Thursday, June 05, 2008


Thought of the Day

quis talia fando temperet a lacrymis


Who, speaking of such things, can keep from tears.


Hi, this is somewhat off topic, although I suppose a tenuous link could be made with the post.

But the real reason I writing here is that I took so long getting back on an old thread that it will soon disappear off the board and you will not find it.

So... the old thread...

Takes one to know one indeed. Kerry is an idiot, but even he can see that McCain is hopelessly out of touch with the facts. I'm guessing you agree.

1. Iran funding Al Qaeda

2. Down to pre-surge levels in Iraq

3. Quiet in Mosul

I could go on, but you get the point. The fact that McCain is running on a platform that Obama is out of touch on Iraq should be very worrisome for you and your ilk.

Roger Fraley said...

I'll give you the last two points are mistakes--the troop levels are obviously still up and we're finishing off al Qaeda in Mosul so there is battle there not quiet. I'm not sure these are major "hopeless" mistakes but they are mistakes. But let's have it out about the first point. You seem to parrot the idea that Shia Iran would never have anything to do with Sunni al Qaeda? Do I have that right?

My new comment:

I'm not parroting anything. I am quite sure based on my understanding that Iran would not have anything to do with Al Qaeda. This is just a simple fact, and there is no evidence anywhere suggesting otherwise.

Even McCain corrected himself on this gaffe after Leiberman whispered in his ear.

Are you suggesting otherwise?
Yeah, I challenge the Western conventional wisdom that the Shia Sunni divide line is a huge deal. Little deal. In some countries it matters very very little. In it's worst manifestation it's no barrier to terrorist support, so that a Shi'ite nation would indeed give sanctuary and support to Sunni, and they have. I'll post on the evidence if you insist. How are things going? A kid coming, school and a job--did you ever think you would be so grown up?

The divide may not be large in some countries but currently it is huge in Iraq.

Sorry, Tony, in either absolute numbers (but certainly) in percentage of political deaths among the 25 million caused by Shia Sunni hatred, it is nowhere near a huge problem. Barely a pimple to my eyes.
Hi Roger,

I'll agree that it isn't such a big deal in some place. But generally it is a very big deal, and in modern Iraq it is a very big deal (making it not such a big deal was actually one of Saddam's great accomplishments, perhaps his only).

But in the case of al-Qaeda and the Shias from Iran, it is a big, big deal.

First, from the al-Qaeda side, you have to keep in mind that they are the most fundamental of fundamentalists. Even moderate Sunnis earn the scorn of AQ members. But the Shia, in the eyes of AQ are filthy heretics worthy of a torturous death for subscribing to the bastardized version of Islam that the Shia practice. As was once said, if a Shi'ite showed up to an AQ meeting, they cut off his head and kick it around like a soccer ball.

From the Iranian side, any support they gave to al-Qaeda would almost certainly result in the death of Shi'ites. If the likes of Sadr and Al-Hakim caught wind that the Iranian leadership was directly supporting AQ, it would be an absolute nightmare for them, decimating their influence in Shia Iraq for which the have worked so hard.

Nothing is impossible, but it is so very unlikely in this case. Furthermore, McCain announced it several times as it it was a well known fact. If you can find one shred of evidence that Iran is supporting AQ, be sure to post it in a separate post because you could become a first tier blogger overnight!!!

McCain is HOPELESSLY out of touch. That is my point.

Good luck arguing otherwise.


Baby girl, work, school. Wow, yeah, I'm busy as hell and feeling rather grown-up indeed. Thanks for asking.

Details about the kid please.


W/ all due repect, you think in terms of body counts. The huge problem o which I referred is (in my opinion) the impossibility of theses two sects reconsiling politically to make a functioning government. Remember the one of the final scenes of "Lawrence of Arabia?" That was tribal of course
but do you think that these factions and subfactions (the Sadrists and the other guys) are going to forget 1300+ of religious schism exacerbated by 30+ years of Saddamist persecution of the Shiites to form a democracy that can get anything done?

Stop thinking in terms of bodies.

It bugs me a little, Tony, that you're using a David Lean picture as support for you political argument, but I guess I cite Aliens a lot too. I'll forego calling you a racist yet again for this belief. Mike, good news, best of luck in the future. But we hated the Soviets and many of us thought that we ought to fight them--we did send some troops during the Russian Civil War to fight on the side of the Whites--still we were allies during WWII. Isn't it possible and indeed likely that the haters of America and the West in the Middle East might forego the Shia Sunni hatred to unite in a greater hatred towards us? If you disagree, would you provide some evidence of a total lack of alliance in Iran (although it is hard to prove a negative and perhaps I should provide evidence of such an alliance). Thanks for keeping this going; I'm not that interested in Sunni Shia history but I do think this has some effect now but just how much is the central question.

Details are 7 lbs. 19 inches at birth on the 9th of May. She has put on a couple of pounds and a couple of inches since then. You can see a picture on my blog.


I get your point about the soviets, but it is interesting to note that throughout the post-invation period, when both sides were taking pot shots at our troops and making bold proclimations about killing Americans and ridding the country of foreign invaders, they still managed to kill each other in pretty good numbers. Perhaps they could reconcile in the future to oust the Americans, but the trend is just the opposite, with the Americans creating alliances with factions from each religious group against more radical factions in the respective groups (the awakening and SIIC with the Americans agains AQ and Sadr respectively).

It is truly a dangerous game we are playing now. Should the Sunnis and Shias team up against the Americans, that would blow the whole thing apart again, and if they were successful, then the battle between (and within) the groups would resume much like the cold war beginning before Hitler was even dead.

I would hope for your scenario. No, not at all.

And in terms of Iran, yes, I believe the onus is on you. Not only because proving negativity is so difficult (although that is reason enough) but also because there is no serious analyst on the subject that would even consider such a link.

It is clear that the Sunni/Shia split is not that interesting to you. You are demonstrating a limited understanding of the depth of the chasm.
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