Saturday, September 3, 2016

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, September 3

by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch

This week at R&G we are going to feature only one article. It is the second in a series at War on the Rocks - a cheeky well-read website on foreign policy and the American military. We often disagree with opinions stated there, but we always learn from their more descriptive entries. They have encouraged a slightly larger range of writers than the drearily uniform foreign policy "think tanks." This article is by an anonymous source, and is described by the editor as: "A Westerner with extensive on-the-ground experience in Syria and Iraq tackles conventional Western views of the civil wars in Iraq and Syria and proposes a dramatic rethinking of the region."

The editor also says, "The author, in my view, can reasonably and seriously fear for his professional employment and safety publishing under his real name."

This is the most extensive insider article arguing for a "dramatic rethinking" of our alliance with Saudi Arabia that we have seen in the foreign policy literature since we began writing at AOA. He does this by questioning the current "Sunni narrative." We have come to the same conclusions from a very different vantage point. We have told our story from a vantage of taking religious history and doctrine seriously as causative agents in history. We have argued in the Minnesota press that in the Shia-Sunni fight, the biggest threat to world peace is a variant ideology of the Sunnis centered in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, funded primarily by the Saudi-Wahhabi alliance. The global threat of Islamic terrorism is from the Salafist-jihadist ideology among Sunnis, even though in the American mind, the war on terror always had an Iranian address since the taking of our hostages (they were returned, not beheaded, by the way). This man puts a lot of flesh on the realignment argument. May God bless him and keep him safe. May the ears of patriots be opened and the heart of our nation be turned.

[Editor's note: We found, by the way, as we clarified our arguments about American friends and enemies that for several weeks the visitors who most often read AOA were from 1) Saudi Arabia and 2) the UAE. We don’t think they were fans.]

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