The Exiled Shalash

Friday, July 14, 2006

High Times for al-Qaeda

When the US embassies in Africa were bombed, I recall talking to a Shi'a friend who said, "this will switch focus from Shi'a terrorism to Sunni terrorism." I say "Shi'a friend" only because he is a practicing and proud Shi'a as opposed to me who sees his Shi'aism as a mere accident of birth, no more, no less. He was right, in the years that followed, Hizbollah was no longer the center of attention in Washington and failure to deal with this organization resulted in its legitimacy as it became part of the Lebanese government.

On other fronts, SCIRI and al-Da'awa became U.S. allies in the most important foreign policy decision since WWII, the Iraq project. So all in all, the religious Shi'a groups were off the hook and prospering in the region while, Bin Laden and other Sunni terrorists were hiding in caves.

Hizbollah's recent actions against Israel force Washington once again to rethink its policy vis-a-vis the fundemntalist Shi'a groups. Sooner or later, Washington will realize that its democratization project will fail if the sub-contractors for the project are men like Abdulaziz al-Hakim and Nuri al-Maliki, not to mention, the Sadrists who go around Baghdad killing people on identity on a DAILY BASIS.

Hassan Nassrallah, Abdulaziz al-Hakim, Ibrahim al-Ja'afari, Muqtada al-Sadr, Nuri al-Maliki, Mahmud Ahmadinajad, Ali Khamna'i all want the same thing, strong mullacracies in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon (or at least southern Lebanon). Their differences concern the importance of Najaf over Karbala or Qum, not over whether it is right for an 8 year old girl to be married in a court of law, that they agree on.

So as Washington is firmly suporting its ally, Israel against the Shi'a, Bin Laden, somewhere is smiling. It is ironic (or is it) that Saudi Arabia and Bin Laden are probably the only two parties who can potentially benefit from the ongoing crisis in Lebanon.

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