Wednesday, July 30, 2014

We've Always Been at War with the Sunni, Long Live the Shia!

Pakistani Sunni composing a love letter to America.

We've always been at war with the Sunni, of course except when we weren't. Right now, we're considering which side to favor in the Iraq debacle (of our own making):
The Pentagon signaled Tuesday that it is mulling its largest ever shipment of Hellfire missiles to Iraq as the government in Baghdad digs itself in for a prolonged fight against militants who have taken over hundreds of square miles of territory across western and northern parts of the country.

The State Department has approved the possible sale of 5,000 AGM-114K/N/R missiles and related parts and training, Pentagon officials said. The estimated cost of the deal would be about $700 million, and dwarf previous shipments of Hellfire missiles to Iraq.
Now, by sending Hellfire missiles to Iraq to fight the militants, we're choosing the Shia of the Iraq government over the Sunni, which comprise the militants. When was the last time we did the opposite? Hmm...
...American officials estimate that, from 1985 to 1992, 12,500 foreigners were trained in bomb-making, sabotage and urban guerrilla warfare in Afghan camps the CIA helped to set up.
Since the fall of the Soviet puppet government in 1992, another 2,500 are believed to have passed through the camps. They are now run by an assortment of Islamic extremists, including Osama bin Laden, the world's most wanted terrorist.
Bin Laden arrived in Afghanistan from Saudi Arabia in 1979, aged 22. Though he saw a considerable amount of combat - around the eastern city of Jalalabad in March 1989 and, earlier, around the border town of Khost - his speciality was logistics.
From his base in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, he used his experience of the construction trade, and his money, to build a series of bases where the mujahideen could be trained by their Pakistani, American and, if some recent press reports are to be believed, British advisers.
The above was excerpted from an article in The Guardian in 1999, more than two years before 9/11. The faction in Afghanistan that we were arming and supporting was headed by Osama bin Laden, a Sunni. Clever, America, real clever.

But we've always been at war with the Sunni! Saddam Hussein was a Sunni. True enough, and we sure went to war with him. Twice. Then we hanged him. Nice Dead Sunni... Except, uh, what about this?
United States support for Iraq during the Iran–Iraq War, against post-revolutionary Iran, included several billion dollars' worth of economic aid, the sale of dual-use technology, non-U.S. origin weaponry, military intelligence, Special Operations training, and direct involvement in warfare against Iran.
Support from the U.S. for Iraq was not a secret and was frequently discussed in open session of the Senate and House of Representatives. On June 9, 1992, Ted Koppel reported on ABC's Nightline, that the "Reagan/Bush administrations permitted—and frequently encouraged—the flow of money, agricultural credits, dual-use technology, chemicals, and weapons to Iraq."
Okay, so back then, because we hated Iran -- a Shia nation -- we were at war against the Shia while we armed Sunni Iraq. That makes sense.

It makes about as much sense as supporting the establishment of the Shia-dominated Iraq government that replaced the Sunni-dominated government of Saddam Hussein that we helped depose.

Now that the Sunni-dominated militants have taken over the fight against the Shia-dominated Syrian government of al-Assad, we thought of arming the Sunni against Assad, except then they allied themselves with the crazy-ass ISIS who then went and attacked the Shia-dominated army of Iraq. Now we don't know what to do, except send missiles to the Shia government in Iraq, you know, the one we hate (that would be al-Maliki and his thugs).

Good grief.

What would John McCain do? Well, uh, let's check:
 Great job Senator McCain! Yes we know you are for arming pretty much any group around the world and for getting U.S. Armed Forces entangled in any conflict worldwide but this is a little much even for you. Talk about backing the wrong horse! These are some of the people you called “moderates” when you were in Syria. They don’t seem so moderate as they are machine gunning people to death in drive bys.
McCain chillin' with ISIS leaders before he realized all rebels aren't created equal.

It sure is easy picking the right side to arm! What would Lindsey Graham do? Well, uh, let's check:
Graham echoed McCain’s views, but also acknowledged that new military action in Iraq likely would be unpopular with most Americans.
“To the American people, I know you’re war-weary, I know you’re tired of dealing with the Mideast,” he said. “But the people that are moving into Iraq and holding ground in Syria have as part of their agenda not only to drive us out of the Mideast, but to hit our homeland.”
Fair enough. They don't like us. But here's a thought: If we keep arming the other side every other war, everyone will hate us, even those we haven't personally blown up before. Uh, just a thought.

When he was young, we gave bin Laden arms to blow up the Soviets. Then
we got Saudi Arabia to host our bases (bin Laden was a Saudi). Well, Osama
didn't like that, so then he decided to blow us up. Weird how that worked.

Changing who we back from year to year is weird. Funny, but now that we're afraid of the Sunni, we're making nice with Iran. Israel (our dear friend) doesn't like that because Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon -- two militant Shia groups -- are their deadly enemy. Wonder how it'll all work out. A clue: Don't ask John McCain or Lindsey Graham.

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