I’ve said for a long time that it should be America’s foreign policy to rather aggressively avoid taking sides in any sectarian hostilities between Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims, which means that we should not try to impose an outcome in the Syrian Civil War that favors the Sunnis and also that we should quit treating Iran as the world’s worst actor while arming Saudi Arabia to the teeth. Unfortunately, we have interests and obligations in the region that cannot simply be ignored, and we cannot always remain neutral in every dispute, but we should strive to be as even-handed as possible in what has become a widespread sectarian conflict. The Obama administration took this approach and suffered some of the downside consequences while also avoiding many possible worse outcomes. The Trump administration threw in aggressively on the Sunni side, making Saudi Arabia the cornerstone of their regional policy, largely in exchange for tens of billions in arms sales. They are now looking like abettors of the worst kind of monster.

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