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I’m Questioning Something

By Matthew Yglesias

"I’m Questioning Something"

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New Republic editor in chief Martin Peretz writes:

If you buy today’s WSJ, you’ll also get a 3/4 of a page premium: Fouad Ajami’s dazzling essay on why the Sunnis are being defeated in Iraq, and why it is right that they should be. It’s my estimate that Saudi Arabia will accede to Shia dominion in Iraq; in any case, it hasn’t many options. It certainly doesn’t have battalions to fight it. Sunni Jordan has even fewer options, and it is not heroic. This is also the end of Egypt as a diplomatic intermediary. It has zero cards to play in Iraq. The Arabs know that increasingly it is standing on very wobbly knees. Soon, its nationhood will be questioned … and not just by me. Sunni Egypt can’t even function as a middleman between Israel and the Sunni Palestinians. But that gets me on to another subject.

What does this mean? Are we questioning the nationhood of Egypt or of “the Arabs”? And why are we celebrating the rise of Shi’a power in Iraq while simultaneously we’re in the grips of white-knuckled fear about Iran? Ajami’s article is no better — full of baffling, unsupported assertions. “Iraq’s Shia majority . . . has come to view the Palestinians and their cause with considerable suspicion.” Since when? Have we forgotten about this so quickly?

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