Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Real Story In The Middle East

The struggle in the Middle East is often seen in terms of religious differences, Islam against Christian and Jews; but that is only part of the story.  The differences within Islam are just as hate filled because Sunni Moslem's and Shia Moslem's are just as likely to kill each other as kill Christian and Jews.  But this is not the whole story either.  Americans often see the Middle East as some monolithic group of people, presumably Arabs some of whom are Islamic Radicals.   

The reality is that the Middle East is composed of a variety of tribes, with familial ties, that have been killing each other for thousands of years.   Further, Persians now called Iranians, that are not Arab, once controlled the entire Middle East, until Alexander the Great from Greece, conquered the Persian Empire and removed them from power.  Much later, Turks, that are also not Arab, under the Ottoman Empire, also once controlled the Middle East.

While all of these peoples are majority Islam; either Sunni, or Shia Moslem's, they have been enemies for years.  Shia Iran seeks to restore past glory, which is the reason they are developing nuclear weapons.  Saudi Arabia, Sunni Arabs, probably dislike Iran as much as they dislike Israel and do not want to see Iranian Hegemony in the Middle East.   As such, what is happening in Syria and in Egypt is nothing more than a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, with Russia on one side and Western powers supporting the other. 

While hatred of Israel, the only real ally we have in the Middle East, does tend to unite both Sunni and Shia Moslem's, take that away and the hatred they have for each other, that goes back centuries, is just as bad and lethal as we are seeing in Syria.   Turkey is part of NATO and in many ways a Western Power.  Istanbul looks more like a European city than a Middle Eastern city.   And, while Turks are Moslem, until recently they have very much been a secular society. 

The Middle East is a mess because of feuds that go back several thousand years.  The sooner the United States becomes Energy Independent the better so that we can tell all of these peoples, filled with hatred, to go pound sand.   

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