Shiite-Sunni regional civil war potential has been much written about of late by political punters. Yet the Hezbalah kidnapping of a pair of Israeli soldiers recently seems a broader tangential actualizations of the phenomena deriving from political party inertia in the Middle East.
Israel of course is the somewhat hapless victim in the midst of the larger turmoil, yet Sunni and Shiia hate literature from both sides can agree that Israel and America are to blame for most everything wrong in the Middle East. A recent Foreign Affairs article by a Mr. Nasr developed many salient points of the ongoing political evolution of the potential for Shiite-Sunni strife.
Iran is the major Shiite player and Saudi Arabia the major Sunni, and each have different political leadership traits while the United States is to a certain extent a hostage of its own choosing to both oil and the desire for political stability and too prevent terrorism. While it would be swell if Israel could accomplish a lightening raid and rescuer all of its kidnapped troops, in pursuing a larger action to secure there release beyond international border they could exacerbate the tendency for the Shiite population and government of Iran to find reason for disfavor with Israel.
The inertial need for Hamas to continue politicking through violent means in the present will support the potential for a Muslim civil war should the United States withdraw under pressure from both sides sooner from Iraq rather than later. It goes without saying that the Bush administration has a plodding, resolute determination to rely upon oil for several decades as its friends prosper from that, and it believes that Iranian potential for U.S. terrorism will be increased if it is given a free hand in the region in support of an Iraqi Shiite government. Iran’s leaders may believe that nuclear weapons development will help it in the long run to find peace and stability even if a civil war ensues.
Obviously Iran and Iraq and the Palestinians too would be better off working peacefully with the United States and Israel to develop alternative energy sources and non-violent political progressions, yet common sense hasn’t generally prevailed much in the middle east. Perhaps I can write more on this interesting topic later.