Toward a New, Democratic Middle East

Barnett, T.P.M. (2006). Treating Iran as a logical swing asset. Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog. January 10, 2007. Available online:

Tom Barnett gets it!:

Great piece by Luttwak exploring how sometimes (in Iraq) we need to be pro-Shiia and not be afraid of making Sunni states nervous and sometimes (in Lebanon vis-a-vis Syria) we need to be pro-Sunni and not worry about making Shiia leaders (Syria, Iran) nervous.

Now, where Luttwak doesn’t go is where I’m dying to go: play Iran more as a scary balancer. The more we dialogue (none yet) with Iran on Iraq, the more we freak the Saudis and the easier it becomes to splinter Syria because we’re basically playing prisoner’s dilemma with both Damascus and Iran–as in, who’s gonna bite first because we’ll go harder on the other next.

I agree completely, and back in August I wrote that a Shia Iraq and a Sunni Syria are exactly what we need.

A Democratic Middle East

Keep the Big Bang moving. Support Democracy in the Middle East. Support a Shia Iraq, and a Sunni Syria.

0 thoughts on “Toward a New, Democratic Middle East”

  1. Catholicgauze,

    Thanks for commenting! The key from the previous post [1]:

    “Red = National-Secularist, Green = Shia, Yellow = Tribal, Blue = Globalist, Purple = Muslim Brothers”

    So I don't see Jordan necessarily expanding, but I can't imagine a non-tribal government over the non-Shia parts of the Arabian peninsula.

    Likewise, Kurdistan is part of a globalized swath of blue that includes Turkey, Israel, hopefully Lebanon, etc.


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