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« ‘I am bitter’ about John Lennon | Main | As ‘Narnia’ opens, consider C.S. Lewis’ connection to Reagan’s Evil Empire Speech »

December 08, 2005



This guy reckons the Sunni/Shia/Kurd thing is pretty overblown, as is the idea of an Arab identity.

(via Dean Esmay).

I've seen some Iraqi bloggers saying similar things. I think in reality, that's the way most people see it, but the more extreme people make a bigger deal out of the divides than the ordinary ones.

Frank Warner

Interesting. That might be true in Iraq. Hitchens has said as much.

The trouble is, Iraq is bordered by several overwhelmingly Sunni Arab nations (Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan) that look at Shiites Arabs as less than Muslim and less than Arab. Some of these Sunni foreigners are so fanatical they're willing to defend the "Arab nation" by killing themselves in Iraq.

Because another neighbor, Iran, is not Arab, but Persian, and not Sunni, but Shiite, those other Arab nations tend to associate even Shiite Arabs with the Iranians, who are ancient adversaries of the Arabs. That adds to the bigotry and hatred.

Most of the problems are irrational, but real.

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