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Complex response

Reader comment on item: Caliph Ibrahim's Brutal Moment
in response to reader comment: A Millipolar/ Bipolar/ Unipolar World

Submitted by sara (United States), Aug 14, 2014 at 21:46

Hi Michael,

Thank you for your comprehensive and complex answer to my question, making the original quandary seem small in comparison...

Actually, I think that there are two 'strains' of conflict within the Mid East, and that is my focus, since I don't believe that the global factors you mention filter down into the insular morass of tribal rivalries and religious alignments as they exist today.

As I mentioned, the more straighforward one is the recently inflamed sectarian fight, which manifests in the Iran axis with Hezbollah, Assad's Syria (and soon Iraq), against the Sunnis, fought on the ground in Syria and advocated in Friday sermons everywhere, drawing a grand jihadi migration. The incongruity of Sunni Hamas being supported by Shia Iran is resolved when one considers both that Hamas' shunned the Iranians as soon as their MB buddy Morsi was elected and saw good days ahead, as well as the unity in purpose in their shared enmity towards Israel. After all, hatred of Israel has been uniting Muslims across all divides for decades.

The catch in this group is that once Egypt saw itself as the head vs. Turkey, but with the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the more shocking upheavals in the mid east has occurred, where we see Sisi's Egypt cooperating with Israel against the Islamists and shunning Hamas. That in itself is a fascinating phenomenon, especially when one considers the larger sponsors of that fight- Saudis vs. Qatar.

The second strain derives from within the Sunni world and pits the dictators against the Muslim Brotherhood and their offshoots, perceived by many Muslims as the 'democratic' option that has risen against brutality. With the veil removed, one realizes that it was only the Islamists breaking free. Since the 'Arab spring', Qatar has spread its influence and funding throughout the Muslim Brotherhood countries and has wreaked havoc in many (Libya, Mali, Syria to name a few).

It is an odd day indeed when one must choose sides in Syria between Iran-aligned Assad and jihadists like ISIS and al Nusra. When it comes down to it, I choose the former since there is more of an organization and discipline to talk to, relatively speaking, and they can be addressed on a national state interest level.

I don't think many foresaw the amoeba-like splitting amongst the Sunni factions, distilling into ever more radical groups, from Al Nusra into ISIS into IS. Much like Ansar al Sharia in Libya was distilled down from the February 17 Brigades and their leaders in Benghazi and Darnah.

I think it is clear that the trend to grow more and more radical is the inevitable outcome of Islamist 'freedom'. One of the reasons that the system of dictators and despots worked until they were overthrown by western naivete.

Once the sectarian hatred inflamed, hatred of Israel was no longer enough to hold them together in their precarious unions. If they were ever able to unite, we would be in a world of trouble. But just the opposite is happening, with fracturing continuing, and the unraveling of the arbitrary artificial nation states designated by the Brits and French collapsing on itself.

Suffice it to say that unrest and tribal conflict always has been, and will continue to be, the reason that Arab Muslims are unable to make peace or maintain agreements. Just ask Hamas who have had their hands full trying to control the local tribal Sheikhs and factions in Gaza...

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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