Bush and Bin Laden

Yesterday I had a post on the Iraq war which I ended with the following sentence:

“Not that Maliki is trustworthy either, but its hard to understand how GW can’t step back and realize he’s done more to help Bin Laden’s cause than even Bin Laden.”

A reader questioned this. I placed a response in comments… But it occurs to me that to many people its not obvious that GW is actually helping Bin Laden’s cause, albeit inadvertently. So I’m going to quote myself…

Bin Laden talks a lot of about a holy war between Sunni and Shia. Pay any attention to what the folks in Egypt and Saudi Arabia have been saying about the Shia lately? It used to be that the Saudis were content to persecute their own Shia minority (15% of the population), but now that they’re engaged in a proxy war with the Iranians (and both the Iranians and the Saudis are in a proxy war with the US, except for the US there’s no proxy about it), they’re starting to up it a notch. I’m not exactly sure what’s with the Egyptians… I don’t pay enough attention, but Mubarak apparently has actually used the word Shia in speeches a few times lately.

1. Bin Laden wants a Sunni v. Shia holy war
2. There’s been an armed truce between Sunni and Shia for a couple of hundred years now
3. Since sometime in 2003, there’s been a fight between Sunni and Shia in Iraq, which has degenerated into a proxy war between the wealthiest Sunni country and the biggest Shia country

Since the proxy war would not have happened without the invasion of Iraq (despite Osama’s best efforts), the region would still be at the armed truce stage. Conclusion… GW has “done more to help Bin Laden’s cause than even Bin Laden” (to quote myself).