This article connects some dots about today as well as overall analysis based on his research as a *student* of these times. It will require a few minutes of your time to read ( I know how hard that is to understand, but, it is educating yourself vs talking head and politico talking points) so you can have a better understanding of why we are where we are in the ME debacle. The Roots of American Demonization of Shi’a Islam The US targeted assassination, via drone strike, of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, apart from a torrent of crucial geopolitical ramifications, once again propels to center stage a quite inconvenient truth: the congenital incapacity of so-called US elites to even attempt to understand Shi’ism – thus 24/7 demonization, demeaning not only Shi’as by also Shi’a-led governments. Washington had been deploying a Long War even before the concept was popularized by the Pentagon in 2001, immediately after 9/11: it’s a Long War against Iran. It started via the coup against the democratically elected government of Mosaddegh in 1953, replaced by the Shah’s dictatorship. The whole process was turbo-charged over 40 years ago when the Islamic Revolution smashed those good old Cold War days when the Shah reigned as the privileged American “gendarme of the (Persian) Gulf”. Yet this extends far beyond geopolitics. There is absolutely no way whatsoever for anyone to be capable of grasping the complexities and popular appeal of Shi’ism without some serious academic research, complemented with visits to selected sacred sites across Southwest Asia: Najaf, Karbala, Mashhad, Qom and the Sayyida Zeinab shrine near Damascus. Personally, I have traveled this road of knowledge since the late 1990s – and I still remain just a humble student. For the Trumpers and non-Trumpers this is offered. The profane against the sacred Knowing of Williams’ immense knowledge of Shi’a theology, and his expertise in Western philosophy, I prodded him to, literally, “go for the jugular”. And he delivered: “The question as to why American politicians are incapable of understanding Shi’a Islam (or Islam in general for that matter) is a simple one: unrestrained neoliberal capitalism engenders oligarchy, and the oligarchs “select” candidates that represent their interests before they are “elected” by the ignorant masses. Populist exceptions such as Trump occasionally slip through (or don’t, as in the case of Ross Perot, who pulled out under duress), but even Trump is then controlled by the oligarchs through threats of impeachment, etc. So the role of the politician in democracies seems not to be to try to understand anything but simply carry out the agenda of the elites who own them.” As usual with this website there are some erudite comments if you consider yourself knowledgeable enough to engage them.