Sunni vs Shia? But wasn't Iraq the most famously secular muslim nation that could never get along with religious fanatics?
--LAN3 Fri Jul 22 09:52:52 2005
Arguably it seemed to "work" better with a thuggish dicator from the minority group. Remove that guy, and the minority wants to fight to either keep something of its disproportionate representation, or just so that the majority now in power does look for revenge.

If Saddam hadn't grabbed Kuwait, I'd suspect he'd be a fairly strong regional ally now.
--Kirk Fri Jul 22 10:35:33 2005
And on the side, I read something about Sunnis and Shi'ites really not making such a huge deal about their differences, since, after all, brothers and sisters can both be Sunnis and Shi'ites or something like that. Eegad! Why must people make things so confusing?
--Mr. Lex Fri Jul 22 11:53:43 2005
Well, yeah, and the majority wants to fight the minority because of all the mass killings by said minority over the years.

But yeah, I've also heard, based on interviews with Iraqis, that the Sunnis vs. Shi'ites paradigm appears to be mostly invented by the western press looking for an angle, and there's a whole lot of nationalism in Iraq-- mostly in a good way. I guess you could call them Free Iraq Nationalists vs. Saddam's Iraq Nationalists.
--LAN3 Sat Jul 23 10:42:48 2005
clearly it DOES matter. or you wouldn't have mentioned it, much less put it in quotes!
--FoSO Sun Jul 24 11:14:42 2005
It matters in some ways, not in others.

It matters in the sense of being a linguistic/nomenclature factoid... the only Israels I know of are either related to me or in the Salvation Army down south. So I'm curious.

And it matters a bit in a political/cultural sense, Bush's commitment to diversity and all that.

It doesn't matter in what I think of him as a person or as a czar, however.

The quotes are me quoting myself. Sometimes I've felt the need to gently correct someone about my religous cultural background. (Sometimes geeks don't like misconeptions to slide, even inconsequential ones, or sometimes there's a more a direct reason.) But I don't want to make it sound any more important than it is, hence that phrase.
--Kirk Sun Jul 24 11:28:27 2005
I wish Bush could've called him the Property Czar. Okay, that doesn't really sound good, and we don't actually want to give the impression that the government is in charge of property, but the fact is that that's what we're talking about, trade property and intellectual property, and we're not really talking about actual piracy, just a badly-applied metaphor for theft which rather undermines any efforts to stamp out real piracy. 

That's right, the kind where millions of dollars in ships and shipments go missing on the high seas, crews are molested, robbed and murdered, and god only knows what entities are actually running these organized piracy rings, by they small-time crooks, big-time criminals, or worse for us, terrorists controlling untraceable ships. People are pretty-well wrong if they think that it's not a problem, globally. Ya know, since we're all thinking globally these days.
--LAN3 Sun Jul 24 15:39:19 2005

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