A light-hearted concise clear explanation of key issues in the
Middle East and America’s involvement by
Jim ONeill published
Recently my mom complained to me that she is confused by what is happening
in the Middle East. I doubt she is alone in this, and for her benefit and
those of you who share her confusion I have decided to clear things up.
With that in mind, what follows is a brief summation of the situation in the
Middle East—hopefully it will answer a number of questions you might have.
To begin with, Iranian (Shi’ite Muslim) military
forces are in Iraq because they are fighting the ISIS
Sunnis, who Saudi Arabia (Sunni Muslim) is not battling because the
Saudi’s can’t very well side with Shi’ites against Sunnis—plus the official
state brand of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism,
is pretty radical in its own right. So instead of fighting ISIS the
Saudis are fighting the Iranian-backed Houthis
in Yemen (Pronounced “hooties.”
Warning: any play on the words “Hooter Hotties” or
variations thereof is unequivocally in bad taste).
Yemen is currently embroiled in a bloody
civil war despite being held up as an exemplar of successful
US foreign policy last summer by Obama—who also pointed with pride to Somalia, whose main
claim to fame for some years has been piracy.
In fairness to Obama, he may have been referring to Somaliland, Puntland, Jubaland,
some other autonomous region that make up the “country” (I use the term
loosely) of Somalia. Regardless, in the future Obama might want to pick
places other than Yemen and Somalia as being representative examples of his
administration’s diplomatic expertise.
Meanwhile, Obama is considering moving US troops into
Iraq because they are needed there to fight ISIS, and we need to move
them there because Obama had moved them out of Iraq after assuring us
that they were not
needed there anymore.
Egypt has sentenced over 180
members of the “Muslim Brotherhood” to death. Egypt’s President
el-Sisi considers the “Muslim Brotherhood” to be not just an “existential threat,”
but a very “real and present danger.” Meanwhile the White
House carries on playing “footsie” with Muslims who have ties to the “Muslim
Brotherhood” and other suspect organizations (perhaps discussing importing “shovel
ready jobs” to the Middle East?).
ISIS and the “Muslim Brotherhood” are not the only misunderstood jobless
Muslim waifs, no indeed—I mustn’t forget to mention Hezbollah
(Shi’ite Muslim) and Hamas
(Sunni Muslim) who periodically fire rockets into Israel from the north and
south respectively. Israel, for its part, continues to protect its
defenseless citizens against such attacks, much to the chagrin of the Obama
Administration—who, for reasons unknown, much prefers dealing with the “Death
to America” Muslim theocracy in Iran than with the pro-USA government in
That, in a nutshell, is the situation in the Middle East and the USA’s
“foreign policy” in the region. Perhaps in a future article I will clear
up what actually transpired during the mythical “Arab