A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004 :::
Breaking news: (For comments on the search for WMD in Iraq, please scroll down.)

The Corner over at National Review Online has this report that Iran may finally be blowing. This is, in one sense, all to the good, as it may remove Iran from the Axis of Evil and merely make it a conservative Shi'a state. The chances that it will become a liberal democracy seem slim, but any judgments of that are hard to make because of the singularly lousy reporting on the single most important issue in post-Saddam Iraq.

Quick: what ethnic group to Iraqi Shi'ites belong to?

Does it help sort it out if you know that Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani, the chosen spokesman for the Shi'ite clerics, is an ethnic Iranian?


Well, the answer appears to be that the great majority of Iraqi Shi'ites are ethnic Arabs, but not all. al-Sistani has been promoted because of his personal bravery and learning, so it is somewhat of an accident of fate that he is their spokesman right now. But then again, Henry Kissinger was once ours. These things happen.

If Iran cracks apart, it will take some time to sort out, but what is most likely-- perhaps, maybe--is that a government will take power whose views are very closely allied to those of Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani. Which means that Shi'as will be--for the first time in their history--united in aim across the entire extent of their territory.

But the Sunnis have been for centuries, and see what it has gotten them.

Nonetheless, it has been the opinion of this blog that a change of regime in Iran will complicate things for the United States in Iraq. al-Sistani will look to his east and see allies, not enemies.

But then again, maybe not.

Interesting reading on what may be THE BIG QUESTION:

This article by an IRC member.

This article by brave journalist Steven Vincent.

This long paper on the Shi'a clergy from the US Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute, and finally,

This long article on whether Iraqis feel anything like Iraqi patriotism.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 4:31 PM



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