Sunday, March 04, 2007

Seymour Hersh: The Redirection

I just read Seymour Hersch's New Yorker excellent piece on Iran called The Redirection. I used two highlighters -- Green for Shiites, Orange for Sunnis -- just to color in the terms Iran, Iraq, Shittes, Sunnis, Saudis, Syrians, Hezbollah, Khamenei, Lebanon in an attempt to keep them straight. The resulting page looks like a bright confetti shower of colors.

It's such a complex situation, but also there is great simplicity in the fact that the US is completely ham-handed and thick-craniumed about how we think we understand what's going on there (we don't) and that we can/should/will/ought to influence a new Middle East. Bush tossing the terms "war against terrorism" and "building a new democracy" around to describe this centuries old religious tribal warfare, to our citizens, is either so clever an obfuscation, or so stupid a perspective, as to be shocking.