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The West insists on maintaining the illusion that the government in Baghdad is something other than a Shia sectarian-dominated entity in the process of entering a de facto military alliance with the Iranians. This stubbornness is producing the current absurd situation in which Western air power is being used in support of Shia Islamism.

It is important to understand that this is not taking place because there is no other option for stopping the advance of the Islamic State. There is another, more effective option: direct aid to the Kurds, and to the Sunni tribes further south.

Spyer, Jonathan.  “The March of Folly in Iraq.”  Rubin Center, May 19, 2015.

In the medieval mode, sectarian religious teleology — who wins the favor of God?  How soon do we get to find out? — reaches the boundary of the ineffable: may God decide on the field of battle, and the sooner the better!

In the modern mode, the same narrative may be left to God to decide gently across millennia — or not at all: who needs must get to the end of the story in their lifetime or even want the same to arrive in their great grandchildren’s day?

BackChannels has been surprised by the tenacious hold given, so the blog shall refer to it, the “Great Sunni vs Shiite War” in Shiite circles and doubtless, whatever the proportions, in Sunni ones as well.

How is it for the west that so alien, primitive, and singular an unanswerable dispute may by ripples and waves spread to engulf the modern of two to several middle east states?

Ayatollah Khamenei’s expansion of influence, and this despite the regime’s infamous behavior in its own space, appears to proceed apace through the combined artifice of political theater — how conveniently the ISIS story links to the narrative “Assad vs The Terrorists” — and, in Yemen, just watch those Houthis go — war by proxy.

Fast Reference

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/saudi-arabia-and-iran-fighting-proxy-war-in-yemen-a-1027056.html – 4/3/2015.

http://www.reuters.com/investigates/iran/#article/part1 – 11/11/2013.

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