You who do not read Murdoch's Australian will be pleased to know that, after remaining uncharacteristically silent throughout Jewish State's recent bloodletting in the Gaza Strip, Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan, foreign editor extraordinaire, has recovered his tongue from the proverbial cat, and is once more setting Australians straight on matters Middle Eastern:
"[T]he Australian debate [over future involvement in Syria] is bedevilled by three truly ludicrous myths peddled variously... by Greens, lefties, professional anti-Americans, and that great undifferentiated and largely uninformed cadre of general commentators on everything who figure so ubiquitously, and so repetitively, on the ABC. The myths are: that the rise of Islamic State in Iraq is a consequence of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq; that recent US counter-terrorist activities and aggressive actions in the Middle East have spurred the terrorist threat on; and that Israel remains the core issue, or the root cause, of the Middle East's problems. To believe these myths, you have to be taking something strange in your morning coffee, because they are not remotely supported by the facts. Professing, as opposed to actually believing, these myths offers a high level of psychological comfort, because they give you the two favourite pantomime villains of international politics: the US and Israel." (Debunking the myths about extremists' rise, 24/9/14)
Now I won't bore you with our resident Suppository of All Wisdom's discharges on the first two "truly ludicrous myths."
Let's proceed straight to the biggie, number three:
"The most important and destructive dynamic in the Middle East today is the sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shia... Israel's role in the basic Shia-Sunni hostilities is absolutely zero." (ibid)
OK, far be it for me to contradict the "most influential foreign affairs analyst in Australian journalism." I'm just an amateur anti-USraeli after all.
But surely, if anyone were to do so, who better than the daddy of all SUNNI EXTREMISTS, Osama bin Laden, right? With "sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shia" being "the most important and destructive dynamic in the Middle East today," you'd expect that if anyone'd be oozing anti-Shia sectarianism from every pore, it'd be bin Laden, right?
Well, as much as I hate to break it to Greg and his fans, in all of bin Laden's 24 manifestos issued between 1994 and 2004 (and compiled by Bruce Lawrence in 2005 as Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden) there's not a whisper about the Shia, not a negative word about Iran, nothing FFS.
When it comes to USrael, however, the guy just won't shut up.
But then, what would bin Laden know about the Middle East compared with our Greg?
Related post: Here's looking at you, Greg (10/1/11)