Monday, December 18, 2006

Is Dick Cheney a Piece of Work, or What?

This morning, a New York Times article (“The Capital Awaits a Masterstroke on Iraq”) says Vice President Cheney’s version of The Way Forward is to forget about trying to get the Sunnis and Shiites on the same page. Cheney’s office is advancing the idea that the US should back the Shiites and throw the Sunnis to the wolves. The reasoning is that there are more Shiites than Sunnis in Iraq. And this idea probably won’t be problematic in Washington, DC. As Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s new Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) recently proved: Congressmen have no idea about the fundamental differences between Sunnis and Shiites. CQ National Security Editor Jeff Stein asked Reyes whether Al Qaeda was Sunni or Shiite. Reyes said he wasn’t sure but guessed Sunni. Nor did Reyes know whether Lebanon’s umbrella organization Hezbollah was Shiite or Sunni They both are Shiite. NYT writer Helene Cooper calls Cheney’s proposal “the Darwin Principle, Beltway version”. In Iraq, the Shiites are likely to be the survivors in a fight to the finish because there are more of them and they are more ferocious than the Sunnis. Therefore, the Cheney proposal is that the US should get on board now and back the likely winner. The big problem with what may seem like a rational if cold-blooded survival-of-the-fittest proposal is that there are more Sunni’s than Shiites in the Arab world as a whole and backing the Shiites in Iraq is sure to inflame Arabs everywhere else on the globe. Of course Miss Make-Nice Condoleezza Rice wants to cozy up to both factions while passing out love beads and singing What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love. Neither idea has a prayer of gathering many supporters or of solving the problems in Iraq. And make no mistake, canny old pit bull Cheney has covered his ass. The new “Side With the Shiites” idea is said to “come out of Cheney’s office”. No one is claiming it’s actually Cheney’s plan. Although as the NYT article points out, the radical nature of the Darwin Principle proposal would seem to indicate it was originated by Cheney himself. As writer Helene Cooper says, “Can you just hear President Bush’s speech to the nation? “My Fellow Americans, the United States has decided that there are more Shiites than Sunnis in Iraq, so we are therefore going to side with the people most likely to win a fight to the death. We’ll figure out how to deal with the rest of the Arab world, where there are more Sunnis than Shiites, later.” Difficult as it is to rationalize the US backing the Shiites, let’s get down to the nitty and the gritty. Who controls the oil in the Arab world? The Shiites and the Kurds. And that’s the whole reason we now are hearing about the US supporting the Shiites and abandoning the Sunnis in Iraq. When the US gets out of Iraq, which count on it, will be in the near future, we want to make sure we were known to be supporting the winners of what will be an all-out civil war. Particularly since the winners will also be controlling the oil.

1 comment:

Barry Schwartz said...

Al Qaeda is Sunni. My mnemonic for this is to remember that Osama bin Laden is from Saudi Arabia, where a variation upon Sunnism is the state religion.

This whole deal as you describe it makes no sense to me. Is it supposed to make sense? I don’t know. The Saudis certainly could not have approved such a plan, could they have? I have a feeling the NYT pulled this out of their butt.