Iraq's Sectarian Fire

(Boston Globe) Editorial - The Sunni Arab regimes in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt have made it plain they see the consequences of regime change in Iraq as a strategic setback for their side. They see in Iraq's turbulence a catalyst for the destabilizing emergence of what King Abdullah of Jordan called a ''Shi'ite crescent" running from Iran through Iraq and extending to Lebanon. The exclusivist Wahhabi doctrines of the Saudi regime stigmatize Shi'ites as heretics. Shi'ites in Saudi Arabia, who make up only about 10% of the population, are concentrated in the oil-rich eastern province. Nonetheless, those same regimes bear part of the blame for the dangerous drift toward sectarian war in Iraq. They have been too slow to denounce and help defeat the Sunni Arab jihadists from their countries who have gone to Iraq to wage holy war under Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist master who has overtly declared that his primary objective is to kill Shi'ite heretics and provoke a sectarian civil war in Iraq. The number one objective of U.S. policy for Iraq - and for the larger Middle East - must be to stamp out the flames of that sectarian war before they consume Iraq and spread outward across the Gulf, into central Asia, and toward the Mediterranean. The conflagration that Zarqawi's jihadists have been stoking could otherwise set the entire region afire.

2006-02-14 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive