The Sunni-Shi’ite enmity predated the U.S. presence in the Middle East, and the establishment of the State of Israel, and everything else that mainstream analysts point to in order to explain it away. And as long as there are Sunnis and Shi’ites, it will continue. The U.S. government would be foolish and self-defeating to try to pacify it — but of course, the U.S. government is foolish and self-defeating, so it may try.
“Al Qaeda-linked group claims Beirut bombings,” by Erika Solomon for Reuters, February 19:
(Reuters) – The al Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed a twin bomb attack in Beirut on Wednesday, saying such attacks would continue until Hezbollah forces withdrew from the fighting in Syria and its own fighters were released from Lebanese jails.
The radical Lebanese group, which claimed the attack on its Twitter account, also said it was responsible for a November 19 attack on the Iranian embassy that killed 23 people, using the same tactic of twin suicide bombs. In both cases, most of the victims were civilians.
Hezbollah is a powerful Shi’ite Muslim political and militant group in Lebanon that is funded by Iran. The group has sent hundreds of fighters to neighboring Syria, giving a boost to its ally President Bashar al-Assad against mainly Sunni rebels seeking to topple him.
“We will continue – through the grace of God and his strength – to target Iran and its party in Lebanon (Hezbollah) in all of their security, political and military centers to achieve our two demands: One, the exit of all fighters from the Party of Iran in Syria. Two, the release of all our prisoners from oppressive Lebanese prisons,” the statement said.
The three-year uprising in Syria, which began as popular protests but descended into civil war, has increasingly been taken over by Sunni Islamist groups. Some rebel groups have affinities or direct links to al Qaeda or militant groups in neighboring countries such as Lebanon and Iraq.
The Abdullah Azzam Brigades have strong links to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps as well as connections with the Gulf. One of its senior military leaders, Majid bin Muhammad al-Majid, was a Saudi national. He was arrested by Lebanese authorities last December, who said he died from kidney failure while in their custody….