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Holy War Watch
Saudi Arabia Raises Stakes in Shi’a Showdown
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  • Ellen

    Your conclusions are all correct. Please tell your friends at, who put Obama into power, and for years were still rationalizing his policy blunders in the Mideast and elsewhere, that their worldview has failed. This means they have failed and should step down from their advisory positions in Washington.

    Even Hillary Clinton has recently made statements about the Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian relationship that sound shockingly realistic, and thus new for Washington. She apparently has hinted that the 2-state solution is not realistic at present, and may never be, and that the real “solution” to the Palestinian problem lies in Jordan. Of course, this is what Ariel Sharon was saying back in the 1980’s and everyone scoffed at him. Please bring him back from the grave to reiterate this point.

    What is interesting is where I found out about Hillary’s deviation from campus/state department orthodoxy, regarding the supposedly “core” conflict of the Middle East. I read about it in an Arab journal reporting on the hysterical response of the Jordanian foreign ministry to her comment. No one in our media bothered to report on this pathbreaking comment.

    What this further shows is that even if a Democrat wins the presidency in 2016 (ie, Clinton), Obama’s foreign policy is going to be jettisoned from day 1. Hillary is already giving notice on that. Good for her, although I still hope she loses the election.

  • Anthony

    Sometimes I imagine the last 14 years of American war policy in the Greater Middle East as a set of dismal Mad Libs.

    Here is a consideration of The Precipitating Event: “…there hadn’t been such an upset in the balance of power in the Middle East since, well, World War I, when Great Britain and France secretly reached the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which among other things, divided up most of the Arab lands that had been under rule of the Ottoman Empire. Because the national boundaries created then did not respect on-the-ground tribal, political, ethnic, and religious realities, they could be said to have set the stage for much that was to come.”

    • Jim__L

      Look on the bright side… with the current migrations of people, having arbitrary national boundaries doesn’t matter much anyway.

      When the music stops and people look around for their chairs, there’s a good chance we’ll see another round of ethnic clearing and cleansing. Joy of joys…

      • Anthony

        I’m sure there’s a relationship somewhere but Peter Van Buren’s analysis centers on our experience.

  • Jim__L

    “This is none of our business” according to Obama.

    Everyone will love us if we just stop being a force for good in the world? What is he smoking?

  • lukelea

    The oil fields are mostly in Shia areas near the coast, or so I understand. Saudi Arabia has been a disaster for the West, pushing Islamic extremism. More emirates under US or Western protection might not be such a bad idea.

  • gabrielsyme

    One explanation is that the Saudis have decided to crack down with everything they have got in an effort to kill dissent and intimidate the Shi’a minority once and for all. Another is that King Salman now has a bargaining chip with Iran.

    My bet is with the former option. Iran is pretty bloody-minded, and executing Shia leaders is likely to destabilise Saudi Arabia, an Iranian goal.

  • Leena Heydar

    Please Iran, if you have nuke use it on Saudi Arabia, a society with only bad sides. Saudi arabia contributes only backwardness and terrorism to the world. Nothing else, nada.

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