the military mission on military goals rather than political ones
• Give Iranians a reason reject unpopular the Islamic regime
• Create the necessary “birth myth” that will allow an Iraqi nation to emerge
• Suggest that violence is not the least effective means of achieving political goals.
Fasten your seatbelts, it's about to get bumpy.