The US's Sectarian Propaganda
One of the greatest propaganda efforts of the US administration's Wart on Terror has been to disseminate the falsehood about sectarian divisions in the Muslim world. They have done and continue to do this with the question of Iraq -- constantly cooperating with their mainstream media bed-mates to characterize what is essentially a guerrilla war against US occupation as a Muslim civil war in Iraq. And the US has managed to convince (though one doubts it was much of an effort) Western media of all sorts to pick up on this fabricated thread of news.
This is also being done with the question of Lebanon -- with the constant reminders in the Western media that Hezbollah is an isolated Shiite group in an Arabia that is predominantly Sunni. This continual peddling of divisions betwixt the Muslims is simply not true, the Shiite vs. Sunni battles in Iraq, for instance, are politically, not ideologically, motivated, and are entirely born of the US occupation, interference and violence in Iraq. (There is also the question of how certain we can be of who is behind these supposedly sectarian violent acts.)
Even the US's depiction of Shiite Iran as its enemy and a banner of violence in the region is not true -- the US itself is the one who has eliminated the two greatest enemies of the Shiites, Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab al Zarqawi. Why? Because they were a danger to US interests in the region, namely power and stability -- two things the US could never hope to sustain without Iran's authority in the region.
The Shiite-Sunni division rubbish was initially just an excuse to convince the American voting public that it is not the US's fault that Iraq has fallen apart or that Lebanon has gone to hell, it is the fault of these Middle Easterners who just hate each other too much to want peace. It was brilliant and seemed to work initially but considering Herr Bushmeister's current approval ratings as well as the approval ratings on Iraq, (and now Lebanon) the American public is becoming more skeptical of any excuses at all. (Though sadly, their skepticism always falls very far short of average worldwide skepticism.)
The more pressing reason this propaganda is being touted now is to isolate Iran's role in the Middle East region -- a task that is all too easy on a superficial level when one realizes (as I'm not sure either Herr Bushler and his administration have) that Iranians are not Arabs. Yes, Iran is different, it is not Arab and it is not Sunni but it has proven, especially over the last few months, that this has not deterred the worldwide Arab and Muslim (of any denomination) publics from increasingly supporting Iran for doing the one thing no Arab or Muslim government has done: stand up for them.
That's right, Iran, as the US and its so-called allies (all of whom are greedily and impatiently awaiting their own chance on the throne of imperialism again) perilously ignore, is growing more popular by the minute amongst the publics of the Arab and Muslim world -- in all corners of the globe, from the Middle East to South Asia, from North America to China and everywhere in between.
This is one of the most damaging examples of the US government's ignorance of basic issues in the Middle East -- an ignorance that has them scrambling for explanations as to why the Iraqis aren't taking well to US "democracy," why the Lebanese are predominantly (and increasingly) supportive of Hezbollah, and even why Iranians themselves who more than anyone else despise their own government cannot help but side with them on the major issues concerning the region.
One wonders what exactly the qualifications of the experts at the US State Department are when such fundamental issues are so far above their heads. Perhaps the New York Times can offer them internships at the Foreign News desk -- you don't need any knowledge or intelligence to work there, either.