Shiites? Sunnis? It’s often been hard to keep them distinguished, in my mind. Iraq apparently has both varieties of Moslems and they hate each other and war upon each other, although both are sects of Islam. The government under Saddam Hussein was mostly Sunni, I believe.
I do know, from repetitions ad nauseum on the news, that the Shiites are in charge of Iraq’s new democratic government. I am pretty sure that the leadership in Iran is also Shiite. Both Iran and Iraq are Moslem, but Iran is not Arab.
Anyway, Condoleeza Rice says that
Iraq’s government (Shiite) sees itself as Arab. It wants a place in the Arab world (does the Arab League still exist?). She thinks the only way Iraq’s government would ally itself with Iran is if they are denied a place in the Arab world. So, I would guess that “our” policy is to encourage Iraq’s inclusion with other Arabs, thus adding to Iran’s isolation.
If our government would only do what it should — take Iran out of the picture — I wouldn’t have to get headaches trying to figure out all this tribal/religious folderol.