Complete Ignorance of the Middle East

Once again we have a right-winger demonstrating just that quality. Andrew Sullivan linked to Michael Ledeen’s suggestion that Iran is harboring bin Laden.

Once again people, why is there a civil war in Iraq?

A: Sunnis and Shi’as are engulfed in sectarian violence – there are centuries-old grievances between the two sects.

Okay, so what sect does the Iranian government belong to?

A: They are Shi’a.

And bin Laden?

A: He’s a Sunni.

So why, when both al Qaeda and the Iranian government consider each other heretics, does anyone think they would work together? Let’s look at Ledeen’s own logic:

“it certainly fits; the Iranians love “disappeared” leaders. Their messianic leader is the ‘vanished Imam;’ they “disappeared” bin Laden after he was routed from Afghanistan”

Oh, so I guess that the Iranians are also working with Jimmy Hoffa and Amelia Earhart. Ideology doesn’t matter, theology doesn’t matter, Ledeen’s figured it out, the Iranians just love anyone who has “disappeared” by some means. Who listens to this guy? Moreover, who does not understand how crucially, crucially important the Sunni-Shi’a divide is to understanding the Middle East after the past four years?


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