Divide And Win

Fareed Zakaria makes an important point about the advantages we actually have in countering Islamist fundamentalism:

The split between Sunnis and Shiiteswhich plays a role in Lebanon as wellis only one of the divisions within the world of Islam. Within that universe are Shiites and Sunnis, Persians and Arabs, Southeast Asians and Middle Easterners and, importantly, moderates and radicals. The clash between Hamas and Fatah in the Palestinian territories is the most vivid sign of the latter divide. Just as the diversity within the communist world ultimately made it less threatening, so the many varieties of Islam weaken its ability to coalesce into a single, monolithic foe. It would be even less dangerous if Western leaders recognized this and worked to emphasize such distinctions. Rather than speaking of a single worldwide movementwhich absurdly lumps together Chechen separatists in Russia, Pakistani-backed militants in India, Shiite warlords in Lebanon and Sunni jihadists in Egyptwe should be emphasizing that all these groups are distinct, with differing agendas, enemies and friends. That robs them of their claim to represent Islam. It describes them as they often aresmall local gangs of misfits, hoping to attract attention through nihilism and barbarism.

And yet Romney and Giuliani spend their entire time conflating all these different entities for domestic rhetorical purposes. We really cannot afford such foreign policy stupidity in the White House. Eight years is enough.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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