Analyzing the balance of inter-Semitic
hatred to see where the Middle East is headed in 2013
Cole's Shia/Sunni Map
My approach to understanding the Semitic
mess called "the Middle East" is that first you've got to realize that
all of these peoples -- Arabs, Palestinians, Jews, Sunnis, Shia, Wahabis,
Hasidim, on and on -- are Semites. And so the whole ME mess is
just one big inter-Semitic dog-fight. Semites have been killing Semites
for as long as there have been Semites -- all the way back to Noah, and that is
not going to suddenly end in 2013. BTW, all of these people are called
"Semites" because they are descended from Noah's son, Shem. They
should be called "Shemites," but that sounds too much like female
bed-bugs, so they dropped the "h."
From this unvarnished perspective it is
easy to see that understanding the ME -- and guessing who is going to attack
whom next -- is a matter of figuring out the "balance of hatreds:" who
hates whom the most at any given time. Everything can be explained in
terms of a spectrum of Semitic hatred, for if history teaches us anything it's
that no group of people in the world loves hatred more than Semites.
With that rather stark introduction, we
turn to Juan
Cole's very masterful explanation of the current ME situation and what's
up for 2013. I don't think I have ever seen a cleaner or clearer
explanation of such a complex disaster. I could not hope to improve on
this piece and would not even try. What I will try to do, however, is to
look at the Palestinian-Israel shoah through the lens of Cole's analysis and
restate some of his major points in terms that might be more familiar to those
who speak a less disciplined -- i.e., less politically correct --
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not a moral conflict . .
. in the eyes of most of the world. Nobody, except the Palestinians,
cares about what is "right" and what is "wrong" with
respect to the Israelis stealing the Palestinians’ land. I mean NOBODY
-- Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindi, Buddhists, or Bengali bungi-jumpers --
cares that this incredible rip-off and the subsequent Israeli apartheid is
morally wrong. And that fact is Exhibit "A" in the argument
that the Israeli domination of the media is the most effective spin-machine of
all times and all places.
In the absence of moral motivations, the Palestinian-Israeli
conflict over the last 60 years has been driven by who has the most firepower
and who hates whom the most. Likewise, inter-Semitic hatred and the fear
of being nuked, essentially, is what drives the wider ME conflict.
Shia hate Sunnis; Sunnis hate Shia. It’s been that way
since Mohammad was on his death-bed and it won’t be changing in 2013. These
people have been literally cutting each other’s throats for over 1200 years.
This is the major dynamic that drives politics and policies in the ME.
Shia and Sunnis hate each other more than they hate Jews,
which suits the Jews just fine. The Israelis have been playing the Shia and
Sunnis against each other since before 1948 and they are masters at that game.
For instance there has been a lot of talk in 2012 about Israel setting up
airbases in Sunni controlled Azerbaijan on Iraq’s northern border. This is
possible only because the Azerbaijan Sunnis hate the Iranian Shia more than
they hate the Israeli Jews. See how this goes?
Iran is the dominant Shia force in the ME and in the world.
Palestinians are Sunnis. Israelis are Jews. Consequently, Iran hates the
Palestinians (a little bit) more than they hate the Jews. Besides, the
Israelis have nukes and are psychopathic enough to use them. And so Iran has
never been a major player in the Israel-Palestinian face-off, much to Israel’s
What happens inside Palestine is not affected by a
fear of Israel’s nukes other than the world powers will do what they have to
do to keep those nukes out of the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood or any other
Islamic organization. Israel's nuclear stockpile is what guarantees the
US's protection. But Israel is not going to drop nukes on Bethlehem or
any other Palestinian area. It’s called "not shitting in your own
nest." But Israel would nuke Cairo -- it has already threatened to
do so in the 1973 War. Israel would also likely drop tactical nukes on
Damascus and Beirut if push comes to shove. Only nuclear deterrence from
Iran would likely neutralize the Israeli nuclear threat.
Lebanon is a key strategic point in the Islamic fight
against Israel. There are vast oil reserves off-shore that Israel and
Lebanon have already started bickering over. Little Lebanon is looking
more an more like the lynch pin. It is virtually controlled by the Shite
group, Hizbullah, which is funded and armed by Shite Iran.
In order to get arms and supplies from Iran to Lebanon, ya’
gotta’ go through or over Iraq and Syria. That’s because US/Israel have a
lock on the Mediterranean.
Iraq is predominantly Shia. Saddam was Sunni and ruthlessly
subjugated the Shia. With the Sunnis in control of Iraq up until 2003,
Iran had limited opportunities for arming Lebanon, particularly when Iraq and
Iran were fighting a bloody war in which the US backed Saddam. But when a
butt-head named George H. Bush overthrew Saddam in 2003, a major barrier
between Iran and Lebanon came down and weapons began to flow into
Lebanon. Hizbullah became the darling of the anti-Israeli crowd
for beating back the Israeli attack in 2006, using arms supplied by Iran
Assad of Syria is, for all intents and purposes, Shia. One
of the groups trying to bring Assad down is the Muslim Brotherhood, a pack of
Sunnis supported by the Saudis and Egypt.
If the MB’hood gains control of Syria, it will certainly
team up with Lebanese Sunnis and Palestinians. Things will get very
Cole is suggesting that MB’hood control of Syria will shut
Iraq out of Lebanon, and Hizbullah will suffer as a result. But it seems to me
– on the balance of hatreds – that the MB’hood/Lebanese Sunnis and the
Hizbullah Shia hate the Jews more than they hate each other. If these militant
Shia/Sunni factions team up against Israel after Assad falls, arms will
continue to flow from Iran into Syria and Lebanon. In addition, Israel has to
deal with the MB’hood in Egypt to its south.
Hamas, an off-shoot of the MB'hood that controls Gaza, would
almost certainly come to the party if Hizbullah and MB’hood join forces.
This would be Israel’s worst nightmare: being surrounded by Muslims who hate
each other less than they hate Jews.
This analysis of the balance of hatreds would suggest that as
Assad's position weakens, Israel will begin to warm up to the PLO in order to
try and drive a wedge between Fatah/PLO Sunnis and any Hizbullah/MB’hood/Hamas
coalition. Israel certainly wants to get these Muslims to keep fighting
each other to prevent the UN from seriously considering giving Palestine
full-fledged nation status. But the only thing that might get the Shia and
Sunni militant groups to stop killing each other is their hatred of the
Jews. It is anybody's guess whether their hatred of the Jews is hot enough
to vitrify these Muslims into a sufficiently stable organization that would
justify nationhood status in the UN.
I would say "Don't hold your breath." Up to
now the Muslims have been too stupid and too blinded by Sunni/Shia hatred to get
organized against Israel, and that will always be the case for Sunnis and Shia
at large. For instance, the Saudis (Sunnis) hate and fear the Iranian Shia
a lot more than they hate or fear the Israeli Jews and they are known to be
supporting Israel plans to attack Iran. But if the non-nation, militant
Muslim factions that hate the Jews more than they hate each other are driven
together by the vacuum left by the disposed Assad regime, and if Iran is willing
to keep sending them arms, then the Israelis may have a very unpleasant 2013
unless they can convince the US to take out Iran.
-- Denis O'Brien, aka, The Gutter