Vantage point

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Whenever I see politicians or pundits in America talk, I am amazed at how little they have learnt about the Middle East even after losing 4,000 soldiers and hundreds of billions of dollars there. There are a million points that illustrate this, but the one I find most amusing is the whole "Iranian influence on Iraq" question. The talking heads are bugged that Iran seems to be becoming increasingly influential in Iraq. They can't stand it.

Excellent! So you first remove from power the Bath Party, a Sunni-dominated and somewhat secular party that ruled with an iron fist a Shia majority country. Shias who are already a tiny minority in the Muslim world. And whose only real "power centre" in the world is Iran, which happens to neighbour Iraq and share centuries of common history and culture.

And then you wonder why those "ungrateful" Iraqis are sidling up to Iran? Here are some more perplexing questions - why do mothers love their kids so much? Why are friends so friendly towards each other?