As crucial it is, the Middle East situation, it is as also very complicated and confusing.
A letter to the Editor that appeared in Thursday’s Financial Times, explained the current Middle East scenario in the most accurate yet simplest way possible.
The letter is now trending high on Twitter and has been tweeted several times. Out of the several comments it generated on social media, Burakm’s detailed response to the letter is worth mentioning. It reads:
“A tragic region but funny read.
I will attempt (most likely in a futile manner) to simplify the current paradigms in play in the Middle East.
Paradigm 1: The main theme in play currently in the Middle East, as noted heavily in Western media, is the Shiite vs Sunni conflict. In reality, this is more political than religion. In essence, its a regional power play for influence between Gulf Arabs led by the Saudis against Iran and its relevant proxies in the region.
Parading 2: Criss crossing paradigm 1, and growing at a rapid pace due to the events in Egypt, is the Muslim Brotherhood vs liberals and Gulf Arabs. Although predominantly taking place in Egypt, its also starting to play out in Tunisia and to a lesser extent in Turkey. Contrary to the Arab nations, however, the Islamist rooted government in Turkey has solid relations with the Gulf Arabs (minus damage done by the different stance of the two over Egypt).
Paradigm 3 (half a paradigm): this one is more focused only on one issue and cuts through other loyalties and alliances in the region. Its Iranian support and alliance (a Shiite power) for different Palestinian groups (namely Hamas and all Sunni).
Paradigm 4: all the ones mentioned above are secondary and smaller as opposed to the power plays of the West against China-Russia in carving up the region.
As I said, futile.”
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