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Author Topic: Can our leaders tell a Sunni from a Shiite?
Mad Jay
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Can they?
quote:

FOR the past several months, I’ve been wrapping up lengthy interviews with Washington counterterrorism officials with a fundamental question: “Do you know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?”

A “gotcha” question? Perhaps. But if knowing your enemy is the most basic rule of war, I don’t think it’s out of bounds. And as I quickly explain to my subjects, I’m not looking for theological explanations, just the basics: Who’s on what side today, and what does each want?

quote:

I asked Willie Hulon, chief of the bureau’s new national security branch, whether he thought that it was important for a man in his position to know the difference between Sunnis and Shiites. “Yes, sure, it’s right to know the difference,” he said. “It’s important to know who your targets are.”

That was a big advance over 2005. So next I asked him if he could tell me the difference. He was flummoxed. “The basics goes back to their beliefs and who they were following,” he said. “And the conflicts between the Sunnis and the Shia and the difference between who they were following.”

O.K., I asked, trying to help, what about today? Which one is Iran — Sunni or Shiite? He thought for a second. “Iran and Hezbollah,” I prompted. “Which are they?”

He took a stab: “Sunni.”

Wrong.

Al Qaeda? “Sunni.”

Right.

quote:

Take Representative Terry Everett, a seven-term Alabama Republican who is vice chairman of the House intelligence subcommittee on technical and tactical intelligence.

“Do you know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?” I asked him a few weeks ago

Mr. Everett responded with a low chuckle. He thought for a moment: “One’s in one location, another’s in another location. No, to be honest with you, I don’t know. I thought it was differences in their religion, different families or something.”

To his credit, he asked me to explain the differences. I told him briefly about the schism that developed after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, and how Iraq and Iran are majority Shiite nations while the rest of the Muslim world is mostly Sunni. “Now that you’ve explained it to me,” he replied, “what occurs to me is that it makes what we’re doing over there extremely difficult, not only in Iraq but that whole area.”

Representative Jo Ann Davis, a Virginia Republican who heads a House intelligence subcommittee charged with overseeing the C.I.A.’s performance in recruiting Islamic spies and analyzing information, was similarly dumbfounded when I asked her if she knew the difference between Sunnis and Shiites.

“Do I?” she asked me. A look of concentration came over her face. “You know, I should.” She took a stab at it: “It’s a difference in their fundamental religious beliefs. The Sunni are more radical than the Shia. Or vice versa. But I think it’s the Sunnis who’re more radical than the Shia.”

Did she know which branch Al Qaeda’s leaders follow?

“Al Qaeda is the one that’s most radical, so I think they’re Sunni,” she replied. “I may be wrong, but I think that’s right.”



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Nico Sasha
In between my father's fields;And the citadels of the rule; Lies a no-man's land which I must cross; To find my stolen jewel.

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trollface
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I wish I could say I was surprised.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Mad Jay:
Can they?

Good topic starter.

This helps show why it's illusory to think politicians and political appointees run the government. They often don't know enough for their orders to make sense.

I exempt my employer, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, from these strictures, however, on account of my posting here under by real name [Big Grin]

--------------------
"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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Mad Jay
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
quote:
Originally posted by Mad Jay:
Can they?

Good topic starter.

This helps show why it's illusory to think politicians and political appointees run the government. They often don't know enough for their orders to make sense.

I exempt my employer, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, from these strictures, however, on account of my posting here under by real name [Big Grin]

I can somewhat understand politicians not having a handle on the issues. But, I would expect people working under them to be knowledgeable. What worries me is that most of the people in this adminsitration don't understand the issue; even the law enforcement officials [Eek!]

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Nico Sasha
In between my father's fields;And the citadels of the rule; Lies a no-man's land which I must cross; To find my stolen jewel.

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Logoboros
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I don't see why not knowing what they're doing (or even making contradictory or seemingly insane orders/policy decisions) means that aren't nonetheless running the government.

Now, if you have evidence that somehow the government is achieving all of its goals (not that the politicians would be articulating them clearly anyway), then maybe you could say this shows that the politicians aren't actually the ones taking action. But I don't exactly see that evidence flying off the newspaper headlines...

--Logoboros

--------------------
"If Men were Wise, the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them. If they are not wise, the Freest Government is compelld to be a Tyranny."

--William Blake

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Troberg
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Well, as much as it hurts to defend their ignorance, the differences between Sunni and Shia are much smaller than media makes them out to be. Except for a few extremists, it's more or less a non-issue, somewhat like the split between Catholics and Protestants today.

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/Troberg

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Logoboros
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Yeah, but if the U.S. decided to step in to intervene in Ireland and couldn't articulate the difference between Protestants and Catholics, there'd be hell to pay.

--Logoboros

--------------------
"If Men were Wise, the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them. If they are not wise, the Freest Government is compelld to be a Tyranny."

--William Blake

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First of Two
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Funny, that nowhere in this hack job did he talk to any Democratic leaders, to see if they actually knew any better.

Bad reporter, no cookie.

Honestly, I don't know much about their differences, other than geographical. But it's their commonalities, especially the explosive ones, I find to be of far greater concern.

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"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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Which Democrats are in charge of homeland security and/or intelligence again?

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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First of Two
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Ask me in three weeks. Or have you forgotten that you want Democrats in charge of all those House and Senate committees?

--------------------
"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

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Delta-V
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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
Well, as much as it hurts to defend their ignorance, the differences between Sunni and Shia are much smaller than media makes them out to be. Except for a few extremists, it's more or less a non-issue, somewhat like the split between Catholics and Protestants today.

You might more accurately describe it like the split between supporters of the Pope in Rome and the Pope in Avignon. And since the Caliphate is gone, the disagreement is kinda moot. I'm not sure understanding the basic differences between Shia and Sunni (and Kharijites and Druze and so on) helps that much, since 1) westerners aren't going to solve the religious differences, and 2) they go at each other because they've been doing so for centuries, regardless of what those differences are.

What worries me more is how well they understand the current situation more than the historical one.

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"My neighbor asked why anyone would need a car that can go 190 mph. If the answer isn't obvious, and explaination won't help." - Csabe Csere

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trollface
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quote:
Originally posted by First of Two:
Funny, that nowhere in this hack job did he talk to any Democratic leaders, to see if they actually knew any better.

Bad reporter, no cookie.

Ah, the "But, Clinton..." defense again. Whether the Democrats are bad has no impact whatsoever on how bad the Republicans are.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
quote:
Originally posted by First of Two:
Funny, that nowhere in this hack job did he talk to any Democratic leaders, to see if they actually knew any better.

Bad reporter, no cookie.

Ah, the "But, Clinton..." defense again. Whether the Democrats are bad has no impact whatsoever on how bad the Republicans are.
Yes, I never get this line of thinking either. All that First seems to be trying to do is convince us that the problem really is America as a whole...
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I'mNotDedalus
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Republican: Why, "Sunni" is the weather the Sweet Lord, praise be His name, gave us down 'ere 'n Texas. And "Shiite" is what you gots to watch out for when walkin' 'bout the ranch. Or, you can kick up yer grin with it! Shoot!

Democrat: I assure you, any rift that exists between Sunni and Shiite Moslems was originally caused by this Administration.

American People: So, at what point does the Declaration of Independence allow us to start beheading these "elected officials"? And are we required to keep one of the Bush daughters alive, or do we just have to hint at her possible escape?

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The salty fragrance of L’Eau D’I’mNotDedalus - made entirely of and entirely for sea turtles.

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trollface
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quote:
Originally posted by Richard Wilkins III:
Yes, I never get this line of thinking either. All that First seems to be trying to do is convince us that the problem really is America as a whole...

Very true.

First, why do you hate America? Your defeatist attitude only helps the terrorists.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Mad Jay
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quote:
Originally posted by Delta-V:


What worries me more is how well they understand the current situation more than the historical one.

And that's exactly what the author of the OP asked

quote:

I’m not looking for theological explanations, just the basics: Who’s on what side today, and what does each want?

and most of the people in the administration couldn't answer this question. So, your worries are well-founded

quote:
Originally posted by First of Two:
Funny, that nowhere in this hack job did he talk to any Democratic leaders, to see if they actually knew any better.

Bad reporter, no cookie.

Democrats didn't take us into Iraq.

quote:


Honestly, I don't know much about their differences, other than geographical. But it's their commonalities, especially the explosive ones, I find to be of far greater concern.

Perhaps if you had bothered to educate yourself, you wouldn't have voted for people who took us into this mess, or you would have voted for people who are better at handling the mess we are in.

Bad American, No cookie.

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Nico Sasha
In between my father's fields;And the citadels of the rule; Lies a no-man's land which I must cross; To find my stolen jewel.

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keokuk
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quote:
Originally posted by First of Two:
Ask me in three weeks. Or have you forgotten that you want Democrats in charge of all those House and Senate committees?

Not necessarily. Take a look at who is in line to take over as chair of Homeland Security if the Democrats take the Senate.
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Steve Eisenberg
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quote:
Originally posted by Mad Jay:
Democrats didn't take us into Iraq.

True, because the Coingress and Presidency were and are under GOP control. However, mainstream Democrats had the same basic policy on Iraq as the administration, the difference being that they wanted to give Saddam a few more months to show the inspectors that he was dismantling his WMD. Since the WMD's already were dismantled, it was impossible for Saddam to show the inspectors that he was doing it, so the result was predetermined.

This site amply demonstrates that mainstream Democrats were as committed to regime change in Iraq as Republicans. For example:

quote:
"There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed."

Senator Edward Kennedy (Democrat, Massachusetts)
Speech at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
September 27, 2002

The US government, as a whole, Democrats and Republicans, put itself in a position where it was impossible to back down.

--------------------
"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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Steve
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
The US government, as a whole, Democrats and Republicans, put itself in a position where it was impossible to back down.

Maybe. And maybe the Democrats know as little about Islam as Kissinger and the people mentioned in the OP. I really don't know.

But the point is that a guy isn't a bad reporter for merely proving that the Republicans are ignorant. I don't see why he had any journalistic obligation to check on the Democrats' knowledge of Sunnis and Shiites.

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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
The US government, as a whole, Democrats and Republicans, put itself in a position where it was impossible to back down.

Maybe. And maybe the Democrats know as little about Islam as Kissinger and the people mentioned in the OP. I really don't know.
Well, I one thing I do know is that Henry Kissinger is generally knowledgeable concerning international relations. Of course you can find the occasional error in the writings of someone who produces such as large volume of non-fiction as does Kissinger.

This link goves over some past attemptes to paint Kissinger as unusally sloppy. Just doesn't fly.

--------------------
"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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Steve
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What can I say? Kissinger has done significant historical research in the past; it is therefore not possible to consider his comments as inadvertent.

But it's odd that you would defend Kissinger's recent statements on the Middle East by pointing to a 1994 article on a book review of Diplomacy. That's kind of like defending Newton's thoughts on biblical prophecy by pointing out how great the Principia was. It's so irrelevant I'm not entirely sure how to respond.

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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve:
That's kind of like defending Newton's thoughts on biblical prophecy by pointing out how great the Principia was. It's so irrelevant I'm not entirely sure how to respond.

It's relevant becuase Kissinger bashers have for decades been scrutinizing every word he publishes, looking for the occassional error. Kissinger's writings on the Middle East are of part of his general body of work regarding international relations, rather than being a separate realm such as Newton's non-scientific interests.


If you google on the terms:

kissinger sunni shiite

you will find a number of articles in which he got it right.

--------------------
"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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Steve
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve:
That's kind of like defending Newton's thoughts on biblical prophecy by pointing out how great the Principia was. It's so irrelevant I'm not entirely sure how to respond.

It's relevant becuase Kissinger bashers have for decades been scrutinizing every word he publishes, looking for the occassional error.
That's not fair! Kissinger bashers have for decades been trying to get him put on trial for war crimes. Finding occasional errors in his work is just a hobby.

quote:



Kissinger's writings on the Middle East are of part of his general body of work regarding international relations, rather than being a separate realm such as Newton's non-scientific interests.

I think Newton might disagree with you about the seperate realm there, but he's dead so I guess that's neither here nor there. Anyway, I did point out above how Kissinger's statements on Iraq related to his work as a whole.

quote:


If you google on the terms:

kissinger sunni shiite

you will find a number of articles in which he got it right.

Most drunk drivers are sober a majority of the time they drive home. So?
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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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Steve Eisenberg, as was mentioned in another thread, mistaking "Sunni" for "Shia" is like mistaking "night" for "day:" they are fundamental factual errors and should not just be excused as casually as a typo.

--------------------
"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Echinodermata Q. Taft
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quote:
Originally posted by First of Two:
Funny, that nowhere in this hack job did he talk to any Democratic leaders, to see if they actually knew any better.

I would agree that he should have done that, actually.

quote:
Honestly, I don't know much about their differences, other than geographical. But it's their commonalities, especially the explosive ones, I find to be of far greater concern.
I can't tell you the details of the doctrinal dispute, either. But: it is certainly not insignificant to note that Iraq has a Shiite majority, which has been ruled by a Sunni minority under Saddam for many years (and, IIRC, a Sunni minority under other leaders prior to that). Naturally, Shiites want to make sure that doesn't happen again. Sunnis, on the other hand, don't like having their power taken away, and more legitimately, are worried that they will be oppresssed by a Shiite-dominated government; further, the area mainly inhabited by the Sunnis happens not to be where the oil is. So, when the Shiites and Kurds propose that oil revenues be appropriated regionally, the Sunnis are quite naturally worried of being cut out.

There have been several reports of expatriate Iraqi leaders who met with President Bush only a few weeks before the invasion and discovered he wasn't aware of these sectarian differences (this is documented in Peter Galbraith's "The End of Iraq" for instance). As someone remarked, if you're going to invade a country, you really ought to know who lives there.

The current sectarian violence in Iraq should have been anticipated -- but of course, this administration was counting on the magic transition to a liberal, free-market democracy that seems to have been their entire postwar plan.

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Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Porifera Taft:
I can't tell you the details of the doctrinal dispute, either.

In a nutshell:

Sunnis (< Sunna -- way or path) believe that Muhammed left no-one to lead the Community, so the Companions go together and voted Abu Bakr as Caliph.

Shi'ites (< Shi'at Ali -- party or partisans of Ali) believe that Allah intended that Ali bin Abu Talib be the successor of Muhammed as leader of the Community and the successors to Ali are the Imams.

Plus Shi'aism is associated with Persians and there are falsehoods and legends that have spread among Sunnis about Shi'ites (such as the Shi'a worshipping the Imams).

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All posts foretold by Nostradamus.

Turing test failures: 6

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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
Steve Eisenberg, as was mentioned in another thread, mistaking "Sunni" for "Shia" is like mistaking "night" for "day:" they are fundamental factual errors and should not just be excused as casually as a typo.

An unfair exaggeration.

Kissinger's error was not in mistaking the Sunnis for the Shiites, but in, over a year before the invasion, thinking the Iraqi Sunnis, who he correctly identified as including Saddam and dominating Iraq, overnumbered the Shiites, who he correctly identified as being concentrated in Iraq's South. Here's the January 2002 Washington Post passage:

quote:
Local opposition would in all likelihood be sustained by the Kurdish minority in the north and the Shiite minority in the south. But if we are to enlist the Sunni majority, which now dominates Iraq, in the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, we need to make clear that Iraq's disintegration is not the goal of American policy.


--------------------
"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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Steve
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
Steve Eisenberg, as was mentioned in another thread, mistaking "Sunni" for "Shia" is like mistaking "night" for "day:" they are fundamental factual errors and should not just be excused as casually as a typo.

An unfair exaggeration.

Kissinger's error was not in mistaking the Sunnis for the Shiites, but in, over a year before the invasion, thinking the Iraqi Sunnis, who he correctly identified as including Saddam and dominating Iraq, overnumbered the Shiites, who he correctly identified as being concentrated in Iraq's South. Here's the January 2002 Washington Post passage:

quote:
Local opposition would in all likelihood be sustained by the Kurdish minority in the north and the Shiite minority in the south. But if we are to enlist the Sunni majority, which now dominates Iraq, in the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, we need to make clear that Iraq's disintegration is not the goal of American policy.

The lengths you're willing to go in order to defend Kissinger's stupidity are so extraordinary that, to be honest, it's becoming comical. Seriously, if you just said, "Yeah, he screwed up. Can't believe he did that, but I still like him!" I'd disagree with you, but I wouldn't find it so odd.

On the other hand, your recent post? Honestly, reread it. Kissinger writes in an oped bit "a year before the invasion" (why did you feel the need to stress that point? Is it better to be so stupidly wrong about a country when you're merely discussing the possibility of invading it rather than actually in the midst of invading it?) that the Sunnis are the majority in Iraq and the Shiites are the minority. AnglRdr says he confused the Sunnis and the Shiites. You call that, "An unfair exaggeration" and go on to point out that he got some stuff correct. I really don't understand you.

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
Steve Eisenberg, as was mentioned in another thread, mistaking "Sunni" for "Shia" is like mistaking "night" for "day:" they are fundamental factual errors and should not just be excused as casually as a typo.

An unfair exaggeration.

Not it is not, and anybody who knows anything whatsoever about Iraq would disagree with you, Steve E.

quote:
Kissinger's error was not in mistaking the Sunnis for the Shiites,

Yes, it was.

quote:
but in, over a year before the invasion, thinking the Iraqi Sunnis, who he correctly identified as including Saddam and dominating Iraq, overnumbered the Shiites, who he correctly identified as being concentrated in Iraq's South.

The British had a certain modus operandi when setting up colonies, protectorates, and mandated states. They would, nearly always, promote a tribal minority into positions of power. That is true in Iraq as well as almost every other former British holding. Kissenger should have paid more attention. Kissenger should have known that a former British protectorate (Iraq, in this case) would have been ruled by a minority population.

I was in college at the time, and I can assure you my professors taught us the difference. That Henry Kissenger, former chief diplomat of the United States, did not know that is really, really sloppy.

You should really stop defending him now. He made a huge error. Everybody but you seems to get that. Does he have some pictures of you in comprimising positions, or something? [Wink]

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

Posts: 19266 | From: Nashville, TN | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Publius
Happy Holly Days


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Being able to distinguish Sunni from Shi'a qualifies you to analyze Middle East politics at roughly the same level that being able to distinguish Republican from Democrat qualifies you to analyze American politics; i.e., only the most basic.

Of course, events have shown that our leaders are incapable of even the most rudimentary understanding of the region, so that fits.

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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Publius:
Being able to distinguish Sunni from Shi'a qualifies you to analyze Middle East politics at roughly the same level that being able to distinguish Republican from Democrat qualifies you to analyze American politics; i.e., only the most basic.

Of course, events have shown that our leaders are incapable of even the most rudimentary understanding of the region, so that fits.

What about distinguishing the difference between getting the proportion of Iraqi Sunnis wrong, in one January 2002 op-ed out of many writings on the subject, and the lack of knowledge demonstrated in the OP line?

Even rich and famous court Jews (faily objective description given Nixon's views on Jews) deserve fair treatment. Castigating someone for a mistake most people would instantly recognize as an innocent editing error, if made by someone with their own POV, hardly qualifies.

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"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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Steve
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:

Even rich and famous court Jews (faily objective description given Nixon's views on Jews)

Yes, Nixon was a horrible antisemite. But none of us are so why you brought up Kissinger's religion is beyond me. Why not discuss the facts at hand without hinting "fairly objectively" that it's antisemtic to point out that Kissinger is an idiot?
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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:

Even rich and famous court Jews (faily objective description given Nixon's views on Jews)

Yes, Nixon was a horrible antisemite. But none of us are so why you brought up Kissinger's religion is beyond me. Why not discuss the facts at hand without hinting "fairly objectively" that it's antisemtic to point out that Kissinger is an idiot?
How much of Henry Kissinger have you read? Kissinger's realism seems pretty clever to me (not to mention that it really isn't all that right-wing).

The great majority of people who give Kissinger a lot of scrutiny aren't doing it because he is Jewish, but rather because other left of center POV folks alerted them to him. So of course I'm not saying being anti-Kissinger makes you an anti-semite. I'm just saying that I'm wondering whether being a white male American Jew gets you just a little more scrutiny as compared to being, say, a former Kremlin minister. Maybe not -- I'm far more convinced that Kissinger is smart than I am of this Jewish-American angle.

P.S. Nixon was a social anti-semite, but didn't persecute Jews. So he wasn't a "horrible antisemite." He treated Jews better than some Ivy League presidents and directors of admissions who were his contempory.

--------------------
"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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Steve
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:

Even rich and famous court Jews (faily objective description given Nixon's views on Jews)

Yes, Nixon was a horrible antisemite. But none of us are so why you brought up Kissinger's religion is beyond me. Why not discuss the facts at hand without hinting "fairly objectively" that it's antisemtic to point out that Kissinger is an idiot?
How much of Henry Kissinger have you read? Kissinger's realism seems pretty clever to me (not to mention that it really isn't all that right-wing).
The White House Years and Years of Renewal. I can't say his self serving style and German grammar bothered me. What bothered me was how out-of- the-blue your question was.
quote:


The great majority of people who give Kissinger a lot of scrutiny aren't doing it because he is Jewish, but rather because other left of center POV folks alerted them to him.

OK. But then I think any time a group of people are against a former statesman, it's because they were alerted to him by someone to one side of the political center. I have to point out again, though, that I really don't know where your remark came from or what it was in response to.
quote:


So of course I'm not saying being anti-Kissinger makes you an anti-semite.

Thanks.
quote:


I'm just saying that I'm wondering whether being a white male American Jew gets you just a little more scrutiny as compared to being, say, a former Kremlin minister. Maybe not --

Really? I don't know any way to find out the exact numer of anti-Stalin pages that have been written, but I'll bet it's a hell of a lot more than anti-Kissinger pages. Do you really have to wonder if that's the case?

ETA: Bad me. Stalin was the wrong guy to pick. I'll just say that Kissinger has never had an incendiary device named for him.
quote:


I'm far more convinced that Kissinger is smart than I am of this Jewish-American angle.

OK.
quote:


P.S. Nixon was a social anti-semite, but didn't persecute Jews. So he wasn't a "horrible antisemite." He treated Jews better than some Ivy League presidents and directors of admissions who were his contempory.

I'll admit I don't know about the Ivy League presidents, but I agree with what you're saying here. I added the word "horribly" at the last minute and now I realize I shouldn't have.
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