US PUTS THE MILITARY OPTION ON THE TABLE
Ahmadinejad may hope to continue the Iranian circle game and prevent US action with military bravado , threats to activate Hizballa and attempts to create an anti-Kurdish coalition (Iranian ambassador: ‘US looking to carve Kurdish state from Turkey, Iran and Syria’) but he has provoked an anti-Shia one.
For as much as the world would like to focus on the Iranian threat to Israel, the truth is that recent Iranian exercises should refocus world attention of the Iranian threat to the Gulf region. It has already focused the mind of the ruling Sunnis and led Egyptian president Mubarak to accuse the Shia of dual loyalty.
Where is the Shia concentrated? Not in Egypt but all around the Gulf. That is the reason Mubarak said what he said in Dubai. It is difficult to find authoritative numbers because the Sunni rulers wish to minimize them. This anti Shia website claims that a mere 3% of Saudis are Shia while the Washington Post estimate is 15%. Either way, they are concentrated near the Gulf in the oil producing region. In addition to Iran and Iraq, Shia constitute the majority in Bahrain and are a significant minority in Kuwaite and the UAE. Mubarak and his fellow tyrants use fear of Shia takeover to justify their opposition to the democratization of the region.
The administration's cancellation of the talks with Iran about Iraq until after the establishment of a permanent Iraqi government is excellent news as are the unity demonstrations there. If only our Sunni ambassador stopped interfering.
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