• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Hatreds between Sunnis, Shiites abound in Mideast.....

MMC

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
56,981
Reaction score
27,029
Location
Chicago Illinois
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
CAIRO (AP) — It's not hard to find stereotypes, caricatures and outright bigotry when talk in the Middle East turns to the tensions between Islam's two main sects.

Shiites are described as devious, power-hungry corruptors of Islam. Sunnis are called extremist, intolerant oppressors.

Hatreds between the two are now more virulent than ever in the Arab world because of Syria's civil war. On Sunday, officials said four Shiites in a village west of Cairo were beaten to death by Sunnis in a sectarian clash unusual for Egypt.

Hard-line clerics and politicians on both sides in the region have added fuel, depicting the fight as essentially a war of survival for their sect.

But among the public, views are complex. Some sincerely see the other side as wrong — whether on matters of faith or politics. Others see the divisions as purely political, created for cynical aims. Even some who view the other sect negatively fear sectarian flames are burning dangerously out of control. There are those who wish for a return to the days, only a decade or two ago, when the differences did not seem so important and the sects got along better, even intermarried.

Associated Press correspondents spoke to Shiites and Sunnis across the region. Amid the variety of viewpoints, they found a public struggling with anger that is increasingly curdling into hatred.

ISMAIL AL-HAMAMI, a 67-year-old Palestinian refugee in Gaza's Shati camp, said politics not religion is driving sectarian tensions.

"In Gaza, Iran used to support the resistance with weapons. Now they support Assad. ... In Iraq, they (Shiites) executed Saddam Hussein, who was a Sunni, and they took over the country with the help of the Americans. Now they are working against America in Iran and Syria."

"So is that related to religion? It's all about politics."

The beneficiaries of sectarianism, he said, are "those who want to sell arms to both sides ... those who want to keep Arab and Muslim countries living in the dark. The beneficiaries are the occupation (Israel) and the people who sell us religious slogans.".....snip~

Hatreds between Sunnis, Shiites abound in Mideast
Associated Press – 48 mins ago <<<<< More here way more.


What more can be said when both sides of Muslim sectarian Divide are concerned that things are getting out of control? Even talking to the Western Press about the issue. It is spreading everywhere. Both going after each other. How long before it erupts wide open? Already the Shi'tes have assassinated a Sunni Cleric within the last few days. Attached a Bomb to his car. It is already happening out side Syria. Iraq and we have had the clashes in Bahrain. The articles lists many of the ME countries and whats going on.
 

Crosscheck

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
10,857
Reaction score
8,250
Location
NW USA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
This is the place I want to send my taxdollars.

Lets scrap Medicare , the VA, and all the other social programs in this country and send it directly to these hard working people.
 

ecofarm

global liberation
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
117,839
Reaction score
33,967
Location
Miami
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Democracy and human rights will not work because people hate each other too much? I think I've heard that one before.
 

MMC

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
56,981
Reaction score
27,029
Location
Chicago Illinois
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
Democracy and human rights will not work because people hate each other too much? I think I've heard that one before.
Is that what you think the Associated Press was reporting on? Did you think there was some sort of premise about Democracy with the article?
 

AliHajiSheik

DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 27, 2012
Messages
10,530
Reaction score
3,490
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
These nice folks don't seem to get along well with anyone: Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists. Why is there any surprise that they don't get along with other Muslims either?
 

MMC

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
56,981
Reaction score
27,029
Location
Chicago Illinois
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
These nice folks don't seem to get along well with anyone: Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists. Why is there any surprise that they don't get along with other Muslims either?
Well.....I don't think that it is any surprise. Still we sit back and watch their Religious Leaders call for Jihad over their political leaders. Seems this done on both sides of their Divide. All they have shown is.....they will drop all else to listen to what the they think is some Holy Man, rather than choose the Option to follow their own Countries leaders. Would you think this is due to most of them Not being educated and not knowing how to read or write? Wherein they are told what to think about their God and their daily lives. Not what they get from their own selves or from their own interpretations.

We also know they will drop their fued to face a common enemy. Then go Right back to what they were doing to each other after their enemy has been removed out of the picture.
 

donsutherland1

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
11,818
Reaction score
10,197
Location
New York
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
Democracy and human rights will not work because people hate each other too much? I think I've heard that one before.
The Sunni-Shia schism is long-running. Tensions were kept under the lid by authoritarian regimes, but once central power eroded, the rivalry regained vigor.

The need for human rights is made more urgent on account of this rivalry. The UN Development Program's Arab Human Development reports talk about the need for human rights if the Arab World is to close the gap with the developed world.

The rivalry does make democratic governance very difficult to achieve. Rather than witnessing the rise of inclusive representative governments that work for the interests of all citizens, one is seeing illiberal regimes that focus largely on the interests of the majority, often at the expense of the needs and rights of ethnic or religious minorities. That these governments might be elected does not make them democracies. They are proto-democratic. They have some characteristics of democratic governments, but they also lack the institutional, legal, and policy framework typical in democratic governments (basic protections for all citizens, accommodation of basic needs, reasonable transparency, assured meaningful role in society for all citizens, etc.).
 

ecofarm

global liberation
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
117,839
Reaction score
33,967
Location
Miami
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
The Sunni-Shia schism is long-running. Tensions were kept under the lid by authoritarian regimes, but once central power eroded, the rivalry regained vigor.

The need for human rights is made more urgent on account of this rivalry. The UN Development Program's Arab Human Development reports talk about the need for human rights if the Arab World is to close the gap with the developed world.

The rivalry does make democratic governance very difficult to achieve. Rather than witnessing the rise of inclusive representative governments that work for the interests of all citizens, one is seeing illiberal regimes that focus largely on the interests of the majority, often at the expense of the needs and rights of ethnic or religious minorities. That these governments might be elected does not make them democracies. They are proto-democratic. They have some characteristics of democratic governments, but they also lack the institutional, legal, and policy framework typical in democratic governments (basic protections for all citizens, accommodation of basic needs, reasonable transparency, assured meaningful role in society for all citizens, etc.).
This makes it all the more apparent that Western intervention is needed. Proto-democratic is all we can expect for a generation.
 

donsutherland1

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
11,818
Reaction score
10,197
Location
New York
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
This makes it all the more apparent that Western intervention is needed. Proto-democratic is all we can expect for a generation.
If one is talking about economic, political, or technical assistance, that's not an unreasonable approach. If one is talking about regime change with the hope that it might lead to democratic governance, that's another. Today, Iraq is proto-democratic, but its government is becoming more and more tilted toward the majority Shia domestically, frequently against the interests of the Sunnis and Kurds. In the larger geopolitical context, Iraq is becoming a less reliable partner to the U.S. as it continues to slide closer to Iran in its overall foreign policy orientation. At the same time, it remains an almost unyielding opponent of broader regional peace with Israel.
 

ecofarm

global liberation
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
117,839
Reaction score
33,967
Location
Miami
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
If one is talking about economic, political, or technical assistance, that's not an unreasonable approach. If one is talking about regime change with the hope that it might lead to democratic governance, that's another. Today, Iraq is proto-democratic, but its government is becoming more and more tilted toward the majority Shia domestically, frequently against the interests of the Sunnis and Kurds. In the larger geopolitical context, Iraq is becoming a less reliable partner to the U.S. as it continues to slide closer to Iran in its overall foreign policy orientation. At the same time, it remains an almost unyielding opponent of broader regional peace with Israel.
No one promised utopia overnight. These things take time and generally a few internal upheavals in the process.
 

MMC

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
56,981
Reaction score
27,029
Location
Chicago Illinois
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
If one is talking about economic, political, or technical assistance, that's not an unreasonable approach. If one is talking about regime change with the hope that it might lead to democratic governance, that's another. Today, Iraq is proto-democratic, but its government is becoming more and more tilted toward the majority Shia domestically, frequently against the interests of the Sunnis and Kurds. In the larger geopolitical context, Iraq is becoming a less reliable partner to the U.S. as it continues to slide closer to Iran in its overall foreign policy orientation. At the same time, it remains an almost unyielding opponent of broader regional peace with Israel.
That is true DS and to just state this would be acceptable as what ONE thinks would be a beneficial result all based over the concept of a Proto Democracy. Wherein those have a different idea as to what Democracy is in the first place. Are doing nothing more than deceiving themselves as well as anyone else they are trying to tell.....everything will be alright.

It never was nor will it ever be. For some.....Democracy was never intended to be the way of their lives.
 

donsutherland1

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
11,818
Reaction score
10,197
Location
New York
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
That is true DS and to just state this would be acceptable as what ONE thinks would be a beneficial result all based over the concept of a Proto Democracy. Wherein those have a different idea as to what Democracy is in the first place. Are doing nothing more than deceiving themselves as well as anyone else they are trying to tell.....everything will be alright.

It never was nor will it ever be. For some.....Democracy was never intended to be the way of their lives.
I agree. Not every society or person envisions democratic governance in the same fashion. Governance structure and stability depend on many factors including but not limited to culture, history (especially some past democratic experience), institutions/rule of law, economic development, sectarian/identity issues, etc.

Democracy (used in the broader sense as a reference to representative government) cannot flourish everywhere, even as it probably is the most inclusive and most flexible system of governance ever devised. Absent a good context for democratic governance, e.g., in cases where strong sectarian rivalries exist, such governance can be difficult to achieve, much less sustain without at least periodic episodes of governance crisis or worse. It's no accident that Iraq had an authoritarian regime and that the post-Hussein government is becoming more illiberal and more Shia-oriented. It also is no accident that an effective and stable central government has been difficult to achieve in Afghanistan.

Regime change can remove a dictator. It cannot readily substitute a new context in which structural factors that precluded democracy suddenly become irrelevant. As resources are not unlimited, I prefer limiting military intervention to cases where critical national interests are at stake, not interventions where interests are peripheral at best or with the hope that a fairy tale ending will follow the displacement of a dictator.
 

donsutherland1

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
11,818
Reaction score
10,197
Location
New York
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
No one promised utopia overnight. These things take time and generally a few internal upheavals in the process.
Unfortunately, the U.S. does not have unlimited resources (financial, military, and manpower) to expend effort for an indefinite time period. Even if, down the road, Iraq manages to become a democratic state, but completes its evolution into a reliable Iranian ally, it would be difficult to define that outcome as a "success." More likely, Iraq will evolve to a situation where it continues to hold elections, but the result of Shia dominance and Shia-focused leadership would be an assured outcome. As a result, its foreign policy path will take it closer to Iran. At the same time, it is unlikely to become a champion of Mideast peace and it could become even more opposed to accommodation with Israel than it already is. Meanwhile, its disenfranchised Kurds and Sunnis will continue to face tough choices: acquiesce to what could become an increasingly marginal societal role, depart Iraq for other countries, or try to fight to safeguard some basic rights. All of those options will be chosen by some people.

The number of people making each of those choices, something that remains uncertain, will make a huge difference in shaping Iraq's more distant future. The result could be a continuation of today's simmering tension. But the result could be worse. There could be a risk of periodic violence, and some possibility of a fresh full-fledged insurgency. In turn, should a vigorous insurgency erupt, that could lead to a return to authoritarian rule. If the insurgency is defeated, the victorious government would very likely take on more authoritarian than democratic characteristics to try to preempt future challenges to its power. If the government is toppled by minority elements, an authoritarian regime could almost be guaranteed in order for the minority to retain its grip on power. Between those two outcomes would be a risk of fragmentation, which could be destabilizing not just for Iraq but also for neighboring states. Stable, liberal democracy appears to be a low probability outcome, and Baghdad's recent political evolution toward an increasingly Shia-centric focus has probably reduced that probability.

For now, at least in the near-term, Iraq will likely remain on a path of increasingly illiberal rule aimed at further strengthening Shia power and serving Shia interests. Its foreign policy trajectory will likely continue to bring it closer to Iran, making it slowly but unmistakably a less reliable partner for the U.S. Low-level violence will persist with periodic bombings and perhaps some armed clashes. Areas neighboring Syria could see a higher level of violence.
 

ecofarm

global liberation
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
117,839
Reaction score
33,967
Location
Miami
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Unfortunately, the U.S. does not have unlimited resources (financial, military, and manpower) to expend effort for an indefinite time period.
I don't have a problem with the US standard of living dropping in an effort to push world development.

The rest of your post is speculation.
 

MadLib

monstrous vermin
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 6, 2011
Messages
6,248
Reaction score
2,439
Location
Upstate New York
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
I don't have a problem with the US standard of living dropping in an effort to push world development.
You'll pry my level 37 Skyrim character and frozen taquitos from my cold, dead hands!
 

MadLib

monstrous vermin
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 6, 2011
Messages
6,248
Reaction score
2,439
Location
Upstate New York
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Unfortunately, the U.S. does not have unlimited resources (financial, military, and manpower) to expend effort for an indefinite time period. Even if, down the road, Iraq manages to become a democratic state, but completes its evolution into a reliable Iranian ally, it would be difficult to define that outcome as a "success." More likely, Iraq will evolve to a situation where it continues to hold elections, but the result of Shia dominance and Shia-focused leadership would be an assured outcome. As a result, its foreign policy path will take it closer to Iran. At the same time, it is unlikely to become a champion of Mideast peace and it could become even more opposed to accommodation with Israel than it already is. Meanwhile, its disenfranchised Kurds and Sunnis will continue to face tough choices: acquiesce to what could become an increasingly marginal societal role, depart Iraq for other countries, or try to fight to safeguard some basic rights. All of those options will be chosen by some people.

The number of people making each of those choices, something that remains uncertain, will make a huge difference in shaping Iraq's more distant future. The result could be a continuation of today's simmering tension. But the result could be worse. There could be a risk of periodic violence, and some possibility of a fresh full-fledged insurgency. In turn, should a vigorous insurgency erupt, that could lead to a return to authoritarian rule. If the insurgency is defeated, the victorious government would very likely take on more authoritarian than democratic characteristics to try to preempt future challenges to its power. If the government is toppled by minority elements, an authoritarian regime could almost be guaranteed in order for the minority to retain its grip on power. Between those two outcomes would be a risk of fragmentation, which could be destabilizing not just for Iraq but also for neighboring states. Stable, liberal democracy appears to be a low probability outcome, and Baghdad's recent political evolution toward an increasingly Shia-centric focus has probably reduced that probability.

For now, at least in the near-term, Iraq will likely remain on a path of increasingly illiberal rule aimed at further strengthening Shia power and serving Shia interests. Its foreign policy trajectory will likely continue to bring it closer to Iran, making it slowly but unmistakably a less reliable partner for the U.S. Low-level violence will persist with periodic bombings and perhaps some armed clashes. Areas neighboring Syria could see a higher level of violence.
This is fairly likely to occur (although not guaranteed); keep in mind, though, that in Iraq there was a very limited opposition to Saddam's rule, and (apparently) most of Iraq's social capital had been eliminated by Saddam. In Syria there is a powerful, organized front opposing Assad that is led by Western-educated individuals, not all of whom are Muslims. Once Assad has been toppled, assuming the Islamists haven't overshadowed the FSA, the Syrian rebel leaders are more likely to set up a democratic (though not entirely Western) government than the people who took charge in Iraq.

And I would disagree that the Kurds are facing marginalization by the Iraqi government. They've been given far greater autonomy since the fall of Saddam, and Iraq's current president is a Kurd. Iraqi Kurdistan's recent quarrel with the government has more to do with economic disagreements than racial supremacy.

I don't mean to go too far off-topic, but what instances are you thinking of in terms of majoritarianism against Sunnis and Kurds?
 

donsutherland1

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
11,818
Reaction score
10,197
Location
New York
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
I don't have a problem with the US standard of living dropping in an effort to push world development.

The rest of your post is speculation.
I doubt that most Americans would willingly trade down the nation's standard of living to finance activities that may provide little or no long-term benefit to the nation's strategic interests.

The speculative aspect is largely based on the region's history and recent developments. Given the absence of clear reasons for a different outcome, it provides a set of scenarios, though it isn't all-inclusive. Inattention to history (not from Generals Shinseki and Zinni) led to bad post-war planning for Iraq, as the highly likely outbreak of insurgency was discounted. The same lack of attention to Afghanistan's history, societal and institutional structure, British and Soviet experiences, and risks of a lack of supply chain flexibility again led to poor planning. In both cases, a lot of catching up was required e.g., troop surges. At the same time, at least through the present, the situations in both countries are less favorable than they could or should have been given the resources and effort that had been expended. In short, I don't believe one should rely on best-case scenarios. If such scenarios unfold, that's great. Unfortunately, in the Mideast, such scenarios have rarely materialized. If not, consideration of less favorable scenarios leads to better preparation and an ability to mitigate major risks.
 

donsutherland1

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
11,818
Reaction score
10,197
Location
New York
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
This is fairly likely to occur (although not guaranteed); keep in mind, though, that in Iraq there was a very limited opposition to Saddam's rule, and (apparently) most of Iraq's social capital had been eliminated by Saddam. In Syria there is a powerful, organized front opposing Assad that is led by Western-educated individuals, not all of whom are Muslims. Once Assad has been toppled, assuming the Islamists haven't overshadowed the FSA, the Syrian rebel leaders are more likely to set up a democratic (though not entirely Western) government than the people who took charge in Iraq.

And I would disagree that the Kurds are facing marginalization by the Iraqi government. They've been given far greater autonomy since the fall of Saddam, and Iraq's current president is a Kurd. Iraqi Kurdistan's recent quarrel with the government has more to do with economic disagreements than racial supremacy.

I don't mean to go too far off-topic, but what instances are you thinking of in terms of majoritarianism against Sunnis and Kurds?
Several points:

1. Things are better for the Kurds at present than they were under Saddam Hussein.
2. There has been backsliding. Two examples: Increasing encroachment from Baghdad on the semi-autonomous Kurdish region's oil-related transactions and Baghdad's sending armed forces to the borders of the Kurdish semiautonomous region to exert pressure on the Kurdish regional government to tilt the proverbial field against the Kurds in a long-running Kurdish-Arab land dispute.
 

MMC

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
56,981
Reaction score
27,029
Location
Chicago Illinois
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
I doubt that most Americans would willingly trade down the nation's standard of living to finance activities that may provide little or no long-term benefit to the nation's strategic interests.

The speculative aspect is largely based on the region's history and recent developments. Given the absence of clear reasons for a different outcome, it provides a set of scenarios, though it isn't all-inclusive. Inattention to history (not from Generals Shinseki and Zinni) led to bad post-war planning for Iraq, as the highly likely outbreak of insurgency was discounted. The same lack of attention to Afghanistan's history, societal and institutional structure, British and Soviet experiences, and risks of a lack of supply chain flexibility again led to poor planning. In both cases, a lot of catching up was required e.g., troop surges. At the same time, at least through the present, the situations in both countries are less favorable than they could or should have been given the resources and effort that had been expended. In short, I don't believe one should rely on best-case scenarios. If such scenarios unfold, that's great. Unfortunately, in the Mideast, such scenarios have rarely materialized. If not, consideration of less favorable scenarios leads to better preparation and an ability to mitigate major risks.
Well, it would be speculation as to the ME coming out and being Democratic as well as having their standard of living improved on.
 
Top Bottom