Confused about what and who is going on in the Middle East?

Right now in the Middle East we have Arab Islamists killing Arab Islamists. I think that is the good news and plenty of reason for the US to stay out of it.

Just in case you are trying to keep score of what and who I tried to come up with a simple “executive summary.”

Middle East  2012
Click for hi-res. Map courtesy of the CIA.

Syria (Alawite, off-shoot of Shia) is in a civil war with rebels that are Sunni. Syria is backed by Iran (Shia). The rebels are backed by Saudi Arabia (Sunni) and other Sunni ruled Gulf countries.

Iraq (Sunni) is threatened from the inside by many Shia militias that are supported by Iran (Shia) and from the outside by ISIS (Sunni).

Yemen (Sunni) is threatened from within by the Houthis rebels (Shia). The rebels are backed by Iran (Shia) and that upsets Saudi Arabia (Sunni). Saudi Aribia and a coalition of Arab Sunni kingdoms is bombing the Houthis. This upsets Iran (Shia).

Shia . . . Syria, Iran*, Iraq’s militias, Yemin Houthis rebels.
Sunni . . .  Saudi Arabia, ISIS, Al-Qaida, Iraq, many other Gulf counties.

Of course in all the Middle East countries are Shiites (Shia) and Sunnis but for the most part the Sunnis are more numerous. Who’s in charge seems to be a matter of who has the most power.

*Iran is not an Arab country but is Persian.

Why are we still wasting time in Afghanistan?

An Afghan woman, Farkhunda, was beaten with sticks and stones, dragged by a car and then thrown onto the bank of the Kabul River and set afire by men.

Why? Because they believed an Imam who said she had burned the Koran.

What we know. Farkhunda was a devout Muslim, 27 years old, who graduated from a local religious school and was preparing to begin classes in the Islamic Studies department of Kabul University. She was, in traditional dress, lecturing a a local mullah who was known for selling charms to women outside a shrine in central Kabul. She thought he was taking advantage of the poor.

He or someone accused her of burning the Koran. She said, “I am a Muslim and Muslims do not burn the Koran.”

And there you have it. Just an accusation of a woman was enough to get her beaten, stoned, dragged and burned. In Afghanistan. By men.

We won’t change this.

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