War in the Gulf

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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Israel may not even be involved in the attacks. It suits the Sunnis to have their Zionist boogeyman and it suits Israel to be the boogeyman. The Sunnis get their conspiracy theories about Jewish power and Israel gets the deterrent power of being seen as able to strike anywhere at any time.

For all the noise recently coming out of Tehran it is doubtful that the regime really believes Israel is responsible either. The traditional Iranian response to Israeli domestic activities is to round up and string up members of the local Jewish community. That hasn’t happened yet. For that matter if the regime really believed that gangs of Israeli agents were freely roaming its streets and wiping out key personnel then heads would be rolling within its own security forces on a daily basis. That hasn’t happened either.

Who is actually carrying out the attacks? The list of suspects is endless because the Iranian regime has plenty of domestic opponents and is internally divided against itself. Paranoia is routine in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, some of whose commanders might profit from making the nuclear program more expensive to develop. Between ethnic minorities, political opponents and internal traitors, the list is nearly endless.

If the Gulfies are involved, directly or indirectly, then the explosions serve their purpose. They fear an Iranian nuke as much as Israel does and they also want to avert a direct war. A massive Israeli operation will turn Iran into the victim and fingers will be pointed at Sunni Arab states which will be forced to explain how Israeli jets were able to overfly their territory. An American strike will require them to lend their bases to an assault on a Muslim state, which will lead to even more of a backlash.

With the Arab Spring becoming an Islamic Winter the Gulfies are playing for time. On the one hand they want the United States to hold back any Israeli attacks until they approve, on the other they want to sabotage and undermine Iran long enough for a Sunni Islamist coalition to be strong enough to hold back any Iranian threats. If Iran is to have nukes, the Gulfies want them first and they want them in the hands of people that even Tehran’s Ayatollahs will be afraid of. Not the Israelis, who are fairly liberal, but Wahhabis who view Shiites as infidels and would have no problem pushing the button.

A nuclear stalemate between two fanatical branches of the same religion is bad enough, even if you think that nuclear winter might be a myth. Muslim states often divert themselves from direct armed confrontations by competing for status in wars against fully authentic infidels.

Bin Laden established his bona fides by flying jets into American skyscrapers. Iran does it by bombing Israelis. A nuclear standoff between Sunnis and Shiites would most likely end with nuclear weapons exploding in non-Muslim cities. Potential targets include Tel Aviv, New York and Moscow. Potential attackers would include any of the numerous Sunni and Shiite Muslim terrorist groups being funded by Iran and Saudi Arabia which have developed into worldwide networks.

The first act of mass destruction carried out against Westerners was done by a Sunni terrorist group. The next one might be done by a Shiite group, just as a matter of competitiveness and because the United States is closely aligned with the Saudis and the rest of the Gulfies. While a nuclear standoff might result in a repetition of the Iran-Iraq War, it is more likely to result in another September 11 but on a much more massive scale.

War in the Gulf might still come, but the Gulfies have a history of fighting a different kind of war. That war can be seen in the No Go Zones of European cities, the economic sabotage and terrorism. For the moment they would like to avoid that direct confrontation and they might succeed, but the long term costs of standing by while a Sunni Shiite nuclear arms race takes off may be more than we can even begin to imagine.

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  • 9-11 Infidel

    That was pretty good. I have my own theory about the Sunni-Shia rift. I don't believe that Iran will hit the Israelis first. I believe they want to lead the Muslim world and to do that, they will have to destroy the guardians of the two holy cities first. Once the Saudis are blown away, the rest of the Muslim world will fight under the banner of Iran and march on Jerusalem. Iran wants to be the head of the 6th Khalifa. They will usher in their Mahdi with a Shia nuclear war against Sunni Arabia…whom they resent…and when the world turns against them, they will gather their army, and the armies of the Muslim world and wage a conventional war on Israel. What was the popular chant in Tahir Square? "To Jerusalem we march, martyrs by the millions". What does anyone not take them seriously? Or what?

    • drtruth

      Very possible scenario. The other possibility is that Iran will in fact attack Israel first because either an attack on any of the gulf states or Israel would involve an American response but a successful attack on Israel with an attempt at invasion by Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq would surround the gulfies on all sides which may force their submission. This would also tie up the USA which may find it more difficult to fight on so many fronts. Personally I think that if Iran initiates any attack it will gp for broke and attack the US home land as well. News reports have indicated the presence of HeZbollah in cuba and Niciruagua. As well there is an alliance between Venezuela and Tehran. Russia could be dragged in as well since they are a strong ally and supporter of the Iranian regime and are facillitating their acquiring a nuke. So their seems to be a greater chess match going on but I wouldn’t bet on a Sunni – Shiite war which would weaken Iran and put a strain on their ability to form a Shiite caliphate.

  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    Getting the Israeli Pontius Pilate Argument in extra early this war?

  • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ JasonPappas

    This raises an important question. What is our role? We have troops in the gulf and we positioned ourselves along the Sunni-Shiite fault lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. The American people, both left and right, are getting tired of policing these savages. Do we want to be on the tripwire that brings us into the heart of this conflict?

    We already demonstrated our military superiority. Our ability to use nukes is on the record. If we are not in the region, it will be clear to both sides that they do not want us back as an enemy. In this lull we should remove ourselves from the middle of this Islamic civil war.

    Keeping Iran from getting the bomb is as far as we should go. Once Iran has it, Saudi Arabia will get it from Pakistan. Pulling out then will look weak. We can leave now without looking weak.

    Let the new Egyptian Islamic government protect their fellow Sunni Muslims in the Gulf. If Syria falls into the Sunni camp it can join with Egypt to position forces on the Sunni side of the fault line. Of course, they'll fight with Iran over Iraq … but we'll be gone. Everything will be back to normal. Let's get out now … it's going to blow.

    • Tabris

      Hi JasonPappas

      What do you think the real reason is we are meddling in the Middle East? OIL is what we need because without it we would have our own civil war in the US in no time. Therefore we can only pull out of the Middle East if we are oil independent. Each time you fill up your car we need to stay a little longer, with more lost lives and creating a larger deficit. Do your own contribution and get rid of your oil slurping clunker and get an electric car. If everybody that has fear of the spread of Islam in America did this, we would become independent of the middle east and could let them do whatever they want. If the Shia and Sunnies start their war now, that would be at this moment a disaster for the US too.
      Jason, don't you feel guilty each time you pay at the pump knowing that some of this money goes to the jihadist to terrorize us, colonize us or to enforce sharia law on us?

      The prerequisite for being able to pull out of the Middle is to become independent of their oil. Each and every one of you reading this article and agreeing that we have no business in this wasp nest can do something about this themselves by obtaining electric transportation. Not doing so would make you a hypocrite.

      • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ JasonPappas

        China buys twice the oil that we do from Saudi Arabia. China also buys oil from Iran. We buy little of the oil from Iraq. So why are we putting our men and women at risk? We will soon be a net exporter of gasoline and fuel according to the Wall Street Journal (Nov. 30, 2011)

        I argued that we can withdraw support of Saudi Arabia in my article here: http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/2005_06_01_

      • Becca

        Except, you need oil to produce electricity.

      • Becca

        Don't you know that you need oil to produce electricity?

  • Indioviejo

    It is a very convincing explanation of what is happening in that Muslim region of the world.
    We should avoid involvement unless it is to deny nuclear weapons to both sides, because we have no friends there, just enemies. Granted, we have to prioritize these bad actors, but it needs to be done if we are to survive as a nation. Islam is an existential threat, be it Sunni or Shiite.

  • BLJ

    Good article. The idea of any of these lunatics having a nuke is frightening. It would be nice if they could just kill each other off.

    The world would be a better place and these savages would not be missed.

    • mlcblog

      That is one argument for us staying out of it and developing our own oil here. Left to themselves, they endlessly squabble and keep their own population down and inhibit their own abilities to develop anything, let alone nuclear capacity that will work.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    The solution is not very complicated. We are already out of Iraq. Let's get out of Afghanistan ASAP. The last thing we should do is negotiate, as both sides are our enemies. Let the jihad between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban resume. Indeed, Muslim on Muslim violence is good for us and bad for them.

    Next, oust the ruling Mullah regime in Iran and destroy their nuclear weapons program. Then get the hell out of Dodge ASAP.

    Coerce or use force – whatever it takes – to confiscate the Saudi owned nuclear weapons arsenal in Pakistan and destroy the Pakistan nuclear weapons program. Then again get the hell our of Dodge ASAP

    Outlaw Islam and ban and reverse mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage ASAP. Zero Muslim stealth jihadists living in America as a fifth column will equal zero probability of violent jihad attacks and at the same time also eliminate non-violent jihad. Thus, we could use the hundreds of billions of dollars we currently waste annually to provide a false sense of security to get our financial house back in order.

    Seize and occupy the Mideast oilfields and confiscate the unearned oil wealth of the Saudis and the Gulf State Emirs, not out of greed, but instead in self defense, because they are already using those resources and assets to wage a permanent and perpetual stealth global jihad against us and all non-Muslim unbelievers in the world.

    Last, isolate the Islamic world from the West. Since without the West the Islamic world is incapable of producing anything on its own other than murder, rape, torture, mayhem, and lots and lots of misery, the Islamic world will inevitably devolve into abject poverty. Then let them stew for a few generations until the totalitarian ideology of Islam becomes discredited and destroyed.

    All Islamic countries and all Muslims in the world are our enemies. No exceptions. If they are not our enemies, then they are not Muslims at all, but blasphemous apostates instead that per the dictates of MAINSTREAM ORTHODOX ISLAM must be executed.

    • drtruth

      Brilliant. This is what I have been saying all along. Stop all the nation building. Just keep reducing their military capability to sticks and stones and imprison the entire muslim cult in their own countries so the only ones they can kill are themselves. Better them then us. Israel should expel everyone of them and create whatever defensible borders that it deems appropriate for themselves to protect their country. They are already erecting a wall in Sinai. Get rid of all the arabs in the territories (the so called Palestinians who r also all terrorists) stand back and watch all these sick sub human psychos eliminate themselves. I’ll supply the popcorn.

  • UCSPanther

    Sounds like another fine day in Middle Eastern politics…

  • koran kid

    There is the spoilt children syndrome. They crave attention. Any action must be lateral and measured, or even random. At the moment, things are going the only way they can, and this seems a fair analysis of the likely outcome. In which case find a country with a big army that no one likes to mess with, and hunker down. That used to be America!

  • Yeshayahu Goldfeld

    The West is superior in all respect to the billion and a half hate crazed Muslims posing danger around the globe. It is the serf-like timidity of Western politicians and the colossal stupidity of so called Western intellectuals which encourage the Muslim murderers to attack everywhere .

  • Tabris

    "It is the serf-like timidity of Western politicians and the colossal stupidity of so called Western intellectuals which encourage the Muslim murderers to attack everywhere . "

    The above statement makes it exactly why we are not superior.

  • Debanjan Banerjee

    Another example of simple minding American thinking.

    One thing all of you are missing.

    It is seemingly very simple-minded from you. You believe Muslims are so foolish that they will continue to kill each other as long as the West wants them to do so.

    You are forgetting one key aspect here. The same civil war can very quickly move into America.

    Remember America have got a ruling and fast-shrinking Anglo-Saxon elite and a fast-growing and impoverished Hispanic minority . None of them can withstand each other.

    The wars that you think can continue to simmer on in the Muslim World can very similarly can raise its head here in America.

  • Havoc29

    This was a very interesting article. I had always thought Mossad was behind the deaths of the Iranian nuke scientists, but to think it could be Sunnis or foreign hit men paid by Sunnis is very intriguing.
    Hey, I'm all for a Sunni-Shia war. I'm not worried about the oil, they both need it to fund their war machines. So let these incompetents bleed themselves white (I think back to the Iran-Iraq war in which they each lost hundreds of thousands in a war of attrition). So, by all means, let these backwards animals kill each other off.

  • MartinTimothy

    The Koran condemns "schismatics" who go on with "Sunni" this or "Shia" that .. I wanna see where this wanker has "cast truth at falsehood," according to the following stricture in the Koran..

    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Cast truth against falsehood
    The Koran: Chapter 21, verse 18

    60,000 or so Jews failed to turn up for work at the WTC, 11 September 2001, whence allegedly hijacked aircraft, were flown into the World Trade Center in New York, in an attack blamed on Arabs, which became the impetus for the current wars against all and sundry, in the name of the War on Terror!

    Mossad agents filming the drama amid “evident Jewbilation,” and Put Options on airline stocks, that made hundreds of millions traced to Mossad HQ in Yisrael, says Jews did it.
    http://s60.radikalsp@m/i169/1003/f7/5dbc426c4403…. .. Cruise Missile slamming into the Pentagon, in an attack blamed on a crazy Arab in a Boeing 757, http://s014.radikalsp@m/i329/1102/51/ee7df9707ac5… .. a guided missile at the WTC on 911

    All Persian, Iranian, Middle Eastern, Indonesian, and the Atalanta and Chicago False Moslem congregations in the United States, are unbelievers of the worst kind, for similarly failing to "cast truth," in a matter of such vital importance as illegal war!

    Agriculture, writing, and the domestication of animals, all originated in the Tigris Euphrates region called Iraq, the tribes that have been located there since the time of Adam, are the Sunni, the Shia are every one else!

    The Sunni are often don’t do the manual chores, so they have been bringing in workers from other places for centuries, these workers do not usually attend Sunni mosques, which are most often built and maintained by a single extended family.

    They usually attend to their religious affairs, in Mosques that are located in working class areas of the city, that have become known as Shia Mosques.

    At no time has war or conflict between the two sectors of society, been permitted, either under secular law, or within the strictures of Islam, and all parties are aware, that murder is met with speedy and deadly retaliation, according to the instruction in the Koran!

  • Ghostwriter

    Again,another creepy insight into the world of hana from his/her favorite website. You must have been happy when 9/11 happened. All those innocent Americans dead or dying. Must have made your heart happy,didn't it?