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As regards the above noted article, I am also reading http://www.amazon.com/Waiting-Ordinary-Day-Unraveling-Life/dp/B003D7JUF8 , which caught my eye at the used book store — $4. Apparently, American military forces and the mentality that accompanies them make a mess of relationships with even better-willed or moderate elements in the state’s culture and society, so it’s not so great sending in the Marines even though today’s Iraqi live in a world, a larger world, immensely different and unconcerned with the concerns of their own.

Elsewhere, I’ve characterized Sunni-Shiite rivalry (in neighboring Syria) as “two mad wasps in a bell jar” — they’re in this confined space, however large it may seem to those involved, bent on killing one another en masse in relation to aspects of religious history completely alien to most of the world — i.e., to Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, and others. That long embedded cultural content — the literature of the mind — holds sway against a clouded and uncertain political and spiritual future that wants for a sea change in the perception of humanity.  If that change is happening, it’s happening around a storm front, the challenge posed last week by ISIS being exactly that. Before other thought may be entertained, the ISIS (radical Sunni) advance has to be stopped (by Shiite opposition within the framework adopted and endorsed over the course of centuries) and its power contained and reversed.

In neighboring Syria, it seems the one thing Obama and Putin may agree on has been containment rather than address of the issues in the space involved. Islam-by-the-sword, the legitimacy of political absolutism, the murderous Shiite-Sunni dispute have been essentially left alone in space to do as they wish, a de fact stance helpful primarily to war profiteers.


The “above noted article” mentioned at the top of this relay was Matt Schiavenza’s “Why Ayatollah Al-Sistani’s Iraq Fatwa Is So Important” (International Business Times, June 13, 2014).  Excerpt:

ISIS, meanwhile, announced that its capture of Mosul has triggered a recruitment surge, as radical Sunnis from around the region have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the group. Residents in Mosul told the New York Times that ISIS has pacified the city, and that they prefer to be governed by a group al Qaeda deemed too radical than by the Shia-dominated government.

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