Iran and Beyond: Shi'ite vs. Sunni?

by Conn Hallinan

In 1609, a terrible thing happened: not terrible in the manner that great wars are terrible but in the way that opening Pandora's Box was terrible. King James I of England discovered that dividing people on the basis of religion worked like a charm, thus sentencing the Irish to almost four centuries of blood and pain.

If the Bush administration is successful in its current efforts to divide Islam by pitting Shi'ites against Sunnis it will revitalize the old colonial tactic of divide and conquer, and maintain the domination of the Middle East by authoritarian elites allied with the U.S. and the international energy industry.

Its vehicle, according to The New York Times, is an 'American backed alliance' of several Sunni-dominated regimes, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt, 'along with a Fatah-led Palestine and Israel.' The anti-Shiite front will also likely include Turkey and Pakistan.

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