And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, Editor Emeritus

... that it would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.
Ideas brought forth by politicians from far opposite ends of the spectrum a few years ago, widely dismissed by the “smart” people then, are now back in the discussion about the Middle East.
Right wing commentator Glenn Beck, then much more popular than now, had been saying it was the goal of radical Islam to establish the predicted caliphate. That would be the situation in which Moslems would rule the world.
Joe Biden, Democrat, the vice-president, perhaps more famous for his many gaffes than for his foreign policy wisdom, suggested dividing Iraq into its three “natural” divisions, based on where people lived. There would be the separate state of Kurdistan in the north, the Sunni nation in the middle, and the Shiites in the south.
The “experts” noted Biden’s idea was doomed because, while the Kurds would be happy, and the Shiites would still control the oil resources, the Sunnis would essentially have nothing.
Beck was accused of dredging up an ancient, long-forgotten idea to foment distrust of U.S. actions in the region.
Now, I understand, even such organizations as The New York Times are suggesting perhaps the division of Iraq into three parts might be the only way to calm things down. Shades of Shakespeare’s start to Julius Caesar: “All of Iraq was divided into three parts.”
Many centuries older than Shakespeare, to a time 13 centuries removed from today, lies the start of the conflict between the Sunnis and the Shiites. Again, giving credit to the phrase from the “oaters” of this nation’s more benign motion picture past, about the cowboys and Indians, “they still hate each other from the last movie.”
Beck must have a smug smile over the current use of the phrase ISIS, which stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. That would be the caliphate, the United States of Islam, if you will.
Some in the main stream media and the president substitute ISIL, with the “L” standing for the Levant, generally the area from Iraq to Jordan, and including Israel(!), as once was commonly used. That would restrict the Islamic control to that area only. But that’s enough for most people.
When is either of those ideas supposed to happen?
Who knows? Maybe never. It’s a fluid situation.
But somebody checked a calendar and noted that Ramadan begins (for you, began) Saturday, June 28 at noon. That’s the Islamic month of fasting and abstinence. Are hungry, deprived people more likely to behave rashly?
Meanwhile, there’s soccer, world-wide.
Best foreign newspaper headline? After defending champion Spain’s early loss: There is no “S” in Spain today!