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Total number of comments: 5 (since 2013-11-28 16:44:32)

Peter T

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  • Bombings in Pakistan Kill over 100, as Shiites are Targeted
    • Israel should be worrying more about Pakistan than about Iran - it looks to be well on the way to being the first major climate-change induced failed state, and the first with nuclear arms.

  • The Rise of the Sunnis and the Decline of Iran, Iraq and Hizbullah: The Middle East in 2013
    • Interesting piece. I think it overstates Sunni solidarity (especially as linking non-Arab Turkey with Syria or Saudi). It's hard for modern states to fragment unless there are established internal lines of demarcation, as in Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, so I find it hard to envisage Syria fragmenting along Sunni/Shia lines. But there is likely to be greater opportunity for Sunni in Iraq and Syria to forge alliances, possibly backed by Saudi (as observed, where the Kurds fit in will be a question). But this would push Syrian Shia across the border into Lebanon or into Iraq, strengthening Shia parties in both. And Shia, as the largest bloc in Lebanon, will retain considerable political strenght regardless of the outcome in Syria.

      I would also note that Iran is in a different class economically than Syria or the petro-states. It has a large industrial sector (and sanctions are probably encouraging local development). It's closer to Turkey or Brazil as an emerging industrial power than to a petro-state. Hence the problems it poses for israle and the US.

  • Drones, Drones Everywhere, and now we've given them to Iran
    • I agree with the last comment - drones are like Tamerlane's raids - they hurt, but they don't change anything, and they focus the other side on getting even. Iraq showed the US Army as hollow, so it would be better to concentrate on making friends rather than irritating people who know you can't really afford to go to war with them.

  • Faster than Expected Climate Change means drought, war, famine for Middle East, Africa
    • Watch how fast denial swings into action.

      Can't see "water wars" myself. Just slow misery and local competition - already happening, as you note, on the West Bank.

  • Is Iraq's Arab League Summit being Overshadowed by Sectarian Violence?
    • I have the impression that Sunni resistance to Iraq's government is fuelled by a deep belief that Shia rule is illegitimate (in much the same way that C17 France could not tolerate a Protestant ruler, or England a Catholic one), and that this is more ort less true across the Arab Sunni world.

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