the Shiite Revival

"Shiite revival", that is what Vali Nashr said about what happen in the Middle East and I think he is right in many ways. But who made it possible?

Shi'is have relatively "disappeared" from the Middle East map for a long time. Although there were a number of great Shiite empires in the past, such as Fatimiyyah and Shasanid, in general we only know significant political appearance of Shi'i in the modern time in the form of Iran, the Islamic republic. One might be surprised to find that what once known as Sunni state of Iraq, supported by much Sunni states when it had confrontation with Iran in 1980s, is in fact another state with Shiite majority in the Middle East. We just know it only after US invasion of Iraq toppling the Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein from his presidency.

Now, there are two Shiite states in the Middle East and a significant political Shiite group, whose military power more powerful than the one of the state, in Lebanon. These facts have changed dramatically political map of the Middle East, and a rivalry between Sunni and Shii worsened the already messed-up region.

We can now draw possible clashes in the Middle East in many ways. A clash between secular and Islamist, authoritarian regimes and civic-Islamic movements, Sunni and Shi'i, Arab and Israel, Hezbollah and Israel, Hamas and Israel, Hamas and PLO, Islamic Jihad and Israel, Egyptian government and the Muslim Brotherhood.

And if we expand the spectrum a little bit Eastward, we will have other new looming conflicts in Afghanistan (Western-backed government and Taliban), Sunni and Shiite in Pakistan, Pakistan and its province of Baluchistan, and also Kashmir. If we extend our spectrum Westward, we find the burning Darfur and the possible new conflict in the near-past calm of Somalia (where the CIA backed-up warlord was defeated by the Islamist movement).

I don't know what to say... but I know one to blame...

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