This Just Became The Most Important Map In Geopolitics

Tyler Durden's picture

Earlier today, in “Mid-East Melee: Sectarian Showdown Looms As Bahrain Cuts Ties With Iran, UAE Recalls Ambassador,” we brought you the latest from the war-torn Mid-East where a worsening spat between Saudi Arabia and Iran threatens to plunge the region into chaos.

Make no mistake, things were already out of control. The conflict in Syria has mushroomed into a global proxy war, Iraq is struggling to drive Islamic State from key cities, and Yemen remains mired in war nine months after the Saudis entered the fray to drive back the Houthis and restore the Hadi government.

Against that backdrop, the region could have done without the events that unfolded over the weekend. By executing prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, Riyadh has infuriated the Shiite community which took to the streets in protest, even going so far as to firebomb the Saudi embassy in Tehran.

In order to understand the upcoming sectarian strife and in order to fully grasp who belongs to Iran’s sphere of influence and who is loyal to the Saudis, one needs to have a working knowledge of what the Sunni-Shiite split looks like across the region. Because this is set to become the key geopolitical issue in the weeks and months ahead, we thought it an opportune time to present the following map from Goldman which does a nice job of delineating the sectarian split. Note the asterisks which indicate the affiliation of a country’s leadership.

From Goldman

Where are the main sectarian and ethnic divides in the Middle East today? Saudi Arabia and Iran, with their large respective Sunni and Shiite majorities, are generally viewed as two major opposing forces in the Middle East. They lie on opposite sides of an abstract and somewhat contentious demarcation known as the Shiite crescent, an area of Shiite influence stretching from Iran through southern Iraq and into parts of Syria and Lebanon. 

The region’s geopolitical, religious, and sectarian relationships are in reality more dynamic and complex. The conflict in Syria continues to pit anti-government insurgents, including Sunni Islamists, against the Alawite (Shiite) government’s forces and Shiite militias supported by Iran. In Iraq, some Sunnis have felt increasingly disenfranchised under the Shiite-majority government in Baghdad (a relatively new development given Iraq’s long history of Sunni rule). The Islamic State (IS) militant group has exploited this sentiment, particularly in the Sunni-majority areas of northern Iraq. 

How are the different branches of Islam represented in politics? In some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, the rulers adhere to the same branch of Islam as the majority of their citizens. However, this is not always the case. Despite being predominantly Shiite, Iraqis lived under Sunni rulers for much of history, including under the Ottoman Empire and the Ba’thist regime of Saddam Hussein. (Ba’thists are members of the Arab Socialist Ba’th Party, a political party founded in Syria in the 1940s on platforms of Arab nationalism and anti- colonialism. In Iraq, the Ba’thists governed from 1958 until the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.) The Iraqi Ba’thist regime was secular in name but reserved political influence for the Sunni elite. In a break from its long history of Sunni political dominance, Iraq is currently ruled by a Shiite-majority government centered in Baghdad. Conversely, in Sunni-majority Syria, members of the Shiite Alawite sect have controlled the government since 1970. 

What is the composition of Sunnis and Shiites in the Muslim world today? Sunnis make up the majority of Muslims worldwide – an estimated 85-90%. Sunnis comprise 85% or more of the Muslim populations in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates, and 70-85% in Kuwait, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Shiites comprise the majority in Bahrain, Iraq, and Azerbaijan (all 60-65% Shiite), as well as in Iran (90-95%), home of the largest Shiite population. Although the Middle East and North Africa region is overwhelmingly Muslim (93%), it is home to only around 20% of Muslims worldwide. The majority – over 60% – lives in the Asia-Pacific region. 

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Kirk2NCC1701's picture

I thought that the map of Revisionist Zionism was The Most Important Map.

Bad Attitude's picture

Arm both sides and let them kill each other. Maybe then, they'd leave us alone.

Forward (over the cliff)!

nope-1004's picture

A bank...... has the desire and time to produce a report on ME geopolitics?  It's almost as if they have a vested interest in the area, but what would I know?

Occident Mortal's picture

Iran, Iraq and Lebannon are the three countries of note with Shia majorities. 

WTFRLY's picture

Greater Israel plan is the Joo World Order goal

HowdyDoody's picture

No Muslims in Israel? Wow, so Goldman claims they really have implemented the Final Solution to the Palestinian Problem?

And the whole of the West Bank is part of Jordan? Some nutty yahoo is gonna be very pissed at that claim.

 

 

Bunghole's picture

The Rothscilds aren't going to get a central bank in Iran without this contrived BS we are witnessing.

espirit's picture

I Concur.

The tribes, whether Shia, Sunni, or Jewish are heat stricken.

(there are a few moar in Afghanistan and Muricaistan)

COSMOS's picture

I could of sworn that was a map of China or Russia surrounded by USA bases.

conscious being's picture

The Goldman map, focused on national boundries, is bogus because it (is designed to?) obscure the important fact that Saudi has a significant Shia minority and even more significant, the Shia are concentrated along the Gulf, in the region where most of the oil comes from.

 

die standing's picture

would do them better to map out their own veins and arteries - that is where the GREATEST evil lies, inside their own bloody selves

goes for every human, not just Jews, Muslims ,, Christians, Shiite, Mormons, Sunni, Buddhists, Mennonites, Hindus, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, etc. Etc. as these are all just petty tags

Dick Buttkiss's picture

"Who Is Threatening Whom? Each of the 45 Black Dots Is a US Military Base!"

I'm kinda thinkin' it has to do with what's under the ground there, especially as the most recent boom here in what's left of our country goes bust:

The public got bamboozled by the Ponzi scheme of shale oil. It seemed like a fabulous techno-rescue: the “fracking miracle!” It operated by converting mountains of cheap leveraged capital into a very rapid bump-up in US oil production. It got full traction after a couple of years of $100 oil squashed economic activity — and then squashed demand for oil. Whoops. The problem was that shale oil was very expensive to produce even if reduced demand drove the market price very low. Back at $100-plus a barrel, hardly anyone made any profit on shale. At $40 a barrel shale was a laughable loser. So, in 2015, the shale oil companies laid off thousands of workers, idled the drilling rigs, and kicked back to pray that the price would go back up. Which it didn’t. — http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/pretend-to-the-bitter-end

 

espirit's picture

Uh, No Shit.

When wasn't world governance about natural resources?

(i.e. 15th Century?)

KesselRunin12Parsecs's picture

You get downvoted for mentioning it, but that's what it's all about.

 

A bunch of former ghetto trash 'Khazar to Eastern Europe' gypsy migrants who managed to parlay the move into hijacking the world (by way of the the 'Balfour Agreement') while idiot sheeps have their 'not as long' noses buried in iPhones.

 

It's taken almost 200 years to get all the pieces in place, but now it muddles along just like clockwork (whereby the only 'dissidents' are the Khazars themselves, whereby there a few junkers here, & boy are they pissed that there are actually a few who have figured it all out).

 

Whatever, it doesn't really change my life that much (except that I don't have any money in their criminal banks), &, I can actually still speak my mind every once in awhile when ZH doesn't decide to BAN me.

Rock On Roger's picture

Your comments over the past few years have certainly helped to awaken me. All the effort they've put into my fifty year indoctrination has been for naught since reading this site.

 

f_s On.

 

 

 

 

COSMOS's picture

Just goes to show what about 20 million people worldwide can achieve by being well organized and having a World Jewish Congress Body to organize and implement their agendas.  That vs hundereds of millions of clueless unorganized gentiles watching boob TV.

zeronetwork's picture

"20 million people worldwide can achieve by being well organized" After every hundred or so years these very well organized get their ass kicked by the host country and they start it all over again in a new country. well, I think this is a fucken strategy of a 20 million people.

Jack Oliver's picture

Whatever Zionism is supposed to mean, what it actually means is that a false d o c u m e n t called the Balfour Declaration gave real estate that did not belong to Britain to atheist Khazarian gentiles, posing as Jews, who have never had the right to any of that land, regardless that the name 'Israel' was cleverly selected to call it, in order to dupe millions of Christians around the world.  WWII was created for the specific purpose of establishing a headquarters as close to the newly discovered oil fields in the Middle East and to disrupt all governments in the region and seize the oil, and 'Israel' is that headquarters, doing exactly that !

 

The TRUTH !

balolalo's picture

IT IS CRITICAL TO REMEMBER THAT ALTHOUGH THE SHIITE-SUNNI RIFT IS IMPORTANT, IT ALSO OVERSIMPLIFIES A COMPLEX WORLD.

THE POWERS THAT BE ARE TRYING TO BREAK THE MUSLIMS ALONG THESE LINES BECAUSE IT BLINDS THEIR POPULATIONS FROM THEIR LACK OF ECONOMIC PROGRESS AND THE COLLAPSING WORLD ECONOMIC ORDER.   

NO DIFFERENT THAN GAY MARRIAGE, CAITLYN JENNER, AND ABORTION IN AMERICA. 

THE STAKES ARE ESPECIALLY HIGH FOR SAUDI ARABIA AND IT WOULD BE FOLLY TO THINK THAT THEY HAVE ALL OF THE SUNNI WORLD IN THEIR CORNER.   

THE POWER PLAYS OVER RESOURCES, INFLUENCE, AND THE MINDS OF MILLIONS AND BILLIONS ARE IN FULL FORCE.

PAX AMERICAN (IF IT EVER TRULY EXISTED) IS OVER.  

WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF A GREAT TURNING.   PREPARE AND PROTECT YOURSELF.  

 FUCK GOD, FUCK COUNTRY, FUCK QUEENS AND KINGS, IT'S ALL BULLSHIT TO CONTROL YOUR MIND.  


trulz4lulz's picture

Very well could be. Interesting world for sure. Could be history in the making.

Luc X. Ifer's picture

This picture shows clearly why the whole ME is fucked and the only possible expected outcome is to become on a larger scale just a matched reflection of Lebanon's hell.

ali-ali-al-qomfri's picture

Sunni or later, Shiite happens.

 

gonetogalt's picture

On a long enough timeline "Fuck God" may not be the wisest approach.

Beware the Lamb!!!

l8apex's picture

I always believe everything written in all caps is extra important.  Now do you have some investment advice for me to follow?  My Nigerian business partner should be sending $10 million to me any moment.

 

 

 

 

TurnwiseWiddershins's picture

Lebanon has no group which exceeds 50% of it's population and therefore has no majority.  If you think Iraq or Syria is complicated, it's because Lebanese tensions haven't spilled into outright conflict yet.

 

Socratic Dog's picture

They did 30 years ago.  It hasn't recovered yet.  It was the first domino to fall to the Zio plans.

COSMOS's picture

Lebanon used to be predominatly Christian, till they let in some muslim refugees.  Europe obviously hasnt learned crap from history.

insanelysane's picture

Worked with some Lebanese Christians when I got out of college.  Real nice people and loved to have a good time.  Used to say what a beautiful country Lebanon was until the religion of peace decided to take over the place.

.National Suicide 1980's picture

Do you mean when Zionist destabilisation butt-fucked Lebanon all to Hell?

YHC-FTSE's picture

I doubt that, unless they were talking about the batshit crazy Saudi Wahabists and those types weren't around there until recently.

If you define the sarcastic "Religion of Peace" as the zionists in Israel, then you would be correct. Otherwise, you are playing fast and loose with reality and history. The last major invasion of Lebanon by Israel was in 2006, the last bombing a few weeks ago. Israel has been bombing the shit out of Lebanon since its "War of Independence" in 1948 and hasn't stopped since. Southern Lebanon, like Western Syria are full of townships and refugee camps for Palestinians who were forced out of their homes, businesses and farms by the Israelis - the same genocidal ethnic cleansing they are conducting right now, this minute. THAT'S WHY Lebanon is in the state it is today and every living Lebanese knows it.

Beirut was known as the "Riviera of the ME" and in that theme even the main coastal road is called Paris. I still know many Christian Lebanese who visit there annually - London is full of them and they really are beautiful people from a beautiful land. Christian Lebanese speak arabic and they identify themselves with Palestinians far more than with the Jews - that's why they are targeted for extermination by Israel in the whole region. Do ask some real Lebanese Christians for his/her opinions before posting that sort of zionist msm bullshit.

conscious being's picture

Cheers for doing the necessary heavy lifting, YHC.

YHC-FTSE's picture

Cheers to you mate. It's always good to see you in the threads, conscious being. I'm invariably your +1 fan every time I come across your posts.

conscious being's picture

Very kind of you YHC. Back at you. All the best to you and yours in the coming hooha.

Tall Tom's picture

Do ask some real Lebanese Christians for his/her opinions before posting that sort of zionist msm bullshit.

 

That was below the belt. You should know better than that.

 

You do realize that Lebanese Christians who fled are just as clueless as to the reasons why their nation blew up...and that they are just as prone to buy into the bullshit MSM story as most of America?

 

Other than that your post is dynamite as Israel continues to bomb them, incite them, and divide them to keep them from developing into a threat.

YHC-FTSE's picture

<p>+1. Fair enough.</p>

WTFUD's picture

@ WTFRLY
you're a bright lad and so i wish you'd give them their proper title, DAESH or Pig Filth.

.National Suicide 1980's picture

ISIS is about as legitimate as any of the other murderous regimes we've created, or propped up over the decades. Including the Zionist hegemon. In fact, Iran and Syria may be more legitimate than just about anything in that hornet's nest that we keep jabbing a stick into in that region. 

Muse minus Time's picture

is this one of the "Black Swans" hatching?

BullyBearish's picture

Are you a Sunni?...No Shiite!!

T.Gracchus's picture

Are you blind as well as stupid?

Look at the map. Note all those black dots representing American bases. Makes you wonder if we are the ones who will not leave them alone.

Without US and Brit/Euro meddling most of these countries would be ethnically/religiously divided , but still at uneasy peace- as it ever was.

But now we can't help but stick our noses where they do not belong. BTW, think you'll find Iran just generally leave the US alone-at least when I last checked.