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BAGHDAD,
Iraq, Feb. 22 – A powerful bomb shattered the golden dome at one of Iraq’s
most revered Shiite shrines on Wednesday morning, setting off a day of
sectarian fury in which mobs formed across Iraq to chant for revenge
and attacked dozens of Sunni mosques.

from the New York Times

The spasm of violence currently convulsing Iraq
is evilly eloquent testimony to any number of dead-end elements in
our downward
spiral
of intervention, but one of the most crucial and seldom noted is the
ease
with which the "Islamic Street" can be manipulated, set off, and
counted on to react in a violent, knee-jerk manner whenever the puppet
masters feel the need for the smell of gunpowder and cordite in the morning.

When engaged in a struggle with a powerful and determined
opponent, knowing that that opponent is going to react in a certain way
when touched exactly
there, or prodded precisely like that, can be a decisive
advantage. Be it from the depth of their convictions or the lack of artifice
and deception, the levers that move Islamic public opinion are clearly visible and hitting them
ridiculously easy. Just stand back, results vary.

Like a punch drunk little Irishman who will launch himself
into a 300-lb police commissioner who makes a wisecrack about his mother,
the entire
"Islamic Street", an amorphous and ethereal presence until it appears out of a cloud of smoke and fog
in some public square, seemingly at a moments notice, armed to the teeth
and looking for a way to vent its rage and bloodlust, swinging wildly at anyone or
anything that appears in its path, can be set off by anyone with access to their ears and a few magic words.

The Israelis have been playing these dangerous games with their
Palestinians for decades, pressing their buttons and maneuvering them
into a tragic dead
end of arrested development, internecine self-destruction and institutionalized
corruption. Master chess players, the Zionists paved a path to power
for Yasir Arafat, a figure so twisted and misdirected that it will take
the Palestinians another complete generation to recover from him. Unfortunately,
this is making it impossible for the surviving Jewish peacemakers to
find anyone capable or reliable enough to make peace with.

The players in the street even acknowledge this about
themselves.  One
of the theories circulating in the Middle East about the Cartoon Wars
is that they were an intentional provocation by infidel media magnates
who knew how violent and unsightly the reaction to them would be. Now,
in Iraq, we see competing sects of Islam frantically pushing each others buttons
to derail the ill-conceived and already doomed American attempt at nation-building
and plunge the country into an authentic civil war.

Adding a religious civil war to the pestilent panorama in Iraq would be like giving smallpox infected blankets to a
tribe where everyone is already dying of AIDS. With Sunnis and Shi’ite’s
blowing each other’s
mosques up like Baptist churches in Alabama, the last pretense for the
existence of a country called Iraq, other than as a front organization
authorized to sign agreements with the American oil companies, has been
blown to smithereens.

Lets take a tip from our Islamic brothers, and do away
with lies and pretense. Just declare the oil-rich regions a wholly-owned
subsidiary
of Haliburton and Exxon, get Blackthorn SEcurity to set up a defensive
perimeter around the oil fields, and get out of Dodge.

Is it any wonder that we see so few Islamic names and features in the
World Series of Poker? That they roll out the red carpet when they see
these guys coming at the casinos of Monte Carlo or the Bush White House?
Who else are we going to hang all our paper on? The Chinese are already getting wise.

But if they want to join the Congress of Nations and be woven in any
meaningful way into the emerging fabric of peoples and cultures which will define the next stage of human history, they need to get a handle
on that temper. How to arrange anger management for a billion people?

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