The world is aflame with new or intensifying conflicts. At first glance, these upheavals appear to be driven by their own idiosyncratic circumstances. But look more closely and they share several key characteristics -- notably, a witch's brew of ethnic, religious, and national antagonisms that have been stirred to the boiling point by a fixation on energy.
The insurgents are not only in a struggle against what they see as oppression by a largely Shiite government in Baghdad and its security forces, but also over who will control and benefit from what Maliki -- speaking for most of his constituents -- told the Wall Street Journal is Iraq's "national patrimony."
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