Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Monday, January 4, 2016

In Case You Missed It

While we are all focused on Yokel Haram taking over government buildings, Saudi Arabia and Iran have broken off diplomatic relations, which is kind of surprising, since I didn't know that HAD diplomatic relations.

This sort of move is typically a prelude to war, and everyone loses if that is the case. If you are trying to weigh which regime is more evil, less liberal and crueler to its subjects, it's VERY hard to declare a definitive bad guy.  We have historical ties with Saudi Arabia and historical enmity with Iran stretching back to 1979, but in recent years, it has been the Saudis who have propped up Al Qaeda and ISIL.

If it weren't for the havoc that might be wreaked on the global economy, this is like a Saints-Panthers game: I would be rooting for injuries.  As it is, we will undoubtedly be pulled in on the side of the House of Saud, which is a damned shame, because those guys are awful.

The Saudi decision to execute yet another political dissident - this time a Shia cleric - is what has prompted this.  That decision is not doubt based on the Saudis continued fear of their "right flank" with the religious extremists that they have crawled into bed with.  They killed that guy to look tough for ISIL and other Sunni extremists, now they may touch off a sectarian war that will stretch from Syria to the Straits of Hormuz.

Maybe this is an inevitable end result of the toppling of Saddam Hussein, but we are once again being dragged back into the sand box.

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