People discussing war with Iran –or war with Iraq for that matter– ignore a few little things.

One: Shiites have been hated by Sunnis since Ali was killed.

Two: Kurds are Sunnis but persecuted by Arab Sunnis under Saddam.

Three: Turkey hates Kurds. If Kurdistan declares independence, the Turks, who have been fighting some very nasty Kurdish “insurgents” for years, will invade Iraqi Kurdistan.

Four: Kurds essentially have been governing themselves because Clinton protected them against Saddam

FIVE: The Saudis threaten to fund the Sunni insurgents killing Americans and innocent Shiites in Iraq. This is bull, since many “suicide bombers” and a lot of the funding of the insurgents are via Saudi charities. However, now that the Shiite militias are busy slaughtering Sunni men in revenge for bombs that kill Shiite men, women and children in markets, the Saudis are worried. It is only the US who is stopping massive slaughter of Sunnis, so that may be why Bush is increasing troopsLINK2

Six: Saudis have been spreading militant Islam through their funding and mosques throughout the world. A Saudi charity here in the Philippines just had their money frozen because they were helping the A.J. in Mindanao

Seven: If Iran gets the bomb, the Saudis will arrange to get one too LINK

Eight: Israel will bomb anyone harming them. But Israel is so small, bombing Israel risks killing a lot of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians.

Nine: Iran’s big stick is not oil, but the Straits of Hormuz. If they block it with landmines or by sinking a ship, they essentially will block everyone else from sending out oil tankers. The winner will be Russia. Maybe that is why the Navy is sending another aircraft carrier to the Gulf.

Ten Iran has few oil refineries. They are vulnerable to economic sanctions. Unluckily the Russians are offering to build them a refinery.

Eleven: The Iranians have been promoting family planning for a generation…check this low birth rate:Population growth rate: 1.1% (2006 est.) . That’s lower than many European countries.
Spengler points out that the baby dearth may result in negative consequences by 2020… There are a lot of non Farsis living in Iran.LINK2

This means only 51% of Iranians are Persian. There have been some protests by these groups, but it is unclear to me what this means,

Twelve: A lot of workers in the oil fields are foreigners. In Saudi, alone the population is 24 million, and there are 900 000 Filipinos, and a lot more Indonesians and Indians. or Egyptians or Pakistanis…..

One study estimates that One third of the population of Saudi Arabia are these foreigners, and they do a lot of the everyday work. When Lebanon exploded, both India and the Philippines arranged their people to come home. Only about 20 000 out of 60 thousand pinoys came home, but you see my point. A lot of those who left are maids or drivers, not skilled mechanics or carpenters, but you get my point. If all the foreigners leave, will the “high unemployment” rate go down? If a Saudi Iranian war broke out, would the foreigners leave?
Or would they be allowed to leave? In Lebanon, several Pinay maids died jumping from windows because their employers locked them in the house….
Thirteen: Remember the Persians and Assyrians and Babylonians have fought over the area in the past.

Fourteen: If the price of oil goes up, they will restart pumping in Texas and Oklahoma, open the Pennsylvania coal mines, drill offshore and in Alaska, and import a lot more oil from Alberta Canada.

Fifteen: The NEWYORKER has an article about the inability of the US getting their point of view into the Middle East. Yup. Unlike the governments in the middle East or most of the world, the US has a lousy “information” system. You should try to get news as a Yank. We get our news from CNN, where the newsreaders smirk at Bush and where you can tell they gloat when they report the “car bomb of the day” without context, of course. International in the Philippines. When CNNI and BBC are anti Bush, just think of what those who only get AlJezerah and the anti American government run TV channels…

Sixteen: Outsourcing of information is one reason that Alqaeda can get their propaganda out. And of course the blogosphere is busy both supporting the war in Iraq and opposing TCS Daily points out that just like Alqaeda is funded by governments and also by private charities, so too could private organizations fight war (Robert Heinlein has wars by corporation in some of his scifi novels)… Indeed, a lot of the support services for American troops in Iraq are hired by private companies. So why not hire Haliburton to get Ben Laden?

Seventeen: Where is the discussion of all these overseas people? From Halliburton hiring police as private security guards to US army hiring Filippine drivers to the huge overseas foreign worker population in the oil fields, these people are indeed the “invisible men” of the region.

So there are a lot of facts floating out there, yet I hear little discusison of any of these on CNN.

What does all this mean?

Don’t ask me. I’m just a doctor. My area of expertise is medicine.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the Philippines with her husband, six dogs, three cats, and a large extended family. A shorter version of this was posted to TownHallBlogs.

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