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Sunni and Shia Divided in Iraq, the Land of Cain and Abel

World  (tags: world, politics, religions, Shia vs. Sunni, iraq, 'HUMANRIGHTS!', freedoms, society, news )

- 1890 days ago -
Muslim brothers killing Muslim brothers in spates of violence between the Sunni and Shia sects rippling out in waves across the Middle East.

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Carol H (229)
Monday March 18, 2013, 4:33 am
noted, thanks Cal

Past Member (0)
Monday March 18, 2013, 5:29 am
That's the great thing about dictatorships, they bring peace and security.

Kit B (276)
Monday March 18, 2013, 6:58 am

Does it really matter what type of government exists in places where people will kill for religious differences? The leaders of the religious groups could step up and help to end this, but will they?

PlsNoMessage s (588)
Monday March 18, 2013, 8:58 am

Stephen Brian (23)
Monday March 18, 2013, 12:01 pm
Democracy is meant to provide a peaceful outlet for these conflicts, but it only works if people are more committed to maintaining the democracy than to their factions in the conflict. Unfortunately, Loyalties in Arab culture pretty much extend outward from the individual. Loyalty to the country is often overridden by loyalty to family, tribe, ethnic group, religious sect, and political faction. This hierarchy prevents democracy, maintains internal violence, prevents peace from developing as we have it in the West, prevents prosperity, and drives a whole lot of other problems. Fortunately, it also cripples their armies so they have a lot of trouble bringing their problems elsewhere.

Gene J (290)
Monday March 18, 2013, 12:18 pm
“There is an underlying trend of revenge,” says the analyst, who asked to remain anonymous to be able to speak freely about Iraqi government policies after 2003. “Nobody was talking about it but many of the things that were taking place somehow to me reeked of revenge and fear — they wanted to make sure that what happened to them never happened again.”

This really is the heart of the matter. Though this region has been at it for thousands of years and some of those grievances they talk about in the article go back that far. No one ever forgets, no one ever forgives, and compromise doesn't seem to have a counterpart in Arabic.

. (0)
Monday March 18, 2013, 3:19 pm
"In a country known for its religious tolerance..." I stopped reading this article at that point.

mar l ene dinkins (264)
Monday March 18, 2013, 3:48 pm
noted thnx Cal!!!!!!

Past Member (0)
Monday March 18, 2013, 4:00 pm
What a dreadful place to live...period. I feel for the innocent people. Thanks Cal

Beth S (330)
Monday March 18, 2013, 4:10 pm
Well said Gene and Stephen. What floors me is that the slaughter between Sunni and Shia hasn't stopped since Islam began, yet they want to blame Israel for everything.

Peace will never come if these morons can't face the truth.

Stan B (123)
Monday March 18, 2013, 4:50 pm
It's a pity the Sunni and Shia can't just kill each other and leave the rest of us alone.

Stephen Brian (23)
Monday March 18, 2013, 4:58 pm
I'm not too worried about the direct effects of them blaming Israel. Here's part of why they lost all the wars, and will continue to do so. Let's say the primary loyalty in a given Arab state is by "tribe". The "tribe" could be a tribe, an ethnicity, a sect, or whatever. The country's army has three choices in its unit-composition:

First, it can ignore the tribal structure. This will lead to units where some tribe dominates, or a few tribes dominate and others are minor, just by statistical spread. In those cases, the military command-structure has to compete with the tribal hierarchy, and these "tribes" do tend to have formal hierarchies. Nobody knows which orders any given soldier will follow, and it is impossible to run an army like that. Even worse, those from worse-represented or less powerful tribes will get the worse and riskier jobs. Such discrimination is enough to drive soldiers to desert the unit.

Second, it can try organizing by tribe, with each unit containing only one tribe, and with commanders running along the tribal hierarchy. Not only does that mean putting people in command who may not be the best military commanders in order to get some semblance of order, but it introduces what I call "rational cowardice" at the unit-level. If that unit takes major losses, then even if the army triumphs, once peace is restored, the tribe will be at a serious disadvantage when the inter-tribe conflict comes back. It will therefore not risk itself, especially to come to the aid of units of another tribe.

Third, it can try an even distribution so that no tribe dominates any unit. This is a human-resources nightmare, but it can be done. The problem in this is individual-level "rational cowardice". Each soldier knows that after the war, he's either dead or fighting the other guys in his unit. He will not risk himself to aid them, and they know it, so the unit cannot act as one. The only way around this is with officers who can instill some loyalty to the unit among the soldiers, and getting people to change loyalties like that is no small task. Those officers are extremely exceptional, so most of the army would suffer from effective cowardice (no matter how brave the soldiers really are).

Mitchell D (87)
Monday March 18, 2013, 5:21 pm
This is what happens, when you live in the remote past.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Monday March 18, 2013, 5:45 pm
Noted and they insist on dragging us all back to the 9th century? No thanks. Do us all a favor and off yourselves already.

lee e (114)
Monday March 18, 2013, 10:04 pm
Ugh! Just the headline of this piece makes me regurgitate! When will the mythicists stop perpetuating their foolish fundamentalism! Sorry this really is an affront to my moral standards which include a staunch stand against Religion at all costs!

Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 19, 2013, 3:54 am
They even kill each other. No one is safe from these extemists.

Robert B (60)
Tuesday March 19, 2013, 6:38 am
And I thought religion was all about love and forgiveness, silly me. The Shia and Sunni conflicts are as stupid and tragic as the Catholic and Protestant conflicts were. Does religion make some people stupid? I suspect religion is just an easy excuse for greed and land grabs. Excuse me while I go pray to the easter bunny for more chocolate.

Beth S (330)
Tuesday March 19, 2013, 10:53 am
Robert B.,

No, the Shia and Sunni conflicts are much worse and more stupid. Hard to believe, I know, but pretty universally true.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 19, 2013, 3:48 pm
They cant even get on with each other not much hope for them getting on with anyone else then


bob m (32)
Wednesday March 20, 2013, 8:44 am

They will face the Truth ..some day... meantime they have a virus ... called islam.

Faye Swan (23)
Friday March 22, 2013, 3:32 pm
Noted - thank you!

bob m (32)
Friday March 22, 2013, 7:57 pm

Cain and Abel...Sunni and Shia... what have these two to do with the other?....the twisted logic of islam ..fitting frick to frack and coming up with a new epoch of unreality... ...oh ..I get it ... is the connection the spirit of murder...the common denominator.
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