Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

January 25, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THE SUNNI-SHIA WAR....Over at Marc Lynch's site, Gregory Gause has a guest post analyzing the likelihood of a genuine Sunni-Shia confrontation in the Middle East. Long story short, he believes that (a) the U.S. and its Mideastern allies are concerned about Iran, not Shia, but (b) governments in Sunni-dominated countries find it easier to whip up anti-Shia sentiment than anti-Iran sentiment, so that's the tack they're taking. Bottom line: the "Shia threat" is overblown and has probably peaked anyway, and the anti-Iran alliance is based mostly on balance-of-power considerations and will be difficult to maintain.

Read the whole thing for more. Marc says he'll respond later.

Kevin Drum 3:08 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (13)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

must have -- iran -- war --

losing -- erection

Posted by: al on January 25, 2007 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't Iran pretty much the only Sunni-dominated Muslim country? Why wouldn't it be easier to whip up anti-ANYTHING sentiment over anti-Iran sentiment?

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on January 25, 2007 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Iran is Shia. Link to the CIA World Fact Book Iran page.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 25, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK
Isn't Iran pretty much the only Sunni-dominated Muslim country?

Iran is Shi'a dominated. The article is saying that in countries worried about Iran's influence in the region, its easier to whip up anti-Shi'a than anti-Iranian sentiment, though that seems odd (and its not as if the two are all that distinct, anyway; the major concern about Iran by the Sunni elites in countries dominated by Sunni elites is that Iran will infiltrate and mobilize their own Shi'a minorities, who have in many cases plenty of grievances, against the regime, and provoke an Iranian-style revolution, so whipping up anti-Shi'a sentiment not only may be easier than whipping up anti-Iranian sentiment, its also directed at exactly the people those governments really fear when they fear "Iran"—their own Shi'a population.)

Posted by: cmdicely on January 25, 2007 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK


wishIwuz2...dont worry about getting confused about shia and sunni...

happens to me all the time..

Posted by: G.W.B. on January 25, 2007 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Quick Al, break out the photos of the Abu Ghraib torture victims before you go completely flacid! It works for me.

(well, that and pictures of Condi in that short skirt with the boots, and a riding-crop photoshopped-in)

Posted by: (fake) American Hawk, Mental Slave on January 25, 2007 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Marc needs to familiarize himself with the more casual elements of chaos theory. I do not feel that anyone can know what will happen there.

Posted by: Keith G on January 25, 2007 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

no excuses. I flipped 'em around. sorry.

I just gave my father-in-law the whole lesson last month. Then I go and lay a major brain-fart.

Thank geebus for pseudonyms.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on January 25, 2007 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

No problem. I have lived in the middle east twice, and am about as big a wonk as ever walked, and called Wahabists a shia sect once about a year or so ago. Still red faced about that.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 25, 2007 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Wahabists a Shia sect..??? Wha...? O4GodSake! C'mON!

I mean, I confused two different 'S' words, y'see - of course! But 'Wahabists a Shia sect'? Boy, I'm sure glad that didn't happen to me. Whoa, do I feel better now.

;~)

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on January 25, 2007 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Precisely why I fessed up! :)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 25, 2007 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

well, that, and I was trained as a Blood Banker. We are a strange lot - we love to bust someone else making a mistake, but get an even bigger kick out of not just catching our own mistakes, but in holding ourselves publicly accountable. It's almost perverse, our need to confess our errors.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 25, 2007 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Even allowing for some of the wild and wooly things you've done, that Blood Banker training bit taken out of context is a bit of occupational training gone past necessity. Get a grip.

Posted by: opit on January 25, 2007 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly