ISIS is a rocket whose guidance system is a direct descendant of the puritanical, anti-Shiite, anti-pluralistic Saudi Wahhabi ideology, and its fuel system is a direct reaction to Shiite Iran’s aggressive push to keep Iraqi Sunnis permanently weak. As long as Iran and Saudi Arabia are going at it, there will always be another ISIS. Which is why the “peace process” the Middle East needs most today is between Saudi Arabia and Iran. (Thomas Friedman – New York Times Op Ed. 3/30/2016)
Thomas Friedman accurately points out that ISIS is merely a symptom of a much larger, and more dangerous, disease. Through most of recent history, the world, and Americans in particular, have thought about “peace” in the Middle East as a resolution of the Arab/Israel conflict, but the truth is, it’s much more complicated. In fact, peace between Israel and its neighbors may not be possible at all until their neighbors make peace among themselves.
So, the question is: What role should the United States play in this conflict. My answer: Very damn little. Yes, we could achieve temporary successes, at great cost. But, until Shia and Sunni resolve their difference, conflicts will continue to erupt. Our mission should be to watch, stay out of the crossfire, and help Israel stay out the crossfire.