Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Getting the Evildoers Straight
In Afghanistan the Taliban are fundamentalist Sunnis as is Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda gang. Sunnis are the majority sect of Islam (85% Sunni vs 15% Shi'ites). The guys that attacked us on 9/11 were Sunni fundamentalists. When the Soviet Union was waging war against Afghanistan, the mujahideen were our allies and President Reagan called them "feedom fighters".
In Iraq it's a bit more complicated. The majority Islam sect in Iraq is Shi'ites. Saddam and his gang are (were) secular Sunnis, the minority, who ruled the Shi'ite majority. Saddam didn't much care for Osama and Al-Qaeda.
Generally speaking, Shi'ites tend to be more fundamentalist than Sunnis. Shi'ites believe in a much stricter interpretation of Sharia law than do Sunnis. Overthrowing Saddam put the Shiite fundamentalist majority into power. The Shi'ites, of course, want to consolidate their political power in Iraq. So that is one cause of much of the fighting going on in Iraq. Shi'ites also want their revenge on the Sunnis. It's clear to anyone with a brain that a civil war is ongoing in Iraq and that is going to occur whether we stay or leave. The majority sect in Iran is Shi'ite (89%). They'd like nothing better to have Iraqi Shi'ites as their allies. Saddam, being a Sunni, prevented this from happening prior to his demise.
The Kurds are really a separate people. They are indigenous to the area where Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria converge. None of these countries like the Kurds. The origins of the Kurds is somewhat of a mystery but they seem to have Aryan roots. Saddam was always picking on the Kurds. Kurds are "officially" Sunni muslims but they "hold their Islam lightly".
Our "allies", the Saudis, are Sunni. Pakistan, our other "ally" have both Sunnis and Shi'ites with a Sunni majority.
Ok, so do you now have it straight on wh the "evildoers" are?
For a review on the origins of the Sunni/Shia split go here.
UPDATE: Geez, I almost forgot about the Iraqi Christians! They've recently been told to convert to Islam or die.