March 30, 2015: see map of Sunni - Shi-ites in the Mideast.
March 29, 2015: I woke up early this Sunday morning, anxious (as in "worried") whether I should have posted the note below. Was I a bit ahead of my headlights? Apparently not. This from The New York Post:
Iran long held designs on a Shia Crescent and control over Arab lands, which helps explain why Egypt, Saudi Arabia and others counted themselves as our allies. They are furious as they watch Iran get a nuclear pass from Obama and a green light to expand its power.
The nuclear program will have the United Nations stamp of approval, as will Iranian control of four Arab capitals — Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad and now Sanaa, Yemen. Indeed, Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry suggest Iran even could be an ally in the fight against Islamic State and al Qaeda. Already there has been coordination there, leading critics to say America is acting as the Iranian air force.
Sightings of the Revolutionary Guard leader, Maj. Gen. Qasem Suleimani, leading Iranian-sponsored militias against Islamic State in Iraq has spread alarm throughout the region. The fears reached a fever pitch when Iranian-allied Houthi rebels took over Yemen, chasing out our soldiers and allies with chants of “Death to America, death to Israel.”Major General Qasem Suleimani could easily become Suleimani the Magnificent.
I've been out and about all day, and just got back to blogging about an hour ago, and now a few minutes ago, started reading the news.
Isn't this interesting? YNET news is reporting:
Analysis: Israel has spent five years warning that Iran seeks Shiite domination of the Muslim world, and the Gulf States know by now not to rely on the Obama administration.
Operation Storm of Resolve, designed to rescue Yemen President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's regime from the clutches of the Houthi rebels, began with an exercise in misdirection.
At midnight between Wednesday and Thursday, the first squadron of Saudi Arabian fighter planes launched attacks on targets in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a – air force bases, arms depots belonging to the rebels, the palace of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and a reserve forces base in the south of the city that was taken by the rebels last month.
The strike caught the rebels by surprise. At a meeting earlier on Wednesday night between Houthi rebel leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi and ousted president Salah, the two had coordinated an assault on Aden, Yemen's second-largest city.
"If Aden falls," the ousted president promised, "Yemen will fall, and the forces will be able to turn their attention to the greater task at hand – taking control of the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait for the purpose of overseeing marine traffic into the Red Sea."Yada, yada, yada ....
A spokesman for the Houthi rebels responded in kind, commenting: "We have already proved to you in 2009 how easy it is to invade the territory of the kingdom. Your army is weak. Today we are more skilled. When we decide to invade, we won't stop in the city of Mecca, but will continue on to Riyadh to topple the government institutions."
I didn't read the rest of the article so I don't know how much history was covered in the article.
Three data points that need to be kept in mind. Before the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, Iraq and Iran were constantly at war, and kept each other somewhat "contained." Iraq was unable to take advantage of Hussein's overthrow and it looks like it's just a matter of time for Iran to be the dominant military resident power in the region.
The second data point: for whatever reasons, Iraq has fallen off the radar. The news that is coming out of Iraq suggests that it is going the way VP Joe Biden suggested many years ago: the Balkanization of Iraq. It's just a matter of time before the southern third of modern-day Iraq becomes the 32nd province of Iran. Sunni Iraq will have Iran/Syria/ISIS to the north; ISIS internally; and Iran to the south.
The third data point: Sunni Saudi Arabia is now surrounded by Shiites. (See inset in above graphic.)
Saudi Arabia is The Prize.
The Iran/Syrian/ISIS coalition has eighteen (18) months of opportunity. President Obama leaves office in about 22 months.
Another data point: with regard to Iraq; with regard to Iran; with regard to ISIS -- from the point of view of the Saudis, the US, the French, the British, who's in charge? Where's the unity of command, perhaps the most important principle in warfighting.